Getting Fit

Earlier I spoke about being “jarred back to life” and how I had become overweight and unhealthy and that was just what was visible from the outside. I fear it was a bit darker on the inside so I started to run, physically and metaphorically to get in shape. I hadn’t really done any really taxing workouts in many years, though I did do Jazzercise in Acton for a few years, I wasn’t pushing myself hard enough.

When winter came last year I needed to start running inside so I joined a gym and got on the treadmill and began to run two or so miles a day and that was really good. I was impressed  and kept my promise to myself  to workout for a whole year, no excuses and to focus on getting healthy first and not a particular size or number.

I knew I needed to expand my repertoire as I turned my focus to toning and shaping, Mark, the personal trainer at the gym, offered to help me reshape my body in  three months, with his fitness philosophy as he tried to build his own Physical Sculpting personal fitness business. I know very little about personal trainers, still I agreed and it was the best decision I’ve made in a while.

If left to my own devices when working out, I would have stopped pushing myself each day. Mark focused first on what I could do but soon he was encouraging me to dig deep down and challenge myself just a tiny bit more each workout. He devised an ever-changing routine that includes cardio, weights, and abdomen work and I never have to do anything other than show up and put in the time. He creates, and adapts the workouts to my specific needs and abilities, always adding more weights or more reps, but pushing me farther than I would have gone on my own. I saw changes in my body right away and in half the time I was spending working out solo.

Mark’s passion about personal fitness changed how I approached working out and helped me discard bad habits that I had picked up about fitness and especially about weight training. He has indeed helped me reshape my body and I swear by his workouts, passion and creativity.

His approach is about a life style change of drinking lots of water, organic eating to nurture and sustain your body since the workouts he devises require that eating properly and having small protein based meals will infuse the body with the necessary strength and calories to workout hard. It’s boot camp for the mind and the body.

I’ve learned a lot about health, fitness, and weight training from Mark, and the many misconceptions that I had about personal trainers, weight lifting bulking you up, and his  intense thirty minute workouts and nutrition. It is his passion, his challenges, his ability to know what I can do before I do, and his commitment to good health that has literally changed my life for the better.

I invite you to tune in as I showcase a few of Mark’s signature moves and the dos and don’t of weight lifting and working out, in the coming weeks.

The Courage to Dream

A few years ago I was  jarred back to life. I was tucking my sons into bed and they were talking about what they wanted to be when they grew up,  my son said, “What was your dream when you grew up?”  I was startled…my dreams? Did I have dreams just for me?  Still searching for an answer, I said, “You guys are my dream.” I couldn’t shake the question for the rest of the night. What were my dreams besides being a great mother and wife?

I was saddened to discover that I didn’t have any new dreams of my own. All my dreams were wrapped up in the “we” package, the “them” package I had put the “me” package way, way down on my list of priorities and, worse yet, I hadn’t even noticed. I was sleep walking through my own life but now I wanted to wake up and begin living and dreaming again. Don’t get me wrong, I will always dream big for my sons only now I have to remember to dream big for me too. Where to begin?  What to dream about when I have vacated my own life, lost my compass and find myself in unchartered territory?

I decided to go back to my childhood and to the dreams I had when I was little, dreams big and small. In examining my life I found that most of my dreams as a child centered on creative ventures; dancing, ballet, drawing, pottery, music, sports, books, writing and fitness. So I set about trying a few different things to see what fit me today; dance, ballet, I clearly was not destined to be a ballerina in my 40.  I discovered my love of photography, and paintings, and books, and writing and reading, reading, reading! Were those my dreams?

Those were my passions but even with my new-found dream declaration it would take me a few more years to gain courage to follow my dreams.  Then my father’s death shattered my illusions about waiting for the “perfect day” to begin my life, to start declaring my dreams and seeking them out. “Fear,” my father said, “will destroy you and you will become paralyzed.” I had become paralyzed and it was time to force myself to get up and out, to get into the game of life and to make My life, My way, with My dreams.

So I stopped putting myself last and I carved out time to run; maybe running would allow me to hear that voice in my head that seemed to always know what I should be aiming for in my life. The voice that I had almost silenced with neglect. I know, drastic measures, but I wasn’t ready to look inward at my fear so I started on the outside with the other part of myself that I had neglected…my body. So I ran almost every day for a year and a half and my body got stronger and slowly, very slowly my mind did too. It was time to do some soul-searching, and to make my intentions for my life clear to the Universe. I was done being afraid.

Artistspromendade is the culmination of my leaping off the cliff of fear and praying like crazy that a net will appear to take me to the next adventure of my life with me in the driver’s seat naming and claiming my own path, my own direction. My friend Dominiquie gave me a book, The Artist’s Way, and together we embarked on the author, Julia Cameron’s 12 week creativity course and my life was changed forever. Suddenly my dreams were clear and I knew that I had the grit, fortitude and determination to make them come true if I could push past the fear.

While I was rediscovering my own creativity I found that all around me were creative people, shy and/or bold, who were declaring their dreams and passions and suddenly I didn’t feel so alone. I wanted to explore the creativity that exists in all of us and to showcase those artists to all of you, who are also braving the winter of doubt hoping to emerge into the spring of new beginnings and the excavation of old dreams, or new dreams, or far-fetched dreams, just so long as we are all remembering to dream our dreams and to reach for our dreams.

Finding our dreams, nurturing our dreams and having the courage to claim our dreams reconnects us back to the original Creator who made not just one color green or pink but hundreds of different hues and I am reminded that I can create something from nothing too. I just have to step out on faith and luckily that voice in my head is cheering me on again as I am reaching for my dreams.