This month for North Sound Writers book club, we are reading Don’t Shoot the Dog, by Karen Pryor. Karen is the mother goddess-dragon of all animal trainers, and she is attributed to developing positive reinforcement training which zoos and aquariums adhere to in working with their animals. The book she wrote is considered the animal trainer’s bible.
But Karen didn’t write the book just for animal trainers. She wrote it specifically for people outside the training world. She wrote it for people looking to change their pet’s behavior. To change your kids’ behavior. Your spouse’s habits. Even your own. Karen shows how a shift from negative focus, punishment methods to a positive reinforcement mindset will bring life long changes in habits. Continue reading Dealing With the Negative Nancy
Every once in a while I get so involved in my writing and my projects, I completely forget about this blog. So it happened this past month. Last month was NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. It’s the time of year when every writer huddles in a corner and yells incessantly at anyone who remotely interrupts them, even if it’s to bring them their coffee. Continue reading NaNoWriMo
This weekend has been a great reminder of how powerful finding one’s sacred space for fitness can be. I participated in two activities over the weekend that got me back in my element. And I can’t wait to return, again and again and again. Continue reading Back in my Element
I am a part of an amazing team competing in the Whidbey Island Triathlon this Saturday. In my continuous effort to practice ZooFit in all my affairs, I figured training for this event utilizing the principles of operant conditioning, enrichment, and even conservation would be a great experiment. While we are definitely a competitive team, I feel confident that event training with ZooFit will prove beneficial and effective. Continue reading Event Training with ZooFit
I’ve often referred to zookeepers as the MacGyvers of the professional world. I can’t think of any other profession where employees routinely think quick on their feet, respond immediately to issues, and utilize resources the way zookeepers do. We are innovative, creative, and inventive, the Ravenclaws for the Care of Truly Magical Creatures. This resourcefulness I learned in the animal care field has helped me more times than I can count, as a zookeeper, as a writer, as a fitness enthusiast, and as a conservationist.Continue reading The MacGyver Factor
I’ve become engrossed in a book very similar to my concept of “Zookeeper’s Guide to Fitness”. I thought reading a book with the same ideas as my own would cave my motivation, as I feared someone beat me to the punch, but actually I feel quite the opposite. I am motivated and stoked to share another program with just a few subtle differences, to reinforce the first one. They are on the right track, and I love what they are doing with fitness and achieving goals. I am bringing more to the table. Continue reading Level Up My Life- How I Write!
When I first came home from the Clicker Expo last month, I complained that I didn’t get out of it as much as I would have liked. Looking back on my notes, however, I think I may have spoke too soon. There were quite a few presentations and speakers that, well, spoke to me on a personal level. Not just for animal training, but for writing, for fitness, and for life. Continue reading Clicker Worthy Moments from Clicker Expo, Part II
I have been struggling with how to convey my most important fitness message to my audience for some time. My main motivation and inspiration for getting fit was conservation. Doing my part to stay healthy and help the planet. But it has also been to create a healthy, positive attitude about our fitness, and conservation. This is where it gets tricky, and I have wrangled with my message. The situations our favorite animals are facing are dire. They need immediate, and often drastic action. To make the most positive impact, we need to change a lot of our eating habits, consumer habits, and even our workout habits. But as I’ve been told, learning about the dire situations our planet faces doesn’t actually inspire people, it brings them. How do I, as a trainer utilizing positive reinforcement put a positive spin on a dire situation and inspire people to get fit not just for themselves, but for the planet? Continue reading Positive Spin on a Dire Situation
Willpower is having the ability to do what you need to do, regardless if you feel like it or not. I concede, I falter on this virtue more often than I’d like to admit. It’s not even things I don’t want to do or don’t feel like doing. I’ll be super motivated to get something accomplished and the time comes for me to muster the willpower to finish, and I just collapse. Continue reading Willpower- Part 2