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 6- Conservation Hero WODs

Ah, Spring. Here in the Pacific Northwest, at last.

Well, for the moment. April on Whidbey Island is like a crapshoot. Today was absolutely gorgeous.  This weekend is supposed to be raining and dreary again.

Spring, to me, is where ZooFit thrives. ZooFit is very much about exploring and appreciating the outdoors, nature, and the environment. A favorite quote of mine from Baba Dioum says “we will conserve only what we love”. This is true, to me. The more time we go outside, the more we will love being outside. This leads us to caring about what happens to our sacred spaces, those spots we enjoy more than anything else. And what we love we will protect. Continue reading 30 Days of ZooFit: Day 6- Conservation Hero WODs

30 Days of ZooFit: Day 5- Focus on the Positive, Learn from the Animals

If you would like a glimpse into my inspiration and what influenced me for ZooFit’s first cornerstone, Fitness Through Operant Conditioning, look no further than the book Don’t Shoot the Dog by Karen Pryor. I really love this book because every time I read it, I find something new I never before considered with ZooFit. Continue reading 30 Days of ZooFit: Day 5- Focus on the Positive, Learn from the Animals

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

Whole30 Rant

Whole30 is a program where you remove certain foods from your diet, such as processed foods, addictive sugary foods, foods with a history of causing inflammation, and foods with high correlation to allergies. For thirty days, you maintain a steady diet of whole vegetables and unprocessed meats. This is essentially resetting your body by removing all the potential negative foods, and letting your body settle into a completely natural and whole diet. After thirty days, you reintroduce the foods you eliminated, one by one, and evaluate how your body and how your brain responds and reacts to it. Continue reading Whole30 Rant

Conservation Hero WODs

I will have to admit a little factoid about myself. My fitness program is heavily influenced by CrossFit. I have a strange love-hate relationship with CrossFit, but for the most part, and I do mean a majority of my feelings are quite positive. CrossFit offers camaraderie that I have never experienced before. They also offer a huge variety which I greatly appreciate in a workout program. And most of the time, they are very positive reinforcement and encouragement driven.  Continue reading Conservation Hero WODs

Writer’s Block

What do you do when you have a daily goal of writing five hundred words a day, and you don’t have a thing to write about?
Okay, I have plenty to write about. I have two book projects that need desperate attention. I have several other books I could start work on. I have several side projects that I need to finish soon. I have articles to write for blogs and magazines.
I have plenty to do. But, if you are another writer reading this, you know what my problem is.
I have nothing to write about. Continue reading Writer’s Block

Interpretive Nature Run

Being an avid non-runner, I look for opportunities to avoid the exercise at all costs. However, with the Sloth Army Running Club in full swing and meeting twice a week for runs, I can’t escape it. Coming up with running workouts on Thursdays is pretty easy, I have a slew of them. Coming up with interesting longer runs for Sundays is somewhat more difficult. I decided for today’s trail run, I’d revert a little to my background as an educator/naturalist and give an interpretive narration throughout the 2 mile run. Continue reading Interpretive Nature Run

Positive Reinforcement for Punishing Situations


I’m reading an interesting book called Triggers: Creating Behaviors That Last, Becoming the Person You Want to Be by Marshall Goldsmith, and I just had the most interesting insight from reading the book. 

When discussing our most powerful triggers, they tend to be one of four specific types- Encouraging triggers (associated with what we want), discouraging triggers (what we don’t want), productive triggers (what we need), and counter-productive triggers (what we don’t need).   Continue reading Positive Reinforcement for Punishing Situations

Boredom is a Four Letter Word

I’m working on the Enrichment section for my book Zookeeper’s Guide to Fitness. Enrichment was one of my favorite aspects of being a zookeeper. Keeping the animals mentally and physically active, increasing naturalistic behaviors, and engaging them in more dynamic ways was the epitome of zookeeping, personally.  Continue reading Boredom is a Four Letter Word