This really big but little word.. Success (poem)

Success

If you want a thing bad enough,
To go out and fight for it,
Work day and night for it,
Give up your time and your peace and sleep for it

If only desire of it
Makes you quite mad enough
Never to tire of it,
makes you hold all other things tawdry and cheap for it.

If like seems all empty and useless without it.
And all that you scheme and dream is about it.

If gladly you’ll sweat for it.
Fret for it, Plan for it,
Lose all your terror of God for it.

If you simply go after that thing that you want.
With all your capacity,
Strength and sargacity,
Faith, hope and confidence, stern pertinacity.

If neither cold, famished and gaunt,
Nor sickness nor pain,
of body or brain,
Can turn you away from the thing that you want.

If dogged and grim you besiege and beset it,
You’ll get it!

– Burton Braley

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Women should lift weights, but do they REALLY need to lift heavy?

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I just got through reading an article directed toward women saying that they need to lift heavy weights several times a week and to, “Put the 5-pound dumbbells away, just put them back in the corner where you found them. Light them on fire while you’re at it.”  It also mentioned the picture in the fitness magazine of the woman standing on one leg on the bosu while lifting a 5lb db is not the workout they (women) need. I’m sorry, but if you ask me, women, or anyone for that matter need several different types of workouts from weights, to cardio, to yoga and pilates. I congratulate the women who take the time to find a workout they love and work it into their busy schedules to do 3-5 times a week!

It even went on to say, “ANYTHING you read in any women’s fitness magazine is suspect. Actually, it’s not just suspect — you can be guaranteed that they’re feeding you inaccurate trash.” Wow. That’s a pretty bold statement. I’d tell the lady who wrote that article to check out Oxygen Magazine. It’s what got me started toward my first Women’s Physique Competition! Certainly NOT inaccurate trash!

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I’m the third from the right in the lavender suit. This photo was taken at the OCB Midwest States Bodybuilding Competition in November 2006 at the Egyptian Theater in DeKalb, Illinois.

So, let’s back up a bit and think about where this person is coming from and what exactly the message they are trying to relay is. Obviously I have no idea who this lady is that wrote this article or what her credentials are, but I think she was a little off base generalizing that every woman who wants to workout should,”put several 45-pound plates on a 45-pound barbell and deadlifting and squatting “. I agree that women should lift weights IF they are cleared to do so by their doctor. There are conditions of which lifting HEAVY weights as the person in the article advised every woman should do, is contradictory to what is truly beneficial to a persons health.

Instead of reading the article I read, I would recommend my clients read something more like this:

8 REASONS WOMEN SHOULD LIFT Or this Why Women Don’t (But Should) Lift Weights

I really liked #7 in the 8 reasons article, “As you age, you are at risk of losing both bone and muscle mass. Postmenopausal women are at a greater risk for osteoporosis because the body no longer secretes estrogen. Resistance training is an excellent way to combat loss of bone mass, and it decreases the risk of osteoporosis.”. Notice it said “RESISTANCE TRAINING”, not “LIFT HEAVY”. By the way, you can also do your own isometric resistance training if you don’t have access to weights or is you are rehabilitating an injury. 

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Iris Kyle MS Olympia  (multiple times over)

Lifting weights does have many benefits as we know, and by now most women are aware that they will NEVER look like Iris Kyle, the Ms Olympia (unnatural Ms.Olympia that you see on TV as opposed to the Natural Ms. Olympia Jodi Miller) by lifting some weights. Besides toning, tightening, and shaping the muscles into looking gorgeous body parts we all find attractive, they offer many benefits that are happening INSIDE the body that we can’t see!

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Jodi Miller, PNBA Natural Ms. Olympia 2012

Of course, if you are a woman looking to compete in Bodybuilding or power lifting competitions, obviously YES! You will have to lift heavy! That muscle doesn’t just multiply like bunnies mating! The people you see on stage take their sport very seriously and they work at it every single day. It takes hard work and dedication along with eating the right things, getting enough sleep, and more. That is INTENTIONAL muscle gains. They don’t lift what is heavy to them every single day though. High rep/lower weights and low rep/higher weigh days are worked into their workout routine along with how may sets and how many exercises for each body part.

***As always, before you start ANY fitness plan or program we always recommend getting a physical evaluation by your doctor and let him in on what your goals are. 

 

“Tough Mudder” – The Experience

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Let me start off by saying that having never done this before, and knowing that I have panic attacks when I am in water that I even THINK may be deep enough to be over my head, I was a bit scared of this endeavor I was about to take on. The only comfort I had going into this was knowing that I was doing this with people who genuinely cared about me and I KNEW I could count on them if I needed them…and guess what, it turned out..I NEEDED THEM! When taking something like this on, you need to be able to count on your team to get you through..NO ONE can do this alone. For this one, my team consisted of my brother John, my brother Jason, my sister-in-law Megan, and my husband Scott, and Jason and Megan’s friend, Justin. We were “The Swampy Donkeys”!

On February 25, 2012 we set out for The Tough Mudder, in Temecula, Ca. at Vail Lake Resort..B-U-Tee-Ful place!! I would love to take a trip there if I were traumatized by this last experience…just kidding…it is gorgeous and I would love to spend some time there doing something other than the Mudder. I wish I had been able to take a picture from the top of one of the climbs because the view was amazing!

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This challenge and that is what it is…they even say so, “This is not a race, this is a challenge!” I found it interesting when the man with the mic said that, In my head I couldn’t help thinking, “ just like life.” I don’t know why that popped in at that time, but it did.  We were off…through the mud and up the first “Death March”(this was the first of many uphill dusty dirty mountain climbs. I have to admit that I was pretty proud of my efforts…my success AND my failures. I did well! Somewhere along the way I managed to bang up my knee a bit..I have no idea when or where it happened.

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There is a lot of good that can come out of a “challenge” like this. Finding out who you can depend on, who you can’t(glad I didn’t have any of those kind of people on my team), you have mental barriers to break through (one for me was during one of the “death marches” was having to think to myself, “If a Marine with only one leg can do this..I sure as hell can do it with two!” Let us also not forget that this is a fundraiser for “The Wounded Warrior Project” so not only are you doing something for yourself mentally and physically, but you are helping our American Heroes when you sign up for this.Image

“Quit whining and start running”… (Another sign to be read along the Mudder route),I think this is the approach we should all take in life. We can go slow…walk and whine, or we can move forward and know that the next challenge. Whether it is a “success” or if it is an “opportunity for improvement” (which is what I see every success attempt is).  There were some obstacles that although I was very proud I attempted, I did not complete (Chernobyl Jacuzzi), I know what to expect for next time…yes, NEXT TIME!

I’m interested in putting together teams for future Tough Mudder Challenges and other obstacle course challenges across the USA , if you want to be on one of the teams in your area, let me know…this could be truly an AWESOME, AWESOME…event for all those who commit to completing these challenges! I’d love to have you join us!