Monthly Archives: August 2011

What Is Your Body Saying….Will You Listen?

So this coming Sunday will mark my fourth consecutive year competing in  the VA Beach half marathon….and since that first race…..the one that really catapulted my interest in endurance sports…and maybe helped inspire a handful of others :)…..I’ve learned a thing or two about distance running, appropriate training…and myself.  And although there is WAY more to learn…..I’m putting one of these important lessons to work as I type.

You see, like most amateurs – when I started training seriously for endurance events, I researched a training plan, got it on my calendar and followed it to a “t”….no matter how I felt.  If it said run 7 miles….I ran 7 miles, as hard as I could…..if it said run hills….I ran hills, as hard as I could…..if it said run laps on the track…I ran laps on the track, as hard as I could…..if it would have said run down main street on my hands wearing a speedo…..watch out world….I’d be rocking that thing like the hairy European trapped on an American beach….ok….that’s definitely a disgusting lie….I even made myself cringe a little at the thought.  But you get the idea

By the end of the training plan, I was definitely fit….but feeling less (a)live then maybe I should.  My body ached, feet sore, hips tight, knee a little painful…(can you say classic over-training)..and if it weren’t for an amazing race experience (stay tuned to next week where I’ll tell my VA Beach history and what has and continues to inspire me to pursue these events), I probably would have quit while I was (sorta) ahead.

But fast forward 4 years, a handful of overuse related pains / injuries…and plenty of useful advice from knowledgeable colleagues and friends, and I’m finally hearing my body…and when it tells me you need a night off….I’m actually listening.
But, I’d bet most of us “hear” our body talking….it starts feeling achy, maybe it presents itself as a little scratchy throat or runny nose….maybe it’s a headache here or a cranky attitude (no jokes here from the peanut gallery…”cranky” is just my charm)….but I’m not sure all of us know when to listen, take some time to reflect, rest, and recover.

So tonight (actually last night by the time I post this)…even though I was “scheduled” to do a short, hard tempo run…and Sunday is race day….instead, I’m sitting here, taking some time off, with my feet propped…and writing a blog…and if my body starts talking again tomorrow….I’ll be listening again…..the trick friends, is to speak it’s language and know if it’s saying “Get Moving” or “Take the Day”.

Stay tuned…..me and 30 of my closest friends and family are going to ROCK VA Beach again!  Next year, you’re in!  Join the “MOVEment”!

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The Circle of Life

I had a friend tell me yesterday… “Wow, you must have a lot on your mind these days”.  My brother recently captured much of it….what he termed “Chaos” in his blog.  And after reading (and getting over the fact that I was thinking of writing something similar) I had to almost laugh out loud, thinking of all that’s going on.  And actually, before turning off the lights for sleep last night, I chuckled as I envisioned myself starring in some of the clips below.

But I find that with faith, strength, focus, and perseverance….amidst  the “chaos” as Mike termed it and the deep sadness my family felt with the passing of our grandfather, often comes unmatched joy through the circle of life.  The joy in finding order, the joy in pulling through, the joy of hard work paying off, the joy of new found energy….and for my wife Amy and I…the joy of new life.

This past week, among all of the chaos, unpredictability, unexpected opportunity (and work that goes along with it), came the news that Amy and I will be having a baby girl (our first)….and in that moment…as we cut the cake with family at our “gender party” and revealed the inside of the cake dyed pink (to represent girl)….faces lit up…things got “really real” (for Amy & I anyway)….and joy overcame the room.  And looking back, over the last 7 days and the events that were leading up….I’ve relearned a few lessons my parents taught me years ago:

  1. God works in mysterious ways
  2. “Chaos” is worth it!
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It’s the Cirle of Life; And it Moves Us All

Through Despair & Hope; Through Faith & Love

Till We Find Our Place; On the Path Unwinding

In the Circle; The Circle of Life……

Michelle Cyphers does great work! Hire her if you need an awesome cake!

And the verdict is..."Pink"

I may have been thinking "Oh Crap...Here We Go"

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Exercise…..Fun….Whaaaat!?

When was the last time you let loose, were totally yourself, were accepted by all around you, and just had fun?  Do you ever feel like exercise, and fun are almost mutually exclusive?  If so….you’re going about it all wrong.

We hear all the time how exercise has to be “part of our lifestyle”….but so many of us struggle to make it happen.  Why? ….my opinion…plain and simple….exercise, in the traditional sense that many people envision (a sea of treadmills, dumbbells, and crowded spaces with too many people looking at themselves in the mirror) is NOT fun.

So how bout this….if you want to make exercise fun….if you want to find a way to improve or maintain your fitness….to make exercise and fitness part of your “live”style…..you’ve got to find a way to make it fun.  There’s tons of ways to do this…you’ve just got to find the one that best suits your personality.

For the competitive types – consider very specific health or fitness events to train for….could be an endurance event…dodge-ball league….volleyball tournament….or run in the mud.  (Shockingly this one works for me:))

For the team-player in all of us….consider training for something with your identified “team”.  Over the last few years a group of us took the trek up Mt. Washington….we had to rely on each other at times, and the summit was rewarding.  Rumor has it, if given the opportunity, we’ve got a team or two lined up to enter for casting of “Expedition Impossible“.

Or for the social-butterflies out there…..take a chapter out of the Pro-Activity Personal Wellness Experience (PWE) program…..it’s simple really….we work with folks, talk to them about their goals, gauge their abilities, and then try and do our best to group them with folks of similar age, gender, goals, ability levels, interests, etc…..and before we know it….we’ve got friends helping friends stay fit…and having fun in the process.  It’s amazing how much easier it is to “get to the gym”…when you don’t have to feel like you’re sacrificing your social life…or even better…when staying fit becomes a social event and something to look forward to.

Not quite ready to take on any of the above…..come join us on Monday night fun runs / walks and BYO socials to follow…

Here’s to having fun, and living fit!

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Do You Reflect?

Do you ever just take the time to reflect on things?  You know, sit back and actually think about yourself…what your doing, why your doing it, if you’re doing it well….where you came from, why you are the way you are…..what you stand for and believe in……what inspires you and drives you forward…what pulls you back?

At the beginning of the year, I made it a personal goal to do this regularly, and encourage many of my clients to do the same.  It could be a journal, a blog, a personal scoring 1-10, or just 5 minutes of meditation or prayer…..whatever your choice,  I’m a big believer in progress chenckpoints and to have an understanding of the present to help determine how best to reach the desired future. 

But whether you reflect regularly or not, every once in a while, things in your life bring you back to center.  If you’re following the blog world with my sister Amy or brother Mike this week, you know that our family has been dealt some tough news with the failing health of our beloved grandfather Joe…..and while I don’t think I’m ready to share my heart with the public world on this one yet…..I was very impressed with Amy and Mike’s blogs….and this news definitely made me reflect on things, why I am who I am, and how I’m doing in pursuit of what’s really important to me.

So on my 11 mile run during  the “Rediculous Relay” this weekend (our team’s 260 mile journey from High Point, NJ to Cape May), I got to thinking, praying for my Grandad’s strength and peace, and reflecting….and a few things started to come into focus…..most clearly – many of the things that drive me stem from the Joe Eisenhart family trunk.  He’s a man of incredible moral integrity, devout faith, sharp wit, and endless love for his family – and when I reflect on how I’m doing in “life”…in many ways, I’m looking for how close I model a lifestyle similar to his.  Thanks Grandad….you’re an inspiration.

So readers, who’s yours?

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Whatever happened to predictability….

the milk man, the paper boy, the evening t.v.?

Remember those lyrics?  Well, if you’re not a child of the 80’s / 90’s like me, here’s a few hints….. Cousin Joey with the awesome Popeye impression….John Stamos rockin the mullet……Bob Saget, pre incredibly raunchy stand-up routine….and of course, the “Olsen Twins”, when they were actually still cute.

I couldn’t help but hum that song on my way home from dinner tonight as I thought about what I was going to write….why you might ask?…..”Don’t”!

Ok, fine……..but wait a sec…..let me get up on my soap box……………..

Ok…I’m up….so here goes.  Tonight, I got a rare chance to take Amy out for dinner to celebrate her birthday (29 tomorrow….man are you old).  We found a nice, low key place with outdoor seating….things were going pretty well…..and then, God forbid…the man next door made his son put his hand-held video game down after fighting with his brother….and the shreaking began….”Don’t Delete It!  Don’t Delete It”……..seriously, I’ve never seen a kid so passionate about a game, any game, that he was unable to stop himself for literally 90 seconds (at minimum), repeating these three words……….and only these three words.  It was like nails on a chalk board….and the longer it went….the higher the pitch….oh delightful……can I get some cheese with that wine!

So it got me to thinking….(now please understand, with our first child on the way, I realize I’m in no position to judge)…but seriously, are the majority of kids today hooked on video games?  Does anyone just go out and “play” anymore……touch (or tackle if you were in my family) football…homerun derby, roller hockey, running bases, man hunt, smear the ..ahh….check that, kill the man with the ball…etc.  Listening to this little guy losing his mind over his video game was just depressing if it’s any indication of “predictability”…or the norm.  What happened to the “good ole days”?

So I’m wondering if any of my regular readers (if any actually exists and are not named Diane?) will try an experiment….ban video games in your house for 3 days and teach your kid a new game from your childhood each day…..and let me know what happens….if there’s a revolt….a meltdown…..or bliss…..might even be a fun way to incorporate some additional fitness in everyone’s lives!

Ok, time to get off my soap box and rest up…..I’ve got work tomorrow….and I’ve got to walk up-hill, both ways!

Gnight

p.s.  Thanks to Hunterdon Hill Hobblers – enjoyed the 90 mile running relay across NJ this weekend…was very impressed by our group for posting 6:40 min / mile average…nice to have some college speedsters on our team.  For those looking to get in on the action….come to BaseCamp 31 on Thursday for a little party and more info on this weekend’s human-powered 300 mile relay!

 

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