I felt I had a lot in common with Drew Manning. Well, I wasn’t a personal trainer who couldn’t figure out why my clients didn’t get it. But I was a zookeeper who couldn’t figure out why it was so hard to convey conservation messages to zoo visitors. Continue reading ZooFat to ZooFit
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
(Wow, the year was so overwhelming for me I wanted to skip right over it and go into the best and worst of 2018).
I’ve heard from quite a few people I know well and people I don’t know at all about how bad 2017 was. I’m not going to lie. It wasn’t the best for me either. But there were some truly enjoyable moments mixed with the scary shit. I guess it’s always all about balance.
The best thing about a new year is getting to write lists. Me and lists go way back. So, here’s my lists of the best and worst for me in 2017. I want to reiterate that what I write is personal for me. I don’t wish to discount anyone’s experiences this year. For example, while I know quite a few people who were affected by hurricanes Irma and Harvey, they didn’t make my list because I experienced other things a bit more personal for me. But I don’t want to discount that hurricanes are getting more powerful, more frequent, and more devastating. What is on this list are my personal feelings about the reaction and action we are taking to combat things like stronger and crazier hurricanes. Enough, let’s get down to it. Continue reading
As it is with life, I got behind on keeping up with my blog. Life happens, but sometimes life throws a couple whammies at you. Sometimes life demonstrates why we need to take care of ourselves. Continue reading I’d Give My Right Kidney For Some Good Health Insurance
One of my many, many emails I get from fellow fitness professionals trying to sell me their programs intrigued me with the headline “Your Must Do Exercise for 2017”. It was basically an advertisement to sell a $60 journal/planner, and while I have absolutely no desire to pay that much for a planner, I took a look at the exercise. Even though it was sent by a fitness professional, this exercise had nothing to do with working out. It was a writing exercise, so I decided I would share it with all of my two followers. Continue reading 2016 Review Exercise
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!
I have been doing a lot of considering about what to do with my time and energy. I thought I had figured some things out, get more involved with WOWI, writing groups, and networking with writers, and lessen my involvement with what could be considered to be extra-curricular activities, working with South Island CrossFit and Vibrant Fitness. I didn’t consider them extra-curricular myself, but my husband has been urging me to put my effort and energy into EarthFit, and let him be my first “client”. The point of my involvement with CrossFit and Vibrant Fitness was to increase my experience and exposure to exercise programs and see how they are run. But Chris has a point. Why not launch EarthFit?
I have looked into South Whidbey Parks and Rec Department, and they have a program to initiate new instructors every season for new programs. So, I think I will apply for EarthFit Outdoor Bootcamp to be a Fall program in October. For the winter program, I can continue with EarthFit, but focus on nutrition (Eating Green), creating healthy habits (perfect for January resolution makers- Fitness through Operant Conditioning), and then next Summer put EarthFit into full motion as a program with Parks and Rec. And use this whole summer to fine tune the workouts, learn how to modify exercises for different levels, and get myself in better shape to lead these exercises (no one wants to follow a fat trainer…)
I also dove right in with WOWI (Writers on Whidbey Island) and volunteered to be a part of their steering committee. I have no idea how much work is required for steering committee members, but this is the reason we moved to Whidbey Island, so I’m taking my own advice and remembering why I’m here. I did something awesome though- I started a Meet-up group for WOWI. Meet-up isn’t used that much on the island, so it’s a new venture for many WOWI members, but once they see how easy it is to create and announce events on the site, we will wonder why we hadn’t been doing this eons ago!
And then the unexpected happened. I was offered a job! Not a huge amount of money or time-suck type of job, just a 4-6 hours a week, with possibility of increasing to 10 hours a week. Just enough to give me a little extra spending money, but definitely give enough allowance to write as I need and see fit. In fact, some (not all, or even most) of my writing could help to start a community blog. Which would be super cool for me. But….and there’s always a but with these things, isn’t there?
I have a huge issue with learning to say “no”. I don’t mean to drugs, or unhealthy food. I mean with people asking me to do things that will help them out. I like helping people become the best version of themselves, which is another reason why I want to start my EarthFit program in the first place. But now the programs I am involved with are creating a conflict of interest, and I have to fess up to my involvement with the other. And I’m being asked to make a choice. I can have a paying job in the area I’m interested in, but not in the exact practice or philosophy that I feel connected to. Or I can continue to learn from a mentor that I agree with his principles and style of teaching, but will not lead to a paying job. And apparently, having both is the conflict of interest.
So, Ms. Pattie is having a crash course in the art of saying “no”. All the excitement- accomplishing something, and getting into trouble. I couldn’t have it any other way.
There’s a saying among writers that goes something along the lines of “There are no bad days, just days with better writing material”, or something to that effect. That was today. Great writing material. It was all great until people… I have shirt that reads “Careful or you’ll end up in my novel”. This is an important warning for my stories, because I actually hold a great deal of admiration for George R.R. Martin for ruthlessly killing any and all characters in a blink of an eye. Continue reading 100 Ways of EarthFit- Day 96: It Was All Great Until People
Last year at this time, I was just getting ready to move to Oregon, but I was also planning for my container garden I wanted for out balcony. I had bought several seed packets of various spices, but also kale, green bell peppers, and of course, zucchini, because you can never go wrong with zucchini.
By June I had several small seedlings that were promising to be productive and prosperous. I had divided them into several larger pots, purchased plant food and kept my fingers crossed that I would soon be enjoying the fruits of my labor. Continue reading 100 Ways of EarthFit- Day 83: Of Worms and Bees
I hate it when my husband is right. I mean, I’m okay that he’s right when we’re in agreement, but when he tells me something I’m not prepared to hear, or scared to hear, in this particular instance, well, you’ve heard the term “Hell hath no fury…”? Continue reading 100 Ways of EarthFit- Day 68: Taking off the Training Wheels