Posts Tagged ‘Life’

A bit of a detour today….we will return to our regularly scheduled fitness blog tomorrow.  For now…..I’d like to talk about something that is near and dear to my heart.

 

I have definitely expressed my passion for coaching young women and girls of all ages.  I’ve also expressed my desire to teach them pride, courage, respect, and honor in what they do, who they are, and in their dreams.  While many of you have seen that side of me, many of you do not know my background in education and the compassion I feel for women, sports, and gender equality in general.

In Grad school I had to write a Thesis (as many of us do) in order to graduate.  It could be about ANYTHING so long as it pertained to broadcast and cinematic arts…and even then it could be stretched ever-so-slightly.  I decided to do research on women in sports and the amount of time devoted to women’s sports on television – primetime or otherwise.  I specifically looked at the 2004 Olympic Games as a basis for some of my research with a strong emphasis on feminism.  *I wish I could have done a bigger study but with my resources and time, this was what I worked with.  Basically, what I found was that despite the same time allotment for men and women during prime time TV hours, the specific women sports that were shown were: Beach Volleyball, Gymnastics, and Swimming.  Anyone take a gander why?

These are the sports that show the most skin.  Women are seen as more “feminine” in these sports.  They don’t necessarily go against “gender roles” as perceived by the public arena.

To me this begs the question(s):

WHY DO WE HAVE TO VIEW WOMEN JUST AS A GENDER?  WHY CAN’T WE SEE THEM AS ATHLETES?  AS BUSINESS OWNERS?  AS CEO’S?  AS MOTHER’S (sometimes playing the roles of both parents)? AS POLITICIANS WHO ARE NOT TOO “GIRLY” or “SENSITIVE”?

The want for equality is such a huge factor.  EVERYWHERE.  Some countries have different gender roles and those countries/social constructs are entitled to their lifestyle.  Personally, I feel like more people should be excited to say things like, “YOU THROW LIKE A GIRL” or “YOU RUN LIKE A GIRL”.  Because, why is that a bad thing?  Why is doing anything like a girl supposed to automatically mean it’s less than?

If you’re not from the Philadelphia area, it’s possible you haven’t heard this story but if you watch ESPN at all, you have most likely heard of Mo’ne Davis.  If you have no idea who I’m talking about – the full and INCREDIBLE story can be found here.

Here are her stats:

Age: 13

Position: Pitcher

Pitch Speed: 55-75 mph (yes, it’s true)

Gender: FEMALE

Description: She is just the 18th girl to play in the Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA.  She is also one of the ONLY female pitchers to throw back to back shut outs (just recently).  She is smart.  Humble.  Most importantly, SHE THROWS LIKE A GIRL.  Who’dve thunk it?

 

She doesn’t play to play like a girl or a boy…she plays because she LOVES the sport.  Is she an exception?  Possibly….but she doesn’t have to be and, more importantly, shouldn’t be.  Doing ANYTHING like a girl shouldn’t be considered less than.

Let me ask you a few questions, if you still don’t believe me…….

1.  If you run like a girl…does that mean you won’t win any marathons?  I think Deena Kastor and Shalane Flanagan would have something to say about that…..

2.  If you play baseball like a girl….does that mean you won’t throw any shut outs or throw a complete game on 71 pitches because it’s a “boys sport”?  I think Mo’ne would have something to say about that

3.  If you play basketball like a girl….does that mean you won’t be able to beat boys at their own game?  I think Brittney Griner would have something to say about that…..

4.  If you play soccer like a girl….does that mean you’ll never win a world cup? or a national title?  I think Mia Hamm has something to say about that…..

5.  When you think of the world’s best swimmer…..do you only think of Michael Phelps?  Or you do also think of Missy Franklin?

6.  If your daughter or daughters or athletes or students want to learn a sport or do an activity…..who are you going to point out someone to look up to?

7.  Wouldn’t you be flattered to be thought of as a girl who runs like Shalane?  A girl who pitches like Mo’ne?  A girl who dunks like Brittney?  A girl who kicks like Mia? or a girl who makes a splash like Missy?

Don’t even act like you wouldn’t.

Yes, you can argue that these cases are exceptional…..but let’s be honest…I don’t have all day to give you all the examples that no longer make the above exceptions.

I leave you with one final video and I am open to comments (so long as they are valid and not derogatory) and opinions.

 

I’ll ask one more time…..what’s so wrong with doing anything “like a girl”?

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A brief note before I follow up with ALL THE REASONS

Dear friends and followers,

It has been eleventy billion hours since I last posted (yes, that is to the exact minute) on the internets.  I’ve missed you.  I think it’s time for me to come back.  As per the usual…life has been busy….jobs…life…blah blah blah.  I’ll spare you all the excuses.  Because excuses are like A-holes….everybody has one….right?  See…didn’t you miss me?

I have still been keeping up with running and fitness and all that jazzy jazz…..which is why I know that coming back will only be a continuation but also include some new and exciting stuff for me and YOU!  Yay!

Lastly, before I get to all the real ISH…..If you didn’t miss me at all….no worries..because I don’t believe I am that important that it matters anyway 🙂  (awww, listen to me acting all martyr-ish)  For reals though.  I’m just happy people are out there that are even interested….truth be told, I know my dad and stepmom read it…so I got that goin for me 🙂

AAAAAAAAAnd Scene.

Sincerely yours,

k8efitz

 

AAAAAAAAAND NOW!  Back from the depths of the other side of the world but really the suburbs of Philadelphia….me 🙂

 

CATHARSIS:  The last year has been a roller coaster to say the least.  We can all agree that it happens in each one of our lives. 

I was holding on for dear life

Overall, things in general are good.  I have my health, my family, my friends.  All good things.  Several cathartic experiences helped my journey to this point but it was with one major swoop that I managed to find The Four Agreements and The Mastery of Love that helped me regain my semblance of self and worth.  If you have never heard of these books, I highly recommend them.  Don Miguel Ruiz – The Four Agreements and The Mastery of Love.  You will be doing yourself a favor

It is from these four ideals that we are able to release what we used to think about life and to move forward in order to be a better person.  Inevitably, we have to be the best we can be for ourselves first before we even attempt a relationship.  And I’ve tried to maintain some interesting relationships…friendship or otherwise….the biggest ideal: Don’t take anything personally – is SO EYE OPENING.  Do yourself a favor and check them out.

Because of the emotional catharsis, I’ve been able to improve in all aspects of my life.

My yoga is bendy-er….my cycling/spinning is funner (yes, I know I’m an english teacher and YES, I know that’s not a word….WHO CARES)….my running is safer, cleaner, and more fulfilling than ever before.  My mind finally gets it…and my body is following along.

 

HUBRIS:  Truth be told…a great deal of why I haven’t posted here in the last eleventy billion hours is tied to my hubris.  I am a work in progress…like everyone else.  I am unique…like everyone else (get it?) But for awhile, I was allowing my own stupid pride and fact that I have failed so often, get in the way of being real for myself and all of you.

The last series of posts I wrote on here dealt a lot with my Marathon Training for The Steamtown Marathon last October.  Truth:  I almost didn’t finish.  Had it not been for my amazing support from my dear DEAR friends Heather and Jen….and of course my father who finally picked up the phone when I called him at mile 14 hysterical…..I would have undoubtedly DNF and felt FUBAR’ed……

While I am not going to recap my experience or disappointment, I was emotionally broken down after that race.  I had no desire or love for running and because I used to find so much of my happiness in doing so, I felt lost….sad….concerned I might never recover.  It was weird…and I will get into that for another post with specifics to running…but for now…just know….I am not going to allow my stupid pride get in my way…..

 

OTHER $10 WORDS: 

AMALGAM – Me to a “T” these days.  I am all over the place but the thing I’m maintaining is my workout regiment.  Thank god for running, biking, yoga, and other extra curriculars….

INCREDULOUS – That 2014 is more than half over, that I am where I am today, that I have an INCREDIBLE support system in place, and mostly that things might not always be presented to me in the way I expect but they always have a tendency of working themselves out.

finally,

INTRANSIGENCE – Beyond everything else….I have persevered…and continue to work toward the many goals I have set for myself.  I’ve come to acknowledge and believe in the following(and if you know me, you know that it’s no surprise it’s an Emerson quote):

See you soon!

While this is a pretty broad topic, I feel it’s safe to say….many people do not know their limits or boundaries when it comes to others.

Take, for example, when someone at the gym is lifting free weights and a fellow patron goes up to them to offer them their opinion about how and what they are doing correct/incorrect, etc.  There are a few issues with this situation:

1.  The person lifting didn’t ask for your opinion – although I am sure the person offering their opinion is an expert in the way of said exercise (please tell me you’re reading in to my sarcasm).

2. Unless you are a certified personal trainer….keep your thoughts and opinions to yourself…..and even if they are a personal trainer….that doesn’t always mean a whole lot.

As a fitness instructor and a coach, I am aware that my advice to people isn’t always what will work best for people.  I am aware, also, that not everyone wants my advice or opinion.  I often seen people at the gym doing the wrong exercises or wrong technique and some times cringe at their bad form.  BUT – it’s not my problem.

So now you’re saying..”but that’s not helpful…be a source of the solution and don’t be so passive to allow the problem continue”.  To that I would say….”you’re absolutely correct.  I am more than happy to help those that WANT the help…but if someone is carrying on and just doing their thing…who am I to tell them that they are wrong?”

More often than not, people feel as though they are being 1. helpful, 2. proactive, 3. caring, and 4. kind.

While I would say that these are all genuine feelings behind trying to offer advice….understand that if people want it…they will ask for it…..and if they don’t ask for it…..that is something they have to face on their own.

Many of the habits I learned in the gym and during sports or activities came from watching others.  I’ll admit though, I am incredibly proactive about improving and doing my best – it’s just in my nature.   In the case that people ARE looking for advice on exercise and/or advice with those you see doing the wrong thing at the gym….I have a few things that might help:

To the observer:

1.  Be patient.  If they want the help, they’ll ask for it.

2.  RE #1 – unless they are hurting themselves with the way they are lifting something or maneuvering equipment….let them watch someone else to figure out what they are doing wrong.

3.  RE #2 – if you are a fitness instructor with the proper technique and/or certification(s) – ASK THEM if they want some advice/help.  For example:  When I see someone on a bike before a class and it looks like their seat is too low or their straps are not tight enough on their bike…I say, “Would you like some help with that?” or “Does that bother your knees at all?” – in a NICE and non-condecending manner.  I also throw in, “If you try it this way, it might make a difference.”  People are much nicer to you when you don’t say, “Your form is all wrong…this is wrong…this is wrong…etc., etc”.

4.  When and IF they do ask for help…..be sure to tell them that your advice is merely based on your learnings/experience and that it works differently for everyone.  Remind them that they need to do what works best for them – not what works best for you.  As a fitness instructor and coach, I always tell my students and swimmers of the things I’ve done in the past, what’s worked for me, and what hasn’t worked for me.  With that, I also tell them that they should make sure whatever they do – it has to WORK FOR THEM.

 

To the person that is afraid to ask:

1.  DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP IF YOU AREN’T SURE.  I can not tell you how  many times I’ve had people say to me in a spin class, “I never knew how to adjust my seat”….or “I never knew that I would get a better workout this way”…or “if I had only known to buy new sneakers that it would’ve helped my joints”…etc.  I start every spin class (usually) with, “Do I have any new riders?”…especially if I have never seen them in my class before.  This usually helps alleviate some of the anxiety that people build up in their minds about “not knowing” what to do and “being afraid of looking like the newbie”.  EVERYONE HAS TO START FROM SOMEWHERE….You’re obviously interested in bettering your well-being….don’t be afraid to ask! 🙂

2.  Once you’ve asked for help…remember that you have to do what works for you.  IF a trainer or instructor tells you there is ONLY ONE WAY TO DO SOMETHING…more than likely they are incorrect.  THERE IS MORE THAN ONE WAY TO DO EVERYTHING (even in Math).

3. If you STILL can’t bring yourself to ask for help…..do your homework.  Observe others, read about fitness, read about healthy living, read about eating right.  Your health is on you.  OWN UP TO IT.

 

My questions for you are:

1.  Have you ever been approached by someone at the gym for advice?

2.  Have you ever given advice without it being warranted?

3.  What have you done in these situations?

 

 

I woke up this morning realizing that sometimes I leave some things unsettled.  I tout myself as this great communicator but sometimes I fall short…..I also recognize that I am not alone in this and that I should not be so hard on myself.

That being said, I wanted to kind of explain what this particular blog is all about….because I get the feeling that many of my friends who read this (read: non-blog friends), don’t necessarily understand why I write this blog.

I preface all of this with:  I USED to have a personal blog.  In fact, you could probably still find all of them (yes, I all of them – I had more than one).  On that blog I would write about the things that bothered me, why I was happy/sad/etc.  I was an open book….or whatever you want to call it.

It was all out there for the world to read….or all 5 of my readers to read 🙂

ANYWAY….A few years ago I decided I was going to shift my focus for a few reasons:  1.  No one needs to know THAT much about my personal life.  2.  Most people don’t really care all that much unless they are my close friends or family and 3.  I wanted to write about more interesting things….

I decided to write a blog about my fitness/healthy lifestyle.  (Note:  a follow up post is coming as to how I actually got IN to this lifestyle).  The thing is,…..some times I do share personal information about my life but I truly don’t believe it’s as bad as I’ve been informed of in the past.

To clarify….

This blog IS NOT:

-A blog about my close friends and family (although I do mention them from time to time).

-A blog about who I am or if I am dating anyone.  I share this blog with all of my friends on facebook.  I don’t even share if I am “in a relationship” on facebook.  People who know me know what my sitch is…if I have one.

-A blog about being sad or mopey.  Let’s face it – we all have bad days.  DON’T DENY IT.  If I have a bad day, I workout.  THEN, you’ll know about it.

-A blog about how you can change the world.  I am working on changing my own personal world every day – one step at a time.  I don’t have all the answers and neither does anyone else.  I am not always correct and I know that.  I make mistakes and I know that too.

Conversely….

This blog IS:

-A blog about my fitness journey and the experiences I have while on it.

-A blog about running, swimming, spinning, biking, yoga, and whatever other activity I get myself involved with.

-A blog that includes tidbits of my career – teaching or coaching or otherwise.  Those are healthy things that make me a happy person.  I don’t feel as though those things are too personal to share.

-A blog about my ability to stay healthy and happy POST Eating Disorder.  Many of you, who have not read my ‘about me’ section, may not even know I am a recovering Anorexic.  If you don’t – that’s an EXCELLENT thing.  It means I am living a balanced life.  If you just read that and can’t believe it – also a good thing.  I have worked hard on getting to where I am at in my life and it has been no easy task but all of it has been worth it.

-I blog about my experiences with health, fitness, and my ED because I hope to help someone by showing them IT IS POSSIBLE to recover.  IT IS POSSIBLE to be healthy and live a normal life.  IT IS POSSIBLE to maintain some sort of normalcy.

I make no apologies for the sharing of my information as far as health, fitness, and my ED.  Even if it only helps ONE person….that’s fine with me.  (note: I don’t believe myself to be a martyr, nor will I ever….don’t mistake that statement as a self declaration to being one).

I enjoy writing.  I enjoy working out.  I enjoy helping others.  I enjoy life.

So…..What’s It All About?!?!

Health.  Running.  Swimming.  Biking.  Spinning.  Music.  Reading.  Writing.  Teaching.  Coaching.  Experiences.  Challenges.  Opportunities.  Interactions.  Fears.  Failures.  Wants.  Desires.  Happiness.  Frustrations.

Sounds like a good list to me…..

My questions for you:

What’s it all about for you?

What’s on your life list?

Why do you blog?

 

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end….”

Without being too cliché……I feel that it is no coincidence that this song came on my pandora this morning on my way to work:

Indeed

Indeed

And yes, I am at school before 7am….usually I’m at school by 6:15 (at the latest)…..

With a few minor hiccups in the last couple of days, I am sad to report that today is my last day at the school I’ve been teaching at.  (Read:  I haven’t been fired, my job just ended…the teacher was out on maternity leave)

Today has been a roller coaster of emotions – thus far.  I am sad and nervous and happy and confused.  ALL THE EMOTIONS.  FEEL ALL THE FEELINGS!

At this moment, I am waiting for a few of my students to come back to school and play Just Dance with me.  Yup – you read that correctly.  Some of my students are coming in – on their day off – to play a video game with me.  It’ll be nice to end the day on a positive note.

Elsewhere – I am just trying to maintain some semblance of positivity.  I didn’t workout yesterday – a much needed rest day – but am back to running 6 or 7 miles this afternoon.  Spin class tomorrow and running again on Sunday.

Lots going on – lots to be hopeful for…..I am lucky.  Not a day goes by where I don’t acknowledge that.

And I’m not talking about the Britney Spears album….because….well….as catchy as some of those songs are…..I just can’t with her…..I just……can’t.

“The Zone”, as I like to call it, can happen at any point – running, spinning, yoga, reading, writing, eating cake…..you know…the usual things.  There are many zones for people.  It’s that feeling you get when:

-you are truly focused on what you are doing

The Cake-centered Focus

-you block everything out and can actually FEEL good that you are making headway in something you’re working on

-you feel good all around

-nothing can distract you

In case you didn’t know….Chuck Palahniuk wrote “Fight Club”

It’s when I’m in MY zone that I feel amazing!  This happened to me during my run last night.

Surprisingly – I have been sleeping really well in the last few nights (unusual for me this time of year) and I have felt incredibly good all day.  Not sluggish or anything.  While I feel there is probably a different contributing factor to this…which I’ll talk about another day….I was up for a good run yesterday afternoon.

After practice – I took to my treadmill and made my way through 6 miles.  I probably could’ve kept going but I am trying to limit my running so I don’t overdo it.  I have had some issues with slight plantar fasciitis in my left foot and lately my left knee has been bothering me a bit.  Most likely from overuse – therefore I’ve decided to be an adult and not push myself to a breaking point.  I learned my lesson the hard way when I torn tendons in my left foot last year…..

But I digress……6 miles.  I got into my zone around 1.3 miles in.  I know this because I checked the treadmill.

So now you’re probably wondering, how did it feel for you?

You know how people talk about runner’s highs?  And those endorphins?  And all that jazz???

See that Quote?  Totes Magotes.

I do my best thinking during these runs when I am “in my zone”.  I feel the most accomplished.  Granted, yesterday I was on a treadmill but I still got the sense that I was accomplishing something.  I don’t think it always matters where you are when you’re doing it…just that you’re doing it.

I’ve been in the zone with writing before too….where hours will pass by and I’ll write 20 – 30 pages of whatever novel I’m working on at the time.  I love when that happens.

I get “lost” when I’m in the zone……

Questions for you:

When are you in the zone?

What are you doing when you are in your zone?

Do you even know what I’m talking about?? ha 🙂

Taking a detour from my typical workout post….just doing some reflection this Sunday…..

“I shall miss these things when it all rolls by…”~Dave Matthews Band

Quick question:  Who likes endings?

Here are my feelings about endings…..(in bullet point form…because it’s a bullet point kind of day)

Reasons Endings are Good:

  • They leave you feeling accomplished – like when you complete a project (ie, putting together that incredibly difficult piece of IKEA furniture with the single Allen Wrench they give you)
  • YUP

  • They create space for new beginnings – like when you finish training for a race and do that race, you are able to begin another training regimen OR just sit your but on the couch.  OR, give you opportunity to just relax.

  • How do I say this without seeming harsh….CLOSURE.

Things I dislike about Endings:

  • Sometimes, they come unexpectedly and you are not prepared for them….

  • Sometimes, we lose the things that are most dear to us….well, maybe not lose but they are no longer a daily occurance

So what am I getting at?

This week will be full of endings and beginnings.  This is my last week at the teaching job I’ve had since the beginning of the year.  I can not even begin to describe how bummed I am about it.  Don’t get me wrong – I am incredibly grateful and thankful for the experience and I have loved EVERY MOMENT of it – even the days that were trying (which there were really only about two of those).

In the last five months, my life has been incredibly hectic, insane, boring, trying, scary, happy, overwhelming, awesome, and (most of all) amazing.  While all of those were not emotions experienced at the same time – I can truly tell you I LOVE being a teacher.  I will miss my students.  I will miss the purpose that I had set forth every day.  Although it is an ending – I am hopeful for new beginnings and opportunities around the corner.

I am a firm believer in life figuring out a way to work itself out.  It always does.  One of my favorite axioms is:

My dad used to tell me that all the time when I was in high school and college.  He still, on occasion, reminds me of this.

Life is a constant series of endings and beginnings…..whether it’s with a job….relationships….friends….training regimen’s……etc.  We are all just trying our best…..

I am hopeful that my best puts me in a position where many beginnings arise from this ending.