Anyone who has ever met my kids knows that they begged and begged for a dog forever. It wasn't until a week before my oldest left for college that I finally caved, and we became the proud owners of a beagle. (You can follow Miss Mabel on Instagram!)
Miss Mabel was tiny, and she fit in the palm of our hands. It wasn't long before she showed us she had a mind of her own, and her naughty side began to show. I talked to a dog trainer, and she suggested doggy daycare to help socialize her. That plan didn't stick though because we fell in love with a sweet sheltiepoo, and we bought Mabel a companion instead. Sassy Cassie (Instagram) looked a little like Cruella Deville, with white fur on one side of her head, and black on the other. She quickly whipped Mabel into shape, and the two are best friends and companions.
In my two years as a dog owner, this is what I've learned:
There is something powerful about this time of year. I know not everyone gets to see the seasons change like we do in the Midwest, but October in Kansas is always a reminder to me to take time to slow down and reflect and pay attention to what is going on around me. Years ago, when my kids were just little, I was still working full time at a job that I loved in marketing, but I was so stressed out with little kids and a full time job... and if I’m being honest, I was also probably a bit depressed
Because I was feeling down, and blah and in a funk, it really struck me that year when I realized that the trees had completely changed colors, and I had missed – had not even noticed - the beautiful changes in the leaves as they turned their oranges and reds before they wound up being a crunchy brown mess on the sidewalks and lawns. And it made me sad. And I made a point to tell myself that every year at this time, I needed to make sure that I paused and noticed the leaves and...
“You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.” -- We Bought a Zoo
This is one of my favorite quotes from the movie We Bought a Zoo, which was first an international best-selling memoir written by Benjamin Mee, who bought a zoo that was falling apart, and moved his family there. There’s a great scene at the end of the movie where he takes his kids to the place that he met their mother and he acts out the scene where he first got up the courage to talk to her, using his 20 seconds of embarrassing bravery.
I like this quote because… think about all the greatness we could achieve, if we pushed all our fears aside for just 20 seconds and just did or said whatever it was that was on our mind. I’m not talking about mean things like yelling at the waiter because your order is messed up, or yelling at your kid’s teacher...
In my quest to help myself and all of you maximize the time we spend training, I'm constantly searching for ways that will help all of us create behavior change that sticks. My research always seems to come back to the words we use to frame our world and the way we experience it.
The words we tell ourselves are so powerful that they become part of our identity. We call ourselves "fat" or "lazy" or a "failure" or "unreliable" or "slow" so often that we believe it. And, then when we start a self improvement plan... a new eating style, a workout program, preparation for a race that is months away... that voice in our head starts to sabotage our efforts.
You might say, "I'm starting a new eating plan on Monday and I will limit the processed foods I eat and avoid sugar." Your brain, familiar with your habits, tells you, "You will cheat so many times the first day, you'll be ready to quit by the mid-week."
Some behaviors have been reinforced for so long...
I was going through the notes on my phone the other day, and came across something I wanted to share on the podcast. I started relying heavily on my calendar, my phone's notepad and paper notes while I was going through chemo, and occasionally, I will run across a note I wrote to myself. For those of you who haven't experienced it, chemo brain is real. It’s like brain fog, except 100X worse—and can last months and years beyond treatment. It can affect your ability to organize thoughts and to remember things (like names of people you've known your entire life!). It's like constantly having that feeling where you walk into a room and can't remember what you came in for.
Back to the note I wrote to myself. It said...
“Everyone mentions that I have this amazing, strong attitude. And, maybe I do. But more than being strong, it’s that I decided that cancer is not going to steal a single day of my life. I caught myself telling a friend that by the time this is...
I have to admit: I can get a bit overwhelmed with the flood of pink on social media, and all over town, as the calendar flips to October. I’m still a rookie. It’s only my third year looking at breast cancer awareness month through the lens of someone who has had breast cancer. While I wouldn't consider myself cynical in nature, I am very aware that too many businesses take advantage of our emotions and try to capitalize on this disease.
Everyone has been touched by cancer or breast cancer. Whether it's ourselves, a relative, or a friend, we all know someone who has battled cancer, making this a highly personal, and emotional, disease. Everywhere you look, there are pink products to buy. Some claim to donate money to the cause, while others are for the pure profit of the manufacturer or business.
Some breast cancer activists are anti-pink, anti-ribbon, against the tata talk, and want you only look at research and prevention, claiming education...
The average person in the U.S. does not get the amount of weekly exercise recommended by the Centers for Disease Control. The minimum recommendation is 2 ½ hours of moderate intensity exercise a week – and two days of strength training a week for all major muscle groups.
That’s just 30 minutes, five times a week for the moderate intensity exercise, which could include walking. So, why is it so hard to fit this exercise into our day? We all know that exercise is good for us, and most people acknowledge its importance. When I hear people talking about why they don’t exercise, lack of time is usually one of the first reasons they mention. And, I get that. We have work, and kids and relationships, and chores, and we need time to just chill... and catch up on our favorite Netflix series.
Even if your boss hasn't said they want you to exercise on company time, I'm thinking you can make a good case for it after listening to this podcast. There are so many benefits...
This week, I talked with Jen Carlson Maloney and Shari Ashley, two runners who represent the energy, commitment and drive found at the back of the pack. Jen and Shari are both involved in their local running communities...mentoring, volunteering, cheering and raising funds for worthy causes...showing us that you don't need to consistently place in your age group, or qualify for elite races to make a difference.
We don't often hear about the trials and triumphs of those who are not the elite or fastest, but we could all learn a lot about life and running by listening to the stories of those who run because it brings them joy.
Even if you're not a runner, I hope you will see that anything is possible, and I hope you'll listen to their stories and think about how you can find the same passion and joy in your own activities.
You can catch Jen at the beginning of the podcast and Shari starting at 26:45.
Find the podcast on iTunes by searching Power Up Your Performance, or listen on...
Today is book release day for COUCH to ACTIVE. You heard from the author, Lyn Lindbergh, on episode 3 of the podcast. She's back again to pick up where we left off and help us learn how to live a life we love.
Did you know that only 21% of us get the amount of weekly exercise recommended by the CDC? Lyn says that we all know that exercise is good for our health, but it's easy to feel like getting consistent exercise is impossible. Lyn knows that it takes more than grit and willpower, so COUCH to ACTIVE walks readers through an 8 week process that will help even the most exercise-resistant person get off the couch and get moving.
She starts with a pledge that I love (and asked her to recite on the podcast):
I AM HUMAN
My body needs exercise.
My body will always need exercise.
That will never change.
It's not negotiable--it's science.
If you're not already an exerciser, I'd love to know what you think about this pledge. I think it's a powerful way to frame...
Ladies, it's time we put a stop to the mean girl culture in schools, in life and at work. There is enough love, joy, success and friendship for all of us. We don't need to backstab and pit our friends against each other.
This has been on my mind, so I wanted to do a podcast about back to school, queen bees, and what we can do as parents and coaches and leaders to help girls stand up to the mean girls. Where do the mean girls get their power? Why don't the other girls in that crowd stand up to the Queen Bee? And, how can we get our girls to do the right thing?
I don't have all the answers. I opened up my computer and started recording as I got a bit wound up on this topic. I would love it if you would take a listen and share your own thoughts related to the problem and potential solutions.
As I drove to school today, I watched a driver stop so that a girl could cross the street. Traffic was backed up in all directions, everyone focused on getting into the parking lot and onto their...
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