Tag Archives: workout buddy

Stay Fit This Summer!



If you’re worried about how you’re going to keep up your fitness routine while your kids are out of school this summer, today is your lucky day.


Because registration for Balance Virtual Bootcamp Summer 2013 opens today!

What You Get:

  • 24 workouts– delivered 3x week for 8 weeks– designed by a Certified Personal Trainer that are appropriate for a wide range of fitness levels and will take about 30 minutes to complete
  • complete warm up and cool down guidance for each workout
  • descriptions of each exercise (NEW!)
  • videos of each exercise
  • accountability partners (NEW!)
  • a private Facebook page for support, questions, and wellness sharing
  • a chance to win a $100 cash participation prize awarded at the end of the bootcamp– the more you participate, the better your chances to win

What You Need:

  • two sets of dumbbells: 5lbs and 10lbs (experienced exercisers may want 8lbs and 12lbs instead)
  • a yoga mat
  • a resistance tube
  • about 5′ x 5′ of floor space

Nice to have, but not absolutely necessary:

  • a step with non-slip grip (or the bottom step of a staircase)
  • a stability ball (though an ottoman or chair can work as a substitute in most cases)
  • a pull-up bar (if you have access to a playground that will work, too!)

“But,” you say, “I’m not working this summer.  I don’t have the budget for a program like this.”

And that’s when I tell you the whole program cost is only $45.

Do it for yourself!

Here’s the link to register.  

Still not sure it’s for you?

Here’s what some Balance Virtual Bootcamp Spring 2013 participants said:

  • I loved the variety, the no-gym-required part, and how healthy and normal (I.e. not plastic!) you look in your videos.
  •  I really enjoyed the workouts! I especially loved that they were short and sweet so I could fit it in at home even on one of those busy mom days.
  • I loved the Facebook Page…it was the best part of the bootcamp!
  • I really liked the bootcamp and it was so easy to stay motivated because the workouts were short and I could do them anywhere, anytime.

If you’re convinced now, here’s the registration page.

If you still have questions, please ask them in the comments.  I’d love to have you join us!



Bootcamp Buddies


Have you signed up yet?

I’m really excited about the group of people who have already committed themselves to 8-weeks of healthy living.  You should join them!

Afraid you won’t know anyone?  Would you rather workout with a buddy?

Here’s a TOP TEN list of people who are probably also just sitting around wishing they had someone to work out with:

1. Your mom.  You know she always wants to spend time with you.  This is a great way for you have a shared experience with her, even if you don’t live in the same city.

2. Your spouse.  If you get your partner on board, you’re both more likely to succeed.

3. Your teenager.  Really!  Why not do something active and healthy together.  It’s low-pressure but high reward!

4. The co-worker who drives you crazy.  Whaaaat?  Sure!  Like your surly teen, if you can find some common ground, who knows where that will lead?

5. The neighbor who had a baby a few months ago but you haven’t seen leave her house since then.

6. That friend on Facebook who is always posting about wanting to eat better or lose 10 pounds but doesn’t know how.

7. Your old high school athletic teammate who likes to reminisce about the good ol’ days.

8. Your pal who ran her first race last month and was totally gung ho about it but is now kinda lost in her exercise habit.

9. That stranger you always say “hi” to while you’re out on your daily walk, and you both look at each other like you’d like to have more of a conversation or walk together but neither of you has the courage to say so.

10. The person who has most inspired you to lead a fit and healthy life. You know they’d be honored to mentor you through this program if you’d just ask already.

And a BONUS:

11. Those fake internet friends.  You know who I’m talking about.  Those people who you’ve been chatting with online for years but have never met in person.  I know they exist– they’re the reason Balance Virtual Bootcamp is happening!

Go be the person who gets someone else moving.  Go be the good example in someone else’s life.  Go do something good for your *own* self for a change.  

Who are you going to ask to join Balance Virtual Bootcamp with you?


PS- May I please ask again if you’d scroll down and find the “Top Mommy Blogs” button on the right sidebar.  Over there ———————–>  Now give it a click, please.  Grazie!!

Strong Finish

Last fall, our family’s weekly fitness plans included a lot of long runs for my husband.  He was training for the 3M Austin Half Marathon.  His training went extremely well, and he was hopeful for a good race day.

For anyone who has watched or participated in a distance event, you know that when the weather is fabulous for watching, it’s bad for running– and vice-versa.  Today was the perfect running morning: high 30s, no wind.

I loaded up the car with blankets and my kids (with mugs of hot chocolate for the boys), and we set off for the race course.  My mother was with us, too, as she and my dad had come down from Dallas so my dad could run with my husband.  Now in his mid-sixties, Dad has aches and pains that have slowed him to the point my not-quite-yet-forty husband can keep up with him.  Plus, they had a small but enthusiastic cheering team for this perfect race day.

We saw the guys at 5.5 miles, and they were bang on-pace.  We saw them again at 9 miles, and they hadn’t lost a step.  The kids–even the baby–clapped and whooped it up when they saw their dad and grandfather.  I remember lots of races from my childhood, and the excitement of seeing my dad run by is part of what motivated my interest in running and racing.

I dropped of the cheering squad at home and drove to the finish.  I knew I was there in plenty of time, and lo-and-behold, the guys showed up at their projected time: 1.52.30.  You can see in the photo above– my husband on the left in the black and my dad on the right in the blue cap– that they worked hard all the way to the end.  Months of training had paid off as they met their goal.

It’s good to take a turn as the supporter instead of the participant. It provides a fresh perspective on the excitement and logistics of race day, and it makes me grateful for all the ways my family supports my fitness pursuits.

What’s Your Plan?

With Spring here, it’s a great time to think about setting some new fitness and wellness goals. Maybe you have a new year’s resolution (or three) that has fallen by the wayside; maybe you have a friend who has signed up for an event that sounds like a lot of fun; maybe you’d just like to get outside more while the weather is really nice.

Regardless of your goal, making a plan will help you achieve it. Just like goal-setting in any other part of your life, defining a fitness or wellness goal should be specific and achievable. Having mini-goals along the way can help by providing useful checkpoints along your journey. Finding someone else to work toward the goal with you can keep you motivated while also providing accountability. Most importantly, remind yourself daily why you chose the goal and the feeling you anticipate having upon reaching it.

After your decide on your goal, checkpoints, and accountability, think about how you are going to get there. What concrete steps do you need to take in order to reach your goal? Are these steps required daily or weekly? Is your timeline realistic? Get out your calendar and check! Do you need help or guidance from someone else so that you stay injury-free? Do you own the necessary equipment already, or must you purchase something new? These questions will help ensure that your goal is achievable.

By committing a fitness plan to paper (or pixels), you demonstrate a commitment to your goal. Although you should allow yourself the flexibility to deviate from the plan when necessary, having a plan anchors you should life interfere. Keeping a workout log is a great way to track your progress and provide feedback to yourself about how you feel about your workouts. Know that steady work toward your goal will be rewarded.

Good health and great happiness to you.

Strength in Numbers

A friend sent me a NYT article last week that discusses how some “hidden” motivators are what really keep people engaged in exercise. According to a motivational psychologist quoted in the article, the social and psychological benefits reaped from exercise are what increase ahearance to a fitness program.

Some people learn this lesson early by participating in team sports in high school. But then, as an adult, they no longer have an obvious connection to a group of like-minded fitness enthusiasts. For me, finding this group was a significant part of my personal development. The women with me in the above photo were my teammates from Cambridge Sports Union, a running club to which I belonged when I moved to Boston nearly sight-unseen in 1998. The members of CSU became my friends, and our socializing centered around training runs, races, and the ever-present post-run brownie. By participating in CSU, I had a group of friends who shared my passion for running, and they challenged me to improve each and every time we put foot to pavement.

Even now in my personal fitness endeavors, I enjoy group classes. I like learning how to do new things and discovering how different activities challenge my body in different ways. I’ve recently taken some rowing classes at Flywheel Fitness, geeking out over the technique of a sport to which I’m totally green. I appreciate the programming done by the instructor which ensures a good workout and the encouragement and technical advice she gives during the class. Seeing familiar faces week after week builds camraderie, knowing that we are all on a common quest for fitness. Sure, I’d still get a good workout if I was by myself, but it’s definitely uplifting to know I’m not working so hard all alone.

The idea of social and psychological motivators to exercise is also evident in my work as a personal trainer. I see the community that has formed in my Well-Balanced Morning circuit training class. In a group of eight-ten regulars over the course of a year, we have gone from being strangers to a group of friends who do everything from swap babysitting to mentoring another member through career change. We have grieved with and helped support one participant whose daughter had a tragic accident, and we celebrated when one participant finished her PhD coursework. Building a community of friends wasn’t my primary intention when starting the class, but being with a group of people whose company you enjoy certainly makes it easier to get up for exercise at 6am three days a week.

So whether it’s finding a workout buddy, a team, or trying a group class, I challenge you to find how having company along on your fitness journey can make the trip more enjoyable. After all, there’s strength in numbers.

Good health and great happiness to you.

Being Thankful

If there is a better way to start a Thanksgiving day than running from Brooklyn to Manhattan and back over the Brooklyn Bridge, I don’t know what it is. Oh, wait. Yes I do. It is running from Brooklyn to Manhattan and back over the Brooklyn Bridge with your best friend.

(Confession: My husband and I preemptively assuaged our guilt for not taking our boys to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade by taking them to see the already-inflated balloons on Wednesday night. We hedged our bets by saying that the weather was likely to be poor (it was, after all, late November in New York City), and our little Texans were not likely to want to sit out in the cold and wind. How were we to know it was going to be an absolutely gorgeous–sunny, still, and perfectly crisp– Thanksgiving morning?!)

My husband and I left the boys with their grandparents and set off for an easy four-mile run. We don’t get to run together all that often, so we use the time of relative quiet to talk about both the nuts-and-bolts of our family life as well as our hopes and dreams for ourselves and our boys. Settling into the rhythm of the run, we talked through the ups and downs of the suspension bridge. We took in the Manhattan skyline set out before us, and the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor to the left. Also on the bridge were walkers, runners, and cyclists of all sizes, shapes, colors, and ages. What a portrait of America, so apt for the day. We breathed deeply at the turnaround in Manhattan, ready to run up the rise of the bridge and head back to our family in Brooklyn. It was, after all, the birth of our neice and nephew less than three weeks ago, that prompted our holiday visit to New York.

For the blessings of new babies, family, good health, and the hopes and dreams central to being American, we are grateful.

High-Flying Friends


Last Sunday, I had the joy of watching one of my oldest and best friends take her first trapeze lesson. M was a willing participant, but she admitted to me on the drive to the Trapeze Experience rig that she was a bit nervous. She was in good hands, though, as our facilitators Russell, Spencer, and Gary are fantastic with new flyers. While M took her ground lesson, I headed up to the platform to being my swing and layout practice.

M struggled a bit on her first attempt at the knee hang, but by her third try she had it perfect. Shortly thereafter, Gary climbed up into the catchtrap, and the next thing M knew she had successfully completed her first mid-air transfer on the flying trapeze! It was so exciting for her; it was also exciting for me, though, to see her feel the thrill of flying. After several other successful catches, M learned a new trick on her very first day.

To make the experience even better, our class was the final session at which “Uncle Tony” Steele was facilitating. A legend in the trapeze world, Uncle Tony has been flying since he was a child. He is the greatest living trapeze artist, having trained people from everyday folks like me to circus performers to celebrities to stuntpeople. Uncle Tony told some pretty corny jokes, but his enthusiasm for trapeze– and sharing his knowledge with others– was infectious. It was also pretty amazing to see him, at age 74, still throw a double back flip.

My lesson for the day came not so much in my work on the trapeze– it was a rather poor day for me, actually– but in my head and heart. From M I learned how fulfilling it can be to watch someone learn something new. Certainly I get that lesson regularly from my kids, but to see an adult tackle a new challenge is equally rewarding. And to see Uncle Tony still doing what he loves with such grace and power and fun is inspirational. It was a full body-mind sense of happiness, completeness, and exhaustion at the end of the lesson.

Is there anything better than sharing something you love with someone you love? I think not.