All Posts by Coach Dean

Being Engaged In Life

I recently watched an interview with Colin Milner, CEO of the International Council on Active Aging, and I was inspired by listening to this really smart and passionate man talk about what he has learned being on the front lines of active aging. I would highly encourage you to watch this short interview included at the end of this article (click the pic). Here are some highlights that really stuck out to me. 

1. Active Aging is about "Being Engaged In Life". It doesn't mean you have to climb mountains or run farther. It's about getting off the sidelines and participating in this crazy wonderful thing called life. 

2. While government involvement can be important at times, it about "changing lives, not passing a bill". I love that. What can we do personally to stay healthier and help others get active? 

3. It's about the individual saying "Me, I want to live a better life, here's what I am going to do to achieve that. Very few people can change your mind without you participating." BOOM!

4. "Start Moving, Don't Stop". Colin cuts through all the confusion about exercise with those four simple words. Get active, stay active. Start small, start big. Doesn't matter. Just start, and never stop.

5. "You Earn Your Health Span". You want to be healthier? You have to work for it. Health is not in a pill or potion. Health is earned with movement, eating nutritious food, and getting good sleep. Those things all take some effort. And you get to control that effort. No really, you do. 

Call this a sales pitch if you want, but here's my ask. What are YOU doing as an individual to get and stay engaged in life? Many of you train with us as a part of your efforts, and for that we are grateful. Do you know someone else that needs a little Cr8 Fitness in their life? We would sure appreciate you sharing how we have helped you, and then send 'em our way.  

Or maybe you have been on the fence for awhile about getting started with us. NOW is the time to take the leap and get started. 2019 is almost over, 2020 sits wide open in front of us. Take action now and fill out a training registration. 

Being Engaged In Life Starts With You. And if you let it, it starts today.

Make It Happen!

- DC

What’s Going On Around Here?

Where DID this year go? I seriously can't believe it's December already. The last few months particularly have flown right by, and life has been busy.

As you know if you train here with us, Nancy and I are building a house. No Duh, right? We decided when we started that we would complete the interior ourselves, and as is usually the case with me, I underestimated the time it would take to complete it. My goal was Thanksgiving (although to be fair I didn't say which YEAR). 🙂  It would be nice to celebrate Christmas in there, but we will see. Right now we are working on door and window trim, and there seems to be a whole lot of it. The electricians are scheduled to finish up today, and there is a little plumbing left to do. I made a list of what we have to finish - it's only a page and half, how long could it take? Yeah.

Anyway, I appreciate all y'alls patience as I have not been in the gym much. I do miss being in there and hope to be back with you soon. I am looking forward to when the house is complete and we can have a party, If you are interested in some kind of Open House, let me know.

December Happenings

Right now Coach Nancy has the "12 Days of Fitmas" Challenge happening, and she has some very festive and creative ways to help you get in here during what we know is a very busy season. But we are ALL busy, and fitness doesn't take a holiday, know what I mean? So get on in here, sweat out some stress, have some fun, and be with people who love you. And you absolutely DO NOT want to miss the world famous "12 Pains of Christmas" coming your way soon. What day? That will be like a wonderful present  - you just won't know until you open the gym door one of these days.

Our Winter Recovery Break is the week of December 23 - 29. This is my favorite recovery week, as it gives us some time before Christmas to wrap things up (see what I did there) and prepare for a wonderful day.

Stay tuned for plans the week after Christmas, we are still talking about what we want to do on New Years Eve. We'd love to hear your thoughts!

Stay Happy!

Coach Dean

It’s Never Over

It's time to stop short term thinking.

The modern American life is built around short term thinking. The latest tweet, or sound byte on the news. The new "it" actor or actress. The new cars coming off the assembly line. What's coming to Netflix this month? And the next day we forget about all that and are looking for the latest "new".

What good is that doing? 

I would submit none at all. This way of thinking, of living really, keeps us in this frenzied spin-cycle of trying to keep up and never quite being satisfied with all the blessing we already enjoy.

As I write this we are coming to the end of "Transform in 4", a focused period of building healthy nutrition habits centered around some really tasty food. And the inevitable question is...

"What's Next?"

How about this? Evaluate what you did over the last 4 weeks. What you did well with eating and exercise, and what you struggled with. On the things you did well, why? Was it because you planned and prepped? Was it because you liked the food? Was it because you maintained focus in a structured setting? And the things you didn't do well? Why not? It's not a judgement on your character, discipline or self-worth. It's just an "is". We evaluate, get help where we need it, and keep working at it. 

But DON'T think because the 4-week challenge is over that "It's" over.

Because it's never over. 

I love, love, love this quote from James Clear:

---

"How long does it take to build a habit?

21 days? 30 days? 66 days?

The honest answer is: forever. Because once you stop doing it, it is no longer a habit.

A habit is a lifestyle to be lived, not a finish line to be crossed. Make small, sustainable changes you can stick with."

---

Did you catch that? "A lifestyle to be lived, not a finish line to be crossed".

It's not that you HAVE to keep working on your health and fitness for the rest of your life.

It's that you GET to. 

Because I hate to break it to you. - You'll never get it perfect, all the time. But by sticking with it you'll find new ways to make it work better for the life you are living right now. 

So what's the small, sustainable change you can stick with right now?

Do THAT, and don't worry about the rest of it. Because once you do enough of those little "that's", real change starts to happen.

But it doesn't just happen by itself. It's up to you.

To Make It Happen!

- DC

P.S. - If you are not a Modernmeal Subscriber you are missing out on a whole lot of easy. It's a measly 50 cents a day, for crying out loud. Get It Here Now!

Thanksgiving Week Schedule Here!

It's almost unbelievable that the Holidays are upon us, and for me they really start with Thanksgiving. I just love everything about it. Food, family and football about sums it up!

Just a heads up on our schedule for next week. I know y'all are busy (so are we), but you'll want to make plans for your training. Yes, it IS that important. 🙂

Training Schedule Thanksgiving Week:

Mon, Tue, Wed: Regular Training Schedule All Classes

Thu, Fri: No Training

Sat: World Famous "Pies Off Thighs" Post-Thanksgiving Day All Family Training at 8:00am

If you have never been to Pies Off Thighs, you don't want to miss it!

Nancy and I are so grateful for you being part of our fitness family. You have been patient with us as the house is being built and I have no been in the gym as much, so thank-you. I feel very inadequate when trying to express how much it means that you put your trust in us and choose to train here.

I've been reading the board of all the things YOU are thankful for, and I am reminded we need to count our blessings more often!

Honor Where Honor Is Due

On November 11, 1919 President Woodrow Wilson spoke these words on the first Armistice Day, now known as Veterans Day:

"A year ago today our enemies laid down their arms in accordance with an armistice which rendered them impotent to renew hostilities, and gave to the world an assured opportunity to reconstruct its shattered order and to work out in peace a new and juster set of international relations. The soldiers and people of the European Allies had fought and endured for more than four years to uphold the barrier of civilization against the aggressions of armed force. We ourselves had been in the conflict something more than a year and a half.

With splendid forgetfulness of mere personal concerns, we remodeled our industries, concentrated our financial resources, increased our agricultural output, and assembled a great army, so that at the last our power was a decisive factor in the victory. We were able to bring the vast resources, material and moral, of a great and free people to the assistance of our associates in Europe who had suffered and sacrificed without limit in the cause for which we fought.

Out of this victory there arose new possibilities of political freedom and economic concert. The war showed us the strength of great nations acting together for high purposes, and the victory of arms foretells the enduring conquests which can be made in peace when nations act justly and in furtherance of the common interests of men.

To us in America the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service, and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of nations."

100 years later let us never forget the sacrifices that have been made and are still being made in service to our country by the men and women who serve in our Armed Forces.

For this service is not only the engagement of enemy in combat, as crucial and terrible as it must be.

It is the hundreds and thousands of hours of training, day after day, which brings many dangers of its own.

It's the families left behind during long deployments, which are still going on by the way. Time away that can never be reclaimed.

It is the wounds, yes physical, but often more damaging, emotional and psychological. Damage that may never really "go away".

It is careers interrupted, birthdays and anniversaries missed, funerals unattended. 

I am happy there are Veterans, but "Happy Veterans Day" hardly seems appropriate. There is too much there to reduce to a generic and trite saying.

It is no small thing to serve one's country in the military. 

Let's give Honor Where Honor Is Due.

Today and every day.

- DC

Pacing yourself is one thing…

The picture below from our friends at Growing Bolder made me laugh. A geriatric Bruce Wayne and Peter Parker is just not a pretty picture, right?

I've never really been one to "pace myself" very much. The alternative approach I prefer is to "work hard...rest hard(er). And when I neglect the second part of that for too long, there are consequences. Recovery is important, and as you age you need more rest and recovery. 

BUT...

You have to consistently do something to rest and recover from. As we age FREQUENCY of exercise is actually shown to be more important than INTENSITY of exercise. In other words how often we exercise is more important than how much weight we lift. As we get into our fifties and beyond the whole "use it or lose it" concept is heightened. Missing workouts is very counterproductive; strength and mobility start to be lost after only a couple weeks. And we all know how hard it is (and how sore we are) when we miss time and then try to get started again.

So here's my encouragement to you. The holidays are coming. You are going to be busy - you already know this. DON'T miss your training. YOU are as important as anything else that is tugging at you. My goal is as that as we age together, we defy the "normal" and do what it takes to stay active, mind, spirit and body. 

Never stop climbing (and smashing through) walls.

Keep Making It Happen!

- DC

Lessons from My Uncle

My mom brought my Uncle David over for a visit yesterday, and it was a great time. David lives in California, and I haven't seen him for 5 years or so. He was in New England for his 60th high school reunion, to put some affairs in order, and to visit mom and some friends.

He and mom came in and checked out the house we are building, and it was really fun for me to watch a guy who has been around a while just "get" what we are trying to accomplish with the design and layout. We talked about everything from the nautical look of the railings (and why) to the viability of solar powerin the Northeast, to the type of floor we chose to use. One of the lessons I learned is that those who have gained wisdom don't necessarily have all the answers, but they know how to ask really good questions. 

After the tour of the house we sat down on the couch and I just got to listen to him. Sure, he talked about some of the ailments that come with age, but we decided that getting old could be a lot better than the alternative (NOT getting old, if you catch my drift). He shared stories from his youth, and I learned some things about my mom's side of the family I never knew. We talked about the land he owns in Canterbury. He told me what he's up to now back home; how he helps his neighbors with their electrical issues, and his friend with the big chicken farm that he works on. We talked about tractors (which I have been looking at), what he has, and what I should look for and why. Another lesson I learned; Experience matters, but using that experience in the service of others matters more. And another; having the humility to actually listen to those with experience is pretty big too.

And in spite of all the health issues, and the advancing age, I also witnessed the fruits of staying active in mind and body for his 78 years. As he was leaving with my mom, I watched him head around the north end of the gym, disappear for a brief second, and then almost instantly reappear at the south end of the gym. He was headed behind the new house to go take a look at the backhoe we had been talking about. But what struck me was how fast he was moving, over pretty rough terrain (that part of the yard is pretty torn up from the construction and tree roots I have dug up). This is a guy who is clearly reaping the benefits of not sitting on his behind during his retirement years. The lesson I was reminded of; use it or lose it. 

Such a great visit, such good lessons.

So what does all this have to do with you? While we could the lessons I learned many different ways, here's one way we could apply it to taking care of ourselves and aging proactively.

Ask Good Questions. A really good question to consider; what positive thing can I do today, even right now, that will make my tomorrows brighter? Get more sleep, go to training, train hard once I get there, learn to cook something new? 

Learn from Experience. Don't be a know-it-all. Be a lifelong learner. And when you learn something new that matters, apply it and keep applying it.

Use It or Lose It. Getting older? Celebrate, don't whine about the aches and pains. I went to a funeral of a 53 year old friend a couple weeks ago. I am guessing you don't want to trade places with him. And while you are here, make the most of it. Get off the couch. Get active. Live, love and laugh. You are an amazing human being with talents and gifts the world needs. Don't hide them, use them. Enjoy the journey, even though so often it is hard. There is a big difference between being alive and really living.

Thanks Uncle David. Let's not wait another 5 years to do it again.

- DC

Your 3 Step Checklist for ProActive Aging

A few days ago "Active Aging Week 2019" came to an end, but our pursuit of "better" doesn't have to. 

I love this "checklist" from our friends at Growing Bolder, because at Cr8 Fitness we are trying to spread the same message; Aging doesn't have to mean "getting old". Here's how we, and you, can live life to the fullest for as long as we live:

  • Pursue Your Passions - Make one of them your favorite fitness pursuit, hiking, biking, swimming, lifting
  • Socialize With Others - Cr8 Fitness is our favorite place to hang
  • Help Those In Your Community - Support Catamount Womenaid

Check out the video below for some more lessons on ProActive Aging, and remember, if you want to keep moving, you have to keep moving!

- DC

The Autumn of Life

 I doubt any of us want to sit down and dwell on the fact that life is short. Yet reminders are all around us, particular those of us who are in the "second half", or more, of our time on this earth.

As I write this I am sitting in a hotel room in Indianapolis, Indiana. It's October 10, 2019. I am here to celebrate the life and mourn the death of a friend, Steve Ohman. He died Monday after a long, but too short, battle with cancer. 

Tomorrow morning before I head to the funeral home I am heading north to visit my in-laws. Dad has been battling pancreatic cancer for over a year now, and it will be great to see them. I know they know I love them, but I don't think they really have an idea of how precious they are to me. They accepted me as part of their family when they had every reason not to. They allowed me to marry my best friend and love of my life, even though I was really just a know nothing punk. They modeled love and grace and kindness, and I owe them a debt I can never repay.

And then comes Monday. It was on a Monday, October 14, 2002 to be exact, that I saw my son Derek alive for the last time. 17 years is a long time ago, only it seems like just yesterday. And while the anniversary always brings some pain, it remains a gift. A reminder of how foolish I can be with my time and my energy. A reminder that you really never do know what the next moment will bring. A reminder that every day is a short breath of time you can never get back once it's lost. It's also a reminder of the gift of friends, who are there to lift you up when things go sideways. My friend Steve's wife Sherri was one of those gifts when Derek died. She was a faithful prayer warrior who lifted us up to heaven when we needed it most, and the letter she sent shortly after his passing is more valuable than a mountain of gold. Steve's parents Dave and Marilyn have become dear to us through the Ohman families trial, and have been a picture of faith and grace to us.

I don't pretend to know why things like these happen. But I have never been more convinced that despite why I might think is unfair, there is a God that cares and has a purpose. I have experienced too much peace through trials and too much grace through hardship to think otherwise. You may think I am delusional, but I think not. You may say that belief in God is just my crutch, just something to make me feel better, but you'll never convince me. A God that the human mind can completely understand is not big enough to be God at all. There is too much evidence, if you are willing to look for it. I know I will never convince everyone, and that's ok. That's not my job. My job is to serve, and love, and give back the gifts I have been given the best way I can.

If you take nothing else away from all this, just remember to make the most of every moment, to love as hard as you can, to forgive the ones that don't deserve it, to show mercy to those who need it, and never, never, never forget to count your blessings, no matter how small. Autumn comes quickly, and passes by even faster. Live a life that matters while you can.

- DC



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