If a 92-year-old Can Follow His Passion, What’s Stopping You?

I don’t know about you but I like FaceBook because it helps me to keep up with friends and family from afar. I get to follow people who I don’t know but inspire me and watch some really funny videos that I probably would never come across on my own.

Lately, my feed has been filled with endless opinions on politics. Don’t get me wrong…I think everyone has their right to share their opinion and make a case for the things they believe in but I’m getting worn down by negativity.

I appreciate the passion, I just wish it was directed in a more positive way. Let’s stop talking about how much we dislike what this person is doing and what they stand for and let’s talk more about the person we support and the great things they do. Right?

So last night I was taken with a post on FaceBook about one of my dear friend’s husbands. Jeremy walked 7 miles with Ernie Andrus, a WWII veteran who is walking coast to coast to raise money to take a LST ship to Normandy for the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

92 Year Old Inspiring Others

Here is a man, 92-years-old. And he’s passionate and living life without excuses! He’s determined to raise awareness to his cause and isn’t letting anything stand in his way.

How many of us use the excuse that we can’t because of _______________ (you fill in the blank).

How many of us spend more time focusing on the negative rather than the positive?

How many of us need a change of heart and mind?

It’s time to change your heart and your mind. Goodbye excuses, goodbye negativity. HELLO to I CAN DO attitude.

Do what you can, where you are at. Don’t compare your abilities to anyone else.Every day brings progress, every day you are stronger and capable of more.

If a 92-year-old can walk coast to coast, surely you can dig within you to find something to be passionate about and go get it.

If you would like to donate or meet up to walk/run with him, here’s his website coast2coastruns.com.

 

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Can One Hour Change Your Life? I think so.

I hear time and time again that people don’t have time to exercise. And for a while, I even made myself too busy for my own workouts.

During the time that I couldn’t make time for myself I found the days to actually be longer.

The days were longer because I couldn’t escape the feeling of disappointment for not following the advice that I give out over and over; “You need to make time for yourself.”

And the days were longer because I didn’t have any relief from the pressures of life.

For me, exercise is therapy.

exercise keeps me sane

It’s an hour of my day that I don’t have to think but just do.

As a working mom of three children I feel like I spent more hours than not telling other people what to do. I’ve even incorporated the word “please” in my fitness classes just to relieve the feeling of being a drill sergeant. It can be exhausting being ‘bossy.’ So for me, it is a relief to have someone else tell me what to do.

 

It’s an hour when my stress is shed through every bead of sweat.

Sure, I can talk to you about the endorphins that are released when you workout, but I’m pretty sure no one is interested in a science lesson. So instead, let’s talk about how good it feels to punch a heavy bag when you are angry because of bad things happening to good people in your life. Or the feeling you get when you are breathing hard and you feel like with each breath you are taking in new life and releasing the things that are weighing you down. During my workouts I get to release every thing that is closing in on me and for that hour those stresses have no hold over me.

It’s an hour when I prove to myself how strong I am and what I am capable of.

I say time and time again in my classes, ‘Set your intention for this workout. One challenge I have for all of you is to not quit! Slow your pace or lower the weights you are using but don’t stop.’ I take that same philosophy into my own workouts. It’s all about going big and owning the moment. I enjoy proving to myself that I can push through the discomfort and fatigue to dig deep. We are all capable of so much more than we realize and nothing feels better than learning that about yourself.

So the next time you tell yourself you don’t have time for exercise consider the benefits. Not only are you improving your health, you have a chance to escape reality and the stresses of life and an opportunity to dig deep and learn more about yourself.

 

The Real Reason There’s No Time For A Workout

Ever have a moment when you realize you’ve gotten so busy with work that you no longer have time for you?

I did. And it’s been a tough soul searching week.

I’ve heard from countless of people that they would love to exercise or eat better but they just don’t have time. I never quite ‘got’ that excuse.

After having three children I made up my mind that it was time to get healthy again and I did anything it took to make sure I exercised. Sometimes it was during naptime, sometimes it was sitting on a stationary bike in my living room while my husband and I watched tv, sometimes it was getting up at 5am before anyone was awake. It was important to me so I made the time.

And until about a year ago, I still made the time.

If you have time for an excuse you have time for a workout.

If you have time for an excuse you have time for a workout.

Then I made the decision to get back into fitness full time. Relatively new to Lombard, I felt like the only way to succeed was to network in any way possible.  So in my attempt to establish myself I jumped at the chance to teach any class, in any format, at any location. If I had an hour free, I was prepared to fill it. Before I knew it my schedule was packed and I felt accomplished in my growth.

And for a while that worked for me…until I realized that by always seeking to add new classes and saying yes to any sub request that fit my schedule I was cheating myself.

What might seem absurd to some of you that take my classes is that I also need a workout of my own. While I may ‘do’ the class with you, it’s not my workout and if I treated class that way I wouldn’t be a very good instructor to you.

I found myself in a place where I the person making the excuse of not having enough time.

Ugh…I had become that person…that person who didn’t have time. But I had time to catch up on my DVR, I had time to sift mindlessly through magazines, I had time to endlessly scroll through FaceBook. I had time to waste but I didn’t have time for ME.

Then last weekend my eyes opened. I was teaching at three different gyms. One is my home, it’s my family, my happy place – CustomFit. Another is a place that I fought to get a 6am class and over time it has grown and I can’t imagine ever letting those women down – Glass Courts. And the last was a big box gym, where it was clear that both employees and members are nothing more than a number.

I had two places that I have a heartfelt connection to, and one that was just filling space and time. I realized I was letting the most insignificant part of my life take over my life and become my excuse that I didn’t have time for me.

So now I get it, I understand why people say they don’t have time. I’ve always said, “Of course you do, you just have to prioritize better.” Then I realized, I wasn’t good at doing that myself anymore.

Now when people tell me they don’t have time, I’ll be more understanding. But I’m also going to challenge them to examine what is weighing them down and holding them back.

No matter what your life situation is, what you do, or who is demanding of your time, there will ALWAYS be an excuse. I finally realize that, and now I’m better equipped to help you overcome that excuse because I had to overcome my own.

 

5 Ways to Make Sure You Include ‘Me’ Time in Your Back to School Schedule

As a mom of three it’s always a bit of a bummer to see summer come to a close. I’m reminded of the fun we had and of how quickly another year has passed.

And just when I start to feel a bit overwhelmed by the ‘routine’ of everything – making lunches, checking homework, organizing carpool schedules…I’m reminded of how much better our family functions when we are in a routine.

We eat better, we sleep better and we have less time for ‘excuses.’

For our family routine means that I plan for lunches and dinners more deliberately; bedtimes and waking times are consistent; and sticking to our schedules is crucial to keeping everyone on track with their commitments.

One major commitment of mine that gets off track during the summer is getting in my own workouts. Now I know what you might be thinking, “Why would you need an additional workout when teaching multiple classes a week?”

I need my own workouts because when I teach class I am doing just that – teaching. While I may be performing the same moves, I’m also monitoring my class participants. Are they using proper form? Do they look as though they are pushing too hard or maybe not hard enough? Should I lengthen or shorten the next cardio burst? You get the idea.

Over the summer it becomes a challenge for me to stay on my personal workout routine because most of my free time to attend classes or hit the gym on my own lands right in the middle of the day. Because my time is limited with the kiddos over the summer, I put those workouts aside to hit the beach or pool, take them mini golfing and go karting or to cuddle and watch a movie on a rainy day.

And though I use all of those excuses above to not hit the gym personally, I’m still fortunate enough that my job keeps me active and these ‘excuses’ don’t take me completely off track.

In conversations with others I know how difficult it is to find that ‘me’ time. The guilt can be a little overwhelming for some and ultimately prevents them from taking time for themselves.

Don't forget your 'me' time in your back to school schedule.

Don’t forget your ‘me’ time in your back to school schedule.

My encouragement for all of you as school gets ready to start is to consider where you can fit that ‘me’ time in your schedule. Just as it’s important to keep your children on their schedules, it’s important you make yourself a priority in the routine as well.

Here are some things you can do to make sure you get ‘me’ time of your own:

  1. Schedule it – just like a child’s sports practice, be intentional about scheduling your workouts.
  2. Don’t make excuses – you don’t let your child skip out on practice because they just don’t feel like it, don’t skip out on yourself.
  3. Plan – take the time to plan meals and carpools around your ‘me’ time. If it means a crockpot meal a couple nights a week, do it. If it means carpooling with a couple other families, do it.
  4. Find something you enjoy – whether it’s a class, personal training or working out on your own, find activities that you enjoy so you will be disappointed if you have to miss it. Check out our class schedule and sign up to try your first class FREE.
  5. Communicate with your family – express to your family how much ‘me’ time means to you, they love you and they will understand.

So rather than letting the end of summer and the beginning of a school routine get you down, get EXCITED to embrace the ‘me’ time that awaits you if you just take the time to embrace it.

 

I’m NOT a Morning Person

As a trainer I would talk to my clients about being realistic with setting goals. I encouraged them to examine truths about themselves that may prevent them from achieving goals. One of my favorite examples to use was the fact I am not a morning person so I purposely avoid setting exercise goals for early morning workouts to avoid failure and disappointment.

Now that I’m working my hatred for mornings is going to have to take a back seat. I feel rushed every night to try and spend time with the kiddos, run errands, make dinner, do laundry, teach classes and still get to the gym for my personal workouts. Don’t get me wrong, I’m fortunate enough to have a supportive family who all pitches in around the house, but as many of us know, there can be more to do than the hours in the day will allow.

So this morning I set 3 alarms: two on my phone and one on my FitBit. My phone and FitBit both went off as scheduled at 5:00am. I silenced both alarms and pulled the covers up a little higher, all while battling with myself about the good reasons to get up and the ‘good’ excuses to stay in bed. Five minutes later my second alarm went off on my phone and the good reasons won over the ‘good’ excuses. 

Half awake, brushing my teeth, I decided my pajama sweats were good enough for the gym. I then tiptoed past our bed and looked on my sleeping husband thinking, ‘He said he was going to the gym this morning too. If he’s not getting up, maybe I should just lay back down too.’ Despite the temptation to reset my alarm and get back in bed, I swapped out my top, threw in a ponytail and searched for my gym shoes.

I couldn’t help but notice I was about the only car on the road as I headed to the gym. My thoughts returned to my husband and I wondered if he had since rose and headed to the gym as well. While still thinking fondly of my warm bed, I pulled into the lot at Patriot Boxing and I realized I wasn’t the only crazy one – there were at least 4 cars there and more following behind me.

Groggigly I explained that I had forgot my card and entered the gym. A number of the women clearly already knew each other and were chatting and laughing. Who in the world is this happy to work out at 530am?! Instead of joining in the chatter looked to my phone to check in for my Gym Pact. Now it’s not my intention to be unfriendly, but let me remind you how much I despise mornings. I thought I’d be better off saving my conversations for the cool down.

Before I knew it we were running laps for a warm-up and the groggy feeling started to lift. My steps got a bit lighter, my pace got a bit faster and before I knew it the warm-up was over and the true workout began. I’ll admit, there were a couple times throughout the workout I checked the clock and wondered what in the world was a non-morning person doing at the gym so early. But as I worked to catch my breath and the sweat rolled off me, I couldn’t help but think this was a pretty good way to start my day. 

My early morning boot camp helped me to:

  • Complete a solid hour of cardio and resistance training
  • Achieve over 4,500 steps before 7 am
  • Work the grumpy out
  • Regain an hour and a half of my evening (the time normally spent working out and driving to and from the gym)

But most importantly, early morning boot camp made me realize that not being a morning person isn’t a truth anymore, it’s now an excuse. It’s an excuse that is no longer going to stand in the way of me achieving my health and fitness goals. Early morning workouts are going to become the norm, and rather than being the grumpy lady looking at my phone, I’m going to engage in the pre-workout conversation and laughter. 

Do you have any ‘truths’ that may simply be excuses holding you back from achieving your goals?

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No Such Thing as a ‘Good’ Excuse

Ever skipped out on your workout because you had a ‘good’ excuse?

I’ve learned that for me there’s no such thing as a ‘good’ excuse. I need routine and momentum to keep me on track for my goals. Missing just one planned workout day can completely derail me and my focus. Every day I make an excuse it gets easier and easier to tell myself, “Tomorrow.”

I’ve had a ton of ‘good’ excuses over the years:

  • It’s an extremely busy time at work
  • The kids have been sick and I don’t want to wear myself down
  • We have guests coming this weekend that I need to prepare for
  • I’m too sore from my previous workout
  • I’ll get back to a routine once we move

On any given day every single one of us can think of a ‘good’ excuse for not exercising. But it’s those good excuses that ultimately result in lost strength and endurance and often weight gain.

Skipping just one day, even if it is a ‘good excuse,’ can totally derail my progress. Not only do I lose progress in strength and endurance, I lose motivation to make the right food choices. When I’m physically active I desire to fuel with good nutritious foods, when I’m lazy and inactive, nothing sounds better than pizza or a cheeseburger.

When I’m committed to my routine, ‘Tomorrow’ means no excuses, trying harder and accomplishing more. When I let ‘good’ excuses’ take over ‘Tomorrow’ means facing the reality of how ‘bad’ those ‘good’ excuses were for me.

Now don’t get me wrong, I get there are days where schedules are packed. Whether it be work or duties at home there are going to be days where it is downright hard to find the time and to fight against the ‘good excuse.’ For those days I would challenge you to change up your routine. Maybe you don’t have time for an hour class at the gym, but you do have time for a 30 minute walk at lunch. Maybe you don’t have time to hit the gym to lift weights, so you take 20 minutes to do push-ups, sit ups, planks, jumping jacks, high knees, and squats in your basement.

What I hope you take away from my blog today

  • Don’t let ‘good excuses’ get in your way of reaching your goals
  • There’s no such thing as a ‘good excuse’
  • Something is always better than nothing when it comes to exercise

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Overcoming Failure

Any fitness or ‘diet’ book is going to have some discussion about setting goals. Even if you aren’t familiar with setting exercise or nutritional goals you’re probably aware that all goals must be SMART

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic and
  • Time Sensitive

Knowing all of those things we still set goals that we have fail to achieve. Here are just a few of my goals that I set with the best of intentions but failed to meet:

  • Run 5 times every week for a month
  • Write up and stick to a list for weekly grocery shopping
  • Go to bed no later than 11:00 pm Sunday – Thursday
  • Spend at least 30 minutes studying the Bible every day 

When faced with failure we have two options: A) accept it as failure and allow it to derail long-term goals or B) use the experience as a stepping stone to create a new path to success. 

To grow and move on from the experience you have to be willing to ask yourself why you ‘failed’ and what you’re willing to change to achieve your goals.

Why did you fail?

Sometimes failure is just a true indication of an ‘unreadiness’ to change. This speaks most directly to the ‘attainable’ and ‘realistic’ characteristics of your goals. Sometimes what we believe we are capable of achieving doesn’t exactly match up with what we are willing to do to achieve the goal.

For instance, let’s say you set a goal like me to run 5 days a week for a month and after the first week you’ve only laced up your running shoes twice. It’s pretty unlikely that you are going to have a complete turn-around for the 3 remaining weeks of the month. So it’s time to ask some questions:

  • WHAT IS THE REASON FOR MY GOAL? Why do I want to run 5 days a week? Is it part of a larger goal to improve time or distance OR is it just a goal in itself?
  • WHAT PREVENTED ME FROM ACHIEVING IT? Why did I only get out 2 times this week? Did I make excuses for myself OR did something out of my control prevent me?

Knowing the answers to these questions will help determine what you’re willing to do about it.

Preventing additional failures

Reminding yourself of the reason for the goal and identifying the source of failure will help you to determine if you need to re-focus and try again or if you need to set it aside for now.

If you lost sight of the long-term goal or just weren’t committed enough maybe you need to pursue the goal again with a more specific plan. For instance, I am going to run for 30 minutes before work on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and run for 60 minutes on Sunday before church with my friend. Some goals simply require more planning than we anticipate.

On the other hand you might discover you allow almost anything to be an excuse for not following through. Bottom line is this: If you aren’t willing to do anything different then you most certainly aren’t going to get a different result. If you’re unable to increase your commitment to achieving the goal it’s time to put it on the shelf for a later date. If you set the goal aside take what you’ve learned and apply it to a new goal.

So what did I learn about my failures?

  • Run 5 times every week for a month – I like races far more than I like training so I run when inspired and fill in my cardio commitments in other forms of exercise
  • Write up and stick to a list for weekly grocery shopping – I need help doing this so I ask family members for input before I go to the store
  • Go to bed no later than 11:00 pm Sunday – Thursday – The longer I stay downstairs the later I will likely stay up, I try and get in bed by 10:30 pm at the latest
  • Spend at least 30 minutes studying the Bible every day – I’m not always focused on reading and studying so prayer, group discussions and worship music are some of the others ways I can connect with God and grow in my faith

So what’s your next goal and are you willing to push past ‘failure’ to achieve it?