Are you feeling Adored, Appreciated & Admired?

YESTERDAY IS HISTORY TOMORROW IS A MYSTERY TODAY IS A GIFT THAT'S WHY IT'S CALLED THIE.png

…. because you are!!

To all you mothers, grandmothers, step-moms, sisters, significant others, aunts, sisters, spouses, daughters and friends in our community… 

Happy Mother’s Day! You give of yourself unceasingly — you nurture your families, friends, colleagues and communities. Your work is immeasurable, yet essential. And you deserve to feel honored!

I have reflected over the years on the meaning of this holiday… the emotions….the expectations (alongside which of my “love languages” is calling out most deeply at the time!). And I have come to appreciate the most precious and life-giving gift that my children give to me. 

Yes, the Hallmark cards, the flowers and the coffee mugs are uuuhhhhh-MAZE-ing. But that’s not what I’m talking about. 

My Makayla and David are my little providers of.... pause. They give me the one thing I need the most: the NOW. Their memories and their plans mean so very little relative to the number of stripes on a flower's petal or the airplane wings that suddenly appear as they stretch out their arms. They leave a damn disaster of everything they touch, and they could care less because they are so busy dreaming.

So.... to you ladies, I wish you an experience with the present. I hope you find a few moments this weekend to honor your various roles, regardless of how your family/friends show their love. Enjoy a glimpse of the world through children’s eyes, perspectives that have no burdens or regrets, no plans or expectations. In this pause, may you find nourishment for your spirit.

I can’t end without mentioning your physical health (of course!); I hope, as always, that you have ample opportunity to nourish your body. To provide some inspiration I have included a set of recipes….some of my favorite quick and easy meals. Who knows - maybe if you leave a printout on the counter, something MAGICAL will happen…

With love,

Julie 

Proprioception

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↗️To improve our balance, agility, responsiveness... 

↘️To reduce our clumsiness, risk of injury, instability... 

I integrate proprioception training into the ladies’ workouts, using:

⚖️ Balance drills 
👀 Exercises with our eyes closed
🤾🏼‍♀️ Plyometrics (jump training)
... and of course
🏋🏼‍♀️Strength training 

And this is all quite helpful so we avoid things like 
😣tripping on the stairs, 
😩slipping on wet concrete, or
😱 bumping into a Ferrari during #montereycarweek

When you’re healthy.....

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“Mom, did you know that when you’re healthy it helps the family?”⁣

“That’s a great point, Love. Tell me more.”⁣

[Insert extensive dialogue about being able to bring in loads of grocery bags and even help little bro with his chores, etc.]⁣

**************⁣

Gosh, is it really that simple? The framing by an eight-year-old narrows all the complexities of our health ambitions into a single concept: our contribution.⁣

Whatever your role, whatever “the family” is to you (your partner, children, siblings, parents, your friends, your team at school or work, your soccer team, your faith or local community) don’t you agree? When you’re healthy, can’t you help your people more? ⁣

Allow me to capture a #momwin while we’re here because this is the **real stuff** of my work. And the message is sinking in with my girl. I can tell because her question was not about how our health relates to our looks, body image, popularity or even competition (all that annoying fitness industry marketing bull💩)! ⁣

Our HEALTH directly supports our ability to be HELPFUL. And that is the very root of our #purpose.⁣

Good call, baby girl!



#simplehealth
#motivation
#accountability
#youarenotalone
#trainingforlife
#icoachwomen
#mindsetiseverything
#pacificgrove
#pebblebeach
#monterey
#primemonterey

Everyone wants a dramatic story.

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We want to hear about the 100 pound weight-loss transformation.

Maybe you envision celebrating your own success upon dropping three dress sizes.

I am grateful to have a unique and amazing perspective as co-celebrator in a handful of these transformations. And I can tell you this: there is ** No. Dramatic. Story **

The solid black line separating the typical “before” from the “after” weight loss photo is not a blip on the screen.

Yes, it is filled with some awesome WINS, some phenomenal DAYS, some incredible experiences with victory and momentum and accomplishment.

But, it is never without setbacks, commitment, reprioritization, frustration, self-doubt, sacrifice, commitment (did I say that already?) and tough, TOUGH inner work.

It IS doable. The women I work with are powerful models of what is possible. They take deliberate action to make changes, sometimes via big leaps - other times by small incremental steps. But they are constantly conscious of moving in the right direction. 

With real commitment, the daily battle morphs into long term progress and then eventually you have your own black line and the story to fill it. And THAT is your dramatic story to share! 

#perspective
#trainingforlife
#igotyourback
#motivation
#accountability
#accountabilitycoach 
#pacificgrove
#pebblebeach
#primemonterey
#monterey

Gremlins!


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I’ve been known to use 😇 charm 😉 wit and 🤣 humor to take myself + coaches/teachers/mentors OFF TRACK. I use this technique to avoid hearing the hard TRUTHS about my areas of growth.

I have also been TRICKED as a coach! I’ve been fooled a few times by your GREMLINS, you know the ones that take over and tell both you and me that you’re:
🤕 Injured. Too wounded to move.
😩 Overwhelmed. Too busy to make time for self-care. 
😕 Weak. Too fragile to handle the struggle.

Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes there’s real 💩 in your way.

But the gremlins - they are wrong, they mess with our priorities (👎🏻). Your injury may heal with movement (meanwhile, let’s modify around it). You do have time to take care of yourself. You are STRONG. You are STABLE.

Come closer, I’ll let you in on a little secret 🤫. There’s a way to move forward- today. It’s this:

Think about your own gremlins. Start by giving them a name...

🎯 Moving Targets 🎯

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#Blessed
 to have had the chance to fill my lungs with fresh and sunny Carmel Valley air this morning - a gorgeous hike with my bro to conclude a rejuvenating week sans kids!

Standing at the trailhead I’m drawn to a concept that has been coming up a lot lately, that is:

🎯 moving targets 🎯

… because at the beginning of the hike, we seem confident about reaching our destination
… and when we set a health goal (to lose weight, to develop a skill, etc.) we’re very optimistic about getting there.

… then when we encounter forks in the trail and longer, steeper hills than expected we waiver between summoning our inner strength and questioning our initial target.
… likewise, with our health, we inevitably encounter surprises in our environment and our abilities. The once well-defined, clear goal gets foggy.

Even with a map (or a plan) we can not fully anticipate the details, the steepness, the challenges - nor our complex responses to them.

But we are rarely obligated to hold our focus on the initial target.

Each step on the trail, each day of our journey is an opportunity to collect data and use it to **adapt** our plan.

In doing so, we own the process and confidently proceed toward our (more appropriate!!) target.

And PS: Happiness always sneaks through the cracks when we stop to celebrate the advancements and small wins along the way

#weightlossjourney
#functionalfitness
#fitness
#longevity
#beatthesun 
#accountability 
#accountabilitycoach

TRAIN to stay out of big trouble

Thank you Andy from Headspace for this insight today! It translated in my head immediately into (additional) conversations around movement and nutrition. As in:

✔️ If we can only move our bodies when we feel motivated to do so — then we are in big trouble.

✔️ If we can only eat the most nutrient dense option when it’s planned out, delivered, chopped and assembled for us — then we are in big trouble.

So, in order to succeed, you TRAIN to stay out of big trouble.

🧘🏼‍♀️ You practice being content, despite your busy mind.

🏋🏼‍♀️ You practice movement, despite wanting to be sedentary.

🥗 You practice eating well, despite being busy, stressed, hungry and craving chocolate brownies.

And here’s the real deal. NOBODY has ANY of this ALL the time. Even the highest performers have restless minds, bodies that fight inertia, and ice cream cravings.

Sure there are moments when motivation is high and things come naturally. But for the other 90% of the time... you need systems, guardrails and mentors to guide you in your practice, practice, practice!


👢 Bootstraps 👢

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A favorite warmup technique… bootstraps… are efficient & effective. And they feel oh SO good.

In a nutshell, they go like this:

Step 1: Forward fold. Bend at the hips with the goal of lengthening the hamstrings and calves.

Step 2: Deep squat with chest tall and open to encourage hip, ankle and knee mobility.

We gently alternate back and forth between the two - for two district purposes.

When guiding the team through these, I can’t help but think about the importance of **conscious positioning**.

If you are thinking of Step 2 while in Step 1 you’re starting to bend at the knees - and you miss the whole point of the hamstring stretch. If, while in Step 2 you’re readying your hips to come up, you’re missing the opportunity to unload the hip and low back tension.

**BETTER** is to commit to the position you’re in. STAY. Benefit from it. THEN and only then, move with intent to the next, where you will once again commit to staying until that has served its purpose.

So, yes, it’s an over exaggeration of a mobility sequence in the gym…. but all this to make the point: conscious positioning enables us to reap the full benefits of our state.

So, I offer you this:

Today, can you STAY in Tuesday - and reap today’s full benefit before wishing it was evening (or Wednesday - or Friday)?

Likewise, can you PAUSE for this moment in summer and all its messy routines? Enjoy what it provides without hope for a quick return to school-year schedules? (I’m personally working very hard to NOT focus on August 8th!)

At lunchtime, can you position yourself consciously to experience your meal and acknowledge its benefits before moving on to afternoon meetings/activities?

And, even when in undesirable positions (i.e. sitting in traffic) can you recognize that you’re there until it’s done? (And plug in a podcast, call a friend, or sing loudly in your private little capsule?)

So, if you’re rushing to move to the next phase and neglecting the phase you’re currently in, pull yourself up by your bootstraps and STAY put!

What is your strategy...for NOT doing that thing?

Several years ago I coached a woman who was making some fantastic progress toward her weight loss goal but eventually she seemed to get stuck.

She was committed to her workout program and diligent in tracking her food intake. As the weeks went by, I racked my brain about what tweaks we could make to her system - but I was totally stumped! Finally we sat down and took a hard look at her food journal. It was then that I learned about the 3-4+ glasses of wine she had been consuming every evening that weren’t being recorded. She had fully convinced herself that the impact of the behavior was irrelevant and not part of the big picture.

She had a great system to improve her health - but another, very complex strategy to prevent her own progress.

The food journal, the gym membership, the Fitbit... we set up mechanisms to keep on track - but often we manipulate them to keep ourselves comfortable. Cognitively we know what we’re doing - but the tools have no idea they’re being played. Though “smart” our devices don’t recognize the intricate emotional and psychological complexities of the process.

Pushing outside your comfort zone is terrifying and you may have developed techniques to keep yourself safe within the zone of familiarity. How finely tuned is your strategy for NOT doing that thing?

Maybe you're not even aware of what you're doing to prevent your own progress, but you know this: you have health or fitness or happiness goals that you think you're working towards, but you just don't seem to be getting there....

If so, ask for help. Reach out with a quick message - I would love to have a conversation with you.

The boring, useless, slow warmup phase of the workout

“Confession,” Gabriella told me, “I‘m not a fan of warming up. It’s slow. It’s less exciting. It feels unproductive when I’m anxious to get going with the workout.”

So, clearly I had not made a compelling case for *the warmup* to my client, a strong willed no-nonsense financial advisor. Typically we spend almost one-third of her session priming her body for the intense stuff. [PS: That would be a big portion of the workout to waste, right?!]

She knew the facts: by increasing her body temperature she observed greater flexibility in her muscles and range of motion about her joints, which may have led to a small increase in her performance later in the session. But, this was not enough for Gabriella to fully appreciate the initial phase of each workout.

So we spent some time talking about how the warmup serves as an opportunity to make a short-term investment in the functionality of our bodies. If neglected, the overly sore joints and tight backs show up inevitably and immediately.

The more important purpose here is that of a long-term investment in Gabriella’s health and body mechanics. I’m concerned about her body being ALIGNED: I want her pelvis stable and in neutral position through ALL the jumping, squatting, hinging, stepping and lifting - in the gym and in daily LIFE. If not, we risk generating shear forces - repeatedly - which could do damage to her ankles, knees, hips, back and shoulders.

I owe it to Gabriella’s future self to insist on every workout beginning with a set of dynamic stretches, a joint mobility sequence and core activation exercises. Her ability to move well dictates her quality of life (as does yours!), so a few minutes getting it all aligned is like money in the bank, with a substantial ROI.

The preparation phase of the workout is non-negotiable. Now Gabriella agrees.

“I just can’t.” versus “I’ll make it work!”

“I just can’t.”
“I’ll make it work!”

There exists an important and powerful force between these two statements. We all dialogue internally around both of them constantly. Heck! I’m pretty sure I say both simultaneously to myself on occasion.

So, what comprises that “force between”?

In that bucket I might toss:
- Will power
- Fear
- Motivations
- Goals
- Routines
- Habits
- Strategies
- Our social environment
And even
- The contents of our fridge

Some weeks are just crummy. We feel reactive, anxious and overwhelmed at all the things coming our way. Tangible things, like the growing to-do list. And invisible things like our security. Then come the surprises: illnesses and injuries with our kids, pets, family members and selves.

All these circumstances would be great excuses to say, “I just can’t.” Meaning I’ll stay in bed and skip my morning walk. Then I’ll gobble down a muffin and a latte for breakfast because that seems to provide temporary relief.

Or! Or we could acknowledge reality, note our situation and talk about our challenges. This is life, not excuse-making.

Yesterday morning from inside the gym I heard the door open at 5:58. I looked up and was shocked to see Susan’s face. She had been away in San Francisco for her young daughter’s eye surgery, a event that can take everything from a mama. She had been through the wringer and had every legitimate reason to step outside her system temporarily. Instead the voice that won in her head was the one that said,

“I’ll make it work!”

Susan wasn’t at full strength during her workout. Her balance was a bit off and she didn’t break any personal records. But she won the challenge of keeping to her routine.

I don’t know the extent of Susan’s self-negotiations regarding showing up to work out yesterday. But I can tell you that her habits, routines and and health strategy were all enough to tip the scales in her own favor.

I am never EVER here to judge your “I just can’t” moments. We all have them. But I still work relentlessly to serve as your guardrails- the system that pushes you daily toward an “I’ll make it work!” mentality, to hold you accountable to yourself, and to inspire you to move in the right direction.

Consider your own bucket. What comprises the force between “I just can’t” and “I’ll make it work!”? Then, the important follow-up: which of those factors can be altered so you catch yourself during the next crummy week?

What we women really want

I have been having some pretty awesome conversations lately. As I shared recently, I’m changing my business - not just in geographic region because of our family’s move - but I’m also revamping the way I deliver. I’m learning a lot from listening. And I’m observing some real miracles in action.

Over time, I’ve heard hundreds of women tell me they want to “lose weight” or “get stronger”. Don’t we all? But sometimes we don’t even know why we’re saying this until we’re asked “Why?”

❓Why do you want to improve your physical fitness?

Believe it or not, most of us soccer moms and professional women are not actually dreaming of six-pack abs anymore. On the other hand, appearance and body image fears can still trigger some serious shame. So, a second look from our husbands as we leave the room can fill us up more than we’re often willing to admit.

Additionally, most of us ladies aren’t after ribbons, trophies or championship rings. But, we are competitors. We kick ass in LIFE! We run departments, businesses, events and households. We make thousands of decisions every day. We regularly push ourselves beyond our limits. We’re athletes in our own rights. Therefore, often as an outlet, we love our sport (cycling, running, swimming, chasing toddlers through Target, etc.). And we just might have a shadowbox full of race bibs and medals that nobody else needs to see.

But I hear the most powerful self-reflections take form when clients let their guards down and go even a few layers deeper, beyond the body-image issues and the desires to compete and win. There is a connection that occurs when we own the notion that our physical health is fundamental to directing our lives and our stories. Bottom line: we want to survive. And as a bonus we would love to go about the planet NOT wasting energy on aches, pains and immobilities.

The women I work with are committed. I’m constantly in awe of their focus and willingness to sustain consistent investment in their development in order to be there for their kids, to be valuable and effective managers, to lead communities (and, I’ll say it!) to turn heads and take home medals.

It’s no surprise that the deeper they go in defining the reasons behind their goals, the more progress they make and faster. And the momentum is magical!

Attention: You're now entering the Judgement-Free Zone

Let’s assume we just met. I want you to know that I am not concerned with how much weight you can deadlift or how long you can hold your plank. I'm not disappointed or impressed by how challenged you were on today’s TRX row, and I certainly don’t care if your squat goes deeper than your neighbor’s this morning. You shouldn't either. This, my friend who is looking to improve, is about you.

However, I do and will continue to devote myself to judging and critiquing a few things:
-First, how can I ensure and insist that you perform movements properly and safely (today!)? 
-Second, how can we work together to improve the way your body operates for tomorrow, next week, next month, and for the rest of your life?

Many of my clients are quick to point out their inadequacies - they are not where they used to be - they are feeling sluggish, deconditioned, stiff, even achy and inflamed. Well, the good news is this: 100% of these issues can be improved with movement. But, more importantly, movement with the right mindset. 

(Y)our journey starts now. 

We've got this, so let's do this!

Struggle.....

Struggle.....

I’m home… and now the WHOLE me is too!

Coincidence or pattern, I’m not sure, but there exists a relationship with my major life events and the year in which they happened. 1998: high school graduation. 2002: college. 2004: wedding. 2008: grad school. 2010: first baby and 2012: baby #2.

But 2017 throws this off. 2017 was the year that Jason and I abandoned the path-that-was-expected. We somehow maneuvered our combined mindset to a frequency that would allow for a major decision to be made. We relocated OUT of Silicon Valley (!) to our paradise on the coast of Monterey Bay.

Or maybe it’s not off. The pattern, that is. Because, although 2017 was huge for us, it was really just recently that *I* fully found my home. Through the packing and unpacking of boxes and disassembly and re-assembly of bunkbeds, I have been thinking a lot about my personal mission statement and the value I bring to my larger community. I’ve explored and networked. I have looked for gaps to fill. And I have found long sought-after clarity: I have a role to play here in continuing to coach women through their health and fitness struggles.

My family is home and so is my “why” – happy 2018!