You can weep with willows.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you: The World’s Best Workout. Here’s how you do it:
First choose your favorite 5 minute song. Or choose three 3 minute songs. Or a 20 minute playlist.
Then do some squats.
Do some push-ups. If a push-up from the floor is hard for you, do them on the back of your couch or counter or wall.
Repeat forever or until the song ends or until you stop having fun.
Please note: As proven in this video, the ability to dance well is not required in order to preform The World’s Best Workout.
I wanna see videos of you all doing this! I mean it!
When the wind steals your custom chapeau made by your friend, you can run and steal it back.
(Editor’s Note: This video is a reenactment. The actual event occurred moments earlier and took the hat a much further distance and a car had to stop for me as I had to run into the road to rescue my hat! When all was safe, my walking buddy exclaimed, “Reason to be fit!” Yeah!)
When your man drags you to Home Depot on a Saturday morning, you show him how it’s done.
When life throws you a challenge, do act in a creative way or a destructive way?
I try to choose creative as often as possible, because it benefits me, my family, friends and everybody around me and has ripple effects into the greater consciousness.
In order to this I have to know what my destructive behaviors are and what their creative counterparts are.
When I react to challenges in a destructive manner, I feverishly eat exorbitant amounts ice cream and potato chips, I ruminate, I talk shit, I stop exercising, I get grumpy with people I love, I pay my bills late.
On the other hand, when I respond creatively in the face of challenges, I notice my breath, I seek advice, I read and listen to great thinkers, I clean my house and work in the yard, I move my body, I get out of my own circumstance by doing something for someone else.
The goal is to have a toolbox filled with enough creative solutions to move through even the most challenging situations with grace.
May your creative responses be greater than your destructive reactions!
Your friend gives you a box of vintage exercise books, but you’re parked far away and the purse you are carrying is huge and heavy? No problem!
When the juice bar challenges you to a pull up contest while you’re shopping for shoes with your mom, you’re like, “Bring it!”
Just cause everyone else can’t hear the music doesn’t mean you’re gonna stop dancing.
You know that movement doesn't have to be strict and rigid in order to be beneficial. In fact, the more playful the better! So when you aren't in the mood for your weekly track workout, you don't force it. Instead you improvise with a tree stump. No worries if you look funny and clumsy at times. You ain't too proud to play 'cause you're fit.
Midsummer morning trips to the nursery, of course!
When the going gets tough, the fit go hiking. It doesn’t matter that hiking was not the plan. It doesn’t matter that you are wearing a dress. When you are fit, you rise to the occasion, change pace as needed and know when it’s time to call on the trees for support.
You know that it’s always the right time to crawl under the covers, to read the words of the great thinkers, to encourage your intellectual curiosity.
When you are fit, you don’t strive to “live your best life.” Instead you are willing to live your whole life. You live life as it is, as it comes. You don’t fear mundane or messy. You don’t need grand adventures to prove you are alive or acclaimed achievements to prove you have worth. You know that if you remain open and true, all the fullness and possibility for your human experience will come to you. At the end, as you descend to dust, as you shoot away on a star, you will marvel and you will gasp, “Oh my! That was it!”
My mind has a tendency to trespass into anxiety, depression and perseveration, spinning a broken record of worries and critiques.
Years ago I created these rules of engaging with my mind. This morning I wrote them again in my journal.
Whenever I find my mind circling in unproductive ways I check in with myself on the following points, because sometimes mental health is added best by caring for ourselves on the most basic levels.
1) Have I showered? Have I brushed my teeth? Am I wearing clean clothes that are not sweaty gym shorts? If not, I tell myself no more thinking until I clean up.
2) Am I tired? Yes? Stop thinking! Go to bed! If it’s the middle of the day and I can’t take a nap, then I’m simply not allowed to think until I feel rested again, and if that means no thinking for the rest of the day, great!
3) Have I moved my body lately? No? Then I must stop thinking until after I have gone for a walk or yoga-ed or lifted something heavy.
4) Is my belly rumbling? Yes? Get food! Don’t think!
5) Am I feeling disconnected from others? If so, I find that the best way to get over my loneliness is to do something for someone else. I write a letter or cook soup for a friend. I also read books or listen to podcasts or talks given by people I admire.
If you’ve got a brain like mine, remember: No thinking about the purpose of life, no evaluating your worth as a human, no making big decisions until you are clean, rested, moved, satiated and feeling connected to the world around you and to the universe as a whole.
I want to talk and write about the ways in which strength training improves the lives of women that have nothing to do with losing weight, looking “sexy” or athletic performance. Because I know ~ from personal and professional experience ~ that it does! Here’s one example of why strength training matters and how it works.
Tuesday morning with my journal contemplating what I call The Magical Life Equation.
The Magical Life Equation is
Proper Mindset + Imperfect Action = Progress
A proper mindset is open, curious, flexible and light-hearted while keeping self-criticism and fear at bay. A proper mindset is not judgmental of people or circumstances and does not solidify the current state of affairs with ironclad stories that can never be changed.
Imperfect action is moving forward in small steps without overthinking or comparing your journey to the journey of somebody else. When you take imperfect action, you know that mistakes are necessary and also not a big deal at all, so they don't get you down. Imperfect action is doing your best with what you've got in this very moment.
Progress is movement that improves the circumstance of your soul as well as the souls of others. Progress does not exploit Mother Earth, other human beings or animals for the sake of one's own ego, celebrity or pocketbook.
Apply this equation to any area of life where you would like to make progress and watch magic happen.