G.I. Cain Report (No. 2)

October 17, 2011

Four short weeks away until I debut my one-arm push-ups—I’m almost there!!!  I have registered with the Wounded Warrior Project to hold a “Believe in Heroes” celebration on Veterans Day, when I will perform my shoulder salute to all of our brave veterans along with debuting my “Stronger Push-Ups” workout video.  I also plan to have a push-up pledge for anyone to take, in honor of our service men & women.  More details to follow…

Another way I have been preparing for my single arm push-ups is by doing ‘opposing work’ as seen below…

It’s important to keep our muscles balanced, so when we do intense abdominal work (like push-ups), we need to also strengthen our opposing muscles.  What’s good for the front is good for the back, right?

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G.I. Cain Report (No. 1)

Wide-leg front plank

Wide-leg front plank

September 12, 2011

In just over eight weeks, I will debut my one-arm push-ups—my shoulder salute to all of our brave veterans.  I’ve been working hard at it and have made good progress over the summer.  One of the strengthening exercises I’m doing is a wide-leg, narrow-arm plank (see picture).  I go down halfway and hold, then lower myself almost to the ground and hold, and then come back up, pausing midway again.  Now, if I can just do it with one arm! (To be continued…).

A plank is a great way to strengthen your upper body, abdominal muscles, and even your thighs—all at the same time.  So, here’s an ‘age stronger’ tip–practice planking…

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Check One Off the Bucket List

August 26, 2011

Anyone who knows me can attest to my love of setting and achieving lofty goals.  I guess this started in my tweens, when I became a Girl Guide (the Belizean equivalent of Girl Scouts).  I wanted to cover my uniform sash with as many badges as I possibly could … baking, sewing, craft, water safety, first aid, survival, sports, agility, performing arts … hence, the bucket list began!

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One Arm Push-up Pushed Back

Memorial Day, 2011

Here’s a little ‘push-up montage’ I’ve put together to show you I’m not slacking off! ;-)

The words of my insightful coach, Erica, are still ringing in my head, “You picked the right goal, but the wrong date!”  Indeed, I did.  Today is the date I chose last November to debut my one-arm push-up (see “A Shoulder Salute”).

Alas, there will be no shoulder salute this Memorial Day—my neck and left shoulder are currently opposing this pledge.  It’s a mild protest, but one I must respect.

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Letting Go of My Traps

Letting Go... and a Crow

Letting Go… and a Crow

April 29, 2011

Remember the tune, “Please release me, let me go…?”  Well, that’s what my trapezius has been singing to me for many years.  It’s only been recently that I’ve listened.

The trapezius muscle is large and diamond-shaped, extending posteriorly from the base of the skull down to T12 (lowest of the thoracic vertebrae), and across the back of the shoulders.  It helps move and stabilize the head, neck, shoulder blades and shoulders.  The trapezius or “traps” (as we personal trainers like to call it) is the muscle so many of us tend to overuse when we’re working at our desk or on the computer.  It’s the one that holds our tension and makes our shoulders creep up toward our ears.

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Love Letter to My Heart

My heart beats for me--more than 36 million times a year!

My heart beats for me–more than 36 million times a year!

February 14, 2011

Today I’m sending love to a very special Valentine—my heart…

Showing you some appreciation and gratitude is the least I can do, considering all you do for me.  I know I wouldn’t be much without you.  You are my center, my rhythm, my pulse of life…my very own genuine heartthrob!

Even though you have your moments of relaxation, I know you work tirelessly on my behalf, without a single day of rest.  Pumping almost 100,000 times a day just to make sure I’m nourished, cleansed, and protected.  Wow!  One hundred thousand times—that’s over 36 million contractions a year and hopefully over 3 billion in my lifetime!  Absolutely amazing!!!

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Remembering Jack LaLanne

"Better to wear out than rust out!" -Jack LaLanne

“Better to wear out than rust out!” -Jack LaLanne

January 24, 2011

I was sad to hear one of my heroes passed away yesterday.  Jack LaLanne (1914-2011), lived and breathed fitness, and I bet he died as one of the fittest 96-year-old men around.  He truly was a pioneer when it came to teaching and motivating others to exercise their bodies and take care of their health.

I remember seeing him on TV for the first time when I was just a skinny kid.  I remember the jumpsuit, the organ music, the muscles, the jumping jacks, and the dog.  But, what really left an impression was his energy and enthusiasm, and his infectious “you can” attitude.

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Mental Pause

Mental Pause aka Menopause

Mental Pause aka Menopause

January 3, 2011

There are times in our lives, certain moments, when life as we know it is changed forever.  We may realize such moments with vivid clarity, or they may pass us by unaware—no matter, they happen just the same—a precise pause in the rhythm of time, as if life stops and then moves in a different direction.  For me, it was a string of moments, coming much too soon and lingering much too long.  It was quite a rift, turning my life upside down and branding me with an early menopause at the age of forty-two.

If you were to look up the meaning of menopause, you’d see something like, “…time when menstruation ends…” or “…the permanent cessation of menstruation…” But, it is so much more than that.  For me (and so many other women), ‘menopause’ was a nightmarish ride through hormone hell that I thought would never end.  The dictionary doesn’t talk about what you have to experience to get there!  It was a total mind-body-spirit grand slam, leaving my thoughts foggy, morose & agitated, zapping my energy, muscle mass & bone density, and temporarily robbing me of passion, purpose & connection (not to mention sleep!).

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A Shoulder Salute

I pledge a shoulder salute to our veterans.

I pledge a shoulder salute to our veterans.

Veteran’s Day 2010

As I pause to thank and bless our veterans and military for choosing a path wrought with sacrifice, hardship and loss, I’m so grateful it’s not me.  Grateful I can be home with my family for the holidays.  Grateful I don’t have to surrender to carrying out decisions that may not be my own.  Grateful I have all my limbs.

On this day I pledge to undergo the grueling training necessary to perform a proper ‘shoulder salute’—a one-arm push-up.  Yes! I’m going to join the ranks of G.I. Jane and Jack ‘Curly’ Palance, not only in honor of our military men & women, but in celebration of my 45th birthday.  I reckon it’s a worthy goal because I am committed to not wilting as I enter mid-life.  I will bravely march on, aging stronger, from the inside-out!  And, what better way to prove this than mastering one-arm push-ups?

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In Honor of My Left Hand

In-honor-of-my-left-hand-001-300x300May 15, 2010

I have recently come to know my left hand better.  It kind of happened by accident—a bike accident to be specific.  A bike accident that happened because someone wasn’t paying attention and opened his pick-up door as I was passing by, to be more specific.  So, I broke my right hand, which is how it goes since I’m right-handed, but this misfortune has forced me to pay attention to parts of me that I take for granted.  That’s why I am dedicating this post to my left hand.

It was there for me, loyal and steadfast in my time of need.  I now realize that it’s been there for me all along, waiting to serve lovingly, willing to be leaned on.  All I needed to do was ask.  Isn’t that true for so much in Life?

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