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Keely Grand Posts

Bear Crawls

All of my fitness class locations are pretty special. However, the San Francisco Zoo class is the one you can always count on. We are so lucky to have a great relationship and partnership with them. we are all zoo members and we get to exercise together at our children’s favorite place! Regardless of your lack of sleep, a diaper blow-out or the incessant whining of your toddler or preschooler, you WILL get through the class with a smile because the zoo really turns any frown upside-down and mix it with exercise, you’ve won gold!

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It may look like my little guy is teaching class, but I can assure you that I still am. So, tell me, who wouldn’t want to do bear crawls next to a bear!?! We also have been known to perform various types of hopping with the kangaroos, resistance band penguin walks with the penguins, really long plank or squat holds with the gorillas because they don’t like big movements and rows, shoulder presses, chaturangas, pull downs, press backs, bridge dips, burpees, elephant walks, etc…. with all of the other animals!

I of course love that the children mimic Mommy with exercise, but what I LOVE most is seeing the refreshed, smiling Mommy at the end of class.

Will you do cat/cow with cats and cows or downward dog with your dog today? Tell me, what will you do for your mind, body and spirit today? 🙂

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Mental Health Day

I will remind you that I am a personal trainer and a health communicator. I LOVE health and inspiring people to live well. Actually, I thrive on it. In saying that, this next part may surprise you.

This morning I was able to squeeze in a quick, good read regarding Wellness Coaching. It felt really wonderful to read something regarding my field. I taught my Stroller Strides class and then quickly returned home. My oldest son is home from school today and so I suppose it could make for a difficult day. I actually didn’t think it was even the slightest bit hard of a day at all, until around 5:00pm. I had just left the doctors with my oldest and we went into the grocery store for a snack for him. As we unloaded our arms and tumbled our things onto the conveyor belt, I sighed with some sort of unknowing relief. The I turned to the man in front of me and with a confused/worried/shy/embarrassed smile I said, “Wow… none of that looks too healthy.”

The sweet man then turned to me and said, “Call it a Mental Health Day. We all need one of those once in a while.” I smiled and agreed.

Contents of our grocery bag:

  • Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Popsicles
  • Benadryl
  • M & M’s
  • Dried Peaches
  • Hot Chocolate Mix

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* The dried peaches and M & M’s were the only things consumed today (by the kiddos), but it felt good just purchasing these items. The mind is quirky.

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Different Sides of Mental Illness

I found these quotes, some beautiful some not. So many suffer and do receive help, while others do not. It’s obviously not an uplifting subject, but it’s a subject worth writing about.

“The world will break your heart ten ways to Sunday, that’s guaranteed.
And I can’t begin to explain that- or the craziness inside myself and everybdy else,but guess what? Sunday is my fav day again”
― Matthew QuickThe Silver Linings Playbook

 

“I wanted to tell her that if only something were wrong with my body it would be fine, I would rather have anything wrong with my body than something wrong with my head, but the idea seemed so involved and wearisome that I didn’t say anything. I only burrowed down further in the bed.”
― Sylvia PlathThe Bell Jar

“Eventually my mother suffered a complete breakdown, and the court orders were finally signed. They took her to the State Mental Hospital at Kalamazoo. My mother remained in the same hospital at Kalamazoo for about 26 years.

My last visit, when I knew I would never come to see her again-there-was in 1952. I was twenty-seven. My brother Philbert had told me that on his last visit, she had recognized him somewhat. “In spots” he said.

But she didn’t recognize me at all.
She stared at me. She didn’t know who I was.
Her mind, when I tried to talk, to reach her, was somewhere else. I asked, “Mama, do you know what day it is?”
She said, staring, “All the people have gone.”

I can’t describe how I felt. The woman who had brought me into the world, and nursed me, and advised me, and chastised me, and loved me, didn’t know me.

It was as if I was trying to walk up the side of a hill of feathers.”

-Malcolm X, The Autobiography of Malcolm X”
― Malcolm XThe Autobiography of Malcolm X

“The process of reforming the mental health system never includes the complaints that families and caregivers have regarding a need for increased access to resources, treatment, education, and financial support. Reform has continued to ignore the basic needs of families and suffering individuals with severe mental illness and special needs.”
― Tamara HillMental Health In A Failed American System: What Every Parent, Family, & Caregiver Should Know

“Cause I’d rather stay here
With all the madmen
Than perish with the sadmen roaming free
And I’d rather play here
With all the madmen
For I’m quite content they’re all as sane
As me”
― David Bowie

“Oh! This’ll impress you – I’m actually in the Abnormal Psychology textbook. Obviously my family is so proud. Keep in mind though, I’m a PEZ dispenser and I’m in the abnormal Psychology textbook. Who says you can’t have it all?”
― Carrie FisherWishful Drinking

“The only way to beat my crazy was by doing something even crazier. Thank you. I love you. I knew it from the moment I saw you. I’m sorry it took me so long to catch up.”
― Matthew QuickThe Silver Linings Playbook

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Worthy Words

I took the weekend off from writing any posts. I spent time with my family and friends. We ate, laughed, exercised, told stories and worked on various projects. My husband and I ran the Hot Chocolate 15k on Sunday, which we followed it up by brunching with our friends and kiddos. The day was beautiful for running and spending time together. My husband and five year-old worked on building a robot Sunday afternoon, which my little guy won’t let out of his sight. Pretty cute stuff.

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I’ve been sitting at my desk writing and rewriting ideas for today’s post. Trying to find words worthy of your eyes. Last week, I decided that I would dedicate this week to mental illness. Why mental illness? Well, some of the awful tragedies of last year and years past have shown mental illness to blame, while others are very uncertain as to why it even happened. I’ve been thinking about how to proceed with the idea ever since. After rummaging through endless articles regarding the senseless acts of violence over the years, I started to not want to write anything. It’s scary, disturbing and really sad to read about all the “stuff.” So, I’m going to write about positive outcomes and helpful tips regarding mental illness in the week ahead.

Mental illness has such a broad definition. It ranges from depression to schizophrenia to eating disorders. To quote Mayo Clinic, “A mental health concern becomes a mental illness when ongoing signs and symptoms cause frequent stress and affect your ability to function. A mental illness can make you miserable and can cause problems in your daily life, such as at work or in relationships.” If this is you, please seek help.

I do have a story I am working on, but I need to tweak it first. In the meantime, love, help and support one another. 🙂

 

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Short Story

“Goodness is the only investment that never fails.”

-Henry David Thoreau

There was this woman who never went on a trip

For enjoyment… since she had children. Three of them.

She spent her days bringing her children to lessons and practices.

She brought herself to work and to places like the gym and the grocery store.

Like some, family is what made her tick.

Her job made her tock. Tocking is a good thing. It brings balance and enjoyment.

Then one day, about 10 years worth of days, she and her friend decide it was time to take a trip.

A trip without husbands, cute and sometimes not so cute children.

A girl’s trip. To Mexico.

They go. They brush up on their Spanish. I am sure they also kayak, hike and explore the local beauties.

What else do they do?

Well, she is a nurse in Vermont, who tends to Migrant Farmers in rural Vermont.

So she finds her way to their home in Mexico.

She does a swap.

She brings Vermont to them and in return brings some Mexico to the Migrant Farmers in rural Vermont.

No, no. No illegal smuggling. Just pure, sweet, sincere goodness.

Who does this?

My Sissy!

Julia Grand-Doucet, you are a GEM!  We love you.

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Goodness is all around us. Spread the goodness!

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Toppling Watermelons!

“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” 

– Audrey Hepburn

A helping hand I did receive. I was the mom in the grocery store today whose 5 year-old shouts from across the apples and pears, “Look Mommy! A watermelon!” At the moment I look over, he is grabbing the bottom watermelon, yes the bottom watermelon. I didn’t yell, but I did say “Not the bottom one” in a very urgent voice. Luckily, I nice older man saw my eyes-only-for-watermelon son and was able to grab the toppling top watermelons before they came crashing down in a sweet, sticky mess. Thank GOODNESS for that man! :o) It doesn’t sound like much, but to a mom, avoiding a disaster in public with two kids is A LOT!

Do you have a story to share today?

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Pieces of Goodness

Goodness

  • kindness; generosity
  • the best or most valuable part of anything; essence

Goodness can be seen all around us, every day, if we open our eyes a little wider. It can be as simple as asking someone how their day is going or as big as dedicating your working life to a great cause in the non profit world.

My favorite Pieces of Goodness currently are:

  • Suspended Coffees http://thesuspendedcoffees.wordpress.com/  It’s a touching and simple movement reminding people that in fact, one person can make a difference.
  • One Run for Boston http://www.onerunforboston.org/index.asp  Seriously, if you live in one of these states, see if you can join in. A great run, great fun, for a great cause!
  • wonderbag. http://nb-wonderbag.com/Pages/Default  Ok, ok. It’s a product, not necessarily a gesture. But, it’s cool. It’s amazing. It’s conservation of energy in a pretty and powerful package. Also, for every wonderbag. that is bought, a wonderbag. is given to a family in Africa – and there’s your gesture! Thank you to my dear friend Carly for sharing this true Piece of Goodness with me!

Spreading goodness has always been a part of me. A desire to help and put a smile on someone’s face. I can distinctly remember instances from my childhood when I or someone I knew displayed Pieces of Goodness. Though, when I met my husband he gasped at how I greeted a Boston T driver with a smile and a “hello!” He was really rolling when I waved goodbye and cheerfully departed with, “have a nice day!” (We are all so different, yet also so similar.) When we had  our children I found myself stunned when I realized I had to explain and teach my children how to behave, be thoughtful, be thankful… and the list goes on. What’s wrong with me? Of course we are their teachers! Every day is a new learning experience in goodness, but today and tomorrow is about welcoming a new student into my five year-olds pre-K class. The new student is actually from Israel and doesn’t speak any English. We began with a conversation about being the new kid and how it may feel to not know anyone. It will continue in some sort of simple welcoming gesture for the new student. From there, who knows?

Share your favorite Pieces of Goodness that you’ve seen or have done yourself. Your post may inspire more goodness!

 

 

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My Boston Dream

I have always enjoyed watching the Boston Marathon from my living room in little Rhode Island, to my grad school stoop in Beantown and to my various living quarters in CA. My husband and I both hold the marathon close to our hearts, as many Bostonians and runners do. However, I was pretty much born a sprinter/middle-distance girl and I never really pictured myself running a marathon, let alone the Boston Marathon. As I got older, married and had kids, it did twinkle into a thought though. Then came last spring. Like most of the running world, including Boston, I was torn inside-out when the bombings hit with a shock and blow to our minds and hearts. The manhunt that followed made me fear for every one of my family members and friends back home. The capture came with a sigh of relief and that awful taste of anger. How could someone want to destroy something so beautiful and innocent?

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Soon, runs for Boston popped up everywhere and many of us all over the country ran together for Boston. http://www.blurb.com/b/4284201-run-for-boston-4-17-13 It was touching because it brought so many of us together. For me, it was a similar feeling as I had when a bunch of us lit candles, had a moment of silence and “walked for Newtown” just a few months prior.

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These unthinkable things were actually happening. I wanted to do something, but thought as just one person there isn’t much I can do. Then, I found this T-shirt “Runners for Boston”. I decided that I would Run for Boston – train and try to qualify and support my fellow runners, New Englanders and be Boston Strong. It became my Boston Dream.

I tried to wear my Boston Strong and Runners for Boston t-shirts whenever they were clean. I always got a nod, a thank you or a smile during those training runs. It felt good to run for a purpose and to spread a message. Never before had I cared so much about what my t-shirt said and why I was running.

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The night before my marathon I got out a plain white tank top and a red fabric pen. With my husband’s idea, I went Bill Rogers-style and wrote “Boston Strong” across my race tank, in big red letters. Luckily, my friend Carly was there to assist in and prevent a penmanship fail!

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The race was fun and full of spirit. Running for Boston never left my mind. Ventura High School’s cross country team and their coach were the pacers for the 3:15 marathon I wanted to run. Unfortunately, at mile 18 I started to feel cold, hot and achy, and so, I slowly fell behind my group. I kept pushing and thinking about how I needed to do it though. Through some delirium and calf cramps I crossed the line in 3:23 – a time good enough to qualify in my age group.

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Now I bring you to the present time. I’m a little over a week into my Boston Marathon training. I did it. I get to show my support for Boston in the race that started it all for me as a marathoner. My love for running (if you can believe it) has multiplied through this training, and my desire to cast my support has ignited again as well.

So, what do I do now? The t-shirt message just isn’t enough for me. I need to do more. So, I’ve decided to post something every day, till marathon day. My posts will either be a story, link, article, call to action, etc… for OneFund, Newtown, mental illness… something along those lines. If you, my readers, can just comment and share with your people the message to be a good person, do good things and to recognize and seek help for those who seem worrisome, then I will feel like I’ve done something to cancel out the terrible parts of 2013 and that I’ve helped the survivors of last year’s tragic events. My new Boston Dream – Spread Goodness & Support in 2014! #WeRunTogether

Here’s to goodness in 2014!

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Children’s Books

Super B

The incredulous rescues of a young boy are reported by Fluffy, Super B’s pillow. You will laugh, be inspired, and pump your fist in the air for Super B!

 

Miles

The story of an old shoe and the wondrous adventures he’s been on with each foot he’s worn.

 

Miles & Spikes

Being an experienced shoe, Miles sets out to encourage a new shoe (Spikes) to be excited about the feet he will wear and the tracks he will travel.

 

*Excerpts and manuscripts available upon request

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