Healthy Habits for Living

Physical training for children stands against many of the same obstacles that adults experience and The typical exercise venue for youths who are not inclined to play sports is limited.

Children develop at different rates even among the same age groups, and this can lead to anxiety when physical activity does not come naturally. Add to this the fact that some people simply, myself included do not like to exercise in groups and and you have a recipe for decline even among the very young.

Personal training for youths is one solution to this. Working with a personal trainer allows a one on one personal relationship which takes into consideration the specific needs of your child. It is not a replacement for sports training if you child is involved in sports but it can add to it positively, and for those children who prefer not to , it adds a private way to develop a life long habit of caring for their bodies in a measured and progressive way. This can contribute to feelings of accomplishment and confidence, and increased health.

Working with a trainer educated to working with youths is important because your child is not a small version adult. He or she has unique issues in their training that adults do not have. Hydration, heat and cold sensitivity, coordination issues and motivation all vary and ideally you would like to have a trainer for your child who will meet your child as an individual and respect their differences while still encouraging them to be their best and to build on their best.


Physical decline associated with aging is not simply the result of getting older. It’s a product of becoming less active as we age. The human body needs regular physical activity, exercise, and good nutrition. This doesn’t change when you move into old age—the old adage “use it or lose it” is probably more true when you’re in your 60s and beyond than when you’re in your 40s. Not practicing healthy habits (regular exercise and good nutrition) can lead to problems like excessive muscle loss, deteriorating bone density, declines in strength and endurance, and problems with balance and flexibility.

The process does not need to be grueling, only consistent and designed to accommodate any issues you might already have. People over 60 have different training needs and goals than their younger counterparts and working with a trainer who is educated to that and enjoys working with people in this age group can make the process more enjoyable and effective.

Ready, Steady, Go!

I have been back to work almost two weeks now, and understandably, things are slow. At the gym things are different, but the same. Cleanliness was always strongly encouraged and now it is stressed. Everything is wiped down before and after every use, Spray bottles with disinfectant are provided for every member and trainer. The bottles themselves are wiped down after every checkout. The showers are now also stocked with these, and there are employees walking around cleaning through out the day. The gym closes early for deep cleaning and fogging. All a little new and a little old.

The best part, People are coming in to work out, reinforcing their commitment to a healthier way of living. The feeling of camaraderie is still there and people are glad to see one another returning. They ask after those they don’t see. Some lament the time lost, but most are just happy to be back and to see others.

Those client that have return to work with me remind me that what I do now is what counts. My undivided attention and willingness to take extra steps to see them comfortable and safe. The focus is on the now, and the short term future. Not how do we make up time lost, but what can we do from where we are now. Not what will we do in the future, but what can we do now to ensure the future will be better on a singular level. That the person with me now will be more ready for what ever comes or doesn’t.

And the swimmers are starting back as well. It is good to see their bright faces and if there is one place in my life where normalcy is more about attitude than action it is there. Children remind me that this moment, this very second, is the most important of my day. It is the only one that matters till the next one gets here. The sense of excitement is contagious, and there is no impending doom. Its all about how to swim, and how to enjoy it.

I think this is the truth about building a lasting plan for improved fitness at every and any age, not just how to do it, but how to make it fun.

Its a beautiful day and my garden is calling me, further proof that humans will work their butts off at something they enjoy.. Till next time…

Rethinking, rebuilding, re-certification…

So here we are, 2020 off to a bumpy, yet interesting start, and officially this is my year to re-certify for personal training. Personally I enjoy the re-certification process because it allows me to refresh the knowledge I already have, pick up on new thinking in the field and educate myself in new areas.

Particularly in the past I have educated myself to better serve the clientele I usually provide service to. Those in the 50 and over category. This was a natural choice for me for two reasons, a. I was in my 50’s when I moved into this career, b. I really wanted to help people to have a better quality of life, and I believe that a consistent exercise program tailored to specific needs and goals is the way to to that, and to maintain brain health.

But with the growing statistics about youth health problems related to inactivity, and myself having raised one, in his words, “not really a sports person mom” son, i started to think about what gets done for those kids.

My own son was home schooled beyond fifth grade and so physical activity was built into his life. Basically we tried everything that caught his fancy, from skate boarding, to slack lining, bicycling and parkour. I “forced” him to walk with me and poor Sophie nearly daily and tried to lure him into the gym when ever possible.

My second set of kids attends public school, and you would think, problem solved, but money for these kinds of programs appears to have gone out the door with the music and arts programs, and resources are and time limited at best. Sometimes PE seems not even to be in the curriculum or is at best an elective.

So i set out to see what could be done about this. There are classes to certify to teach sports, but that was not where I was headed, and courses to certify to teach groups of children, which is great, but teaching swimming lessons for children and doing personal training for adults has shown me that not all people are comfortable, learn well, or can stay focused in a group setting.

I think it is important to clarify at this time that I am making a distinction between, children and adolescents. My primary interest is in the age group falling between 5-11 yrs old with some exceptions made at either end depending on development and family inclusion. (siblings also training)

Personal training for children allows your child to work and grow in the manner best suited to their interests and abilities while providing a well rounded over all fitness which can improve confidence, health and focus in other areas of their lives as well. It will set them up for an educated, fun and balanced approach to exercise and help them learn how to set goals and work toward their achievement.

The training will be informed by my work as a personal trainer, swimming instructor for children, and specialized education. Your child will be treated in a positive, respectful manner and will be taught to celebrate their day to day accomplishments.

I will update as soon as I am able to take clients!

I hope it is as beautiful where you are as it is in Billings Mt this morning! Good bye for now.


IF You Work With The Truth, The Truth Will Work With You…

The place where most of my progress happens, little by little

So the other day, after i got trapped under the bar, I got to thinking about some things. For instance I remember when my mom got crushed by her horse and I was driving back and forth from Billings to her ranch, about 70 miles the other side of Kalispell,700 miles plus one way, how tedious the trip was and how I often drove so very fast to get it over with. During one of the trips back to Billings I was talking to my counselor at the time, recounting the story of picking up a hitch hiker on my way back to Billings. Of course he did not think this was a good choice, or maybe he asked me if I thought it was a good choice. I was very stressed, mom sick, divorce under way, wanting a new life and terrified I would be causing irreparable damage to my son, and this manifested it self in a rash measure of flippancy. I told him I was not worried about it because I was sure my rider was not going to try anything stupid as I was averaging 115 miles per hour. I no longer remember how the rest of the conversation went, beyond me being sure that it was ok because my son wasn’t in the car. Some how I had totally missed the effect a drastic car accident would have had on him long term. Me, the same person who was in counseling because I was so very worried about the effect of a divorce on him! In fact until I picked up that poor hitch hiker it never once, in all those trips back and forth between mom’s and home, occurred to me that I might wreck. How odd that when it did, it was a misguided thought of self preservation. “he won’t hurt me, I am driving so fast he knows he’ll die too.”

It wasn’t that he didn’t know how fast I was driving either, but to give him credit, he said little or nothing about that except to point out a hi-way patrol car that I never saw or really believed was there , but it did if I remember correctly, cause me to slow down. We stopped for gas some place, and in the end he asked to be dropped by a bridge. I do feel now that I owe that man an apology for putting his life at risk.

The point of this deflection is to say that when I got under the bar the other day, I knew it was a bad idea to not have a spot or at least warm up. I knew before I got under the bar, I knew when I lifted the bar and it felt heavier than I remembered, I knew at the half way point,and I did it any way.

Life is a funny thing. I have been given more helpings of grace than I ever could have earned, again and again I have made decisions either based on self will, or not thought out at all, and taken potentially and some times actually disastrous action and yet I am still here.

That’s the thing about grace, you can’t earn it. It’s a blessing, pure and simple.

Fast forward to today. Today I wanted to try again for a pr, but this time I did it different. I lined up a spot first, I warmed up first. I ramped up, and I made adjustments as I went, and while I did not do it as stunningly as I might have hoped, I was pleased with my effort and I was glad that I had not put myself at risk. That I had been grateful for the grace granted that day when I trapped myself and reconsidered my willful impatience. I was grateful and I acted like it.

Impatience is deadly for me. I know that. Wanting what i want when I want it has caused me many times in my life to take actions that have hurt others and myself. I also know that comparing myself to others is just as dangerous. That always feeling like I come up short without considering the truth of my own worth, has also caused me to take actions that have sometimes hurt others, and always myself. That seeking to be more of something to make up for another area where I feel I am lacking is a short cut to trouble.

I am amazed by the people I know and the things that they achieve. I want to lift and celebrate them and not compare myself to them.

Gaining power is a slow process for me, but no slower then anyone else. I came to this later in life and there are age based considerations. This is a fact, not a barrier. If you work with the truth, the truth will work with you. Constantly fighting against this instead of working with it slows down my progress and a time or two has lead to injury. I don’t wanna be like that. I want to accept my weaknesses and celebrate my achievements. I want to be an asset to the people about me and not my never impatience to be more and better become a source of turmoil.

I cut this out of a magazine a long time ago. It helps keep me on track attitudinally. Is that even a word?

Take good care of you, be proud of yourself just as you are now,and be kind to yourself…

Stuck, and other cautionary tales.

So, the other day the kids and I rearranged the gym in the basement. The main reason for this was that my last rearrangement was not well planned. For instance, I am lucky enough to have collected two bars, and I keep one set up for dead lifts and one on the bench. The dead lift was too close to the bike and when I was loading plates the other day i nearly knocked the bar off the concrete block I use fro rack pulls, and trying to move I nearly tripped over the sandbag which didn’t belong where it was in the first place.

I also felt trying to load plates on the bench was crowded. So after much groaning around from the under 15 set, we went to work and created a more spacious and safe arrangement.

Roll forward a day or so, and I went down for my workout. I was scheduled for bench and upper body work. Unfortunately I was in a hurry and elected not to warm up. Usually this is not a problem for me, although it is a poor habit, so you can imagine my surprise when I found myself at the bottom and stuck! I had to yell for for help. I was embarrassed, because I knew if I wasn’t sure I should have waited for someone to spot, and because the weight i had on I usually manage easily when I ramp up. So I dropped the weight and put up a few to mend my confidence, and next time I will have a spot.

The last time I got stuck under a bar was 2012, that little incident taught me to leave off the clamps when I lift alone. I don’t intend for there to be a next time…

Lift safe, get a spot when you can, and always leaves some in the tanks when you can’t, and for God’s sake Grace, WARM UP

Its all in the Perspective.

Times like this remind me of when we moved to Montana. The house was not ready to move into, or more properly the old owners had not been delivered their new home yet. We lived at a camp ground by one of the lakes between Kalispell and Libby for the whole summer. 5 kids,one a baby still, two adults and a dog. I was 10, Michael 9ish, Sonja 7ish, Audrey 6ish and Martin was one.

Why I think of this is that my mom fed, bathed and cared of all 5 of us kids in a camper in the back of a truck. She was stuck with us all day and night. She sorted out fights, owies, bedtimes and all the hassle of getting those of us old enough sighned up for school 40 miles away with not cell phone, or phone of any sort.
When the noise of two kids and 2 dogs in a full house where everyone has their own rooms, seems WAY too much to deal with. I remember this. When the hassles of computer education with its beginning bumps and hiccups frustrate me, i remember this.

A large part of my growing up was spent on a ranch of sorts 25 miles from the nearest town, with no near neighbors and a party line. There were no computers, no tv reception, no cell phones. I don’t recall ever being bored.

There were circumstances at home that made me dread not being able to go to school, but boredom was not an issue. I like to joke about and say that we didn’t dared tell my mom we were bored for fear of the work that would come, but I don’t really know it that was true. That is the way of family mythology, some one thinks it sounds good, and repeats it till the next person also does, and then it becomes mythological truth.

There was always plenty to do and any true time i had I spent reading, or drawing, or making up songs, or exploring.

It is not the fault of today’s’ kids that they don’t know how to live with out constant distraction, diversion and or entertainment, we, as children, did not know there was a choice.

How fortunate for me that I can pass on these skills.

I’ll part with this, I am thinking seriously about ordering up some yarn and teaching both kids basic crochet skills. I never had the patience for knitting, though I watched my mother read and knit at the same time in the evenings, but someone on the school bus during the 25 mile ride every morning taught me how to crochet. They can make pot holders, and scarves. There is something very fufilling in making something you can actually use.

Take care of yourselves, start with a good night’s sleep. Experience would suggest that sleep can bring miracles, and above all, don’t eat your young!

Hiccup Lament: Time for a Reset!

It hasn’t been that long since work and I had to take a temporary hiatus. I miss my work. I love doing personal training, and I especially love doing it in person with people who might not be able to do it otherwise. People with age, health and balance issues for whom trying to follow along on the computer is not really an option even if they are tech savvy. I also miss my little swimmers!

I’m not sure when my attitude dipped and the eating commenced. Stress eating, boredom eating, emotional eating, call it what you will, i would have said no, its not a problem, but last night I was bloated and miserable, from poor food choices. And when I started back tracking, I found it began on Sunday, when I was slated for heavy legs and could only do part of my workout. I remember voicing the concern that I would lose a lot of ground without that part of my workouts.

So Three days. Not a lot, but I can do a lot of nutritional damage in three days.

But its also just a hiccup in a long term plan…

Today I have been concentrating on the basics. Drinking lots of water, because I am a ‘Bring on the Salt’ type of girl. This is not good for my blood pressure among other things. Taking a look at what I can add to my program to make up for the loss of heavy work, and believe it or not, adding more cardio. This is to help fill time, and not an effort to out run my eating.

Meanwhile on the food front, for today I can say I have only eaten what i intended to when i intended to eat it.

I know a lot of people are struggling right now with being able to workout at all, or with having to make such drastic changes to their style of workout that it nearly kills the desire to try at all.

I am fortunate to have what I need mostly, for the type of work I like to do. I can bench, I can dead-lift. Over the years I have collected various and sundry types of accessory equipment. Losing hope over the lack of one area of my program does not suit me well.

I will embrace this time to:

A. do what I can B. Work on the areas I usually neglect ‘how do you spell flexibility and mobility?” C.Try something new

And above all I will be grateful, for my health, for the health of those I love, for a clean warm safe place to live, and for discipline, that magic tool which always keeps me moving, regardless of how I feel about it on any given day.

Take care of yourself, celebrate the good things, hunker in with your families and make excuses to have fun, and know this, if you think you see someone jumping at my house, its not me. LOL

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