Fun and Effective Group Youth Programming Strategies: For my friends out there with children. I really think that fitness should start young. I'm not really talking about starting 5 year olds with weight lifting, but every child should be playing sports, running around with their friends, and burning off excess energy with active play. This article, from the perspective of the fitness professional, talks about strategies for keeping kids moving in a fun, game oriented way.
How I Went from New York Chic to Fitness Professional: Cute article on one woman's wardrobe change from corporate life to a fitness professional. One day, my friends, one day!
Mileage Inflation: Sigh. Not so long ago, running a marathon was a big deal. Now, it seems like everyone does it....
Why Core Strength Workouts Work: LOVE this article. You can just ask my participant, Manny (Thanks again!) who sent this in what I say in class...every...week. It's not just about your abs. It's about your entire "pillar." I call it your core and then break it down--your butt, your quads, your hams, your abs, your lower back, it's all your core and it's what keeps you upright, healthy, and aligned. Trust me on this one (and the author of the article)...core training is amazing for you. Make time for it!
In other news! I am back from Colorado where I learned to snowboard. This is a little story about what it means to have mind over matter.
I tried to snowboard about a year ago and ate it pretty hard (on my tailbone) and have been pretty gun shy about going back out there after that experience. After a few false starts on getting out to the east coast slopes this year, we packed our bags and flew to Denver to see my brother. We picked him up, rented our gear at an awesome place called Christy Rental (I guess they're everywhere in Colorado) and headed to Frisco.
This is the type of thing you see on the drive out there:
Now, you tell me why I shouldn't start packing my bags.
So anyway, we got out there and then next morning headed to Copper Mountain. Will and Chadd dropped me off at the Ski/Board school and waved goodbye. I was a fit of nervousness. The first half of the day aws extrodinarily frustrating. I basically had an epic meltdown at lunch and cried. Talk about losing my mind. Everyone says it takes three days to learn how to snowboard, or at least feel comfortable enough to get yourself up and down a mountain. Let me tell you, I had originally felt a lot better after just one hour of a lesson on the East Coast than I did out there.
But when I got back from lunch, my snowboard instructor, Phil, said that he thought it would be a good idea to get me up on the mountain. I'd probably have more luck up there. I told him that I appreciated his faith in my ability, but there was no way that was going to go well, but I might as well go...otherwise I'd be stuck down there all day.
So, off we went. Amazingly, my first time off a ski lift, I didn't eat it. I fell later, but I didn't totally crash. The first...quarter of the way down the mountain, I was a falling disaster. Then, with the help of my speakers on my iPhone, it all clicked. Phil had said over and over again "stop thinking and just relax." Let me tell you, to someone who is used to teaching, who knows what things should feel like and how to explain them, this made zippo sense to me. But one of my favorite songs came on and that was the end of that. All of a sudden, I was crashing at Phil's feet, scrambling up, then slowly edging my way down, then crashing.
The second day, I was elated to go back and even more so when I realized that it would be just me, Phil, and Chuck (a first time snowboarder and multi marathoner and Ironman). It was like my dream day. I had near private intruction, I was feeling pretty good being strapped into a board, and MAN was I loving the fresh powder. Falling was more like...falling into fluffy. I did have a load of trouble with the ski lift, mostly falling the second I tried to get off. They did have to stop the lift at least once for me, but I made it up Kokomo, down a little to get on to the Lumberjack lift and up we went. At least twice down from there. Chuck, my co lesson taker, got it a lot faster than I did. Thankfully, I had a wonderful instructor. I really value when I meet someone who teaches well. It reminds me that I need to be equally as dedicated to my clients and my participants. Phil helped me start to get my toe side turn (which is a hell of a lot harder than my heel side) and while I was more apt to stay on my heel side and ride switch (less dominant foot forward) every other zig zag, I felt like at the end of the day, I was prepared to get back on that mountain the next day all by myself. And I did! I made it down the run without falling once the last time on the second day.
Let me tell you, though, Saturday morning, I'd strained my neck so badly that rolling over, I had to wrap a pillow around my head to stabilize my neck. Chadd had to lift me out of bed. Once I warmed up, I was still sore, but nothing I couldn't handle, thank you BodyPump training.
We spent a half day on the slopes on Saturday where I managed to fall off the lift chair at the end and get whacked in the back of the head with it (glad I had a helmet). Will went down the mountain with me the last time and once we were done, I honestly felt like I was dragging my heels away from the slopes.
It took a lot of guts and a lot of humility to learn to snowboard. No one looks good doing it their first trip. 4 year olds were flying by me while I was doing the "floating leaf" down the mountain.
All in all though, I would go back any day of the week and one day, I'll be going down bigger and better slopes. Try something that scares you, you might wind up loving it, listening to Tim McGraw's "Telluride" and dreaming of moving to the Rockies.