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Athlete

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Living my faith and training for a marathon

Heart Health Nugget

Your boss has thrown a curve ball at you. It's really hit home, just might impact your time with your family, your todo list, your life rhythm. Perhaps you start worrying about it. Random thoughts clog up your mind. Affect your sleep, day to day concentration, maybe that's all you talk about with your husband. Maybe you can do something about it, maybe you can't, maybe you should take action, maybe you should be patient. Having a clear mind and heart, listening to your internal wisdom is hard to do when we are worrying, obsessing ... not living by faith. Which is a muscle we need to develop and strength. Here is a practice that can help develop that strength, so when you really need it, it works well. Automatically.
When those random (or not so random) thoughts of worry travel thought your thoughts, simple turn your internal gaze to: [tie_list type="checklist"]
  • repeating a short fav scripture. With reverence.
  • focus ALL your attention on three breaths, with each exhale being a bit longer, out your mouth, releasing stress. With reverence.
  • put your hand to your heart and feel your heart beat for 10 seconds. With reverence.
  • gaze at a tree for 10 seconds, seeing the roots that provide a strong foundation. With reverence.
[/tie_list] Practice this with the little things. Build strength of faith. That all will be well, your answers will come as they should. The help you need will be there! LOVE LOVE LOVE

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Slightly chubby Irongirl

I've always struggled with weight. I've weighed 210 pounds. That's size 16. I'm around a lot of skinny people.

I JUDGE MYSELF. HIGHLY CRITICAL.
I just might have an "I'm enough" issue deep down. Expressing itself as a body self esteem issue. Seriously? Two years ago I couldn't run 1 mile without stopping 3 times and taking 17 minutes. I'm in the best shape of my life. I'm the healthiest I've ever been. I'm gonna be an Ironman soon. That little belief is a BIG FAT LIAR. I'M ENOUGH. All 156 pounds of me. (maybe more than enough.  maybe super forkin' fabulous!)

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What keeps you upright

Did You Know: The dynamics and supportive properties of the human spine are provided by: [tie_list type="starlist"]

  • an intricate network of blood vessels
  • countless specialized nerve endings
  • hundreds of small nerve fibers which connect to structures of the spine
  • more than 220 specialized ligaments
  • greater than 120 individual muscles
  • over 100 intricate joints
  • 34 vertebrae
  • 24 presacral vertebrae (movable)
  • 5 sacral and 3-5 coccygeal vertebrae (non-moveable)
  • 31 pairs of spinal nerves
  • 23 intervertebral discs
[/tie_list] The human spinal column provides flexibility for movement, support for weight bearing and protection of nerve fibers. The spinal column surrounds and protects the spinal cord, which is the main pathway of communication between the brain and the rest of the body. The spinal column also protects the nerve roots and part of the autonomic nervous system. The spine has three major types of joints: [tie_list type="starlist"]
  • synarthroses
  • diarthroses
  • amphiarthroses
[/tie_list] The vertebral column consists of 24 presacral (moveable) vertebrae [tie_list type="starlist"]
  • 7 cervical vertebrae
  • 12 thoracic vertebrae
  • 5 lumbar vertebrae
[/tie_list] The sacrum and coccyx are composed of fused vertebrae and are also considered part of the spinal column. The cervical vertebrae are the most mobile of the 24 presacral spinal vertebrae. The 12 thoracic vertebrae articulate with 12 pair of ribs. The thoracic spine is designed for a minimum of movement, thus providing protection for the internal organs. The large stocky lumbar vertebrae are designed to support the weight of the body Info By American Academy of Spine Physicians Art by Andrea Schillaci

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Running Basics for Beginners

With cooler temperatures now is a popular season for running. Whether you're an experienced runner returning from a season off, or you're ready to start your very first running routine, these helpful tips will get you started on the right (and left) foot!

Wear the right shoes
Carefully choosing your sneakers will prevent injuries and frustrations, thereby boosting your running confidence right from the start! Your local running store can custom fit you for a pair of shoes based on your gait analysis, characteristics of your feet, and the shape of your arch.
Find a running buddy
Running with a friend makes things more fun and holds you accountable, so you’ll stay motivated in your new running routine. Partners can range from an experienced runner acting as a coach, to another beginner looking for encouragement. A quick search on Google also reveals that most cities have local running groups, if you prefer a social run!
Start slow and steady
There’s no need for speed in the beginning (or ever!) of a running program. Responsibly build up your distance to avoid injury or burnout. Remember that it’s okay to take walking breaks – use the tried and true “run-walk” method, "popularized by distance coach Jeff Galloway, a member of the 1972 Olympic team." (NY Times)
Set realistic goals
To keep exercise enjoyable, find practical ways to fit workouts into your schedule, setting you up for success rather than frustration or disappointment. Just because you start a running program doesn’t mean you have to run long distances or sign up for a race. Avoid comparing yourself to other runners. Do what’s best for your body and your schedule!

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The Athlete Meets Yoga

The Athlete is about passion.  Drive.  The Zone.  Whether you run, bike, swim, do gymnastics, play ball …. we are all the same.  We work hard.  We play hard.  As good as our sports are for us, there are drawbacks.   A lot of our activities are repetitive and tend to exercise one muscle group more than another, creating imbalances in the body.  Another drawback is when you do have less than optimal bio-mechanics leading to bad form, the repetitive nature of our activities can lead to lower performance or even injury. In walks Yoga.  Yoga is about balance.  Balance within a movement.  Balance within the joints.  Balance within the mind. Yoga is a fun compliment to any activity that can improve performance and prevent or address injuries.   In simple terms, yoga is a bucketful of poses done in different sequences that exercise the entire body, cultivating balance within the skeleton structure. Through the consistent practice of yoga, the joints become SUPPORTED and ALIGNED as a result of appropriate strength and length within muscle groups.  A runner’s knee pain may be the result of imbalances within the quads and hamstrings or as a result of weak hip stabilizers.  Get on your yoga mat often enough, working towards a nice balanced Warrior III and you find that the hips get stronger, the quads and hamstrings reach equilibrium.  The knee becomes quiet. As you practice triangle pose you’ll learn to respect the limitations of your inner thighs and hamstrings, while using your quads to help the hamstrings loosen.  You’ll find the back stretch coupled with the upper body strength to create a wonderful expression of strength and space.  Each yoga pose has its challenges. The fun comes in with the challenge of each pose, the music, the others in class with you.  It’s an awesome way to do the work needed to keep the body working well and in balance.  This happier body then plays ball better, runs faster, swims more efficiently, sleeps better, recovers faster and experiences less injury. Play Hard.  Do Yoga.

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Where do you work through your crap?

Personal growth. Personal Space. (blah blah blah)

10 years ago I was super angry, with a HUGE CHINA sized wall around me. I sure couldn't share my personal space. I'd beat you out of it in a heart beat. Literally. Learning how to teach yoga, especially to men, was a HUGE HUGE (HUGE) challenge. It's really interesting how little life events intersect. To come together like a couple of chords to make a pleasant sound. Or musical instruments, to play together, to practice...leading to a fine piece of music. It's like...time stops and...AHHHHH. That's what happened to me in the swimming pool during 2012. Apparently, despite the fact that I almost drowned (seriously) when I was little, I am HOME in the water. HOME. What does that mean. We are all made up of...different constitutes. Type A. MB. Wood/fire. There are a ton of ways to characterize people. They all come down to the same thing. I'll lean towards the more holistic/yoga definitions. They are cool and interesting. Type A sounds so ANAL and negative. So...my strongest "elements" (Chinese nomenclature) is WATER and WOOD. Wood would be a lot of TYPE A. Water...more artistic. That part of me a lot of you haven't seen. You can check out my art here...ARTIST. What's the point. When I swim...I'm in the environment to really get in touch with myself. Check this out...whether I like to or not. It sort of...does whatever the F it wants. It can be very frustrating. But useful too. Especially if you know whats going on and can work with it. Speeds you along the healing/integration process. Why am I writing about it now. I'm dealing with something super duper (uber) deep. It's just about finished and I'm swimming in the pool more. So...the emotions come up to the surface. In the pool I'm working HARD to correct some of my weaknesses. (maybe that's why it's in the pool...I'm pretty comfortable everywhere else). Lets all chuckle for a moment. The point is...everyone has a different mix of these "constitute flavors". So everyone is going to be different...where they find that space. In the Catholic Church. In a forest. On a park bench. Mountain top. Playing music. With family. Meditating. Doing yoga. Running. Praying. Sex. For me, for right now...it's swimming. swimming-at-andover1All this STUFF got stored in my body, my mind, my spirit ( my _____ ).  Some of this stuff has been locked up for many longs years, now working its way to the surface and doggedly expressing the need for release. So I swim with my goggles filled with tears. Do my best to scale back and relax. Find rhythm. Honor the process, get my body in sync with the water and let the water do its thing. Here's the KEY: know when the moment has passed and move on. Leave it in the water. Get out of the pool a little bit different. With new space. I hope you find where your space it at. That space that rings true for you. Like a beautiful heart stopping chord.

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