Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Spreading Wellness: Have you ever thought about the elevator as a gift?

How have you been helped by the American with Disabilities Act? Have you ever thought about it? This past weekend our nation celebrated the 25 year anniversary of the passing of the ADA law. As a country, we have come a long way; however, we still have work to do for equal rights. 

For the past 18+ years, I have worked with people with disabilities, both professionally and volunteering. I have seen change, but I have also observed loved ones being discriminated against because of their disability. This summer I had a tour of a new office space here in Duluth, and it had been "staged" to look like it was in use. Something struck me - they had glasses sitting on the desk...That made me stop and ponder....why have minor visual impairments become so mainstream, but others not? Why don't we see hearing aides on a desk, or a white cane in the corner? Why don't we see leg braces or prosthesis? These were just a few questions that ran through my head as I continued my tour... You see, we all do things a little bit differently, and we all create accommodations for ourselves. 

On July 26, 1990, George H.W. Bush signed into law, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the United States became a world leader in this area. Minnesota Public Radio had a radio segment dedicated to this last week. It is also interesting to look back at MPR's article from the 20 year anniversary. We have all been helped by the ADA laws. Larger doorways, elevators, and ramps. We have all used them for one reason or another. This celebration is a nice reminder of how far we have come, and brings light to challenges that still exist. 

We at E3 Twin Ports, LLC believe that everyone can improve their energy and be empowered through exercise and movement. We are happy to accommodate, and if needed, refer to other adaptive sport and recreation programs in our area - such as Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute - Northland. 

What can you do today, to help improve the lives of people with disabilities? Just like someone in the MPR interviews said (link above), you can have an attitude of inclusion. As a family member of people with disabilities, I have seen and experienced the hurt, because of attitudes of exclusion. We encourage everyone to do your part, today and always, by having an attitude of inclusion on all levels, for all people. Our world will be a better place because of it.

And, the next time you get on an elevator, remember, there is a good chance that it exists as a gift from the advocates for the Americans with Disabilities Act, and we all benefit from it.

E3 Twin Ports, LLC
Owner, Programmer, Blog Author, Jodi L. Tervo Roberts

Website: e3twinports.com 
YouTube: Channel

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Spreading Wellness: What does it take to say, "I am a success!"?

This morning I invite you to pause for a few moments to think about the following question(s): What are your hurdles to the healthy lifestyle habits that you might dream about? Think broad...of course there are the focus points for many health and wellness improvements of fitness & weight lifting habits, but I urge you to think about outdoor exploration (including your family if you have one), eating healthy locally grown meals & cooking at home, gardening, socializing & community involvement, spiritual growth, quiet time of reflection or meditation, and others...Why are you successful with some? What hurdles might get in the way of others?

Sometimes finding an activity that combines multiple areas of wellness is helpful.

When I pondered this very question in regards to outdoor movement, for myself, and clients, one theme reoccurs. The unpredictable weather. For me, the heat is a big concern, so getting out early in the morning helps me. But for others, a common theme has been, it is cloudy and rainy, too cold, too windy, I don't know how to dress and need to think too much to get into a simple routine.

When pondering the other areas of wellness the answers typically vary much more...the grocery stores don't carry very many local products, and I can't make it to the farmers market...joining a CSA wouldn't make sense for me because I couldn't use all of the produce before it went bad...I can't take time for myself, because I feel guilty (this one is often shared)...it is difficult to meet friends when you are an adult if you don't have a dog or children...I don't have a green thumb...and the list could go on. Do any of these sound familiar to you?

In a previous career I enjoyed teaching kids with a variety of physical disabilities how to move, but it was my hope that I taught them much more than movement. I had 3 rules - Be Respectful, Always say "I'll try," and everyone's favorite - Have Fun! One fantastic 9 year old struggled with one mental block more than his physical abilities - he was in a habit of saying "I can't." It didn't matter what the task, new, old, physical, academic, etc. He always said "I can't." So of course, as you know, he would fail before he even started...so throughout the school year I worked with him on throwing skills, eye-hand coordination, etc, but we mostly we worked on breaking his "I can't" habit and replacing it with a new habit of "I'll try." He would laugh and hit the target every time by the end of that school year...and when I asked him if he wanted to teach a friend how to throw (as a way to test his skills), he was excited, and I knew his "I can'ts" had dissipated, when he excitedly answered "YES!" After a fun-filled year, he had finally succeeded! I think about him often...he should be in High School now, and I do hope that the life lesson that I taught him during his Physical Therapy sessions have continued with him. That was his hurdle to success, and he overcame it. What are your hurdles? What are your successes? And finally, what is your plan for moving forward toward your goals, visions and dreams?

If you have another 12 minutes to listen to one amazing story - No Excuses, No Limits, by Luca Pattuelli at Tedx Montreal, please click the link. Luca shares his passion, and encourages us all to be individuals.

Please share with us, What does it take for you to say, "I am a success!"?

If you have stumbled upon our blog, and would like to be inspired, motivated, and educated about holistic wellness every Tuesday morning, please send us an email, and we will happily add you to our list. Email info@e3twinports.com. Thank you!

E3 Twin Ports, LLC - encouraging healthy, happy, and meaningful lives. We offer one-on-one fitness based wellness coaching, customized 6 week programs for you, your friends, and colleagues, guided Boundary Waters Experiences, customized Wellness Retreats, and one time adventures. Contact us with any and all questions that you have. We would love to share our passions with you.

E3 Twin Ports, LLC
Owner, Programmer, Blog Author, Jodi L. Tervo Roberts

Website: e3twinports.com 
YouTube: Channel

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Spreading Wellness: What triumphs and challenges have shown you the real meaning of empathy?

Have you ever wondered about the interconnections of life, or pondered what creates community, and mini-communities within each large community? 

Riding a motorbike has demonstrated to me a strong sense of community, connection, commonality, and even has demonstrated a deep sense of empathy. No matter if I am heading towards my bike, riding it, or near it, I am often stopped by faculty, staff, students, and otherwise random strangers, who would have easily passed me by if I hadn't been a biker. I have broken down in my regular vehicle before, dusk settling in quickly, with no cell phone reception, actively looking for help, but it has taken sometime hours for someone to stop. However, when riding my bike through the country roads of Wisconsin with my husband last summer, my bike died, and he didn't realize it. I knew he would turn around eventually, and it took him maybe 5 minutes to come back.  However, within that time, another fellow biker had stopped to see if I needed help. I wasn't actively looking for someone to stop, I was just sitting on my bike, on side of the road, waiting patiently. This feeling of empathy comes through a strong sense of community among the biker world.  At least that is my perception. I love being able to meet other individuals and have real conversations with them, simply because we have a common hobby...the love of the wind blowing across our faces, and the changing elements in the environment. These frequent occurrences of connection through biking, made me ponder the true meaning of empathy a little bit more...there are many hobbies that might connect someone, but none as strong as my motorbike... Then I found this video by Christine Carter, on the power of empathy. It brought to mind how often motorbikes break down, and/or simply need frequent TLC. Perhaps it is because everyone who has ridden a motorbike has needed help at one time or another, in order to make it back home...so we all know the feeling and can deeply understand and relate to the need for assistance.

Another place that I have seen empathy grow deep in a group, within a short amount of time, is in the Boundary Waters (BW). BW Experience Trips and Retreats are a great way to help with group bonding, and empathy. This natural environment leads to easily and naturally requiring a group to work together through both triumph and challenge. This past spring, a group that I led showed amazing growth - from strangers to friends in 3 days. Missing tent poles, hanging bear bags, and long rocky portages were all a part of the growth process.

Would you like to experience the Boundary Waters? Do you have a group of people (Friends, Corporate Leaders, Colleagues, or other) that would like to experience the BW on a guided trip with E3? We would be happy to lead your group, and help you experience growth. Send Jodi an email to discuss options: info@e3twinports.com. And experience for yourself, the growth of the community that you bring into the wilderness.

Please share with us: What triumphs and challenges have shown you the real meaning of empathy?

E3 Twin Ports, LLC
Energy and Empowerment through Exercise
Jodi L. Tervo Roberts, Owner, Programmer, and Blog Author

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Spreading Wellness: Who are you walking for?

This sauna photo was taken by Jodi L. Tervo,
while visiting her family and friends in Finland.
Yes, every individual tiny apartment in this
complex had its very own sauna! :)
Growing up as a full blooded Finn, I hardly knew what a shower was...yes, we took Sauna's. In the winter cold, the sauna would help warm up the bones, and if it was a hot summer night, you felt cooler when you came out of the hot sauna. There is something about a sauna that is incredibly cleansing and healing.

One of my Grandma's had to take her sauna before it was hot, "because she had spells," I was told. And sometimes, my Mom had to go help her because she was "having another spell." As I grew older, I learned that my Grandma had Epilepsy. According to the Epilepsy Foundation, Epilepsy is defined as a disease involving recurrent, unprovoked seizures. My Grandma told me that she was young when she started having seizures, and her school had a special room for her near Mrs. Jeffers office, the school Principal. Grandma often talked about how nice Mrs. Jeffers was to her. When I think about the school taking time to help her with seizures in the 1930s and 40s, it amazes me...that was during the time of institutionalizing people who were different, but instead, her school created a room for her! And when I think about the medications that she likely took when she was a young girl, it is amazing that she lived into her 80s.

Since learning what my Grandma's "spells" really were, I took an interest in learning a little bit more about seizures and epilepsy, but there wasn't very much information that was easily accessible. A couple of friends, and their children also had epilepsy and other seizure disorders...but it still seemed a mystery. When I began working in the school systems as a Physical Therapist Assistant in the late 90s, many of my students also had seizure disorders. Some parents were experimenting with special diets and a wide variety of medications, to help their children to have less seizures, but as far as I knew, most of them continued having seizures. It wasn't until recently, that I met someone who has been cured of her epilepsy. WOW! Her story moved me, and I realized that I want to help spread the word about the educational and advocacy opportunities that the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota (and other chapters across the USA) provide. Not all people are candidates for surgery, but for those that are, this is an amazing medical discovery! And, if surgery is not an option, there are other medical advances for seizure disorders that are just as important.

Did you know that over 60,000 people have epilepsy in our community? Epilepsy can happen to anyone, at any time, with 1 in 10 Americans having a seizure in their lifetime and 1 in 26 being diagnosed with epilepsy. The Epilepsy Foundation of MN provides programs and services that help to educate, empower and connect with individuals, families, and schools. (This information was provided to me by our Northern Minnesota Outreach Coordinator.)

Maybe you have a story about family or friends who have seizures and/or epilepsy, and you want to share? Maybe you work in a school and want to have an educator visit your school? Chances are, most of us know someone who has epilepsy or a seizure disorder, whether we know it or not. Epilepsy is not something you can "see," rather it can be a hidden secret that people don't want to share...but, there is help out there, and this is our way to help share the information with our readers, and encourage awareness surrounding epilepsy...and it is a way to give back to the community, on a medical condition that has personal ties. To help with this great cause, E3 Twin Ports, LLC, has registered a team for the "Rise Above Seizures Walk" here in Duluth, MN. The walk is on August 1st at the Denfeld High School, and begins at 10:00 a.m. (Click this link for more details). If you would like to join our team, please send me an email (info@e3twinports.com), or click the link in the previous sentence and then "join a team." Our team is called E3 Twin Ports. Yes, I am walking for my Grandma, and all others with seizure disorders. We welcome you to walk with us, and share with us, Who are you walking for? Stories are powerful. We encourage them, and would love to hear yours.

E3 Twin Ports, LLC Owner,
Jodi L. Tervo Roberts
E3 Twin Ports, LLC
Energy and Empowerment through Exercise
Jodi L. Tervo Roberts, Owner, Programmer, and Blog Author