Physical Funness for the Motion Starved

Fit more fun into your fitness while exploring the outdoors.

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The coolest thing to hit two wheels


If you know me, you know that I’m an absolute snob when it comes to bicycle handling skills and simple road etiquette. Having been somewhat of a damn good cyclist in a former life, I’ve seen the good and the bad side of folks on bikes. In fact, my nickname used to be The Bike Nazi. Why? Because I have zero patience or respect for folks exhibiting poor, or unsafe bike handling skills or simple etiquette.

While bicycle handling and etiquette are each very large issues, one of the most concerning is the lack of respect for the common stop sign. Declining to stop when required is not only a safety issue but an unfortunate missed opportunity to practice ones handling skills (trackstand, getting in and out of pedals…) and the building of fast twitch muscle fibers (they help you sprint & move quickly).

Rather than going any further, I suggest that you read the article below. I’ve lifted it from Katie Kelly at Katie has captured my personal thoughts re: the stop sign issue perfectly. We ask that you read it and spread the word.

Stop! Braking news!
How the coolest thing to hit two wheels is likely already at your fingertips.

It’s a growing cycling fashion statement, a training tool, and an indicator of riding prowess. No, it’s not the latest GPS device or power meter. It’s stopping for red lights and stop signs.

It’s all the rage, and all the cool kids are doing it, from national championship winning bike racers to downhillers to commuters. What may have started as a countywide crackdown against red light runners is evolving into a habit that quickly differentiates between Marin locals and those passing through, the experienced and those trying to show off. The difference? The experienced, skilled crowd stops for stop signs.

And it’s not just cops sending the message.

“I confess, I used to do it,” says Sean Fekete, of San Rafael, of yesterday’s trend of rolling through stop signs. “I’m cruising along, don’t want to stop and then start again.”

Today, whether riding after work on a fixed gear or blazing down a mountain on his downhill bike, stopping for stop signs has become part of Fekete’s regular riding style.

Why the change?

“I was riding a lot with a bike racer, and she was stopping at all the signs, so I just did it because she was,” says Fekete. “Later, I was working with a local coach, and his rule was that if you ran stop signs or red lights, he wouldn’t work with you.”

Fekete is just one of a growing number of Marin locals who feel intense annoyance at those who don’t stop.

“It’s lazy and disrespectful,” he says. “If you want to ride without having to stop, enter a race. Why give pedestrians and motorists even more reason to hate us?”

“I see people blowing stops signs so often now,” says multi-masters track national champion Pete Billington, also of San Rafael. “It is really frustrating when the same people complain about cars not respecting bicyclists.”

What sign running cyclists don’t realize is that not only do they stand out to the crowd as either inexperienced or dangerous, they’re missing out on a valuable muscle defining training tool.

“Stopping at stop signs really is a good opportunity to develop strong core muscles and even sprinting technique,” says Billington. “The tendency to swing the bike from side to side during a sprint is just wasted energy and practicing hip drive and forward acceleration is critical to developing top speed.”

Throw that at the next newbie who screams “On your left!” at the next stop sign.

How to Stop for Stop Signs

We asked Officer Paul Stromoski of the Ross Police Department what exactly cops are looking for when it comes to stopping for stop signs. You may find yourself surprised at how easy it is.

1. You don’t have to put a foot down. Come to a complete stop, yes, but it’s okay to stop for a split second, and then continue on. “Nowhere in the California Vehicle Code does it say cyclists have to put a foot down,” says Stromoski. But if you’re unable to maintain a track stand (balancing your bike at a complete stop), then obviously, you should, especially in a situation as described in Tip #2.

2. Give motorists and pedestrians who were at the intersection before you the right of way. This is Driver’s Ed 101, and yes, it applies to cyclists. Yield the right of way to those who rightfully have it and you may suddenly find your self within an intersection of allies. Who wouldn’t want that?

3. Cops want to see you physically turning your head to look in all directions. “You might think a peripheral look from the corner of an eye is enough,” says Officer Stromoski. “But we’re looking to see your helmet actually moving. It’s the only way we know you’re really looking.”

These are three tips that can spare you from expensive traffic fines or from drawing attention to yourself as an absolute novice. They could even save your life. And who knows? They may even help you get to the podium.

P.s. Thanks Mo, for bringing this article to my attention.
P.s.s. Thanks Katie, for sharing your words.

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Get outa the road!

I am George... go around me

This is George, George gets tired sometimes and when he does, he stops in his tracks and lays down. It’s pretty funny, but that’s because George is a dog with an impressive attitude.

It’s a little different for the rest of us, we’re expected to be a bit more mindful and to stay out of the way of things that might run us over or need to get past us. I bring this up because living in the middle of a tourist, and outdoor-life mecca I often risk my life (become annoyed) trying to get from one place to another either on my bike, running or walking.

We’ve all experienced it, folks walking or riding along in front of us only to stop dead in their tracks when they simply feel the urge. Never mind that you were right behind them.  My grandmother once fell down an escalator because some dork stepped off the moving contraption at the top but then just stood there. Granny had no place to go but down. After that Granny never got on an escalator again.

My favorite maneuver is the dude that blows past you on his bike or on foot only to slow down once ahead because he just used all his energy to pass. Now you’re forced to get around him. Even better are the hordes of people (not always tourists!) perched on bikes that like to stop in packs blocking the road or even in an intersection. WTF is that?  Get out of the road dummies! Oh… and getting a flat tire on your bike is no excuse to block the path. Find a safe place and move out-of-the-way of anything and everyone that may be headed toward you!

Consider this a friendly reminder. Be smart, be responsible and respect thy fellow public. Okay?

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The Skin-ny

When I left my hella fun advertising job to become a trainer, I though… Yippee! Now I get to be outside all day making people sweat. And with that, I’ll sweat and get super healthy right along with them. Yippee! The way the life of Kelley was meant be!

Well, fact is I am outside a lot, and I do sweat a lot, but the part I didn’t think about was the added stress this new life would place on my skin. See, sweat is good as it releases toxins from your body and cools you down, but if your skin isn’t clean and debris free it tends to get what they call congested. I call it zitty. Not that you need to know, but lately my skin has been seriously zitty, most likely because of all the gunk in the air that sticks to my sweaty skin.

Since I know enough to not wash my face or shower more than a couple times a day (because over washing will dry it out), what I need to do is make sure that once my skin is clean that it’s properly exfoliated and de schmutz.

With that, I took a gander at my friend Justine’s website. Justine is the esthetician who’s been making my skin look beautiful for years (and I hear she’s pretty good with the wax too).  You can check her out at Skin Remedy.

Anyway, I swiped the following info from Justine, I trust she won’t mind.

How to get rid of zit causing blackheads:

Here’s an easy mask that you can make at home to start on the path towards being blackhead free!

2 cloves of garlic (crushed)
1 tbs. ground oatmeal
1-drop tea tree oil (optional)
3 drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice
Sufficient amount of honey to create a paste

Mix everything together and apply strictly to the affected area (any area). Leave the mask on for 2 minutes, and gently rub in a circular motion for an additional minute…And voila! Blackhead free skin!

Justine doesn’t say but I would guess you should do this twice a week.

I’m off to mix up a batch now…

P.s. Your cell phone is the number one reason for congestion on your cheekbones. Think about it…you move it from one sticky dirty place to another, uck! Quick fix, wipe down your phone every morning and night with disinfectant wipes. Justine recommends, 7th generation chemical free wipes.

P.s.s. You fellas need to do this too! This ain’t just a chick thing!

P.s.s.s. I love you Justine!

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Lanterne Rouge

Kelley's Red Lantern

It’s not whether you win or lose it’s how you play the game, right? Well, we don’t always feel that way but it’s true. When I was racing bikes I heard one of my teammates husbands say to her as we were leaving for a race, “don’t come home if you don’t win.” He’s now her ex husband, I believe.

In bike racing an award is given to the last rider to finish the race, it’s called The Lanterne Rouge. The idea behind the Lanterne Rouge is to celebrate finishing the race rather than giving up. Riders often compete to come in last rather than just near the back as the rider that comes in last is remembered, while those who finish a few places ahead are forgotten.

The term Lanterne Rouge translates to Red Lantern and is derived from the red lantern that was placed on the caboose of a railway train.  The engineer would look at the light from the engine to make sure that no cars had come uncoupled.

In life, as in athletics hanging on is not easy when things get ugly. It’s much easier to give up, but where’s the challenge and sense of pride in that? Finishing what you’ve started and giving it your best effort is a major achievement and worthy of praise.

In my life I have taken first place, I have taken The Red Lantern and I have given up. I’m very proud of my wins and my last place finish, but I hugely regret the times I gave up, and the things I have not been brave enough to attempt.

Lets remember to celebrate the effort, as well as the outcome. As one of the Race With The Bus participants said to me as he was walking away, “we’re all winners.”

Happy Humpday!

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Mud and mirrors

You get beer after your wreck your shoes in Seattle!

Happy Monday!

Wha’d ya’ll get up to this weekend? I’d love to hear your reports. But alas, few of you actually participate in my attempt to be “social.” Does my breath stink? Wait, you can’t smell my breath via the web. Not yet anyway, I hear they’re working on an app for that.

Well, here’s what I did. I went to my first Hip Hop dance class. Yep, I sucked. A white girl with rhythm I am not. It was fun, but a little stressful. Nothing like being in a room of about…50 people, all of whom you assume know how to dance. At the same time, being forced to stare at yourself in a massive wall of mirrors while you’re jumping around. I saw things shake in that mirror that had no business being attached to my body, they seemed to have a life of their own, and it severely offended me!

Once I realized that looking in the mirror wasn’t going to help me, I started to look around for people to follow. That however, was not an easy task, some of the folks seemed to be interpreting the dance differently from that which was being taught. You’d think I’d be happy to see other “dancers” dorking out (I have no idea why I just typed that phrase, but I like it) but it confused me even more.

In the end, I found a couple of women that I could follow and that made all the difference. Although, once they moved out of my line of sight I was dead in the water (more like, chub in the mirror).

The bottom line is, I had a great time because I was being challenged, pushed out of my comfort zone. The teacher, Micaya was beyond amazing. In all her cool, thinness, she completely understood every single person in the room and their struggles that day. The kind of teacher/person that makes everyone she comes across feel better for having met her.

I see another Hip Hop class in my future, not because I particularly care about being some great hip-hop dancer, but for the insane “fun” of it.

Lastly, while I was working hard not to knock anybody over in hip-hop class, my friend Dawn was working her inner Goddess at the Warrior Dash, in Seattle this weekend. What’s a “Warrior Dash?” According to the website it’s it “fire-leaping, extreme run from hell”. Yikes! I can’t wait for her report! I’ve seen photos and I gotta say, I’m crazy jealous! Stay tuned, Dawn was wearing a video camera on her chest, she & her hubby Mark are working on a video, which we’ll share here on Motion Starved very soon. No shit, this is gonna be something to see! Stay tuned…

See ya Wednesday, in the mean time, do something “nuts”…!

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Nancy The Guit (as I like to call her) had a birthday this past weekend. According to Nancy she is now “old.” It was hard for Nancy to turn “old,” just as it was for me last year. When we’re kids we learn that birthdays are something to be celebrated, that they’re “our special day.” We get attention and gifts, and we eat cake, yippee, a day to look forward to.

But then, we get older and we become sensitive to the number attached to that special day. We get stuck on those double digits representing the years of our life; numbers that are reminders of the approaching deadlines for the goals that we had hoped to achieve and may have missed. At which point, celebrating is the last thing you want to do (although cake is still welcome).

In spite of our best, educated intentions, The Birthday Dreads take hold. You can’t stop them and nothing can be said to make the transition from young to (your perception of) old any easier.

All you can do is let the dread/sadness run its course. It’s okay to be emotional but there’s no point in making a big deal of it and fretting. Like everything in life, you gotta let it flow.

With that I would like to remind you of a few good things that come with being “old:”

  • A good thing about getting older is that you’ve seen a lot of things — You’ve felt things, seen things and lived through them. With that, you come to know who you are, you become more confident, have greater perspective and make wiser decisions.
  • When we’re old, we have a better understanding of others — We allow people to be as they are, we’ve come to realize that there’s no need to change anyone, it wouldn’t do much good to try anyway. We appreciate those who have been kind to us and let go of those who have not.
  • In case you’re concerned — People don’t get grumpy when they get old. It’s grumpy young people that become grumpy old people. As you age you’re more emotionally (except for the days when your hormones go through the roof) stable making you happier/less grumpy.
  • And — When you get super old, they let you to into the movie for really cheap and public transportation is practically free!

In the end, let the good times roll and stop thinking about where you haven’t been and start thinking about where you want to go next…

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Independence = freedom

Chilly water, only the brave dare...

During my workout class at the beach tonight, I spied a notably chubby 30 something fellow stripping down to nakedness, aside from his remarkably tight swim trunks. I peaked at him as he dropped his trousers, hoisted off his shirt and stuffed them into an equally over stuffed backpack. As he wrenched on his fluorescent orange swim cap I found myself commenting to my clients about how he needed to join our abdominal workout. You see, this fellow wasn’t the sort that most of us would find suited to bare himself in public and certainly not wearing such an ensemble. He was quite a chubbster, clad in gear that only emphasized that fact.

As the snarky comments slid from my lips I immediately felt horrid. Who the hell was I to say such things? This fellow was proud and clearly not affected by the “rules’ of the world. He was living his life and doing as he pleased. For this I should be giving him props and envy his moxie.

To the chubby fellow I say, “You go boy.” I support your independent ways and I apologize for my shallow thoughts and snarky words. I confess to you that I’m a woman who swims only to keep from drowning, and frankly, I could use a few ab exercises myself. To you I say, live and let live, may the force be with you, and you’ve inspired me to take a plunge into the ice-cold bay in my less than appropriate swimming costume (that’ll be a story for another day).

To the rest of the world, may you all enjoy a wonderful, safe, Independence Day weekend. And if you happen run into someone who’s not exactly the way you think they should be: Stop for a second and look past the exterior, you might witness something inspiring.

I’ll be back on Monday, until then, travel, celebrate and exercise safely…