We survived!


But we did it!

Seriously. The challenge lives up to it’s name. Ultimate.

I know there are all kinds of different races like this these days and I’ve never personally experienced them but I can vouch for this one.

Here’s how the day went.

We left home bright and early at 6am so we had plenty of time to get there and check in.

There was a competitor meeting at 8:45 to fill us in on how the courses work and to let us drool over the prize table.

Ok maybe it wasn’t the later of that statement, but one lucky guy got to take that big check home. How cool would that be hanging on your wall? I want one.

There were three separate courses: strength, agility, and speed.

We got to scope them out before the races started to know what we were heading in to.

You could complete them in an any order, but all three had to be finished within an hour. Ok here’s where I goofed. Your timer starts the second you cross the start line and apparently it stops when you exit that race and then restarts/stops for the other two courses. Well silly me thought it never stopped until you were completely done so I was running from one obstacle to the next and never gave myself a second to breathe. Ya. Whoops. Talk about exhausted.

We did them in the order listed above and all went in the same heat (there were two) so unfortunately we couldn’t take pictures of each other but I finished a few minutes early so I could grab some shots of my friend, Amy, doing the speed course.

You got three attempts at an obstacle. If you couldn’t complete it in those three tries, you had to do 25 pushups.

A peek inside the strength course: I can tell ya it wasn’t looking good when all four of us couldn’t complete the very first obstacle. Ha!

On one side was a 12 foot pole you had to climb up with no assistance or anything else to hold on to then you had to climb down the other side. a) none of us apparently have the upper body strength for that and b) our shoes were super wet from the dewy grass. #fail

Here’s another obstacle in the strength course. You had to climb up and over this wall, then slide down the other side.

The agility course: there were three “hurdles” (more like body breakers) that were about 7′ tall. It was basically a 2×4 that you had to jump up and over. You should see Amy’s poor arms. They got torn up on that obstacle.

This one was mental. You had to jump from the green platform, land your feet on the middle bar and climb over the top. These men make it look easy.

I surprisingly had no trouble completing that one, but my friend Joanna actually misplaced her footing and ended up straddling the middle bar when she jumped. Youch! That was the end of the day for her :(

This one was one of my favorites.

Climb up the first three and swing under the fourth.

The speed course: definitely my favorite course of the day.

It started with a ladder climb.

I’m not a fan of heights so it was little nerve racking but totally do-able.

For this obstacle, you had to crawl under those boards and net.

I’m still trying to figure out how the muscle men fit through that. It was tight!

On to the climbing wall. ps woot woot for Amy kicking ass!

There were three of these in the speed course. They were more fun than challenging.

And you finished the speed course with an obstacle that may look familiar to you if you watch American Ninja Warrior :)

Except I’m pretty sure these are a lot closer than the ones on the show lol!

These definitely aren’t all the obstacles that were there, but it’s a good glimpse into what the day looked like.

After we finished, we celebrated with our complimentary Smith and Forge cider.

Side note: I’ve never understood why they serve alcohol after fitness events. It’s the last thing I want to re-nourish my body with, but for the first time, I went with it. I’m a sucker for some hard apple cider. I’ve never had this brand, and it was delicious. It wasn’t carbonated and didn’t leave me feeling bloated after finishing it. All four of us were raving about it.

Overall I absolutely loved the experience. I wasn’t sure what to expect from it, and I went in with the mentality of finishing and not getting an injury. I was cautious about my neck and shoulders, probably a little more so than needed, but I walked away satisfied and ready to do another one. I’d love to come back to this particular course next year but actually train for it. When the company contacted me, the event was only three weeks away so I didn’t get much accomplished in that little of time.

The only thing I would have changed is split up the big award at the end. All four of us thought it was kind of unfair to have the men and women competing for the same title, but then again I guess that shows the real star.

If you’re looking for a challenge, I suggest you try it. Here are a couple races coming up!

Diva Dash with Shape Magazine -

  • August 2 in Illinois
  • August 16 in Washington
  • September 6 in Boston
  • September 13 in Philly
  • October 11 in New York

You can use coupon code AXJOLYNN for $5 off your registration at any of those Diva Dash races!

Ultimate Athlete Games – October 18 in New York.


The winner of the Swanson gift certificate giveaway is:

Congratulations Laurel!

Thanks to everyone that entered! Have a great weekend!

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Good morning!

This weekend was the big race! Holy cow do I have some stories to tell you. I’m sure you saw all my pictures already on Instagram, but I have to put all my thoughts together for a recap post later this week.

Lets just say the name of the challenge is spot on.


A few weeks ago a rep from Swanson Health Products contacted me about their 45th Anniversary.

They are a family owned business that sells vitamins, supplements, healthy foods and natural beauty products. They offer their own line of products as well as hundreds of other companies.

Seriously, they have a TON of different options to buy online.

They graciously gave me the chance to try out several different products of my choice.

I’m like a kid in a candy store when it comes to new healthy items so here’s what I ordered and what each item is good for. (All information is from Swanson’s product descriptions.)

Organic Maca Powder: The legendary Incan staple root maca is so potent that just a small amount of our Certified Organic Maca Powder turns any ordinary food into a superfood rich in energy-producing nutrition. Maca has a very mild, slightly nutty taste that doesn’t interfere with other flavors. Our Certified Organic Maca Powder can be added to smoothies or blended with flour for use in recipes of all kinds. One scoop delivers 3 grams of dietary fiber and just 15 calories.

Organic Goji Berries & Organic Goji Powder: Sun-dried to perfection, Navitas Naturals Goji Berries are 100% pure, certified organic, kosher, vegan and raw. The goji berry is a natural source of many nutrients. It is a vegetarian form of protein and delivers essential amino acids, vitamin A and vitamin C. Goji berries feature over 20 trace minerals and vitamins including zinc, iron, phosphorus, riboflavin (B2), vitamin E and carotenoids like beta-carotene. Try Navitas Naturals Goji Berries in smoothies, teas, granola, oatmeal, yogurt and salads.

Organic Brown Rice Syrup: NOW Foods Brown Rice Syrup is a natural sweetener with a mild, buttery flavor and a delicate sweetness that makes it ideal for use in baking and desserts. Unlike simple sugars, such as monosaccharides and disaccharides, Brown Rice Syrup is a polysaccharide, or a complex sugar. The unique structure of complex sugars allows them to be absorbed and broken down more slowly than simple sugars, avoiding rapid spikes in blood glucose. Slower absorption also allows the body to utilize complex sugars for energy instead of having to store them as fat for later use. Brown Rice Syrup is made by fermenting brown rice with special enzymes that break down the natural starch content of the rice. This process produces a translucent syrup that’s an excellent alternative to white and brown sugar.

Carob Powder: The mild sweetness of carob powder is due to the naturally occurring sugars in the carob. Carob (Ceratonia siliqua) or St. John’s Bread comes from the pods of an evergreen tree native to the Eastern Mediterranean area. Unlike cocoa beans, Carob Powder doesn’t contain the stimulant theobromine and has significantly less fat. Can be used as a substitute for cocoa powder in milk and baking recipes.

Organic Rooibos Tea: Rooibos, also called “Red Tea,” is a traditional South African herbal tea with a slightly sweet and nutty flavor. Our 100% Certified Organic Rooibos Red Tea is caffeine free and is said to feature valuable antioxidants. Rooibos is gaining increasing popularity thanks to its potential benefits and its distinct flavor, which many people enjoy as an alternative to coffee or conventional black teas.

Organic Cacao Sweet Nibs: Cacao brings a rich supply of antioxidants and is known to be one of the highest dietary sources of magnesium. The chocolate flavor is enhanced by lightly coating the nibs with organic cacao liquor and cane juice, making these even a great snack right out of the bag. Certified organic, kosher, vegan and raw.

I made a delicious wholesome breakfast with two of the ingredients above.

Goji and Carob Powder Pr{oat}meal
Serves 1

- 1/2 cup oats
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup liquid egg whites
- 10 drops liquid stevia
- 1 tbsp carob powder
- 2 tbsp goji berries
- any other toppings you want

1. Put oats and water in a small pot. Place over medium-high heat and cook until it boils.
2. Stir in egg whites. Stir continuously so you don’t cook the egg whites entirely.
3. Cook until desired thickness then remove from heat immediately.
4. Add it to a bowl, stir in liquid stevia and carob powder, goji berries, and/or whatever other toppings you wish.


You can enter their sweepstakes to win a $500 shopping spree by clicking here.

AND you have the chance to win a $45 gift card below!

The giveaway below will run until Friday, the 25th at 9am CST. Winner will be chosen on July 25 at Noon CST.

Good luck!

oh and ps - You can save $5 off instantly by clicking here. (Disclaimer: Referral link. You’ll also get one when you order that you can share with your friends and family!)

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