Friday, September 22, 2017

Friday Book Report: 2 Picture Books

I love picture books.  The two I bought this week exemplify why.

A Different Pond by Bao Phi tells the story of an immigrant Hmong family from the perspective of the youngest child.  While it is a story about what is difficult, it is ultimately a story about success.  The poetic vision of the story and the evocative pictures create an affirming space.  Those of us who value family will find much to love here.

My Beautiful Birds by Suzanne Del Rizzo has the most gorgeous art I think I have ever seen in a picture book. The author and artist works in Plasticine, polymer clay, and other mixed media.  The birds (and children and adults and settings) are, in fact, beautiful.  The story is heartbreaking, about Syrian refugee children, but holds out hope for solace in the things we love and the people around us.

(Both of these books fill the heart.  If that is not a fitness concept, I don’t know what is.)

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Dust in the wind, dude... (as Ted would say)

The unexamined workout, to paraphrase noted fitness guru, Socrates, is not worth doing.  We need some sense that what we are doing is working.  Here are some ways to tell:

We are sweaty at the end.
We were out of breath at least some of the time.
We are sore, but not so sore that we can’t function the next day.
Our brains got tired, too.
We stretched.

If we did all those things, we were on the right track.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Go Team!

When we work out, we have to remember that we are on our own team.  I’m not suggesting that we only work out in our own personal team jersey (although if that works, great!).  What I am saying is that we have to help ourselves succeed.

I work with a bunch of driven people.  It’s awesome.  They do amazing things!  But sometimes they fight themselves.  I want to see people push, but I also want to see them respect their bodies.  Getting mad at ourselves when we reach our limits does not help.

We need to approach exercise with openness and curiosity.  We need to observe how our bodies work without getting all judgy and paranoid.  Some days we will lift heavier things than other days.  Some days we can explore how we align ourselves with gentleness.  Some days we break through.

No matter what, the team does not do well with booing.  Root for the team!