What a beautiful morning on the river. I started out before my group showed up by doing a quick 6 mile paddle past Wheeler and back. No one around except some deer on the islands and some eagles flying above and some Mallards looking for some privacy and lots of swallows having out under the bridge. Got back to the dock and prepared for the class, they showed up early and that was perfect. Here are some shots of this lovely family visiting from Arizona. Their daughter is graduating from Lewis and Clark and the coast and a SUP paddle was part of a perfect way to celebrate. I am a lucky person that I get to be part of these celebrations in life!
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A great local area resource for all you paddling enthusiasts!
It’s time to get back in the gym, summer is over and the rain is on its way or already here depending on when you read this. If you get going now you will be way ahead of the winter blues.
As a reminder (like you need it), here is the short list with the reasons why your body and your mind needs to exercise:
1. Exercise controls weight
2. Exercise combats health conditions and disease
3. Exercise improves mood
4. Exercise boosts energy
5. And so and so on……
I can hear you now; “I would go to the gym but you just don’t like it”. Boy do I wish I had a dollar for the all the times I have heard these words: “I just get bored in the gym” or “I know I should lift weights but I just don’t like it – it bores me.” And this is the topic I want to address.
Bored? “What does that mean? Psychology boredom is a state of mind in which a person feels a lack of interest in where they are and what they are doing. Boredom means a problem or failure with a commitment of attention. Philosophically boredom is a condition characterized by one’s perception of the environment or task as dull and tedious. Boredom is essentially an issue with attention and awareness and in a sense this is how we connect with the world around us and this is a choice we make. When we choose to be bored we chose not to be successful. If you covet boredom and allow yourself to flounder in it than your ability to do whatever the task at hand is will not be done with any joy or success.
All too often I see people dispassionately lifting weights or doing their exercise program, chatting away, lifting a weight in-between a round of texting or reading a newspaper, anything to not be present. No wonder so many people tell me they find the gym boring – I would be too, if I spent my time as they did.
Without the mental connection or the emotional investment in what you are doing you are destined for boredom and disappointment. It may seem a bit harsh but exercise is exactly like life, if you muddle your way through with little focus you will get exactly that- MEH!
For me, however when I go to the gym or workout (not every single time but mostly), I feel a renewed sense of joy and excitement. This is a private time (or with friends that feel the same way), to attune my mind and connect with my body-my muscles whether it is my heart, lungs, legs or upper body. It is an opportunity to feel the genesis of growth and circulation.
Practice being present: when you walk into the gym, get on the treadmill, lift weights – stop for a moment, take a deep breath, observe, determine your goals for the day and pay attention. Turn your focus to where you want to go, start practicing and strengthening the muscle of determination and choice. If you choose to want to strengthen your body and improve your overall health then get started. Expect yourself to achieve results and in order to do that you must engage fully. What would you tell your kid if they were studying a math problem or practicing an instrument? Would you tell them to “go ahead turn on the TV, talk to your friends, do whatever you want just so you don’t have to pay attention to what you are trying to accomplish?” No you would not, so why would you allow yourself to be that way? Once you get started on this concept to fitness you will find it gets easier and momentum will take over and the happiness of feeling more fit will start to quiet the internal mind chatter and the desire for distraction.
The choice is yours and once you decide and commit you will be successful!
Janice Gaines BS LMT
Health and Fitness Trainer
A NEW KIND OF NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION
This New Year I would like to suggest a different kind of resolution. Instead of thinking of ways in which you can improve yourself, I suggest make a resolution that each day you do a random act of kindness and work towards improving someone else’s life.
Our New Year’s resolutions are often born from thoughts and feelings about ourselves; things we don’t like and want to change. I have noticed in my own life that when I am feeling bad it is easier for me to act in ways that are not so good for me, like eating the wrong things or drinking or other ways that actually can make me feel worse. I also have noticed that when I do something good for someone else especially during those hard times I feel better. As a massage therapist and fitness/health trainer for almost 3 decades there has been many times I have not felt like working because I was sad or mad about something in my own life but being work and having that responsibility I had to continue and to my amazement and gratefulness I would start feeling better almost as soon as I started either doing a massage and helping someone else out with their problems. You see we are all struggling and we all share the same challenges, the more we reach out to help others the better our own lives will be.
There was a study (you knew I would quote a study), published in which participants were asked to behave helpfully toward another person for just a few minutes a day. After six months, participants reported a much greater self-esteem and happiness than those in the control group. Not only is doing good deeds sure to spike your happy meter, but more and more research proves there are physical benefits, too. Studies have found that people who make a habit of helping others report better health than those who don’t, and seniors who do volunteer work may actually live longer. In 1890 William James (brother to author Henry James) wrote a two-volume magnum opus The Principles of Psychology and is still required reading for students of behavioral science. James paid attention to the relationship between emotion and behavior. Conventional wisdom tells us that your emotions cause you to behave in certain ways. James became convinced that this commonsense view was unfinished and he proposed a new theory which took 6 decades to become accepted. He hypothesized that the relationship between behavior and feelings is a two-way street. By changing behaviors you can change feelings. As Aristotle said “we are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
I found an article written by Dr Oz and DR Rozien, they explain that when people give to others, whether it be money, time, or some other act of kindness, they experience a rush of endorphins similar to a runner’s high. Even just thinking about helping people can boost positive emotion, strengthen your immune system, reduce stress, and decrease pain. In one study 20 percent of the people lost weight after they started volunteering. . Creating small acts of kindness is behaviors that can improve your feelings of self. It has been scientifically proven to have therapeutic that it can help those with depression disorders.
On Friday December 14th we as a nation had our breath knocked out of us. The grief is more than words can describe and it is almost beyond our abilities to know what to do or even begin to breathe again. A suggestion made by the wife of the Rabbi in Sandy Hook CT appeals to me. “What we need is a good flood – a flood of kindness, of caring, of compassion, of goodness, of warmth, of benevolence, of support, of reaching out. There are, thank G-d, enough of us on this planet to make sure that not one human being ever feels lost. We need a Flood of connections. Not just the trickles that come from time to time, but everywhere, all the time. We need to be at least as aware of the ecology of human behavior as we are of the ecology of the physical resources of the planet. It has to penetrate all aspects of our world – the worlds of business, the media, education, culture, science, the arts, medicine – we need a flood, a good flood. Every single one of us has to know that we can make a difference, and we need to put serious thought to how we can best do that.”