Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Post Storm Hiking in Crystal Cove State Park

This Blog/Blog Post/Melissa Adylia Gutierrez/Controlled Burn Fitness does not recommend, encourage, suggest, nor support ignoring posted signs in designated hiking areas

I love
going on adventures in the rain
but last week each time I tried to head out to
one of my favorite hikes
I kept meeting

It was so frustrating
I really needed to get my body moving after being cooped up for so many days with no sunshine, hiking, nor kayaking...well, I did go kayaking on the 18th and made a good effort to hit this trail afterwards but there was so much fog and it was so drizzly
I almost missed this sign until I bumped into it.
That day, I did turn back because I know how slippery that trail is after a day of rain
I wasn't in the mood to go slip-n-sliding while it was still raining
and I couldn't see my feet because of the fog.

Mother Nature Obviously Meant Business!
The rain didn't let up for days!
Southern Californians (always worrying about a drought) had to wonder if they should have been more careful for what they wished for
when Mother Nature brought on the rain in full force this December.

Finally a day of sunshine came.  Just in time for Christmas.
I had to try to hit the trail again and hoped to do the
11 mile Moro Ridge loop
So I put on my sexiest hiking outfit of Knee High Socks, Tevas, a little skirt, a couple of tops, my backpack full of extra clothing, and water, and grabbed my trekking poles.
Right...super sexy out fit...
(wink wink)

The sun was so welcome
I felt a little guilty passing the first sign, but I vowed to myself that I would only proceed if I was able to stay on trail, maintain my footing, and avoid causing any damage to the trail.

It was so still and so beautifully silent
There was the occasional faint breeze rustling leaves and the sweet chirping of little birds
there were so many delicious moments when all I heard was the sound of my breathing.

Then I met this sign
: (
I didn't want to turn back
I was so happy to be outside, moving, with the sun on my face.
I took a moment to ponder and take these pics
I didn't want to go home
My body craves natural movement, fresh air, sweetness.
I promised to be good to the trail and the critters that live there

I moved on
and stumbled upon this
: (
I had nothing to do with creating it
the hole was there before I almost stumbled IN to it.

Here are my trekking poles to help give you perspective

Pretty big. Very Deep
I ventured on

Happy those sink holes are behind me
and everything looks pretty good from here
Happy Trails...

Actually, pretty slippy, muddy trails
Staying to the center of the trail
and enjoying the stillness and the serenity

I realized I was hearing something
that I have never heard on these trails
Could it really be the beautiful sound of running water?
Where is that sound coming from?

Wow! Right along the trail...
...moving water
more than a trickle
this water was actually really moving...

...moving soil
down the hill... another long stretch of moving water
...stronger, faster moving water...

...water strong enough to move mud and rocks
...and rocks as big as these!
...and more mud.
Time to take a left and take another trail.

Watch Out!
SHRUB slide!
Hmmm, wasn't expecting that
 guess I better turn around and head back.

This is looking back up the trail from which I came
Who would have expected the shrub slide to be right here
: /


That sure was one slippery section
as you can tell by my super-sexy Tevas covered in mud, it was mucky!

Even though I had to turn around after only 2.65 miles
(I was wearing Andrew's Garmin)
I was happy to have gotten some exercise in the great outdoors.
I could have easily, and safely kept going along the trails.
I have hiked in much worse conditions, in unexpected storms while backpacking.
However, out of respect for the trails, I decided it would be best to turn back.
I did feel slightly guilty for having gone so far
A little ashamed that I had not given Mother Nature a little more time to heal from the intense beating of 15.5 inches of rain it had been beaten with in one week.
I used the excuse that someone else had really wanted to be out there too.
There was one other set of footprints when I got on the trail.
(except for all the big kitty prints, some wild doggie prints, and bunny prints)
The human prints had to have come from a gentleman.
Large feet. Kept to the most considerate parts of the trail. Went past where I had turned left after I came across the big rock in the road.

I felt even even more guilty  when I came upon these sink holes
They hadn't been there when I started the hike
: (
I am happy that I had made the right decision to turn back

It is important to understand
that we are responsible for protecting the beauty and serenity that we crave.
Mother Nature needs to be honored and respected
not tortured and tamed for our pleasure
If all of us decided to trample along those trails on that day,
the impact would have been devastating
with the trails left scarred, vulnerable, and unappealing.

Hiking trails always puts a smile on my face
learning a lesson about respecting the signs
makes me even happier.

Happy Trails!
: )

Monday, December 27, 2010

New Winter Gear/Goodies from a Great New Outdoor Company

A Warm Tush is a Happy Tush
has made my tush very happy
I recently got some great winter goodies
from this wonderful new online outdoor gear company.

I stumbled upon Sheepleg while I was on Facebook
and saw one of those little suggestion thingies on the side of my homepage.
I thought the logo was adorable and clicked on it out of curiosity and I'm glad I did.
I checked out their website and loved what I saw.
I also love
Not only do they carry an excellent assortment of gear, they are actually active, outdoors people who get outside and use outdoor gear for real!

To top it off
they're all about giving back which can only make you feel even better when you make a purchase since you'll know that a portion of every sale will go to a charity.

Here are a few of the goodies
that have been helping me avoid the winter chill.

The Top
(I'll post full-length pics of it in another post)
is a Smartwool "NEXT-TO-SKIN" base-layer called
The Women's Microweight Zip T
Its super soft, super warm, and pretty darned cute.
If you wanna get me one (or two or three) more, I'm a Small.
: )
The Bottoms
are another "NEXT-TO-SKIN" base-layer
Women's Microweight Hipster
(also a small)
With the itch-factor reputation of wool,
I was a little concerend about woolen undies
no one wants to mess with itchy girlie bits!

I'm also always super concerned about sizing when ordering on line
I'm a super tactile person and I'm always concerned about getting the right size for bottoms
since I happen to pack a curvy booty for a 5'2" gal.
The gentleman I spoke with on the phone was super helpful
and decided on a small
I think he made a great choice!
: )
These left me with nothing to worry about. They were soft and absolutely not itchy. Fit very nicely and didnt ride up during the day. Understand, I have only worn them solo or with a little hiking skirt. I'm not certain about the comfort factor if I were to wear them with pants and am not exactly tempted to do so anytime soon. I will try them on a more intense hike to really put the seams around the thighs to the test and let y'all know how that goes.
In the meantime
I'll keep enjoying them for lounging, sleeping, and short-hiking-skirt-wearing
I'll take more in black.
: )

I also got some incredibly snuggly
and a mighty fine
that I cannot wait to take for a test ride!

Nothing beats putting your feet up
after decorating a Christmas Tree on a chilly SoCal day

: )
I kick up my heels for cozy socks
and great small businesses that actually use the gear they sell!
Check 'em out!

Happy Holidays Everyone!
: )


Monday, November 8, 2010

What is Your Favorite Piece of Fitness Equipment?

My Favorite Piece of Fitness Equipment
The Human Body!
Some consider the Human Body a work of art
I love
My Body
My Client's Body
Every Body
Especially when they are respected and used to their full potential!

Taking care of your body is pretty simple
and it costs nothing
Top reasons why the Human Body is my favorite piece of Fitness Equipment
Easy to store
Greatest return for you investment
Open 24 Hours
You always know where to find it
Doesn't get dusty or full of cobwebs (well, I hope not)
No assembly required
Likes longs walks on the beach
Enjoys a healthy meal
Loves massages
Will be willing to go for a run if you promise to treat it well before and after the run
The more you use it, the better it looks
The more you use it the better it works
The more you use it lasts longer
The options are endless

No matter what your favorite piece of Fitness Equipment choice is
Neglect it, it will not work efficiently and you may need to invest in repairs.
Try using it after a long spell of neglect, it may break.
Ignore it long enough, it will fall apart completely
This picture is worth a thousand words
Kinda funny, kinda cute, hard not to smile when looking at it.
But really, you know you don't want to look like that.

Our bodies our the best fitness equipment out there!
Take the time to invest in the most important piece of fitness equipment that you already own!
Equipment is only as good as the person using it.
If one does not take the time to understand, master, nurture, and enjoy the one piece of equipment that they already own, no matter how much you spend on the next fitness fad or gimmick,
it will be pretty much useless.

The Human Body
Just move it, wash it, feed it, hydrate it, let it rest, repeat.
: )

I would love to know about your favorite piece of fitness equipment.
Wishing you a Happy and Healthy Day!
-Melissa Adylia Gutierrez
Owner/Personal Trainer


Behind the Name of Controlled Burn Fitness

As it says
"Go for the Intensity Avoid the Injury"

Going for the intensity while avoiding injury
is what my Personal Training Style is all about.
I take all necessary steps to observe, identify, and address the needs of my clients
in order to help them reach their health and fitness goals.
I then meticulously design a plan of action that will ensure intensity while maintaining safety
In my opinion, when it comes to pushing the boundaries of intensity and safety,
"controlled burns" take the cake.

Growing up in Southern California
and living through over 35 years of "fire season", I have come to understand and respect the necessity and the intensity that comes with Controlled/Prescribed Burns.
With "controlled burns", what some may see as destruction is, in actuality,
an opportunity to protect the lives of people and animals,
and to provide the necessary means for new life to thrive.
This was the view of the hills above The Controlled Burn Fitness Studio
during the 2009 Station Fires

Many say that the destruction could have been minimized
had there been controlled/prescribed burns.

I named my fitness studio
because of the focus, expertise, and supervision
that is required to do no harm
while providing much needed intensity to achieve results!

Go for the Intensity!
Avoid the Injury!

Wishing you a Happy and Healthy Day!
-Melissa Adylia Gutierrez
Owner/Personal Trainer
Controlled Burn Fitness

The Controlled Burn Fitness Studio
3521-A North Verdugo Road
Glendale, CA


Monday, November 1, 2010

Rock n Roll Half 2010 Recap

Sunday, October 24th
I Ran
Actually, kinda scampered
This Rock n Roll 1/2 Marathon was a lot slower
than my San Diego Rock n Roll 1/2 in June.

I hadn't had a day of rest for at least 16 days before the run
During the 2 weeks prior to the run, I taught a ton of intense conditioning classes, a few Indoor Cycling Classes, did 2 11-mile trail run/hikes along with 2 6-milers.

I had every intention to take all of Saturday off
but couldn't pass up teaching a Contemporary Dance Class at Heartbeat House when they called at the last minute to sub the 4-5pm Class.

Even though I was beat
I intended to keep the same goals when I ran the LA Marathon in March
My LA Marathon Running Goals included
Avoid injury
Have fun
Take great pictures
Finish with dignity
Wear my 4" Jimmy Choos to Dinner

On this day, my legs were not happy with me.
But I was so happy to see the gang from A Runners Circle
that I couldn't help but kick up my heels
: )
Take great pictures!
: )

Funny thing
If you look behind me to the right,
the white tents are right in front of Heartbeat House
: )

Sadly, I was pretty bummed with this course
This course was almost the same as the "City of Angels 1/2" which I had done 2 years ago.
I had really enjoyed the course and the spectators, and couldn't wait to do it again.
I chose to do this 1/2 because I figured the "Rock n Roll" franchise would rock it even harder.
 I did the San Diego Rock n Roll 1/2 in June and it definitely ROCKED!!!
(except for the beer garden)

they didn’t rock LA
: (

There were barely any spectators this time around
I have no clue why
Even the bums cheered us on during City of Angels while we ran around Echo Park Lake.
This year...nothing.
Low spectator attendance had it's benefits
I was able to spot the ever-wonderful, Mister Louis Kwan
He is responsible for pictures 1, 2, 4 and 5.
Louis posted a ton more pics from the Los Angeles Rock n Roll 1/2

Like what you see?
Then please donate a little something on his
Even if it's just a dollar, no amount is too little.

The bands were place so strangely along the course
Sometimes too close to each other that you couldn’t really figure out the songs and then there would be no music for ages.

The worst
was that there was No Music at the top of hills when we needed it.
: (

What I did NOT enjoy about the course this year
Plenty of water volunteers were
Some wanted us to high five them when all we wanted was water!
(Happened 3x!)
Water peeps were in the middle of the course!
No signs ABOVE to tell us when water stops or port-o-pottys were near.
NEVER saw a port-a-potty till I was passing it.
All the construction on Riverside to Glendale to Silverlake Reservoir sucked.

MILLER Beer needs to KICK ROCKS!!!
They suck as a concessionaire and you should get them the "you know what" out!
They screwed us at the SD RnR
and they were A**es this time around too!

OK, enough
Sorry for sounding so rude but I don't think I will do it again next year.
Not worth it.
I felt embarrassed that I had told so many friends
how fun the course was since it sucked so hard this time around
: (

On the Lighter Side
Any day we can get up and get some exercise is a good day!
I was happy with the first 1/2 of the 1/2 Marathon
but after mile 9 (about 1/2 a mile after this picture was taken), and the hill on Temple,
I just started losing steam.
After getting to the top , I started walking and just couldn't get back into the groove.

Luckily I felt fine the next day
I got up early to train my Personal Training Clients
and felt great when teaching 2 of my Group Fitness Classes.
I did decide to give myself a little break
and got someone to cover my 6pm Indoor Cycling Class.

I did love the organization at the finish
And the Medal is pretty nice.
Sadly, the shirt goes to just above my knees and is an XS
Maybe they are sized for NBA players.
: /

Some people say it was really good
Maybe they are confusing it with the SD RnR
Maybe they want to justify that they spent so much $$$.

Thank goodness I have the Malibu 1/2 in November and the Bug Sur Full next May
to look forward to and to wash the stink of this one outta my memory.
At least I know those are waaaay worth the $$$!

Did you run the Los Angeles Rock and Roll 1/2 this year?
Tell me about your experience.
: )

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

You Get what You Give

"Give your body tragic looking crap your body will deliver the same..."
Warning, this is more of a rant/scolding than an article, but I am certain many of you can relate

It breaks my heart when I hear about good people eating such sad looking and nutritionally flaccid excuses for meals disguised as "healthy".
What is healthy about an overly processed, ugly "thing" that is full of sodium, cholesterol, and who knows what else.

Just read the labels
Many frozen food companies use great tag words on the packaging to play into a persons desire to become "healthy", "smart", "lean" or "low fat".

Just because it says "healthy", "smart", "lean" or "low fat" on the label it doesn't mean it is, nor does it mean you're gonna become any of those things by eating them.
All it means is the company that produced the product is smart enough to know how to play into some peoples desire to "believe" the hype.

People Want to Believe the Hype
Many of us know better, but most people are lazy and want to put their health, fitness, and happiness in someone else's hand so they have someone to blame when they don't see results.

As a fitness professional it is my desire, passion, and duty to help others sift through the smoke and mirror promises of these products by sharing information, and helping my friends and clients learn how to educate and empower themselves in order to live a happy, healthy, and balanced life.

Look at all the soft and cuddly words Lean Cuisine likes to use on their packages in order to prey on the people who are craving those things
Market Creations
Causal Cuisine
Spa Cuisine
Cafe Cuisine
Comfort Cuisine
Simple Favorites
Dinnertime Cuisine
Breakfast Classics

Just think about what each of these "cuisines" says about you in the eyes of the Manufacturer
Think about it
Would you rather look like this
Healthy Budget Meal

How about some
Ghetto Gourmet Ramen

How about this

How about this

 How about this
Refreshing and Healthy Lunch

This Fresh Quiche and Salad Looks pretty good too
Don't ya think?
All of the above meals were made at home (that doesn't have a stove top) in an oven, rice cooker, or in a bowl or plate with the use of knives, cutting board, and two hands. No additives, or preservative (cuz I have know clue where I'd get them, nor am I interested in knowing where to find them) and minimal time (since I don't have much) and with little money.

Would you rather look like this?
Pretty sad excuse for a "meal" wouldn't you think?

: (

Check out the Ingredients
Cooked Salisbury Steak patty with caramel color added (beef, water, onions, textured vegetable protein product [soy protein concentrate, caramel color], seasonings [ corn maltodextrin, salt, hydrolyzed soy and corn protein, dry onion, garlic, natural flavor, yeast extract, spice, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, extractive of rosemary, beef extract, modified cornstarch, flavor (triacetin, butter acids, flavorings, butter esters), rendered beef fat, partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oil], soy protein concentrate, zinc oxide, niacinamide, ferrous sulfate, copper gluconate, vitamin A palmitate, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, cyanocobalamin], bread crumbs [bleached wheat flour, dextrose, yeast, partially hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oil, salt], asparagus, water, mushrooms, contains 2% or less of: red bell peppers, modified food starch (corn, potato), margarine (soybean oil, water, salt, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, mono- and diglycerides, soy lecithin, sodium benzoate, natural flavor, artificial flavor, beta carotene [color], vitamin A palmitate), beef base (roasted beef and concentrated beef stock, hydrolyzed corn, soy and wheat protein autolyzed yeast extract, sugar, salt, corn maltodextrin, chicken fat, corn oil, onion powder, spice extractives), onions, burgundy wine* (burgundy wine, salt, sulfites), salt, sugar, sautéed mushrooms, flavor enhancer (hydrolyzed corn gluten, soy protein and wheat gluten, partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oils), xanthan gum, chicken and beef stock flavor blend (potassium chloride, corn syrup solids, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, beef stock powder, chicken stock powder, corn maltodextrin), granulated garlic, pepper (black, white), flavor enhancer (dextrose, salt, autolyzed yeast extract, modified cornstarch), caramel color, canola oil, natural flavoring, onion powder, hydrolyzed soy and wheat proteins, spice extractives)

This post was inspired by a conversation I had with friend on his FB page this afternoon
Friend's Post
"Weight Watcher Salisbury Steak w/side of Brussels sprouts"

My response
ew    : /

Living alone...not a chef!

My response
dude, I've lived alone since I was 17 till this June, that's no excuse. I always put together meals that showed respect for my time and my body. You get what you give. Give your body tragic looking crap your body will deliver the same. Stop... it!
See This for a suggestion
Hey...I got the veggies in!! Guess I better learn how to shop. I actually can cook when I have the stuff and take the time. Just a new challenge! (wow...I just got really chewed out!!).
This is just my attempt at portion control...
My response
You wont be satisfied giving your body processed crap.
I can give you one tablespoon of butter (that sure looks like a small portion) and then I can give you a can of tuna, 3 stalks of celery, a whole cucumber, some lime, and a piece of whole grain'd be super full, feel super satisfied, be nutritionally fed, save a ton of $$$ (will cost 1/2 of that frozen crap) and will have come to just a hint over the same calories as that unsatisfying tablespoon of butter. 
Check out "Magic Tuna" on the Discipline Indulgence Blog for a quick an healthy snack.
Well, I guess I just got my come-uppins and will take some time to shop. This is stuff I really knew, just need to shop and think about it. Kinda tired of those frozen things, anyway. Next time I post my dinner, Melissa, I will do better. You lived alone since you were 17...I haven't for 36...just learning, so be patient with me (lol).

It is upsetting to me how many people get sucked into eating unhealthy/unhappy food because of brilliant product labeling.
My friend is trying very hard to get used to a new chapter in his life, trying to embrace a healthy way of eating and has sadly fallen prey to the great minds behind the packaging.
I encourage all my friends, who love to eat healthy, clean, convenient, and delicious food, to post any quick recipes that we can share with my friend.
: )

Your comments are encouraged.
Thanks so much for reading.

Wishing you a Happy and Healthy Day!
-Melissa Adylia Gutierrez

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Breathtaking Hike in More Ways than One

I love looking for those words when hiking/running a trail for the first time

Looking for a great workout
Run these trails

Looking for a relaxed and beautiful day with great views and tons of wildlife
hike these trails

Enjoy the best of both worlds?
Who said you had to it all!

This is where it all begins

Plenty of info and plenty of trails to choose from
if you've got the time, the options are endless

Get ready for some Hills!
You'll find groomed fire roads and single tracks along the way

Here are some more hills
Up and Down Up and Down

You'll also see plenty of mountain bikers
99% of the mountain bikers I have encountered out here are friendly,
considerate, and pretty impressive

If you ever decide to mountain bike these trails-or any other for that matter-be nice.
Just imagine your Grandma is on the trail enjoying the view and some jerk on a bike ran her down
Don't be one of "those guys".

Did I mention there were hills?
But wait, there's more

The coyotes must be eating really well out here
because I saw tons of scat on the trail with lots of fur

And then I saw one of these!
it wasn't really jumping at me, but I sure thought it was going to kill me!

The fuzzy little fella cruised on outta the brush
chilled in the trail
and looked at me like I was an idiot.

Well, I sure was acting like one!
Jumping up and down growling at the top of my lungs, swinging my trekking poles, doing some lamed-a**ed Oooga-Boooga dance trying to make myself look big.
After about a hundred years (probably 25-35 seconds) the kitty just (shrugged, I swear it did) turned it's head and slowly walked away

Keep in mind that the pictures I draw are even worse than the pictures I take
The Bobcat was about 3 Subaru Outback Wagon lengths away from me when we stumbled upon each other on the trail
You can get the picture, right?

Thank goodness this is the next breathtaking view after the kitty
The beautiful Pacific Ocean overlooking Crystal Cove in Newport Beach, CA

Just about a mile down the trail and you get to the Ranger Station
You should really check it out. Lots of info, maps, and a clean restroom

Grab a map here for the Blue Route and make your way back along Moro Ridge
There are several places to stop and picnic.

Don't want to hike it alone?
Book a Controlled Burn Fitness Hike for the Solo or Group Adventurer

In case you were wondering
Elevation: 100' to 900+'
Distance: 11 miles
Other Critters I see when I'm out there
Tons of bunnies
Road Runners
Animal Tracks
Friendly People