BY LEANNE SALANDRO
As January2011 draws to an end, I’m reminded of all of the New Year’s resolutions and lists. Are you resolved on your resolutions? Here are some tips and tricks to stay focused and on track!
Have good, strong reasons. If you believe in your reasons strongly, you’re more likely to follow through. Make sure those reasons are truly your reasons and not something someone else planted in your brain. The more you own your reasons and believe in them, the better chances you’ll have for success.
Write it down. Actually making a list on paper, writing it down, can be a critical step. If you simply keep tossing potential goals around in your mind, they simply aren’t as real or concrete as goals you’ve purposely written down. Pen and paper can make your goals all the more real.
See it to believe it. Visualization is a tried and true trick. In your mind, see your objective as it would be in reality. See it as it would be after you’ve accomplished your goal in every aspect. The more details you add to your vision, the better. Exercise the power of your mind!
Talk about it. Tell other people about your goals and share your milestones along the way. The more you make your goals and accomplishments part of your outloud existence, achievement becomes part of your daily life. Accept and verbalize as it happens. It also makes you accountable to every person you’ve voiced your intent.
Have a plan of action. Deciding to run a marathon or attend a month-long surf camp in Costa Rica won’t happen without some pre-planning and a series of smaller goals to reach the greater goal. Create an action plan. Ask yourself what steps will need to be accomplished to reach the final goal? What will be the most difficult tasks for you personally? What will you do to prepare and conquer? Strategize but remain flexible.
Build a sucess system. If you’re not the best person for a 6 am yoga class (and want to be), get friends who are early morning yogis. Hook up with likeminded people who can become part of your support system. Surround yourself with people, colleagues, book, videos, music, and whatever else will provide information, motivation and inspiration to help you stay on track.
Stay happy! Celebrate milestones, reward and congratulate yourself as you accomplish your goals every step of the way. Manageable steps taken every day can (and do) conquer any mountain.
BY LEANNE SALANDRO
How many times have you heard that and thought, oh phooey, it still takes some doing to get things done? Well, it’s entirely true that if everything we wanted to accomplish simply stayed in our brains, nothing would happen. I think that’s called “daydreaming”?
However, sometimes tasks present some rough going and, without fierce mental resolve, we would quit and some big challenges in life would go unanswered.
For myself, I never consideredmyself to be an athlete and I certainly didn’t consider an endurance event like triathlon or marathon within the realm of even trying. For most of my adult life, I considered myself a rather neutral sports figure, someone who was more of a hiker or walker; definitely not a runner or swimmer.
This identity probably had seeds in my childhood. Raised to be “a girl”, it was rare in my day to have female athletes in the media in anything other than a handful of sports. The world of sorts was still pretty much a man’s world.
This attitude continued into my early 20’s but things started happening. I got a little bored and curiosity got the best of me.
I received a class schedule in the mail from the local community college and, as I was flipping though it, a karate class caught my eye. Karate was something that always held a bit of mystique for me and piqued my curiosity. I had never been in any kind of physical altercation and knew I would be so pathetic if I ever had to physically protect or defend myself. It had allure, this karate class. I talked myself into signing up. I could always cancel, right? Besides, I didn’t know many people in town and it was something to get me out of the house.
I showed up the first night of class and no one was there. I was utterly confused. Where was everyone? Was I the only one who signed up? I waited around for about 5 minutes and then went home. Whew. I had been a bit nervous about taking that class, a physical class no less, all by myself amidst strangers. It was a sign. I dodged that bullet. Well, dodged it until I got home…
My phone rang and it was a very nice man, Dave Lamb, from Southeast Community College. He was the instructor and there had been a scheduling mix-up. Some people, like myself, had come at the right time but to the wrong room and he wanted to make sure I made it to class. To be polite, I talked with him and told him maybe I would come some other time, some other semester. He kindly urged me to come, heck, come any of the two nights the class was offered, that was fine with him. After some persuading, I agreed to come. That decision changed my life.
I practiced karate with Dave for 2 years and it gave me much more than I ever imagined it could. I expected to learn some deadly moves and get a workout but it gave me both body awareness and physical confidence. I got to know my body, a real feeling physicality, and this knowledge opened up a whole other world and way of thinking. This mental workout had been completely unexpected.
What else could I do? Now, any sport or activity was an option. I started to set some personal challenges for myself. Some goals were simply can-I-do-this tests. Running. I tried in earnest at the ripe old age of 30… I could to it! So, I maybe I could do a race? A 10K perhaps? At the time, I could only run 3 miles but why not? I could train. Wow, I could! I kept running. I used to swim as a kid so I wondered if I could do a triathlon? An olympic distance triathlon? I wanted to scare myself into something significant. I signed up, trained my butt off and, after fearing the ocean swim, the swim turned out to be the fastest piece of my race time. I was giddy! What next? I decided I would register for a full marathon, something I would’ve never dreamed of attempting.
The funny thing about the marathon was my fear of attempting so many miles. Up to that point in time, I had never run more than 8 miles in one stretch. I was curious as to how I would physically manage, how I would feel, if my body would do such a thing.
I talked to a friend of a friend who had run a marathon or two. He said something that helped break my mental block, “After running about 6 miles, they all feel about the same after that.” Surely he was kidding? How could running for hours feel the same as running a 10K? I mentally prepared to find out.
Training for a triathlon was an endeavor of scheduling, work outs, eating right and, of course, mental preparation but the marathon loomed larger for me. The idea of all of those much longer runs scared me. I had a binder with all my notes and training miles mapped out by week. Turns out, I both dreaded and loved my training runs. Training runs gave me hours every week of mental solitude and peace. Feet hitting pavement, alone with my thoughts for hours at a time was a wonderful thing. It was my mobile meditation. As the day grew closer, I felt like I really could be ready on race day.
At mile 23 of that marathon, it became very clear that it was a mental race from that point on. My mobile meditation became a valued asset. I was tired, I had to pee, I kind of wanted to walk but knew that would mean finishing later, prolonging my discomfort. My brain ran those last few miles. I’d invested all of that training so no way was I giving up but, when I was lagging, it was will power alone that got me through. (And yes, after mile 6, they do all pretty much feel the same.)
So, go ahead, daydream often. Exercise your brain, ponder the possibities and discover a myriad of amazing things you can accomplish. The process will give you gifts you may have never imaged. Had I not followed my heart and my head, I would’ve robbed myself of some peak life experiences.
What can you put your mind to?
It’s That Time of Year Again…
The resolutions lists are still top of mind so we’ve searched the web to bring you tools, tips, and trends (maybe a few tricks too) to stay motivated and on track.
The “D” Word and Other Culprits
Yup, “die” with a “t” at the end of it. Diet is at the top New Year’s resolution lists in 2011 followed by quit smoking and exercise more (www.dailypress.com). Do one of these top three resolutions appear on your list? To help you reach healthful goals in 2011, check out the following links and make it happen…
Diet and Nutrition
- Counting calories? Check out the handy calculator at www.calorieking.com/foods/ to see the nutritional info on almost every food imaginable.
- Need a diet plan you can customize? Do it yourself with www.calorieking.com or www.ediets.com. Sign up, pick your menus, and track your progress all from the comfort of home.
- Want a gradual approach to bannishing those potato chips? Try 12 easy steps to eating a healthy diet… zenhabits.net/a-12-step-program-to-eating-healthier-than-ever-before/
- Like to cook? Discover some new good-for-you recipes at www.eatbetteramerica.com/ or www.epicurious.com and enjoy delicious goodness.
- Take a yoga class. Yoga brings a lot of deep breathing to your life. If you’ve been smoking, you’ve been robbing your body of precious oxygen. Beat the nicotine and give your lungs a treat. Visit yogafinder.com to find a class near you or call your local gym or health club.
- Visit your doctor. Smoking can be an extremely tough habit to break. If you feel it’s too huge to conquer alone, talk to you doctor and explore all of the options available to help you quit.
- Help someone else quit. Even if you don’t smoke, chances are you know someone who does. Give them your support in a fun and meaningful way! Visit www.quitguide.com/help-someone-quit-smoking.html for tips.
- Join a gym! Hop on a treadmill, join a kick boxing class, shake it with Zumba, take your pick. Get moving at a local gym www.gymticket.com or go for a big name club like 24hourfitness.com (they’re always running a special) or goldsgym.com.
- Inspire yourself and compete. If you never have, you can. If you have, aim higher! Visit www.active.com to find an event near you, register for a race in an exotic location, or find workout buddies.
Tackle every one of your New Year’s resolutions this year or at least set some to inspire yourself. Make 2011 your best year yet!
When people ask me what I do for a living, they are often surprised to hear that I design and market clothing, specifically active wear providing a wide range of coverage for women. For the most part, we are in the market to offer more coverage versus less. You could say we sort of specialize in modesty.
First of all, people are surprised that I’m an everyday kind of person who designs clothes. It’s more of a high-dollar, fashion runway, Paris, Milan, big label occupation in most imaginations. For me, it’s not quite that glamorous. Enjoyable, but not glamorous.
After that, the surprise lingers around the fact that I would work hard on something involving the word “modesty” especially where the word “fashion” is concerned. People are often operating under the usually false misconception that confident women who are proud of their bodies want to show it off and wear revealing “sexy” outfits.
That may be true for some but, when you are engaged in a truly active endeavor like triathlon, surfing, windsurfing, kiteboarding, kayaking, etc. the last thing on your mind in the heat of the moment is, “do these shorts make my butt look too big”?
Sure, most of us like to look our best as much as possible but most female athletes are primarily concerned about actively enjoying or competing in their chosen sport comfortably. Performance is the priority, not the “hey, check me out” factor. Let’s face it, a little extra coverage actually keeps things nicely covered during rigorous activity and prevents impromptu peep shows of any, um, feminine assets. Furthermore, even the most gorgeously toned back and shoulders will suffer a scorching burn if unprotected all day in the sun kitesurfing. Not fun. Not pretty. Sun protection is serious stuff and even more so for female athletes who spend a lot of time outdoors. Extra coverage also gives the welcome bonus of skin protection.
The caveat here is we really do still want to look good and all this talk of modesty, serious sun protection and coverage engineered to fight physics starts conjuring up images of boring, utilitarian, “un-fun” fashion. Luckily, being too exposed was the “a-ha” moment for a fashion-loving person like myself.
After a particularly chilly surf session with my business partner Kim, we were changing out of our wetsuits and trying to preserve some modesty as we simultaneously wrangled neoprene and large towels with our stiff, cold fingers. We noticed some perv’ on a bicycle who kept riding back and forth past our vehicle… we’re talking five, maybe six, times obviously trying to catch a glimpse of something should a towel slip. I felt an emotional combo of anger and great amusement. How desperate do you have to be to catch a glimpse of the female form so that you’re compelled to ride your bike repeatedly past two, drenched, rumpled, middle-aged chicks struggling out of wetsuits? I can assure you that we were no visions of sexual loveliness as we were trying to get out of neoprene and into some warm, dry clothes. But I digress…
I decided that bottoms designed to coordinate with rashguards would be so great. That way, I could strip off my wetsuit and be covered. No need to fuss with towels! Just unzip and go about my business. Let’s go one step further and make such an ensemble fun and interesting.
In a nutshell, showing a little less really is more and it’s what we aim to deliver at Girls4Sport. Less revealing garments that provide more for the women wearing them. You get the benefits of sun protection and coverage, and (much to the chagrin of peep-tom cyclists everywhere) you also get the added allure of leaving a little something to the imagination.
As we enter 2011, resolutions are top of mind. I suppose it truly is a good thing to seek out on a regular basis the negative things in our lives that might be harmful or a hindrance. Who couldn’t take measures to eat better, floss our teeth more often or remember to drink more water every day? At the same time, it’s a bit hard on a person, especially hypercritical self-aware women who already have a list of imperfections or flaws someone out there compiled based on who knows what.
As I was making an exceptionally healthy lunch today, I got to thinking about how my clothes fit. This thought came to me as I was deciding on how much shredded cheddar should go into my meal. There was the amount I added but there was about 1 – 2 tablespoons worth of shreds left in the bag. Leave it, use it, what to do? I like cheese but those extra shreds are extra calories and fat.
The range of pants sizes I’ve gone through in 2010 has been quite the collection. I had a baby in June 2010 and my body went through a lot of ups, downs, ins and outs. Through it all, I kept true to a mantra, a mantra I adopted years ago as I faced a lifetime of battling extra weight and perpetual dieting. Wear only what feels good and flatters my body, never pay attention to the size label sewn in the garment.
These days, skinny jeans grace the slender (spindly?) legs of models in magazines and billboards everywhere. I do not hold such a goal for myself, the wearing of skinny jeans. In my opinion, exceptionally tapered pants of any sort only tend to make the backside assets of even the fittest person somehow appear too big and out of proportion. Not to mention the possibly epic enhancement of any muffin top that might happen should said skinny jeans cut in near the waist. I shudder.
As I stared at that bag of shredded cheddar, I decided the observance of a new year should never be just for critiquing flaws and short comings but should be a moment of reflecting and celebrating the goodness of life and hopes for the future. I enjoyed lunch immensely.
Happy New Year!