Tariq Abukhedir is a former student of mine. I used to be the librarian at Universal Academy of Florida, a private Islamic school in Tampa, FL.

I was shocked, sickened, and horrified when a former co-worker posted a photo of Tariq badly beaten on her Facebook page. This was someone's child, he lived in Tampa, and that alone made me upset. At first I did not realize that I knew him, because he was unrecognizable. I knew the name, but honestly I know a lot of Tariq's and I know a lot of Abukhedir's.

It wasn't until I saw this photo that I put two and two together and realized that I did in fact know Tariq, and I was his teacher for two years.

This is the Tariq that I knew. The goofy, smiling, funny boy that loved basketball, and asked me a million questions about computer technology. He himself knew A LOT about computers, and was always grilling me.

I can't make any claims about knowing what happened when he was in Palestine. I don't know. I only know what the news is reporting.

Earlier this morning I had the opportunity to be interviewed by Talk Radio WFLA970.

They asked me about how Tariq was as a student. I explained that Tariq loved to read books about basketball. He was always kind. Never rude.

Last week on Saturday night the Muslim community held a candlelight vigil for Tariq. I was unable to attend. But I was there in spirit, and in pizza. I sent pizza to the group for when they broke their fast. It was the least I could do.  Feeding a Muslim when they break their fast gets you a lot of prayers. And though I'm not a religious person, who couldn't use prayers from a few hundred people?

The Tariq I know is a good boy. He's an AMERICAN and he needs to come home NOW.

What can you do to help??

1. Join the Florida for Tariq Facebook page.

2. Tell Secretary of State Kerry and Congress to demand action for Tariq HERE.

3. Take a photo of yourself holding a sign with the hastag #BringTariqHome and publish on your social media channels.


It was pretty incredible to be the only non-Muslim surrounded by 400+ Muslims for 3 years. I learned so much not only about Islam, but about myself, my values, and my beliefs. And it comes down to the fact that as parents we ALL want what's best for our children, regardless of what god you may believe in. 


Weekly Workouts, and Kettlebells June 29-July 5

My new favorite term is "jacked up." As in: My knee is jacked up. My foot is jacked up. My hands are jacked up. Urban Dictionary defines "jacked up" as:

1. not working properly or as intended.
2. having used a large quantity of speed, cocaine, or other amphetamine.
3. cut or lacerated by means of a make-shift knife or blade. see SKIV
4. In generally poor or injured condition.

In my case, I'm referring to numbers 1, and 4.

My Plantar Fasciitis, while getting better is still causing me issues. I believe that the wearing of the boot has caused me to overcompensate on my OTHER leg causing some EXTREME knee pain. I swear, if it's not one thing it's another with me.

Due to the bottom half of my body hurting so badly, I decided to work on the top half during the month of July and created a Kettlebell Challenge group on Facebook. You can join HERE. I'm also doing the July walking challenge, but due to injury, I dropped my monthly goal to 400,000 steps. You can join the walking group HERE.

My friend Nancy was kind enough to allow me to borrow her Kettlebell (I really can't thank you enough, Nancy!!) so that I could do the challenge at home if needed. Her bell is 26# and typically that's what I use in my CrossFit En Fuego WOD's. Though recently Coach Jen has been ribbing me to go up more consistently to the 35# bell. And I do...on occasion. Tongue Out But following a particular challenge means that I need to adhere more to a schedule of rest days. It's pretty fun to be mixing it up a bit and having rest days be on "non-typical" days.

Sunday- KB Challenge. Day 1.  Here's my #PolarProof. Apparently I died a few times during my workout. Certainly felt like it!

I spent a few hours with the kids at the pool afterwards. It was a very nice day.

Calories: 623

Steps: 17,943

Monday-KB Challenge. Day 2. I went to the gym and did the challenge there. I did the warmup and stretching with my friends, and then we parted ways as they went on to complete front squats and what looked like a very challenging WOD, and I did my swings.

I did ring rows as my alternate exercise, and I really enjoyed this combination.

Afterwards I did chores around the house because we were preparing to head to LEGOLAND Florida on Tuesday, which also happened to be my rest day. I planned it that way.

Calories: 574

Steps: 15, 538

Tuesday-REST DAY! Well, as much as one can rest when you take the #TampaTrio to LEGOLAND!

We had a GREAT time exploring both parks, and I'll have a full recap up later this week. But trust me...it was AWESOME!

Steps: 20,135

Wednesday-KB Challenge. Day 3.

After spending the previous day at LEGOLAND, my kids didn't want to wake up, so I couldn't make it to the gym. Again, so thankful that Nancy lent me her bell. I was able to do the swings in the "comfort" of my own driveway.

My hands after day 3 were officially "Jacked Up." Ugh. They hurt pretty badly, especially that pinkie!

But I had other things to do on Wednesday. Like mow my lawn. So that's exactly what I did.

Calories: 1215

Steps: 24,160

Thursday-KB Challenge. Day 4.

I went to the gym. I needed to test my theory that I was ready to go up on my bell weight. So for the 10/15/25, I did 30# and for the 50, I planned to do 26#. But after the first 2 rounds I was feeling really good, my HR wasn't getting too crazy high, so for rounds 3-5, I did it all at 30#. And I did tricep dips for my alternate.

I also made sure to write down my "steps" before and after my workout. I did a hard factory reset of my Loop and low and behold...my Loop did convert activity to steps just as promised!!

Afterwards we did go to the pool for a few hours until the impending rainstorm chased us away! Then later that evening we went to support #TeamPolar at our local running store, Fit Niche. We didn't stay for the 5K run because again the lightning and thunder scare me, and I know I can't run to keep up with Ronin right now. Always better to be safe than sorry.

wow, there's a lot of Polar Pride in that photo. Cool I even got to try on the new V800. LOVE it!!

Calories: 487

Steps: 15,574

Friday-REST DAY!! Happy 4th of July. It was a busy day for me! I was thankful for the rest day, but I did not really rest. I did some laundry, some weed whacking, some rescuing of my husband from a bike trail after he blew out his tire (and he travels with a spare tube, but this was not a tube issue...his tire literally shredded to pieces), played with the Trio, watched some fireworks, had a watermelon eating contest. It was really just a great day!

And we had a very clear winner of the watermelon eating contest!

Steps: 19,400

Saturday-KB Challenge. Day 5.

Back to the gym I went. I had another weight theory that I wanted to test out. Since I was able to do the 30# for the entire sets on Thursday, I thought maybe it means I could go up on weight.

And I did!! I used the 35# bell for the 10/15/25, and the 30# for the 50. WooHoo!! And I LOVE the cardio burn I get from the heavier bells.

Back in my "straight cardio days" my goal was 10 calories for every minute, so 300 calories in 30 minutes. And BAM....I did it and enjoyed it!!

I stopped my HRM, but kept my Loop going as Elisabeth and I did some weighted situps.

Calories: 520

Steps: 15,122

I came home and pretty much just chilled out. I did some laundry, iced my knee, walked the dog. You know, mom stuff.

Overall my first week of July was pretty great!! I was very active, was able to keep working out despite being injured, and made some great memories with my kids.

My total steps for the week are 127,872 and for the first 5 days of July I hit 101,894 which averages out to 20,378 per day. Well above goal to hit 400,000 for the month.

So...how was your week?

Weekly Workouts, dealing with an injury, and other stuff June 22-28

Wow. What a week it was. My girls left for summer camp on Sunday June 22nd. They were gone for the entire week!!

They were so happy when I dropped them off! They couldn't wait for all the Girl Scout fun to begin!!

I did miss them while they were gone, but it wasn't all peaches and cream for Miss Ella while she was away. She lost part of her braces, and she also got pushed by one of her fellow campers because she was annoying. She ended up with a big bump behind her ear, and still now, 4 days later she is still bruised and has a big bump. While they were gone, Ronin went to a swimming summer camp. He had a few bumps in the road too but overall had a successful week. He didn't go to camp on Friday because I took him to the beach, but we'll get to that later in the post.

So how did my week in workouts go?? Not too bad, although I was hurt with the Plantar Fasciitis so I had to modify a lot of movements in my WOD's.

I'm also treking right along in my June step challenge. 500,000 steps in June is my goal, and I'm currently at 497,052, with a few more hours left in the day today, and all day tomorrow. I'll make it.


Sunday-REST DAY! I took the girls to Girl Scouts later in the afternoon and then later that day I just chilled out with my husband and Ronin. I did some laundry, cooked some food, nothing too exciting.

Steps: 15,358

Monday-CrossFit!  We are in week 9 (at least I'm pretty sure it's week 9...it might be week 10) of our 12 week squat program. We always do back squats on Monday and today's % was 6-8 X3 @ 84%. I can hold a butt load (see how I did that...I'm clever with words Tongue Out) of weight up and my shoulders and squat down, but I can't break parallel, so I'm more concerned with a lighter load and PROPER form, so I did a back squat weight at 89 pounds. It felt okay. I felt a little twinge in my left knee, but just chalked it up to normal aches and pains and ignored it and pushed through. Bad move as you'll read later in my weekly summary.

1000m Row (subbed for 800m run) finished in 4:57

50 wall balls

1000m Row finished in 5:04

Total time: 14:53

And then I came home and mowed the lawn.

Calories: 1285

Steps: 24,333



Tuesday-CrossFit. Today we did a WOD named "The Ghost."

The Ghost

6 rounds of:
1 minute of rowing
1 minute of burpees
1 minute of double-unders
1 minute rest

Try for as many reps as possible of EACH exercise, not just total score. Post separate totals of calories rowed, burpee reps and double-under reps completed to comments.

Whew. Got that? Okay, so I was hurting by Tuesday. My knee and my PF were SCREAMING at me. I had to modify the burpees, to do box burpees (so instead of going to the floor, I stopped on a 14" box, did my pushup, then completed the burpee) and jump ropes were modified by slam balls. I'm pretty confident that my score was the lowest in the gym since singles and doubles can really raise the overall total reps. My rowing and burpees were pretty on target with the rest of my box, but where people were averaging 40-75 jumps in that minute, I was hitting 20-24 slam balls. But it's not about them, it's about ME and what I can do. So my total score was 265. I'm okay with that.

Pretty sure I walked a mile or two afterwards.

Calories: 519

Steps: 13,644

Wednesday-CrossFit.  Having the girls gone was very nice. I'm not ashamed to admit it. IT WAS NICE!! There was virtually no fighting going on in my house. My son got a lot of 1:1 attention. However I did notice that although I had less dishes, there was still laundry being thrown all over the living room, and string cheese wrappers left on the floor.

Today's WOD was a good strength day! We did EMOM 2 power snatches for 8 minutes. I did 55#. Then we did another EMOM  2 power cleans. For the first 7 sets I did 65# and the last set I did 70#. Afterwards, not for time, we did 75 weighted sit-ups. I held a 25# bar for the sit-ups. And then we walked. Can't remember how far. At least a mile.

Later that night I took Ronin to PDQ Wesley Chapel for a fundraiser for the Danny Did Foundation. My friend Denise, from RUNDMT is raising money to run in the Chicago Marathon on behalf of the Foundation.

Ronin had a blast eating, cutting fries, and making a milkshake.

It was a great night!!

Calories: 684

Steps: 15,792

Thursday-CROSSFIT. I walked into the box today. H.U.R.T. While I had been feeling a twinge of pain in my knee since last week, and then again on Monday during back squats, it was quite sore today. Our front squat program was designed today to have us build to a new one rep max. I knew right away that I wasn't going to be able to do it. Little did I know that I was not even going to finish the workout. I started off warming up with 35# and when I broke parallel, I felt a pretty nice PANG in my left knee. I kept going. I went up and did 5 sets at 45#, 5 sets at 65#, 5 sets at 75#, and when I got to 85#, I nearly collapsed. Thankfully my 2 friends that I was working out with must have noticed my distress, saw the look on pain on my face because they both were at my side within seconds, each one grabbing one side of the bar, and they both said at the same time "Jenny, you're done." And they were right. I was DONE! My knee hurt so badly. I went and rolled it out, and then totally modified the WOD. I can't even remember what the "real" WOD was, but I modified to 3 ring pull ups, 5 clean & jerk at 45#, and 7 plate steps ups. I used 2 stacked 45# plates. It still hurt. I should have probably JUST STOPPED, but sometimes I'm a jackass.

I ended up spending most of that night in tears, popping Ibuprofen, and icing my left knee, while wearing my boot on my right foot.

Calories: 525

Steps: 15,678

Friday-REST DAY!! After the week I had, I decided that I would take a much deserved rest day. Ronin and I had already planned to go to the beach, but first we thought I'd workout and he'd go to camp for a few hours. Change of plans!! We decided to go bright and early. And it was lovely!!

Taking a proper rest day did wonders for my mind, and body. And don't worry, I didn't leave that sand on my legs, so no weird tan lines.

Steps: 16,913

Saturday-REST DAY!! I took another rest day. It was great. I had to pick the girls up from camp at 10am, and then spent the rest of the afternoon doing their camp laundry, cleaning, and just moseying about the house.


Overall my week was full of ups and downs. I wasn't able to hit my monthly step goal by Friday like I thought I would, but I'm so a-okay with that.

I did walk 112,608 steps this week, and although my Loop data says that I spent a lot of time sitting down, it only gave me ONE inactivity alert.

How was your week? Have you ever had to take multiple rest days to recover from an injury??