One of the most incredible experiences of my career was the chance to work with elephants at Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle. To build a unique and special relationship with such an enormous creature that could easily have crushed me as much as look at me, was, in a word, awesome. Continue reading Consistency and Patience- Watoto’s Rumble
(I’m still playing a little catch-up on posts, but also focused on putting together all my writing segments from the past two months. This post is from January 1st):
I like the New year Resolution tradition and all the promises it offers. Some fitness professionals, and even some goal-setting and optimizing gurus may shy away from the sometimes outlandish promises we make to ourselves. I find making New Year resolutions to be a very hopeful time when mistakes are forgiven, errors are erased, and anything is possible. Continue reading Save the Planet with Healthy Habits
It’s been one week since I started on my Daily Writing Habit. I haven’t officially rewarded myself yet, but I have downloaded a couple iPhone apps that help me track my healthy habits. It’s weird how completely satisfying it is to check off the “completed” box next to the habits I’m trying to form. Continue reading Progression Check-in
I have a list on my desk of nearly 20 challenges I want to try this next year, to get excited and pumped and active with EarthFit, but then I came across The Wildlife Trust’s 30 Days of Wild Challenge, and the idea blew all my other thoughts out of the water! Continue reading 30 Days of Wild Challenge
It was another Memorial Day, and in the spirit of what the day represents, and to join thousands, if not millions, of other Crossfitters across the nation, and even around the globe, I participated in the Memorial Day Hero WOD “Murph”. “Murph” isn’t your typical workout. Most Crossfit WODs focus on a strength portion and then a met-con (metabolic conditioning). But “Murph” is a hard-ass chipper- meaning it’s a long and grueling workout. It’s a mile run, followed by 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, and 300 air squats, and finished with another mile run.
Why do we honor Memorial Day by doing such a difficult challenge? Because every day, hundreds of men and women fight for our freedom. They risk their lives so that we can remain the land of the free, or so that other countries can have a taste for freedom. Lt. Michael Murphy was such a man. He served to protect those he had never met, and he paid the ultimate price. While “Murph” honors Lt. Murphy specifically, it is the workout of the day across the nation on Memorial Day to honor ALL the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice to protect everything we hold dear. It’s an incredibly difficult and challenging workout for a good reason- to remind you when you want to give up or slow down that those who fight for our rights do not ever give up. To complete this workout is to honor Murphy and everyone else who has ever given their life in service for their country.
I am not in my best fitness shape currently. Last time I participated in “Murph” was 2014, and I finished in 58:17. I was able to do all the squats prescribed, and I finished my first mile in under 10:00. This year, I was not so fast. I substituted sit-ups for squats because doing just 1-2 bothers my knees now, and while this workout is about fighting through the fatigue and mental anguish, it is not about killing yourself. However, I finished. I was dead last, but I finished. I’m even more proud of my husband, who went through the workout completely Rx (prescribed- unpartitioned sets and wearing a 20 lb vest). Our times might have been considered by some to be dismal, but that’s not the point. The point is we did it. We did not give up.
There’s another reason I find “Murph” to be an interesting and note-worthy workout. As I develop and find a path for EarthFit, I often look at workouts and try to figure out how to make the exercises “EarthFit”, in other words, create natural movements, use recycled or natural equipment, or simply move the workout outdoors. Some workouts are super challenging. I finished watching the Crossfit Regionals and the workouts they performed are incredibly difficult to meld into EarthFit. Using machines and barbells is difficult to translate. But “Murph”? With the only challenge being finding an accessible place to perform pull-ups outdoors (and as a common or easy solution, I suggest using a playground at a park- monkey bars are a perfect substitute for pull-up bars), “Murph” is completely transferable to outdoors. Since it consists entirely of body-weight movements, there is no necessity for subbing natural equipment or creating your own weights from cat litter containers or milk jugs. In fact, Chris and I practiced for “Murph” earlier by doing a half-Murph on the Thursday before, doing the entire workout at the South Whidbey Sports Complex, an outdoor soccer park with a kids’ playground in the epicenter.
I did not celebrate Memorial Day with a grill-out or summer party. It’s Monday, so that means I practice not eating meat for Meatless Monday. I rewarded Chris by making a vegetarian pizza for him with goat cheese, fig, and walnuts. And the highlight of my afternoon was picking up our very first farm share from Ebb Tide Produce, which had a vast amount of green veggies for us to enjoy this week. I’m already planning the salads, stews, and wonderfully green meals we’ll be enjoying.
Memorial Day is a day to honor those who gave their life so we can continue to enjoy the pleasures of pursuing our happiness. It is my right to use that freedom to write, learn, teach, and share about this wonderful Earth, and how we can grow connected to it in healthy ways, for ourselves and for the planet. Thank you, for continuing to fight so that I may have the right to continue mine!
100 Days, 100 Ways of EarthFit. Not exactly what I envisioned when I started my 100 day challenge, but I accomplished a lot during that time. It was without a doubt an amazing exercise that has developed into a habit, at least I hope. Continue reading Beyond 100 Ways- The Next Chapter
There is an incredible amount of passion residing within me. It seems obvious that I would have such strong infatuation for animals and nature, given my career of choice. Growing up, I jumped at every opportunity to increase my knowledge and experience with wildlife and their environments. As my admiration for nature grew, so did a third, very prominent obsession: conservation. The more I learned about my favorite animals, and the more I studied nature, the more I wanted to do everything in my power to protect both. More than one person can relate to this story, I’m sure. Continue reading 100 Ways of EarthFit- Day 100: Awakening the Passion for Conservation and Fitness
Celebrating Mother’s Day at Deception Pass could have been hit or miss. How many moms out there would say “You know what I want to do on a day celebrating ME? Go visit the tide pools at Rosario Beach!” I mean, that’s what I would think to be a great way to celebrate Mother’s Day, but I’m not actually a mom, so… Continue reading 100 Ways of EarthFit: Mother’s Day Part 2- Maiden of the Pass
Last year, I read an eye-opening book that helped develop EarthFit in such a way that I couldn’t believe I hadn’t incorporated the ideas before. That book was “The Nature Principle” by Richard Louv, and it was partly a follow-up to “Last Child In the Woods” and part follow up to the environmental/health movement he started with the coined phrase “Nature Deficit Disorder”. To me, the book engulfed the very idea of EarthFit and answered a very interesting “What if” question- “What if I told you that appreciating nature and getting outdoors would increase your overall health and well-being?” Continue reading 100 Ways of EarthFit- Day 90: Nature Deficit Disorder
It’s a long drive from Whidbey Island to Portland, Oregon. And even in a Prius, it’s not the most environmentally friendly way to spend the one day out of the year dedicated to conserving resources and doing your part to protect the planet. But this year was not your typical Earth Day, and I was on my way to fulfill a few promises. Continue reading 100 Ways of EarthFit- Day 82: Not Your Typical Earth Day