Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Spreading Wellness: How may a stoplight help you to pause and consider your pain?

Feeling like Mr. Muddle, and having an extremely muddled
up morning, helped me to pause and reconsider healing
after stopping at yet another stop light one morning.
The alarm was going off, but my brain confused it with something else...until I startled to realize that it was my alarm. As I rolled over to turn it off, I had an immediate sting of the eyes, a heavy head sensation, and almost an inability to find the strength and coordination to lift my arm and find the button to turn it off. Although difficult, I did muster up the strength and coordination to tap "off," and the sound stopped. Body said sleep, head said, "you have a crazy day scheduled to start earlier than normal, get up." Body said sleep, body slept, head startled awake reminding me to get up. Body finally agreed, I couldn't waste time. Head is heavy, eyes are stingy and heavy, as I slipped on my slippers and robe to make my way down the stairs to make coffee. I start the tea pot, get my cup, and coffee drip thingy. I take out a filter, insert it into the coffee drip, which still sits on the counter. I get the coffee grounds, measuring spoon, and dump 1/2 of a spoonful of coffee grounds into the cup and on the stove and realize this won't make very good coffee. My brain startles. I feel like Mr. Muddle. Remember the Little Mister book, Mr. Muddle, who walks one way and goes the other, who spreads butter on the table instead of the bread? Yes, Mr. Muddle. That was me.

I finally was able to un-muddle myself to get out the door and into my truck. The coffee was helping, or maybe making it worse, I'm not sure...then I hit every red light possible on the way to my meeting. With a more functioning brain, I made my brain pause as I sat waiting for a green, and asked myself, "What is the universe trying to tell me, by hitting all of these red lights?" I sighed a heavy sigh, and answered my own question. I decided I was being told to slow down...that I needed to be ok with how I was feeling...that although I have a busy day, I need to also be realistic with where I am at physically and emotionally. According to an article by Ellen McGrath, titled, Recovering from Trauma, I was in the integration of stage 2 and 3 of healing...dabbling in stage 4. And, in order to get to the full reintegration (stage 4) of healing, I needed to feel my emotions and act constructively. Sometimes, life challenges are more important than work, and this was one of those days I needed a reminder. The night before, my husband and I had a little ceremony for our little angel that we lost last month. Physically, my body has finished the long process of losing a baby. Emotionally, I am still struggling...and although every day gets a little bit easier, and the small closing memorial that we had, just the two of us, was good for closure and moving forward, I was still a roller coaster, and it was ok to feel disconnected...and if I keep fully processing our loss, I will reconnect with others in a more meaningful way. In fact, when learning more about the process, it was normal to feel disconnected, and it was important to pause and remind myself, that we have just gone through the most emotional and physically challenging time in my life. As you blog followers know, if you read my "full truth" poem, I have had many losses (deaths) in my life of close friends and family; however, I have never had one as close as losing my own child. And, in order to fully process our loss, I had to sit with these challenging feelings, including the disconnect between body and brain, in order to heal. And, maybe being all muddled up, was the reminder that I needed to pause and feel...to slow down...to give myself as much time as I needed, to be selflessly selfish, in order to in the future (near future I hope), to be able to give more than myself to my clients, friends, and family. But in the mean time, this is a time for me to heal...a reminder that I can't just "deal with and be done." I need to allow myself to slowly return to my fitness routine...to slowly return to a day full of meetings and be completely on...that I need to give myself time to heal beyond tears...to slowly return to a mental openness to try again. So that when September 15th comes, the healing process will be farther along than it is right now. I can't sweep it under the table, or my muddled days will continue, and that isn't good for anyone. So for everyone's sake, I need to take care of myself, so I can be fully engaged with my family, friends, and clients sooner, rather than later.

Why am I sharing this personal story with you, my readers? I am not a psychologist, rather an exercise scientist...however, I study positive psychology, because I believe it is a vital piece of healthy lifestyle habit creation...and positive personal growth (also known as 'change'). Although I cannot give personal advice in psychology specifically, in reality, I can share a story to empower healing. And truthfully, I share for a few reasons.

  1. Many of you that read this blog are colleagues, clients, and friends. Some of you know about our loss, and others don't. I'm not looking for hand-outs. I'm not looking to make excuses. I believe in sharing realities, so you all understand, that if I take longer to respond to an email than normal...or if I seem spaced out at a meeting...if I seem to muddle up notes that I'm taking for a board...please, be gentle, but please let me know of my errors. This will help me to be present, and remind myself to get out for a walk in the woods afterwards.
  2. To empower others to share their stories, to share their vulnerabilities and challenges, so that those around them can be there to help too. Whether it is a gentle reminder to stay focused in the moment, and engage in an activity that will help you to heal later...or whether it is to help you to find others who have shared similar experiences, which improves our connections, improves our communities empathy, and when we work together as a community to help one another, our world is a better and healthier place. Social connection and empathy have been studied by numerous scientists, all with an outcome of improving community through both.
  3. Because for me to process stage 2 and 3, I realize that I am typically a roller coaster in returning to feelings...some days are better than others....writing, talking, sitting & walking quietly with friends/family are the ways in which I can best make it through my low points. And, my way of taking constructive action, is to share my story through writing and talking...to help others know that they are not alone. To help others to share their stories, which will build a better and healthier community. I have always been an open book, and although not everyone is, may this post help others who are experiencing trauma, to connect in a way that is meaningful and helpful to them.


How did a stoplight help me to pause and consider my pain?
I tend to be mindful of my surroundings and the things happening around me, and seek meaning in the universe when things are not seeming to go the way I wish they would. For me, the continuous hitting of red lights on my way to my first meeting, after a completely and underly muddled up morning, helped me to pause and reconsider where I was at in the healing process. And for this mindfulness question, I am eternally grateful...for it helped me to seek help in my healing process...so I can more effectively move forward.

If you feel like you want to share with me, please do. Most importantly for this post, if you are experiencing trauma or emotional pain, may this empower you to be gentle on yourself, to process the pain in your own unique way, so that you can move to the reintegration phase of healing and moving forward as a stronger person.

If you have stumbled upon this blog, and would like to be added to our list, simply email info@e3twinports.com, with "Blog Sign-up" in the subject line. I'll happily add to to our growing list of over 155 people. 

E3 Twin Ports, LLC
Energy and Empowerment through Exercise
Owner, Jodi L. Tervo Roberts
Jodi L. Tervo Roberts, Owner
E3 Twin Ports, LLC
Helping people to lead healthy, happy, & meaningful lives, while promoting healthy lifestyles through outdoor recreation, fitness, yoga, individual wellness coaching, and interactive educational presentations.

Website: e3twinports.com
YouTube: Channel


LIVE HAPPY, DREAM BIG, SMILE, and PLAY OUTSIDE!


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Spreading Wellness: How can strength training improve your ability to age youthfully?

Have you ever been to a gym/fitness center and observe others pumping more iron than they can handle? Meaning, poor form, or shortened range of motion? I used to work in places where I saw this on a regular basis...and as a Physical Therapist Assistant, I had a very difficult time not being able to correct people who were not my patients...which is one reason I was driven to change careers into the prevention world, and I can no longer work out at a gym. Plus, the outdoors is where I belong anyway. :) I've worked in outpatient settings, and many patients came in with overuse injuries. Many came in and shared similar stories to, "All I did was bend over to pick up the pencil that dropped on the floor." But in all reality, it was due to poor body mechanics for many years...sometimes from lifting weights, but also simply from functional lifting.

This is why I was so excited to teach a strength and conditioning class to college students. Some were newbies to lifting (awesome!, no bad habits to correct), and some had been lifting since beginning high school sports. As for me, I have pumped a lot of iron in my day...with my biggest claim to fame, being able to leg press more weight than my Dad when I was in high school. I am a strength and conditioning specialist, and I have held a USA Weightlifting Sport Performance Coach certification, which I let go when I decided not to pursue a career in college athletics. With a background in physical therapy and strength training, including olympic lifting, I was excited to have the opportunity to work with 15 or so young adults, and teach them not only lifting and performance techniques, but also "how" to transfer lifting weights into functional activities, "how" to do it properly to avoid injury, and "why" strength training is important for youthful aging! This was exciting. Now I wasn't observing poor body mechanics, and having to turn my head. Now I was able to make a positive impact in the lives of these young lifters. One of my students struggled with flexibility and core strength, and I was able to provide him some exercises to improve both before taking on heavier lifts. He came back to class the next week and shared with me that he had gone home and talked with his Dad about the exercises he was doing, and his Dad said something like, "that is the same thing my PT gave me!" Yup. His Dad had the overuse injury, and I was able to help this young adult with strengthening before the injury occurred. I smiled for three reasons. First, it made me giddy inside that I was able to help this student to age youthfully, and strength train properly to avoid an overuse injury. Secondly, I was able to help him to make the connection as to the "how" and more importantly "why" he was starting at a different point than his peers. And finally, he went home to discuss this with his Dad! That is a high honor as a teacher...and it was that conversation with his Dad that really helped him to realize the "why." It was no longer a story that I was telling about overuse injuries from poor body mechanics, it related directly to his family.

So yes, I do really enjoy wellness coaching and teaching, where I can provide an in person assessment, and program planning to the individual needs. There is no one program that will work for everyone. In my blog survey the other week, I had some great feedback. One of the comments mentioned that the reader wanted specific suggestions, and less concepts. Thank You! That is great feedback; however, it really is hard to provide specific suggestions, because everyone is very different. I morally cannot provide a canned program. We all have different strengths and weaknesses. We all are motivated differently. We all have different body types. And no one program will work for everyone. No strength tips will fit for everyone. And many times, teaching of body mechanics requires an in person discussion and practice. E3's mission/vision truly includes the passion for customized programming. Our society has made us think that there are easy fixes, and even sometimes what looks to be scientific research is generalized too much. I love writing these blogs to share individual stories, motivate, educate and inspire personal growth, but the only way that I can share specifics with you and to know what will work for you, is to do an individual assessment to see where you are at. I can only make suggestions by working together with you. If you would like personal wellness coaching, feel free to schedule your free initial consultation. These are typically 1 hour in length, and coaching visits can be at your home or at a local trail..not in a gym. The coaching visits are also approximately 1 hour in length, and there are a variety of options. Email me, Jodi, at info@e3twinports.com to schedule yours today. I look forward to meeting you in person. For more information, please visit: http://www.e3twinports.com/personal-training-fitness/

So now I ask you, how can strength training improve your ability to age youthfully?

If you have stumbled upon this blog, and would like to be added to our list, simply email info@e3twinports.com, with "Blog Sign-up" in the subject line. I'll happily add to to our growing list of over 155 people. 

E3 Twin Ports, LLC
Energy and Empowerment through Exercise
Owner, Jodi L. Tervo Roberts
Jodi L. Tervo Roberts, Owner
E3 Twin Ports, LLC
Helping people to lead healthy, happy, & meaningful lives, while promoting healthy lifestyles through outdoor recreation, fitness, yoga, individual wellness coaching, and interactive educational presentations.

Website: e3twinports.com
YouTube: Channel


LIVE HAPPY, DREAM BIG, SMILE, and PLAY OUTSIDE!


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Spreading Wellness: What positive habit of yours is hard to break?

What habit of yours is hard to break? Think positive habits...such as brushing your teeth. There are nights when I am so tired, that I want to skip this habit, but if I try to go to bed without brushing my teeth, it simply feels wrong. Has this ever happened to you? When creating a routine that includes physical activity, you want it to get to this same point. You want your daily walk, jog, strength, yoga, or any other physical activity routine to become a habit that seems wrong if you skip it. What does it take to get to that point? For some people it is a coach, others need a partner/social support, and for others it comes more naturally.

Jodi's (Owner of E3) office before getting
married. Daily paddles along the shores of
Lake Superior, guiding beginner kayakers.

Physical wellness is different for everyone, in regards to the ease of creating a habit. All wellness takes a certain amount of self-reflection...knowing yourself, and creating your plan and routine around it. Then remember, when there are big life changes, your routine may be altered...and it may take work to re-create what you had been doing for years. For example, before I was married I typically did 3-4 hours of movement in a day...I lived in a place where I biked and walked to work. I worked at a place where there was a gym just down the hall. And immediately before meeting my significant other, I was guiding, so my physical activity was non-stop, sun-up to sun-down. Enter the love of my life...we bonded through mountain biking, jogging, and hiking...then marriage...I purchased house that was, well, in need of major work...and a new job (for the first time in my life, a sit-down, desk job). Let me tell you, if I hadn't been training for Grandma's marathon at that time, it would have been difficult to get out for my run or bike on a daily basis. Why? Because the house needed so much attention and I was newly married.

Why do I share this story? Because in all reality, we all go through big changes in life, and when these changes take place, our routines are likely to change for better or for worse. Know this is a growth opportunity, and your priorities, no matter how ingrained they are in your DNA, will need re-assessment and re-organization. Needless to say, leading a holistically healthy life, takes work...Yes, hard work. And sometimes, we need help. Seeking help is not anything to be ashamed of. Sometimes we put personal shame on ourselves when we think, "everyone else makes it (enter whatever you'd like in place of 'it') seem so easy." "I shouldn't need to seek help." But the reality is, we all struggle with different things. And, seeking help in our area of personal need is a sign of strength in my eyes. I see it as a strength, because we are truly listening to our personal needs. And for all of those who have a difficult time putting yourself first (before your kids, significant other, work), know that if you don't take care of yourself, you are not able to take care of others as well. So by taking care of your personal health needs, you are actually giving more to others. So, embrace your ability to take care of yourself. Embrace your ability to realize and take action to seek help/guidance/coaching/counseling in the areas of your personal need. And if physical wellness is an area that you would like help, please consider E3's Personal Wellness Coaching, a fitness based holistic wellness coaching model. I offer a free initial consultation to make sure that your needs mesh with my model.
Recommended read by E3
Twin Ports, LLC Owner.
www.e3twinports.com

If you are a reader, the book "The Power of Habit" is a great read. There are some fantastic insights into the research of creating habits that can be as simple as drinking more water, to a more complex habit of physical exercise.

Remember the feeling of trying to go to bed without brushing your teeth. And relate that to the feeling of missing your daily walk. How is it the same for you, personally? How is it different? Now I ask you, what positive habit of yours is hard to break? (And in reality, you don't want to break it.)

Although it isn't always easy, and in fact, it is hard work. I want exercise to be as simple as brushing my teeth. And that means, creating a daily habit of movement.

If you have stumbled upon this blog, and would like to be added to our list, simply email info@e3twinports.com, with "Blog Sign-up" in the subject line. I'll happily add to to our growing list of over 155 people. 

E3 Twin Ports, LLC
Energy and Empowerment through Exercise
Owner, Jodi L. Tervo Roberts
Jodi L. Tervo Roberts, Owner
E3 Twin Ports, LLC
Helping people to lead healthy, happy, & meaningful lives, while promoting healthy lifestyles through outdoor recreation, fitness, yoga, individual wellness coaching, and interactive educational presentations.

Website: e3twinports.com
YouTube: Channel


LIVE HAPPY, DREAM BIG, SMILE, and PLAY OUTSIDE!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Spreading Wellness: What do you want to learn about?

When I was in college, one of my professors had us all take a survey half way through the semester. His reason? He wanted to know what was going well, what could be improved, and wanted to hear student feedback so that he could make these changes before the semester was over. It was amazing! We didn't have many suggestions, and of course we had to stay within the guidelines of the course materials, but it was a great experience. WE had real input in the class. As you can guess, it was a very interactive class, and we are all engaged, every class, for a full 50 minutes. That is a big feat for a teacher of a liberal arts class, of 50 students, who "have to take" the class. I was impressed, and I learned first hand, the feeling of being heard. I took this philosophy with me in teaching. It isn't always easily done, but I do my best to be responsive to my class needs, whether it is for E3 or a college course. I very much value the input of my students and clients.

So now it is your turn. Some of you have been following my blog for over a year, and some for just a few weeks. No matter how long you've been following it, I would appreciate to hear what you would like to learn about. And, I will create blogs based on the results of this feedback/input survey. Please take 2 minutes to fill out this 6 question survey. CLICK HERE to have your opinion heard, so that I can write for you.

I sincerely thank you.

REMEMBER: Yoga at the Fairlawn continues. Another 7 week series begins THIS THURSDAY! :) March 10th through April 28th (no class on March 31st). Pre-registration is appreciated, simply email me, Jodi, at info@e3twinports.com. Class is from 5:15-6:00.

If you have stumbled upon this blog, and would like to be added to our list, simply email info@e3twinports.com, with "Blog Sign-up" in the subject line. I'll happily add to to our growing list of over 150 people. 

E3 Twin Ports, LLC
Energy and Empowerment through Exercise
Owner, Jodi L. Tervo Roberts
Jodi L. Tervo Roberts, Owner
E3 Twin Ports, LLC
Helping people to lead healthy, happy, & meaningful lives, while promoting healthy lifestyles through outdoor recreation, fitness, yoga, individual wellness coaching, and interactive educational presentations.

Website: e3twinports.com
YouTube: Channel


LIVE HAPPY, DREAM BIG, SMILE, and PLAY OUTSIDE!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Spreading Wellness: Is balance static or dynamic?

Have you ever watched a young child learn how to downhill ski? Or, maybe you have watched a child learn how to ride a bike? If not, maybe you remember one or both of these experiences yourself?

A number of years ago, I was the ski school coordinator at Lutsen Mountains. My favorite days were not behind the desk, taking care of customer service and assigning lessons to the instructors. My favorite days were when I was able to assign myself to a lesson or group of lessons. The age of preference for me was the 3 and 4 year olds. Crazy? Maybe. But, that has always been my favorite developmental age. Yes, I've worked in pediatrics for most of my professional career, teaching through movement.

Imagine, a group of 3 and 4 year olds on downhill skis for the first time. Say, 8 of them, learning to stop. Red light, green light is a classic game. Everyone loves it. Well, except those kids who just want to race to the bottom, hit the fence to stop, and go again, because they have no fear, and fast is fun. But usually, it is a game that everyone cheers for. At the top of the hill, I put every child's skis into the fruit pie position (Yes, I was that instructor). Then, a few feet down the hill I would call out "green light, skis into carrot sticks!" (Or, which ever veggie the kids liked best.) Slowly the kids would start down the hill, and this first time down the hill, "red light" came quite soon. "Push your skis back into that pie." Slowly, the kids would come to a stop. Some much farther down the hill than others, but usually, each child looks similar. Their bodies wobble, arms go out and up, some fall, but no stop is ever smooth this first time. No stop demonstrates mastery of balance. Every child at age 3 or 4, skiing for their first time will use a very dynamic, full body movement to push their skis out and stop. And some, will continue in a dynamic balance pattern until "green light" is called once again.

Those were fun days. Now my days are spent balancing life, family, and teaching (mostly adults) how to lead healthy, happy, and meaningful lives. Balance comes up frequently in these conversations. The balance of work, play, family, and professional networking. I hear myself reminding people that life is dynamic. Balance is not a static concept. Some days you need to prioritize yourself. Other days you need to prioritize your family, and some days you need to prioritize your work and professional networks. A clear, concise, and rigid schedule seems to be a thing of the past. Perhaps there are still "lucky ones" out there who are able to have that same "balanced" schedule every week, however, if you really think about it, there are adjustments that need to be made on a daily basis no matter what your plan is. Co-workers catch the nasty bug going around, children have something come up at school, or your spouse needs you to be there for them. There are days when you want to look like that child learning to ski, and throw your arms up and out as a way to physically release your discouragement of life balance.
Photos and edits by: Jodi L. Tervo Roberts, Owner of E3 Twin Ports, LLC
www.e3twinports.com

Now think about yourself, and your own physical balance. It is probably pretty good. Most people believe their balance is fine. I like to ask prior to administering the balance portion of my Wellness Assessment when the last time you actually worked on your balance was. Although some work daily on their balance at the gym or through Yoga, most people aren't totally sure. The results of the balance test are usually eye opening (during the eyes closed portion of the test). :) As adults we forget to think about our physical balance. But think about when your eyes are open and you stand on one foot. If someone was looking at you, they would likely see a stationary person, right? But think about yourself, standing on one leg. Do you feel muscles working? Specifically in your ankle area? Your leg and foot are constantly making minor adjustments to keep you "balanced."

So now I ask, Is balance static or dynamic? I believe it is dynamic. Not just physical balance, but life balance as well. So the next time you get stressed out about life balance I ask you to try 3 things.

1. Remind yourself that balance is dynamic (and if you need a physical reminder, stand on one leg, with your eyes open, and feel those little leg muscles working).
2. Take a time out, seek nature, and take a few deep belly breaths to improve the oxygen flow. (Link for breathing exercises from Harvard Medical School)
3. Pause and remind yourself that you are worthy of a healthy, happy, and meaningful life. This may be a time when you need to prioritize yourself, so that you can give to others. Positive self-talk is powerful. (2 Psychology Today article links - Make your self-talk work for you, and Positive self-talk for personal growth.)

If you are looking to work on your physical balance, you are in luck. Yoga at the Fairlawn continues. Another 7 week series begins on March 10th and runs through April 28th (no class on March 31st). Pre-registration is appreciated, simply email me, Jodi, at info@e3twinports.com. Class is from 5:15-6:00.

If you have stumbled upon this blog, and would like to be added to our list, simply email info@e3twinports.com, with "Blog Sign-up" in the subject line. I'll happily add to to our growing list of over 150 people. 

E3 Twin Ports, LLC
Energy and Empowerment through Exercise
Owner, Jodi L. Tervo Roberts
Jodi L. Tervo Roberts, Owner
E3 Twin Ports, LLC
Helping people to lead healthy, happy, & meaningful lives, while promoting healthy lifestyles through outdoor recreation, fitness, yoga, individual wellness coaching, and interactive educational presentations.

Website: e3twinports.com
YouTube: Channel


LIVE HAPPY, DREAM BIG, SMILE, and PLAY OUTSIDE!