Fitness & Wellbeing

Keep Calm and Redball On – Stress Management

Who here has an inner control freak?
I’m confident I’m not the only one waving both hands in the air. I care.

And because I care, I occasionally operate under the illusion that I am omnipotent, letting my skill set spiral out of control until I take on so much that I find myself  blinded by stress. My heart rate rockets up and my brain locks down, like I’m being chased by bears but can’t find my way up a tree.  Full on freak out.

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You too?

Overwhelmed, my inner control freak turns power-hungry and overbearing, attempting a hostile takeover as Chief Executive Worrier. I’m rational enough to know these freak out hi-jinks are runaway emotions; but the reality is they feel real.

I believe that if we can think ourselves into a freak out, we can work out our way out of it.
Here’s how to establish a scalable meditation designed to restore calm and keep you keepin’ on:  Read more →

Seriously Slow – How Attitude Impacts Success

A week ago, I took my four of my attitudes – excited, hyper-focused, bad-word-mad, and crestfallen – for a little jog. A 5K fun run. The 5K that I’d gotten into a froth over the day before, when I picked up my race bib.

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I’m new to the fun run world, and there is still a lot I’m learning. Corrals, for instance; the grouping of runners in sections according to their self-declared pace. When I signed up months ago for this particular fun run, having no idea how fast I could go (or if I could even finish) I left the corral question blank.

Then I ran a few fun runs. And didn’t die. And I found I liked it. And found my groove. And went from mostly walking to waving the bragging flag of a 10-minute mile.

I was giddy and the expo was going full blast when I arrived; a wonderland of goodie bags, giant inflatable marshmallows, bouncy music, and stacks of race bibs. I stepped up to claim my place in the race. Read more →

Before “Before” – On Transformation

The fitness transformation “before” selfies I took on February 7th have been self-censored.

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Last week’s selfies weren’t salacious, just a titch sad. Bummed expression, bad lighting, and too-little too-tight spandex. The way “before” photos usually are, to set us up for the afterglow of “after”.

These days, I find I’m less interested in before and after, and more interested in better. Along with my newfound 5K OCR fitness-nut nuttiness, I enlisted in a 90 Day Transformation Challenge, today’s training for which featured Coach Z encouraging me in barbell hauling, rope dragging, bear crawling, ball chasing and other excellent tortures. Tracking, measurement, and photographic self-evaluation are all part of the deal.

The deal is, I’ve never been good at looking at sad.

Still, for the sake of Transformation Challenge truth telling and transparency, I’m posting an image from before “before”. A more honest photo. More for myself than anyone else. Because sometimes transforming forward demands a look back. Read more →

Five Fine Fitness Finds

Yesterday, Dan the Mailman dropped of a tiny package of the finest floral spandex at my door. I debated chasing him so I could give him a giddy kiss, but I was too excited to jump into my new tights and hie my hind end to Life Time.

Used to be, deliveries were from the liquor store. Another case of wine. Or from the pizza place. Another extra-large with everything. And breadsticks. With that icky cheesy dipping sauce. Getting out from under the burden of giving up on myself was daunting. I had a lot of help.

At the gym, I stopped to catch my breath between rowing and deadlifts. I caught the motivating smiles in the mirror from other folks devoted to getting it and getting fit. I thought about the top five helpers that kept me going this month:

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Wellness – The Work Out / Work Win

I learned effective conflict resolution fast, confronted by a hot mess of hoppin’ mad, red faced, freaked out sales rep, one of the most consistent and biggest winners on my team. He burst into my office blinded by the temporary insanity of a big problem, holding out angry, empty, shaking hands … no solution. In that instant I could see he wasn’t going to be good at using his inside voice, so we took it outside for a walk around the block. It turned out to be a pretty big block. About two miles.

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Walking is man’s best medicine. ~ Hippocrates
Photo credit: Ardon LXXXIII

While we walked, we worked it out. He hollered a little bit, blew of some steam, regained control of his adrenaline, talked until he was able to listen, and made a space in his busy brain for reason. Together we carved out a path and created a solution. It only took a little walk around the block.

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Inspire is a Verb – Esprit de She

I just got another secret note.
“Shh….don’t tell anyone…but I absolutely must tell someone…you think I can, so I think I can, so I’m doing a crazy fitnessy thing…YAY!”
It’s the third note this week.

I get it. When I decided to get my fit together, the first steps of my journey were super-secret too. Slinking downstairs to the apartment complex gym at odd hours, when people were less likely to catch me leaping around in my grotty track suit. Shaking my groove thing to Moves Like Jagger and Sexyback, because I desperately wanted my sexy back. Hauling my carcass back upstairs and collapsing on my pleather couch in an exhausted nap during which I’d dream that, if I could keep going, little by little I’d stack up enough tiny victories to make a mountain.

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We keep going because we keep going.
from #47ThingsILearned

Those first steps were 3 years, 42 weeks, and 5 days ago. Umpteen jump-squats ago. At least a few sizes ago. A lifetime ago.  Read more →

Inspire is a Verb – The Mighty Molly Hutchins

I’ve been a fan of Mighty Molly for a while now, enraptured by her personal brand of kick-booty go-get-it. I follow her on Instagram and Twitter, where she regularly makes me laugh and occasionally terrifies me into trying something new.

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Molly kicking off 2015 right with her 15th 5K
at Commitment Day!

I thought I might’ve gone off my nut last November when, inspired by Molly’s adventures in 5K running, I registered for the Turkey Trot 10K. I’ve never been a runner, struggling along at about the same pace most folks use for a leisurely stroll. It was crazy, I was mostly unprepared, and I showed up in zero-degree weather to run further than I ever had. A few freezing moments after stepping off, I realized that quitting was an option that would likely result in my frozen carcass being discovered roadside, sometime in April. So I didn’t quit. After crossing the finish line, I made my way home, ate three turkey sammiches, took a 45-minute shower that used up all the hot water in the neighborhood, and swore never again.

The next morning, I registered for a 5k. Within a few days, I’d registered for a couple more. A month later, I ran the Polar Dash. Now I know I’m completely crackers, and I couldn’t be happier. Currently, I’m registered for ten 5Ks, one 10K, and two OCRs in 2015. A lot of it is Molly Hutchin’s fault.  I called her to tell her so.  And to say thanks.  And to interview her for this blog.  Here’s how Molly answered the Propellergirl Questionnaire:   Read more →

Self-Respect or Sit n’ Spin – 100 Day Challenge Diary

When I was a kid, I loved my Sit n’ Spin. I would sit on it. And spin. And spin and spin and spin and spin AND SPIN. One Thanksgiving, I spun around so much that I missed supper. You know why. Sitting in one place and doing nothing but staring at one’s navel is dizzying at best. And you don’t get anywhere fast.

This is the diary of my 100 Day Challenge of Self-Respect. I’m sick of sitting and spinning when I should be making a beeline for the finish line. My journey is inspired by Matthew Trinetti. Here is his diary; he’s worth a follow. For transparency’s sake, here’s my progress in the categories of “fitnessy” and “writerly“:

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Inspire is a Verb – Michael Anderson

As a storyteller, I draw strength and learning from the world around me so I can share it with you. Longtime Ninja Michael J. Anderson speaks here to the duty of doing:

Michael goes the distance to train with the best, so he can be better. Here he is, going the distance in the parking lot of CrossFit South Metro.

“So I make it into the gym today for my session with Robert McKeeman only to discover that I am not the only special snowflake in the place. As I prepare myself to do some featherweight box squats, I look over into the corner where the real lifting happens, and I see Eric under a bar full of heaviness. To my horror, I look down and see that he is an amputee. There he is doing beautiful, heavy squats oblivious to the fact that he has just destroyed my next excuse.

I have been special. I got the E for Effort just for showing up. I made progress and got the “Attaboy!” just for walking into the place. I made the appropriate faces to indicate that I am trying and that it hurts. I even grunt like the big boys sometimes so it sounds like I am trying.
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