Sunday, April 29, 2012

Zoot, zoot zoot!

Take a moment, jump in a helicopter and lift yourself overhead for a moment to see the helicopter view of your own life.  It is from this vantage point that you will be able to see that there is so much more going on in life than you are aware.

I have just returned from FILEX, the annual fitness convention here in Australia, and am full of 'zooties' to share.

One of many highlights for me this year, a remarkable little dynamo of a lady called Amanda Gore.

I have heard Amanda speak at our conference before and as a result of her presentation I swiftly returned home to purchase a pair of gratitude goggles, which now take pride of place at the dinner table of my small family.  It has become our ritual to take turns at wearing the oversized shamrock glasses during the evening meal and sharing with each other the highlights of our day.  I am particularly impressed with the success of this ritual from many points of view - not the least of which being that my 3 & 5 year olds totally love it, and insist on following a protocol, whereby you must wait your turn to wear the goggles and participate fully in the family happy dance to celebrate each persons daily highlight.

Today I'd be quite happy to keep my gratitude goggles on all day show you my joy jig!

Team, we get to choose our attitude.  Wake up and make a better choice.  If your focus has shifted from what you love about your life to what you don't, then try this - join the tip of your thumb on each hand to the tip of your first finger making small circles, bring them up to your eyes and look through your new gratitude goggles to find something ... anything ... to be grateful for.  Happiness is a choice, gratitude is a choice and when you put your gratitude goggles on and take a look you will be amazed at how much there is sitting right in front of you right now that makes you happy.

So now try this.  Take up the challenge. Every day for the next month start your day by identifying and writing down three things that you are grateful for.  Then get into your gratitude - deeply immerse yourself in the feeling of being grateful for these things and notice the very positive change it will bring to your day.  What's the worst that can happen?  At the very least one month from today you will have a list of almost 100 things that are awesome in your life to look at when things go wrong and remind you that YOUR life is actually pretty amazing!!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 .....Repeat!

Yesterday marked the finale of the first 12 Week Challenge for 2012.  An extremely enjoyable experience combining an early morning beach bootcamp workout and a civilised and healthy breakfast to follow, complete with presentations and prizes for all who participated.

Followed by a run of emails, text messages and phone calls, to book in for the next 12 Week Challenge.


12 Week Challenge was my 'baby' just over a year ago when, at the prompting and encouragement of my loving partner Stu, I decided to announce, although a little unprepared, the launch of 12 Week Challenge.

4 Challenges later the mix is right.  You can see what fun was had by visiting my facebook page and viewing through some of the pictures.

12 Week Challenge is about changing lives. What's been interesting is that the positive changes experienced by the Challengers has been so much more than I first expected.

12 Week Challenge 2 is filling fast, as is Team Extreme.  Get on board ... it's a helluva ride!!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Three wise women want a pow wow with the doctors!!

Yesterday I had the wonderful privilege of spending an unexpected few hours with two very wise women.

I say unexpected as I had planned to pop in for a quick Enjo demo - curiosity finally getting the better of me - and be gone in time to read my children a couple of bedtime stories.  The universe conspires however to always give us what we need, and I was welcomed with warm hugs, sat down in front of healthy food, and far from a sales pitch the three of us embarked on a conversation about life, love, the universe and everything ... and I mean absolutely everything!!

(Before you give me the bad mummy award, my loving partner was totally in control of the situation and today I have surprisingly happy children running around me drawing dinosaurs, firing off nerf guns and generally being surprisingly happy and cooperative 3 & 5 year olds.  Who knows why, but again the universe is looking after me!!)

So firstly - GRATITUDE.  Thank you universe for delivering so much in such a short space of time.

And secondly - A BETTER QUESTION to move us forward (the outcome of three wise women over a cup of tea) -

What can I do to improve the overall health and attitude of the people of Cairns?

Over the past week I have had reason to discuss health, medication and short and long term treatment for physical and mental illness with lots of people.  (For the record I am not a doctor - people just tell me stuff)

Out of these discussions one thing has become very clear.  Doctors generally have only enough time to write a prescription and hand out an information sheet to help we every day individuals to handle the physical and mental ailments that manifest in our lives.  Doctor, Doctor - I believe that I, and my fitness industry colleagues, have an opportunity to help here.

Here's what I propose:

1. That anyone who is diagnosed with a) Hypertension (high blood pressure); b) Type 2 diabetes; or c) Depression, be automatically given a referral to a suitably qualified, insured and experienced fitness professional.

2. That the community of Personal Trainers and Fitness Professionals in Cairns join together to lobby local government, state government and federal government to make fitness training 'prescription' and support a rebatable service through Medicare and Private Health Funds.

Fitness training, personal training changes lives.  Those changes are far reaching for the individuals and the communities in which they live.  Improved fitness improves health, enables people to make better choices about food and life, reduces the risk and impact of lifestyle diseases and can in some cases can eliminate the need for medications for hypertension, type 2 diabetes and depression.  Fitness is truly an amazing 'product'.

The upshot of it all is that by making fitness affordable and accessible more people would choose it as firstly a treatment, and secondly a way of life.  The long term impact is a massive improvement in the overall physical and mental health of our community.  By taking responsibility for our own health and fitness and creating a 'prevention is best' mindset, we can create a community of success and positivity.

Now, I'm hoping this isn't a new idea and someone has already got the ball rolling on this one nationally.  My proposal is more about bringing together the amazing community of allied health professionals and fitness trainers in the far north to create the positive change that we all know is possible and will enable this area to truly thrive.  We may be remote, but we are quite amazing!!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Damaged ... or Driven ... it's a choice!

A long long time ago on a blog virtually identical to this one I made mention of the Power Plate.  You can check it out here Good Vibrations

So, now a few steps further into the journey I have to say that anything really is possible, especially when you believe.

I am now working with D1 and D2 - my former client's 'paraplegic' mother and her mother's 'incomplete quadraplegic' friend.

Both ladies under their own steam are mobile and able to do pretty much everything that you and I do to get on with life, however the function and sensations of their bodies are vastly different to ours.

D1 has been regularly using Power Plate since the beginning of this year and D2 is this week up to week 3.  D1 hits the gym with me every week for upper body strengthening work and the ocassional boxing sesh to let her inner Rocky roar.  Today D2 told me that she was able to walk for 25 minutes yesterday and had so much energy she felt she could have cleaned the house from top to bottom last night.  (Find me one able bodied, injury free person, who even gives that idea contemplation!!)  That's a lot of energy.

Both D1 and D2 have indicated a reduction in unwanted muscle spasms, more sensation in some muscles and a feeling that things are 'waking up'.  D1 is conscious of strength improvements in getting up and down and the ability to 'do more' in other areas, including aqua training and cardio on an exercise bike.

It's amazing, amazing stuff and so rewarding to see the power of increased physical awareness and strength in bodies that have been unexpectedly damaged by circumstance.

Life is not what happens to us, but how we react and respond to what happens to us.  D1 and D2 respond with energy and drive to a challenge that is completely incomprehensible to all of us that have not experienced it.  I am inspired every time I see or talk to them.  How lucky am I?

Now, I'm just waiting for their permission to post some of the photos and video footage so you can be inspired too.