“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams,
because every second of the search is a second's encounter with God and with eternity.”
― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
I always hesitate to answer the question “so, what do you do for a living?” because I feel that the simple answer is... well, just too simple. Your job is just a piece of your story. While BlueSky Fitness provides personal training and on-site fitness services to a very wide range of demographics, to say that I am “a fitness trainer” only begins to tell the saga of both what we have been up to and the goals we have set out to accomplish. The spiritual answer of, “We change individual’s lives one workout at a time” is probably a bit too much for people in normal conversation. However, it is a seemingly spiritually deep answer that defines it best: We are on a mission to unite the world and bring out the best of the human spirit.
BlueSky Fitness has recently been experiencing an ascension into the broader Austin, Texas and San Antonio, Texas communities. Myself, along with my wonderful team of coaches who are, more importantly, passionate, kind-hearted people-- Collin Smith, Miranda Jones, Moses Luevano, and Habben Berhane-- have been working together on bringing fitness to more individuals through addressing the most cited reasons for not working out: lack of convenience, too costly, not effective, and lack of enjoyment.
We have been chipping away at the rock for years: pushing through failures and setbacks, making “sacrifices” (in the common use of the word, we don’t really think they are), and believing in what we have been trying to do. Over the past six months, this has led to the opportunity to pass along our services and our vision to others.
Currently, BlueSky Fitness is serving seven on-site group fitness programs with sixty-three people participating. These include programs targeted at state highway employees, state school administration employees, and bus drivers. In addition to these seven on-site programs, we have a presence in senior living homes; with Power For Parkinson’s, a non-profit that provides free fitness programs for individuals with Parkinson’s disease; at community centers; and coaching middle school sports. The excitement only grows as we anticipate more programs in the pipeline to be launched soon.
Our mission from the beginning has been to bring out the best of the human spirit, not just locally but globally. Wherever and whenever we can. To use our business as a vehicle for social good. We full heartedly believe that each person has the potential to change the world, but they need help in bringing this potential to fruition. We believe that that help comes from us as individuals and us together as BlueSky Fitness. That is why we set out a year ago to not just coach our fitness programs but also to give back to the community and our beautiful world that allows us to coach for a living. That is why, over the past year, we have been on our own doing what we deemed “The One Sole Project.” The One Sole Project is our social initiative in which we have taken out a portion of the revenue from each fitness participant we have had and put it towards purchasing shoes for a child attending St. Etienne School in Haiti. The school has 197 students and 30+ faculty, and we have reached our goal of coaching enough people in order to purchase 250 pairs of shoes so that each person at St. Etienne will receive a pair of shoes that protects their feet from abrasions and parasites. We will be going to Haiti from March 10 through March 17 to drop off the shoes and, along with that, serve these individuals. Your workout isn’t just an investment into yourself: it is an investment into producing a better world around you. Love yourself. Love others.
We did this because we have the power to. We know that a small group of ordinary people with a desire to change the world can do just that. What really is “extraordinary”? To us, it is ordinary people coming together to do a little extra. It’s important to note that changing the world doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be in the news, applauded and cheered for, or receive a lot of publicity. Changing the world means being kind to and supporting others so that they, too, can spread the message of love. It is through having love and distributing it that we reach our full potential. It is through love that individuals can fulfill the human spirit.
We at BlueSky hope this is just the beginning. After dropping off the shoes in Haiti this next week we will set new social goals for this upcoming year. We will expand our fitness programs to even more people. We hope to bring more joy and more smiles. We hope to help others fulfill the human spirit.
“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”
― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
Goals=Motivation. Goals=Roadmaps. Goals=Success. Make 2016 Your Year Of Achievement With These Tips For Setting And Acquiring High GoalsRead Now
Every year we deem this upcoming year as our opportunity for change. This next year will be the best ever! This is the year I will be more fit. This is the year I will be a better friend. This is the year I will go on that vacation and volunteer! This is the year I will get the big promotion! Every year we start with this blank slate. But why on the new year? Why not start today? Start RIGHT NOW. THIS VERY SECOND. Waiting and not taking action is the recipe for not achieving your goals.
I would like to share with you the process we use with our clients at BlueSky to help individuals achieve their goals every single day. Whether it's losing weight, getting faster, feeling healthier, or applying it to your job and relationships, this process of setting goals should never end. You can live a life you have always wanted to live!
In order to be able to accomplish anything, one must first find the desire to accomplish it. Desire is the fuel that will keep you going during rough times. Desire is what will allow you to make “sacrifices” in order to accomplish your task.
Along with desire, one must have the ability to set clear, defined goals. You cannot go anywhere unless you know what, how, and when you are going to be there. A metaphor used is similar to buying a plane ticket. You would not just go into an airport and tell them, “Give me a plane ticket!”. You would give them an exact date and time you would like your flight. You would give them an exact destination. The same is true of our goals. In particular for us, we are going to concentrate on fitness goals. How we can set them and tools available to help us accomplish them.
At the end of this blog post is a pdf on “S.M.A.R.T” goal setting. Please print this out and fill it out. Keep it some place you see everyday. This will help with your constancy of purpose. This will help keep your long term goals and short term goals in check. To ensure you are making progress each day. The Great Pyramids were not built in one day, but they were built one day at a time. This is the approach we are taking. Next, I will talk you through the “S.M.A.R.T” goal setting sheet.
Step 1: Goal In As Few Words As Possible
We want the goal to be simple. Many of you did this on your registration form. Feel free to copy/paste.
Step 2: Make Your Goal Detailed And Specific (Who/What/When/How)
Who is going to help us?
What? Quantify your goal. I.E. Lose 10 lbs. Be able to run 1 mile without walking. Be able to squat 100 lbs 10 times.
When? Quantify an end date. 10 weeks from now. 12 weeks from now. April 30. June 1.
How? 3 action steps. I am going to work out 5 days/week for 30 minutes a day. I am going to look at nutrition labels. I am going to eat 4-5 smaller meals a day. I am going to be in bed with all of my electronics off by 11pm each night. I am going to take 10,000 steps a day.
Step 3: Measurable
How will you track your progress?
I.E. I will weigh myself each Saturday at 8am (same time of the day for accuracy). I will use a fitbit to measure energy expenditure. I will use a fitbit to count my steps. I will log my workouts each time in a journal. I will keep a food log for a week tracking food input in order to have an actual view of my intake. I will attempt to complete my goal in 4 weeks and compare it to my initial test.
Step 4: Attainable
Items I need: Do I need anything to help?
How I'll Find Time: What do I need to change to make this goal reality?
What Do I need To Know: What questions should I ask? Reach out to experts. Don't be afraid to ask questions. People want to help.
Support Group: Who can I go to to help support me. Who will provide encouragement. Surround yourself with these people
Step 5: Relevant
Explain why this goal is important to you. Feed that inner desire.
Step 6: Timely
What is my deadline?
I will reach my goal by:
My halfway measurement will be what on what date
If you develop your dreams into goals, and your goals into realities, then your realities’ will become your successes
Take a note card, write down THREE GOALS for the moment and put it some place you see everyday. The kitchen, the bathroom, or your wallet…. Begin the process of giving your goals life. Take action. By taking action you will gain momentum and your goals will start to become realities..... Keep working on your goals and give them life!
*It is always best to consult a physician before preceding with any treatment plan.*
When people think of runners, they get this notion of people who are constantly just running. 3, 5, 10, 20 miles a day of just running. The fact of the matter is that the best runners out there are very strong athletes. What this means is it is important as a runner to not neglect strength training and variety in ones workout routine. In order to maximize your fitness variety is vital.
Strength training and cross training (pretty much any exercise that is other than your main activity), works to develop your support muscles, gives your nervous system a different stimulus, all while staving off plateaus mentally and physically. When you run you are using a certain set of muscles over and over. These muscles become fatigued and your body starts to recruit other muscles to take force off of these fatiguing muscles. However, if one does not focus on strengthening these support group muscles they can not be used when they need to be called upon. As one can imagine this leaves the work up to the already fatigued running muscles and you become more susceptible to injury. Also, varying your routine keeps things fresh. You can look forward to cycling, rowing, swimming, rock climbing, snow boarding, skiing, boot camp, stand up paddle boarding, and then running. By incorporating so much variety you appreciate each workout a bit more and YOU FEEL STRONGER.
Another important reason to cross train other than staying injury free is that the body responds to variety of stress more effectively. If one is to do the same exercise day in and day out without variety in the distance or the intensity, the body eventually becomes accustomed to this routine and does not build upon its previous level. This having to continually differ the stress in order to improve is known as the "General Adaptation Syndrome".
The best visual of this phenomena I can find is pictured below:
So go ahead and mix things up. Your body will thank you with feeling better and stronger.
Some Good Cross Training Options:
A highly adaptable tool for an on-the-go individual. The most popular suspension trainer brand is the TRX, but I have found other brands to be worthy of use for half the cost. In particular KB Duo.
Suspension trainers are great because they are portable, light weight, yet you can use them in a tremendous amount of ways manipulating the bio-mechanics of your own body weight to get a great work out in anywhere you can find a secure anchor point. Perform pushups, pullups, deeper squats, more secure lunges, plyo-metrics, and core work. The variety will help to stave off boredom and allow you to progress.
Kettlebells are great for individuals trying to add more cardio, grip strength, and function to their strength training routine. Dumb-bells have their weight evenly distributed and are more often used for hypertrophy or bulking up muscles. Kettlebells with their spherical shape, smooth handles, and bottom heavy weight are more suited for cardio exercises such as figure 8's or the kettlebell swing. Also, the variety of ways in which you can grip the kettlebell makes for more grip strength workout, whereas you only have a few grips with a dumb-bell. Lastly, in real world situations weight is not evenly distributed when you are putting groceries in your bag or lifting something. A kettlebell with its uneven weight distribution allows one to mimic real-life situations more readily during their workout compared to the dumbbell.
Another great workout tool that has been used for centuries. You have a variety of different brands made from different materials. Made popular by CrossFit, Dynamax, makes a soft shell medicine ball that is tremendous for throws and working on rotational power. A little bit on the pricier side, but I have found Dynamax is the best brand out there. There are other soft-shell brands that work, but are not of the same quality in terms of that mix of soft yet firm. Some other medicine balls are rubber, they have grip to them, are better used to do push-ups on since the soft medicine balls sink, I have found these are good for bounce exercises as they return back to you rather than having to bend over a lot, and they are more affordable for large groups.
Fit-Bits and Garmins
All the rage these days are wearable devices to track activity. Today I just mention two different brands. The fit-bit and the garmin gps running/cycling watches. Fit-Bit is the one everyone probably recognizes as they were the brand that brought activity tracking to the masses. As a first mover they have been able to garner feed-back that benefits the consumer. With sleep tracking, calorie tracking, an app ecoystem, badges, and a social network Fit-Bit has turned activity into a game. Most other people have fit-bits and this only adds to the value of you having a fit-bit as you can join groups that have daily or monthly calorie goals. This adds camaraderie or competition, whichever is your cup of tea. The Fit-Bit also has many different models from the more affordable to the high fashion. It has become a cultural phenomenon.
The garmin is more for the geek in your family and is for someone who is logging many more miles running or cycling. It saves your maps, shows elevation profiles, gives you your distance and overall pace. Plug it in to Garmin Connect and you have your own personal data that you can use or have a coach take a look at. Garmin is always working on their software turning it into an online coach that gives you your training zones and even makes recommendations on how long to take as recovery now. Garmin forerunner for runners and garmin 501 for cyclist.
Fitness Classes and Personal Training Sessions
This time of year training studios and gyms are offering specials as they prepare for their busiest time of the year. Be on the look out for great deals on everything from fitness classes to personal trainers. There are trainers out there that can come to your house, meet you at a park, or at a gym. There are cycling studios, yoga studios, or gyms that combine both. A gift such as a month of Classpass where they can try out a bunch of different classes may be a good option. Or just buying a 10 session class pack to their favorite studio.
One of the newest up and coming things in the fitness industry is a fitness retreat. During a fitness retreat you travel to meet a group of strangers from around the World and the host may bring you on different running tours, cycling tours, or lead you through yoga. You can experience the World in a different way than just a vacation. You can be led by expert fitness instructors that also have tour guides and other amenities built in as well. Wake up, work out, have the day to yourself, maybe learn about some nutrition, and then work out again in the evening if you would like. Go on runs through mountains or practice Yoga over looking magnificent views. Some great websites to find out more include TripTribe and Rogue Running Expeditions.
Planning To Workout This Winter In The Demotivating Cold And The Overwhelming Darkness? Follow These Tips To Stay Motivated While Also Dressing For Success! Kick-Start Your 2016 Fitness Goals!Read Now
Exercising Outside During The Cold,