Wednesday, January 28, 2009


NOTE: For all of my blog readers that don't live in Indiana, the relevance of this video comes from the beautiful snowfall that finally arrived...

Hey Gang,

Some of you have been friends, students, and blog readers of mine for a long time. Back before I was blogging, I was sending out helpful tips via emails. Now days not only can I blog rather than email, I can also embed YouTube videos. My, my, my how technology has changed what I do. At any rate, those of you who have been with me for a while know how I feel about using machines to do what we can and should do with our own power - you know, things like using a snow blower rather than a good old snow shovel. In my view, why use a machine, especially one that spews noxious gases and poison into the environment when I can do it with a snow shovel that leaves no carbon footprint, and it's good for me?

I enjoy getting outside, trusty show shovel in hand and getting in a great workout as I clear the snow from our driveway and sidewalks. Usually, the only thing that disrupts my shoveling meditation-in-motion is the racket of all the snow blowers my neighbors are using : -)

Driving through our neighborhood last night, I counted 10 people plowing their driveway with a snow blower, and yes, all 10 looked like they could have used the calorie burning workout of shoveling the snow rather than strolling behind their blower.

Now, I totally understand if your driveway is as big as a landing strip, yet I'll bet you could at least shovel a path to the road using a shovel (my parents are exempt on this as their "driveway" is 1/2 mile long!).

Personally, I enjoy all the goofy looks I get from my neighbors when I'm one of the few adults out there with a shovel. In fact, last year, my neighbor offered to use his machine to clear my drive and, much to his bewildered stare, I said "thanks, but no thanks". Honestly, if I were a gazillionaire, I would still be out there shoveling away.

If you are up for a little snow shovel workout, as with any workout, proper form and technique are crucial. Below is a YouTube video which shows the basics of proper shoveling. Along with this basic instruction, I would encourage you to keep your core activated, engage "Root Lock", if you are familiar with this yoga technique and finally, I would encourage you to be mindful as you engage in this activity. As you shovel, pay attention to how you feel, to the snow you are removing, and for each flake of snow that you observe. Notice the texture and quality of the snow. Observe the nature of snow - beautiful, unique, and transitory, just like your life. There is a lot of magic and wisdom in shoveling snow.



Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Class Cancellation

Hey Gang,

My 5:45 Cityoga class has been cancelled for tonight. If you have to be on the roads, please be careful!

If you were intending on practicing with us tonight, I encourage you to do a solo practice at home, or spend some quality time meditating, reading, doing something creative, or cooking/eating a meal with mindfulness.

In Peace,
ps - No, I have not chickened out on the post I wanted to have up by Sunday or Monday. Fact is, I'm responding to weekly email updates from 36 Project Recruits and 2 Veterans! So, you can imagine what I will be doing with my "unplanned" free time tonight...

Friday, January 23, 2009

Day 5 and Still Alive!

Hey Project Blog Readers,

If you have been following the Project blogs, you are getting direct insight into what some of the current Project Recruits are dealing with this week - tender muscles, flaring and rebelling egos, cranky and irritable attitudes, and more. The first 2-3 weeks of the Project are by far the toughest for most people. Along with what you have read on the blogs, here are a few comments I've received this week:

"I haven’t started my blog yet, but I do want you to know if I could have lifted the phone after my workout to call you, I would have quit."

"I need to apologize for calling you a ‘dirty rat bast**d’ this morning at 5:45 when I finished my second set of jump squats (I could only do 18 of them)- I did not mean it- really :)"

"Things are going well so far....thanks for opening a can of whoop -ass on me! It feels good to train like this again...."

"Now, can you come get me out of my office chair please? LOVE THOSE QUADS!"

"Hey, I am definitely ready. I followed the diet last week (Chris Note: referring to the week prior to the official start), but did only two yoga classes for the exercise and I still lost 8 pounds! Woo! Gotta love the first week. lol Hopefully week two will be as good since I will be adding in the exercise. :)"

"FYI – Day one going well. According to the scale here at home, I’ve already lost about 5 pounds since weigh-in last Sunday. I kept to my normal exercise routines at the Y last week, but L. and I have incorporated much better eating since reading the manual. And I’m going to my very first Yoga class with Marsha P at 5:30 this afternoon. A big day…."

There you have it, a little "behind the scenes" look at what's happenin' in the Project. GOD, I LOVE MY JOB!!!!

On another note, I'm working on a sort-a hefty blog post that I'd like to have out either Sunday or Monday. The question is whether or not I will be brave enough to post it... Stay tuned...

Have a great weekend. Play hard, train hard, love lots, take time to sit in silence, and pray for those getting ready for Week 2!

In Peace,

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Phyllis Update

Hey Gang,

I know many of you have stopped by the Project blog only to find the same post that's been up since Monday. That was my intention, as I wanted to give everyone a chance to read my request.

Last night, I was given an update on Phyllis' status and there is lots of great news. While we all thought she was having surgery on Wednesday, it was actually on Tuesday and it went very well. In fact, I understand that she is already home and beginning this phase of her recovery. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers as I am certain they were helpful. Please keep Phyllis in your prayers as she still has challenges ahead and it may be a long recovery process. You guys rock!

Also, Sam sent me an email today and she is almost up and running, literally. She tested things out with her strength and toning workout, minus the leg movements. So far, so good! Again, thanks for your thoughts, prayers, and support.

I am working on a post that I envision putting out there tomorrow, though it's one that is taking me pretty deep, so don't be bummed if it doesn't show up until Sunday. Heck, with 14 other Project blogs to visit, that should keep you plenty busy until I have a new post for ya! : -)


Monday, January 19, 2009

Thoughts and Prayer Requests

Hey Gang,

It's been a ton of fun getting ready for today's launch of the Project, sharing news about new Project blogs and knowing that today marks a pivotal point in many lives. Yet, it is important to remember that while we are filled with excitement and making life-changing choices, there are those among us who are dealing with some personal adversity, and in this case adversity to their health, fitness, and well-being.

First, if you visit Sam's blog, you will read of a spill she recently took which resulted in a painful, swollen ankle: Please send her your prayers and intentions for a speedy recovery. After reading her blog and an email exchange, I'm confident that Sam will be up and at it very soon. I'm inspired by her attitude...

I would venture to guess that very few of you know Phyllis, which is unfortunate and I would have to say, your loss. Phyllis has been a student of mine longer than anyone else. She attended either my very first, or maybe second yoga class I ever taught in a gym/studio setting. Over the last 9 years, Phyllis has attended classes with me at the old Brownsburg Lifefitness gym (which is now closed), Peace Through Yoga at Eagle Creek, Twisted Sage (our former studio) and currently attends my Wednesday evening class at Cityoga. She has rarely missed her weekly class with me and has always been a quiet inspiration for me. Those of you who attend my Wed. class, will know her from being in the front row, right next to Chris W., every week.

Phyllis is facing a pretty serious health challenge and will be having surgery this Wednesday. We won't be seeing her in class for a little while, yet I'm confident we will see her before long, once she gets back up to speed. One thing I know about Phyllis is that while she is often quiet and a truly kind-hearted person, she is also tough as nails and let's nothing slow her down or stand in her way. If you would, please include her in your prayers and thoughts, especially when she has surgery this Wednesday. I know we will have a moment for her in class and keep her in our thoughts.

Thanks, guys. And, if you have something you would like me to pass along, perhaps a prayer request, just let me know. The power of community prayer is one of the most powerful and potent forces in the Universe.

In Peace,

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Tomorrow is "D-Day"! Godspeed, Brave Ones

"I am in focus mode. I am, in less than 24 hours, officially beginning the BTWG "fitness protection" program. Good luck to all of us." - Pam "The Blam".

By the way, if it's any conciliation, tomorrow, I too will be launching into my next wave of my own Project experience. I, along with two other brave souls, am setting out on a covert Project: BTWG operation; a Top Secret mission to test out another realm of BTWG. Assuming we survive, I will share the experience with all of you in greater detail upon completion (mid-April).

So, on those days when you just ain't feelin' it, or you are on the fence about doing your workout, or you are ready, willing and able to cave on your dietary discipline - just remember that I too am facing my own demons and testing my edges and willingness to rise higher. I'm right along side of you, all in the name of health, fitness, and well-being.

Let's be adventurous, let's see how deep this rabbit hole goes, let's embrace the challenge and see what lies beyond complacency and mediocrity. What say you?


Friday, January 16, 2009

Project: YouTube Channel

Hey Gang,

Just wanted to share with everyone that I recently created a YouTube channel. The main intent of the channel is to post video footage of the exercises/movements that are assigned in the Project workouts. While the quality of my videos are far from pro level, I'm pleased with how they turned out and I'm also pleased that I was able to figure out how to shoot, download, edit, upload and create a YouTube channel. Here is the link:

As the Project evolves, I envision adding other videos of interest and videos that can help educate and inspire not only the Project crew, but anyone who visits our channel.

Check 'em out, let me know what you think. Here is a sample:

If you haven't visited my online forum recently, you may want to check it out. As the next round of the Project is soon getting underway, the forum activity has picked up a little. There is a link in the right column of this blog, or you can go here:

Finally, the first brave New Recruit has posted a new Project blog. Ginger Schonberg launched her blog yesterday so be sure to visit when you can and maybe leave a comment for her as well. You can access her blog from the link on this blog or go here:

Thanks for stopping by. Stay warm and join us for Sunday's Strength and Toning workshop at Cityoga, 9-11am.



Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Project Strength Workshop

Hey Gang,

This Sunday, I will host a workshop at Cityoga from 9am - 11'ish. The focus will be on learning the exercises assigned in Month 1 of the Project, proper form, technique and there will be plenty of opportunities to ask your questions. This class is open to anyone interested, participation in the Project is not required, though the exercises taught will be limited to those assigned in the Project workouts. Fee for the workshop is $5 and I would need at least 5 people to participate to host the workshop. Please email me if you intend to attend the session:

I've left the end-time open as I am willing to stay as long as needed to coach everyone and ensure you are 100% ready to get your Project underway on the 19th. I'm guessing the workshop should wrap up between 10:30-11:00am.

If you have resistance band you plan to use for your Project workouts, please bring them with you to the clinic.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Recruit Testing Rocked!

Man, what a day!  I'm still processing what an amazing experience the recruit fitness testing was... or, is.  I owe a HUUUUUGE shout out to all the Project Grads who turned out, a couple of Grad spouses, new recruits who jumped in to help, as well as recruit friends and spouses.  What a crew.  Everything flowed as I envisioned it would, yet I was/am still blown away at how smooth everything went and how perfect everyone was at their station.  I cannot imagine how things could have gone any better.  

Whether you volunteered for 1/2 hour, 2 hours or the entire 4 hours your presence helped create a seamless flow from start to finish, kinda like one of my yoga classes.  Plus you really put those at ease who were anxious about the testing, or emotional over the results.  I seriously could not have made this happen without you.  Heck, I'd still be there, cross-eyed, trying to finish up evaluations had it not been for all of you.  I owe you, BIG TIME!!!  If you were there for at least 2 hours, your next Urban Adventure is on me!  Just be sure to remind me.  

I received several comments about how "well organized" the event was and how helpful and friendly everyone was.  In fact, are some emails that have already arrived:


Ok, the day I’ve been dreading was not so bad. I was actually comfortable and although a couple of my numbers were shocking, I’m committed to changing them over the next 12 weeks...



"The surprises begin early!  I sorta, kinda, a little bit enjoyed the running this morning....thanks for putting the opportunity out there to remind me to try something I told myself for 20 years that I detested.  

I’m hungry now for all things BTWG...give me more!

Thought the testing ran smoothly this morning....nice folks you have involved- participant and graduates, all of whom were very encouraging.

No need to respond...just a thanks for today and the next 3 months.



And this from Pam "the Blam" who is officially doing the Project this round:
"It was a great morning!  I was so impressed, but not surprised, so many from the first group came to help!"

Since things went so perfectly, I was able to do an hour trail run immediately following the testing.  As an added bonus, I had the good fortune of being accompanied by Project Grad, Carrie Russel and Dave, her husband.  I was having flashbacks of the Tecumseh Trail Marathon, what with all the ice patches and slick trails, yet it was an enjoyable run with great company.  Thanks for joining me, guys!

Well gang, be sure to check in for progress reports, Project news, announcements (I have some good ones comin' soon), and hopefully some new Project blogs hitting the cyberworld very soon.  With this fresh group of Recruits I'm sure there will be lots of smiles and tears over the next few months; there were several at the testing.  The road is gonna be tough for many, yet I also know that those who are willing to move forward, to follow the plan, to show up for the meetings, and being to live with "No Excuses" will experience some amazing transformations in the next 12 weeks and beyond.

Okay, back to work with me.  Lots of training programs to email, some explaining to do and more.


Thursday, January 8, 2009

Project Blogs On Fire

Check out the Project blogs listed in the right hand column.  Man, they are on fire!  Thanks, gang, for keeping it real and leading the way!  Also, thanks for welcoming the New Recruits!



While talking to a recent Project Graduate, I realized that I made an error in my previous post. I wrote there is a lone out-of-towner in this round, when in fact we have two. My long time student and friend, Ian Mertens currently resides in Ft. Wayne. Funny, I still feel like he should be living in Indy, so I often forget he recently moved further North. As with Cindy, I am hopeful to see Ian at as many events, classes, meetings and gatherings as possible. Either way, I am confident both Recruits will rock the Project in their own way.


Welcome New Recruits!

Hey Gang,

I don't know if any of you use comcast as your internet provider, but I do.  If so, is it just me or did they totally change the email system?  At any rate, as I was attempting to email our Project "New Recruits", I successfully deleted the entire New Recruit email list from my address book.  Lord how I love it when that happens.  So, New Recruits, if you are reading this, I will have a couple emails heading your way as soon as I get things sorted out, which will be either late this evening or tomorrow.  

I do want to thank all who attended last nights New Recruit Orientation.  Only one of the initial 35 recruits was unable to attend.  It was pretty amazing to see everyone in person, to meet new friends and to see some familiar faces that I've missed.  Welcome, or Welcome Back, as the case may be!

If you noticed, I said "initial 35 recruits".  Well, turns out, we now have 36!!!  I decided to include one more New Recruit.  Her name is Cindy (I'll check with her before posting her last name) and she will be our lone out-of-towner in this round.  While she lives in Columbus, Indiana, I hope to see her at as many events and gatherings as she can fit in her schedule.  Cindy is a close friend of Pam "The Blam" and attended one of my Urban Adventures years ago, so I am really excited to have her in our group.  Welcome Aboard, Cindy!

I'm away from my desk until later this evening, when I intend to figure out this darn new email system... ugh!

Oh, and another thing New Recruits and Project Grads -- I have 2 pretty cool surprises coming your way soon; I think your gonna love 'em.