Friday, December 23, 2011

Join me in getting my butt in gear (and smaller)

One of the things I'm been trying to build my coaching business around is the concept of motivation - how to help people form healthy exercise and nutrition habits and to stay motivated to stick with them.  I go through periods of struggling with motivation as much as the next person.  My "down" periods tend to coincide with my depression cycles, so they're actually more difficult to battle because they're so chemically based.  But at least I'm at the point of being able to recognize how I'm feeling, and I've developed strategies to help me push through the depression until the cycle passes.

Something that seems to help is to be very short-term-goal oriented.  And I think people generally respond well to short-term challenges, so I've been putting together regular fitness challenges, every month or so, to help people focus on reaching their fitness goals.  Some of them I participate in, others I just guide.

The next big one is one that I'm going to be doing along with my challengers - a 90 day New Year's resolution challenge involving a fitness program and replacing one meal a day with Shakeology.  I've already filled up one challenge group of five participants, and I've got a couple of others on a waiting list -- if I get a few more, I'll do a second group.

I'm going to be doing P90X2.  It's the follow up to P90X, and it's based on training techniques that the pros use - core and pelvic stability exercises, developing agility and explosive power.  Becoming not just stronger and leaner, but a better athlete, with better range of motion and greater protection against injury.  I figure it will help me become a better skier.  Plus it's always fun to try a new program.

So I'm putting the word out here as well as on my coaching blog -- is one of your New Year's resolutions to get in shape?  Would you like to give it a shot with the benefits of a structured program, a group of like-minded people encouraging and supporting you, and a coach (i.e., me) guiding the way? It's a proven formula -- everyone knows that exercise and proper eating are the keys to fitness, but what people don't often realize is that having the support of peers is equally important.  People to cheer your triumphs, encourage you when you're feeling unmotivated, support you when you need a lift.

If you're ready to give it a shot (and really, if you don't do it now, when will you?), let me know.  I would love to help you succeed.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

You can't have everything... where would you put it?*

We've reached that time of year when I'm hyper-aware of being different from the rest of society.

Not because I'm Jewish and I don't celebrate Christmas.  I got over that a long time ago.  In fact, I'm not sure it ever really bothered me at all. 

No, it's because I hate the whole focus on buying shit and giving gifts. 

Honestly, the last thing most of us need is more stuff. 

I don't need chocolate or candies or baked goods wrapped up in celophane.  I appreciate people's thoughtfulness, but I don't eat it.  It goes in the office breakroom or in the trash. 

I don't need tchotchkes or jewelry.  I don't wear jewelry.  I don't put out tchochkes (with a few exceptions -- love my Romanian pottery, mom!). 

My children don't need more toys or electronics.  (Clothes are a different story - they grow like weeds).  They already have obscene quantities of *things* and they barely play with the stuff they have.  Most of their toys end up with missing pieces or sit languishing in the bottom of a box. 

Don't get me wrong.  I'm not an ascetic.  I like nice things and I am actively trying to grow a business so I can make more money.  I'd like a newer car.  Nothing flashy, but something that is newer than 11 years old (we don't have a car newer than that), so I'm not always waiting for the next thing to break and cost me a shit-ton on repairs.  I'd like to be able to replace the windows on my house, because the old ones are ancient and barely functional.  I'd like to get out of debt.

But the main thing I want is more time.  More freedom.   Time to read, time to practice my banjo, time to ski, time to spend with my children and my friends and my family.  Freedom to travel or take classes or volunteer.  I'm getting there, bit by bit, day by day.  Not there yet, but I will be.

On that note, Happy Hannukah, all!  I wish you health and happiness and joy and love and music and dancing and fun.  Not so much on more stuff.

What about you? Do you get into the holiday gift-giving spirit, or are you a scrooge like me? 

*This quote is from the comedian Stephen Wright.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Talk to me so you can see, oh, what's going on...

"Hello... [tap tap tap] ... is this thing on?"

It's been a weird month or so.  For a while I felt very fragmented and unfocused, largely because of depression cycle that I went through.  But I powered through it and it passed, followed by a period of great clarity.
Like Thorough at Walden Pond, I'm trying to live deliberately.  Which is great, in terms of my desire to focus on my goals and tackle them, and in particular build my coaching business.

But kind of boring in terms of any interesting resulting blog posts.  I go through periods when every little thing that happens to me brings to mind a funny (I hope) or engaging way to tell a funny story in this space I'm occupying here.  But right now is not one of those periods.  

I did have a kickass ski day up at Copper Mountain last Friday.  I was 10 minutes away from the mountain when I realized I had forgotten my ski boots.  

"Fuck it, I guess I'm renting today."

Then I thought about the fact that my skis are 8 or 9 years old -- dinosaurs, in terms of the advances that have been made in ski design and technology lately.  "Hell, if I'm going to rent, I might as well demo some new skis and see what all the fuss is about."

So the nice young hippie working at the ski shop fitted me out in a pair of brand new K2 Superburnins.  And I proceeded to have the time of my life, while realizing what the fuss is indeed all about.

It's about precision and control.  

I am a good athlete, and I am a decent skier, particularly given that I didn't learn how to do it until I was 28.  And what I really like to do is go really fast down steep inclines.  But I've always felt that notwithstanding my willingness to let myself fall down the mountain the way I do, I haven't been exactly safe -- I've had the sense of skirting a very fine line between fast, fun skiing and crashing horribly out of control.  

No longer.  On these skis, I was still really fast, but totally in control and carving turns in a way I've never been able to before.  It was a totally different skiing experience.

I obsessed about the skis all day Saturday, doing Google searches and finding last year's model (which is essentially the same ski) for sale at a number of different places.  Including one retailer in Seattle that was having a close-out on the skis in my size, which I guess isn't that popular a seller because I'm such a shrimp.  What started out as a $850 pair of skis was eventually marked down to $370, by the time they took all the discounts at checkout.

So I bought them.  

And was able to afford them because of my new-found focus on building my coaching business.  I'm really, really determined to grow it to the point that in two years, I will be able to pay off all debts, fix up my million-year-old house, and no longer have to work full time if I don't want to.  I've signed a bunch of new coaches recently and am very excited about helping them build *their* businesses so they can achieve their goals as well.  It's pretty cool.  And it's working - every month I earn more than the previous month, so I'm chipping away at my target, bit by bit.

You can read more about it here.

So that's what's going on with me lately.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Six years ago today...

According to the interwebs, the traditional 6th anniversary gift is candy or iron.  Random. 

Or perhaps not.  Because after 6 years, marriage can be sweet, or it can be very, very hard.  Or both.