All Posts by Coach Dean

Cr8 Gardens Vlog 6/22/2020

I figured the happy occasion of harvesting the first Zucchini and Summer Squash would be a great time for some Cr8tive Garden updates! Two videos for your viewing pleasure; one of the goings on inside, and the other outside. Cool stuff happening!

How does your garden grow? 🙂

Inside: Microgreens and Hydroponics
Outside: From Cherry Trees to Cherry Tomatoes

Are You Antifragile?

Have you ever thought about what the opposite of "fragile" is? Being fragile is defined as:

fragile adjective
(of an object) easily broken or destroyed
(of a person) not strong or sturdy; delicate and vulnerable

So it stands to reason that the opposite of fragile is to not be those things, right? 

Author Nassim Nicholas Talib, in his 2012 book Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder takes it one (or more) steps beyond. Here's how he describes Anti-fragilty;

"Some things benefit from shocks; they thrive and grow when exposed to volatility, randomness, disorder, and stressors and love adventure, risk and uncertainty. Yet, in spite of the ubiquity of the phenomenon, there is no word for the exact opposite of fragile. Let us call it anti-fragile. Anti-fragility is beyond resilience or robustness. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the anti-fragile gets better."

Now Mr. Talib and I don't agree on everything, who does? For instance he isn't a big fan of training in gyms, not random enough I guess.

I on the other hand look at it this way; consistent resistance training using progressive overload absolutely fits the antifragile paradigm. You are breaking down muscle tissue in the gym, and when you use proper recovery methods - nutrition and proper rest among them - you then create a physiological response that makes your muscles stronger and more resilient to the same stress through supercompensation. 

In many circumstances our immune systems work the same way. Exposure creates resistance. Vaccines work this way. I am convinced that kids need to play in the dirt, run around, and take some bumps and bruises for the same reason. And we can all be big kids, right?

It also goes way beyond training in the gym. Nancy and I are looking at ways to make our business more antifragile. Covid-19 hit our industry hard. Being classified as "non-essential" hit our psyches pretty hard. In response we are creating a new division called Cr8tive Gardens and are building the infrastructure so that if something like this happens again we are able to provide additional essential services.

In my other life as a business coach focusing on finance and profitability, I have seen a very tangible outworking of antifragile in action. Individuals and businesses who have cash management strategies in place and were debt-free before the crises are the ones who are in position to take advantage of the rebound; not just survive but actually thrive and get stronger because they were actively preparing for worst case, even when there was no evidence anything was going to happen. 

Look, you don't become antifragile overnight. Robustness and Resiliency are worthy goals and achievements. I hurt my hand pretty seriously Friday (stupidity, don't ask) and I am amazed by how rapidly it appears to be healing. I try to stay in good shape and keep my immune system healthy for circumstances just like this. I don't quite have the healing powers of Wolverine, but it really does help.

So how can you work on being anti-fragile?

Practice good health habits. A anti-inflammatory diet rich in nourishing foods. Good sleep habits. Recreation that challenges the body and mind. And of course, regular exercise which includes resistance and weight bearing exercise. That's where we come in.

Covid-19 has pulled us into places we never thought we would go. Right now we have training options that are practically "excuse-free". We are back to training in the gym 5 classes a day following the state safety guidelines. We simulcast those via Zoom so you can train at home if you choose. That training is also recorded and posted so our members can do it later if needed. And we have added 2 outdoor classes a day. 

Robustness, Resiliency and Anti-Fragility don't just happen.

You gotta Make It Happen.

Start Here Now

Kindness, Respect and Love

And while you are at it....

Throw a little patience into that mix as well, please.

As we prepare to open our physical gym next Monday, there are no easy answers how to do it "right". Nancy has done an amazing job reaching out to you, seeing what your thoughts are, and then working to come up with a plan to get things rolling. 

We are doing everything within our power to do a number of things at the same time:

  1. Work within the guidelines the state has issued
  2. Provide a safe, healthy environment
  3. Serve you our amazing clients in the best way we know how

This is going to require some change, and we all know how much we human beings love change. I think most of us would just like to go back to the way things were, like right now. I am with you. That would be the easiest for everyone involved.

That just isn't going to happen. Not yet, and I don't have a timeline for "when".

I want to assure you. We are listening, we hear you, and we are responding. There are some things we are being required to do that we would rather not do - advance scheduling is one of them. It isn't convenient, it's hard to manage, and it can cause conflicts. I get it. 

But each of us as individuals have our own part to play. This is one we need you to get on board with.

Here's another.

When it comes right down to it, we all have our thoughts and opinions on the crisis and how it was handled. Yours and mine may be different. 

Can that be OK?

No doubt as we first start gathering together some of those thoughts will be shared. Here's my ask.

Do it kindly, with respect.

Your value as a human being is not altered because you don't agree on issues. There is a lot of very unnecessary nastiness "out there". Can we really preach love and tolerance for all and then publically blast certain individuals we don't like and wish harm on them? Can I have a different opinion than you without you thinking I am a moron? If not. I would suggest that says more about you than me.

And I am not talking about anybody in particular. There is plenty of embarrassing rhetoric going around no matter where you stand on issues.

Cr8 Fitness has always been a safe space to come and be who you are. Training here comes with rights AND responsibilities.

Kindness. Respect. Patience. And yes, showing a little bit of love wouldn't hurt either.

Can't wait to see you all soon!

- DC

P.S. Please be kind to Nancy too. She has done an amazing job serving you in very difficult circumstances over the last 10 weeks. You have an extraordinary coach. Don't take it for granted. Or else. Just kidding. Maybe. 

I Actually Forgot Our Birthday

True Story!

I walked out to talk to Nancy after her 9:00am ladies class and she was working hard (as usual) making some birthday videos to celebrate 12 years of "The Little Gym in the Woods" being in existence.

I have to admit - it's been a challenging last few weeks. I am grateful to all of our clients who have stuck with us during the Covid-19 pandemic. Some days I honestly feel like the government is actually doing their dead-level best to put certain industries out of business for good, and it's not just gyms. It's a scary time for small businesses like ours. The normal flow of business has totally been turned on its head. It's very difficult to replace the clients we have lost. Revenues have taken a hit. We can't serve our clients in the way we are used to or want to.

And yet here we are. 12 years. On May 8, 2008, in the middle of another really bad economic downturn, we ran our first training. 5:00am, under lights we rigged up on a basketball hoop in our yard. 1 paying client and 9 crazy friends turned into 2 locations, one of which we sold on 2018 and is now under the stewardship of the amazing Meagan Sbat. You might know that gym as it exists under our original name - Get Fit NH. I am so grateful for all the wonderful people and amazing relationships built while that gym was under our care. 

I don't know what tomorrow brings. I don't know how many more years Cr8 Fitness will be around; we are probably going to retire sometime in the next 15 or 20 years, right? 🙂 But however long we are here we will continue to serve you in the best way we know how. To get better, like you are getting better. To coach you to eat well and exercise smart, to have fun, and to enjoy life.

We couldn't, and can't, do it without you.

Thank-you for choosing to train with us.

Happy Birthday, and here's to many more.

Coach Dean

The Mission (Not) Impossible Challenge Is Here!

I don't know about you, but this whole "stay-at-home" thing has got me itching for a challenge I can actually DO something about!

That's why Nancy and I came up with the "Mission (Not) Impossible" Challenge.

For the month of May we are going to get our keisters out of chair, turn off the PC for a few minutes, and do some sweating - preferably for a few minutes every day.

It's a super simple challenge. When you sign up you'll be sent a scoresheet with some super secret exercises (at least until you sign up). The scoresheet will have 4 columns with a boatload of exercises (I seriously can't remember how many and I don't feel like looking) 🙂

Every time you complete an exercise for the prescribed amount of reps, you cross it off the sheet. Every time you complete all the exercises in a column, your earn a ticket for one of 3 fabulous prizes. The more columns you complete the more tickets you earn the more chances you have to win some swag. If you finish all 4 columns on one sheet, you can print another one and keep going if you want - booyah!

That IS Simple!

Here's some tips:

  1. If you stay consistent, you’ll likely win. 
  2. If you don’t you’ll likely lose
  3. Cool prizes up for grabs. Like your favorite tub of protein with some brussels sprouts (just seeing if you are paying attention)

The challenge is aimed at...

Accelerating your overall results & getting you ​burning some extra calories

  • Keeping you focused and super fit away from the sessions
  • Accelerating your overall results & getting you burning some extra calories

We'll even set you up with daily reminders on MyCoach so you don't forget!

And there are just a few simple rules:

1. Don't start before May 4th you cheater

2. Last day to complete your columns is Sunday May 31st

3. Scorecards have to be turned in by Friday June 5th

How much for all this amazing wonderfulness you ask?

$5?

$50?

One MILLION Dollars?

No. It's Just Free.

Except the sweating and getting your butt kicked part.

Invite your friends and enemies, it's gonna be a party!

Sign Up Below. 

- DC

Enter your name and email here and you are good to go!

How Does Your Garden Grow?

We are upping our "garden game" this year!

Seems like a good idea for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the ultimate "eat local"! 🙂

Below are a few pics of what Nancy and I have been working on while we have been spending so much more time at home, ahem. 

We have built 4 - 16' raised beds and 2 - 3'x'6' cold frames, using some sliding doors from the old house that were headed to the dumpster. We have also started a bunch of seedlings and are playing around with a hydroponic grow tower from LettuceGrow.

On Wednesday we planted some more fruit and nut trees (somehow appropriate, huh?) as well as more blueberry bushes, and Nancy transplanted 18 raspberry bushes.

We are also mulling using part of the foundation of the old house and building a greenhouse on top of it, building in an earth battery and perhaps carving out some space for a root cellar.

Do you garden? Please share what you are doing!

I’m Curious

Where is your mind at right now in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic? Have you given up? Has your nutrition and exercise gone to the dogs?

There's a buzz in fitness circles that while all this is going on it's actually a good thing to turn to comfort food, eat more than you should, and relax on the exercising. After all, it's a stressful time and you don't need to stress out over those things.

NO, NO, NO. And Yes.

It's true that you don't need more stress (when do you ever?) and you don't need to stress out over what you eat and your exercise program.

But you know what? You should never be stressing out about those things. What good does that do?

And NO. You shouldn't just let everything you know to be true go to the wayside during these unusual and unsettled times.

Because no matter what happens, what the new normal is, you still need to be practicing the habits that build a healthy immune system, a strong body, and a resilient mindset. 

Or maybe that's the issue. The habit part I mean. 

You see during times of stress we fall back to what is easy for us to do. If it's easier to eat crap food we are going to do it. If it's easier to binge watch TV, we are going to do it.

You may not believe this, but you really can build habits that are supportive and healthy, even in stressful times.

When you are in the habit of putting veggies on your plate ALL the time, why would you stop now? When you are in the habit of reading, studying, meditating or praying, why would you stop now? When you are in the habit of getting daily vigorous activity in, why would you stop now?

Lean In to those things, don't run away from them.

You may not be able to change all your circumstances right now, but in reality, that is almost always the case. If those things didn't stop you before, why are they stopping you now?

And if those circumstances did stop you before, is this the wake up call you need to get off your butt and get working on them? YOU are in control of that. Not a virus. Not the government. 

YOU!

Here's what you need to do next:

  1. If you are a member of the little training gym in the woods, Cr8 Fitness, then take advantage of the training and camaraderie that is still going on here, every training day. Get on our live ZOOM trainings, or the Facebook Live trainings, which are recorded so you can do them anytime.
  2. If you don't train with us yet, get started today. Here's How.
  3. To work on those healthy nutrition habits and build the "stress busting skills" you need to thrive all the time, you have got to get on board with world-class nutrition coaching with ProCoach Here Now

I really don't get this "time to slack off" thing, and I don't want to. I have been unhealthy, sick all the time, and 100 pounds overweight.

It really sucks! Why do the things that drag me back that way?

Remember Moses from the Bible? You know Egypt, plagues, the Red Sea? Wandering in the desert for 40 years with a bunch of ingrates? That dude put up with some serious stuff in his life! He is an inspiring character in many ways, and I have always been motivated by what is written about his death.

"Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone."

You and I are probably not going to live to 120, but what about the second part? We may not be able to control that outcome, but you can bet your bottom dollar you can do something about the behaviors, habits, and skills that will make it more likely.

Make It Happen.

- DC

Your Coronavirus Stress Guide

I don't think it's any secret that stress levels are running a little high right now. 

If you are anything like me, someone who likes to plan, the unknown is what is the most stressful. But when it comes down to it, the current situation, with all it's lockdowns, stay-at-home orders, and social distancing is just circumstance, and an in-your-face reminder that some things are not in our control. 

But many things still are. ​

While we may not control the cause of our stress, we can control our response.

When I get stressed I reach for food. It's not even always the sweets and crap either. Sometimes it's just eating plain too much of whatever is in front of me. That's a stress response, and over a very short period of time it has unintended consequences. Like 10 extra pounds.

One of my other responses is a really short fuse. Things that normally would roll now build up and can explode in a torrent of hurtful words. I am not proud of it, in fact it makes me want to crawl into a hole. 

And this isn't just a matter of negative emotions either. Your healthy is seriously impacted when stress is not recognized and steps taken to manage it. Chronic stress wreaks havoc on your hormones, cause harmful inflammation by raising cortisol levels, causes weight gain and many other pathologies we are just learning about.

So what can we do about it?

The first step to dealing with stress is actually noticing you are getting stressed before it reaches the "poor decision making" point. What is causing it? Can you step away from the "trigger" for awhile? If not, what are some good ways to deal with it?

I would encourage you to download your "Beat the Stress" guide, which contains 24 ways to reduce stress not only in the midst of Covid-19, but all the time. 

Get your FREE copy, and then put one "stress buster" into action today.

Your body, and maybe those you are quarantine with, will thank you for it. 

Make It Happen!

Coach Dean

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Join the Cr8 Family from “Away”: Online Training Is (has been) Available

Note To Current Clients: We Got You Covered, Keep Doing What You Are Doing! 🙂

A fairly well kept secret around Cr8 Fitness is that we have been doing distance-based training for over two years with a select group of clients. To this point they have all been clients we have previously trained in our gyms, moved away, and wanted to continue with us. We only offered to that clientele because they had been through our movement screening and assessment and were familiar with our coaching standards, which we are pretty particular about. 

These past couple years have taught us a lot about how to coach clients remotely, allowing us to go so far as being part of the rehab team post-surgery for both shoulders and knees, from nearly 2000 miles away. Home or away, we are pretty good at what we do. 🙂 The rapid advances in technology over the last few years now allows us to assess remotely, provide and monitor custom programming, and coach proper technique through video or live. Quality coaching online is a reality and happening every day, so even though gyms are closed, you can keep (or even start) a comprehensive training program.

There are a couple different ways to directly work with the Cr8 Fitness coaches online. To learn more and see which is the right fit for you, please contact us here and tell us a little about yourself. I am confident we can serve you well during this time and into the future. 

Here's to Making It Happen!

Coach Dean

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