Six Months Southern

It has officially been 6 months since Alex and I packed up our lives & moved across country with 3 animals in tow, 1,007 miles to be exact. To say that it hasn’t been an absolute whirlwind of emotions and events would be a drastic understatement.

But first, why move? Why pick up and leave everything and everyone we knew for the previous 4.5 years behind? Why move far enough away that the only realistic trip back to the parents house goes from being a car ride to expensive flights that may or may not get you there on time? We were comfortable, and we also felt stuck. We both had this urge to do something more, expand in our careers, to see new places. So when it came time to job hunt, we decided that it was more reasonable for Alex to be the one to hunt for jobs to move us. Being in the fitness industry, it is a lot easier to just “find a job”, Alex’s field however- not so much. Do I think that had I been the other one to look for the job to uproot us that we would have ended up in Greensboro, NC? No, definitely not, but I don’t think that was the way all of this was supposed to roll out.

So what has Six Months Southern been like?

Well it’s warmer, that’s for sure. And the rain and the sun are like jealous twin siblings that are fighting for the spotlight. Within a one mile stretch of driving I could drive 30 seconds in downpour, the next 30 seconds in brilliant sunshine, and then the next mile could see just a brief shower that is pretty much guranteed not to last long. No, we do not see any vicious thunderstorms with threatening tornados like we did in Iowa – and because of that it is infrequent to find houses with basements (a real bummer if you ask me).

The people? They’re the same. Iowans are definitely friendly and we were happy to find that Greensboro-ians are equally as friendly. No steps backwards there (insert thumbs up here)

Let’s talk about the size of this city. Now I am reminded by those who are from here, or from much bigger cities that Greensboro is not that big and rush hour is not that bad. Put it up against Cedar Falls, IA and it is! Holy moly planning time to hang out with friends is like a full detailed process. “Hey you wanna come over?” turns into well, you live 30 minutes away, so after my 30 minute commute home I’d already be home this late and factoring in the 60 minute round trip to hang would give us approx. 5 minutes of chill time. It’s crazy.

But what has life being Six Months Southern and six months away from family and friends been like?

Well if I said that I don’t think about and miss the midwest every single day, I’d be lying. Because I do. But stepping outside of comfort zones sometimes has a pretty hefty adjustment period attached to it. And the adjustment period is hard at times. I didn’t realize how much I took for granted being able to hop in the car to drive home for the weekend because I was just in need of a little home time. Or how much I would miss calling up Lauren to come over some night, only to drink too much wine and have her stay over, but hey that’s okay because she would keep the dogs company while we went to work early. Or how awesome our friends truly were. Not only do I miss the 4-some friendship we had with Chelsea and Clint, I am 110% sure that our dogs miss the friendship they had with Melvin and Wilson (their fur-babies).

However, I’m not sure if I miss Iowa and the Midwest or if I miss the relationships and memories we had there. Cedar Falls gave me the best 4.5 years of my life, but I feel that many people get that nostalgic feeling when they think about their college town. And when we sit down and think about it, did we want to live in our college town forever?

As we grow older, Sharky’s and Social House have turned into causal Friday wine nights. And those causal Friday wine nights will someday turn into chaotic Friday nights chasing kids around only to sneak out a bottle of wine when they’ve been put to sleep. We are aging, and I don’t think our college town is where we were supposed to age at. I’d much rather look back on it and always have that nostalgic feeling of the town that gave me the most memorable, crazy, spontaneous years of my life. Plus, it will always be the town where I can tell our future kids “this is where I met your dad at” and that would be a cool visit to have.

Maybe the hardest thing is realizing that adulthood has hit us full speed ahead, it crept up slowly but I chose to ignore it before now.

But hey, on the flip side I like looking at all of the GREAT things that the East Coast has given us. I mean pretty much the biggest milestones of our lives beside graduating college have happened out here.

In February Alex started an awesome, long-term full time job with Volvo.

In April we got engaged (eek!)

In May we went under contract for a house

In June we closed on that house

In July we moved into that house

And in August I started my first, legit full-time job with all the works.

Responsibility is here but I am actually really enjoying it now.

We have a house we are making a home. Our dogs have a fence that allows them 1000X more play time than they used to have. We both have secure jobs that will long-term give us financial freedom for numerous beach trips and more. And we are slowly making friends.

I have to remind myself that I miss Iowa because I miss all of the good memories about it. But those memories were 4.5 years in the making, I can’t expect to have those kind of memories in the first 6 months here. Although we have a pretty good start. Who knows what the future holds, who knows what tomorrow holds, but I’ve convinced myself to enjoy the ride. This state, this weather, this home is too beautiful to not enjoy every moment of it.

Iowa, I miss you. Illinois, I miss you. Kansas, Missouri, and Wisconsin, I miss you too even. But hey, North Carolina is holding it’s ground to you guys. So friends and family, come visit, we have 2 spare rooms and plenty of beer to share 😉

Weeks to the Beach: Week 1

A glimpse into my new programming getting ready for Myrtle beach in T-minus 3 weeks

if you have questions, ask!

Monday: LEG DAY

Set 1:

  • Back squat 5 X 12,10,8,6,4
  • Kettlebell full swing 5 X12

Set 2

  • Power clean 4X6
  • Kettlebell front squat 4X12

Set 3

  • Reverse hack squat 5X12,10,8,6,4
  • Box Jumps 5X12

Set 4

  • Split lunge pulse 4X6
  • Weighted calf raise 4X20

Treadmill X10 min

 

Tuesday: Boulder Shoulders

Set 1

  • Smith machine shoulder press 5X12,10,8,6,4
  • Steam engines 5X20

Set 2: 5 rounds for time

  • Pate full front raise X4
  • Burpess X6
  • Lateral raise X8
  • Shuffle tuck jump X10
  • Reverse fly X12
  • Mountain climber twist X14

Set 3:

  • Dumbbell arnold press 4X10
  • BOSU side to side knee tuck 4X12

1/2 mile run

 

Wednesday: Back Attack

1/2 mile warm up

Set 1:

  • Barbell bent over row 5X12,10,8,6,4
  • Plate curl 5X12,10,8,8,8

Set 2:

  • Lat pull down 4X12
  • Kettlebell curl 4X12
  • Cable lat pulls 4X12

Set 3:

  • Man makers 4X5
  • Seated hammer curl 4X6

Set 4:

  • Deadlift 4X8
  • Jumping pull up 4X8

Cardio machine 6 mins

Thursday: Orangetheory Fitness 🙂

If no access to Orangetheory (you unfortunate soul): find 3 running paces or 3 walking inclines on the treadmill and do 3 rounds of the following:

  • Level 1 X1 min
  • Level 2 X1 min
  • Level 3 X1 min
  • Walking recovery x30 sec
  • Level 1 X1 min
  • Level 2 X45 sec
  • Level 3 X45 sec
  • Walking recovery X30 sec
  • Level 1 X2 min
  • Level 2 X30 sec
  • Level 3 X30 sec
  • Walking recovery X1min

Friday: Cardio

  • 3 mile run
  • Plank work X 5 min- be creative here!

Saturday: Chest and triiiiis (+Deadlift)

.5 mile run

  • Deadlift 6X5,5,3,3,2,1
  • Military (tricep) push up 6X5

.5 mile run

  • TRX chest press 4X6,8,10,12
  • TRX tricep extension 4X6,8,10,12
  • Battling ropes X30 sec

.5 mile run

  • Dumbbell chest press 4X6
  • Dumbbell bent over tricep kickback 4X12
  • Incline mountain climber 4X20

.5 mile run

Accessory work if you have time/ want to:

  • Pull ups (or jumping pull ups) 3X5
  • Regular push ups 3X6

Challenge! Try to beat my .5 mile times each interval:

  1. 4:19
  2. 3:51
  3. 3:47
  4. 3:35

Seen in the video (in order):

Leg day

  • Barbell squats
  • Kettlebell swings
  • Kettlebell squats

Shoulder day + HIIT

  • Shuffle tuck jump
  • Reverse flyes

Back day

  • Man makers
  • Barbell bent over row

Deadlift

Not videod: chest day specific exercises + Orangetheory/ cardio workouts

Core Burn Time Pyramid

Ready to sculpt and Burn the core?

Pick 3-5 of the exercises below and do in the following time scheme:

  1. 15 seconds per exercise
  2. 30 seconds per exercise
  3. 45 seconds per exercise
  4. 30 seconds per exercise
  5. 15 seconds per exercise

Minimal rest and be mindful of quick transitions!

The Exercises:

A) palms to elbow plank: start in a full plank with your feet wider than normal plank stance and your shoulders directly over top of your wrists. Keeping core stabilization think of replacing your hand with your elbow (ie. you should be moving directly up and down and arm should press you up from the elbow plank, and not be at an angle). The goal is to keep your hips as parallel to the floor as possible throughout the entire exercise

B) ab tuck: engaging your core, be sure to keep the range of motion slow and controlled and to pull with your abs and not through your hips. Straighten the legs for extra difficulty

C) sit up with press: engaging your core, similar to the ab tuck, initiate the motion with your core and not your legs or arms. At the top of the motion, extend the ball overhead, still keeping your core tight and posture tall.

D) stabilizer rotation: this is not a Russian twist for 2 reasons. One- it is much more slow and controlled and Two- you are adding the reach at the top to keep your stabilizer core muscles engaged. Do not try to over rotate on each side.

E) mountain climber: beginning in a full plank with your shoulders directly over your wrists. Keep your naval tucked into your spine as you tuck one knee at a time into your chest

 

With core work, I want you to begin to think about building a strong core to stabilize your entire body better! Doing abs upon abs will not get you visible abs. Thats where proper nutrition comes in. Sorry, but true 🙂

Now lets burn and sculpt those stabilizer core muscles!

So You’re Curious About Nutrient Timing and Working Out

Recently, on Instagram I’ve had some feedback about what works for me. What works for me nutritionally, in the gym, nutrient timing, supplements, etc. Well here is an example of a ‘regular’ day for me and some of the supplements I take.

Keep in mind: what works for me is specific to ME only. This is for you to get ideas from, but know that what works you could be 100% opposite. Bodies are weird like that.

My Staples: there are a few things that I just can’t and won’t go a day without. I know that not only do they do my body good, but they have benefits for other things.

Oatmeal. I was on and off with this for awhile, but now I am it is ON and here to stay! When I finally realized the difference in my non-oatmeal to my oatmeal days, I couldn’t believe I didn’t realize it sooner.

  • Why I like it: When I have this for breakfast I notice that it keeps me full a lot longer into my day. Instead of getting hungry 2-3 hours after breakfast, I can last 4-4.5 hours. It makes a big difference on the days when I have to wait 4+ hours to eat my second meal because I’m so busy. Not only that but it is a great complex carb, my body appreciates it.
  • How I eat it: One of 2 ways usually. 1) Overnight oats with 1/2C oatmeal + 1/2C Dannon Oikos Triple Zero Vanilla yogurt + 1/2 scoop Quest salted carmel protein + 1 TBS peanut butter + almond milk (to desired consistency). Or option 2) 1/2C oatmeal +1/2 -1 scoop quest protein any kind + 1-1 1/2 C water + peanut butter/choc chips/ sprinkles to taste 🙂

For more on complex carbs, check out this article: http://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-food/benefits-of-complex-carbs-and-the-best-ones-to-eat/

Peanut Butter. I. Can’t. Go. A. Day. Without. There are plenty of “healthy” or “healthier” peanut butter options out there. What’s usually in my cupboard is Jiff Natural Peanut Butter, Better N’ Peanut Butter any flavor, or the Peanut Butter Co. Cinnamon Raisin Peanut Butter

  • Why I like it: Because it’s peanut butter, duh
  • How I eat it: With everything.

Apples. 

  • Why I like them: An apple away, keeps the doctor away. But no really, I eat one a day for all dat Vitamin C, and they’re delish
  • How I eat them: Uh, as is. Or with PB 🙂

Greek Yogurt. Dannon Oikos triple zero vanilla to be exact. Still delicious with a LOT less sugar.

  • Why I like it: A great source of protein, no fat, low carb (this kind specifically)
  • How I eat it: in overnight oats, with granola, mixed with PB and honey, with fruit.
  • Extra tip: Use plain greek yogurt as a substitute for so much – sour cream, heavy cream or cream cheese in baking, etc.

These foods are in my grocery cart every single time, even when I’m not getting a full load because I go through these that quickly. Below are other staples:

  • Chicken
  • Couscous/ quinoa
  • Broccoli
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Ground turkey
  • Deli turkey
  • Almonds
  • Quest bars/ protein bars
  • Almond milk
  • Cottage cheese
  • Misc fruits and veggies

So eating all of these foods may seem fine and dandy, and then some people try it and say “Uh… What? I’ve been eating healthy, heck I’ve been eating Kale and other superfoods and I am seeing no change!” Sometimes it comes down to nutrient and meal timing.

And let me note this here. Just because you are trying to eat healthier or begin a diet does not mean you have to eat less. Don’t do it. Majority of Americans either overeat (the obvious) or undereat because they don’t know what their bodies need.

Nutrient Timing: Yep. It’s a thing. Spreading your meals out into more smaller meals throughout the day at a pretty consistent basis, that works. That is the easy party of nutrient timing. What I found to be hard, and it has taken me quite a few years experimenting to figure this out is nutrient timing. What to eat before and after a workout, what’s best for breakfast, for a bedtime snack, etc. Here is what my nutrient timing looks like

  • Carb loading first half of the day. I’ve found that my body works best when I have majority of my carbs (60% or more) in the first “half” of my day. Usually that means before about 3PM. Within that time I have oatmeal for breakfast, an occasional sandwich or PB toast, yogurt + granola, apples and other fruits, and sweet potatoes or something of the sort for lunch. When it comes to dinner, I don’t omit carbs though, because I hate the notion of “oh no carbs are bad for me”. No I just have less carbs in the second half of my day. Dinner? Usually sees couscous or quinoa or a taco salad. Pre bedtime snack? Cottage cheese, protein pudding, or halo top.

So I know when my body appreciates carbs. Why do I think this is? Well I usually have 1-2 workouts done before 5PM. Also, I’m usually up pretty darn early. My body not only appreciates the carbs early, it demands carbs. Will this work for you? Maybe. Maybe if you workout in the morning and are on your feet the rest of the day. Maybe your body just likes carbs early in the day so it has time to work them through your body and store them properly. Or maybe you need a more even keel of carbs throughout the day. Maybe you only workout in the afternoon or maybe you wake up later in the day. You figure it out, you do you booboo.

Thats a breakfast full of carbs. Gimme that energy for leg day.

  • Carbs + protein + little fat before a workout and protein + carbs after a workout. My pre-workout choices? Apples, rice cakes, bananas. Or if it is 1 hour or more prior greek yogurt parfait or PB toast. Post workout? honestly, it usually falls perfectly with one of my meals. But if not, and this rarely happens, I’ll have a protein shake to tide me over.

Not only does nutrient timing your workouts help you get through the workout – with proper energy, without feeling sick, etc. It also 100% affects how your body recovers and also plays into your weight loss, strength building, etc. goals. But that’s another topic for another time.

  • Meal timing: 1 meal every 3-4 hours. It works. I eat 6 meals a day and on my really early days I eat 7 meals. I’m not eating 500+ calories each time. No, my biggest caloric meal is actually usually lunch. Breakfast (300-400 cals) Breakfast no 2 aka meal 2 (200-300 cals) Lunch (450-550 cals) Meal 4 (200-300 cals) dinner (400-500 cals) bed time snack (100-200 cals)

Why does meal timing work? It allows your body to constantly have something to work through. As soon as you finish digesting one meal you are about ready to put another one in. It doesn’t give the body time to be confused or to think that it is not getting a meal for awhile, putting itself into starvation mode.

Let’s tie this into exercise

Now of course, contrary to popular belief, everything done in the kitchen will outweigh your efforts in the gym. You just can’t out exercise a bad diet. So, knowing that my diet is on cue, here is what I currently have found to be working for me. NOTE:  I change up my exercise routine about every 3-4 months.

Strength training: Don’t be afraid of muscles. I’m not. Sure one of my main goals is to always be getting stronger and to have visible muscle definition, that might not be your goal, but strength training is important to have in EVERY program. If you don’t want the “bulky” look go for lighter weight and higher reps. But keep the strength training because it helps your body be strong to fight against falls, poor posture, injuries, etc.

  • Current program: 3-4X per week of legit strength training. Where most of my sets are only 4-8 reps each set. Some sets get into the endurance range of 12-15, but the overall goal is strength. My heart rate is not as high here, which is why I pair it with an occasional 2-a-day with running (see more later).

 

HIIT, or something of the sort: I recognize that one of the best ways to burn fat is to work in intervals. High heart rate to low. So I do HIIT. Plus some days I just need to sweat, so here’s a good way to do it.

  • Current program: 2-3X per week of HIIT. This could include tabatas, interval training, workouts under 30 minutes. The goal is to monitor the ups and downs of the heart rate. More recently, I’m working out at #orangetheoryfitness more for this HIIT (if you haven’t tried OTF- do it!). I mean the whole premise of OTF is the “afterburn” which comes from that intervalling of the heart rate

 

 

Running: yes, I’m a runner. Especially right now as I know that a half marathon and hopefully a tough mudder will happen this year. As long as you are smart about running, it can be beneficial to any program – I mean #cardio, duh. The more running I put in my regimen, the leaner I feel. But I will NOT run myself into the ground with miles and miles just to attempt to be leaner. That is where strength training also comes into play.

  • Current program: 2-4X per week of running (noting that some of these days my running comes in my HIIT when I do Orangetheory). Usually my run days are my 2-a-days, most commonly paired with lifting.

 

Daily example:

  • Monday: AM lift- legs, PM (afternoon) run
  • Tuesday: AM lift- shoulders + run at the end of workout
  • Wednesday: HIIT at orangetheory (including core)
  • Thursday: PM lift – chest/ tris /core
  • Friday: AM lift- back/bis + PM run
  • Saturday or Sunday: Lift- deadlift/ accessory work/ core + run
  • Saturday or Sunday: rest day

Lastly, supplementation

I’m not going to pretend to be an expert here. I will just note what I use and why I like it and keep it short and sweet

Protein

  • Quest nutritin protein powder (to be mixed with anything you can set your mind to- protein pancakes with quest are BOMB) plus quest bars

Pre workout

  • NLA for her Ignite: I’ve tried a lot of pre-workouts and I just like this. No tingling, no crashing plus workout energy, focus, and sweat

BCAA

  • Currently NLA for her aminos, but changing to ideal lean. The NLA BCAA’s did make me tingle. Any other recommendations for BCAA’s?

Probiotic

  • Easy living nutra. If you don’t currently use a probiotic I highly suggest you try. It really helps with a “happy gut”, and in my personal experience, eliminates unnecessary bloating.

Misc

  • Joint health – Vasayo microlife ‘renew’ gel. Works wonders. Curious about it? Ask
  • Multivitamin- Vasayo microlife essential. Proven to be absorbed by the body ALOT more than regular multis and not just peed out

Questions? Please ask!

30 min HIIT & Core Workout

Crunched fore time? Need to workout at home? Don’t have much equipment to work with? Don’t know what to do? Don’t make those excuses! Use this quick and effective cardio and core workout- and do it anywhere!

 

The workout includes 2 portions of tabata + core (and a push up finisher!)
For the tabatas:

Each tabata includes 4 exercises to be done in intervals of 20 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest. If you do tabata right you will NEED those 10 seconds of rest, so workout hard! Each tabata (set of 4 exercises) is to be done 4 times and then take a 90 second rest before beginning your next tabata!

For the core:

Each exercise is to be done twice- just twice!

For the push up finisher:

Choose any form of push up and do reps until failure. But be sure to keep good form! Proper form > extra reps 😉 I challenge you to choose push ups that you haven’t historically been good at- get stronger today!

*note: as with any exercise program, make sure you consult a doctor before beginning. All exercises seen here can be done with modifications- if you need some please ask me! You can find me on instagram at commit_fit_carly and ask away there!

And please for my sanity make sure you know how to keep proper form!

Follow this link to get your sweat on!

 

Chia Vs. Flax Seed

You may have heard of these 2 types of seeds before or maybe you haven’t. Maybe you’ve tried adding them to your daily intake due to their “superfood” claim to fame, or maybe you’ve strayed away from them due to an inability to pronounce their names. Regardless of if you are a flax or chia seed fanatic or a health seed newbie, here are some facts that are good to know!

Health Benefits of Chia Seeds:

  • Known for its healthy fats, Chia is relatively low in fat compared to other seeds of its kind
  • Speaking of healthy fats, it contains Omega 3’s, which are most commonly found in fish
  • A good, lean source of protein at about 4g per 2 TBSP
  • Packs 20% of your daily fiber intake
  • High in calcium, which supports strong bones
  • Daily intake can reduce your long term risk of Type 2 diabetes, heart disease
  • Easy to digest
  • Chia can even give you an energy boost due to its antioxidants, protein, vitamins and minerals

benefits-of-chia-seeds

Health Benefits of Flax Seed:

  • Like Chia seed, Flax is a lean source of protein and is also lower in carb than Chia
  • High in minerals such as magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, copper, and folate
  • High in vitamins such as B1 which is good for brain power
  • Also high in fiber and Omega 3’s
  • Flax has Lignans, which are good for both estrogen and antioxidant qualities and can help protect against cancers
  • Can help fight against and reduce risk of cancers including breast, prostate, and colon
  • Highly effective at lowering blood pressure
  • Can slightly lower blood sugar which is helpful in fighting diabetes
  • Flax has been studied to show a 57% reduction in hot flashes in menopausal women

flax-seed-1

So what’s the difference?

When it comes to someone interested in general health, there isn’t a huge difference between the 2. If you’re looking for more vitamin and mineral health, go for Flax, if you need more calcium or fiber, go for Chia. Flax seed is usually less expensive than Chia seeds, but Chia seeds are more versatile since they can be combined with water to form a “gooey” texture. Some studies have shown that flax might not be a good choice for pregnant women, but when it comes to that it is up to your independent research to decide.

Regardless of which you choose, I highly recommend adding these little, healthy seeds into your daily diet!

sources: http://dailynaturalremedies.com/10-health-benefits-of-chia-seeds/3/

http://www.webmd.com/diet/benefits-of-flaxseed?page=3

http://www.prevention.com/content/which-healthier-chia-seeds-or-flax-seeds

My Message to College Freshman

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As many schools are back to their first day of classes today including my great school (The University of Northern Iowa), I am struck with the bittersweet feeling of the graduated senior, now big girl, who instead of experiencing the first day of classes for the 20th time, will be experiencing the first day at a new job. As I sat on campus yesterday I looked around and saw new, young, excited faces moving into their dorms, making new friends and exploring campus. And I just loved how I could just see the raw eagerness in their faces for the years to come, not knowing what may happen tomorrow, but knowing they are excited for the road ahead. I loved it because I remember the beauty of those moments. Although I will not miss the homework and the stressful headaches of deadlines, I will miss the excitement of going to your first classes to meet your professor and find out who is in the class. Or figuring out which class is going to kick you in the butt and which one will undoubtingly be put on the back burner for the semester. More than that, I know I will miss the personality of campus and the everyday comfort that came out of being home, because I already do.

My message to you incoming freshman is to cherish each and every second of it. You have probably already heard a bajillion times that college is the best 4 years of your life, and I’m here to tell you it IS. You come to college expecting to see a new place, meet some new people, and get an education. But no matter what you expect, you will never be prepared for what you actually get. You’ll see a new place, and it will become a place that you never want to leave. You will meet new people, some of who will turn into your lifelong friends, your separated twin at birth, your other half. And yeah, you’ll get an education, but that won’t even compare to the lessons, the experiences, the trials and triumphs you will see in your 4 years there, all of which having an equal impact on your life.

So freshman, as you go into college look at it like a toddler looks at the world: an open adventure where anything is within reaching limits, you can do anything you want, and you can BE anyone you want. Cherish it, take it by the horns, and run with it, because in 4 years when  you are standing on the outside looking in at the new eager freshman faces you won’t remember which night you stayed up too late, which test you failed miserably at, or that moment (or 2) of giving in to eating that extra slice of pizza at 2 in the morning. No you will remember the memories made with your friends while having fun, memories that you didn’t even realize in that moment would become the memories that mold the puzzle pieces of your college reel.

And seniors (because I know you are reading this too). If you haven’t lived according to your plans, your wants, your likes in your last 3 years, take this last year and run with it. No looking back, only looking forward, you better make it count.
Let loose, be smart, but have fun. There’s no sense worrying about if your hair looks perfect, or if your stomach is flat enough for that shirt, how many Instagram likes you are getting, or if you are going to achieve a perfect 4.0. This is college, this is your rehearsal for the curtain call we call adulthood. And unless you do everything you want to do while you have the chance to now, you might be standing at the curtain in 4 years wondering if your show was worth it.