Wednesday, December 21, 2011

8 Tips for Surviving the Holiday Craziness and Celebrations!

  8 Tips for Surviving the Holiday Craziness and Celebrations!

 You can do it! You can get through the holiday season stronger, healthier and determined to start the New Year right.  All you have to do is focus on the 8 Holiday tips each week, exercise, and talk positive to yourself.  In addition to the goals, try to incorporate 2-3 additional 20 minute cardio blasts to your week. It could be mall walking while holiday shopping, riding your bike to get the holiday party’s groceries, or jogging to and from Power Fitness PDX instead of driving.

Tip 1: Drink 10 8-oz. cups of water per day. If you can do this, it will help you feel cleansed, fuller, and content.
Tip 2:
Eat a small meal every 2-3 hours and try to have a small meal before going to a holiday party. Print up the Clean Eating list and bring it to the grocery store.  Nutritious rich foods help balance the celebrations.   You will arrive to the party satisfied, and not eager to eat the entire platter of mini quiche.
Tip 3: Start keeping a journal log of what you are eating throughout the day.  If you notice you’re snacking between 4-5 p.m., why not make the snack a serving of vegetables with hummus, Half Greek Yogurt with 10 almonds and protein powder. It will help satisfy the urge to munch at the tough time of day.
Tip 4: When holiday shopping, wear a pedometer. It may seem silly, but nobody will see it under your sweater or shirt.  Park in the farthest spot possible, and do 3 laps in the mall or around the block  before hitting the stores you need.  Try to reach at least 10,000 steps by the time you’re done shopping and head home.
Tip 5:  If you can, leave at least a 2-hour window of an empty stomach prior to bedtime. Also drink two glasses of water before nodding off.
Tip 6: When you have a huge celebration you’re headed to, plan your drinks accordingly.  Alternate between sparkling water and wine.  Limit the fruit juices, caffeine and the cocktails. The added sugars cause headaches, weight gain and dehydration.
Tip 7: When wrapping gifts do one set of push ups, squats, dips, burpees or jumping jacks in between each finished package.  1 set = 15-20 reps.
Tip 8: Utilize your families Zoo memberships and go to Zoo Lights at least once each week. Your kids will enjoy the activity and lights, and you’ll feel invigorated after getting a hilly walk and being in the crisp air.

Ice Skating in Union Square -12.17.11

Bike riding to check out Holiday Lights -12.18.11

Enjoy the time with your family and have fun! The holidays come once each year, and if you plan accordingly, you’ll enjoy them without adjusting to a roomier size come New Years. Cheers!

When not chasing after her two little girls or teaching fitness classes, Erin Kreitz Shirey is the CEO/Master Trainer/Running Man Laugh filled Coach and Owner of Power Fitness PDX.  An award winning trainer recently named 2011 Most Motivational Personal Trainer by Alameda Magazine, and currently the Top 10 Finalist for PFP Personal Triner of the Year, she has written for various athletic publications, been a contributing editor on the hit morning show, Better, and has fitness DVD’s arriving late 2011.  Erin has a BS in Kinesiology, is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer, Fit to Deliver Pre and Postnatal Certified trainer and Sports Nutrition Certified. Visit Erin and learn more about her trainings at

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Jeanne Kettles- One Year of Inspiration!

Jeanne joined Power Fitness PDX for the Challenge. When she called the first time, I remember hanging up thinking I hope this woman can do the Challenge for herself. I have a feeling she could get so much out of it if she allows herself to believe in herself.  Guess what, she did and is PHENOMENAL!! Jeanne has inspired so many others without realizing it and has more strength than she once believed. To say I have been honored to train Jeanne and have her be part of Power Fitness PDX is an understatement. Jeanne also taught me to believe in my own strengths as a trainer and coach, as there are little nuggets brought out that can help every client on many levels. Let Jeanne inspire you to take the time to Challenge the POWER of YOU! 

Jeanne (on left eating), New Years Eve 2010
Jeanne Kettles

This time last year I was floundering…big time!  I was burned out:  overwhelmed, overweight, under a tremendous amount of stress, and feeling totally depleted.   After three years of a challenging Masters program followed suddenly and unexpectedly by three years of a nasty divorce which left me totally broke and completely on my own as a single mother with no job, I felt “washed up” on some strange shore as the divorce became final and I landed a wonderful but demanding full time job.  I had been “coping” with years of stress by self-medicating with all the wrong food and drinking, staying up late “too tired to work out”, forgetting myself and throwing everything into caring for my children and the demands of life.  I wanted things to change, and I realized the only way they could would be to change the course I was on – but how?

I saw a postcard for Power Fitness PDX which boldly affirmed, YOU have the power, strength and courage to make your life the best yet. Without even realizing it, you possess incredible determination and dedication to be your most active self just need a little nudge, education, and support”.  It’s like Erin was talking directly to me.  I went on line and read about the women’s only boot camp and Erin’s philosophy.   I remember my first conversation with Erin: it was remarkably easy to talk with her about my fears and reservations “would everyone be more advanced than me? – I’m really out of shape”  She encouraged me by letting me know that although everyone might seem at different fitness levels that everyone had their challenges and that was the point – we would come together as a group to challenge ourselves – together.  I made the commitment to do the fitness challenge – a three month intensive diet and exercise boot camp.  I never imagined how it would change my life.

I tried and I cried.  I sweat and I hurt and rode the waves: from the troughs of fearful doubt and self-loathing to the crests of accomplishment and self-affirmation.  When my determination threatened to falter, Erin and the women of the group helped nudge me back with an understanding comment or self-revelation that reminded me I was not alone.  The laughter and “way to go!”s we fed each other with sincerity through the grunts, groans and sweats, bonded us in camaraderie, mutual respect and appreciation as we each challenged ourselves and each other to “dig deep and play hard” and bring it!

Jeanne looking & FEELING great December 2011
I lost 10 pounds those first three months, but I lightened up more than that.  I found a part of myself that had been buried in heavier weight for a long time.  I signed up for the year, knowing it was going to take a long term commitment to myself to see me through to where I wanted to be.  But Erin always kept it interesting with some fun and cutting edge way to push all our workouts to the max - and not take no (or slow) for an answer!  She is famous for casually "suggesting” to the group, “You know what would be fun…” and then get  us all signing up for See Jane Run 5K or 10K – or some other race or half marathon - even if we never ran a race before!  And we had a blast!  Even though I wasn’t yet able to run the full distance straight through, I paced myself and pushed myself and completed a 5K.  And the crazy lift it gave me (“I did it!”) fed into my increased commitment to pushing my training and see exercise as fun.   My kids are ever more proud of me and it gives them strength and encouragement to see me be active and make better choices for my well-being.  Now we often “work out” together and they don’t ever seem to grumble anymore about walking someplace instead of taking the car.

One day, months later, as I lugged my workout bag with 2 twelve pound weights, 2 five pound weights and a full large water bottle, I realized that I had actually lost that much weight (and a little more: forty pounds and twenty inches)!  I laughed in amazement that I wasn’t carrying that around anymore and how good it felt to feel energetic every day, throw out my size 18 clothes and shop for size 10 instead!  And the fun part was sharing that with the group of friends who had seen me from the start of this journey and have them celebrate with laughter and joy too!

I can’t say enough about the incredible spirit and skill Erin brings to her work in guiding the group and each participant on our individual paths.  She is knowledgeable and fit, yes, but something so much more.  It’s not everyone whose passion burns so bright and true that it sparks the hearts of others even when they feel burned out or their light seems doused.  Erin and Power Fitness PDX are amazing and I recommend the experience to anyone – no matter where you are in your journey to Challenge the Power of You.

Annie (Challenge Winner 2011), Coach Erin Kreitz Shirey, Jeanne - Holiday Party 12/2/11

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Gemma Lim- She made a change and continues to do so!

Today I got an email from Gemma, a Mom to dynamic boys who was trying to find her time to train. She has been a PFPDX'er since January 2011, even doing workouts in Paris when traveling with friends.  Gemma shared her journey, which will hopefully inspire you to make time for yourself too.  What a gift to read these words of real, life transformation.
Coach Erin Kreitz Shirey

This note has long been overdue! I hope that you know how much I APPRECIATE you.  I have not expressed my appreciation in so many words and ways, but I am so thankful that I met you.  I have indeed come a long way from the first day I came in to try out your early morning boot camp class (thank you Karen for pestering me incessantly that I must meet Erin!) armed with nerves (the trepidation of “going to boot camp”) and vertigo! You kicked my butt on the first day and I have been hooked since!

It has been almost a year since I joined PowerfitnessPDX and I see all the positive changes in myself both physically, emotionally and mentally.  Who knew that I could do over 20 military push ups - in proper form! And for someone who has never run in her life, I am amazed that can jog for over 30 minutes WITHOUT stopping!! It is so exhilarating and rewarding each time I finish a workout with you and the gals. My days are always better when I start them with a PDX workout.  Before I met you, I was so out of balance when I didn’t get a workout in first thing after I woke up.  I would always try to pencil in my workouts and as everyone knows, our own personal goals go to the bottom of the list.  Kids, husbands, significant others, jobs – LIFE takes over and we play second fiddle, again. Before I joined the group, my workouts were not very consistent. I exercised after 10 pm when everyone in my household was upstairs and left me alone to get my workout in. I traded in a decent night’s sleep for what workouts I could squeeze in during the workweek. I didn’t realize that this was working against me. I wasn’t losing weight and inches and I felt so resentful of the little time I had for myself.  My fitness regimen did not work as well as I wanted it to.  Until I met you and started my Power Fitness PDX workouts. Boy, did you change my life!! Do you remember the first few weeks when I did the stairs at Washington Park? I thought I was going to throw up! Living with vertigo, stairs was not my cup of tea. In fact, I avoided workouts that involve climbing up and down stairs for fear of falling down or losing a step and injuring myself. Erin, you changed all that! I conquered my fear of stairs because of you. I have learned that the stairs don’t rule me. I RULE! It is now all on my own terms.

Over the course of the year of doing PDX, you helped me understand that exercise/fitness is very fundamental to how we should live, that it can be fun and it doesn't have to feel like a chore.  You have inspired me every morning to challenge myself, to do that extra push up and lunge, that extra sprint up the stairs. I have become one of your bonus Betties! Doing PDX, I am much more alert and in perfect equilibrium.  Take it from this neurotic Libran, I am so much happier when my scales are in perfect balance!  

So Erin, a huge THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for helping me believe that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. 

Dig deep, play hard!!


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Quarry Turkey- 11.26.11

The Turkey! We caught him before the race!
We found a new tradition in Power Fitness PDX...A turkey trot for only the adults to do.  While it is family friendly, we decided to go sans partners or kids and have a fun run with each other.  The idea was presented a few months ago, and the race was picked to motivate the masses.  Those who were motivated....Annie Chan, Sonia Urzua and me- Erin Kreitz Shirey.  Everyone was motivated for the fun challenge for various reasons. Annie wanted to have a fun race to push towards after completing the San Jose Rock N Roll Half Marathon in October. Sonia did her first 5K with Power Fitness PDX in June and was ready to go for the 10K- 6.2 mile race.  I was motivated to have a fun race before my scheduled knee surgery on December 19th.  One thing we were all motivated to do was have fun and cheer on each other!

To say I am proud of Annie and Sonia is an understatement. They both cheered on one another before, during and after the race.  Sonia was a bit nervous about her body doing 6.2 miles, and Annie encouraged her with positive words.  Annie laughed about her pace and running a 10K since she hadn't for a while.  I was similar to Annie; I hadn't raced a 10K for 4 years and was curious what my presurgery body would do.  

Smiling as always, Annie looking strong at the end!
To say it was a gorgeous morning is an understatement. The day was perfect, Fall crispness, and clear skies.  The route fantastic along a resevoir and on a nice path that was just for runners.  The horn blew, we were off!  When running and coming upon the turn around, I was excited to find and high five Annie and Sonia. Both were running strong and SMILING!!  That says a lot about their cardiovascular abilities...cheers to their hard work running and in Power Fitness PDX.  I came to the finish line and felt good; knees were good and while I could have pushed it even harder I truly felt perfect.  I cheered for Annie and could see her smile as she turned up the shute to finish.  She ran by happily jaunting!  She ran to where I was standing and we saw Sonia bopping along. She looked fantastic and was also...smiling!!!

Sonia running towards the end! Her goal- 10K - completed!
When we got together we all marveled at what a beautiful spot the course was and how Fremont had some hidden gems. Brazen Racing did a great job, and all of us enjoyed the race.  We felt energized and ready to take on the rest of the weekend.  Upon seeing results, Annie found out she placed 6th in her age group and dropped her PR!  Sonia found out she ran faster than her goal by 3 minutes.  I found out that with placing the third female the women who beat me were....girls ages 17 and 23! How did 35 suddenly feel old, but at least it proved athletic performance enhances with age.  What could happen with knew bionic knees, right? As I say to my clients, Power Fitness PDX'ers and can get faster as you get older since you are more equipped to juggle time, work, stress, and kiddos all at the same time.  Our bodies are like fine wines...the get stronger and better as we mature.  I toast all of you!

Thus, HUGE CHEERS to the always maturing ladies of Power Fitness PDX.  Annie and Sonia, you inspired others and did incredible! I look forward to running the race again next year, and watching the group grow and mature each year!
Look at these rockstars- Annie and Sonia you are INCREDIBLE!! Go Mamas Go!

* Thank you Brazen Racing-  we had a blast!!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


I associate one's determination with their spirit and courage. You need to have reverse lunge looking at water some sense of focus and gusto to keep you moving forward when determined to reach any goal.  In order to do that, there are many days that you need a healthy dose of positive self talk too.  September is here and for many it is the month of evolving, growth, and taking a step forward to change.    
Change can be hard  and letting ourselves go outside our comfort zone can be scary.  When working with various clients, encouraging them to try new activities and exercises, I have heard every fear verbalized.  It is our automatic wall that surrounds us, protecting us from failure. We build a moat of fear and words that are not always the healthiest. Thoughts flowing through the moat ranging from "What if I am not good enough?", "I can't do this right now", and "I am not strong enough".   

Guess what friends, you are strong enough!  This Fall I encourage you to Plank on table tops change the words you use to speak to yourself.  When riding on the river of nerves, shift it, grab a paddle and pull yourself up out of water. Embrace the physical challenge and start by saying a simple phrase "You can do this. It is not impossible.  I'm Possible!".  The phrase "I'm Possible" I picked up when a Walker Coach with Pallotta Teamworks 12 years ago and have carried it around since.  I invite you to carry it around with you too.   

Fall is a time to grow and evolve, just like students do every school year.  It is your time to evolve into a stronger, more determined, focused and appreciative athlete. Your body can do wonders, believe in it every step of the way, and know even if you do fall YOU have the determination
to get right back up.  

Bug riding at Chrissy FieldFall is also a time that signifies big steps of DETERMINATION in our family.  September 23rd, 2010, is the date Makenzie was rushed to the ER. Almost one year since her medical journey began, and to say she has "grown, evolved, and has taken a step forward to change" is an understatement.  She has shown more determination and courage this past year than many adults I know.  I am constantly in awe with Makenzie since she doesn't back down or think anything is impossible.  She faced her body's organs breaking down, regained her ability to breath on her own, strengthened her body to walk again and adjusted to a life full of doctors, nurses and needles. She grew to know about life's real hardships involving blood transfusions, surgeries, not living at home with her family, missing half the school year and the big unknown ... if the life she knew before September 23rd would ever be the same.   

Throughout it all, she never faltered thinking it wasn't possible to conquer each test figuring what was going on with her pancreas.  She didn't back down to fighting with doctors and nurses, at the age of 6.5, when she didn't want more pokes and needles. She didn't stop pushing herself to walk the hallways to keep her legs stronger.  She never stopped laughing each day to try and "feel" like a normal kid. She showed me what the real human spirit is all about and how to never give up.   

And that she didn't. Makenzie has been determined and ready to start gymnastics since the day of her last surgery before Christmas.  She asked her medical team at UCSF every post surgery visit if she could start gymnastics again, to a bummer answer of "not yet Makenzie ".  She wouldn't take the answer, and got stronger. Over Summer she swam every day, and learned how to ride a 2-wheeler. When learning, she fell and got scared, but without prodding by us (her parents) she dusted off and got right back on her bike.  par course bugBefore school started, she even rode her bike all over San Francisco with fierce determination.  For a kid told she wouldn't make it out of the ICU last year, she is now in 2nd grade and just got the green light to start gymnastics again. She had her first class on Thursday, September 15th.  She still doesn't have the green light to do the uneven bars, but it doesn't matter because she was back in action grinning ear to ear, the entire class.  She is the epitomy of determination and focus.  She never said out loud "This is Impossible Mom!!".  But instead, repeated daily, "I'm possible", and has continued to get stronger and move forward each day.    

Happy Fall to you.  Garner your determination, inner athlete and make every challenge possible.  You are stronger than you ever thought possible; believe it!  
Challenge the POWER of YOU!  Lucy upright

----Erin Kreitz Shirey
Owner & Lead Trainer of
Power Fitness PDX LLC

Thursday, September 1, 2011

9.1.2011- My one month- LIFE IS GOOD- LIVE ALOHA- Challenge Begins

Life is good, yep it truly is!  We have all been given one life to live fully, and from which to breath every ounce of adventure, memories, and challenge.  But often we become complacent with our lives and don't live them as fully and richly as possible.  

I know for myself I always want to feel GOOD- inside and outside.  That means taking time to focus on feeling good; thus everything around you seems richer, better, and more vibrant. You FEEL incredible and have the Aloha feeling all the time...the easy going, at peace, relaxed bliss.  At least I do and the way for me to get there personally is through exercise, training, fresh foods, family time, date nights, doing things for others, and just "being".

Hood to Coast 2011- Jazz Hands
For some it may sound silly coming from me that I want more of a challenge living richly since I talk about taking advantage of each moment far to much for some.  I try to live what I preach- I exercise daily, teach fitness, play with my kids and family, eat well, bike everywhere, and attempt to get enough sleep.  But while doing so, I have become a bit complacent with my own fitness levels and goals, even while training for Hood to Coast(8.26-27.11) and Pacific Grove Tri(9.10.11).  After our Hawaii trip in August, I shifted a few of my workouts and was a bit bummed I wasn't training in warm waters. Boo hoo- I know- woa is me (sarcasm). But I was incredibly inspired hourly in Kauai to swim farther, run faster and do even more burpees before sunrise.  Anytime I hopped in the water to play, I swam laps in the water.  I felt comfortable to run around in my 2 piece from dawn until dusk, and was taking time to breath in every aroma that surrounded me.  It sounds weird, but I literally did. Stopped on my runs to smell the flowers, snuggled by my girls taking in their saltwater heads, enjoyed the rum scent of Dad's Mai Tai's, and the smell of rain after it pounded the cement mid runs.  That feeling is what inspired me to this challenge. 

Aloha Challenge- to train, eat, feel, and live the inspired LIFE IS GOOD way!  
 September 2nd- October 2nd, 2011  
It is my personal Challenge that may motivate you to do a similar version on your own.  Join in if you want and do part or do all of it.  Focus on one goal for yourself in regards to Fitness, Nutrition, Life or focus on all goals.  I will keep you posted weekly on goals, and post about how life is good in little ways. My only request- let me know how you are doing with your goals via the blog, facebook page, or emails

Life is all about taking time to Challenge the Power of YOU....

Life is GOOD Challenge

No processed foods, produce only organic and preferably from Farmers' Markets
Grilled fish 2-3x/week
5 Veggies/day
Avoid: Gluten, Sugar(forms that are not cane juice/root), alcohol, most milk products (Greek yogurt and goat cheese are ok)
Write everything down & HOW I feel when eating it
Take at least 15 minutes to sit and eat at each meal, not just dinner

Trail Running in Kauai 2011
Max Push Ups & Pull Ups
Do 111 push ups every other day. Max out on push ups 9/30- see how many can do
Pull ups- 3x/week do at least 30 reps (do 20 now)
Minimum of 60 minutes cardio/daily

Train at 120% daily 
Meet 2 workouts/day - 4x/week
Swim at least 2000 yards 3x/week, and 4th swim workout with brick work
Meet Meredith for Brickwork 1x/week. 9/7, 9/14, 9/21, 9/28
Track workouts with Pac West Athletics Tuesday Nights- 6:30 pm & Saturday Long Date-Runs 2x/month at 8:30 w/Jack

Makenzie's photo of Jack & I living Aloha
Write notes in Makenzie's school lunch daily
Pictures- copy the wonderful photos on my computer and hang them in our home, in addition to sending them to friends of the memories together
Family Adventure Days- 1x/weekend - Jack's Saturday work days adventure in afternoon in park
Sleep an extra hour in the early mornings now- new Personal Training Hours- cuddle with kidlets
Emerson bike ride to Farmer's Market on Tuesdays
Chalk drawing out front with girls daily - messages for friends and family who walk by
Meet Otis Moms at 6:45 am on Saturday mornings for girl time 2x/month
Throw paper/mail out after touched once
Bike to 9:25 am Ferry with E and visit Jack at work on Tuesdays or Thursdays
Read to girls outside in backyard after dinner
Write letters to friends and family - 1 letter/day
Date Night with Jack- 2x/month
Bring girls to visit Grandma Betty weekly with cards, and mail cards to Grammer, Grandpa Jack and Great Aunt Blanche with photos weekly

Feel peaceful every morning as day begins and content when going to bed
Be present at every moment with Makenzie, Emerson and Jack
Family- Tyler, Robbie, Me, Mom, Dad
Truly appreciate my own families relationships and how dynamic they are- not take for granted their incredible selves- Mom, Dad, Sister, Brother
Stand TALL (heck 5'1" means I need all my height!)
Break my current PR for the half marathon of 1:32 on October 2nd- RnR San Jose
Write 2 fitness health/articles that get published in monthlies
Taste food and the rich flavors at each meal
Challenge my body and see how lean it can get in 30 days....while not depriving it of the nourishment and incredible foods it loves and thrives on
Feel STRONG and the aloha feeling as the season changes to Fall...

I know that I have big lists under each section, but it is good to focus.  For each week the emphasis will be different:
September 2-8:Acceptance
September 9-15: Adventure
September 16-22:Courage
September 23-2: Compassion

3 Fun Days to enjoy what my body pleases in food/wine:
Sunday, September 4th- Moms' birthday celebration
Saturday, September 10th- Post Pacific Grove Triathlon & at Octoberfest
Saturday, September  24th- Kari's Celebration

 Cheers!!!  I look forward to a fun month of challenges, loves, adventures and tasting each moment!!

---Erin Kreitz Shirey
Power Fitness PDX Owner, Lead Trainer and Coach
BS Kinesiology, ACE, NASM, Fit to Deliver and Stott Pilates
e-  w-  b-Blog  f- Facebook  t- Twitter

*A bit ago I wrote about the Happiness Project I'm doing my own Happiness Journey December 2011-December 2012. My birthday is in December and a year's journey is perfect to coincide with a birthday.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Where you been??

Hello body, curious where you have been? Oh wait, I know, you have been evolving and changing each day and year like I ask you to!  

Many of you have shared comments about wanting to be "back in my skinny jeans", "want to be as strong as I used to be before kids/before work/before I was 40". But why focus on where you used to be, why not focus on moving forward and getting to be your strongest and most dynamic self now?  Why look back, when looking forward is the only way to go?? You don't know what you've yet to become??  

Last year I started working with a Power Fitness PDX'er who ran 3 miles a couple times each week, but never raced. She was active, but never really pushed herself.  Then she started coming to classes. She said she'd sign up for Summer and then go back to her routine at the gym after.  It has now been one year in July 2011 and she still comes to Power Fitness PDX 3x/week. But she comes because she has learned that getting older doesn't mean getting weaker, but getting stronger. It means pushing her body to see what it can do next.  Thus, her running...  She registered for a half marathon to do after her 40th birthday.  She'd never run one before and guess what...she did incredible and now runs regularly 5-7 miles on her own ALL THE TIME!  She does push ups and is focused in class to engage her muscles with each movement, attempting to get lower with each rep.  Her biceps are stronger, legs faster and energy increased.   

Why look back, when looking forward with unending potential and dedication 
can make your body the best yet? 
I want you to mull over this idea.  While you may have been dancing on a bar at age 24, in a dress that was shorter than a 60's miniskirt, your legs hadn't worked as hard as they do now.  They most likely didn't have had the definition that 100's of squats give them.  Your core may have been smaller, but might not have been leaner or full of the dynamic scars of birthing little miracles. But your core now is stronger from countless planks and froggers; it has definition that makes younger gals swoon.  Be confident and keep looking forward!  

Our bodies are incredible and can do so many dynamic things.  When utilizing and challenging them, they respond. When nurturing them with good food consisting of lean proteins, fruits, vegetables and clean carbs, they show the hard work.  Be proud of where you ARE and what lies ahead.  Run around in your swimsuit at the pool and not a big cover-up.  While you may have a few laugh lines to go with the triceps of steel, who cares because the laugh lines are from belly laughs and great memories and your triceps of steel from hard work and focus. Next month could be when your strong self completes a triathlon...something your 20 year old self would be to nervous to do. You are just discovering your potential....keep discovering, evolving, and expanding on what you can do and how strong you can get.  
I ask again...where you been?  The answer...I've been working hard to sweat and grow to love who I am and what I can be each day! 

Take some time to Challenge the Power of YOU! 

Coach Erin, Age 35, now getting more running PR's than when racing in college 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Challenge Winner- Annie Chan!!!

Last Week we toasted the Power Fitness PDX Power of YOU New Year NEW You Fitness Challenge. Many women entered, did incredible and found phenomenal results. It wasn't all about the weight loss and numbers, but about the journey along the way.  When you work on the inner challenges, it helps face the "physical" challenges as well. 

Congrats to Annie Chan, the incredible and dynamic winner!  Anne won for many reasons which were decided by dedication in class/workshops/towards teammates/towards participation in the challenge, weight loss and inches lost goal achievement, personal goal achievement, and mental/spiritual goals achieved. Annie kicked booty and did it all! She is a new person now, and it shines in her face and her gait.  Watch out world, Annie Chan is glowing and growing in so many phenomenal ways!

Thus, I asked Annie a few questions and the following is how she answered: 
What was it that made you :
1. take time for yourself
2. feel that this time you could really reach your goals
3. get outside your comfort zone
4. learned from doing the Challenge
5. noticed about how you felt when you did the Challenge

Lucy Shopping Trip Outfit #1
I was in a rut.  My husband, the exercise fanatic, had lost 20 pounds.  I ran two half marathons and lost nothing.  The more he lost, the more agitated I became.  "How is that possible," I ranted to myself.  The answer came in my Inbox, "[APN] Free Power Fitness PDX Class."  I went to one class and I was hooked.  I signed up for the Power of YOU NEW YEAR-NEW YOU Fitness Challenge and learned the error of my ways.
Error #1 - Heart rate.  I always thought I was a 10 min/mile runner (until my husband gave me a Garmin Forerunner which showed I was more of an 11 min/mi runner).  I admit I ran at a leisurely pace.  That was error #1.  The Challenge taught me to work with my maximum heart rate.  I have to challenge myself in a tougher heart rate zone to get results.
Error #2 - Nutrition.  Before, I would run for 3 miles and come home to a breakfast of egg and cheese on english muffin and coffee with condensed milk.  I craved comfort foods especially on those cold winter days.  That was error #2.  The Challenge taught me to think about food as fuel.  If you put junk in your body, you are bound to feel sluggish.  I learned to make healthier choices.  I drink more water, eat more whole grains, fruits and vegetables.  Thanks to Shay's Cafe, I discovered my love for quinoa salads!

PFPDX Challenge Winner - LUCY Workout Outfit!
Error #3 - No excuses.  I used to let days go by before getting a workout in.  I would blame the weather, work, family schedules and even my husband.  That was error #3.  The Challenge taught me to make myself a priority.  Once I began to make time for myself, my family started to join in.  My daughters would join in exercise routines including jumping jacks, burpees, planks, pushups, etc.  During springbreak on the Disney Cruise, my 6 year old would insist we take the stairs (9 flights!) to burn more calories.  A fit lifestyle is contagious and impacts all around you.
The Challenge has been a transformational experience.  The team was so supportive and full of energy and laughter.  It was amazing to hear the stories of why each woman was participating and the impact it was having on their lives.  We all learned to break the cycle of bad habits, take on a lifestyle of clean eating, appreciate the ones we love, and make time for ourselves.
At the end of the Challenge, I increased my running pace to a 9:22 min/mile, lost 10 pounds, lost 2-3 inches across waist, hips, thighs, increased my strength and rocked a 10 minute wall sit.  I feel stronger, healthier and happier than I have in years.
Thanks to Erin and Power Fitness PDX for an incredible journey and I'll see you all at 5:45am at Crown Beach!

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Each day we are faced with how we want to see what is in front of us. We can wake up bummed that it is raining again, or we can be excited to go puddle jumping on the way to work.  We have the power to CHANGE the way we view life, and NOBODY can take that away.  This also goes hand in hand with how we view ourselves, our neighborhoods, and our lives.  WE OWN the ability to see our life in a full incredible light, with positive eyes and appreciation.  Make each day fresh, juicy, joyous and vibrant.  Be active, be healthy, eat fresh, get moving, have fun!!!  
  • Each day is NEW!   It holds a new opportunity to start fresh, make a change, talk kinder to yourself and those you love, and seize every opportunity that presents itself to live juicy.
  • When you want to do something this weekend but put it off because you're worried about cleaning the kitchen counter first...the counter can wait but playing with your spouse, kids, dogs or going for the run can't.  Go do it! 
  • When mapping out your weekend, add in some time for YOU to sit and breath in all the goodness around you  Seriously! When I take spinning, even though I am moving physically, I take 5 big breaths at the end and on some climbs keeping my eyes closed to breath in all that my own body can do and honor it. 
  • If you catch yourself saying "one more minute" to a child or spouse for the 20th time, ask yourself why is the current task so important. The minute will turn to 10, and it could be what couldn't wait from your loved one was actually a hug, laugh, giggle from a dumb joke that had bellies hurting so hard from laughing.  Don't miss out on those moments.
  • With your fuel for the weekend, visualize yourself getting all the food from your own farm and to be as fresh as possible.  Visit the Farmers' Markets, head to Dan's Produce or Alameda Market Place, use your own garden. Try to incorporate 2 new vegetable dishes this weekend. Click for some healthy recipes to make!
  • Make one day of your weekend car less as long as possible.  Use your bodies to move and take in all the new scents of Spring as you explore a new neighborhood in Alameda.  Run/walk/bike/hop/running man your way around and have fun! Burn calories!  Make new memories with family and friends!
Challenge the Power of YOU! ---Coach Erin Kreitz Shirey
Tips from an article by Coach Erin from March 2011

Words from Catrina Fabion- Power of YOU New Year NEW You Fitness Challenge 2011 Scholarship

Catrina, aka Cat, is the Women's Only Boot Camp Challenge winner.  She was nominated by her best friend, Estie, who has been attending Power Fitness PDX since September.  Estie wrote a heartfelt letter nominating Cat for the Challenge, knowing that she would partake in it with her whole heart, yet wouldn't give herself permission that it was ok to take care of herself when taking care of her family.  She has been avidly attending Power Fitness PDX, changing her unhealthy habits to healthy lifestyle habits, and finding ways to incorporate exercise throughout her day.  

Cat has been a joy in class, and is truly making the life changes that the Challenge is about.  Cat faced many hardships and struggles herself, but didn't let any of them deter her from moving forward and making each day the best.  She is the proud wife to Jared and Mom to Rowan.  Please take a minute to read her words, and pat her on the back next time you see her around Alameda.   

Cheers --- Coach Erin Kreitz Shirey

 Cat's Words

I am the girl who did not attend P.E.—yes, you read that right—during the majority of my school days I couldn’t even participate in P.E. because of my asthma. I also never played any sports and I am about as coordinated as a newborn baby. You may be asking yourself, how does someone like me end up in a physical fitness challenge?!?  The answer to that question is quite simple, I have fabulous friends.

Two of my best friends, Estie, and her identical twin sister Alexandra, have known for quite some time that I have not been happy with my physical appearance.  Over the course of our friendship I have continued to gain weight and my life has become increasingly sedentary.  With the birth of my son in 2009 I swore I was going to change my habits so that both my family and I would be healthier.  Unfortunately, as things go in life, many obstacles were thrown in my way.  As the obstacles grew, physical fitness once again was pushed to the back burner.  My friends, however, understood the importance of physical fitness and the problems I was facing.  So, they took it upon themselves to submit my name for a scholarship to participate in Erin Kreitz Shirey’s Power of YOU New Year NEW YOU Fitness Challenge.  And I won! It would not be too much to say that this was truly a life-altering event.

Anne (L) & Cat R) learning AT HOME exercises
Erin has helped to make it a life-bettering event for me.  Erin truly believes that everyone is capable of creating and maintaining lifelong healthy habits. As a not so healthy gal, I can tell you that it was tough for me to swallow Erin’s philosophy at first.  Since beginning the challenge in February, my experience has proven that Erin is 100% correct. If nothing else, my ability to compete in the Challenge has demonstrated that truly anyone can compete. I went from huffing and puffing with an inhaler when I walked up a steep hill to running miles at a time! Admittedly, I don’t run very fast, I still have to puff on the inhaler and sometimes my shins hurt like heck, but I can do it!!! And, what is more important is that I will continue to do it. I make a daily choice to be a healthier happier me.   

With the help of Erin, my fellow TEAM of bootcampers and the support of my friends and family, I look forward to continuing my challenge far into the future.

Friday, March 18, 2011


Saturday, March 12th, was a special day for the Power of YOU New Year New YOU Fitness Challenge. The ladies took time out on their Saturday afternoon to learn how to exercise at home, workout in the park on the play-gym, and have fun playing plank tag.  It may seam like no big deal, but on a busy Saturday afternoon with events occupying the time, many of the women gave up time at family events or events out to take time for themselves and their training.  Two months ago, that may not have been the case.  They are MAKING THEMSELVES A PRIORITY!  That is key and instrumental in weight loss, making strides in health and fitness, and living an active lifestyle.  Guess what- everyone was laughing the entire time (well maybe a little cursing and sweating too!).

The At Home workout portion put together a few 10 minute circuits that everyone can do at home.  The circuits were split to working the back, the front, cardio and core working the floor.  Cat was kind enough to host class at her house, and she allowed me to create a gym within her home.  Guaranteed the women don't look at their homes the same way. Following are the Circuits:
Push Ups
Bicep Curls - Hammer Curls

Window Ledge Lat Squats
Tricep Kick Backs
Narrow Grip Push Ups
Donkey Kicks on the Chair
Reverse Fly
Doorway Calf Raises
Cat Cow
Plank- Downward Dog

Core on the Floor:
Side Plank-both sides
Up down- plank ups
Spider Mans
Side Plank Elbow Kisses - both sides

Cardio Blasts:
High Knees
False Starts
Speed Skaters

Core on the Floor:
*grab two towels and put under both hands*
Plank Forward Slides
Plank External Rotation
Opposite Arm Wax On-Wax Off
Push Up Side Slides
Standing Side Leg Slides (get both legs)

We went from Cat's house to Lincoln Park and had a blast! First the entire group went through the Class for YOU to DO and worked a sweat. We followed it with Plank Tag and Jordana proved to be a mean "tagger" while Karen was an intense planker.  Mary emailed following class that "I really like plank tag. No really I LIKED IT!". But the fun began at the play park!


Swing Planks- hold feet at a slight angle behind you.  Elbows are off the swing , while your forearms are on the swing and hands in front.  Stay in this position until you can't hold it and shake anymore! Aim for 30-45 seconds! 

RLP (Railing Lats Pulldown) & Squats - Hold onto a bar/playground climbing post/railing. Keep hands(and feet) greater than shoulder width apart on a bar about chest height.  Grasp bar and pull back, allowing yourself to squat, hold retracting scapula down towards spine, stay in squat position for 5 counts, return to starting. After 20 reps, do 10 reps standing on each leg individually.

Monkey Bar Swings- Just like it sounds. Swing across the monkey bars rung to rung like you did at age 5.  Go back and forth 5x. Do 30 Jumping Jacks and repeat swinging.  Make sure to reach your arm to fully open and grasp the next Monkey bar/ring. While swinging, bring your belly button towards your spine and engage your core.

Knee Hangs- Hold onto two Monkey bars/rings.  Maintain a straight line without trying not to swing with momentum. Slowly bring both knees to form a 110 degree angle, curling your pelvis under. Feel as if you are squeezing a golf ball in your belly button. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 15-20X.  

Over Under Hangs- Just like Fitness Testing in PE Class, you have to hold your head above the bar like the top of a pull up position, with both hands hanging and your head held up by your body weight and strength. Hang for as long as your body allows. Once you drop, take a breath and pop up to repeat holding hands in the opposite direction. Either facing you at first with underhand grip, or away from you with overhand grip second time.

At the end of the afternoon, the Power Fitness PDX Challenge ladies(minus a few) were standing proud and strong!  

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Cheers- the story behind the smiles for some

When in Power Fitness PDX class, the topic of Postpartum Depression has popped into discussions. In every day life, many women don't discuss it.  It can feel embarrassing, humiliating, and heartbreaking since as a Mom all you want to do is be the best for your kids. But, sometimes that isn't possible and not in your control.  The following is a blog I wrote in December 2008, when living in Portland and owning Baby Boot Camp. It feels so far away, but when reading it I can visualize and feel the tingly nerves again. Take a read, share with a friend, know that as Moms we are all in this together and forever stronger for supporting one another.

"Cheers" -the story behind the smiles in 2008
I am a cheerful person by nature. I try to find the positives in challenging situations, I have attempted to see what is to be learned out of horrible events and I always attempt to feel the "cheer" I love to feel during the holiday season.

This season marks a special holiday for me- I made it through what was an incredible but very challenging year. We started off 2008 welcoming our little Emerson McCafferty Shirey into the world. And what an incredible mark she made- charming everyone whom she encounters. While I was worried how I could love two kiddos as much as I loved my Makenzie, I quickly learned how "ginormous" one's love is. Emerson opened my heart to feel even more love and joy than I realized, and also taught me how strong I was and had to become.

After Emerson was horribly sick in the hospital for 2 weeks in March, I realized my cheerful mentality was actually getting worn thin. I was trying to care for my sweet baby who was unable to breath on her own and had additional health concerns, my energetic 4 year old, two businesses and my Baby Boot Camp Leadership role. All attempting to do so maintaining my positive demeanor. Through it all realized I wasn't feeling like "myself". I didn't have the cheer I normally felt, but was feeling more anxious and worried about getting everything done. The levels of stress I felt when leaving my escape- teaching class- were bigger than I could conquer on my own.

I have always been a referral source for Moms with postpartum depression. I have been one to help those in need and those who needed the extra support, comfort and care when they were trying to take care of themselves and their little babies. What I realized in July was I was one of those Moms I had always helped. I wanted to truly feel the energy, joy and exuberance I normally felt for life and those around me. I didn't want to cry over nerves relating to not getting everything done and feeling I was letting everyone down. I wanted to feel complete and happy at the end of the day and allow myself to be in the moment with my girls.

I worked hard at finding ways to take care of my family and myself, working with my doctor. I sought out the services I referred many of my Baby Boot Campers to. My OB-GYN said that with my own pneumonia, Emerson's RSV-pneumonia-pertusis, 2 businesses and being type- A, he was actually not surprised. What he shared with me and I feel honored to share with you is that those who one would think are least likely to experience postpartum concerns are the most likely to experience them.

It has been 5 months since I started my path to true recovery and I feel "cheer" again. I have done so on my own pace and privately, out of hope to not disappoint any of my students who look up to me for energy and enthusiasm. But I would actually be letting you down if you didn't realize I am a REAL MOM like everyone else.

Postpartum depression doesn't discriminate and doesn't play favorites. Selfishly I wish that were not true, but I also feel fortunate to know I can genuinely relate and understand where many of you are coming from. Through the last year I feel my experience has only made me a better teacher because I know I LOVE teaching so much. I know how Baby Boot Camp is genuinely integral in so many womens lives; to be active, social, supported and around genuine "cheer" helps.

I carve out additional time for myself to take care of my own needs in addition to those required and requested of me. Now many people may be surprised that I had/have PPD, but that is the reason I am letting you know. You have no idea if you might not feel the cheer you are used to, and please don't ignore any signs or symptoms. It is nothing to be embarrassed about, but something we can all help one another when healing. I am fortunate, my symptoms were not as severe as others, but they have been challenging none the less.

What I am pleased to share is that I feel the genuine "cheer", support and confidence this Holiday Season. I have an excitement and gratefulness for not only my incredible family, but for the talented and gifted Moms I am surrounded by every day. This holiday season, when I say "cheers" know it is with deep warmth and joy to have a great holiday. Enjoy it, and celebrate how far you too have come this past year.

Cheers to you and your family this Holiday Season ---Erin Shirey
December 1, 2008

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Perfect 10

What is the Perfect 10?  Do we really compare ourselves to Bo Derek running down the beach with her braids and swimsuit?  Are we, as women, comparing ourselves to the Sports Illustrated swimsuit models?  I hope not!  I see every women as a Perfect 10 in their own right, it is accepting your own strengths and differences that make you magical.  It is holding your head high when trying something new and being comfortable in your imperfections, embracing your body you were born with, and using it with pizazz!  It takes a sense of confidence to see your own Perfect 10, a sense of ownership in adoring the one life you have and the body you have been given.  A Perfect 10 is not letting the little things you think are imperfections define you, but you define them and own them! 

When doing gymnastics two weeks ago, I felt we were all perfect tens.  It was ladies fun night out for Power Fitness PDX and we decided to have fun at gymnastics. Words can't describe how much fun it was!  We walked in and could have been Moms to the other participants of Open Gym. But we didn't care! We sought out Ian, the teacher for the night, and asked him for some pointers and advice for fun "moves".  Mind you, the moves we were talking about we hoped wouldn't have our strong, but not gymnastics trained, bodies injured at night's end.  We all were eager to hop on the balance beam, climb the rope net, jump on the trampoline, try the rings, do back walkovers and LAUGH!!! 

Through the training in Power Fitness PDX has evolved a greater sense of confidence in trying new things...amongst everyone.  We laughed, we performed and we embraced our bodies for what they can do!  For some it was trying a jump on the balance beam, a feat that wouldn't have been conquered before.  But now, knowing that each body is unique and can do incredible things, the feats were tried and tried again.  We tried trampoline routines, sweat as we did back bends,  and flexed our quads when pointing on the beam.  We were and are all PERFECT 10's!  It is our own inner score card that we must believe in.  Not a judge holding up numbers, but our own inner score card of "10".

Own yourself and who you are. Own your strengths and walk proud.  Be it big chested or flat chested, apple or pear shaped, short or tall...own YOU!  You are a Perfect 10 and have one body that can do incredible things.  Challenge it daily, appreciate it hourly, love it every moment.   Now, gymnastics hands back and stand in Perfect 10 pose!!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Words from Caprice Carter- Power of YOU New Year NEW You Fitness Challenge Recipient

When it came time to pick who was deserving of the Power of YOU New Year NEW YOU Fitness Challenge, it was very hard.  Many women wrote with incredible stories that would inspire anyone. They were all deserving.  In the end, I picked two Challenge Winners.  One attending the 50+ Boot Camp and one attending the Women's Only Boot Camp.  The women have come to class, been pushing themselves and will be blogging about their journey.  Caprice Carter won the 50+ Boot Camp category, and over $1450 in services throughout the 3 month challenge.  Read on to hear about Caprice and how incredible she is....Coach Erin

Caprice's words....

March 1, 2011

Erin has asked me to write something for her blog about my experiences so far with the Power Fitness PDX Challenge… I’m not much of a writer but I will do my best.

First of all I would like to say that so far, it’s been ABSOLUTELY AWESOME!

I was one of the winners of the scholarships for the challenge which I am incredibly thankful for.  I had been thinking for a long time that what I needed was a personal trainer or something for me to get my butt in gear and do what I needed to do for myself.  For me. I could never find the time or the money or the organization to follow through on getting back in shape so when I saw the poster and read about the scholarship, I immediately went home and wrote up my story and sent it in. I was so, so surprised and thrilled to learn I had won! Whoo Hoo!

I felt that to honor this opportunity I would need to fully commit myself to the challenge and I have to say that I’m so inspired now, that I think this will be a life changing experience.

As for my story, well… I’ll try to be brief.

About six years ago my twin nieces ended up in foster care in Oregon. Since we were out of state, it took us a year to get them down here through a very lengthy and stressful, emotional and exhausting process. We had to become a licensed foster family, taking classes, having our personal lives exposed and turned inside out and then having to license our home by having to legalize part of our home that was added in the 1940’s (when people just didn’t pull permits for such things), etc… In the end it all worked out and they came to live with us but it took a toll on us. That’s when the real work began. It’s been an incredibly challenging journey and odyssey for us, and for them, for which I can happily say that we are now a family. After a year we were able to adopt them and through working with a family therapist have worked on adapting to our new family life.

That said, as the years were going by, I began to feel that I was giving everything I had out and there was nothing left fore me. No personal time to take care of myself, my body and my spirit. It had been about 13 years (since my daughter was born) that I had worked out consistently. I tried to get back into exercising with bicycle riding here and there, walking and hiking, yoga, etc. but found that it just isn’t the same as an actual work out and it seemed that every free moment I had went to the kids. 

Now my dream has come true. I am so inspired by Erin’s complete and total commitment to what she is doing and her enthusiasm is not only inspirational but contagious! She makes you feel like you can do anything by starting with tiny little steps and on to bigger and bigger steps. The support of all the other women who are also doing the challenge is not only FUN but very inspirational as well. Everyone has their story and they are all here to work on making their lives better together.

I’ll never forget the first morning, all nervous about going out in the early morning dark, and the surprising beauty of watching the sun rise over the still bay with the crystal clear crisp sky. Absolutely Amazing!

I look forward to every work out (and every sunrise) now… Caprice
Caprice on right working with Tammy on left. 1st Workout of the Challenge- 2.8.2011


Hello ... Just posted on the Power Fitness PDX Blog about voting and Alameda Magazine. Today is the last day to vote, so please take a few minutes and vote! If you sweat, have been inspired, need inspiration, did push ups and are challenged to do more take a few minutes to vote!  Thank you so much!!  Below is a copy of the Blog:

** Click here- won't link below**


Thanks so much In advance for your few minutes! In light of last week's Fitness Magazine contest, I forgot I was in the running for Best Fitness Classes/Program in Alameda and Most Inspirational Trainer!  I got reminded when teaching and someone said they voted for me..triggered me to remember votes are are one time, due today Friday, March 4th, and very appreciated.  It would be awesome to have the recognition in Alameda, less than one year after re-started my business again after relocating from Portland.  It has grown and evolved and I truly realize how much I love what I do!  The dynamic group I train is incredible and honestly helped me get through the Fall when we were at the hospital with Makenzie.  When I couldn't teach, the women continued to go to class to train together with emailed workouts and workouts from the Power Fitness PDX blog. And now classes are full again- this is a GREAT team of athletes!! They are truly a gift to wake up and train in the morning....and be done by 8:00 am so I can play with the girls in the day. Incredibly lucky am I for having such a wonderful clientele.

Thanks much, I appreciate your time in doing this. 

To vote click:

A few of you I used to train and/or may not live in Alameda.  The Magazine does ask for you to vote for other businesses when voting.  A little shout out for some of the Boot Campers who have their own businesses too.  They are:

Tucker's Ice Cream- best dessert- Kate Pryor
Shay's Cafe- sandwiches/lunch/soup-Wendy Shay
Herbs & Spices Catering- Wendy Shay
Ignition Architecture-Veronica Hinkley Renk
Dasies- boutique/cards/linens- Barbara Mooney
Monkey Bars-Kids Boutique-Heather Reed
Lilac Dress Boutique-BEST dresses and shopkeeper-Pilar Burlingham

Again, thank you SO MUCH! I hope you have an incredible day!  And yeah, it's March 3rd...Spring is almost here!!  Meaning, days are longer and Summer is just around the corner so we can all play and train outside all day long!

Cheers, hugs and laughs-

Coach Erin Kreitz Shirey
BS Kinesiology
ACE, NASM, Fit to Deliver and Stott Pilates
c- 503.703.1269   a- po box 1077, alameda, ca 94501  e-  

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