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Tag: mindfulness

Becoming In All Aspects of Life

IMG_7554Last month, my son’s second grade teacher opened our last class meeting with the statement, “We are all becoming.” BECOMING. This is a word that we all know and have probably felt, but to put into a thought such as this, that yes we truly “are all becoming” is extremely powerful. This not only holds true for children, but for all of us. I think this is true for myself and for whoever is reading this. We are always becoming in every aspect of our lives, wellness included.

Over the last 13 years, I have had the privilege of personal training many different people living and moving in varied bodies. Group fitness has occupied a lot of my last nine years. Primarily pre & post-natal fitness in the beginning, and in recent years I’ve moved more to a broad spectrum of athletes. Yes, athletes. We are all athletes in a fitness class and in life. Michael Johnson said it best, “Life is often compared to a marathon, but I think it is more like being a sprinter; long stretches of hard work punctuated by brief moments in which we are given the opportunity to perform at our best.”

During my second semester in graduate school at Emerson College in the Health Communication program, Tim joined the staff. Dr. Tim Edgar was brilliant and tough. He scared me. I was shy, timid, unsure, not confident at all… he didn’t see me at my best and he knew it. I did well, but wasn’t a star. I wanted to be the star. We wrote emails back and forth over the last 14 years, as I wanted to stay connected and, at times, to show him that I was making a difference in the world. In one exchange he wrote, “I just clicked on your website, and it sounds like you’re doing wonderful work.” What Tim did for me, was he lit a fire in me. His high expectations and academic standards pushed me to “become” throughout graduate school and still today. He lit a fire in me that drives me to be better every day – to constantly learn and seize every opportunity to grow in my profession.

Recently, I began writing a book that I knew he’d approve of, as a graduate of his program. In addition to the book, I decided to become a ‘master’ of some of my current skills, so I enhanced my comprehension of youth fitness literacy and of running – my favorite sport. I longed to master these two areas of fitness and that fire from Tim grew as I began yet another educational endeavor. I found myself studying from the guys at SpiderFit Kids and the expert of everything running, Jason Karp of Run-Fit. Sellwood Yoga & Align Fitness recently gave me the opportunity to put this fine-tuned knowledge to use with two new classes this winter – Kids Fitness Series and Running Clinic Series.

Today, as I was locking up the studio after class, I was met with this piercing cold that took my breath away. It reminded me of the cold winters in Boston as I’d leave class from the Emerson College and Tufts University buildings. In the moment of bitter cold, I couldn’t breathe. My mind shot to graduate school and my time there flashed in front of me. It was a tiny sliver of time in this life we may sometimes think is long. However tiny, this sliver of time overwhelmed me.

I embraced the moment and continued to run back to my son’s school to pick up my car and bring my youngest to a wellness check-up. When I got to my car, a notification popped up on my phone from my grad school friend and roommate. Dr. Edgar, Tim, had died in a tragic car accident while traveling in India.

The fire inside will continue to grow as I “become”. I feel blessed to have had such a fierce Professor in Tim. A Professor who wouldn’t himself settle for and didn’t want us to settle for anything less than 110+%. I hope 2017 allows us all to “become” and give that 110+% that we all deserve to give and those around us deserve to receive.

 

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Teaming Up – How To Make A Long Run Even Better

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Enjoy your run moment

After a long run, how can there really be anything else to do? We’ve enjoyed the scenery and taken some pictures. We’ve nodded or peace-signed to our fellow long-run-day runners. We’ve sweat. We’ve strengthened our lungs. Even our heart has worked and grown, specifically our left ventricle, pumping enough blood and provided enough oxygen to complete our run. So, what else do we need? Well, we need to think about fuel and our mind.

When you finally get to press the stop button on your watch, I’m sure you feel a bit of relief. Some words that may cross your mind, “Ahhh, it’s done! I did it!” You did! But before you leave your run behind you and hop in the shower or grab that coffee, go into your closet and take out your yoga mat and foam roller.

We’ve got to stretch and do a little bit of strength before we put our efforts to rest. So, find a nice quiet space to lay out your yoga mat. Sit down with a nice straight back, sitting “criss cross applesauce” or on a mediation pillow, and just take a few slow, deep breaths. Quiet your mind for a couple of breaths, only thinking of your breathing. Next, let your thoughts wander about your long run. How did you feel during and after? What sights did you see? What sounds did you hear that made your long run enjoyable?

After your reflection, go back to taking a few deep breaths, breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. Think of nothing but your breathe.

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Stretching & Foam Roll

Next, let’s team up this long run even more with caring for those muscles that worked so hard for you. Take your foam roller and start to gently roll out your glutes, quads, calves, and back. Remember to keep your core engaged and support yourself. After rolling out, move into a downward dog position and start pedaling your feet (about 6x), then perform 5 shoulder presses, followed by 5 alternating knee crunch-ins, and repeat this about 3-4x. When you are finished, you can lay on the mat and finish up with any favorite stretches.

Fuel! It’s really not just the first 30 minutes after your run that you need to worry about. It’s the entire day and every day after. Are you seriously going to give yourself a nutritiously calibrated post-run snack and then two hours later eat a pizza or buffalo wings? I hope not.

Long Run Nutrition Team Up Ideas to Fuel You Beyond your Long Run:

Post-run Smoothie: date, banana, maca powder, cocoa powder, almond butter, almond milk, frozen berries, spirulina

Lunch: mixed raw veggies and hummus w or w/o toast

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Food for Fuel

Dinner: Wicked Awesome Salad! Chopped Kale, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Red Pepper, beans with Rice & Apple Cider Vinegar (mixed and sitting/soaking for 10-15 min). Mix in flaxseed meal and nutritional yeast. Then drizzle peanut sauce (peanut butter, a little apple cider vinegar, gluten free soy sauce, wIMG_6587-1ater, rice vinegar.)
This can be served as is or over warm quinoa. Not only do adults like this meal but little humans do too.

There’s so much that we can do for our body and mind even after we’ve put in a strong effort. Remembering that recovery and fueling is just as important as logging miles can be a struggle. However, once you get in the rhythm of stretching your body and mind in those ways, your body will thank you in the end!

Team Up!

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