Blog 46 – 2021… New Year, Same Chaos

Blog 46 – 2021… New Year, Same Chaos

 

Well folks, “guess who’s back, back again, (Dylan’s) back, tell a friend.” After a little break for the holidays your favorite weekly blog, or at least the weekly blog that regularly gets posted on your social media, IS BACK.

 

But we’re gonna hold back our excitement this blog to talk a little bit about something more soothing. MEDITATION. (And to be clear, if your first reaction included “PFFT” or “I don’t have time to meditate” or “It doesn’t work for me” or anything in between, you DEFINITELY need to meditate.)

 

This blog won’t be a lecture, though. Nor will it be the science of neuroplasticity (sorry, not my wheelhouse) or my rant about which form of meditation is the best or some soapbox about how meditating (or actively trying to change our neurological state) increases DEM GAINZ by aiding your bodies’ transition into recovery. I’d rather share my experience and give you a few resources to broaden your experience with said practice, after all this is only beneficial if it’s highly personal.

 

I’ve practiced some form of meditation for a number of years (as a recall to a previous thought in a blog I still wake up, and try to do absolutely nothing before my morning starts). Usually that meant waking up, making coffee, sitting on the patio in the summer or the couch when it’s cold, and waiting for Kimmy to finish working out so we could eat breakfast together. Recently, we’ve switched that routine up a bit. Now, I wake up and workout with her, SHE makes the coffee (such a treat), we feed the dogs, and then follow the Headspace and Netflix collaboration series called “Headspace Guide to Meditation.” (I’d link it here, but can’t directly share from app to blog.) It’s been a great little addition to our routine. For those new to meditation it’s a great resource.

 

Understanding that not all of us have Netflix, and like a little bit more tactile work/homework/journaling another resource I have used in the past is called Palouse Mindfulness (https://palousemindfulness.com/ – Disclaimer: the website is awful and hard to navigate.) This is a free resource that guides you through an 8-week workshop that covers a range of methods. (Pro-tip: If you are a Kaiser member, they often have an in-person, 8-week workshop that follows this program.)

 

And if you just aren’t into the learning part of this, there’s roughly a billion guided meditations available on YouTube – don’t forget your headphones. 

 

So while we can’t promise you a calmer, quieter, or kinder 2021, we CAN find new seats on the GAINZ TRAIN. 

 

D

 

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Home Upper Body Blast

Greetings Campers. Move to stay healthy, lift your spirits and energy levels, feel accomplished, improve your sleep, feel younger, enhance activities you love to do like running, tennis, skating, rock climbing etc…. it doesn’t even to be hours. Even just 10-30 minutes of strength training a few days a week.  Here is a simple workout to try at home while we are locked down, of if you don’t have time to make to your gym. (this is an upper body biased workout)
3-5 rounds
10-20  Handstand shoulder taps
10-20 Single arm Kettle bell swings per arm
8-12  Rows per arm in a 3 pt stance
5-10 Downward Dog pushups
8-10 Alternating KB Halos
8-12 Plank to pushups

https://www.instagram.com/p/CJb9xCRhTB9/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

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Blog 45 – Getting What you Want for the Holidays

Blog 45 – Getting What you Want for the Holidays

 

Well, we’re in the middle of the biggest holiday season of the year. 2020 is winding down (though as has been repeated millions of times this year, what is time even?). And we’ve all been conditioned throughout our lives to be a good person (or generally decent even) and wish as hard as you possibly can in order to get what you want. (For those folks that identify as on the naughty list, or even aspiring to be there, one could argue that in your universe or schema or relativity that what may be the Naughty List to me may actually be the Nice List to you effectively making you eligible for wishes in your own little world.)

 

Certainly prior to this year, checking the “be a good person” box was as routine as receiving the same off-the-wall gift from your Aunt every year. Or, to use a more apropos simile, like getting out of bed and going to work. All’s to say there is somewhat of regularity and routine in checking that box and making those wishes. Do they come true? Sometimes, most often not… YET! But that doesn’t prevent us from making our way through the year in hopes that THIS is the year that we finally get whatever toy, wish, gift, experience, et al. that we’ve been waiting for for whoever knows how long. 

 

With all that said, and you trying to figure out what the fuck I’m talking about all over again, it’s probably time to get to the point. The point being, that we often treat our health and fitness a lot like the be a good person -> wish really hard -> be grateful for what you get scenario. In the gym context we show up routinely, go through whatever workout is programmed, and end up with results that we are often grateful for, but maybe feel just a bit awkward or like our hopes and dreams were just lost in translation between you thinking them in to existence and the universe translating them back to your coaches (a la the game Telephone). Then something funny always seems to happen this time of year (I’ll save my fitness industry marketing rants here). We seem to get disappointed when the holiday season doesn’t bring us what we want, and we use the start of a new year as some sort of refresh. 

 

But I’m here to tell you that there’s a much easier way to get what you want. That’s to actually ask for what you want out of this whole fitness thing. I’ve mentioned before that Nigel’s total program is not designed for our individual goals. It’s simply a foundation (a very solid one) to build off of. All of our coaches are equipped and ready to help you individually, but we can only do that if you’re willing to ask for what you want. 

 

In what seems like a less than ideal scenario with the shut down and our work getting more general due to limits in space and equipment, all of the coaches are ready (and I would bet all are also excited) for the opportunity to talk you through some of the things on your wishlist. 

 

D

 

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Blog 44 – Shut Down 2, Week 2

Blog 44 – Shut Down 2, Week 2

 

Hello Turkeys!

 

The good news is that we’ve already passed Week 1, and are starting in on Week 2. Hopefully, your week is full of a half week at work, some time off, and an opportunity to connect with some friends and family in varying ways. Then, it’s only two more weeks to go after this one. (To be fair, I realize that this is an overly optimistic projection and am choosing to take the State at its word about the current shut down.)(I also realize that over the summer that I promised not to spend any more time on the blog giving space to the shut down, but here we are.)(Are multiple, back-to-back parentheses allowed?)

 

Moving through the holiday week, I don’t have a lot of concrete words for you. It’s a chunked up week. Life takes your attention away from the gym (as it should). And we’re all simultaneous prepping for the rest of the holiday season/end of the year. With that in mind, I’ll take the opportunity to make a list (both in the spirit of the holidays, and for ease in reading):

  • PDX Strength and its coaching staff are grateful for each and every member that’s been part of the 2020 adventure. While we are certainly here for you in fitness, I hope that many of you know and all of you feel that we will be here for you as friends. Further, if you have a gym friend that you haven’t connected with outside of the gym but would like to, we can facilitate that. 
  • It’s easy to give us a pass during the shut down, but we want your feedback. We want this experience to be as seamless and smooth as possible. And want to create that experience with you, not just for you.
  • Enjoy the holidays, whatever that means to you. I recognize the difficulty of my previous statement in “normal” year. This is a high stress time, and we want you to give yourself permission to seek and experience joy as you see fit. (That advice probably extends until “normalcy” returns to our lives.)
  • I’ll bookend the list by repeating how thankful we are for you. Every time you show up, in person or on zoom, you continuously shape our space for the better with your energy, your love, and your flare.

 

Until next time,

D

 

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Blog 43 – aaaand we’re back…

Blog 43 – aaaand we’re back…

 

In the spirit of self-reflection and improvement, I must admit when I optimistically said that the squat cycle signaled some sort of long term normalcy at the gym, I most likely jinxed the entire community and am at total fault for the recent shut down – or social pause as our friendly, neighborhood Gov. Brown has decided to term it. And while you may be generous and replace the blame on others, I will continue down this path of self-deprecation for the greater good, knowing that the blame from the universe lies with my big mouth.

 

Now that that is out of the way, we should chat about what’s to come over the next couple of weeks. Fortunately for us, we’ve been through this before so we can make changes based on what worked well and what didn’t work very well for us. One of those things, and probably most notably, comes in the form of our schedule and programming. When we shut down in March, we honestly didn’t have a clue what we were doing, not out of any lack of competence of course, but because it was all sorts of new for all of us. And your options for classes and programming reflected as much… a little instagram here a little zoom there. We’ve gotten into the groove now from having classes still available via zoom thanks to the diligence of our crew (both the coaches that show up for online classes and for the steadfast group of members that has continued to engage with us even as doors opened ever so slightly). Another change is the amount of equipment being lent out. While we would love to empty the gym again for our members, it was a logistical challenge to coordinate. To no one’s fault of course, there were/are just a lot of moving parts. With a smaller pause (hopefully only a 4-week window) and a consistent piece of equipment, we have a better opportunity to develop a more consistent programming plan – which I assure you is already accounted for and locked in thanks to Nigel. 

 

I’m going into this phase a little more optimistic than the previous, maybe because there’s a light at the end of a 4-week tunnel or because the holidays are coming and there will be other things to gravitate towards than there was this summer. But mostly because I’ve gotten to know each of you a little better through the process that’s been 2020. I’ve grown, maybe not in the ways I thought I would, but tremendously for the better. You all have had a hand in that. Through your continued resilience. Through your passion for our community. Through your care for each other. And to be fair, that’s not in spite of 2020, that’s because of it. 

 

So what do you say? Here’s to another 4 weeks! 

 

D

 

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