Category Archives for "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

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

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

With Your Help, We SHALL Overcome.

As you may know by now, Gov Sununu has issued a Stay-At-Home order from Midnight Friday March 27, 2020 to Monday May 4, 2020. As a "non-essential" business (who makes THOSE rules?) we will be doing what we HAVE been doing, just expanding it to its fullest potential by going all in on virtual training until we are allowed to open back up the gym doors.

Actually let me rephrase that - WE already have been all in on it, as those of you who are joining us that way know and love. Now YOU are going to be going all in too! 🙂

In anticipation that this might happen we order 70 spankin' new bands to use in our training. We will be getting those in over Recovery Week and making them available. We will also be keeping up on our stock of essential supplements (see what I did there?) so you won't run out. 

Look we all know this isn't ideal. But the fact of the matter is we had a recovery week scheduled for next week, which is going to give us some time to help you work through any technological kinks, get you the equipment you need, and get back up and training you the Cr8 Fitness way.

Here's the thing. Cr8 Fitness HAS a physical location, but Cr8 Fitness is NOT the little gray building on New Orchard Rd. in Epsom. 

YOU are Cr8 Fitness. You are the spirit and soul of what makes this place tick. We knew that from the very day we opened in our back yard - there was no gym then either. Any yet here we are. 

I am counting my blessings. 10 years ago the technology to do what we are doing wasn't even available to small guys like us, if at all. Now we can continue to interact and enjoy each other, even if we are miles away. Don't look at as anything more than amazing! it has been a lot of fun as we have invited each other into our "spaces" - Basements, home offices, living rooms -you name it.

So don't fret and don't even THINK about giving up. I am blessed with a techy mind, and I'll be available to help you get what you need up and running - one on one if that's what's necessary.

We SHALL overcome. By sticking together, loving on one another, and training like our lives depend on it. 

Because they do.

Make It Happen

Coach Dean

Better To Trip With The Feet…

“Better to trip with the feet than with the tongue.” —Zeno

None of us likes the experience of feeling "negative" emotions.

Stress, uneasiness, unhappiness, disappointment, or downright fear - they all feel, well, BAD.

And honestly they are supposed to. In fact it might have been one of those emotions that drove you to start training with us here at Cr8 Fitness, eating better, and working on building good health habits. I know the driver when I started my own 100 pound weight loss journey was fear; that I wouldn't have the energy to play with my kids, that I was doomed to have high blood pressure and diabetes, that I was digging myself and early grave. Those feelings drove me to take action and do something about it.

And I see you doing the same thing -  turning negative emotions into positive actions. 

Many of us are going through a lot of negative emotions right now. The Coranavirus is causing many people anxiety, fear, depression and anger. 

Can I encourage you not to play that game?

I am not being a Polyanna here. There are some real challenges we are facing, I am not blind to that. But don't let negative emotions linger. No good comes out of that. Respond, don't react. 

I am self-aware enough to know this. If I am not careful, when I am stressed I can say unkind things to the people I love the most. And that's where that quote comes in. Harsh words don't have an "undo" button. There are going to be some irritating people doing some irritating things through all this. But that's no different than any other time, right?

Now is the time to practice an extra level of kindness. We need each other. I realize that now more than ever. 

And I also know this - that Nancy and I are proud of you all, the amazing Cr8 Fitness family. The last couple weeks we have had to adjust and adapt the way we deliver our services. And you have adjusted and adapted with us. In fact you've done more than that - you have been an incredible encouragement along the way. It was a tiring week last week, I am not going to lie. But your support and pledge to continue to allow us to serve you in new and different ways is energizing. It makes us want to work even harder for you, so thank-you.

And Remember This: The reasons to commit to your healthy and fitness have come into even SHARPER focus over the last couple weeks. 

The reason older adults are more at risk for COVID-19 has less to do with the number of years they have been on earth, and more to do with the fact they have not been fighting the good fight to stay active and healthy. Those who have sought to preserve and build muscle, eat nutritious foods, and maintain healthy immune systems are way ahead of the game. Now is not the time for any of us to stop fighting that good fight. 

If there is good to come out of this, and there will be, I hope one of the "good" is that more people will purpose to take care of themselves better.

And practice more kindness.

Yes Dean Carlson, I am talking to you.

Make It Happen!

- DC

P.S. If you want to practice a little kindness AND help our local small business community, click here

5 Ways YOU Can Lead When Life Gets Crazy

Truth is you already ARE a leader. 

You may not lead a company, a country, or an army. But not many of us do.

And you don't have to lead hundreds, thousands or millions to make an impact.

Whether you realize or not, a commitment to better health shows real leadership. It demonstrates that you are not content to let "stuff" just happen to you. You are not content to give in to what others say are inevitable as we age - low energy, less muscle, more weight gain. You know that if you take action the "inevitable" can be delayed, and you can not just live, but thrive.

Because you are rising to the challenge, others are watching you. And many are inspired to take on the challenge themselves. That is leadership.

Right now, at this point in history, the whole world needs good leadership. But it starts at home, it starts with you and me. The best leaders are focused on how to serve others.  Here's some ways to lead and serve in the days to come.

Be Kind. Yes, people can be jerks. Don't be one of them. Respond don't react. Let the other guy be the blowhard on social media. Criticizing someone else is easy. ​

Reach Out: Is there someone you know that might need a hand? An elderly person who needs to know someone is out there that cares? The kid down the street who might be hungry because schools are shut down and that is what they rely on? Now is not the time to have a policy discussion about the merits or failings of public assistance. Now is the time to help where you can.

Stay Calm: Yes, things are unsettled and for some a little (or a lot) scary. Stress levels are up for many. It's easy to get irritated and angry with those around us, especially family. Sometimes I just need to go outside and take a walk. You are welcome to join me.

Lean In: Keep your routine as much as possible. Circumstances around you may have changed, your health and fitness needs have not. Don't stay up all night keeping up on the latest news - get your sleep. Stay active and keep moving. Put healthy food on your plate. Keep the alcohol consumption reasonable.

Stay in Touch: We are family, don't cut us off. Visit the "Fit, Healthy, Happy" group and see what's going on. Let us know how we can help. One of the best parts of what we do is getting to see you every day, and if and when that can't happen in person, we gotta find a way! 

Thank-you for being part of our family, and allowing us to be part of your life. It's times like these when we realize how special of a place you have in our hearts.

Oh, the best leaders also wash their hands - often! 🙂

Be good. Do good.

- DC

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