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HEALTH is a GIFT

HEALTH is a GIFT

No Good Life Was Built on Excuses

My apologies. I have been back from California for almost an entire week but between jet lag and a nasty cold, I just haven’t been able to get my head on straight to finish any writing. With three drafts underway – my weekly good reads, a review of the cool things I learned at the Titleist Performance Institute and World Golf Fitness Summit and a technique review piece, I’ve put them all aside today to share some very sad news that has left me shaken.

Many moons ago, I left the safety and comfort of living at home for the adventures of doing my MBA at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. While I was young (in hindsight wayyyyy too young) to be taking an advanced degree usually reserved for people with more than 5 years of solid work experience, I met a group of amazing friends in similar situations – all young, living away from home, looking to jump start a career with an MBA. We became each other’s support system and extended family. Over our two year degree and for many more afterwards, we studied, celebrated and travelled together. Even though life has taken us in vastly different places and to remote corners of the world, we continue to stay in touch with visits, email and even tried to organize a reunion a few years ago. So it was a huge shock that we learned earlier this year that one of our group, a very handsome, fit, smart and funny guy was stricken with cancer. Over the months that followed, he kept us in the loop with regular updates on his life and treatments. Just six weeks ago we exchanged emails about my crossing the pond for a visit since Emirates now has a direct flight to Boston, where he moved with his expecting wife and daughter after his diagnosis. I didn’t think anything of it when no update came in October. Perhaps that’s why I feel so very sad – head too far up my own ass to see anything was amiss. But two things happened today. First, I met with a potential client who took close to 45 minutes telling me why she really didn’t have time to exercise and that I’d have to be available for her to make it work. Then I hear that my friend has in fact taken a turn for the worse and has been given about a month.

Now I’m not trying to be a downer here, even though I feel very down at the moment. I’m simply wanting to underline that our health is a GIFT. We need to cherish it, protect it and defend it. Eating well and exercise all do that. Excuses simply allow your status quo to continue. Nothing was ever created with an excuse. If it is important – and your health should be important – then DO IT. Even if it’s not important to you (why?) what about the influence you have on your children and loved ones? Don’t you want them to have fighting chance to stay healthier? Stop making excuses. Start finding reasons. Honor the gift of your health. So for my friend who I can only remember as being strong, athletic, fit and healthy and who would give anything for more time with his family, I was sorely tempted to tell this potential client just where she could take her busy schedule. But then it occurred to me. Maybe she was sent to me as a test. Or as a gift. As an opportunity to help someone discover inner strength to make tough tradeoff choice. And to embrace fitness for the gifts that it can bring her. I’ll take that challenge. For you AC. And for me.

Birth of a blog (well a second one)

Intentions are merely wishes. Wishes are dreams with no deadlines. Actions are what life is made of.

Guilty. My first attempt at blogging fell into the trap of so many others…self doubt. What did I have to say that was interesting enough for people to read? Do I really think I’m that good that people will want to read my blog? Am I that arrogant? Why compound the very real challenge we all face of information overload? I’m not a writer. What can I offer that’s not already being offered? Etc. Not surprising that with so many voices in my head I lost the desire to continue. But what I’ve never lost is my passion to make the world a fitter and healthier place, to help people discover the joys of movement, to sift through mounds of conflicting BS more easily and to provide an often needed reality check with a good dose of tough love. Part of that passion came to fruition when KULT Fitness opened it’s doors. And so though the work done at the studio, I am blessed with the opportunity to touch lives. But I’m a little greedy – I want to touch more.  So I’ve realized that blogging is a way for me to spread my reach. To share my passion and help people, few as they might be, possibly take a journey with me towards a fitter life. It’s our actions, behaviours and choices that make up who we are and power our dreams. So in this blog, I hope you’ll take the journey with me. I welcome feedback, ideas, comments or a simple hello. Life’s long…and short. So no whining. 

Here is the introduction to my previous blog. Those that know me will recognize that I’ve not changed.

In my 17+ (MK: 19 years now) years in the fitness industry, I’ve read a lot of related books, tried and tested countless ‘new’ exercise and diet programs, fielded a lot of fitness and nutrition questions, given motivational pep talks, provided an available shoulder for any form of support, been an avid fan of my student’s improving efforts and results, had my fair share of rants, train smart and eat well tidbits, inspired a few to finally take action to change their lives, likely bored others with dissertations and possibly insulted a few with my zero tolerance of whining policy. It was at the suggestion of a few current kettlebell students that I put my ramblings on paper that sparked the creation of this blog. So here I am.

Our bodies are designed to move, and move well. Unfortunately, our modern lifestyles of too much sitting (and badly at that), general inactivity and poor eating habits has wreaked havoc with the beautiful functioning our bodies were designed for. Loss of mobility and flexibility. Inefficient and/or dysfunctional movement patterns. Poor postural habits. Over fat. Under strong. Reduced endurance. Low energy. Strong food cravings. Wishful thinking that 5 hours of exercise per week will make up for bad eating, lack of activity and dodgy postural habits the remaining 163 hours. That’s what a modern lifestyle has brought to many. But it doesn’t have to be. It’s time to face the truth that each one of us(*) is responsible for the bodies that we have. No one else can take the blame – not your parents, your children, your job, your sore knee, your visiting family, your busy schedule, etc. YOU make your choices to eat what you do and to move like you do – or not to. But that’s just it – it is YOUR CHOICE. And because of that, it is totally in YOUR POWER to change your body and your life.

Move well. Train smart. Eat well. Be strong. Live fit. Love life. These are my choices. So if you chose to follow my blog, you’ll hopefully get some idea of how I approach any of these in addition to some tough love: stop your whining, get off your a$$ and stop putting crap in your mouth. Politically correct – likely not. But I’m not about coddling people into believing that it’s not their fault that they’re carrying around too much fat, that their knees hurt because they did squats (BTW it’s not the squat that hurts your knees it’s how YOU do the squats that hurts your knees; and if you have a bad back you MUST look at how you move – this speaks directly to the move WELL), that pushups are hard, that they HAVE to have that drink with dinner…No, I’m not about denial. However, I will give you (virtual) hug if  you need one, listen to your challenges and tell you that everyone (me too) faces setbacks. I will also follow that up with helping you find the “ok, NOW what?” If you’re serious about improving your strength and fitness, I’m serious about helping you. The impact on how your body looks and feels will be the lovely side effect of our efforts.

I hope you’ll join me.

Martine

(*) Granted not everyone has won the genetic lottery. There are some people who have legitimate impairments that affect how they can move and process food. However, even these people can be held accountable for their choices to make the best out of unfortunate circumstances. Beating cancer is hard. Having only one leg hard. Choosing to move your body instead of watching TV and not putting cream in your coffee IS NOT HARD. Perspective people. You created those habits – now create new ones.