Featured

Looking for a personal trainer?

  • Struggle to exercise regularly even though you love the benefits?

  • Don’t know where to begin?

  • Do you need guidance in reaching a goal(s)?

  • Have you been instructed by your physician to begin an exercise program and don’t know how to begin?

  • Are you looking to overhaul your lifestyle and become healthier physically, mentally and emotionally?

With my coaching, guidance, instruction, and motivation you can be empowered to create the change you desire. Training sessions are offered in-home, mine or yours.

Nicole Miller

Phone: 719.660.9277

Email: nmiller69@comcast.net

fc-find-me

Sink or Swim?

In this guest post, my client graciously shares his inner struggles and physical challenges while preparing for his first half ironman. I thank him for sharing his story and my friend, Pam, for the guidance in the pool.

 

David crosses finish line

Crossing the finish line at St. Andrews New Brunswick Half Ironman

Glug! – Plunging in at the deep end

Have you ever hastily committed to something, caught up in the excitement of a great vision or goal, and then realized you have neither the skills nor the time to do it?

My brother, an experienced triathlete, asked if I’d like to join him and friends for a Half ironman in July. Over the last 5 years I had been gradually getting fitter, losing 100 lbs and taking on cycling and running challenges. I loved the idea! I could see myself drinking a beer, celebrating a great event.  My wife and kids loved the idea too and within a moment I parted with a big entrance fee and made travel plans.

Oh S**t what have I done!

“I can’t swim, I’m over 50, I go into panic when my head goes under water, I swallow water like it’s Guinness, I can’t swim half the length of a pool, and the thought of open murky water terrifies me.”

The sobering thoughts hit me like a bolt of lightning and I went into a grieving process.

  • Denial – Surely I can’t have been stupid enough to sign up. Tell me this is a bad dream. I didn’t really sign up for a triathlon with open water swim–that’s not me.
  • Anger – How could I be this stupid? What possessed me? I have set myself up for failure!
  • Bargaining – Can I switch to a relay? Can someone else do the swim leg? Can I use water wings?
  • Depression – I am going to let everyone down and never challenge myself again.
  • Acceptance – Do the best. It’s going to be an experience and I’ll learn something in the process.

5 P’s of success

I use to be a heavy, unfit guy a few years ago. Slowly but surely I became fitter by challenging myself to do more. I conquered the Manitou incline, my first 5k and my first hike up Pikes Peak to name just a few. July’s half ironman was my biggest challenge yet but I persevered by focusing on these 5 P’s of success:

  • Perspective – Who is going to die if you don’t do the swim? – Are there rescue boats that can help you if you get in trouble?
  • Plan – How are you going to learn to swim? Join the “Y” and my friend can teach you the basics
  • Persistence – Just do it, get yourself in the pool 2-3 times a week. Turning up is half the battle
  • Practice – Even if you can only swim half a length, swim it multiple times, just practice!
  • Patience – Be grateful for small steps.  Don’t be critical and compare against expectations or others. You are unique

Of course, I continued to build strength, endurance and flexibility out of the pool; swimming skills needs arm, shoulder and leg strength. Without a regular sanity check against these principles, set backs are out of context.

Getting it done.

I read books, watched videos and spoke with people in the hope of getting that miraculous secret to overcoming my water fears. Every week I hoped that it would all come together like switching on a light. It didn’t happen, my progress was slow, and was more like a very slow unveiling until my first lake swim just a month before my big event.

To say I didn’t feel confident for the swim would be an understatement. Come the day of the race I was still unsure if I could complete the 1.2 mile swim. Family and friends were rooting for me.  I was very slow, the rescue team were eyeing some action! I kept to the plan to finish within the cut off time, not to race the others. I remained persistent and patient and remembered to enjoy the moment as I passed each buoy.  I was one of the last out of the water but I had such a sense of relief that I smiled all the way through the bike and run and finished the triathlon in the rain nearly an hour before the cut off.

Glutton for punishment and gambling addiction

What a huge emotional high! To complete something extreme that I could never have dreamed a few years ago. My brother asked if I’d do the Boulder half Iron next year, I signed up and am happy to say I haven’t gone through the dread of last year (yet). I hope to be more confident and prepared. People ask if I would like to do a full ironman, I would like to try one in a couple of years if someone will do it with me!

Lessons learned

  • Fear is an incredible force – Accepting that trying as hard as you can is reward enough can be hard to come to terms with. While this gamble turned out well this time, the more I push for bigger goals, the more inevitable setbacks will be. Reminding myself that when those occur, it’s okay, the experience of trying and learning is part of the adventure.
  • The power of the mind can be greater than the body – Patiently balancing training of both is crucial.
  • Getting the help of a professional trainer – One willing to take the time to look at the complete picture and help figure a way forward for both mind and muscle is imperative
  • It’s very hard to do anything big on your own, being with friends and family on the journey. Celebrating, commiserating and putting things in perspective makes such a difference.
  • Having a goal can be fun – Like looking forward to a vacation, having an event on the calendar can be great for keeping the spirits high and adding some spice to life.

9 Ways To Sneak Produce Into Your Day

Get strategic — and a little tricky — to eat more fruits and veggies
Are you getting your fruit-and-veggie quota? You want to eat a variety of these nutritious and delicious foods. Why? Because it’s simply one of the best things you can do for your health. Each heading also provides a link to recipes or additional information!

1. Top off breakfast
Use mixed berries, sliced peaches or chopped apples to dress up oatmeal, whole-grain pancakes and low-fat yogurt. Mix diced peppers, tomatoes and olives into scrambled eggs. Add sliced or mashed avocado to whole-wheat toast.

2. Whip up a smoothie
Blend bananas, berries or peaches with low-fat milk or yogurt for a cool and creamy breakfast or snack. Use frozen fruit to make it a frosty treat.

3. Take a dip
Raw or lightly steamed vegetables offer the same satisfying crunch as crackers. Dunk them in salsa, hummus, garlicky low-fat yogurt or low-sodium marinara sauce.

4. Snazz up your sandwich
Go beyond the typical tomato and lettuce. How about tucking in some baby spinach, sliced peppers, avocado or cucumbers — or even sliced apple?

5. Make a Sunday roast
Of veggies, that is! In a hot oven, roast a colorful assortment of cut-up veggies, such as broccoli, red bell peppers, carrots, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. Use these flavorful jewels for dinners or quick snacks all week long.

6. Go for grate-ness
Grated vegetables add an extra layer of flavor and nutrition to your favorite recipes. Try any number of veggies — carrots, beets, squash, cauliflower, etc. — in sauces, mashed potatoes, meatloaf and casseroles.

7. Be a puree pro
Blend steamed butternut squash to make soup or for mixing into mac and cheese. Do you like to bake? Try fruit purees, such as mashed banana and unsweetened applesauce, to replace about half the fat in recipes for muffins, breads and other baked goods.

8. Grill to perfection
Veggie kebabs can add color and flavor to your plate. Grilling makes fresh corn even sweeter. And for a super-fast dessert, you can even grill watermelon slices for 30 seconds on each side.

9. Order up
When dining out, select a light salad, steamed vegetables or fresh fruit as your side dish. And ask for extra veggies to enhance your omelet, tacos, pizza or pasta.

 *Source: United Health Care newsletter September 2016

How To Properly Adjust Your Spin Bike

My friend Carrie–and her friend Laura–created this short video explaining how to properly adjust their fitness center’s spin bikes. I found the information extremely helpful and with their permission, am sharing it!

Carrie teaches at the Goldsboro Family YMCA and BellaMorphosis women’s gym at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. She is a certified Schwinn cycling instructor, AFAA certified group exercise instructor, and NASM personal trainer.

Even though your local fitness center may have different spin bikes, the basic adjustments are the same.

To adjust your spin bike, follow these steps:

  1. Adjust the seat height. Stand next to your bike and move the seat to your hip level.
  2. Adjust the seat height again, if necessary. While pedaling look at your knees. Is your knee lifting above hip height while pedaling? If it is, adjust the seat height so your knee is slightly below your hip.
  3. Move the seat forward or back (fore and aft position). While pedaling slowly, stop your feet at the 3 and 9 o’clock position. If a string was hanging from your knee, it would hit the center of the ball of your foot. Move the seat forward or back to correct this alignment.
  4. Adjust your handlebars. A higher handlebar position is suggested for beginners and lower position for advanced riders.

Have a road bike? Adjustments are similar. Access this link for further information.