Another Way - Life Application Through Fitness



Source: via Dynamic Edge on Pinterest 

"Your horse is a mirror to your soul. Sometimes you might not like what you see...
sometimes you will."
-Buck Brannaman

I have to admit, I am not a fan of documentaries. Ah Yawn, make me sleep! I'd much prefer to watch an action thriller or adventure drama where I try to figure out the mystery to be unveiled or case to be solved.

Recently at our CrossFit box, we had a conversation, and one of our coaches posted a link to the movie Buck. Um, what the heck is this movie, documentary even, on horses have to do with life in regards to fitness? You may have missed this heavy hitter in the cinematic circle (ha!), but to give you a quick exerpt, it is a documentary that was the inspiration to a better known Hollywood favorite, The Horse Whisperer.

Honestly, I had never watched either so they are both new to me. I did recognize and learn that Scarlett Johansson was actually the little girl in The Horse Whisperer...(yes, US Magazine side note!). I proceeded to be up that week with everyone else asleep, and with nothing else interesting on TV I decided to see what Netflix oldies were floating around. Low and behold, Buck pops up in one of the lists. Really??!!! Alright, I'll give this flick a shot to see what it really is about. The trailer is here below for your viewing pleasure.

The trailer got in my head at first not because of the horses theme, as I know nothing about them, but how this applies to my recent new adventure in fitness through CrossFit. I have avoided this fitness adventure for several years and am just now having my eyes opened to a whole new world. Yes, CrossFit is challenging from a fitness perspective, but it is not just about fitness. It's about training for life outside the box!

"Breaking a horse... a whole element of abuse. You don't realize how unjust it is until someone shows you a different path."

I'm fairly driven and for years I have had a mindset of pushing myself harder, heavier, and faster in most areas of fitness. Of course I know rest is important to rebuild and rejuvenate, but rest is honestly a hard one for me to tackle and embrace. No excuses is a mantra of mine and although I've had several knee surgeries, I still want to play hard regardless. Call me stubborn, driven, or a pain in the arse... They all apply! The reality is, I will not be able to continue at this driven pace for the long term. I have got to figure out how to do workouts more efficiently so I can play the rest of my life.

I realized through CrossFit that my previous mindset and pace really is a whole element of abuse on my body. I was exhausted, getting stupid, mindless injuries, and hungry all the time. My body was rebelling against me and I was not having it! Insert CrossFit, and I can now see after a short period of time that there is a different way that definitely fuels my competitive fire, yet also gives me the fitness benefits in a shorter, more efficient, less destructive way. Wow! Where have I been? The blinders have come off as I have been shown a different path.

"That vulnerability is what makes you great."

I've mentioned before, but CrossFit was a tad bit intimidating at first. I like to be good at what I do, and I definitely don't like being vulnerable. Who does? I ate the humble pie, but was determined to come back and do better. I am still striving to get better and learn as much as possible. It was time for a change and time for vulnerability so that I can grow and change in a positive way.

Recently, two team members from our box were working hard during the WOD. Yes, I am really learning how to use CrossFit lingo correctly :). It was actually an experience that resonated so clearly with me. You see, these team members were TAPPED out physically. I mean physically there really was not much left to give, but with both members, you could see the fire and mental focus in their eyes! It was amazing to see this sight during a really vulnerable state. Both found that fire and pressed on! Yet another clear life application through this fitness journey. You will encounter situations like this in life!

Although we tend to put up the armour when it comes to being vulnerable, there are benefits and life lessons to be had. Being open to new possibilities in life enables you to explore options more freely and to gain insight into the healthiest and most productive alternatives for yourself. Another benefit of vulnerability is being open to change and altering your behavior patterns so it gives you the chance to rid yourself of unproductive habits that impede your emotional health and personal growth.

"It makes you better in areas not related to horses."

We conquer many hurdles and mountains in life. How will you train to overcome and get past these obstacles? Those workouts are challenging and mentally taxing. Sometimes the fight and battle is monumentous and we can't mentally see ourselves succeeding. Same thing happens in life! You CAN push through and conquer these situations! The lessons learned in fitness through CrossFit are only tools for life's applications.

This horse is moving forward! I would love for you to join the race with me.

Take Time for Rest

It's that time of year again.  It also happens to be my FAVORITE! The day after Thanksgiving, the holiday music playlist is on repeat nonstop, and all the holiday decor gets brought out. It's the weekend where I become one busy elf getting the house all ready for the season, and our infamous Elf on the Shelf, Marvin, makes his return visit (insert nostalgia here)!  I love this season and all that it entails.  I also know how this season can be very overbearing for many of us.  We tend to put way too much on our plates, and have a mile long to-do list that never seems to find its end.  It can also be a stressful and taxing time of year for all areas of health including spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical.  Does this season provide different stressors for you?

I recently was with a group of ladies in a book study, and the chapter for the week was Revealing the Secret of Rest... Hmmm, how appropriate for this time of year and the season upon us? The author made some very revealing "ah-ha" moments that really struck me.  In one passage she used music to show the importance of rest and wrote, "Beats give music its rhythmic pattern. They're also used to count time when playing a piece of music or dancing to it... Rests in a piece of music are the intervals of silence. They're the pauses between beats. Without rests, there is little melody to the sounds.  Without rests, we have but a long continuous noise, not unlike the jarring buzz of an alarm clock."  What a great perspective to truly understand how important periods of rest are in our lives.  Life goes along more smoothly and with less "noise" with regular intervals of rest.

Ok, so you may be thinking, "DUH!  Of course we need rest!"  But ask yourself, especially this time of year, do you really take time out for rest mentally, spiritually, and physically?  Can you step away from the to-do list and break it up manageably?  Do you need to fit in all those holiday parties, or is it ok to say no? Can you come back from travelling a day or two early, just so you have time to regroup the brain?  Can you take "rest" without feeling guilty?  Can you slow down just a smidge, so you avoid overdrive?  What would it take to make sure you have regular intervals of rest?  I'm not saying this requires a complete halt for you (although some may need this), but rest is required!


The other key theme I learned from this book chapter was completely eye opening.  It was the concept of rest for preparation, instead of rest for recovery. Wow!  What a completely different perspective than what we are used to.  Think about that for a moment.  Do you usually go-go-go and then at the end of the day just feel wiped?  Do you feel the need to kick the feet up and get a solid night of sleep?  That is the typical mindset.  We tend to rest for recovery, instead of resting to prepare our mind, body, and soul for our day.  Our cycle should start with rest so that we can peacefully prepare and manage life's daily tasks and duties.

So as we gear up for the peak of the holiday season, do not forget to take time for rest! Your mind, body, and soul will thank you.


Healthy Bodies Lead To Healthy Minds

Some of you are familiar with my philosophy- healthy bodies lead to healthy minds! None other does this philosophy ring true and clear than as of recently.  

To give you the brief background, the office has up and moved back to California. (Sorry for the recent quietness and departure... we've been here, just a little occupied with other things.) On a personal note, this is the 8th move in 11 years. No not military family, we just apparently enjoy being nomadic. Although I now claim professional mover status proudly, there are also the crazy stresses and down falls of moving so much.  It's plain tiring!!!  I'm exhausted and feeling a little bit on empty.  As you can imagine, moving is quite the work, but also add on business owner, mom, wife responsibilities that also included start of a new school year, extracurricular activities, and you have a full on ZOO going on here! This move really got me good and took it's toll.  I was starting to be aware of the noticeable toll the stress was taking on me.  I was having mild insomnia (BEWARE! No one wants to be around me with lack of sleep), going to bed exhausted and waking up exhausted, mild depression, lack of appetite, decreased strength gains in workouts, apathy in general, and I just looked like crap!  All of these being just out of the ordinary for me, and as a female and mom, you tend to chalk them all up to life being busy! I truly needed some self evaluation to reflect on what were the real causes here.

Now some people would choose to turn to other vices for coping, but I always know that sticking to my guns and keeping my workout appointments (yes, it is an appointment that's non-negotiable) and eating well, will always help keep the head clear and the body functioning through most stress. Through the moving process, I veered off path and regular routine, and needed self evaluation to make sure I got back on the right road. Ahhh! As soon as I went back to what I KNOW works and focus on what works for my total health- physical, mental, emotional, & spiritual, all those out-of-ordinary symptoms magically went away.

Many need to throughly evaluate what HEALTH means to them.  What does it look like in your eyes to be healthy?  Many miss the importance of all of what health entails and that includes, spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical aspects.  I am typically good at managing my stress levels. I thoroughly enjoy being busy at all times, but also know that I have to take down time. It's a requirement.  I cannot neglect one area of health, otherwise the others falter.  They are all interconnected and related, with the mind-body connection being truly amazing.  Healthy bodies DO lead to healthy minds!  What does health mean to you?




Spring Goal Renovation

Well it's spring time, I think, as the weather isn't looking very spring-like here but the calendar says it is. You may have been doing some spring cleaning or be looking ahead to swimsuit season (you too guys!)-- is it really only two months away??  Some of you started off the year with some really astonishing BHAG's (Big, Hairy, Audacious, Goals) only to find it springtime and you are dwindling away from staying on track.  No worries, there is always time to push reset and get back on track.  Goals always need constant attention.  Maybe you just need a spring renovation for your goals?  

In the spirit of spring, are you taking a closer look to see if those goals could use some more love, attention, and maybe some tweaking?  Spring cleaning includes removing the clutter so you can stay focused and find the things that help move you forward and do not weigh you down.

Tips for spring renovation:

1. Make sure goals are written down and posted somewhere you see daily. This could be written down on a small piece of paper and kept in your wallet, or it could be a post-it note on your bathroom mirror, or maybe you have a lavish goal poster hung up with all your inspiration.  Whatever you choose, make sure it works for you and you see it daily. Don't just say, you have these in your head as a mental note.  Write them down!

2. Goals need realistic deadlines.  Maybe your end goal is long term, but it should have a realistic deadline.  Those little steps in reaching your large goal should also have deadlines.  Now it may not be the end of the world if you don't reach these goals on time, but you must hold yourself accountable and put a realistic date to it.  If you are far off from those deadlines this spring, then re-adjust and get back on track.  There isn't anything wrong with putting a new date to it... unless you keep changing the date and it becomes a habit :).

3.  Don't get discouraged.  I know that sometimes that is easier said than done, but you can reach the summit!  No one but yourself can hold you back. You may question at this point if it is achievable or cast doubt if that goal is attainable, but have an honest conversation with yourself or someone you trust to really find out if it is truly important to you.  Get after it and persevere!  You need to also recognize partial accomplishment even if you are just off the mark.  You may need to break down some of those goals into more manageable steps.  Find a healthy balance where you can get back on track.

4. Drop them like it's hot and get rid of the negative, unsupportive people.  Well some of them may be family so you can't quite eliminate them, but you can choose to not let them bring you down or put roadblocks up for you.  Find supportive people that you trust and can give healthy encouragement along the way.

5.  Draw up new plans.  You are the architect for your life and sometimes that requires getting new plans.  Maybe the goal you started off with has changed over time and you now seek a different path? Maybe you need to knock down a few walls for a true breakthrough that screams YOU!  Always evaluate and re-evaluate your progress.

Lululemon recently had a blog entry that inspired this post and I love their last statement.  "Next to breaking a sweat, goal setting is the best way to up the resale value on one of your greatest assets: yourself! Remember to have some fun while you're at it.  What are you busy renovating?"

Best in health-


Double Dare Challenge

We are all up for a challenge, right?  Well I'm a little more competitive, so challenge me at most times, and I am in!  The instructor in my spin class is great at inspiring and motivating.  He's a positive individual and finds a way to get your mind off the workout, yet challenge you to push yourself out of your comfort zone.  Yesterday, he challenged us, no matter what our religious affiliation, to start the season of lent with a health and fitness challenge.  I love it!!!  So I thought the Dynamic Edge crew could join me along the journey.  Some of you need a reboot after drifting away from those good intentioned new year's resolutions... yeah, I'm talking to you!

Double Dare Challenge for next 40 Days-  Give up something that is good TO you, but not good FOR you!!!  Read that again to let it sink in.  It doesn't have to be food related, but that could be a big one.  Also, think about wellness factors and bad habits that may not be the best for you.  Are you getting enough sleep?  Are there individuals that you are surrounding yourself with that could be sabotaging your progress towards your goals?  Are you scheduling ME time in so you can have some sanity on a daily basis?  Think through and find something that you will choose to give up for 40 days.  Make it challenging, but realistic.  You don't want to set yourself up for failure if it's a lofty one, but you also want to find a true challenge.  Also, grab a friend or someone close to you to join you so you can keep each other accountable.  40 days is a trek and most need someone to keep them on track.

My challenge- You see Starbucks and I have a love/hate relationship.  I don't like coffee and don't drink much caffeine, but I do like a warm beverage in my hand which usually includes a single, grande, vanilla, soy latte.  I like the warm toasty in my hand and it satisfies my sweet urge.  This choice also results in a lofty $4 a drink price tag.  Ouch!  I can make this trip to Starbucks 3-4 times/week.  That adds up, and do I really need the latte?  No, it's good TO me, but not really FOR me.  Latte OUT (again!, as I gave it up for 30 days in Jan too...)!!!

Second additional item for me are the miscellaneous, usually sweet, snacks around late afternoon.  That is my low energy part of day and I really get the sweet cravings then.  I tend to go for a couple chocolate covered blueberries that are oh so yummy from Costco.  The problem is, those couple turn into a couple trips.  Yikes!  I also feel yucky after I eat them, so why go for them?  Random late-afternoon pick-me-ups OUT!

So who's joining me in the 40 Day double dare journey and what are you giving up that's good TO you, but not FOR you??

Best in health-

© Dynamic Edge Nutrition 2018