Meet: Asheville, NC

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If I had to pick a city to spend a weekend in after a few days of living in the wilderness with nothing but a lighter and some stream water to sustain life, Asheville NC would most definitely be in my top 5 choices.

When you talk about this place at least one person in the room mentions how they plan to move there someday. It is a place that actually lives up to the cool vibes it portrays. You drive into the downtown area where to your right is the herbal acupuncture shop and to your left is the cold pressed juice bar-hippies, townies & wannabes are clearly welcome here.

We definitely fell into the wannabes category, walking stiff and wobbly from the beating our bodies took on the Appalachian trail a few days before; the definition of an Asheville tourist.

What do all great tourists do to make a good impression? Find the nearest bar that’s what! Only in Asheville you have to find all 6 of them.

A walking brewery tour seemed like the best answer to celebrate the weekend and avoid the legs morphing into cement mode from the days of hiking. Your choices as far as walking paths are endless, and conveniently enough all of the destinations are located within 2 miles of each other.

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The 6 must sees:

  • Asheville Brewery co.- Please try the Fire Escape-think spicy jalapeno beer party in your mouth
  • Burial Brewing-(Pictured at the top) every man’s fantasy of owning a garage-esque brew palace humming with indie moody music
  • French Broad Chocolate Factory-literally choke on the taste of the chocolate in the air
  • Greenman Brewing (pictured above)-where non-beer drinking girls start to love drinking beer aka the Triton
  • Hi Wire Brewing-laid back circus style vibe (in the less nightmare-ish way)
  • Twin Leaf Brewery-they provide the community with beer yoga…what more could you want?

After a little less than two days here it was apparent that another trip was necessary. I mean clearly there’s more to see the only pictures I have are of…um…beverages. There is so much to do in every single season from hiking to herbal acupuncture, making it a perfect road trip weekend destination for a couple of stir crazy Ohioans.

Perhaps one of the most therapeutic effects of experiencing a hippie town brewery tour is that talking yourself into more semi insane section hikes becomes 10x easier when everyone you are surrounded by lives and breathes outdoor adventures.

-RV

Meet: The Appalachian Trail

This post is coming at ya with a little Appalachian Trail action. To clarify, these 600 words only cover about 40 miles of the 2,168.1 total.

If only this post was happening because work magically said it was okay to take 6 months off and go do some thru hike soul-searching. After doing the math I would have to work at my job for about 60 years before coming anywhere close to that kind of PTO.

While what we saw doesn’t come close to the amazing adventure of the entire length, the small section between Erwin TN, and Asheville NC is nothing short of the true wilderness experience that you imagine out on the AT.

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The plan was to hike out and back from the Erwin TN on point. I had high hopes for my “last meal” aka the last consumed substances that weren’t prepackaged and heated in freezing temperatures. My dreams of egg whites and spinach frittatas were quickly crushed when we realized the only gourmet breakfast options in Erwin consisted of a McGriddle and dollar coffee; at least there was a bathroom! I felt like we were putting a little too much trust in good old McDs’ to power through two full days of covering ground, but it would have to do. If I am being honest my exercise addicted self was definitely most excited to spend my 9 to 5 trekking up and down the winding mountain hills.

AT Sign EditedThis arctic looking scene was an on and off occurrence as the sun was constantly hidden and exposed by the thick impenetrable clouds. For a stretch the trail would be a crunchy icicle and then a spring time scene with soggy leaves all padding the ground.

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Trail editedThere were a lot of things that made me nervous about this little adventure. Factors such as the fact that it was the dead of winter, sleeping exposed on a wood platform in the middle of no where, water and lack thereof, back woods bathroom situations, etc. While we were busy worrying about those things, we also were busy under estimating the physical challenge of hiking these altitudes.

After looking back at the trail guide we found out one of the peaks mid-way out on our route was only the second tallest on the entire trail. It was one of those hills you knew had to be winning that contest. The kind that makes a relatively in shape person  question any physical fitness they thought they had going into it.

On the steepest climbs towards the end of the days we started doing that dazed and confused thing, where you straighten up limp armed and wonder if this is the end. Okay, maybe not the end but you definitely consider if getting air lifted home is an option.

It really explained the ability of true hikers and the level of endurance it takes to manage that degree of activity on a scale 100 times larger than our dinky day hikes.

AT Bald Head EditedAbove is the Bald Head summit at about 5,600 ft. elevation, our second tallest climb of the trip. At this point you would be feeling pretty cold, like hands turning purple cold, but you would also start considering how amazingly gorgeous this world is. It was hard to believe that we were “only in Tennessee” seeing the kind of mountains you see in Outside Magazine.

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Despite the fact that our legs were a special kind of sore, this taste of the trail was enough to catch the itch to do more. We survived the elements, filtered the water, and scared away night-time scavengers. Something about following that narrow path, where every section is something being seen for the first time, makes you want to do it everywhere you go. You feel like you are seeing sites worth seeing. There isn’t a price of admission, lines, parking meters, or herds of people. It was the perfect chance to get out there and do something new, as well as insanely challenging. While I never would have pictured myself atop a mountain ringing in the new year in the pitch black of the wilderness zipped up mummy style nose frozen in a sleeping bag, it was one of the absolute most romantic best ways to celebrate the beginning of 2015.

…And next time an Asheville debrief…

-RV

Been Gone for a While

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Hi! So clearly long time no post over here at HL. That’s because I have been working on a new project. My very own Etsy shop! It’s a little sparse and probably will be until we get more items together, but still it has been the perfect change of pace with this new non college life. Making things as opposed to writing around them I mean. But the best part is the shop has its very own blog. Read if you want on the thoughts and efforts behind store products and see if the little store grows into something worth reading about.

I’m looking at it as something creative to balance out the sterile cubicle life that is my 22 year old world.

More to come
-RV

Life Beyond the Squat

I am totally at a crossroads here. I love squats. I love them so much that I find myself looking for any excuse to substitute a squat into whatever I’m doing. Jumping jacks? Perfect opportunity for a baby pulse squat in between. Sprints? Definitely tacking on 10 speed squats at every turn around. Brushing my teeth? Prime time for some quick pre bedtime squats. Driving?…ha just kidding!

But you know what I don’t like? The world acting like squats are the end all be all for women in their workouts.

Basically it’s all just getting a little excessive and I am pretty sure I’m not the only one wrapped up in the quest for the perfect backside curve, or perfect squat form. This was evident by the line of 10 girls eagerly squatting into the mirror at the gym yesterday willing the perfect booty to magically show. When did squats go from being a staple total body move to a cultish world of big booty gals breaking laws of physics through hugely toned behinds while thousands of instagramers double tap in awe?

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It all reminds me of those hilarious/utterly disturbing pictures of guys skipping leg days and obviously working every muscle group besides legs 364 days a year. Makes ya do a double take in the worst way. Your workout routine is all about balance yet all I hear as a female on social media and in the gym is that squatting will solve all of my problems. It’s like the kale and avocado craze consuming health buffs around the world. Squatting has always been there yet now people think they should be doing it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Suddenly you are a fitness super star if 95% of your workout is spent squatting.

On the other hand it is an inarguable FACT that squatting is one of the most, if not THE most, functional body weight exercises around. Working over 200 muscles in the body there is no doubt this move is something everyone needs to practice. They burn tons of calories per rep, allow you to survive beach season, and most importantly cultivate a killer foundation of strength for active movements.

Luckily for anyone feeling consumed by squat madness there are numerous alternatives. Been squatting life away for the past year? Change it up try an upper body routine. Make squatting just a portion instead of the entire workout.

Check out my original post here from some awesome alternatives from Share it FItness

Hair Health Month

I hear about them all the time, national cookie month, watermelon awareness week, and my recent favorite national tequila day. Normally I don’t plan in advance enough to celebrate and end up both repulsed and impressed by how committed others are to these spontaneous days of celebration. At any given point during any given month people have created a reason to do something ‘of the moment’ and I am sick of missing out!

Since I can’t seem to figure out where all of these awesome awareness months and days are laid out I have had to resort to making up my own special-ness. So this month is hair health month.

Why hair health? Because I got straight up hacked at the salon last week.

Not because I use some awesome hair product to take sweet pictures of.

The theme of the month is usually dictated by last months misfortune. For example…July…mail rent ON TIME month…June…remove excessive use of participles from the resume month.

Anyways…it is the age-old story. Same salon, but the regular stylist is booked. It was crunch time and I was starting to look like Cousin Itt which led me to a new stylist who had dreads. *Dreads are perfectly fine I just needed an identifier without using names* I am not a high maintenance hair gal seriously I promise! I go about once a year when people start telling me my ends look crunchy. Yep crunchy, like a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Until then, it gets to do what it wants with only a brushing when I can find my brush on occasion, so basically it would take a lot to mess this up.

I knew it wasn’t going to be pretty when Dreads asked if she could use a razor to “try something new”, and then brushed it like we were grating tree stumps for a log cabin. By then my scalp was numb so I like to think I didn’t just let it happen. Dreads was the nicest person you could ever hope to meet, so nice that I didn’t even notice the hacking going on right over my shoulder. We got along so well I thought we might be BFFs after learning we live in the same area. As she started to blow dry, Dreads brushed so hard she had me looking like a dog going 75 mph down the highway, this wasn’t something besties did to each other.

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After watching chunks of hair all square and oblong dust the floor, I knew it was only a matter of time before someone got a good look at the new cut.  I ran to the car to get a better look and sure enough..splintered, choppy, shredded, split, numb scalp… Dreads got me good.

First response was panick, second response was to cut it off and start over which brought back traumatic memories of third grade picture day; so instead I decided to make it my own little PSA and hair health month was born.

I don’t do complicated so here are a few of the essentials….

Biotin seems like the obvious first choice with restorative effects, b vitamins, and enzymes that interact with hair and nail production. I started doing a little research and later decided that a comprehensive multivitamin seemed like a better route. After popping the magic hair pills like Skittles I learned that I was definitely overdosing on Biotin, and probably doing more harm than good. If it sounds like a miracle pill DO YOUR RESEARCH, you will probably find that it’s not so miraculous after all.

Coconut Oil (bet ya didn’t see that coming): it is the end all be all miracle substance…for anything ever…but you already knew that.

Turmeric: reduces inflammation, naturally soothes pain, and is an overall super hero supplement. This was helpful to calm my angry scalp and so enjoyable to pronounce.

Hopefully your hair can have a happier month than mine is right now!

-RV

The Skinny Confidential’s Lauryn Evarts on Healthy Basics

If you haven’t heard of the Skinny Confidential until now…you’re welcome. Chances are though you already have because Skinny Conf. founder, health & fitness guru, and author Lauryn Evarts is quite literally taking over. Seriously if I ever need to see something sickeningly adorable she’s my girl. As if her gorgeous self wasn’t inspiration enough, she makes the idea of eating blended vegetables actually sound like fun on the daily. **I’m talkin inspiration down to the lemons in the teal bowl. See below.**

She is known to give a very real opinion on health and how to actually make it a lifestyle, as opposed to just posting glamour shots of fitness crazies covered in sweat. Lauryn’s brand, The Skinny Confidential, is such a fresh take on the drab info we keep hearing on the same old subjects and with the recent publishing of her first book, it’s safe to say this girl knows her stuff. None of that Dr. OZ mumbo-jumbo here. Read more for the essentials to making your health not only a priority, but a lifestyle. Because we all want success in health, love, and life. Thanks for your feedback Lauryn!

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What’s your foundation whether in business, fitness, or general health?

My foundation is balance. Balance is what keeps me sane and motivated. I also utilize The Skinny Confidential as a place to connect with my readers, and hear what they want to know.

The most important quality you value in yourself from when it all started to today?

The most important quality I value in myself today is self-discipline. I feel like with discipline comes opportunity. Lauryn-Evarts-Zella-1

Worst thing someone can do for their health?

Smoke, not wear sun screen and/or eat chemical filled food….eww to all of these.

Your take on being sick/injured and working out?

I think you should tailor your workout to the ailment that you have. If you broke your arm, then do squats. If you injured your knee, use arm weights.

Your quickest easiest get fit advice ever?

Eat clean. Work out. And practice wellness. Wellness is eating your vitamins. Getting enough sleep. Taking care of yourself and fueling your body with the right nutrients. Be nice to yourself.

Your take on juice cleanses? How long should they be? How effective?

Juice cleanses should last in my opinion three days. Juice cleanses are very effective when done correctly, and ineffective if misused. If you’re interested in a juice cleanse email me at Lauryn@TheSkinnyConfidential.com.

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What are some of the most common inhibitors you see when people struggle to formulate a health/beauty/fitness plan?

I always see people bite off more than they can chew. I think it’s really important again to stay balanced. I also see people who don’t sleep enough. Sleep is so important.

Best advice ever received in terms of personal health or in general?

The best advice that I’ve received is to be the best version of yourself. I think it’s really important to try your hardest in every aspect in your life.

Where do you see health and fitness going in the next 10 years?

I think a lot of people will mix it up daily and that gyms will become less popular and being outdoors will be more popular.

How can I start doing one thing today that will give me positive long-term payoff in regards to my health?

Stay away from fat-free and diet free products. They’re filled with chemicals and are bad for your health.

What is your biggest challenge that you face while working in a field of health/wellness/lifestyle?

My biggest challenge is that people are misinformed. The food companies are not providing the real truth of whats in food. I feel like people are eating chemical filled foods and don’t realize it. My advice is to know what the hell you’re eating.

Best advice you can offer to someone struggling to stick with it, or to find meaning in their fitness routine?

Just do it. Wake up. Work out. Eat clean. Sooner or later it will become a habit like brushing your teeth. Check out my blog here. And check out The Skinny Confidential book here.

If your were an animal what would you be?

Definitely a chihuahua. They’re bad ass and I’d want to hang out with my dog Mini Delites with Lauryn Evarts

How to Deal When Your Legs Can’t

It’s that dull pain after leaving the gym. The throbbing while you are driving. The ache that flairs up while you sleep. But it’s probably nothing…

At least that’s what we all think until one half assed workout turns into two and you find yourself earnestly explaining to your lifting partner…”oh no  I’m not limping.” You are definitely limping but that’s normal right? I mean you workout hard, pain is weakness leaving the body after all. That’s right see ya later weakness! This must be what being fit feels like, it just hurts so good. So good that you can’t walk up a flight of stairs. So good that you…ouch…have to stop mid workout wincing from this now raging pain. So good that now you can’t work out?

Okay so maybe it’s not nothing now. It’s probably a strained muscle. Your friend’s brother’s girlfriend’s aunt had something like this once and she powered through it. Except this isn’t sore like a strained muscle would feel. Actually this feels like a spot directly on the bone that’s hurting. You are already thinking about the F-word. That word that sends fitness nuts into a spiral of anxiety, stress fracture.

Time for a doctor appointment, just to confirm that it’s not in fact the f-word and probably just a strain from overuse. The week before the appointment reality has set in, your bone feels bruised, and every step hurts…definitely the f-word. You make the necessary preparations to come to terms with the reality that the leg is done for. It now feels like a possibility that you will never run again. All of the research points to that darn f-word. The doctor is a waste of your time, because you already know, but you will go just to confirm your spare time clinical skills. Doctor know nothing proceeds to ask if you have ever heard of shin splints, which officially makes the last hour of your day totally worthless…inducing the eternal health care face palm.

Sometimes your legs get tired and simply can’t deal. When they are tired it is important to listen to your body, or the above scenario will be a routine event. Over working and excessive training are a recipe for exhaustion. Coping with this feeling is extremely challenging and difficult for just about everyone. Below are a few methods through which to cope with tired legs and manage injury more effectively.

Look down stream: When it comes to injury looking down stream is what really allows the situation to sink in. Looking for the cause of the injury and making plans to strengthen the area around it is always a good idea, but can also prompt further working out when what the body really needs is rest. Take the time to look down the metaphorical stream one month from now. Visualizing where you want to be in the future can provide some motivation to start dealing with the present.

Don’t ignore: they always say athletes and active people are the most in tune with their bodies, but they are also the most eager to pretend like all things are fine. For whatever reason, accepting weakness or injury is never an easy thing to do, especially when you have plans and goal surrounding the activity. Clearly think about what is being felt and listen to your body.

Reassess: does everything hurt? If so rest. Do only certain things hurt? Find out what those things are and avoid them. Talk with your doctor about approved activities. Most of the time you will have the ability to do low impact activities, or things that do not irritate the pain you are experiencing.

Get a professional opinion: Appointments are never fun, and you may think you know what’s going on, but hearing it from a professional can make it real. Doctor know nothing at least has the authority to tell you to slow down or ease up and this can be much more meaningful than the friends and family who have probably been telling you the same thing all month.

Readjust: your idea of what working out is doing for you. Spend the down time going for walks, doing partner workouts with a friend, and trying new things that may have not been considered before the injury. And consider if what was being done before was healthy or excessive.

When things start to hurt impulse says to keep going. Throughout an active life the body endures tons of different aches and pains that other’s don’t have to deal with. Instead of frantically trying to maintain the same level before the pain, listen closely to what the body is saying and consider the balance between mental and physical health during times of injury.

-RV

White Girl Can’t Run

I had never felt more one with the elements than during the time spent in Dominical Costa Rica. Like I was 24 hours away from abandoning bras and shoes forever and spend my days taming wild iguanas as a career path. No hair brushing at all which meant that for the first time ever dreadlocks weren’t out of the question either. The other most awesome part of Costa Rica was the running.

Prior to the trip, I had been running like a mad woman. Partly due to a slight exercise addiction and the other part due to the half marathon I was supposed to run later that month. Only this running was better than anywhere else. Miles of rich brown sand beaches darker than those cheesy Florida sparking ocean fronts and mangroves dipping from the shore line splattered with rickety fishing boats. It was the first time that the possibility of getting attacked by a gorilla sized vulture was a possibility and the chances of a wild dog tagging along for a mile or so was definitely going to happen.

So after feeling like Mowgli for an hour every morning Costa Rican running was obviously the new favorite pastime. This led to registering for the first ever Dominical 12k to” support the possibility of getting a lifeguard and for the wild dogs” so said La Casa del Sol who was putting on the race.

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Volunteers were gathered through a real life game of telephone where you just ask around and hope people will show up. I showed up race day ready for a our very own Central American Flying Pig turn out and a killer beach run…not quite.

The group totaled to a little less than 80 people with about 40 bystanders all of whom were definitely the person who was forced to drive the runner to the starting line at the crack of dawn. The starting line was drawn in the sand with a piece of drift wood and the signage was held between two trees which were held between two shirtless locals who they called Tito and wait for it… Jake. None of that start time nonsense a little whistle was all we needed and we were off.

After a long stretch on the flat beach where I had already considered where my international 12k running career would take me next, did I see a volunteer point up the mountain in the distance as the direction we were supposed to follow. Forget the fact that someone standing in the middle of nowhere was the only source of direction…I’m sorry up a mountain?

Not just up a mountain but up a vertical spiral of loose rocks and dirt. The brisk pace that was going on was abruptly ended as the natives skipped by oblivious to the fact that we were about the scale the equivalent of 5 miles up the Top Thrill Dragster in 200% humidity. My career as an international 12k beach runner was quickly fading in the distance as the only other white person I had seen for miles and I found wound up off course and in a stream with a drifting abandoned shoe.

One of the pointing volunteers appeared out of nowhere and just froze doing his best mile marker arrow stance. Another mile up and I was walking faster backwards than I could have run. A group of barefoot 20 somethings blew by and I hear…

“Muchacha blanca no se puede ejecutar”

My one year of college Spanish told me that this meant “the white girl can’t be executed.” Whoa, I’m just doing this friendly 12k for the lifeguards and wild dogs. I used the next half mile trying to understand if this mountain would be where I was going to spend my final moments due to sheer exhaustion or a good old-fashioned Costa Rican mountain execution.

I asked the next person who trotted by if I was going to be executed and she was bilingual enough to tell me that the phrase meant,

“White girl can’t run”

Thanks for everything Spanish 103, for all of that time pronouncing to run as correr all these years. I hadn’t thought I couldn’t do something until someone told me so as I drug my sorry ass up the side of a mountain.

The entire experience made me think about the discussions I have had lately with fitness instructors from all different backgrounds on motivation and how to do what you set your mind to. How you literally are the only person who can make yourself do it no matter what it is, for example running up a 90 degree angle in a sauna. That there is a huge difference between can’t do it and won’t do it. We all can’t have the geographical inclination to scale mountains like a stroll around the block, but you can still try and see what happens. Those who won’t will simply never know.

-RV

The One Career Everyone Should Consider

Find the original version of this post at the Share it Fitness blog

After sitting down with D1 Cincinnati’s  Jesse Robinson, I immediately rescinded the thoughts I was having of skipping my run due to rainy weather. It is hard to not feel instant motivation after learning about the mentalities and foundational skills that drive the perspective of Division 1 athlete training. Jesse’s genuine motivation and passion is infectious as he explained the similarities of an Olympic athlete and a mom of 5; making it clear that the two really aren’t as different as they appear.

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Jesse has huge plans for the future, but a past that has led him to a position seeking endless development of practiced based training methods that genuinely consider the athlete on a personal level. Perfectionist wouldn’t be a far stretch from the truth, but it is apparent that Jesse’s goals go much deeper. His training mentality is all due to multiple mentors who have not only provided the ideas upon which he builds his programs, but enable him to seek continual knowledge.  By being mindful of the need for personal development Jessie applies his own concepts to his research as he seeks to provide a healthier and more successful training program to all of his clients.

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D1 Sports training is a nationally recognized training team with facilities from California to little old Ohio. The name is known far and wide as the resource for some of sport’s top athletes from AJ Hawk to Phillip Rivers.  The D1 mentality takes an all or nothing approach in that the trainer/trainee relationship is a mutually exclusive entity. In other words, they want you to be a bad ass as much as you want to be a bad ass.

What I found most interesting after our interview was the idea of implementing your health in the same way that you would a career path. Your fitness should encompass everything from a 10 year plan to properly networking yourself in order to attain optimal success in all aspects of your life. Learn why everyone should consider a career in health.

One of the toughest concepts that active people face is the idea of training smarter as opposed to training longer. Can you shed some light on over training?

When people think about how to avoid over training the thought process immediately goes to setting limits. The reality is much different. Smart training either through injury or in order to avoid injury can range from adjusting reps, sets, and body positioning. It is not as focused on stopping activity as opposed to enhancing the activity you are attempting. And for a lot of people focusing is slowing down.

So less variety and more consistency?

Shocking the body is an adopted trend from the boot camp P90x craze. The idea that you should constantly change it up and surprise your body doesn’t always lead to the safest results.   Yes it should be practiced, but not to the point where you have no actual plan. Especially if you are working to specialize in your sport or simply be stronger in your training, perfect points of weakness and build from there.

What does it take to make it in this industry? As a coach, trainer, trainee, person who enjoys slinging weights etc.

Be purposeful in your work and your goals. Whichever role you are playing, be sure that you have a clear motivation in mind and do your research. If people were truer to their values than to the image being active portrays, fitness success wouldn’t seem like such a complicated concept.

Like being informed when going to the doctor…be a critical consumer of your fitness?

Exactly. With a clear understanding of your goals you have the responsibility to hold your trainers accountable and vice versa. Check credentials and know why you are even listening to the fitness advice you are receiving. Where did these ideas that you are digesting come from? How effective is one opinion’s method in your life? By being more specific and holding your fitness to a higher standard than  Googling the “10 minute workout” will not only make you more committed, but lead to long term success in whatever you endeavor may be. I would always be skeptical of a trainer who claims their training plan is their original idea.

The hardest part is making it a habit… brownies>physical discomfort. Why is this so hard and how can someone establish an easier transition into an active lifestyle?

As a trainer, the primary goal you have with a new client is to give them a reason to make it a lifestyle. Telling someone “because it’s good for you” in no longer a valid reason. As a trainee, don’t just start running because it sounds like a good idea; run because you have a plan to train like a runner. Half committing to a variety of exercise can leave you feeling discouraged and exhausted. Pick a focus for a time, develop skills in that area, and move forward from there. Fitness doesn’t have to be the same thing on a daily basis, but you can’t forget the importance of practice, you need to understand your purpose.

 

Since we now know to be critical consumers, and make lifestyle adjustments what is your take on studio hopping (aka being a spinning addict by day and a yoga guru by night)?

You don’t always have to dive into the flavor of the week. Like with your career goals, develop your strengths and identify your passions. If you are able to feel strong in one area of health or fitness it will yield more positive and more productive results than the alternative.

It can be so easy to lose motivation while seeking out goals. What are a few ways to stay driven towards success?

Find a daily reminder that you can keep going forward. Whether you are an Olympian, a Mom of 5, or an elderly senior some factor needs to keep you coming back. Sure the intensities and motivations vary between these three examples, but intrinsically the values are relatively the same. We want to be better, we want to feel healthier, and we want to feel accomplished. In terms of your health you should have a 10 year plan mentality. Consider how you want to spend your time and develop yourself. Long term mindfulness will yield awesome short term rewards.

Absolute best advice you can provide us with?

Seek motivation in a way that works for you. One of my mentors once told me to try to perfect one thing every day no matter how small it may seem.

The degrees of commitment to health will never be the same for any one person. Learning to perfect one thing every day can be actually waking up to your alarm clock for some, and for another it may be training for an ultra-marathon. In terms of making health a lifestyle, just like a career path, you have got to make it a long term plan and allow yourself to see the bigger picture of what you are working towards. Find a network that works for you, be purposeful, and dominate your goals.

Thanks for the life talk Jesse!

What You Should Really Ask the Landlord

Moving sucks. No doubt about it. If you are one of the randomes who loves packing your life into boxes, breaking half the things you own, and permanently straining your back you should start a little biz and help a girl out.

Besides moving physical things there is the added headache of actually finding the new place which you can only hope has heat, and the biggest headache of all…meeting the new landlord… the roommate you never wanted.

Good landlords are like polar bears in bikinis…far and few in between. And the majority seem to be something out of the Twilight Zone. Talking to you landlord who had a problem with working door knobs.

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From the one who thought fixing drain issues with duct tape was acceptable to the one who “took a new prescription” right before the house showing, a mere 4 years of landlord living and you start to get the picture.

When shopping for new housing get your best federal investigator pants on and get to work.

Here are a few of the real questions you should for sure be asking your (potential) landlord.

1. What type of people live in this area? This is meant to lead you to a better understanding of the chances you are moving into a building of serial killers, drug dealers, or both.

2. Bed bugs? Ohio is awesome at bed bugs, better safe than sorry.

3. Is your cleaning crew the real deal? If there is one friend to make it is with the janitor of the apartment building. Never make enemies with maintenance.

4. What happens when we move out? Gotta break up sometime. This avoids the surprise departing fees that magically appear leading to no security deposit for you.

5. How often should we expect to hear from/communicate with you? Love those landlords who pop up after 6 months of hibernation to let you know there has been a mold issue in the building for the past year.

6. Hash out the $$ on day one. No mind games. Know exactly what everyone is responsible for before signing your life away. “No I was not aware I had to pay for your broken cabinets” 

7. Crime. The majority “can’t tell you” for legal reasons, but asking will still force some semblance of a vague answer.

Basically when it comes to renting a new place all you can really do is hope the next one is better than the last.

-RV