Sweet Tooth

Emily —  April 17, 2015 — Leave a comment

I love treats. In a “sometimes I have to have chocolate or I’m going to punch someone” type of way. And I indulge fairly frequently. But I have struggled to find a really good treat that really satisfies my cravings and that I also feel good about when I’m really trying to keep my inner cookie monster in check.

That is…until just recently. This is unsolicited testimony, although I would happily promote these products if it meant I got some free goods out of the deal.


These little guys are LEGIT. Totally delicious, rich, super satisfying and with a simple ingredient list that even the tidiest of eaters could support; (The chocolates are my favorite: organic maple syrup, dark cocoa, almond flour, organic extra virgin coconut oil, sea salt). They’re tarts from a company called Hail Merry and they’re delightful. I keep a couple in my fridge so I’ve got a good go to when that square of dark chocolate just isn’t doing the job. If you see them next time you do your grocery shopping, do yourself a favor and grab a one.


Emily —  April 14, 2015 — Leave a comment

Progress is never linear; the body transforms in waves.

Continue Reading...

Second Set: Green Means Go!

Jen —  April 10, 2015 — Leave a comment

I know the recovery aspect of training is not the fun stuff like dripping sweat in a gym, but it is crucial to help keep you healthy and on track to reach your training goals

Continue Reading...

Rest More

Jen —  April 7, 2015 — Leave a comment

The importance of recovery, sleep, stress reduction and rest is part of the mantra at GYM Laird. Even though I rationally understand these principles, I freely admit I struggle to place them as a priority.

Continue Reading...

Family is more than blood

Renae —  April 2, 2015 — 1 Comment

This week has been a hard one, but it has made us realize that when one of us is hurting or needs support,  we all rally around one another and that makes us stronger. It simply reminds us that we are more than friends, we are family!  Jim and I are a lot alike, we both have dogs instead of kids.  Those pups become our children.  Jim had to let one of his babies go yesterday and it affected us all. Lexi, Jim’s oldest, had a wonderful life with him and loved him more than anything. Honestly, she loved everyone and only wanted a good belly rub. You see, this pup was special. She was thrown from a vehicle and left for dead.  She was one lucky girl when Jim Laird happened upon her. He showed her what love truly was and gave her the life she deserved to have! I love him more for that!  Lexi, was a pitbull, and I am sure you all know the stigma behind these dogs. She changed many minds on what a pitbull really is!

This is Lexington :)

Lexi :)

I know this has nothing to do with fitness or powerlifting, but sometimes there is a need to talk about more.  About being there for each other, supporting one another, loving one another, holding a hand, or wiping a tear.  That’s what this phenomenal group is all about!  Being there for each other, in good times and bad, whether it’s watching one another hit a PR we have been striving for or losing something or someone we love. Family, that’s what it’s all about!  I love these people, each of them, despite our differences or lifestyles, these are my sisters and my brother. Their support and willingness to be there for me makes us family.  I thank God for them everyday!  This one is for you Lexi!  R.I.P SWEET GIRL, you were so very loved! Jim, we love and adore just in case you didn’t know….



Fearing the Unknown

Renae —  March 31, 2015 — 6 Comments

The past few weeks, I have had mixed emotions about my training. I was elated that I could finally squat with a bar on my back and couldn’t wait to see just what my body could do. My excitement quickly turned to anxious feelings of failure due to my 45 year old knees and a lifetime of abusing them with excess weight and working 12 hours a day on my feet. If there is one thing I hate to admit, it’s that I may not be able to accomplish something I want so badly. Mondays are usually our squat days and I am pumped and ready to be challenged. Training usually goes well and I feel pretty good about myself and then my knees start to tell me, “HEY YOU!!!  WE DO NOT LIKE THIS! STOP IT NOW!”  This is where my conflict begins. I am screaming back at them to stop acting like this and suck it up!! I’m going to squat at the next meet no matter what so deal with it! I have argued with myself numerous times and unfortunately I think my knees are winning. It pains me to write this but, I may have to face the fact that I won’t be able to do this.

Missy at Nationals

Missy at Nationals

The last few Mondays I have struggled with telling my coach that I am having some pain, usually after a couple of days it goes away. That’s when my stubborn side says “I CAN DO THIS” and I head to the gym and proceed to crush some squats. A few hours later, I get reminded of why I probably shouldn’t be doing them. How do you give up on something you really want to do?  I have been beating myself up over this!  I keep hearing Jim say “This is for fun Renae!” Why doesn’t it feel like fun?  I want to do this because I am not quitter!  I want to prove to myself that I CAN do this! If I am totally honest, FEAR has set in!  I’m scared of quitting and at the same time I’m scared of hurting myself and I think that’s holding me back. IMG_24047099987372 So, I chose to rise and face this for what it is and told my coach how much pain I am actually in.  I almost cried…the hardest thing I have ever had to do is give in when I don’t want to, but Jim said I did the right thing.  I don’t want to continue doing something that may jeopardize my competing at the meet in June.  Thank goodness for Sarah Martin, our in house physical therapist, hopefully she can help.  Looks like it’s Push/Pull for me and I have to be okay with that!  I have turn this negative into a positive and concentrate on my deadlift and bench press and new PR’s!  I got this!