Physical Funness for the Motion Starved

Fit more fun into your fitness while exploring the outdoors.

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All I want to do today is lay in the dirt

Yesterday I ate a butterfly, then I yacked it up. Ugh!

Some days I’m just not feeling it. Maybe I’m tired or cranky, who knows. The bottom line is, some days I just don’t feel like working out, eating right or doing all the things that I am “supposed to do.” I used to torture myself with guilt when I had these days, telling myself that I was a Big Fat Cow for slacking off, acting like the world would come to an end if I fell off my fitness routine.  Well…I slack off all the time and so far the world is still spinning, I still reach my goals and still look reasonably presentable.

We all have those days and we all need to give ourselves the “okay” to simply give in. Whether it be sitting down to a pint of Ben & Jerry’s because they’re the only ones who can heal your broken heart, or skipping your workout because you just can’t bare to deal with it today. The key is not to make it a habit. Take a day off if you need to and don’t give it a second thought. Just be sure to get back on the wagon tomorrow, you’ll have a whole lot more spunk for having done so. You can’t be expected to roll along the same path forever; detours are necessary for a successful journey. Remember that.


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Just don't look up!

It’s the week before the big Fight for Air Climb. Yikes, 1,197 steps up 52 floors. That’s a lot’a steps and it’s all taking place in the stairwell of the B of A building here in San Francisco. If I wanted to, I could start stressing myself out by thinking about what’s in store for me this Saturday, but I won’t do that. I know better. Why bother, it won’t make the event any less painful and certainly won’t make this week pass any more smoothly.

Here’s the plan — My training is complete. It takes 3 weeks to reap the benefits of training so there’s no need to go out and hammer out another hard training session. I’ll exercise this week but won’t do anything that might stress my legs. Lots of yoga and easy endurance work. All I can do is trust that I’ve trained well and let my body rest and recover from the past weeks of intense training. I’ll make sure to drink plenty of water, get lots of sleep and eat right, keeping the fiber flowing. I sure as hell don’t want to carry any extra stuff up those steps. Know what I mean? I’ll make sure I have the cutest possible outfit ready to wear. Shoes ready to go and all the information I need to smoothly pick up my race packet and timing chip on event day. Early in the week (today actually) I’ll make sure to read all event info so I know the exact details of what I can, and can’t take with me in the stairwell, where I can park and so on. I don’t want any surprises the day of the event. It’s important that on the big day all I have to do is show up, and race. I’ll get everything done before hand so I can focus only on doing my very best.

So there you have it. I am confident and ready to go, unflappable. On the day of the event I will find a nice pair of buns and follow them up the stairs all the way to victory. I will feel no pain and dance up the steps to the rhythm of my smooth breath.

The best part of all this, when it’s over I get to come up with a new way to torture myself. A new goal, get ready!

P.s. It’s not a good idea to try something new the day of an event. New shoes, new food, stuff like that. You don’t want to find that GU gives you the runs while you’re ascending an indoor stair case or running down the road with thousands of people, same goes for shoes and cloths you don’t want to find out that your new stuff chafes. Stick with what you know works. This is no time for surprises.

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Small bits

I made it!

Focus. They say all you have to do is “focus” and you’ll get what you want.

I am gonna let you in on a few tips that help me focus when I am trying to ride my bike, run, stand in Tree Pose or even write.

When you’re distracted you loose your focus. That’s obvious, in order to do what you need to do, you need to give “it” your full attention. Period.

Say you want to, climb Mt. Tam on your bike. To keep from panicking and loosing your focus, break the journey into small chunks. Same rule goes for running a marathon, 5k, or whatever. Break your mission into small, easy to digest bits.

It’s actually pretty easy, just focus on getting yourself to the first hill, or make your digestible bits mileage markers. Take it 5 miles at a time and think only about those five miles. Same goes for riding your bike, take it a few miles at a time. Climbing Mt. Tam with a pal? Concentrate on getting to Mill Valley, up to 4 Corners, Pantoll Station, and so on. You get the picture.

Another thing that helps me through tough workouts or events is not to look too far up the road. If you’re planning to run from The Marina Green across the GGB, whatever you do, don’t look across the bay at the bridge, you’ll surly panic and loose your focus. Remember, small bits!  When you’re done, you can look back at where you’ve been, pat yourself on the back and say, “Holey shit! I made it!”

On to the next…

Couple o’ things I want to mention

  • Sunday Streets begins this weekend – Get out and play in the street! Route goes along the Embarcadero.
  • Every Monday they offer $2 pints and specials on bar food at the Park Chalet. The food’s not fantastic but it’s a great place to hang post ride or run along the beach.

Get my meaning?


“Why do we do this?”

I’ve been looking through my old race reports trying to find the answer to that question. I remember driving home from many bike races with Penny asking over and over again, “why do we do this?”  The only answer I can remember coming up with was “because we can.” The fact that we could do something that most people didn’t have the nerve to attempt made us who we are. If we gave in and acted “normal” we wouldn’t be the people we are, and in spite of the never-ending torture we had fun, made life long friendships and learned more than anyone can imagine.

This is why I am confused. I don’t understand why so many of you are having a hard time making the commitment to succeed physically. Every day someone says, “I’d really like to loose some/run a/ride a ­­­_____ someday.” Someday? When is Someday?

Let me ask you, every day you have things that you need to get done, correct? You do your best every day to clear your to-do list, you go to work, feed the kids, see friends, laundry… Those things are your priorities, your daily commitments or “goals.” Some of those things are fun and some you do because you have to. Either way you succeed because you’re committed.

Why is it not the same when it comes to achieving a fitness goal? Are you afraid of making a fool of yourself and failing? Are you afraid it will hurt? Maybe you fear that it will infringe on your social schedule or time with your family?

Seriously, when was the last time you heard of someone making a fool out of him or her self while attempting to better themselves? Yep, if you decide to cut calories or train for an event it may cut into your cocktail hour, but it’ll open new doors that will more than make up for the ones it hinders. The pain, yep, pushing your body does hurt a little but it’s not that bad and it really does make you stronger, healthier and hotter!

Maybe you should think of your goal is just another thing on your daily to-do list.

Example; say you sign up for the Fight for Air Climb. With that you know that you need to build your endurance so that you can complete the event, and climb 52 flights of stairs. So, on your to-do list goes the daily tasks that you need to accomplish in order to get yourself to event day. It’s the same mindset you use for making dinner. On your to-do list is the question of menu, shopping list, grocery shopping, cooking and finally achieving your goal of eating dinner. See, it’s easy!

Don’t over think it. Decide what you’d like to do. Figure out the steps to get there. Take the necessary steps and don’t stop till you get there. All you gotta do is commit, focus, succeed and celebrate!

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Party’s over, time to make a commitment

It’s time to stop messing around. Time to start making some serious goals and plans re: our fitness. That means me too. I’ve been going easy on everyone because it was the beginning of the year and we were recovering from the holidays. Now that it’s mid February it’s time to get serious. This week is going to be about goals and inspiration so start thinking about what you want to achieve this year. If I have my way, by the end of the week we’ll all be in a committed relationship with an exciting new personal betterment routine.  You with me?

Don’t panic – Remember, my approach is not to jump into an exercise or nutrition routine that’s so adventurous that you’re likely to wiggle your way out, or fail. I like to start easy and build up once things get rolling.  “Go slow so you can go fast” is something a cycling coach said to me years ago. It means that you can’t go hard all the time if you want to be fast/strong and keep performing/healthy. Remember that.

First – Decide what you most want for yourself? Lose some weight? Run in an organized event? Ride your bike a 100-miles, how about 500 miles? Climb 52 flights of stairs for charity (more on that later). Maybe you just want to stop feeling so bloody stiff and would like to start with being a little more physically active.

Second – You will need a relatively structured training/nutrition plan to work from.  Obviously there are lots of classes, clinics, online tools and trainers out there that can help you (like me.). You will need some support.

Lastly – No more excuses, make the effort. Rain or shine, every day. If you fall off your plan, don’t panic just get back on tomorrow. If you decide you don’t like what you’re doing, get sick or hurt, than reassess the situation and make revisions but don’t give up on your goal. Think about/read about all the people who have come before you and done amazing things with their bodies and their lives. I’m talking about “real people” not just the Lance Armstrongs of the world.

Tomorrow – I’ll share a story of two amazing “real people” who I personally witnessed achieve a goal that I never thought they would reach (sorry D & P but it’s true).  It was inspiring and life changing for me to witness.  For them – they’re just glad they did it. Stay tuned…

By the way, Happy Valentines Day. Don’t forget to do something nice for someone. Remember my Unbitter post.


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Goal Setting Kelley style

If you are the type to set New Years resolutions or goals then you have done so for 2011 by now.  If not, then maybe what I have to say will help.

Like with everything there’s a ton of information out there about goal setting.  Everyone has a plan. Frankly, it’s not hard to understand but it’s not all that interesting either. All you have to do is figure out what you want and then make it happen. To make it happen you simply need to acknowledge the truth about what you’re willing to do, and willing to continue to do, for as long as it takes.

Example: My goal is to become lighter and fitter. However, I know that I like to eat a lot of food and drink wine. That’s just the way it is and I’m not willing to revise that for very long. Because of that, it’s easier and smarter for me to ramp up my exercise routine then it is for me to make a big change in my eating habits. Fortunately, when I start working out harder or more often, I’m less interested in drinking a bunch of wine and eating all the food that comes with it. This system works for me, as it’s something that I can sustain for long periods of time. Years and years rather than weeks or months.

On the other side of the coin, my friend Jacks is better about cutting calories than she is about ramping up her exercise routine.  Jacks does not like to sweat, it messes up her hair and that’s important to her. With that, she’s happy to eat half portions and cut out alcohol completely rather than partake in high impact exercise. Jacks prefers low impact movement like shopping/walking and Pilates to keep tone.  In the end this combination works for her, she remains light which makes exercising more tolerable and less sweaty.

Does this make sense?  Jumping into a big calorie cutting and/or exercise program is hard for everyone.  Why not try a different approach?  Be honest with yourself. What are you really willing to do to reach your goal? Don’t forget to consider your lifestyle and the things in life that you enjoy like spending time with your kids or happy hour with your friends. You may be able to get where you want to be by suffering for a while but can you keep it up? Be smart and be honest.

Lastly… a quote from George Hincapie (the absolute hottest pro bike racer who ever lived)…

“Enduring those cold and rainy training days are the days that help you reach your goals.” (Remember that when it’s nasty outside.)