I remember seeing the heat rise from the red track as the sun beamed from high above in the cloudless sky. It was my junior year in college and it was the Conference Track & Field Championships.
The time had come for my event, the 400 hurdles. Just before I get down into the starting blocks, I do a few tuck jumps and then just stand there, still. I visualize myself running in my lane, jumping over the hurdles in my lane. I then visualize crossing the finish line in first place, arms up, in triumph. All I had to do was beat myself. As the start gun fires, signaling go, I quickly push out of the blocks. I am the first one to the first hurdle. 9 more to go. As I approach each hurdle I do a penultimate step. Clear. Several more hurdles to go. Same rhythm. I come off the final turn and I can feel one of my competitor's presence. I also know that the final straight-away is where I turn it on. I continue to push and I can see the finish line. Beat myself. As I clear the last hurdle and sprint for the finish line, my chest smacks the tape and I throw my arms up in triumph. I won! I am the new 400-meter hurdles conference champion!
The next year, my senior year, was special too. Same race, same conference and mostly the same competitors. I remember looking around, checking out my competition because I heard that one of the girls I beat my junior year was gunning for me. So instead of focusing on beating myself, I was focused on beating her. And I lost. Not only to her, but to someone else too. I came in third place.
Both races had an impact on me. The underlying message would help to define my life.
I am always focused on myself and what I can do to be a better me. I also know that there are going to be others in the 'race' with goals of their own too. But guess what? Just like in track and field, in life, every person has their own lane.
'Beat yourself' would later become the theme of the message to my clients. Do the best you can. Stop comparing yourself to others. Run your race. Stay in your lane. Beat yourself.
When you do the best you can, you're proud of yourself. It's when you leave something on the table that you start to falter. Think of a time when you did the best you could. What was the outcome? How did you feel?
There's something very freeing about not comparing yourself to others. In my experience, it has allowed me to compliment other people and be genuinely happy for them and their success. I am able to let my light shine. In what way do you compare yourself to others? What would happen if you focused solely on you?
Running my race and staying in my lane, both speak to me. Since my track & Field days are over, those phrases have another meaning. "Running my race" means focusing on what I feel I do best and it may not be one thing/event. "My lane" means exploring all of my passions and gifts. My lane is defined by ME. I can now also deviate from "my lane" and step on the line or even outside the line. I am extremely interested and passionate about doing all the things that I want to do and that I love. My life is about sharing my gifts with the world. We are all uniquely equipped with a set of gifts to explore. Isn't it time you run your race, step on or outside the lines in your lane and do the things that make YOU happy?
*this blog post was inspired by a Garmin advertisement I saw while riding the bus.**
I never imagined that I would EVER utter the words, “my butt is FLAT!!” But it was true, after a healthy delivery, I had several complications that landed me a stay in the hospital a lot longer than expected. Ultimately, after laying in the hospital bed for about 5 weeks, I lost most of my muscle due to atrophy.
After coming home, I remember looking in my full length mirror as my sister sat on the couch with Sanaa. I lifted my gown for the first time. I turned around, looked over my shoulder..and then stood sideways. After 5 seconds, I just burst into tears. My poor sister didn’t know what to say. I hadn’t realized how much my butt meant to me. It was a body part that I was proud of. My butt symbolized strength. And I cried that day because I felt so weak, physically and mentally. I had been through a lot. I was also determined to get my butt back to what it was!! I looked forward to the day I could run again and lift weights!!
Fast forward several months and here I am! Big shout out to my support system! I am now strong enough to do the things I once did for my butt! Operation GLUTES is in full effect! I’m gradually working my way back. For my Operation GLUTES workout, I did the following:
Squats - 65lbs; 12 reps and 2 sets.
*Rear Foot Elevated Lunges - bodyweight; 12 reps each leg and 2 sets
Single-Leg Burpees - 10 each leg using 15lbs
Step Ups - bodyweight
That’s it, that was my 30-min workout! I’m taking things slowly, as should anyone starting a workout program after time off. The next time you find yourself faced with adversity, keep a positive mindset, lean on your support system and most of all, find something to laugh at! Just like I did after about 30 seconds of weeping - I cracked up at how ridiculous I must have looked to my sister! Then I got over it and was ready to get back the business of Operation GLUTES!!
I also took the advice from my own e-book "The Wagon Has Wheels" and got back on track!
**I want to be clear, we all have different ideals for our body. My ideal is a muscular but still feminine physique.
Ah, if only you could take a break from your workouts. What would that mean?? There are several results you can expect:
My goal for you is to continue your workout regimen, throughout the holidays. Don't you want to make yourself proud? Your trainer? Your kids? Don't you want to stick to last year's resolution to lose 20lbs? There's still time before Jan. to reach them, you just have to work when everyone else isn't.
We all can think of a million reasons NOT to exercise during the holidays; too busy, too tired, guests in town, traveling...I could go on, but I'll save you the guilt. Let this be the year you STOP making excuses and that you do the right thing. I have a simple solution for you, keep your workouts simple. Don't over complicate things. You don't need to trudge to the gym or need fancy equipment, all you need is YOU! So, no excuses, get out there and H.I.I.T it! (H.I.I.T. stands for High Intensity Interval Training).
As always, thank you for visiting my site!
Do you want more energy? Have you ever heard the phrase, "it takes money to make money"? Well, "it takes energy to get energy". I'm referring to the energy that many of you so desperately want but that seems to be sucked away like lint into a vacuum cleaner. There's a way for you to regain the energy that all of us are born with. You know, like the energy you get when you land a new job or feel the sun on the first day of summer or even the energy you get after a great workout. We are all born with it, you just have to bring yours out!
One of the things that's consistent when people describe me is my "great energy". Most of the time I wake up with "great energy" but I during the day, I actively seek to bring it out of myself, and not solely through exercise. You can do that too you know. One of the first steps is to change your attitude, which I'm sure you've heard before. Which, if that's true, you could be missing out on something great. I'm here to tell you that you are. You can actively work towards attracting more positive energy into your life, daily. Below I've listed a few of the things I do:
1. On a day when you feel amazing, or at your best, write down a few of the things you've done that you're proud of. That's it. Here's the objective. Read and reflect on your list when you're having a bad, low energy day. Sometimes when you're in a "funk", it's hard to remember the good stuff. Having your list handy should make it easier!
2. Say "good morning, how are you?", with a smile on your face, to at least 5 people and mean it. Look them in the eye when you say it and wait for a response! Reply to whatever their answer is. For example; someone may answer, "I'm ok, I'm tired today", you could reply "well, sounds like you got a lot done the day before". See what happens when you reply, I make friends almost daily doing this! Give it a try!
3. Write down 3 -5 things you enjoy, that will in most cases, give you energy. For me, it's video editing, organizing photos, watching NBC’s The Voice (tv shows can bring you joy!), reading self-help books, or calling a friend that I KNOW will have something interesting to share. Write them down and keep those things together in a bowl. When you need a spark of energy, reach into the bowl and go after your energy!!
4. Shake your routine up periodically. If you always drive a certain way to work, take a different route or take public transportation. Or if you always exercise in the morning, workout in the evening. Whatever it is, change one thing and see what happens, paying close attention to how it makes you feel. Variety is the spice of life!
5. Live your life with passion. Dig deep. What are you passionate about? Is it feeding the homeless, singing, sewing, teaching young people, volunteering? I enjoy volunteering, especially with the Special Olympics. They have several opportunities I take advantage of. But whatever your passion, find time once a month to express it. When you help others, you become energized and full of positive emotions!
Try any one or all of these things and let me know how they work for you. Feel free to also leave a comment below with some of the things you do for more energy!
Yours in energy,
Having energy is hard to come by. That's if you don't actively work towards it. Let today be the day you start to change.
Ah, an endless activity bowl, that's just what you need to break up the monotony or to stay creative about your fitness! It takes the "thinking" out of fun activities you can do with your friends or family!
I've come up with activities to go in your "activity bowl" here for you to print, or you can create your own! One side lists games you can play as a group and the other lists exercises everyone in the group can do together! As you read this, commit to start TODAY! Print off the document, cut the strips, fold them and drop them in the bowl and call the family/friends on down! Sometimes all you need is the idea to spark your fitness fun!
*to ensure a full night of active fun, each person can pull a strip from the bowl!
I'm all about having a good time, when it comes to everything really, but especially fitness. When I trained clients full time, I knew that they came to me not only for my expertise but also for my energy. It was my job to keep things fresh for them and to keep their bodies guessing. The same old routine will become boring to even the most excitable person! Keep that in mind as you pick from your "activity bowl". Always "refresh" the bowl with different activities and encourage your family or friends to add their favorite game or exercise.
Please share in the comments sections some of the activities or exercises in your "activity bowl"!!
"We find delight in the beauty and happiness of children, that makes the heart too big for the body."~ Emerson
If you didn't know how old you were, how old would you be? I'll admit it, I'm an 8 year old living in a 40 year old body! I'm a kid at heart! I laugh when people make funny voices, especially my husband! I laugh at most jokes. I laugh if someone trips and almost falls, provided they don't actually fall. But basically, like my 4-month old daughter, I laugh at everything....with the exception of her favorite game peek-a-boo. Ha! I also LOVE playing games! Back in my group group training days, I had a class where each time we met, we played a different game from childhood.
*write down on separate sheets of paper various games that come to mind. The next time you're feeling like a "grown-up", pick a sheet of paper from the "activity bowl" and get to it!
Everyone wants to be happy, and I’m sure you’re no different. The question is, are you? As a Health Coach, my experience has been that a lot of unhappiness is related to how you feel about yourself, physically. Are you in poor shape? Do you wish you had more energy? Do you wish you could change at least one thing about your body? You’re not alone. The number one New Year’s Resolution year after year, is to lose weight/get in shape. Do you fall in that category, year after year?
The first step in being happy about your body, and in life, is to forgive yourself. Forgive yourself for all of the failed attempts at losing weight. Forgive yourself for being in the shape you’re currently in. Most of all, forgive yourself, simply because IT SUCKS not to!
Criticizing yourself, beating yourself up, feeling sorry for yourself, and being disappointed in your own behavior, or lack thereof, is unproductive in every way. I once trained an overweight teenager, bound for college, on the hit MTV show “I Used To Be Fat”. She was in a vicious cycle of beating herself up. She hadn’t weighed under 200 pounds since grade school. She didn’t think she was beautiful. She hated her body. She bottled up her feelings. Lastly, she harbored feelings based on what other people had said to her and she started to believe it.
While it may be easy for me to say stop beating yourself up, it could be even harder to do without actual steps. I’ve listed a few simple things to do TODAY that have worked for my past clients and that could work for you too.
1. Hold yourself accountable. Look within. If you’ve let yourself down and wished the reflection in the mirror were different, do something about it, NOW. I mean, right now.
✓ Stand up straight. Learn your other ABC’s. Abs in, Butt back slightly, Chest up and Shoulders down. You can totally do that right now. Practice in the mirror.
✓ Start walking for 30 mins to an hour 3 days of the week. Get moving!
✓ Gradually, after 2 weeks or so of consistently walking, incorporate body weight strength exercises.
✓ Swap one unhealthy thing from your diet every other week and replace it with a healthy one.
2. Seek help from a trained professional. Having another pair of eyes/ears can often times lead to the success you seek. This could be a Health Coach, counselor, personal trainer, or a psychologist.
3. Accept your current physical state. The sooner you can do this, the more open and willing you will be to move forward and make the necessary changes for the body you desire.
Invest in my e-book for more great tips!