The Perfect Prescription

Posted: August 26, 2013 in Fitness

Hey Strangers – it’s been awhile.  I’ve been wrestling with words these days, though I’ve had lots of thoughts running through my mind.  I guess you could say, I’ve been confused.

I spend a lot of my time doing businessy-type stuff as I build on my program looking to see where it best fits in this big world.  I’m exposed to fitness trends, look at a thousand messages/images a day and see what’s “hot” in our industry.  Selling fitness is a strange pursuit – it confronts you with the values of the hour – yours, the culture at large and that place where they collide, connect and conflict.

There’s a lot of mystery around health.   The acres of books about diets and best workouts attest to this.  Literally, I encounter at least one new product/program a day confidently promising that if I do what they say, I’ll move towards health, happiness and freedom.  The 7 laws, the 6 steps, the 5 foods to avoid, etc.. All of them promise the perfect prescription.  Yet, we are noticing that when we start connecting to all these great solutions, we lose the connection to ourselves.

No one knows our own needs like we do.  No one knows our bodies like we do.  When it comes to your sweet life, you are the only expert that matters.

In terms of physical health, I am certain that movement is a big key.  But what flavour of movement – well, that’s in your very capable hands to determine.  At the very least, we need to have some kind of movement practice that connects us to both the constrictions and freedom in our bodies.  Movement matters.  Breathe matters.  Sinking in to our bodies matters.  Whether it’s doing Hit to Fit, running 20K, having sex, walking a block, lying on your back with your feet resting on a chair, or crawling on your hands and knees in the dirt – our bodies are our connection to our lives at large.  If we’re not present in our bodies when we move, we could be washing the dishes, doing CrossFit or Yoga and we’ll get hurt.

The perfect prescription?  Take the time and make the intention to connect with your body.  Slow down.  Breathe.  Drop your ambition.  Be where you are.  Accept what comes up – your body knows you better than your mind does.  Be loving to yourself.   Find those sore spots, move into them, let go and move again.  Experiment with movement in your own home and see what movements make you feel free in your body.  Crawl on the floor, find the most restful position to lay your worries down, jump up and down, do a headstand, raise your arms and shimmy your hips – whatever it is, move in a way that makes you smile.

Be well,

Sandy

Hi kids!

I’ve been thinking a lot about what Hit to Fit promotes.  Our message is simple: Fitness is a basic need.  You need an adequate amount of physical activity in order to live a good quality of life and you need to sustain your fitness for as long as you live.

Sometimes I lament over the lack of sexiness behind our message.  We don’t promise big transformations, six packs or a better sex life – promises often made by the fitness industry.  Our promise is straightforward: train with us 3X/week and keep your muscles strong, your joints limber and your heart and lungs healthy.  Do it for the rest of your life and you’ll be way more likely to avoid injury, weight gain, and a whack of preventable diseases.  You’ll also gain mobility and the confidence to keep active doing the things you love.  And yeah, you’ll probably look better – though I think you look great already!

I often compare fitness training to brushing your teeth.  Let’s imagine for a minute that your tooth brushing routine emulated your fitness routine.  What would your teeth look like if you brushed only on the days you worked out?  What if you didn’t brush for a month and then jumped in and started brushing 5 times/day for 3 weeks?  What if you started on a tooth brushing routine every January and quit by mid-March?  What if you envied other people’s teeth so much that you hated yours and blamed your teeth for the lack of satisfaction in your life?  What if you only brushed your teeth before a tropical vacation or before a big event?  What if you only brushed if your friend promised to do it with you?  What if you gave up brushing because your teeth weren’t getting whiter or straighter?  What if you stopped brushing because you believed you couldn’t afford toothpaste?  What if you put “I BRUSHED MY TEETH TODAY!” up as your Facebook status?

We must change our collective notion about what fitness is and what it isn’t.  It is necessary to live a good life.  Maybe you’ll develop a six-pack.  Maybe you won’t.  Fitness needn’t be any more of a contest than brushing your teeth.  All those who participate win – and conversely…

Brush your teeth.  Take care of your body — from now until you leave it.

Love, Mom.

I resolve to…

Posted: December 31, 2012 in Fitness

Happy New Year’s dear readers.  I hope wherever this finds you that you are warm, healthy and with those you love.

2012 was a big year for many of us, but it didn’t come through with the cataclysmic changes we were promised (or hoped for).  Most people I spoke to claimed not to give the 2012 hype much merit, but I argue that the collective unconscious did – and that as a whole – we really were hoping for some kind of shift.  Of course, I can only speak for myself – and yeah, I was hoping.

I hoped that on December 21st, I’d wake up and no longer judge myself and those around me.  I hoped that I’d wake up and have been released from fear, anxiety and the daily onslaught of negative thinking.  I hoped I’d wake up and feel free to express love and gentle kindness to everyone around me. I’d hoped to awaken free from any slights from the past.  I wanted to wake up having shed all the patterned thoughts that stood in my way of eternal peace and happiness.  I wanted to wake up free, conscious, and in a constant state of love.

And then the day happened.  When I woke up everything was the same.  Common sense knew it would be – but still, I’d hoped.  The heavens didn’t open and I didn’t ascend.  And so, I’m left with the begrudging acceptance and understanding that if I want this kind of peace, it’ll take resolve and a life of dedication.

As a fitness professional, I’ve received a lot of clients because of New Year’s resolutions.  I wish I could say that resolving to lose 10, 20, 30 pounds and working out 5 days/week will make you happy.  At they very least, I wish I could say that it won’t hurt – but if self-hatred is the driver of those resolutions they will hurt – especially when three weeks later you lose your resolve and gain back your losses.

So let’s think about this a little differently this year.  What kind of world do you want to live in?  What kind of mood do you want to be in?  What kind of resolutions can you make to take you there?

With love and in health,

Sandy

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Values

Posted: October 27, 2012 in Fitness

A couple of years ago I wrote a piece called Down the Rabitt Hole which gives a snapshot of the fitness industry.  Those who know me well know I nearly vomited when I wrote the words fitness industry.  I wish fitness wasn’t an “industry”.  I wish we lived in a society that valued health and strength so much that we built it into our everyday lives.  But we don’t.  So we have created an industry to keep us from spilling out of our chairs and onto the road into incoming traffic.

I’m a part of that industry – as you know, I offer a 30 minute workout to clubs who then offer it to their clients.  I’ve been on all sides – I’ve been a gym member, I’ve owned a club, and now I’m a program vendor.  Of the three – being a club owner is the toughest and here’s why: people don’t value their health enough to pay for it.

I have been on the receiving end many times where people try to negotiate a special rate for their special needs.  I can think of few other commercial enterprises where this would happen but we’ve come to accept it in the fitness world.  I’ve learned not to take it personally even though it’s tough to dedicate yourself to the well-being of others and have that be consistently undervalued.  (Oh hello teachers, moms, and nurses!)

I want to be very clear: small independent clubs are not lining their pockets with client’s money.  In fact, most small clubs subsidize the health of the community and will always struggle to make ends meet (see above post for all the reasons why).  The prices that they are advertising are more than fair.

Think of the places that we drop money – fast food, alcohol, clothes we’ll never wear, trinkets for our houses, magazines.  For many of us, the cost of our monthly gym membership falls out of our pocket every month with other purchases that we’ll never think about again. Yet, when financial pressure hits – our gym membership is often the first thing we drop.

So, if your gym is running programs that help you feel fit, strong, and healthy – if you like their location, you like their staff – then financially support them!  It is fair to ask for a short term membership, but then don’t bicker about the price!  Monthly memberships are what keeps gyms alive.  Consistent income is what keeps good trainers working, what keeps innovation going, what buys new equipment and what allow small club owners to sleep at night.

The morale of this post: put your health first and value the businesses that support you!

In health,
Sandy

Misconceptions

Posted: October 22, 2012 in Fitness

HI!  I’m back!  Hope all y’all had a great summer.  I managed to be in hot sunny weather for 3 months and enjoyed myself immensely.  All that’s over now – winter is stealing summer’s warm embrace – but the change of seasons offer a change in perspective and winter is an especially great time for reflection.

It’s also a great time to be in the gym.  It’s warm and cosy and if you train with us, always interesting.  Hit to Fit is running at Fierce Studio – a martial arts club offering both Yoga and Jiu Jitsu.  This week we introduced (or re-introduced) somersaults – Jiu Jitsu style.  I have to admit to a great deal of apprehension around this movement.  I get a little dizzy – and for whatever reason – they intimidate me.  This morning over breakfast I mentioned to the kids that I get dizzy from somersaults.  My 13-year-old son laughed so hard he almost spat out his toast.  Yeah, well – thanks for your support.  Nice pimples.

It can be hard to try new things.  There was a lot of apprehension at the gym this morning because this current circuit is more technical than most and most of us adults HATE looking like we don’t know what we’re doing.  Sadly, as a result – it means that we often don’t challenge ourselves.

One of the funniest things I hear is this – “I plan on coming to see you, but I want to get in shape first.”  I’m always gobsmacked when I hear it.  I can understand wanting to get in shape before you try snowboarding, mountain climbing,  joining a basketball team, or running a marathon (though I’ll NEVER understand the desire) – but getting in shape for an activity that is DESIGNED to get you in shape – that’s just crazy talk.

However, I do appreciate that some folks may look at images of some of our clients and think – well I can’t do that.  And that be the case.  I can’t do everything either and I designed the program.  But any trainer worth the price of admission is very adept at making modifications and Hit to Fit designs all of our workouts for every body.  That isn’t to say that everyone will do each exercise the exact same way – we progress and modify based on your goals, abilities, previous injuries – hell, we even modify for the mood you’re in.  And you might surprise yourself one day and surpass the highest bar we’ve set.  Yes, you.

That’s not me – and may never be – but WAY TO GO KATEY!

So, if you have a ‘friend’ who’s waiting to start a fitness program until they miraculously get into shape without one – please forward them this blog.

In health, Sandy

PS -

How I spent my summer vacation

Posted: September 20, 2012 in Fitness

www.supdiaries.com

A hiatus

Posted: June 21, 2012 in Fitness

Hey readers, happy first day of summer.  I hope this post finds you well.

I haven’t been updating this site very often lately and have decided to take a formal hiatus from blogging.  It appears I’ve run out of things to say.

There is so much written about health and fitness that it makes my head spin.  Health comes from experiencing it.  Fitness comes from experiencing it.  There are way too many how-to manuals out there for things that could come naturally if we just opened our minds and bodies to the experience of being alive.  There are no right and no wrong ways of being strong and healthy and it doesn’t look like anything on any magazine.

I believe having a basic level of fitness is extremely important and I don’t place importance on a whole hell of a lot of stuff.  Like it or not – we are biological beings in bodies and if you want to keep your spirits up you’ve got to keep your bodies strong and moving.

Regarding fitness (and everything else): don’t believe everything you read – except this:  fitness comes from consistently being active.  Health comes from eating things that were once alive.  The better it lived – the better it’ll nourish you.  Don’t believe everything you think – having a six pack won’t give you what you want you in life.  Strength is within all our grasps.  Commit to your health and happiness above all else.  Don’t expect it to be easy (especially the happiness part) – but it will be worth it.

It’s your life and it’s shorter than you think.  Don’t squander it getting too tripped out about how fit/fat you are – commit to your health and find a way to sustain it.  Sustaining fitness is way way way way easier than most people think – even lazy people like me can do it.  Hit to Fit works.  3 times/week + decent diet and you’ll be golden.

Enjoy your summer,

Sandy