Physical Funness for the Motion Starved

Fit more fun into your fitness while exploring the outdoors.


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Bloody buzzing pests!

Mosquito!

I’m kinda over it. Normally they don’t bother me so much but this year there seem to be more mosquitoes than usual. Maybe I’m just in their hood more often these days. Either way, they bug me when I’m trying to sleep and they bug my clients when I’m leading a workout. Enough already you nasty buzzers!

Rather than sitting around itching I decided to look into mosquito matters a little. Here’s what I found beyond the usual; they carry disease, live in puddles, come out at dusk and dawn and suck your blood:

  • There are 170 species of mosquito in North America. Each is very different from the other, and not one product/remedy will work on every species. Great!
  • Mosquitoes don’t see very well, but they zoom in on you like a heat-seeking missile. Mosquitoes locate you by scent, and heat. From 100 feet away mosquitoes can smell your scent (some of them love sweat!), especially the carbon dioxide (CO2) you exhale. Interesting! Guess that’s why they find you faster when you’re working out. Ugh!
  • Females live from 3-100 days, males 10-20 and they stay within one mile of their breeding sight. Only the females bite (suck your blood). Hum…
  • Mosquitoes can breed in as little as a tablespoon of water. Damn!
  • Apparently our only escape from the nasty buzzers is to stay away from even a drop of water and drown ourselves in insect repellent, natural or otherwise. Please don’t use smokers or sprays as those products kill other, beneficial critters as well as pollute the environment!

Since we’re talking mosquito the responsible thing would be to mention this:

Mosquitoes and West Nile – West Nile Virus is transmitted by mosquitoes and spread by migrating birds. Disease in humans is rare, but its consequences can be severe. If you develop an illness with high fever, headache, stiff neck, confusion, or muscle weakness, see your doctor immediately.

Anyway, I learned a few things in this research but mostly I feel better for having done more than just be bugged about the buzzing and biting. I’m not a fan of repellents so I’ll just have to keep my eyes open for the pests and squish ‘em when I can. If you’re interested, here’s a link to some natural repellant ideas, I’ve tried a few but so far no luck, other than my squishing method…good to know they don’t’ see well, maybe I can sneak up on ’em…

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Taking the plunge

SaveTheBay

In late December of 2015 I was asked to write a “guest post” for Save The Bay, an organization that works to protect, restore and celebrate San Francisco Bay. My “topic,” how has the bay played a part in my life as a trainer.

Save The Bay (SF)…

I have always loved the water. Growing up in San Diego, I spent time most every day at the beach. Going to the beach is what we did.

When I moved to San Francisco, I missed the beach. Sure, we have Baker Beach and Ocean Beach, but it’s not the same. It’s cold and windy; folks just don’t go hang out at the beach. It’s not what we do here. Sadly, I had lost my connection to the water.

Over the years, I found ways to enjoy the waters of San Francisco without freezing my butt off. I would run along Crissy Field or ride my bike up the hills of the Marin Headlands just so I could look at the water; it made me feel connected, proud. I especially liked the days when the water was calm, striped with currents and vessel traffic. Riding my bike over the Golden Gate Bridge as an enormous freighter passed beneath me was thrilling.

Gazing at the Bay was nice and certainly helped to satisfy my craving for the water, but something was missing—I was just a spectator.

Taking the plunge…

Then one day a few years back, I received an invitation that would change everything. A friend invited me to join him for a swim in the Bay. “No wet suit, they’re frowned upon,” he said. I didn’t want to go, I was afraid, but figured I’d better dig deep and go… “Okay I’ll do it!” I said.

The water at Aquatic Park was cold—very, very cold and seemed wild and scary. The second I fully submerged myself in the Bay, my heart rate went through the roof and I couldn’t breathe. I was sure I was going to die, but miraculously, I didn’t. My heart rate eventually went down, and I realized that I was swimming in San Francisco Bay, sans wet suit! I was really swimming in the Bay! The water was shocking, like cool silk on my skin. Turning on my back, the sky was bright blue, dotted with puffy white clouds. It was exhilarating. Cold, yes, but absolutely exhilarating.

Ever since that first swim, the Bay has wedged itself deeply into my soul. I am no longer a spectator—I have grown into a full-fledged participant in all that our Bay has to offer. I swim a couple times a week and have inspired others to join me so that they, too, could experience the water’s cool embrace. I also glide across the currents of the Bay with my crew as we row vintage wooden boats while being chased by playful harbor seals. I cannot describe the joy I feel when their smooth, round heads and huge, black eyes pop up just next to my oar. Lines of pelicans soar by, and remind me how lucky I am to be out there. Just seeing the animals and natural beauty of the Bay makes my heart swell with love for this special place that is our home.

How has the Bay inspired my workouts, my clients, and me?

San Francisco Bay is a vast, ever-changing element. It can be wild, thrilling and cold, but it’s special: there’s only one San Francisco Bay. Even on its crankiest days it is a magical, inspiring backdrop for a workout of any kind—mental or physical.

People often ask me why I don’t work in a gym. I tell them because there are no wild parrots, pelicans or blue heron at the gym. There are “treadmill bunnies,” but you’ll never see fluffy brow bunnies hop past. At a gym, you’ll never experience the magnificence of a pod of whales coasting by, or inhale eucalyptus-scented air after your run, or discover puddles to jump in.

As for my favorite Bay locations to workout, I like to take advantage of the views from above—especially the Marin Headlands. Your reward for ascending all of those rugged hills: the best views and the best workout ever. Lands End is the best place to workout during whale migration season. It’s hard to stay focused though; you won’t want to take your eyes off the whales. I also really enjoy the Presidio; it’s become a lovely place to workout or just be—whether you’re running, riding a bike, or walking, there’s something very meditative about being amongst all the trees.

Life-changing love…

My love affair with the Bay has changed my life. Not only has it taught me to go beyond what I thought was physically possible (or sane!), but the Bay has also rewarded me with great friendships and an appreciation for all that is connected with it. I have gotten up-close and personal with harbor seals and sea lions, and I have met some wonderful, caring people. And, while I hope to never meet a great white shark, I know they are out there and I will do my best to respect their home and do all I can to keep it healthy.

My advice? Hike up into the headlands and gaze at the Bay. Dip a toe in the water. Or better still, be brave and take a quick, cold, exhilarating dip. Our greatest reward for living in the San Francisco Bay Area is our Bay. Submerge yourself in all of its glory.


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Incredible?

Did you know that Lou Ferrigno, Aka The Incredible Hulk is now a part-time cop in San Luis Obispo? It’s curious that a successful actor is now putting his life on the line to protect the people. Kinda cool as it’s “the people” who made him a star. How incredible is that?

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how lucky I am to live in such an amazing city and to be surrounded by so many wonderful people and things. Along with my love for this life, I feel a pressure to do something “incredible.” Like run 100 miles in a day, or win The Mt. Tam Hill Climb (bike race) again. (That fete was actually a miracle, which is why I should do it again. Just to be sure it was real.)

Every day I’m surrounded by so much excitement and incredibleness it’s sometimes overwhelming. It wasn’t until today that I realized that incredible comes in all shapes and sizes. It’s all in how you look at the world.

With that, here are a few things in my life that I find inspiring and incredible.

GGB from Crissy Field

This is my view almost every day. In my mind, no other city in the world is more incredible. The hills in the distance are my training ground, my escape, and my quiet place. They call my name like a siren, inspiring me.

Meet The Pigs, aka Pigstas (Pigs are People Into Gluttonous Situations). These ladies are undeniable evidence that keeping fit keeps you young. Their spirit is both inspiring and incredible. The Pigs mission statement:

3 Pigstas

Legends say that Pigs float free of time, carrying hopes for love, joy and celebration. Like a Pig, we aspire to Hoof It, and savor each moment as it passes, embrace all that life has to offer and to celebrate the joy of everyday. The Pigs “delicate” grace reminds us that life is rich, beauty is everywhere, every personal connection has meaning and that laughter is life’s sweetest creation. 

It’s a Grand View!

These are some of my clients. Every day they inspire me to give my best. It is these people who are incredible in

Stretching?

my mind. They trustingly run up and down stairs and hills, in rain,

wind and sweltering heat. Then, without a word they willingly lay on the sidewalk and twist their bodies into pretzels. And

when it’s all over… they hug me and smile lavishly. It feels incredible!

My Dad

This is my dad. A couple of summers ago we rode our bikes 500 miles across Iowa. While the ride itself was incredible, the inspiration I get from my dad runs much deeper. In my mind, there is no one more incredible than my dad. He is an inspiration to many, and he doesn’t even know it.

Lastly, I remind you that we all have moments of “incredibleness,” open your eyes and you shall see. I leave you with my new mission statement:

The view is always better through sweat covered eyes. 

The top of my world…

Go out and find your incredible.

XoXo, Kelley


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After all, isn’t it all relative?

Grizzly Ryder

I’m not like a lot of my friends. Half Marathon, 21K/13.1 miles is my distance. I don’t run “long” and I don’t run “fast.” The folks I measure myself against and admire run much faster or much longer than me. It’s silly that I sometimes feel insecure measuring myself against them.  After all, isn’t it all relative?

For some, 21K is hella far.  For others it’s just a moderate training run. To me, my average 9++ minute-mile is slug slow. To some, that seems fast. Does it really matter how fast or how far? Should’t I just appreciate that I have what it takes to drag myself out of bed early every weekend morning when others are snug in their beds?

A more experienced bike racer friend once advised me; “If you’re not moving forward you’re moving backward.” He was referring to positioning oneself within the field of riders, but the statement works for life in general. With that said, I imagine we should wake up every day and push to make ourselves better than we were the day before. Move forward so to speak. Be your own “better.”

I write this post because I recently finished my first race of the season. It was 17k. It was hilly and it was beautiful. I ran slowly up hill and I ran fast down hill.  I got passed a lot on the first climb, but I too passed people going up and then I passed people going down. I passed people who had passed me earlier in the race and I loved that feeling. I was out there on this day for no other reason than because I wanted to be. I expected only to finish feeling proud of my accomplishment, for having taken steps to keep moving forward, to better myself. In the end I found that in spite of myself, I’d managed to finish first in my age group and better than halfway through the total field of women. I beat men & women many years younger although I’d been beaten by many more than I beat. My lesson; a reminder that my typical measure my success is out of whack. It had no place here on this day and it really has no relevance what so ever, as… success is relative, specific to any given day, situation, imagination.

So, go out and run/ride, whatever… do it because you can and because if you aren’t moving forward you’re moving backward. Remember, how you measure up in your own mind doesn’t really matter. What matters is that you get out and do it… Do it every day and do it to the very best of your own personal ability. You may just surprise yourself one day.

P.s. My pal Pen raced this day as well. Pen was one of the very first people over-all to cross the finish line. And, Pen even stopped before the line to pick up her 3-year-old son Max so they could cross together. Nice job Pen! (Is it any wonder why Pen is at the top of my measuring stick?)


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When the going gets tough, the tough turn to cookie dough.*

Sooo...yummy...

Those of you who have been following Motion Starved for a while will remember The GP-2011 Project. GP is a friend of mine who agreed to be my Guinea Pig (GP) for a few months last year. GP was asked to follow all the advice I posted on this site in an effort to see if in fact, my advice was actually beneficial. If you would like to read more about GP-2011 and our experiment I will list the relative posts at the bottom of this page. I can say however, that our mission was successful.

With that… I have asked GP to send us a little guest post relative to her life today. Here is what GP-2011 has to say about stress (which she knows a shitload about!)

GP-2011, Guest Post – for Motion Starved…

When the going gets tough, the tough turn to cookie dough.*
*And other bad ways to deal with stress.

When was the last time you were totally stressed out? Yesterday? Last week? Maybe you’re a great big ball of stress right now, grinding your teeth as you stare at your computer. Stress is a fact of modern life—you can’t avoid it. Sometimes the stress isn’t quite so major: Your computer crashes—and you haven’t backed it up, in, oh, a year. You race back to your car to find the Parking Nazi scrawling a ticket. Or you forgot to attend an important meeting at work. But sometimes stress is a big deal: Your “routine” visit to your doctor turns out to be not quite “routine.” Your partner loses his/her job. Or your child is in trouble at school.

When life slaps you in the face, it wallops your whole body. In fact, when it comes to your health, stress—big or small—is downright dangerous. Stress can cause serious sleep problems, fatigue, stomach upsets, headaches, anxiety, irritability, weight loss, weight gain, hair loss (yikes!) and feelings of sadness or loneliness. Over time, your blood pressure rises, your heart rate increases, your immune system takes a hit, glucose floods your bloodstream and your digestive functions suffer, all of which can lead to chronic illness.

You can’t avoid life’s ups and downs. But it’s how you deal with stress that can make all the difference.

Bad Ways to Deal with Stress:

  • Make a big batch of chocolate chip cookies and eat the dough—salmonella be damned.
  • Drink a whole bottle of Chianti. Alone.
  • Hole up in bed for a few days watching a Real Housewives marathon.
  • Invite your new best friends Ben & Jerry over for the 3rd night in a row instead of meeting up with real friends.
  • Pretend everything’s ok and cry into your pillow.
  • Watch QVC from 2:00-3:30 a.m. and order stuff you don’t need like a Slap-Chop, or limited edition Snuggie.
  • Get a dramatic new haircut. (Trust me, this is never a good idea.)
  • Having more Chianti and posting messages on your ex’s Facebook page.

These are the things I used to do to deal with stress. The ‘old me’ would run straight to the fridge to find comfort—“Hello, Ben? Jerry? You in there?” But the ‘new me’ knows that there are better ways to deal with stress than cookie dough and Chianti. When life slaps you in the face, hit back. Hard. Instead of curling up into a ball clutching a bag of potato chips, lace up your sneakers and get a sweat going. Eliminate all that anxiety from your system by moving your body.

According to our friends at the Mayo Clinic, one of the easiest and most effective ways to combat the negative effects of stress is to exercise. It only took me 40-something years to figure this out for myself, but it works. Simply moving your body kick starts the process of beating back stress. Whether you go for a hike with a good friend, hit the gym, play a game of tennis, go for a run, or even take a walk around the neighborhood, you’ll be doing your body—and mind—a huge favor.

Here’s all the good a little exercise can do for you:

  • Pumps up those feel-good endorphins
  • Pumps up those feel-good endorphins
  • Boosts your mood
  • Makes you feel more confident and in control of your life
  • Improves your sleep
  • Enhances your sex life (!)
  • Helps you relax
  • Improves your overall health
  • Keeps your immune system in tip-top shape
  • Helps you focus on something other than your problems

Better still, if you can find a way to make exercise a habit, the next time life slaps you in the face, you’ll be able to shake off the stress that much easier. What ever you do, when the going gets tough, don’t turn to cookie dough to make yourself feel better. When that button from your too-tight jeans goes flying across the room, and you’ve busted out of your pants on a date, you’ll feel even more stressed out. Not that this has ever happened to me, or anything…

P.s. If you want to learn more about GP, here you go…
“Meet GP”
“GP has an Admirer!”
“If Jerry has time to workout…”