Friday, June 19, 2009

Let's Begin...

As I am in the process of following my dream to create a television program that will help YOU discover and unleash your power, I need you to be in the process of developing that wonderful base of fitness. Remember, it's this base that will give you the ability to try anything you desire.

Getting your physical body in good condition is not as daunting as you may think. It doesn't take restricting your diet to air puffs and seaweed, nor does it take expensive gym memberships. What it does take is simply having a bit of fun.

As a Personal Trainer I am about to make a startling confession.... The older I get the less I want to go to the gym! But I refuse to give up my great legs or my six-pack and as they say, 'necessity is the mother of all invention'. So in order for me to keep my body in great shape without going to the gym I've had to find new ways to test and push myself. And it is with these ways that I can help you develop that base and the body you desire without spending a lot of money. So, let's begin...

Ok, we need cardio that breaks a sweat, some serious strength training and flexibility that will keep you moving. How do we get it? Do you take your kids to the park? Well, these playgrounds aren't only good for exhausting your kids so they'll sleep; they become wonderful obstacle courses for us. There are things to climb over, crawl under, and things that move as we try to maneuver around them like cargo nets. Try this plan:

Cardio. Basic jumping jacks – No equipment needed; great for your calves and shoulders; go for at least 3 minutes.

Upper Body. Monkey Bars – They will awaken your entire upper body! They’re perfect for pull ups or be that kid again and go from end to end. If you’re brave enough to try the pull ups do as many as you can and build from there. If you decide to go from end to end, do that walk at least 5 times.

Lower Body. Benches, Steps or any flat platform – Perfect for tightening the butt and legs! Place your foot on the surface and step up. Stay on the same leg for at least 25 reps; I know it burns… do it anyway! Now switch legs.

Total Body. Cargo Net – Make your way up and back down again. This is great for every piece of you plus it’s unstable. Anything that throws you off balance is perfect for your core.

Abs. Back to the monkey bars for leg lifts – Hang on to the bar, tighten your abs and bring your knees toward your chest. Hold for a couple seconds then lower your knees. Try to do this without swinging (the tighter your abs the less you swing). You have at least 20 reps.

There. Five exercises. That’s a good start. Wherever the monkey bars are, begin your cardio on the opposite end of the park – about 100 yards so you incorporate more movement. Here’s the visual:

Start with your cardio. Run to the monkey bars – upper body. Run to the flat surface – lower body. Run to the cargo net – total body. Run back to the monkey bars – abs. Run back to start.

Got it? Good. Do it again… and again… and again. Yes ladies, that equals four. I don’t know if I mentioned this before but it takes work to get what you want and you can knock this out in about 30-45 minutes. Finish it off with at least 15 minutes of stretching and you've put in 45 minutes - 1 hour. That's good work girls! Does it sound like too simple of a plan? Oh, I can make it more intricate and difficult... and I will. But let's start here shall we?

All of the equipment is provided for you (FREE! FREE! FREE! FREE!), and will be there everyday you decide to show up. The only purchase I suggest you make is a pair of gloves. I’m sure you remember that nice fiery feeling you got when you used to play on the monkey bars.

There are a few good things about playing in the park: 1. It’s never crowded so you won’t have to wait on equipment 2. You’re outside! 3. You lose the intimidating factor that a gym can have 4. You’re outside! I know, that’s twice but it has a tremendously positive effect on the psyche

If you don’t live near a park, hit the high school track or your own backyard or your garage or clear a space on your living room floor. Replace the pull ups with pushups and the hanging abs with basic floor crunches. If you don't have space to run that means you have more jumping jacks to incorporate. There’s always an alternate girls all you have to do is pay attention to your surroundings.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

I Love Saturdays...

...because these are MY days and I dedicate them to paying attention. Saturdays are very quiet for me because I spend them alone, just me, my camera, my legal pad, and my Sharpies.

I'm on a new task today. My girlfriend Elly gave me a beautiful gift for my birthday. Too many times she'd heard me say I wanted to purchase a canvas, some paints and just see what happens. Well, Elly is an artist. Her walls are filled with her artwork and her medium is oil on canvas. Bright, vibrant, moving pieces greet you as you enter every room and her perfect gift to me was a canvas of my own. My only task now is to find something I want to paint and she'll teach me how.

So I'm signing off to go enjoy my Saturday and to find that piece for me. Whether it's a photo I take or a postcard I purchase, I'm really looking forward to our weekends, days or stolen moments of 'Martinis and Art'!

Thank you Elly, for not only giving me the perfect gift but for being a wonderful gift as well.


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Go Out On A Limb...

The situation that we are all living in today should spark in us the understanding that possessions, stature and wealth are fleeting. After all of that has been peeled or stripped away, what’s left are the roots, the base, YOU!

Who are you? I’m sure you’ve asked yourself that question many times, we all have. But who actually listens for the answer? It’s a question that gets tossed around like the latest trend, having no real significance unless you truly pay attention. Some of us think that if we go down on bended knee, ask the question, then God will miraculously reveal to us the meaning of our lives. Hey, if it happens for you that way, more power to ya! But I have found that it takes immersing me into different experiences to discover who I am. Yes, I ask the questions, ‘Who is Candace?’, ‘What does she like/dislike?’, ‘What is she good at?’ The proverbial, ‘Why am I here?’ But I don’t sit on my doorstep waiting on FedEx to deliver my box of answers. I’ve learned that answers take discovery and discovery is born from experience. Now, I won’t lie to you, this can be the scary part but everything is not going to be a piece of cake ladies. Remember, it’s that same cake that’s adding the inches to your hips, clogging the arteries, and literally stopping you in your tracks. It’s gonna be a little scary sometimes, you may have to break a sweat, and there might be dark, creepy crawlies around. This is when we have to put on our big girl panties and deal with what comes because that’s when the magic happens.

I’ll share a little story with you (you’re gonna get a lot of these if you’re reading my blog and I want you to share yours so please leave comments).

I’ve been in the health & fitness field for a long time now. When I was living in Atlanta, a friend of mine was starting a magazine and asked if I would write a fitness article for her first publication. At the time, all I’d ever written were the dreaded English Lit papers but in support of my friend, and thinking ‘How hard can 500 words be’, I said yes. Ok, so harder than I thought but a total eye opener. I had no desires to be a writer, I wrote the papers in high school and college because I had to, not because I had a love for it. But that one article for my friend turned into three for her publication. A publisher, John Bunch, saw those articles and said to me, ‘These are good and if you can write for someone else like this, then you can write for yourself’. This led to the production of a monthly health & fitness newsletter. I’ll be honest, I still did not embrace the fact that I was discovering a wonderful gift; I didn’t know that I was. I simply wrote what I knew which is a very surface way of seeing things. Then one day, I received an email from a woman who told me my words and stories brought tears to her eyes. Not sad tears, but life changing tears and she wanted me to meet her daughter to give her some encouragement in order to make it through her approaching scoliosis surgery. (By now, you all know my back story). Her email cracked open the portal that I needed to travel through in order to understand my place in this world. She showed me that I had the power to make a positive difference in people’s lives. I received numerous emails and had countless conversations with women telling me how my words sparked something in them to make a change for the better. Being a catalyst is an amazing feeling. I keep a folder of these emails and go through when I need some juice. Eventually, I began writing press releases and various letters for others, which turned into me moving to California because I wrote a treatment for a television show.

Packing up and moving 3000 miles away from family, friends, everything I’ve ever known, brought out the creepy crawlies. But just before I left I received a wonderful gift, a book entitled ‘She’ by Kobi Yamada. It’s a beautiful publication filled with inspiration, fun, color and my absolute favorite page has this statement…

She went out on a limb, had it break off behind her, and discovered she could fly. Celebrate her FAITH.

If you’ve been told you’re good at something, if you think you’re good at something, explore it! Ask questions about it. Go buy a book about it. Don’t have the funds, libraries are still free. Or, just go to Borders or Barnes & Noble, read the book there and put it back on the shelf. If someone is in the same section as you that probably means you have some of the same interests. Go out on a limb, say hello, ask a few questions. Remember, answers come from discovery, discovery comes from experiences. It’s time to adopt the motto, ‘What could it hurt?’