30 Days of ZooFit: Day 20- Watoto’s Rumble

I’ve often wondered how it would feel for someone to love me so much, they peed whenever they saw me.

This was how Bamboo, a fifty-year old Asian elephant, greeted her best friend, retired zookeeper Chuck, whenever he visited. She would squeal with excitement, and when she couldn’t contain herself anymore, Bamboo would relieve herself. It was a sight to see. Continue reading 30 Days of ZooFit: Day 20- Watoto’s Rumble

30 Days of ZooFit: Day 19- Stay Positive

I’m having a little issue taking my own advice today. Stay positive. The difficulties getting into the published world of writing is becoming more and more clear. I know I have what it takes to stay the course, but I’m wondering if it’s worth it. Continue reading 30 Days of ZooFit: Day 19- Stay Positive

30 Days of ZooFit: Day 18- Setting Myself Up for a Successful Writer’s Conference

Tonight, I am traveling to Las Vegas for a writer’s conference. This is my first writer’s conference, but not my first professional conference, or my first conference in Las Vegas either. Las Vegas may not be my first choice for a vacation, but I’m not going to look at sights for this trip. In fact, because I’m not much of a lemur or lizard (I don’t bask in the sun), I doubt I’ll step outside the conference rooms. Continue reading 30 Days of ZooFit: Day 18- Setting Myself Up for a Successful Writer’s Conference

30 Days of ZooFit: Day 16- Double Workout, a Healthy Obsession

A few years ago, when I became serious about getting in shape, I was gung ho. I joined a gym, signed up for a weight loss challenge, and began a journey which would lead many friends (but mostly non-friends) to claim I was obsessed. Continue reading 30 Days of ZooFit: Day 16- Double Workout, a Healthy Obsession

30 Days of ZooFit: Day 8- The Exceptions to the Rules

The animal training book Don’t Shoot the Dog is a must read for anyone wanting to change behavior. It doesn’t matter if the behavior you are wanting to change is your own, your pets, your kids’, or your spouse’s behavior. Continue reading 30 Days of ZooFit: Day 8- The Exceptions to the Rules

30 Days of ZooFit: Day 7- Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

Since developing the foundations of ZooFit, I am always looking for guinea pigs, er, I mean….no guinea pigs was right. I know ZooFit worked for me, but am I an anomaly? Do these principles translate to non-animal trainer folk? Can my methods of operant conditioning, shaping behavior, positive reinforcement, enrichment, and conservation all have the same benefits and impact as it did on me? Continue reading 30 Days of ZooFit: Day 7- Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

30 Days of ZooFit: Day 1- Habit Building 101

I’m re-reading a favorite book of mine, Level Up Your Life by Steve Kamb, and just finished giving a class on Building Habits for North Sound Writers. These have reminded me of my lessons from ZooFit for building habits.

As I start a 30 day writing/fitness challenge, I recall how important habits are in our daily lives. Whether it’s eating habits, fitness habits, habits to take care of ourselves, or habits to improve our lives, they are the building block to success. Continue reading 30 Days of ZooFit: Day 1- Habit Building 101

Burpee Bonus

I hadn’t been this proud since my days as an animal care specialist working with young dolphins and whales. It was a proud mama moment, even though I’ve never had children. The moment your pupils, animals or humans, finally get it. The moment the light bulb goes off and they do what you’ve been trying to teach them for so long. Without prompting, guiding, or leading them. Continue reading Burpee Bonus

Reinforcement Versus Reward

It’s strange how inspiration works. For my book club selection next month, I chose an oldie but a goodie, Karen Pryor’s Don’t Shoot the Dog. I chose it for a variety of reasons. It is what animal trainers sometimes call “the Animal Training Bible”. This is a book I grew up reading in my career. It influenced me as an animal care specialist and zookeeper, and it is one of the inspirations for The Zookeeper’s Guide to Fitness (or whatever I’m calling it these days). I was curious how my friends in the book club would appreciate a self-help book over their normal selections of science-fiction, fantasy, and occasional memoir/autobiography. I am writing a self-help book. It’s kind of important for me to know how people will potential review my own book. Continue reading Reinforcement Versus Reward

The Game is Afoot!

The past few weeks I have been engrossed in books with similar theme as A Zookeeper’s Guide to Fitness. I finished Level Up Your Life by Steve Kamb last week, and I’ve started on a new fitness/diet book called The Game On! Diet by Krista Vernoff and Az Ferguson. Vernoff is the executive producer (or is it Executive Producer, I’m asking for a friend) for Grey’s Anatomy, so she has a strong writing background, but I’m not digging her approach with the book. It was a little difficult to adjust to her style, although I understand her process. The book is about really having fun with your fitness, and taking things up a notch by not just turning our fitness into a game, but making it a team-oriented, competitive game as well. Continue reading The Game is Afoot!