Monday, January 24, 2011

RIP Jack LaLanne

In honor of the passing of legendary health and fitness Master, Jack LaLanne, please check out this post from the BTWG blog archives: Click HERE.

May each of us live our lives even half as good as Jack did - the world would be a much happier and healthful planet, that's for sure!

Meditation Update: 24 of 365. I'm happy to report that it's been 24 days, and I have yet to miss a meditation session. The sessions have varied in length from 10 minutes, to upwards of 30 minutes and, as with any meditation practice, the quality varies from session to session.

One thing I have also noticed is the changes and reaction my body is having to the more frequency in seated meditation. To be honest, I used to spend a great deal of time sitting on the floor and I had gotten away from doing it as often. Along with the daily meditation sessions, I'm spending much more time sitting on the floor over the past 3 weeks. I find this practice makes a tremendous difference in reducing stiffness in the body, eliminates tight back muscles and helps to liberate the hips. Did you know that in cultures where people sit and sleep on the floor they have virtually no incidence of hip degeneration or back issues?


Monday, January 17, 2011

3, 2, 1... GO!

"3, 2, 1... Go!" This is the countdown I give before each workout begins at PR Fitness. Today marks the start line for the New Recruits of Project: Bridging the Wellness Gap. Their 12 week journey is officially underway. Be sure to visit this blog and check in on their progress and updates. Also, be sure to check out their blogs and the blogs of several of the BTWG Graduates who are blogging as well.

Be sure to also offer your support and encouragement via the "comments" section on the blogs.

Have a great Day 1, Gang - we are officially UNDERWAY!!!

In honor of the Rev. Martin Luther King...

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Meditation: Days 11 - 15

15 days straight of daily meditation practice. Honestly, it's hard to believe that 15 days have already passed. I'm not so sure I like tracking days in this fashion if its going to make it feel like time is going by even faster than it already does.

Days 11-14 were a little rougher than what I've experienced since day 1 of this challenge, though I somewhat expected that to be the case. Tuesday through Thursday of each week are marathon long days for me and I have very little time for anything other than what I already have scheduled in my day. Once bedtime rolls around, like so many of you, I'm ready to crash and rest. Yet, I stuck to my commitment and, once again, dragged my tired butt to the meditation cushion and sat. Though a couple of sessions were a little shorter, I still sat and gave the practice my fullest attention I could muster.

Next week, my intention is to do my meditation practice earlier in the day on my long work days, rather than at night. I'm confident that will be a win/win (if I can use that phrase regarding meditation) in many respects.

Last night (Saturday, Day 15) was a nice long session after a very rewarding week of getting things finalized for BTWG, including a chance to meet the rest of the New Recruits at Friday's Initial Testing and a great "Orientation" session yesterday afternoon at PR Fitness.

Tomorrow is D-Day for the New Recruits - the 12 week journey officially begins. Be sure to check back to this blog on a regular basis, and more important, be sure to visit the Recruit blogs as well as the blogs from previous BTWG Grads. Rob and Sherri have cleared the dust and cobwebs from their blog and have them fired up and running once again.

Alright Recruits - you ready?!?!


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Check it Out

For all you East siders:
Direct link to the co-op:

Thanks, Sherry C. for the heads up. Now, can you get them to open one on the West side???

Pogues Run Grocery Store...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Committed or Crazy?

You be the judge of that...

As all New Recruits know from your letter of acceptance, I said the motto of BTWG is and always has been "NO EXCUSES!". I said to write it on a post it note, keep it in the forefront of your mind for the next 12 weeks and to "Tattoo it on your forearm (if you do, I will).)" Well... Becky H. did just that. Check it out...
"No Excuses. Dream it do it"

There it is, in skin and ink! The first ever BTWG "No Excuses!" tat. Guess I better call and schedule an appointment... : )

"No Excuses" has many meanings in BTWG and as each Recruit makes their journey, those two simple words take on different meanings for each. I always look forward to how it is interpreted throughout the course of the 12 weeks and the meaning that it can take on.

New Recruits - feel free to post in the "comments" what "No Excuses" means to you!

Meditation - Day 10 of 365: completed. A shorter session this time, perhaps 10:00 or so. Planning on sitting earlier tomorrow rather than waiting for bedtime, though Tuesday is always a marathon day for me so the session may have to wait until the day is done...

Be Well,

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Days 7, 8, and 9 of 365



And, yup, done...

Congrats to all those who completed their initial fitness testing yesterday!

Also, Congrats to New Recruit Becky W. for finishing the Disney 1/2 Marathon yesterday!!! You can read about her event by clicking HERE

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Saturday is the Big Day!

This Saturday is the initial fitness testing for the "New Recruits" of the Winter 2011 round of BTWG. Every round of BTWG there are a handful of Recruits that I have never met in person or those I have not seen in a very long time. So it's always exciting to have our fitness testing session and our Orientation meeting where we all put faces to names and have an opportunity to actually talk, live and in person. While I love the "virtual" component of BTWG, where most of our work over the 12 week course is done via emails, you simply can't replace that human touch; that in-person contact and experience.

Virtual training, emails, and blogging has its up side, for sure - we can exchange information, ideas and experiences when it is most "convenient" for our schedule. Often, I will either stay up very late, or wake very early in order to respond to emails. Additionally, I find that students are often more open and share more via emails and blogs than they will in person. Yet it is these in person encounters and our weekly group meetings that make BTWG what it is - a community!

New Recruits - I look forward to seeing you tomorrow and getting underway!

Rest up. Sleep well and be ready to roll tomorrow.

Be Well,

Meditation - Day 6 of 365.
Nothing much to report. Got 'er done, waaaaay too close to mid-night. Sleep and res
t has been a rare commodity around here this week...

Another BTWG'er accepts Chris' challenge throwdown -
Chris Chambers not only accepted my 30 day meditation challenge, he took it a further and embraced the 365 Challenge! Check out his blog: to follow his meditation and BTWG progress.

Way to go, Chris!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Day 5 of 365

Session 5 of 365 is done.

New Recruits:
I'm looking forward to seeing you at Saturday's fitness testing. Look for more details either later today or early tomorrow.

Be Well,

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Day 4 of 365

I realize that some who peer in on this blog don't see what the big deal is about doing "nothing", every day, for 365 days. Fair enough, but if that is you, let me throw out a challenge. Let me teach you the practice, then lets see you meditate every day for even 30 days! Only then will you know how difficult an endurance challenge this really is. Not saying that to be prideful, just saying that only through direct experience will you know what makes this, indeed, an endurance challenge.

Some interesting points to consider:
  • I assign my clients a meditation practice, along with their nutrition and workout assignments. Hands down, meditation is the assignment that gets missed the most.
  • Recruits in BTWG are assigned weekly meditation sessions. Again, hands down, it is the number one missed, skipped, or "forgotten" assignment during the 12 week program.
  • Though I was first introduced to meditation over 17 years ago, I still struggle with sitting on a regular, consistent basis!
It's interesting that the seemingly "easy" assignment or practice is the one that gets missed or neglected the most. Students will nail every interval session, every strength workout, and maintain flawless journals, yet miss nearly every meditation session!

What gives?

The reasons are many, the excuses are even greater, but at the end of the day it's because we are accustomed to "doing-ness" and "busy-ness". We are accustomed to stimulation, over-stimulation and action. We are accustomed to our minds being Lord and Ruler of our life and have a need to be in charge and in control. In meditation, we are relinquishing some of that control and that freaks some people out. We (our mind) prefer being a human-doing over a human-being.

Additionally, we are a culture who likes results, feedback, recognition, reward, and gratification - in the meditation realm, this stuff just doesn't fly. If you are looking for an "atta-boy!" after a session, it ain't gonna happen. If you are looking for a "good/bad" outcome, it ain't there. If you are looking for some sort of reward or gratification, again, you are barking up the wrong tree.

A handful of students will forsake the practice simply because they tend to sabotage themselves in just about every facet of their training and life - why should meditation be any different?

For others, stillness will bring up fear, stress and anxiety and since we already have plenty of that in our lives, why take precious time out of our day to add more!

There are also spiritual implications that go beyond the context of this post.

So, if you think doing a formal meditation session is no big deal, or a silly challenge, or if you are one of those skeptics/critics, accept my 30 day challenge!

Day 4 of 365 - Finally....?
Only 4 days in and already the ego rebels. "It's late, it's been a marathon day and all I want to do is go to bed!" The house was noisy and I was frustrated. Yeah, it was one of those kind of sessions. Yet at 11:40pm, I dragged my sorry butt to the meditation cushion and did "nothing"...

Monday, January 3, 2011

Day 3 of 365

Third day of meditation out of 365 - really on a roll : ) Longer session right before bed. No better way to end the day...

Be sure to check out all the fresh blogs from the BTWG New Recruits!


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Day 2 of 365, but "who's" counting?

"Day 2 of 365, but 'who's' counting?" - in meditation terms, that, my friends, is not only a good question - it is THE question. If you don't get that, we should talk...


365 Days of... Nothing

Anyone who has been a student of mine for any length of time knows I'm not a fan of New Years Resolutions. If not click HERE to read a post from two years ago on the topic.

Having said that, as of 11:00pm 1/1/2011, I've made a New Years commitment, a commitment to do "nothing" every day for the entire year. As fun as that sounds, let me explain.

First off, this isn't a "resolution", its a commitment or intention which is a change of mind, heart and spirit; very different than a resolution (again, see the related blog post for clarification)

Second, I made this intention last night after a moment of inspiration that also came from the heart - I had no plan to make any sort of definitive changes in conjunction with the New Year. In fact, other than going out to celebrate the New Year, like so many do, I had otherwise ignored the rest of the hoopla that comes along with cracking open a new calendar. So this inspiration and challenge caught me rather by surprise.

Third, by "nothing" I actually mean "Meditation" which in reality is both nothing AND everything!

I've been a long time practitioner of seated meditation (based on Zazen meditation), I typically meditate an average of 2-3 times per week for anywhere from 10 minutes to upwards of 30 minutes. I've taught others this form of meditation. I've taught workshops on meditation and meditation is assigned to those who participate in BTWG. Having said that, I'm no "master" and I know better than to make an attempt to explain "why" I'm feeling inspired to take on this challenge. I also know better than to predict or expect anything to come of this effort - that's not how this game is played.Here is one thing I do know. My 365 challenge is unique from most other 365 challenges I am familiar with in that it involves "nothing". I personally know others who have completed a 365 day challenges and I've seen numerous other blogs from people doing 365 days of "something", i.e. exercise, yoga, Kelly Starretts Mobility Workouts, Dave Lipson's 365 days of Squatting 450#, and so forth. All of these examples are honorable in their own right, yet they are centered around "action" or doing "something". I think there is already far too much doing-ness in our lives and not near enough nothingness. So, here is my contribution and my commitment.

Along with my goal of sitting in meditation each day for a minimum of 10 minutes, I will make at least a brief post or update on this blog everyday.

1 day down, 364 to go...