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Author: Coach Sid

It’s the Little Things

It’s the Little Things

Have you ever had one of those days when things did not go the way you hoped? The first thing that went sideways may have been disappointing, but by the 11th you found yourself needing to take some time to recover. Unfortunately, I found myself in such a predicament recently. Ironically, each situation that occurred that day—had they occurred on separate occasions—probably wouldn’t have fazed me. It was the combination of all these relatively minor things that had a larger impact. Little things can add up. 

When it comes to our health we sometimes get caught up in this idea that we need to do something huge in order to have any kind of impact. We forget that little things can add up. You may be surprised by how much a bunch of little things like the following can improve your health: take a ten minute walk in the morning, skip dessert, go to bed ten minutes earlier, and focus on your breathing for five minutes.  

Just because I call them little things, doesn’t mean they’re easy. Old habits can be hard to break and new habits can be hard to make. If you need some support, please feel free to reach out to me or another health coach.

Thanks for reading. I hope you have a safe and healthy month.      

You Get One Body

You Get One Body

Have you ever gone into a dollar store and been amazed by all the things you can purchase for only a dollar? A while back I had some people over for a dinner party, and I visited the local dollar store in hopes of finding some decorations. On my way to find the decorations, I walked past a package of 40 paper plates, a package of 48 plastic utensils, and a package of 48 plastic cups—all a dollar each. By spending less than five dollars, I could use dinnerware that could be thrown away at the end of the night instead of having to clean it.  I didn’t end up using the single-use items, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t tempted. 

Because we live in a land of abundance, taking careful care of our possessions is no longer a priority for most people. It seems like it is more common now to replace or even upgrade something that is broken rather than trying to get it fixed. When was the last time you repaired your shoes, patched a hole in a garment, or glued a broken vase back together?  This makes sense for a lot of people, and I don’t always repair my things either.

With this carefree attitude, it can be easy to forget that we get one body. Our bodies are complex and have a remarkable ability to heal themselves. However, in order to function properly, we must take care of them. We need to feed them nourishing food, give them proper rest, and exercise them. If you’re having trouble making these choices to care for your body, don’t be afraid to reach out to another health coach or me. 

Thanks for reading. I hope you have a safe and healthy month.

Achieving the “Impossible”

Achieving the “Impossible”

If you have been following my blog for some time, you probably already know that I played soccer. I started playing in preschool. At that age – despite our coach’s advice – most of us thought that swarming the ball at once was proper strategy. It was chaos. Therefore, I can’t remember how or when I became defender, but I played that position for years.

Over the years I became comfortable in that role. I learned how to loft the ball across the field to our forwards. I learned what offsides was and how to move towards the opposing team’s goal to make it harder for them to score against us. I learned how to sprint back when an opposing team’s forwards got through so our goalie wouldn’t have to face them alone. Mainly, I liked that there wasn’t any expectation for me to score a goal – something I was convinced I couldn’t do.

Then, one day my coach told me to go in as a forward. It was during half-time of a game, and my team was winning. When I looked quizzically at my coach, he smiled and told me I got this. I remember running onto the center of the field feeling very odd. What was I doing up here? I was a defender. I guarded our goal. I didn’t score goals. I surely couldn’t score a goal. Until…I did! I scored my first goal, and it was exhilarating. I’d like to say it was the first of many goals, but because soccer doesn’t have a ton of goals in general, it was the first of some goals 🙂

Looking back, I think the idea that I couldn’t score a goal was ridiculous. Regardless of our position, my team practiced all the drills together–including shooting drills. I had scored numerous goals during these drills. However, my “inability” to score an actual goal felt very real. I needed an outside perspective – a coach – to see my potential and set me up for success. 

While my situation may be unique, I know that many people are in similar predicaments. Just because we aren’t doing something now, it doesn’t mean we can’t do it in the future. If you’re having trouble wrapping your head around the possibility that what you thought was impossible may be possible, I recommend you find a coach or fitness professional to guide you. To achieve what we want to achieve usually requires training and hard work. Having someone encourage you and see things in you that you don’t see in yourself is incredibly helpful.

Thanks for reading. I hope you have a safe and healthy month.

Practice Makes Better

Practice Makes Better

We’ve all heard the saying “practice makes perfect.” I’ve used this in many conversations with others and even myself.  I thought of it as a motivational saying until I took the time to really think about the expression. Maybe it doesn’t work that well.

What exactly is perfect? Is perfect for you the same as perfect for me? Does perfect change as we learn new things? It seems to me like perfect is this impossible ideal that can never truly be met. If this is the case, then practice can’t make perfect.

That said, I think practice is incredibly important. Even though it was a while back, I still recall a coworker lying on the floor — unable to move— after completing a half marathon with two other coworkers.  While the other two coworkers had  been training for months—getting up at first light to run—this coworker hadn’t done anything to prepare.  He decided on a whim to sign up days before the race.

Impressively, he was able to complete the half marathon, but he finished much later and had a much tougher time recovering than those who had trained. He learned the value of practice, but it was a hard lesson. While some of us are naturally gifted in certain areas—like this coworker in endurance running—practice makes you better. Can you imagine how well he would have done had he actually taken the time and energy to practice first? 

Practice isn’t easy. It often requires planning, patience, and the ability to overcome setbacks. Sometimes it takes an outsider with a better understanding of the task at hand to help you design a program. If you’re having trouble creating and sticking to a program, I encourage you to find the support you need. If the program you are trying to implement is centered on fitness or health, feel free to shoot me an email.

Thanks for reading! I hope you have a safe and healthy month.   

How Many Lives?

How Many Lives?

I used to lead kids through various exercises. In one exercise, kids walked on a low balance beam. Depending on their ability, students were allowed a certain number of falls to accomplish the level. I’m not sure how this started, but many of the students began referring to the number of falls as their number of lives–like it was a video game.

This video game analogy got me thinking about the impact of falling. When we are very young, we fall a lot. If you’ve ever watched a toddler learning to walk, you know that their first attempts are full of falls. However, they are usually able to pop right back up without injury. Things change as we age. We often become more sedentary and begin to lose the strength, coordination, and flexibility that helped us recover so quickly when we were younger. While it’s not uncommon for a toddler to stand back up after three seconds, a fall in our golden years is a completely different story. They can be fatal, and unlike a video game, we can’t get a fresh start right where we left off. 

The good news is that strength, coordination, and flexibility can all be enhanced with a well-balanced exercise routine. If you aren’t already, I encourage you to invest in your future by starting a balanced exercise program now. If you need some assistance or are not sure where to start, feel free to reach out to a fitness professional. 

Thanks for reading. I hope you have a safe and healthy month.

The Emergency Snack

The Emergency Snack

I used to have trouble regulating my blood sugar. After one very frightening incident, I resolved to have food on me at all times – and I do mean all times. I even took an emergency snack with me to local restaurant outings in case the food wasn’t served fast enough. Depending on the situation, I would bring more or less food. 

The day I took a two-hour flight was no different. Because I had eaten right before my trip, was planning on eating right after, and knew that I would be offered a snack on the flight, I took a protein bar and some carrot sticks just in case.

On the flight I found myself sitting in the window seat next to a cute little girl with short dark brown hair and her mother. As soon as the plane starts to take off, the girl starts complaining that she was hungry. I heard her mother tell her that the flight attendant would offer her a snack soon, but the girl protested that she couldn’t wait.

Of course, I knew what it felt like to not to be able to wait. When my blood sugar began to drop, I needed to eat something right away.

Without hesitation I offered the more filling half of my emergency snack to the young girl–the protein bar. Her mother thanked me as the girl ripped open the wrapper, took a huge bite, and then promptly spit it out. She said it was gross.

My heart fell as I began to realize the enormity of my mistake. She obviously hadn’t needed the bar, but what if I did? Would carrot sticks be enough? Thankfully, I didn’t need the bar either.

I know my story isn’t unique. One of the reasons I’m so passionate about helping caretakers is I find we sometimes take care of others at our own expense. If this story resonates with you, it may be time to invest in yourself so that you can more effectively help others.      

Thanks for reading. I hope you have a safe and healthy month.

Small Changes, Big Difference

Small Changes, Big Difference

If you listened to the top 40’s in 2007, you are definitely familiar with the song Bleeding Love by Leona Lewis. It was a very popular song, and it seemed like they were playing that song everywhere: grocery stores, restaurants, drug stores – you name it. In the song, she says numerous times that she is “bleeding love.”

I must have heard that song a hundred times before my coworker said it sounded like she was singing that she was “bleeding blood.” I thought that was interesting. I’d never heard blood instead of love – until she said that. Then it was hard not to hear blood. With that simple word change the song went from being a hopeless romantic ballad to something much darker.

Just like one small tweak in the song’s lyrics changed the meaning of the song, a small tweak in an exercise can have a big impact. As a personal trainer, I’ve been asked what the “right way” to do an exercise is. The truth is, it’s a little more complicated than a right way and a wrong way. Of course, using improper form can lead to injury and some exercises are not advisable for certain people. However, there are usually many different “right ways” depending on what your intention is. Small changes in the exercise can change what the exercise does.

If you aren’t getting the results you want from your exercise program, you may want to seek the help of a fitness professional. They may be able to show you small adjustments that can make a big difference.

Thanks for reading! I hope you have a safe and healthy month.

The Commonality Between Health Journeys and Raindrops

The Commonality Between Health Journeys and Raindrops

Because we have been experiencing some rain lately, I’ve found myself watching the raindrops accumulate on my window. While I’ve witnessed this happen many times, this time I saw it in a new light.

It was as if these raindrops were on a journey with the eventual goal of making their way to the bottom of the window. I watched as the raindrops splattered all over the window. Sometimes, with a little time, they were able to start their journey on their own. Many times, it took another raindrop joining forces with them to start moving.  

It reminded me a lot of our health journeys. We all start in different places. Some of us start out at the top of the window and have a long journey filled with many obstacles, while some of us have a shorter one. Regardless of the distance, sometimes we get stuck. Some of us are able to devour information on health, and then implement what we’ve learned. Many times, we don’t have the time or energy to devout to learning the tolls and skills we need. Alternatively, we may have an idea of what to do – but aren’t able to implement it on our own. Instead, we benefit from more assistance- a personal trainer, health coach, or other fitness professional to guide us.

If you’re stuck, and would like some assistance, I encourage you to seek some guidance. While of course I’d love to help you, if you don’t live in the Greenville area and aren’t comfortable working virtually, I hope you find someone in your neighborhood to assist you.

Thanks for reading. I hope you have a save and healthy week.

Good Action Bad Timing

Good Action Bad Timing

I remember waiting for my ride to pick me up from Kindergarten. My best friend’s mother would pick me up, and I could hang out at their house for several hours until my mother got off work. Because my best friend attended a different school, sometimes they were a couple of minutes late. I didn’t mind. I found a nice rock in the shade outside my classroom that allowed me to see the street. I’d patiently wait there until I’d hear my best friend call my name as she pulled open the blue minivan’s door. Then I’d run over to the van and jump in.     

One day I waited for what seemed like a long time. I looked around and realized I couldn’t see any kids milling around or any cars pulling up to the school. Just as I was starting to worry, another friend came up to me skillfully bouncing a big red ball with her right hand. “What ya doing?” she asked. I explained that I was waiting for my ride.

“You can wait later” she said. “It’s recess. Come play with us.” I remember the relief flooding my body. Suddenly it made sense that everyone had disappeared. They had all run to the playground without me realizing it. I joined her and some of my other friends in a game of four square. 

Just like there was a time for me to play and a time for me to wait for my ride, there is a time to take care of others and a time to take care of yourself. Both actions are needed. If you’ve been noticing that you’re always caring for others, it’s time to take care for yourself too.

As a fellow caretaker, I know that caring for ourselves is often harder than caring for others. If you don’t know where to begin or what do in order to have more good days, I encourage you reach out to myself or another qualified health professional.

Thanks for reading. I hope you have a safe and healthy month.

Relax!?

Relax!?

Have you ever had a hard time unwinding from your day? Unfortunately, this is not uncommon for us caretakers. As a caretaker, it’s hard to power-down and relax because our actions have weight. While caretaking roles vary (from nurses to teachers to grandparents to veterinarians), all of them involve responsibility.

One day was especially difficult for me. At home, hours after leaving work, I found myself still emotionally clocked in to work. At the time I was working with an organization that helped families develop healthy lifestyles. It was a very rewarding job, but it was also very challenging. On this particular day, we were short-staffed. Plus, the kiddos we were working with were so excited about that day’s activities, it was hard to teach them the corresponding lesson. After work I wanted to relax, but my mind had other ideas. I couldn’t stop thinking about my day. The more stubbornly I told myself to stop thinking, the faster my mind seemed to churn.  

I decided to take a yoga class in hopes that it would clear my head.  My yoga teacher said something at the beginning of class that really resonated with me. “No amount of thinking can stop you from thinking.” After hearing this, I stopped the internal war in my head. As the rest of the class moved from pose to pose, I rested in child’s pose and allowed myself a couple minutes to fully reflect on my day without distraction or judgement. What strategies had we tried that seemed to work well in that situation? What strategies could we try in the future if that situation ever happened again? Once I allowed myself to gain the insight I needed, I was able to relax, rejoin the class, and become present.

Taking time to both reflect and relax is particularly important for caretakers, because it allows us to perform our tasks better. Refreshed and prepared, we can solve problems better and help more. If you’re having trouble relaxing on your own, I encourage you to seek some support. Maybe you, like me, will find a yoga instructor’s guidance helpful. Maybe yoga isn’t your thing, and you may benefit from working with a health coach or personal trainer instead. There are many other relaxation tools and strategies that a fitness professional could share with you.

Thanks for reading. I hope you have a safe and healthy month.