Archive for the ‘WQW’ Category

This week Marcia’s talking about fitness, something that I’m a bit familiar with, having a Masters Degree in teaching physical education as well as having had my own small personal training business for 16 years “back in the day.” For WQW (Writer’s Quotes Wednesday) the challenge is to marry quotes with the topic.

As much as I hate like fury to use this quote, because I have less than zero respect for the company and its production practices, the most cogent quote for fitness might be “Just do it.” But what is the “it” part of that? Hint: it’s not using slave labor to help you get into shape. In case you were were thinking of third-party fitness. It’s not like carbon credits. You have to actually do the work yourself. 🙂

Just lying around won’t get you in shape.

That being said, getting fit is a process, one that starts where you are now and doesn’t require working our for hours a day or buying special bars and powders from online stores. It really is simple to get start and see some success which then encourages you to keep going to the next level.

“When you get stronger everything in the world gets easier. Change yourself and you’ve changed everything.”
― Hunter Post

I’m not asking you to get this intense, but you do have to move!

My introductory post on fitness back in 2012 is “Move it to Lose It”. The “lose it” part doesn’t apply only to losing weight. Even if your weight is just fine, you might need to tighten up, change your shape, get stronger, etc. Here’s a quote from the post: “I want you to take away one simple idea from this post.  To paraphrase…just do something…anything more than what you’re already doing and if you want to gild the lily, eat less (if you’re overweight), and better (no matter what your shape.)” You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to start getting into better shape.

“Weight loss doesn’t begin in the gym with a dumb bell; it starts in your head with a decision.”
― Toni Sorenson,
The Great Brain Cleanse

Many people, women in particular, often lack upper body strength, which is essential for everyday living. Fitness Friday: weight-less fitness–the pushup walks you through the pushup as a way to help improve that. While it won’t improve every part of your upper body, it’s a good, all-round exercise. From the post, again quoting myself: “OK, I admit the “weight-less fitness” is a teaser.  You can’t improve your strength without using  weight/s.  But you can improve it without buying weights, at least to some extent.  Let me tell you how.”

As we all age, balance can become a critical issue. Although being mentally unbalanced is dangerous, this post shares easy ways to work on improving your physical balance: Fitness Friday–balancing act. Quote? You bet: “When you talk or hear about fitness, aerobic fitness or strength is usually the topic.  Flexibility is the poor relative nobody talks much about.  But balance is a part of fitness both very important and simple to improve.  As you age, balance becomes more and more important, as a fall can cause all sorts of long-lasting damage.  Good balance is also vital in sports or any physical fitness activity you engage in, whether it’s rollerblading, dancing, going up and down stairs, cleaning or just walking.”

Exercising with friends or family makes it all much better.

I’m pretty sure we all know that too much sitting is bad for you. But at the end of a long day, most of us feel like sitting down and watching something, whether rugby or cycling like my husband and I or something else. Friday Fitness-get in shape while watching TV will hopefully motivate you to redeem that time by getting in better shape. “I can see the skepticism on your face from here, so don’t think you’re getting away with it just because you’re hiding behind your computer, laptop, tablet or phone! Some of you are wondering if you’ll also get a set of Ginsu knives free when you send for my $19.95 program (free shipping and handling, today only). And some of you, who shall remain nameless, are simply scoffing. Get in shape while watching TV? If it were that easy, everyone would be fit. But Yes, there is a “but” (or maybe a “butt”). However, you’ll have to go there to find out what comes next. Since I wrote this post, I’ve gotten a mini-trampoline that will work well instead of the suggestion in the post. 🙂

Shape up identifies the three types of physical fitness in case you want to refresh your memory or find out what they are. It’s short, to-the-point and has a bit of humor as well. One thing I want to add for you women is something I shared with my personal training clients, about 3/4 of whom were women. Although women tend to say they want to lose weight, what they really want is to have a better shape and look better. When you start working out, especially if you use weights, your shape will change and maybe your weight as well, but even if your weight doesn’t change dramatically, you’ll look and feel much better and be healthier. What’s not to like?

Finally, Losing my balance talks about balance in life, not just physical balance. “

Balance in life is a very different matter. When I grew up, balance consisted of getting chores and homework done while leaving enough time to run around outside playing with friends until Mom called us home to eat. It seems to me that we spent most of the summer outdoors and when we were lucky, we visited my grandparents on the farm or went on our annual vacation to some part of the US. Since we didn’t get a television until I was away at high school, TV wasn’t a distraction for us, but a rare treat in the evenings at the farm or at a friend’s. Books were the main indoor contestant for my attention.

Now life is quite different. The tentacles of the online world stretch everywhere, invading every aspect of our lives.”

That’s it for today. I hope one or more of these posts helps motivate you to start getting fit or getting more fit. Questions? Feel free to ask in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer. The important things are that you 1) get started, 2) realize you don’t have to do or buy anything special or expensive to get into shape although perhaps later you’ll want to get some weights, a mini-trampoline, or whatever, and 3) getting fit will improve your quality of life immeasurably, even if all you do is amaze people with the ability to carry a heavy box or open one of those lids made to frustrate even the strongest adult. You can do this!

This is my favorite poem about spring and even though the Arizona world is rarely mud-luscious or puddle-wonderful, it still evokes spring for me. And I’m going attempt to find e. e. cummings quotes or poems to go with all my photos for Marsha’s WQW challenge for this week.

in just spring

 
in Just-
spring          when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman
whistles          far          and wee
and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it's
spring
when the world is puddle-wonderful
the queer
old balloonman whistles
far          and             wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing
from hop-scotch and jump-rope and
it's
spring
and
         the
                  goat-footed
balloonMan          whistles
far
and
wee

Well, I don’t know if this balloonMan is goat-footed (or whether the balloonPerson is either), but it is a balloon even though not the sort e. e. had in mind.

(all the merry little birds are
flying in the floating in the
very spirits singing in 
are winging in the blossoming)  e.e.cummings

(One of the things that drives me mad about WP is trying to get poems to format properly and the only way I know to do it puts them on the grey background. Sorry about that.)

This bird may not be flying right now, but I’m sure it’s quite merry despite the fact that its mother obviously never mentioned that standing on your food while eating it (or at any other time) is not really the thing. But spirits are singing and there’s definitely blossoming going on. 🙂

“Then it was spring; and in spring anything may happen. Absolutely anything.” ~ E. E. Cummings

Spring makes the wall finally warm enough to tempt these two to make their spring debut.

And still the mad magnificent herald Spring assembles beauty from forgetfulness with the wild trump of April:witchery of sound and odour drives the wingless thing man forth in the bright air. ~e. e. cummings

It also drove this winged bee into an ecstasy of headfirst pollen-gathering. Our girls used to sometimes say something caused an ecstasy spasm and that’s exactly what I saw here as he flitted from flower to flower. In fact, spring gives me an ecstasy spas. (Note: going headfirst into food probably qualifies as not being quite the thing either.)

when faces called flowers float out of the ground
and breathing is wishing and wishing is having—
but keeping is downward and doubting and never
—it’s april(yes, april;my darling)it’s spring! 
 ~e.e.cummings from "when faces called flowers"

These trumpet cacti don’t flower often and the flowers begin to wilt by the end of the first day but oh, the glory while they bloom!! We were blessed with three rounds of flowers our first year here. A sighting makes me grab my camera and rush outside immediately. Hurrah for spring!!

Although green is my favorite color, I didn’t wear it today and I’m happy to report I didn’t get pinched, although I wouldn’t expect to in Aldi or Trader Joe’s. 🙂 We moved here from the Chicago area and today (yesterday as you read this) the river will be run green. We stayed far away from downtown on St. Patrick’s Day as being around huge crowds is bad enough but when alcohol is involved, no thanks. However, Guinness was my entry-level dark beer so I have a fond spot in my heart for it. We did have corned beef and potatoes for dinner sans cabbage because I don’t care for boiled cabbage. Salad and good bread filled in nicely and tomorrow will be even better when the leftover corned beef and potatoes become corned beef hash. So good and I think even better than the separate ingredients the first day.

But green isn’t just for St. Patrick’s, it’s the color of spring, which is often how I think of it having lived in the Midwest for almost my entire life. When my parents used to come from Arizona to visit us in Ohio, they always commented on all the trees and how green everything was. I always felt that was a bit like the relatives who saw you infrequently starting by declaring, “My, how you’ve grown!” What had they expected?

“I just need green. I need to wake up and see grass and squirrels. I don’t want to see skyscrapers.” – Andre Leon Talley

The green I miss is the spring green, the here’s-what-you’ve-been-waiting-for green, a green that at its most beautiful serves as a background to spring’s wildflowers…

…or blossoms higher in the spring air.

“Nature in her green, tranquil woods heals and soothes all afflictions.” – John Muir

In South Dakota near the Badlands, sometimes green is what draws your eyes.

“Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps the singing bird will come.” – Lois Lowry

In the desert, green is harder to find and better protected but much appreciated when seen.

“Every green natural place we save saves a fragment of our sanity and gives us a little more hope that we have a future.” – Wallace Stegner

And sometimes, well, it’s all about the green.

“leaves glow under
a haze of sunlight,
and hang
still on a windless
day”
― Bremer Acosta, Cosmos in a Tree

WQW #11: St. Patrick’s Day Green