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How I got started & my motivation Part 1

10 Jul

I was hoping to get someone else to write this because I am a firm believer, “it always sounds better coming from someone else” but I couldn’t expect someone to turn this around in a few days as I promised. For those of you that asked to hear my story, here is the short version. I am breaking it down in parts and here is part 1 starting with my childhood. One’s childhood plays a significant role in the development of an individual. I’ve been asked to tell my story for different publications and every time I reflect on my childhood, I learn something new about myself.

I was 5 years old and my Dad had announced that there was no more training wheels and it was time to learn to ride a real bike. There was no option to give up and my Dad made that very clear. He said that I would not be able to come back into the house until I learned to ride the bike, even if that meant sleeping outside. After a few tries, I got on that bike and road it straight to the elementary school. I challenged all of the boys to a race because I was sure I could beat them. I didn’t receive any rewards and my parents were taking pictures of me, but I was excited that I could do something that seemed impossible at first.

That same year I remember standing up to a guy in my kindergarten class for making fun of another girl who had a lisp. I refused to let him come to my birthday party for being mean to her. I’m not sure who I thought I was, but I was strong enough as a kid to stand up for what I believed in and I knew I had a voice that people would listen to. Later on I wound up defending numerous other classmates and continue to do so. I’ve always felt it was important for people to be treated fairly.


As a kid, I wanted to play every sport. I loved soccer. There were 8 boys and myself so generally all the partner drills left me as the odd man or should I say girl out. My Mom didn’t like how I was treated so she took me out of the program. I was sad because I didn’t care, I just wanted to learn and I knew that playing with the boys would make me better. Next I joined dance class which I also loved and right before the recital my Mom was going into the hospital with cancer again, so I had to quit. I was devastated and I felt like a quitter even though it wasn’t my decision. From that day on, I didn’t want to quit anything and it became a relentless passion to see things through.

When my Mom was sick in the hospital, my Father and Nanny would take my sister and I in the woods. My Dad built us a fort and go-carts. We had horses to ride and I started a kickball team. I loved being outdoors and I loved having friends over to play. When my Mom got out the hospital she helped me start a club and I had all my friends over for arts and crafts. I also led a dance club and would create routines with my my twirly baton. I guess I was like a little aerobics instructor back then and enjoyed being the leader and creator of the group.

We don’t always understand our parents decisions but looking back on how much I love Spartan racing, I am so lucky to have spent so much time outdoors with my Father and family. I think about how much my Mother liked to dance and how much I love it. I am thankful that my Father never gave me the option to quit and he never made a big deal when I succeeded. I didn’t need my parents to clap and take pictures because mabye I would have thought that I had achieved enough. Instead it made me so curious to see what was left to achieve and that desire is relentless.

Thank you for taking time to read about me. Please feel free to comment and share your thought and comments.

In Health and Happiness,


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Spartan Revolution Workout

21 Jun

Many of you hear me talk or post about Spartan races. It is a culture like no other. I love Spartan racing for so many reasons. Like many people I want to feel like I am part of something and the Spartan community is very embracing. I have met so many people at races that I still talk to that feel like my family. The courses challenge me, which I love because I know it makes me better. Every race is different and once a year I get a race where I nail every obstacle and that feeling is just awesome. Somehow even on my best days I miss the spear throw and have to do burpees, but that’s what makes me want to work harder. I always meet people along the course that inspire me like an amputee or someone with a far more challenging situation than my own. It really makes me put things into perspective and makes me thankful for the health I have. When I help someone with an obstacle and they successfully accomplish it, I love to look at the expression on their face. We are all capable of great things but we need to inspire each other along the way and that’s what Spartan races are all about.

So if you’ve never done a Spartan race or have ever thought about doing any type of #obstacle race this year, I am hosting a Spartan revolution workout in Franklin Square Park in NW Washington, DC this Sunday from 10-11am. You can register here at Spartan website


In  Health and Happiness,


#spartanrace #spartan #spartanup #Reebok # Reebokone #Endlesspotential #Bemorehuman #GymisEverywhere #WashingtonDC








Today is Summer Solstice

20 Jun

Today is Summer Solstice and this day is both the longest day of sunlight and marks the beginning of summer. Summer Solstice occurs when the sun reaches the northern-most position from the Earth. Today holds a special place of celebration in many cultures and is often celebrated with feasts, picnics, dances, and music. I decided to celebrate by starting my day with intention.

This morning I woke up at 4:45am and chose to do some yoga along the water and the monuments of Washington,DC. As I did my sun salutations I thought about how lovely the morning was and how blessed I was to have my health, family and friends. I felt the sun against my face and as I let all my expectations go, feeling peaceful and free. After my yoga session, I decided to use the outdoors to create a fun workout. I saw a bench near by and did some step-ups, pushups, and tricep dips. I ran the stairs of the Lincoln Memorial and finished up with some core work. What an awesome morning!

Make today and the summer of 2016 a healthy and happy one. Invite a friend for a jog or a walk. Use the parks and steps around you to get a total body workout. Play a game of soccer or tennis. Join a group for a hike. Don’t know where to start? Meetup has tons of groups for all sorts of activities. If you like to do obstacle course races, this Sunday, the Spartan race is offering a Revolution workout in parks in cities around the world so check out their website for a location near you. Paddleboard, kayak, swim or water-ski. One of my favorite things to do when I travel to Europe is run or cycle throughout the cities and towns.

How will you take advantage of the summer solstice and the summer of 2016? Comment here to motivate others and use the hashtag #gymiseverywhere. Today is the longest day of sunlight so make it count!

summer solstice reebok

Photographer: Amy Hutchinson & Edited by Hunter O’Brien

In Health and Happiness,  Miss Madeline

#gymiseverywhere #Reebok #ReebokONE #Fitness #yoga #sunsalutations #summersolstice #Spartanrace #Spartan

Stay Fit This Holiday Season

29 Nov

I have a very Italian family that takes pride in their food and preparing an amazing meal that is meant to me eaten, even if it is 10,000 calories. Add on the holiday parties, dinner meetings, food at the office, and it almost a guarantee that I would gain the average 10 pounds this holiday season, but NO, NOT THIS HOLIDAY! If you are worried about your dress fitting or your zipper closing, the 10 tips below are easy ways to make sure you look and feel like a rockstar this holiday season, so go on and look hot in your dress or tux and enjoy the time with family and friends!

1. Give yourself a concrete goal. Sign up for a race. I keep on track with my diet and exercise because I know that I won’t perform well in my race if I don’t. If you know you have something to work for, you are less likely to quit.

2. Enlist a friend to join you. Even when you are feeling tired or hungover, that friend will be the motivation you need to get your butt out of bed. 

3. When you know you have a long day ahead of you, workout in the morning. You will feel better and get more done.

4. Avoid all the processed sugar. Cookies and cake add no value to your life. Choose fruits instead.

5. Eat a salad as an appetizer instead to determine how hungry you are and avoid the bread.

6. Drink lots of water in the morning, throughout the day and in between alcoholic drinks.

7. If you are drinking, vodka or red wine is your best bet. 

8. Get in some longer workouts on the weekend to keep up your endurance and burn extra calories.

9. Hire a trainer or nutritionist to develop a plan to keep you accountable.

10. Even if you have 5 minutes to workout, it is still better than nothing.

Stay tuned for a quick workout you can do anywhere and below is a discount code to join me at a Spartan race!

  In Health and Happiness,
Miss Madeline 

The Secrets in Obstacle Course Racing

12 Sep

So many people think I’ve turned into an Obstacle Course Racing addict because I am doing a race practically every weekend, but I am having so much fun! Just take a look at the pictures and you might just want to join me sometime. Let me tell you why I’m having so much fun and then I’ll share with you all my secrets.

I have raced in 3 Spartan races in the last month and the teams I have raced on have been so much fun that I’d hang out with these people anytime. Training for these races has even been more fun because the coaches are so cool and the people I am training with make me smile. It has enabled me to meet so many different people and develop great friendships. Each race I am getting more confident and my times are also improving. I am getting better on the obstacles and making a lot of progress.

Here are my secrets for having fun and making progress.

I train with a Spartan Pro, David Magida, who happens to be on the elite team for Spartan and the person behind a new gym that will be opening in the DC area, Elevate Interval Fitness. Unlike many gym programs, David trains us by simulating race conditions. He’s trained our team on the proper technique for carrying a 65 pound bucket, throwing a spear, he’s made us run hills till we had enough, run up hills with sandbags, and do so many burpees, that we’d rather run. One class he had us do a bunch of rolling as if we were rolling under barbed wire. I hated it while I was doing it, but I was happy I did it before the race because it helped me shave off time and protect my knees in the NJ Super Spartan. Our training crew is so fun that I have been getting substitutes for my own classes to train with them. You can find out more about his training at

In the Spartan races unlike others, you have to successfully complete an obstacle or do 30 burpees, so it’s worth trying to do each obstacle. To ensure success for challenging obstacles like climbing the rope and throwing the Spear, you must understand the technique. I learned the proper rope climbing technique called the J hook whcih is mostly lower body at the Great Falls Obstacle Course. Doing so enabled me to successfully complete the rope climb at both the Wintergreen Super Spartan and the NJ Super Spartan. I highly recommend spending a day there to learn the technique for tackling common obstacles. Tim heads up the training which is Sunday mornings. To find out more, check out the Great Falls Obstacle Course on Facebook, or email Tim at

CrossFit North Vienna is where I spend an hour Monday-Friday working on my strength. I had a much easier time on this last Super Spartan because I am getting stronger. The pullups and various olympic moves helped me pass many guys on the course in addition to making me leaner. If you’d like my special rate at CrossFit North Vienna, send me an email at Every Saturday they a class for people who have never done CrossFit before.

Trail runs with the DC Capital Striders have helped me run faster because all of the Spartan races I have completed have pretty challenging trails. It’s a great group of people with various levels of experience. We run every Wednesday at 6pm. You can join our trail run by going to

I have changed by diet and make sure by food is with me so I don’t pick up junk on the road. These meals have been key to helping my muscles recover and ensure I have energy for intense workouts. More importantly, they also help me burn body fat instead of muscle. Most people forget that if they are not getting the proper nutrition, they can actually start to cannabolize muscle which results in a lower metabolic rate. I use and my discount code is MD10.They taste great and the bars are awesome too. If your diet isn’t where it should be, give it a shot.

Bring Gu and electrolyte tabs to your races. Electrolyte tabs are important for very hot and humid days and I try to take a Gu every hour. My favorite is vanilla with caffeine. It can make a big difference when you are feeling weak.

Dress smart and make it fun. I also wear my Reebok OCR shoes because they are great on trails and in the mud and a high pair of socks to protect my shins. I wish I could get away with knee pads because my knees always wind up scratched and bruised, but knee pads would totally ruin my outfit and is not the image I’m going for. My next outfit may very well be a Superhero. Stay posted. If you are looking for shoes or clothing options, I listed my favorites on

Also if you are looking for a local VA race, is this Saturday and you can get a discount with RA44. I’m off to run the Civilian Miltary Combine (CMC) this weekend! The first picture shows me with the CMC founder, Sean Rodgers and TV Star, Kenny Santucchi, my racing buddies for the NJ Super Spartan last weekend. I am gathering up teams for upcoming races so if you are interested, send me an email at and don’t forget to watch the Spartan Race on NBC Sports 2pm Sunday!

In Health and Happiness,


spartan blog pics

Event at the Reebok Fithub

4 Sep

reebok circuit classLast night I did my infamous Circuit Challenge at the Reebok Fitbhub in Georgetown for the DC Capital Striders. There were over 50 RSVPS and more on the wait list. I had no idea of what the crowd would be like, how many people would show or what their athletic levels would be. I used a rowing machine, tubing, gliding discs, jumpropes, kettle bells, 35 pound plates, boxes, wall balls, medicine balls, heavy weights, and devised 19 stations throughout the store. I developed stations with the goals of working their entire body, utilizing every plane and taxing different systems. Many of the stations were designed to be functional in nature so they worked the entire body and required the participants to use their abdominals for balance. Each station had 2 exercises so each team of 2 started as a station and once I played the music, they went to work. The workout was tough, but this group had their game face on and was ready for the challenge!

There were several differences among the group in age, training background, flexibility, and strength but what united them all was an intense desire to give their all and get the most out of this workout. They were dripping sweat and probably pretty tired at points, but they didn’t give up. They motivated their each other, they helped each other out, and no one quit. I felt honored to teach this group and inspired by their efforts!

So many people don’t do things because they are worried about how they are going to appear. Several of the people in this group had no idea of what to expect or how hard the workout would be. They were new to many of the exercises, but that didn’t stop them from trying. If they had a question, they asked me. When they felt like quitting, they didn’t. I truly believe this group will be successful in whatever they do because results are driven by a certain mindset. The mindset they exhibited is the mindset of a winner. If you think you can, you will.

So the next time you think about doing something outside your comfort zone, don’t hesitate, just do it. Life is too short to question yourself and be negative. Look at these folks and use this picture to motivate you to give more, be more, and get outside your comfort zone. Why? Because you deserve an amazing life!

Last night I also passed out deals for some of my favorite companies and everyone got to try the Best Bar Ever. You can check it out at

Train for Obstacle races with Pro racer at David Magida at
30% off pre-opening special and free classes in Meridian Hill Park

Clean up your diet with fresh meals delivered twice a week that affordable at and get 10% off with my discount code MD10

Do a local mud run. Go to and use code RA44 for 45% savings.

Tell me what challenge you will take on in the next few months and you could win one of many prizes! Why not come join me for the Spartan Super in NJ this weekend or the Spartan Sprint in Philadelphia?

In Health and Happiness,

Madeline Dolente

September Events & Deals

3 Sep

blog 5 photosI love September because it always feel like I am back in school and I feel motivated to do more and achieve more. With 4 months left in the year, there is still plenty of time to crate changes that will make a difference. Today I’d like to provide you with a ton of ways to finish off 2014 living the life of your dreams!

Monday I competed in the Team Crossfit Series on Team Crossfit North Vienna Spartans. This is by far my FAVORITE CrossFit box and the coaches are awesome so if you are ready to try something new, come any Saturday and try an introductory workout. I’ll be hosting a Crossfit for Runners workout there at the beginning of October as well. I would have never thought I’d be competing in a sport that I just started and YES, I loved every minute of it! The address of CrossFit North Vienna is 434 Mill St NE, Vienna, VA.

Runs on Mondays, every Monday we run at 6pm at the Ice Breaker store in Bethesda, Maryland. It’s a great group with 3-7 mile options. Sign up on Meetup at

I LOVE obstacle racing and Spartan races are my favorite. I did 2 Spartan races last month and will be doing the NJ Super Spartan this Sunday and the Philly Spartan Sprint on Sept.20th. Want to do a Spartan Race? Here is a special discount code: SPARTANBLOGGER

Interested in doing any other obstacle races this year? Tomorrow’s blog will have discount codes for many of the races and training information. Be sure to check it out! Even better, you can win a free Spartan getaway by entering here

I’ve made changes to my food plan so that I can perform better and get leaner and I am loving They deliver fresh meals each week that are delicious and nutritious. I have a discount code for you. It’s MAD10 which will give you 10% off your first order. Their bars are the BEST BAR EVER and yeah, that’s what they are called. Want to taste them? Come to one of my fitness events and I’ll be sampling them there. They are YUMMY, fresh, and can be delivered to your home. It doesn’t get better than that!

Want some extra motivation? Come workout with me at one of the events below:

*Wednesday, September 3rd at 7pm, Circuit Class at the Reebok Fithub

Saturday, September 13th at 10:00 am, 5 Mile Training Run & Private Shopping Event for for Fall Running at Reebok Fithub

Thursday September 25th at 7:00pm at Equinox, Functional Fitness Training to challenge your core and improve your running performance in Tyson’s Corner, Vienna, VA

Feel your best and look your best with some fresh new gear! See my favorites and get the best deals at

Would love to see you achieve your goals this year! Join me for the fun and get outside your comfort zone!

In Health and Happiness,

Madeline Dolente


20 Aug

Did you watch the Spartan race last night? I was inspired by the tenacity, perseverance and relentlessness of the athletes as they climbed the hills. One athlete talked about how important mental strength is. When your body is tired, the only thing that gets you through an intense challenge is desire. The female winner in last night’s race was Amelia Boone. She is known for her amazing capacity to endure. In one of her blogs she said that she may not be the fastest or the strongest, but she is really good at suffering. She is so good that she has been called the Michael Jordan of obstacle racing. The female runner up got mangled in the barbwire, but she didn’t stop to see if she was hurt. What good would it have done to stop and look at her cuts, scrapes and blood. It could have cost her a place. The most successful people endure temporary pain to achieve their goals. What do you sacrifice to achieve your goals? The life of your dreams will most definitely require sacrifice.

Email me at or comment here as to what you will sacrifice to achieve your goal. The most inspiring answer will receive a shipment of KIND bars. I look forward to reading your comments.

Don’t forget to register for your chance to win a cruise at Spartan Cruise
Check out the the 2014 Spartan Race World Championship Race in Killington Vermont on September 20th at

In Health and Happiness.

Madeline Dolente

IMG_2384.JPGSpartan Cruise

Obstacle Race on NBC Sports & Cruise Giveaway

19 Aug

It’s hard to conceptualize an obstacle race unless you’ve done one or seen in action because my first experience was completely different from what I expected.  I did my first obstacle race 4 years ago when obstacle racing was still very new. A month before a bunch of my friends did the Warrior Dash. The pictures made it look like a 5K party on the trails where everyone wore fun costumes. I thought a 5K would be too easy for me so I signed up for the 15K.

I got a costume that made me feel like one of the characters on the The Incredibles, the Disney movie from 2004.  I had the cape, long dress, arm gear, and the eye mask. I remember putting it all on and stepping into my elevator at 2pm that Sunday and the guy in the elevator looking at me as if I was on crack. Even worse, he was hot and I tried to explain to him that I was running a race. A race on a Sunday afternoon in a costume that came to be know as Flash. When I got to the race, I was the only one in a costume. I remember really feeling like an idiot, but everyone was super cool and gave me props on my costume. On a side note, I looked up the website and there were awards for costumes, but at 3pm it was 95 degrees and I think everyone decided against it for the longer distance.

I get to my first obstacle which was a really high barrel of hay. I start running and leap onto the barrel and fall completely off. It took three tries before I realized that I wasn’t a superhero and that I needed to figure out a new technique. The rest was history. I had never learned how to do any of the obstacles but somehow I just did them. It’s like life. You don’t know what life will throw your way, but you have to be prepared. It’s how you respond to the challenges that dictate how your life will turn out.

Obstacle races are much different today. Rather than read about it, watch it in action, TONIGHT on NBC Sports. Below is the schedule and don’t forget to register to win a trip for 2 on the Spartan Cruise in the Bahamas. Airfare included and US Residents only. Here is the link

In Health and Happiness,

Madeline DolenteNBC Sports

The 411 on Obstacle Course Racing

18 Aug


Obstacle Course Races are growing faster than any other sport. According to the Outdoor Recreation Participation Topline Report 2014, there was a 30 percent increase in registration for obstacle races over the past 3 years, with 2.21 million racers in 2013. Racers include every nationality, every body type and people of all ages. You can find a race any given weekend in cities throughout the US. In fact, the most popular obstacle course races known as the Spartan race, signed a deal with NBC Sports. If you thought American Ninja Warrior was hot, you’ll definitely want to watch the Spartan races on NBC Sports.

Many of you have probably heard about mud runs, warrior dashes, Tough Mudder, Spartan race, or the zombie runs from a friend or the Internet. Each race differs but mud, running, and obstacles is often the common theme in each of these races. The races vary in length. Some races are as short as a 5k while other races go as long as 26 miles. Some races are now beginning to offer cash awards which has attracted competitors from all over the world!

For beginners, I recommend starting with a Spartan Sprint which can be anywhere from 3-5 miles with 15-20 obstacles. For every obstacle you can’t successfully complete, you have to do 30 burpees so it’s smart to practice and train before doing a race. If you’ve completed a Sprint or several obstacle races, a Spartan Super is a great option. The difficulty depends on the location. The races that are on ski slopes are often more challenging than those in stadiums.

So you’ve probably heard about the controversial electric shock therapy and this is unique to the Tough Mudder races so you won’t see this in other obstacles races. Some obstacle races may also have water which may require some swimming skills. If you are not a swimmer, check the website for the race to see if swimming will be part of the race. There are also tons of obstacle racing groups on Facebook that serve as a good resource on information for each race.

Training for races can make you much more successful and this week’s blog will include several resources in your area and online. So make sure to check back tomorrow. In the meantime, I have some fun stuff to announce:

Every day this week, one person will be awarded a prize! The prizes include KIND bars, an obstacle training workout, a fitness DVD, a fitness CD, nutritional counseling, one free Spartan race, and even more exciting,

ONE of my readers can win a getaway Spartan Race Cruise for 2 out of Miami to the Bahamas and free airfare by entering at
Spartan cruise

So what are you waiting for, go ahead and enter to win your trip for 2 including airfare and a cruise out of Miami! If you win and need someone to join you, just send me an email. My bags are packed and ready!

And because you are all winners, sign up to do a Spartan with my discount code: SPARTANBLOGGER

In Health and Happiness,

Madeline Dolente