This Too Shall Pass...Read Now
Previously I wrote a post entitled "We've Stepped in It Now". Same idea here, can you feel it in the pit of your stomach as you read? I sure did when it was happening.
WEDNESDAY November 23, 2016 - One Day Before Thanksgiving
Holy crap!!! We are at LAX with 2 million people ready for our 7 am flight, no problems, clear traffic, everything going swimmingly til bag check counter. We are supposed to be at BURBANK! Are you kidding me!!!!! S*** S***S*** pardon my language. Trying to breath, trying not to cry in front of my kids. BUT Thank you thank thank you to the southwest agent who saved us!!!!! We will not be deterred - we will make it to Denver by 3:30 and kids get to touch down in Sacramento for a wave to our state capitol. The agent even was able to waive change fees ($800) for us. Blessings abound!!!!!!! Happy turkey day here we come. Yes I made reservations months ago - so excited to be at easier airport - brilliant plan UNTIL I FORGOT! Yes my husband printed boarding passes the day before, yay we are in group B. Yes I moved passes downstairs to our luggage for 5 a.m. departure. Yes - BOTH OF US MISSED IT - we didn't catch BURBANK in tiny print on passes
NOOOOO!!! flight delayed!!! S*** S*** S***. We missed our connection in Sacramento. We are stuck in Sacramento for an extra 3 hours and will miss dinner with the family. Arghhh. Thank goodness for wine bars and phone chargers in the airport.
We arrive in Denver safely. We will worry about where our car is parked when we get back to BURBANK on Sunday on our non changeable return flight.
SUNDAY November 27
2:20 p.m. Uber driver finds us at Burbank. All of our luggage made it safely. Zero traffic to LAX to get our car.
3:45 p.m. Huge rainbow in the sky as we head home on a clear freeway.
The start of the trip was hellish, the end was smooth sailing and the middle was, as always, filled with love and family. This had to be the most memorable Thanksgiving trip we've ever had. We are safe, we are happy. We have a funny story.
Blessings AboundRead Now
This morning at 6:30 a.m. I was on the freeway in severe bumper to bumper traffic. Yes, it had been raining so I assumed there must have been an accident ahead. I was in the car with my 14 year old son. As we inched through traffic we noticed debris on the ground to our right and wondered if a truck had lost its cargo.
We were in the right hand lane as we inched along. A tow truck passed us, we began to see flashing police lights and cones guiding traffic around the incident. We came upon the cause - a medium sized motor home completely burned out, blackened holes where the windows had been, debris scattered everywhere.
I began to cry and am tearing up just writing this. Oh My God - a family had been on their way somewhere for the Thanksgiving holiday when this tragedy happened. The vehicle was in the emergency lane so I assume they had time to pull over and escape the flames. We were seeing the aftermath, it must have occurred hours earlier. Tears streamed down my face as my son and I prayed that the occupants were safe. Tragic. So sad. My heart ached.
As I drove with tears down my face, the traffic began to clear and we crested the incline of the freeway. Astonishing! The most gorgeous view I've ever seen in my life. The sun was rising, the misty clouds hugged the base of the mountains in the distance. The rain had cleared the air in the incredible way it does and the view was absolutely spectacular.
More tears streamed. I kid you not, as I am experiencing this contrast of tragedy to beauty I realize that "It's a Beautiful Day" by U2 is playing on our stereo. What an amazing world we live in!
The most special part of this story is that my son and I got to experience this together. He is 14 years old. He was teary too. The experience was surreal. Being stuck in that horrible traffic gave us that time together and such an incredible magical memory that we will cherish forever.
Please take care of yourself and all you love! Be safe and keep your eyes open for the beauty that is around us.
God Bless You and Happy Thanksgiving.
There Are No Limits!Read Now
Lately, so many people have been complimenting me on many things - my energy, my confidence, my ability to spread happiness to other people. It is wonderful to hear but I want you all to understand - whatever you see in me is absolutely a reflection of everything that is you too! We are all made of the same stuff. The same energy that is driving me is within you too.
All of us are the same, we are connected. To be honest, this applies to all the good and the bad (I don't like that vocabulary/labelling but that will be the topic of a future post). When you see something that annoys you in another person, please take a moment to realize that you have something inside you that is similar that you don't like. Resist this thought as much as you like but it is true. That rude person that cut you off on the freeway, that thoughtless friend who forgot your birthday, that neighbor who forgets to bring their trashcans in right away, whatever annoys you - you have some variation of this defect in yourself. Just admit it, just be AWARE of it - just by being AWARE of it will make it so much easier not to judge. AWARENESS leads to compassion, forgiveness, love, acceptance.
But let's get back to the good stuff - recognize and be AWARE that things that you admire, respect and try to emulate that you see in other people are also part of who you already are. Notice these positive attributes. The more you admit that you have these great things inside of you the more they will surface. Foster the good stuff and more will come. Step up and live in the unique gifts that make you special. That person is so well spoken, such an incredible writer, a gifted story teller, a financial genius - I could never do that. STOP! - whatever you admire the most in other people has some root in who you are too. Of course, each person is different and unique with which gifts can surface and be fostered but please know - you are so incredibly gifted and the world deserves to see it. Don't ignore your own greatness!
What ever I am doing with my life right now, it is in response to and being fostered by all the people around me. It is not me, it's all of us. All of our energy is helping lift each other up. You are helping me be better just as I am helping you. We are all helping each other. We are all connected to the same source of energy. We are all Great and we only get better by being AWARE of this! Reach as high as you can, there are no limits.
Watch Out For Those HarE KrishnasRead Now
Oh my gosh so I just have to share. I went to a mat pilates class the other day and got there a few minutes early. I hadn't taken this class before so I asked a man that was already set up and stretching, if he liked the class etc. He replied it was very good and the instructor was great at explaining the basics of pilates. He also liked the music she played.
Well, somehow he proceeded to tell me that when he was in high school he got into a terrible auto accident. He explained that that was when he realized that his father had been right all along....rock and roll music was from the devil.
He went on to explain that after his accident he discovered country music. Oh the people, he said, were so different, so much better quality. He laughed at how his life would have been if he had continued to listen to that rock and roll music and be around those people.
He continued - some of the instructors at this studio play that "hare krishna" type music. He asked me if I'd heard about them.
He explained that they chant and he heard they give koolaid with strange things in it to their congregation to get them hooked. I said thanks for the warning.
I laughed to myself as I set up my mat. I imagined the look on his face when a couple of months from now he sees my photo on display at this same studio offering a workshop on a "chanting meditation".
Oh goodness, watch out for me! But then I thought hmmm, maybe he will instead think - "she seemed normal, maybe I should try it". We'll see, I hope so!
Only You Can Turn The Switch On...Read Now
Finding your motivation to exercise or make any change in your life can be challenging and frankly, a little scary. BUT you are the only one that can make it happen! No matter how much the people around you love and encourage you they can not drive you to the gym or force you to eat healthy food. We all know this of course, but sometimes it's easy to forget when you are dealing with a loved one who isn't on the same page that you are - no matter how hard you try you just can't get them to take care of themselves. Just this morning I was reminded of this truth.
Arghhhh...my spouse and I tried a new gym up the street from our house a few weeks ago. It's awesome! A fun cardio based workout with all sorts of cool gadgets to make it even more interesting and exciting - they even bring you a cool towel and some coconut water at the end of your sweaty workout. I tried it for a free week and convinced my spouse to go to a free class with me.
It was our date! We got through the sweaty class together, what a rush to be with the one you love, laughing together at how hard the workout is and feeling such a great sense of accomplishment when it was over. We made it! It was tough - the coaches were so impressed with how great he did. The best thing was - we survived this crazy cardio workout together and icing on the cake - He got a free week too! So exciting! I went through the schedule and booked him for classes that could work with his schedule for his free trial week.
Monday he was signed for the evening class - he had to cancel because of work. Wednesday he was signed up for the evening class - he had to cancel because of traffic. This morning I had him all set for the 6 a.m. class - 10 minutes to 6 he's all dressed and ready, I say "have fun" and hear him go downstairs to leave. 5 minutes later he reappears at the bathroom door to say it's too late - he can't go and interrupt the class. He breaks down and tells me he really didn't like it he was just going along because he didn't want to be a buzz kill. WTF.
THE ABOVE WAS WHAT I WAS GOING TO POST YESTERDAY. TODAY I WOKE UP THINKING DIFFERENTLY...
Maybe if I just let it go and try to keep my own switch on it will carry over to him. All I can do is keep myself going. All I can do is take care of myself. I can be a good example but even more than that. The energy of my motivation actually may carry him along too and ignite motivation in him. Maybe..
I can talk about high blood pressure and diabetes etc til I'm blue in the face but it's not going to make him budge. I can cook healthy food and pack him lunches but even if he's eating it, his body is really telling him "no", he won't lose weight He won't, he won't, he won't - until he gets there himself. All I can do is take care of myself. All I can do is keep my own motivation up and hope it rubs off on him. It sounds selfish but it's just true, I can only control my own motivation and actions. Even if I drag him there, it won't work unless his heart is into it. It's all in his heart, not mine.
Then it occurred to me this thought can apply to our whole world. Yes, you've heard this kind of thinking before - if not a million times. "The Law of Attraction" and so many other great schools of thought. Maybe you've read many of those kinds of books or listened to podcasts or whatever you are into. Maybe you've never heard of such things. Either way I believe it is true. "Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me". Yes, all good thoughts on spreading love and all so undeniably true. The more positive you put out there, the more positive you will get back.
So I am putting positive thoughts into helping my wonderful husband but my actions can only be for me. The rest is up to him. If you are reading this post and thinking the same - no matter where you are, maybe your good thoughts will help him too. Send him good thoughts from where ever you are.
When trying to help a loved one get healthier this is all we have to hang onto. This is all we can do - let it begin with you.
I'll keep you posted on progress over here.
I Am Healthy
I Am Strong
I am Confident
I Can Make the World a Better Place
Think It - Be It
Today I ran into 2 people I've known for a long time. 2 very different shaped people. 2 people who are interested in training for different reasons but the end result is the same - they want to be healthier and happier.
So the first person tells me she saw my site and loves it. She may be calling me. I started to comment that she seemed in good shape because she was thin and walked so much but she immediately admitted she's not walking much lately and her doctor actually suggested she start exercising, her cardiac health is not so good. It reminded me of another client of mine. Thin, looks great - but she's had a heart scare in the past. You never know just by looking at someone what's going on inside.
It's true - it reminded me of my Nana with her bypass surgery. Not only was my Nana pretty thin her whole life, she actually ate pretty well too (although, now that I recall, she always put a lot of butter on any vegies she served....hmmm I'll save that thought for another post).
From medical research we know that as we get older, (especially women), fat starts to accumulate around our heart muscle and our risk of cardiac trouble increases greatly. Yes, fat around the heart - not elsewhere (well maybe elsewhere too but that's not my point here). Someone can appear thin but don't mistake thin for healthy. Same holds true with cholesterol.
The other person I ran into was of a larger frame. She has been the same shape for the 10 years I've known her. I haven't seen her in awhile. When I told her I had just officially launched my personal training business she replied laughingly "oh and you saw how out of shape I am and I need it." I said no, that's the point, I'm not perfect either. I'm a great trainer BECAUSE I'm not perfect. I hope she checks my site and it gives her some inspiration - she's so beautiful already but she sure would live longer if she got a little healthier. She will figure it out when she is ready.
I hope people will realize that it's not the shape of their bodies that counts, it's what is going on inside. Your heart, your lungs, your joints - every thing you can't see - that's what matters, that's what drives us all.
Don't Risk It...Read Now
The other day I ran into a friend as she was leaving a class at the gym. She had a knee brace on and said she was having surgery in a few weeks for a torn meniscus. She was leaving the class early because she could feel something had twisted in her knee. She was attempting to do her normal Zumba class.
After we parted I couldn't help but think "what was she thinking". From my own experience I know how discouraging it can be to have an injury. It's hard not to crawl up in a ball and eat ice cream instead of adjusting and moving anyway. Digging deep to find that motivation despite your less than perfect body can be daunting to say the least. But it is worth the effort. Anything helps but please make smart choices.
If you have a knee injury for instance - it's probably not the wisest thing to go into a class that requires a lot of lateral movement or to try to play a game of basketball. Safer choices may include such things as:
1 - walking - yes, in a straight line as far as you like, as often as you can. Pick your surface. For me, the treadmill works better than the street because of the padding. Walking will work all the muscles you need to support your knee whether its healing or getting ready for a surgery. Remember to pay attention to the way your foot hits the ground - heel first, then roll forward onto your toes and actually push off your toes as you lift and reach your foot forward to the next step. Reach as far forward as you can to get that stretch and really focus on each step to insure stability for an injured knee.
2 - eliptical - with a knee injury the smooth motion, no impact can be very forgiving and the pedals assist you in keeping proper form (no lateral movement). Just be careful not to hunch over the machine and grip hard on the side rails - you don't want to cause an upper back issue.
3 - spinning - yes it may sound crazy but indoor cycling has zero impact and works the muscles you need to help your knees. KEY - make sure you have enough resistance on the pedals - it can be dangerous if the bike spins out of control and pulls your knees. More tension = safer ride.
4 - swimming - yes this can feel odd if you are not a swimmer but being in the water is a pretty safe choice. Get a kick board and just start going. Again, all the muscles you need to support your knee will thank you. But be careful - when you are kicking make sure to keep your toes pointed, get as much resistance from the water as you can to keep good form. Try not to bend your knees very much when you are kicking. The best form would be to use your entire leg - the motion should come all the way from your hip, a straighter leg, pointed toe will give you more power in the water and be safer for your knees. Oddly enough, even if you are in the water - if your kick is sloppy and from merely the knees down you are putting undue stress on your knees.
You decide what works for you but the best thing you can do with any exercise whether injured or not is to do each motion with intention and focus. Use your body wisely to avoid injury. If you have an injury - don't be afraid to find a different type of exercise than you normally do. Think outside the box and continue to move if you can. New ways of thinking can open up whole new avenues to you. True of everything in life.
Welcome to My Blog!Read Now
Hello new readers! Thanks for stopping to check my blog out. It occurred to me that I should give you an idea of why I'm writing this blog. If you've read my website you can see some of my history. Yes, our family has had some orthopedic issues in the last few years that are now behind us. I'm feeling good about my future and soooo excited to be a certified personal trainer. I love helping people and if you know me - I kind of like telling people what to do and I'm good at it.
Here's a little recap on my relationship with exercise - as I look back I really have loved exercise my whole life. I grew up as a competitive swimmer and got into snow skiing in high school. I played a little bit of a bunch of sports (volleyball, tennis, basketball, etc). I was never the star player but I had fun. It wasn't until my late 20's that I became hooked on going to the gym. I say hooked but really I mean I would go six months consistently then for several months I'd hardly go at all, I was very sporadic but still loved the energy of being in a gym setting. Usually, I'd get really into it if I knew I had a ski trip coming up. I remember charging down the mountain jumping over moguls thinking in my head "thank you stair master". I certainly wasn't a competitive skier but I had fun. Also, just so you know, I never was a string bikini girl no matter how much I worked out. But I felt strong and confident. I had personal trainers off and on and enjoyed going to the gym. While I did enjoy going to the gym, there was also an underlying motivation to stay healthy. My Nana, my Dad's mom, had a coronary bypass surgery. I still remember her going into surgery and it dawned on me "she has always been so fit, how can this happen?". From then on exercise for me took on a different meaning. Now when I spent time on the stair master or whatever, I would actually be thinking "I don't care what I look like, I just want my heart to keep beating". It scared me. Now I still think that but I also think "I want to be a good example for my kids", "I want to live a long time in a healthy body".
As I write this blog I want you to understand that the pointers that I may be sharing have worked or are working for me personally. Everybody is so different. I'm hoping by me sharing what I've learned and continue to learn I can help you get to where you are going too. Maybe my ideas will spark something in you that will help you to figure out what your secret to success is. I say success, but that doesn't mean I think I'm "a success" - I'm still learning too. And by the way, I don't think of success as being perfectly shaped, ready for the front of a magazine. It's ok if I'm not "perfect", I'm just doing the best I can and I hope you can take something from what I'm writing and use it in your own life.
With this blog I intend to share information on exercise and nutrition but also some stories or observations that I may encounter during my life that may help you get a different perspective on things. Sometimes I may write to educate you, sometimes to entertain, sometimes to motivate or sometimes to elevate. Some days I may be very technical when I describe certain exercises or other days I may share a ridiculous observation. I may seem irreverant at times (my mom often laughs at me and says "is nothing sacred?") or very opinionated. I will try to create headers that let you know what is coming so you are given fair warning - you can decide to read my post or not. If you do like or relate to something I've written please let me know. If I get some feedback I'll know better what you'd like to hear about. Most of the time I'll be typing off the top of my head, sort of stream of conscious like right now - so please forgive my rambling.
I hope you enjoy my blog.
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Maria Humphreys is a meditation expert, personal trainer, mom and wife.