Categorized as: Exercise

How the un-fit ‘fit’: GOOD

It’s going to be difficult.  My response, GOOD.

The first section of this blog post will both sound and feel harsh, but stick with me until the end and you will see why.

Entering the gym for the first time is going to challenge your courage.  My response, GOOD.  It’s going to be difficult to drop the weight. My response, GOOD.  You are going to struggle and not want to come back sometimes.  To that I say, GOOD.  It is going to hurt.  You are going to experience physical soreness like never before. My response, GOOD. You are going to be mentally and emotionally challenged.  You will have to face things about yourself for a long time you have ignored.  You will not like it.  My response, GOOD.  You are going to have fear consume you. You will at times think “I can’t”.  You will whisper to yourself “I am not worth it”. Self talk will fill your head with “That won’t work for me”.  To all of this I say, GOOD. There will be workouts you believe you can not conquer.  There will be days you feel like not showing up.  My response, GOOD.  You will say to yourself “I don’t like the way I look”.  You will say “I don’t like the way I feel”.  To this I say, GOOD.  There will be times when it feels like all of this is too much to manage.  My response, GOOD.

** Success goes to those who respond to change**

We have mentioned that change is hard.  And on your fitness journey the behaviors and habits of how we eat and workout all must change.  At the root of this is how we think, feel, and respond. This drives how we act.  Do we put in the effort, or do we throw in the towel.  It sounds harsh to hear the response of “good”.  So why is it good?   All of our experiences positive or negative teach us something.  It is what we take from the experience and how we apply it that matters.   Tried losing weight 20 times before, and failed?  Good.  You know more than the person who is trying it for the first time.  You know what hasn’t worked.  You know you are RESILIENT!  Keep trying.  You have a proven track record of COURAGE, STRENGTH, and the RESILIENCE to find the way that works for you.

It’s hard to walk in the gym.  For the first time.  When you have had a bad day.  When you having been staring at the scale and not a pound has moved for several weeks.  When you have a planned PR attempt in your workout.  Why? FEAR.  We fear that what is facing us at that moment is going to result in failure.  Fear keeps you from being your best in the moment.  My response, GOOD. Once I know my fear, I can face my fear. Once I know my challenge I work to meet that challenge. By doing what it is that is facing me I become the best version of me in every moment I am faced with something.

It’s training.  You are training you to be your best you!   When something happens, you need only one word to move forward.  Tell yourself GOOD.  Seconds will become minutes, minutes will become hours,  hours will become days, and days will become years.  As challenging as those first seconds are, looking back you will realize it made all the difference and that you moved mountains by seeing every moment and saying to yourself, GOOD.

GOOD, you found a new way and a new reason to try.

GOOD, you became a better version of yourself, by accomplish what before you thought not possible.

GOOD, you rallied your inner courage and strength to beat it! To beat that one thing that stands in your way.

GOOD, you are on a path to become a new better you.  A better friend.  A better partner.  A better parent.  A better self.

GOOD, you found strength through adversity.

GOOD, you found courage through fear.

GOOD, you found you by doing!

Get out there and face this day.  Find the seconds that matter, and make the decision to dive in and make a change.  You are worth it!

How the un-fit ‘fit’- one more good choice

If I decided I wanted to run a marathon today, it would not happen.  Well it could happen it would just not be pretty.  Too often I shy from doing something because I am not in shape, or not ready for that.  What I have focused on, is making one more good choice today, over choices I made yesterday.   So I might not be able to run a marathon.  But I can get up from my desk and spare 15min to take a walk.  Tomorrow I may just take 2 of those 15min walks.

Being healthy is a lot about making healthy choices.  This morning I went to my CrossFit gym to workout.  It wasn’t pretty.  But it was better than the choice I made the day prior to hit the snooze button and not show up at all.   Oh and that donut I ate yesterday,  replaced by an apple today.

There are a lot of things in life that can bring us down.  But knowing I made one more choice today to make me healthy is me winning the battle.

As far as choices are concerned, there are several.  Taking the stairs today over the elevator.  Eating an apple over the cookies someone brought to the office.  These choices are often simple, small, and can compile over time to help or take away from our ultimate goal of being fit.

Make some healthy choices today!  And make some more tomorrow.  Each and everyone of those will contribute to your overall goals,  no matter how small they may seem.  Don’t worry about running the marathon today… just start walking!  Before you know it you will be on your way!

How the un-fit ‘fit’: Needing Something New

In a rut?  Can’t seem to kick it in gear to hit that next pound of weight loss.  Can’t seem to unlock the triggers for healthy eating habits, that help reduce the bloating, or fatigue feeling.

Routine can be both good or bad.  It works for some.  Sometimes it works for a window of time, then  change is needed.   Sometimes it doesn’t work at all, and you need constant variation.  This is true for exercise, diet, meditation, relaxation, and work.   If you find yourself in a rut, try something new.

When it comes to diet,  this could be as simple as making minor changes to your macro’s.   It could be adding in some additional cheat days or meals.   When it comes to exercise, it could be taking on a new type of workout.  Modifying the length and capacity at which you are working.   When it comes to meditation and relaxation,  it could be using some new techniques, or actually adding this in to your weekly calendar.  Changing it up is good!

Thinking about your year more like seasons.  Having on and off seasons is a good approach.  Think about any sport.  There are training windows, off-season, pre-season, and the season.   Baking seasons in to your training programs are a good approach to keeping it fresh.   Maybe focus on a strength cycle for a period of time,  then return to your triathlon training.    Maybe pick up a yoga class in addition to your crossfit routine.  Maybe move around some rocks in the backyard and help a friend build a patio,  instead of hitting the gym one week.   Maybe take to swimming two days a week to replace your gym workouts. These are all good practices to keep it fresh, and allow your body to recover from consistency and hopefully prevent overuse injuries.   Repetition of a movement to learn more is good for a time, until it becomes too much repetition and turns to injury.

Wherever you are today, and no matter what you are doing… keep moving!

How the un-fit ‘fit’: me & my army

Your journey through life, like mine, is bound to be filled with ups and downs.   Like previously mentioned fitness is a combination of physical, mental, emotional, and nutritional health.   All playing a vital role in measuring success, or making us capable of achieving success.

Today, I’m spending some time reflecting on my life and quickly realized there is an army of people out there who are supporting my journey.   And that without that army, my successes would not be possible.    The key here is surrounding yourself with the right army members at the right time.

How to qualify a good member of your team?  Knowing my goal is weight loss,  I need a friend who is willing to split dessert or provide assist in polishing off a pint of ice-cream,  then ask me to get in workouts three times that week.   I need a friend who is willing to have my daughter along for the ride during a workout,  even if it means our pace is a blazing 15min/mile due to her wanting to participate in the journey.   I need a friend who does not shame me, but makes me work for my cheats. Or sometimes just cheats with me, and thats it.   We move on to the next day. Find the people you may know or not know who are on a similar path,  or who are rooting you on and support what you are after.

When I’m down… someone in my army finds a way to make me laugh or smile.   Who lifts me ups, and pushes me to keep going.   They sit and talk.  They show concern and listen.   They help me through until I can find the energy to do it on my own.  Sometimes its a friendly text,  a reminder that the sun is shining, or that they missed me.

When I’m hurt, I see who I need to, including several health professionals from a variety of backgrounds. Chiropractic, massage, physicians, physical therapy… depending on the need.  Over time, I have found medical professionals I trust, who know me and what I am working to achieve.

I encourage you to be a member of someones army and also to allow others to be in yours.   This like everything else in our journey is a balance.   We must give and we must be willing to receive.

My army is full of people including medical professionals plus workout buddies, CFW community members (CrossFit Westerville), and complete strangers.  What I know is that being genuine in my relationships with others and allowing them to be genuine in return, has been core to all of it.   You don’t have to be best friends to have a genuine interaction with someone.

One of my most favorite things about being a part of a crossfit community,  has been to witness raw genuine humans being human.   This is not the TV version of CrossFit I’m talking about.    It’s when you are in a workout, and you turn around and see a group of people cheering on the person who is just about to hit their first muscle up, or handstand, or push-up, or pull-up, or double under, or box jump, or max out a lift they’ve been working now for months.   It evokes an emotional response that brings me to tears each and every time.   It’s the person who just hit a 25lb, 50lb, or 100lb weight loss goal and is now executing movements they never thought possible.   Much like watching a child hit one of their “first” in milestones.   Seeing someone succeed in doing something is a new “first” for them.   They could be 12yrs old,  or 60yrs old.   They could be the most un-fit or most fit person in the gym.   It’s amazing how we get behind each other, rally,  and cheer them over the finish line.   We are in their army,  when we know that person and when we do not.   And that army will be there for you,  when you need them.

Show up, do the work, be open about your journey, your goals, and find the places and people who are positive in supporting that journey.  Go there and be with those people!  Be one of those people for someone else!

60 Days without CrossFit: The Case for a Dedicated Weightlifting Cycle

It began over a year ago when my weightlifting coach, Drew Dillon, suggested I take a couple of months away from CrossFit to put dedicated focus on my lifts. At the time, I wasn’t ready to take such a long break from CrossFit. I was having fun, making gains in the gym, and couldn’t imagine stopping all my progress to just focus on lifting for 2 months. I brushed him off. He took it well; at the time, I thought he was just being laid back about it. Looking back, it was probably more just quiet confidence that I would come back around when I was truly ready to improve my lifts.


Over a year later, I came back around. I was making steady gains in the gym in all areas BUT my Olympic lifts. I had just spent four months focusing on developing my engine and had lost 20 pounds. I was terrified I would gain back the weight I lost and lose all my engine gains, but I hadn’t PR’d in a year on either of my lifts and while I wasn’t losing strength, I wasn’t progressing like I used to in my early crossfitting days. I finally decided to try his advice of giving up “crossfitting” for about 2 months while I put dedicated focus on my weightlifting technique.   And so I started, dedicating the months of May and June, five days a week, to weightlifting…here are the Top Five things I learned through this cycle.


  1. Positional Strength is Paramount

I’m a fairly strong athlete, my wheelhouse is a heavy barbell, NOT a long metcon, but what I learned quickly during this cycle is all the strength in the world won’t help your weightlifting if you can’t apply it to the positions required to maintain good technique on your lifts. This “positional strength”, is essential to maintaining the correct bar path throughout a lift. About two weeks into my cycle, I started to really feel solid in my positions. Suddenly, keeping my shoulders back was easier, pushing off the floor didn’t feel so foreign and dropping under the bar – especially on snatches – started to feel natural. The repetition of moving through my lifts day after day started to engrain those positions and my lifts got easier. Before I started this cycle, I just didn’t practice my lifts often enough to feel these positions and build this strength. Waiting on the lifts to appear in a “constantly varied” week of CrossFit never provided me enough practice and performing the lifts during a metcon did nothing but build the wrong habits.


  1. CNS Adaptation…yes, that is a “thing”

About four weeks into my cycle my lifts just started to “click”. Weights that I had struggled with the week before suddenly felt great. My consistency increased and everything started to feel easier. When I told Drew about my session, he said I was starting to experience central nervous system adaptation – literally my nervous system was making the necessary connections to make me more coordinated on my lifts. During this time, I also really started to understand the rhythm and timing of my lifts. Taking the time to repeat these lifts day in and day out allowed me to get used to how I needed to move to execute the lifts correctly.


  1. The importance of tension

I know you’ve heard it too, the cliché “stay tight” or “tighten your core”, but what does that really mean? Proper bracing through your core makes ALL the difference in the world on your lifts. Heavy weights feel lighter when you are properly braced and a good brace sets you up for success to receive the weight. Have you ever caught a clean and your shoulders folded forward and soon after your chest sinks and you drop the weight forward? This used to happen to me a lot, especially when I got above 85% of my max. I wasn’t bracing properly and therefore I was not receiving the bar in a stable position and I would lose the weight. Throughout this cycle I learned how to hold my brace and catch both my cleans and snatches with good core tension. This makes all the difference in the world. One of the key things I started doing during this time was wearing my weight belt even for lighter weight, I used it as a feedback mechanism to assess if I was holding my brace properly. If you aren’t using your belt this way, you should. Check out this great article from Dr. Richard Ulm on proper bracing and use of a belt.


  1. You can lose weight without cardio

That’s right. Surprisingly, I lost more weight during this cycle, about 5 pounds and I got leaner. This was amazing to me given I had already lost a lot of weight. I made no changes to my diet. I just lifted heavy five days a week for eight weeks.  Don’t be afraid to cut the cardio from your routine for a period of time, your results may surprise you and you can always build up your engine again!


  1. Recovery

I learned two important lessons about recovery during this cycle. First, I would say that overall this cycle allowed me to recover from months upon months of high volume CrossFit workouts. About two weeks into my cycle, I realized I was not waking up sore anymore. That’s not to say I wasn’t getting a great workout, but the volume of my work was dramatically decreased during this time and I believe this allowed my body to recover from the demands of all the CrossFit volume I had been doing. Second, I finally understood the technical demands these lifts put on my body, including my nervous system. Drew used to always tell me not to metcon before a dedicated weightlifting session and during this session, I could finally feel why.   These lifts are so technical that if your muscles and nervous system are not fresh, you will really struggle to perform these lifts correctly, especially at weights over 85% of your 1RM.   By eliminating metcons from my regimen, my body was able to recover and be fresh for each day of lifting. About 6 weeks into my program, I did a metcon – it was for a cancer fundraiser at our gym – I knew I had to lift the next day, but wanted to participate for a great cause. While I don’t at all regret participating, my lifts the next day were horrible. Everything I did felt slow and my timing was off.   I attribute this directly to the toll that metcon took on me. I think this was happening all the time before I took time off, I just didn’t have a “fresh” baseline to compare to so I didn’t think my metcons were really impacting my lifting. Now that I know what it feels like to lift fresh, I certainly could feel that everything was just off.


So what happened at the end of my cycle? I got comfortable performing full snatches and cleans on every rep. My jerk stability improved. I started to be able to “self diagnose” problems based on how I failed lifts, and correct myself! I got comfortable with the “feel” of my lifting rhythm.   Oh…and I added 30 pounds to my Olympic total and 10 pounds to my jerk. To be honest, I expected most of these things to happen during this cycle. It was when I returned to traditional CrossFit workouts that I got surprised – my handstand pushups, a previous weakness of mine, are now rock solid, my butterfly pull ups became more powerful and consistent and I PR’d my max effort toes to bar. I expected regression in these skills, NOT progression! So what happened? In my very non-scientific opinion, my weightlifting progress taught me to move better, understand my body’s unique timing, and built more power into my hips and this directly translated into these CrossFit skills. Did my engine decline?   Absolutely, but not as much as I feared and looking back on my gains – both in the lifts and my CrossFit skills – the layoff was more than worth the decline in my aerobic fitness!


So if you are someone who is looking to improve your Olympic lifts and really dial in your technique and set new PRs, I would strongly encourage you to take some time away from metcons and dedicate time to weightlifting. Your progress may surprise you!


Looking for technique help? Check out the coaches at Project Lift, they have made all the difference in the world in my technique!


Looking for a place to weightlift or generally improve your fitness? Check out CrossFit Westerville.   We offer CrossFit classes, bootcamps, yoga and dedicated weightlifting instruction from Drew Dillion of Project Lift. Email to sign up today!

Shirley’s Story: One CrossFit Westerville Member’s Journey to Lose Over 100 Pounds!

Shirley has been a member of CrossFit Westerville since we opened in December 2014. During that time, I have watched in amazement at her relentless pursuit of health and fitness inside our gym and in her daily life. Over a year ago, Shirley started getting serious about her weight loss, starting with her eating habits. By the time she joined our gym she had lost 44 pounds! Since starting at CrossFit Westerville, Shirley has lost another 57 pounds, bringing her total weight loss to over 100 pounds!

Shirley - Before and After!

Shirley – Before and After!

I sat down to interview Shirley to learn about her journey in her own words. Below are her thoughts on motivation, weight loss, fitness, nutrition and giving CrossFit a second chance at CrossFit Westerville.

1) Many people have weight loss goals but see limited results, what made you decide to lose weight and what kept you going to lose 100#?

In the fall of 2013, I was the biggest version of me I had ever been in my 52 years of life! Like I’m sure most people, I kept waiting on the “easy” way to lose weight, the “magic” moment when the light would miraculously kick on. But I knew deep down it wasn’t going to happen that way. I was on over 5 prescriptions for various ailments and my symptoms were not improving (anxiety/depression, high cholesterol, acid reflux, pre-diabetes, joint pain to name a few). I had reached my bottom. I kept thinking there is better out there for me than to be as miserable as I was. If this is what my fifties were going to be like, how bad was it going to get once I got into my sixties?!?!

In September 2013, with my doctor’s help, I began to titrate off of all my medications. I also received a diagnosis of hypothyroidism June 2014.

What kept me going was I started feeling better and better as the weight started to come off and the “brain fog” began to lift. The more weight loss I experienced, the more driven I became. I had a lot of support and encouragement from many friends and family members. My other half, Renee, and I started making changes to our diet which made a huge difference in how we felt! 


2) What surprised you the most about losing 100#?

It’s taking my brain a while to catch up with the vision I see of myself in the mirror. Funny story: I went shopping for new clothes. I’m used to a larger me. I grab size 18 off the rack, go in the dressing room, put them on, and they are too big! I went back to the clothes rack, grabbed a size 16, tried them on and they were too big! I went back out to grab size 14 thinking there is no way I can wear a 14. I tried them on and they fit!

3) I hear people say “I need to get in shape to do CrossFit” or “That is way too intense for me”.  What would you say to these folks?

Don’t knock it until you try it! When I started at CrossFit Westerville (CFW) in December 2014, I could barely do 1 burpee because I could hardly breathe or get myself up off the floor. Four months later in April, we had a workout where not only did I do 85 burpees, but I did 85 deadlifts too! I had a bad experience with a different CrossFit gym. If it had not been for friends being a part of ownership at CFW, I would not have tried it again. Just like anything else, it’s about the people you surround yourself with and the environment in which you choose to do CrossFit. The coaches at CFW are fantastic at making sure you are safe, balanced with the right amount of encouragement to push you a little. My fellow members of CFW are very supportive – it’s like an extension of my network. All levels of experience are as supportive to the new person as they are to the competitor. It’s awesome!

When I tell people what we do in CrossFit, I sometimes hear “there is no way I can do that.” When I first started, I scaled everything! I even had to scale the scaled version of exercises and movements. EVERYTHING can be scaled. Scaling is not a cop out or any form of failure. That’s the great thing about CrossFit – if you keep doing the modified versions, you will eventually be able to do them as prescribed. That journey is yours!! You can take it to whatever level you want from novice to competitor.

My favorite quote: “Scaling is not an apology or an excuse. And it’s not some bullshit way to talk down to yourself or anyone else.” – Lisbeth

4)  How has CrossFit Westerville helped you in your weight loss journey?

How do I even begin to answer this one??? The support of coaches, owners, fellow CFW members has been overwhelming. Whether it’s support while I’m in the gym, during a workout, in passing conversations, through friendships with fellow members forged in the gym and on Facebook, it has all made a difference. Of course burning calories, along with the mental and physical challenges CrossFit has presented. When I first started at CFW right after Christmas 2014, I thought everyone would be watching what I was doing and judging me. It didn’t take me long to figure out, regardless of fitness level, they were all trying to get through the same workout I was. Who had time to think about what I was doing. LOL.

Not only has it helped me lose weight, but I’ve gained a lot of physical and mental strength. Getting stronger has helped my running (which I also started back up in December 2014). I’ve shaved over 4 minutes off my per mile pace!

5) I know you made many lifestyle changes, especially in the area of nutrition.  What was your eating like before and what is your eating like now?

Renee and I sat down one day to figure out how many calories and fat a typical weekend day would include. We were mortified!!! The calorie count was nearly 5,000 calories and over 200 fat grams each per day! Typical weekend day would include Jersey Mike’s, Jets Pizza, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, and popcorn.

Now we eat a good protein, veggies, and some fruit. We follow a Paleo type of dieting. We stay away from the high glycemic fruits like watermelon and pineapple. It doesn’t mean we won’t eat them if we are somewhere they are being served. We just don’t eat them in high quantities.

6) What are the top 3 tips you would give to someone starting their weight loss journey?

It’s a process.

This was something I shared recently with Facebook friends and family:

Food, hydration, movement, support from many sources, and perseverance have been some of the key elements contributing to my success. Don’t give up! Find those people who will listen. Find those who know how to help you with physical ailments. You may have to think out of the box sometimes – be willing to go there! Surround yourself with good, supportive people. Don’t dwell in the negative. Take small steps toward your goals. Be flexible in your goals. Be kind to yourself in your own process. It will not go perfectly. Don’t compare yourself to others. Remember you are worth it!

Interested in learning more about how CrossFit Westerville can help you accomplish your weight loss and fitness goals? Your first workout is always free and we offer weekly beginner Elements classes every Sunday at 9am!

Drop us an email at or visit our website for more details.

What’s Holding You Back? Take a Different Path for Progress

It happens to everyone pursuing progress in the gym, the dreaded plateau. If you are new to CrossFit, you may not have experienced this phenomenon yet, but trust me, it’s not a matter of if; it’s a matter of when. There are many ways to bust through a plateau, but today I want to explore the road less travelled on the way to new strength gains in the gym.

Maybe it’s just me, but I find at times there is an overarching belief that to get stronger in a certain lift, you just need to increase the frequency, weight, or volume of said lift to get stronger. This approach works and works well, until it doesn’t, resulting in a plateau that can be frustrating and demoralizing.   When this happens, many of us just continue doing what we have always done, hoping that by shear force of will, the plateau will be broken. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t, but it can result in overtraining and usually involves plenty of negative self-talk.

What I would like to suggest is that we dig deeper into the plateaued lift to pin point the limiting factors that make up the whole functional movement and attack those factors with focused training to unlock new strength and keep progress moving. Let me give you an example from my training.

Overhead Squats –

I had been stuck at 145lbs for months and could not seem to improve my strength. I added more OHS to my weekly programing, I tried percentage based strength progressions that worked for my front and back squat, but nothing I did was making my OHS stronger. Until I stopped overhead squatting. Wait, what? Yes, you read that right, I stopped overhead squatting because of a shoulder injury. For eight weeks, the only things I could do on my shoulder were handstand holds and handstand taps. But the day I was released to lift overhead, I tried my OHS again and PR’d by 20 pounds. You see, what was holding back my gains on OHS wasn’t the complete movement itself, it was my ability to engage the right muscles in my back and shoulders to effectively stabilize and balance the weight overhead. I could not develop these muscles enough by just overhead squatting past a certain point – my 145lb plateau. It took focused time in a handstand and performing handstand taps to develop those muscles and once they grew stronger, they immediately “unlocked” pent up gains in my lift for a 20lb PR.

Once I experienced this alternate path to progress, I began evaluating my other lifts to see if there were other “component limiters” that were stifling progress. Here are a few common limiters and some training approaches to help you bust through the next plateau you experience.

  • Deadlift – Lack of strength to keep shoulders back limits ability to maintain a good position to pull maximal weight.
    • Add horizontal pulling to your weekly workouts such as bent over rows. I prefer using dumbbells or kettlebells to work both sides independently, but you can use a barbell, as well. Focus on pulling your shoulder blades together and down as you lift. Adding a 2-3 second hold at the top of the row will add more strength and reinforce the isometric hold needed to maintain your deadlift position throughout the lift.
  • Squats – Many people have a dominate leg which often means one glute is not stabilizing properly during squats, leaving the other leg to do more than its fair share on max lifts.
    • Add lunges and single leg squat work to address glute engagement issues on squats. You will immediately be able to tell which leg is your weaker one when you do these exercises, as balance and strength will be lacking on your weak side. Focus on slow controlled reps and you should see your balance and strength improve on your weak side with a few weeks of training.
  • Overhead lifts (Push press, jerks, overhead squats) – Many of us have bad shoulder mechanics from poor posture and bad lifting habits. Often our traps and shoulders are doing the work that our lats and serratus anterior should be doing. The serratus is a stabilizing muscle that runs along our ribs and attaches to our shoulder blades. This is the muscle that keeps our shoulder blades from “winging out” into an unstable position.
    • Handstand holds force the Serratus to engage and make it difficult to compensate with other muscle groups like you can with a barbell. Start by accumulating 2 minutes of handstand holds in as few sets as you can. Once you can do this, add handstand taps. For taps, keep your arms locked out and just shift your weight from side to side. It’s not important to touch your shoulder, its important to shift your weight from side to side. This will force your Serratus to stabilize even more. This will build the strength you need to lock into a good position with a barbell overhead, it will also help you gain stability for handstand walks!

So the next time you run into a plateau in the gym, stop and think about what parts of the lift could be limiting you. Ask one of our coaches to watch you and evaluate your lifts, often a second set of eyes can catch things you can’t. The answer to unlocking a new PR may not be as difficult as you think. Sometimes, taking the road less travelled can lead to amazing results!