Striptease and Athletic Endurance Events

This is a post for anyone who watches a burlesque performances and thinks, “I can do that!” Well, it’s not as simple as just shaking a pelvis in the general direction of strangers. Besides, have you ever watched someone finish a Marathon and just flippantly claim, “I can do that!” Well, Burlesque and endurance events have more similarities than many might think.
 
I dance, therefore, I am an athlete. I am an athlete, yet I also dance. Whether I’m training for an event or rehearsing for a show, there are some similarities between the two worlds.

The Costume Is More Important Than You Think
 
On stage, your costume will help tell the story of your performance piece just as much as, in some cases more than, your choreography. You’ll spend time, money, and creative energy making sure that it fits right, looks great, and tells the story you want. As a burlesque performer, part of the fit is making sure that it comes off at just the right time and in just the right way. You don’t want to ruin the tease with a surprise reveal!

On the field, your costume will show your allegiance with its flags or color scheme. There will also be messages of love and support to/from your crew. Maybe a patch sewn in to remind you that you’re hoping to win this competition for a loved one who passed away or an injured teammate. You’ll spend time, money, and creative energy making sure that it fits right and keeps you warm/cool/dry when you need it most.

The Audience Is Your Fuel

On stage, making eye contact and flirting with the audience as you tease them into a frenzy is crucial to a burlesque performance. The louder they scream, the stronger your adrenaline will pump.

On the field, not every sport has an audience. As a distance runner, you’ll find yourself on mile 10 with no voice other than the one in your head or the voices in your headphones. But, even as a runner, hearing people cheer you on as you near the finish line will help you to sprint when you thought there was nothing left in the tank. If you’re the partner of someone who is an athlete, supporting them as their biggest cheerleader means more than you can ever know.

Rehearsing & Training

For the stage, even if it’s not a scheduled rehearsal time, you’ll find yourself listening to the music for your act in the car, on the train, at home, and anywhere there are speakers. You go over the steps and the reveal in your head only to constantly tweak and adjust the performance up until the moment you set foot on the stage.

Training for the field could mean weights, cardio, massages, nutrition, the list goes on. Your life has been consumed by this event for which you’ve committed. Even when you sit still, you salivate at the thought of crossing the start line.

Prep Time vs. Event Time

Prep time for a stage performance could take weeks or months. There’s costuming, choreography, and nerves to manage. Once the song begins on night of show, it’s all over in six minutes or less.

Prep time for an athletic event could take six-nine months of training. Once the start has been signaled, it will all be over in a few hours.

Food On Event Day

When taking the stage, no one wants to dance with that full feeling. I normally eat something light before a performance and have food backstage for afterwards. Some people have trouble eating the entire day before performing due to nerves.

When prepping for race/competition day, no one wants to compete in an athletic event with that grumbling belly feeling. But, you never want the wrong thing in your belly either. I once made the mistake of eating pasta for breakfast before a 10 mile run. I’ll spare you the gory details. I’ll just say, “never again.”

Exhaustion
 
On stage, thanks to adrenaline, I never feel tired during a performance. When I come off stage, I can barely speak. Sometimes I’m breathless, sometimes I’m shaking, and sometimes I’m crying.

Off the field, after the event. I’ve cried after crossing some finish lines. Shaking, breathless, tears of joy as I silently celebrate my accomplishment.
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Nine Reminders For Group Fitness Classes

Like every January, group fitness classes at your gym will be packed. Here are some tips to help you stay safe, get stronger, and get the most out of your workouts.

1.) Be on time. Early is on time and on time is late. If the class begins at 8:00AM, don’t walk into the gym at 8. By the time you put your belongings in a locker, check-in at the front desk, and fill your water bottle the class has already started. You still have to get your equipment (if any) that you’ll need for the class. I understand that things happen and sometimes life will make us late. If that happens, perform a warm-up instead of trying to jump right into the workout. Prep your body!
Instructors: Start your classes on time. Don’t get in the habit of starting a few minutes late because the room is 50% full. This sends a message to the late-comers that it’s okay to disregard the time of those that were on time.

2.) Bring a lock, use a locker. Remember that liability waiver that you signed? There’s a bit in there about the gym not being responsible for your lost/stolen items. Please don’t bring your gym bag and work bag into the group exercise room just because you were running late (see above). People can trip over your things. People can also walk out with your bag. That’s actually happened to me. The instructor that taught the class before me had an identical bag. He accidentally grabbed my bag and didn’t make it far before we realized what happened and switched. Please put your things away.
Instructors: Please tell them to put their things away. Keep the members safe and the room free from dangerous clutter.

3.) No phones. Put down your goddamned phone. You don’t need a phone to workout. “But, Jet, my HR monitor app is on my phone! I keep track of my workouts on my phone. I’m paying the parking meter with my phone.” Okay, set that app, shut off your screen and come workout. If I see you looking at your phone in a group exercise environment, you’re sending a clear message that fitness isn’t your primary concern. That’s fine, but it begs the question, why are you here? What do you hope to accomplish while staring into your phone? It amuses me when people try to explain their reasons for texting/talking on their phones during a class. The excuse always has to do with their profession. “I’m a secret agent. I’m a nanny. I’m an engineer. I’m Jack Bauer and I have 23 hours left to save America. I’m the only person in town with water and there’s a fire.” I don’t give a shit what you’re talking about or to whom you’re talking. Take it outside. In this moment, your profession is not more important than the fitness goals of 30 other people! Someone challenged me on this and asked, “So, wait, if I have to be on call for work, then my choice is to get fired or take your class?” Look, if being off your phone for an hour means you’ll get fired from your job, you should either get a new job or do your own workout.
Instructors: Before you take any job make sure that your manager/director will back you up on a zero tolerance policy for phones in class. Enforce that policy by asking the person to leave, even if it means turning down the music and making a scene. Kick them out! Also, if you are using your phone to play music or to use a timer app for your class, set the airplane mode. No one wants to hear you receiving text messages while they’re doing Burpees.

4.) Wear the right shoes. There are weightlifting shoes, minimalist running shoes, cycling shoes, basketball shoes, etc. Don’t try to wear one pair of shoes for different workouts. Someone came into cycling class with Vibram Five Finger shoes. She was late (see above), it was dark, and I didn’t see her shoes in time to send her away. She left the class limping. I wouldn’t be surprised if her foot was bleeding by the end. Nike Free running shoes are popular. That doesn’t mean that they’re right for you. If I had a penny for every time someone told me that their knees/ankles/shins hurt after going on a hike or during a cycling class while wearing Nike Free shoes, I’d have about 43 cents. Wear the right shoes, not the cute shoes.
Instructors: Be the shoe police. The wrong shoe shouldn’t always exclude that person from a class, only in extreme cases (like the Vibram cycling case above). You should be able to suggest the right shoes at the end of the class.

5.) Bring a proper water bottle. Invest in a water bottle that has, at least, a 24 ounce capacity. Hydrate! In one day, you should drink a certain number of ounces of water. You can do your own research as to how much you should drink based on your body. Just know that listening to what makes sense for your body is more important than what the internet says is a one size fits all solution. I often remind class members to fill up their water bottles before class begins. They don’t or they have small water bottles. They end up rushing to the water fountain during a break.
Instructors: Remind everyone to hydrate! This is only suitable in some classes. Certain workouts don’t call for constant hydration. But, based on the format, give them gentle reminders.

6.) Communicate your body’s unique challenges. Another benefit to arriving early (see above) is that you can tell the instructor about any injuries/challenges you may have. Not everything is an injury, so when I use the word “challenges”, I’m referencing issues like fused vertebrae or anatomical anomalies that limit your range of motion in any way. I have one leg shorter than the other. Because I wear a heel lift, my range of motion isn’t limited. If I were to forget my heel lift, I would tell the coach that I won’t be doing any jumping during class. As an Instructor for a room filled with 30 people I have seconds to come to a conclusion about everyone’s ability level. When I’m not given enough information, I’m left with my own assumptions. If I see you deviate from the exercise I just described, I’m left with three assumptions. 1.) The person didn’t understand the exercise mechanics. 2.) The person feels too challenged with this particular exercise and opted not to try. 3.) There is an injury. Once you step into the group fitness room, you become our responsibility. That’s why you sign those liability waivers and that’s why instructors have liability insurance. Keeping you safe is more important than putting you through a “killer” workout. Help us to help you. Tell us about your injuries/challenges and let us modify the exercises for you. That brings me to my next point (#7).
Instructors: The attendees should tell you about their bodies, but sometimes they’ll be afraid or self-conscious. Get in the habit of inviting the class to tell you about their injuries (do this before class begins). You’re not there to rehab their injuries, especially not in a group setting. But, we can keep things from getting worse.

7.) Don’t do your own thing. This is a group class. This is the place for the hive mind. We’re all here to do the same exercises, even if some have to perform a regressed version while others perform a progressed version. FFS, don’t do your own thing. I’ve had people tell me, in a class, “I prefer to do it this way.” I would try to explain that “this way” was poor form and that they could hurt themselves, they disagreed. This isn’t the place for a debate. Check your ego at the door. If your hubris is such that you don’t want to be told what to do, do your own workout, on your own. No one will force you into a group environment. You become the Instructor’s responsibility once you set foot in their class. If you do your own thing, you’re tasking them with monitoring the form of your exercises that are drastically different from the rest of the hive
Instructors: This isn’t the place for a debate. Ignore the rebel until the class is over or until there’s a break. Pull them to the side, off the mic and explain that if they want to do their own workout, they should do it elsewhere. Again, make sure that you have the support of management before such a confrontation. Also, as an Instructor, don’t do your own thing and make up unsafe exercises. There’s no reason for anyone to be pedaling on a stationary bike, out of their seat, without both hands on the handle bars. This would never happen on a real bike and puts unnecessary pressure on the pedal axles. I’ve seen those pedals come off, no matter how new or well-maintained the bikes may be. Coach them to keep their hands on the handle bars. Keeping the members safe is our first priority.

8.) Deliver criticism to the source. In the event that you were unhappy with a class, check-in with yourself. Was it the class or the instructor? Try the same class with a different instructor. If it was the instructor, choose your delivery of criticism carefully. Try speaking directly to the instructor. Seek to understand before attempting to be understood. Approaching anyone with, “you know what I hate about you” while waving your finger in their face will just put them on the defensive. “Why did you make us do burpees for 45 minutes if this is a pilates class?”, would be a better approach. There’s always a danger of miscommunication when complaining to someone’s manager. Inevitably, something will get lost in translation and your message will be perceived as harsher than intended. Just speak to the instructor.
Instructors: Without sounding like a lecturer, explain the why behind the routine. “We’re doing core first to warm up instead of doing it at the end when your arms are fatigued and you can’t hold plank.” Also, invite criticism. Ask them, “how was class today?” “Are there any questions, comments, or concerns? I’d love to hear them.” Be affable.

9.) Relax, Breathe Deeply, Smile, Repeat. Relax, no group exercise routine will cure cancer the world over. Leave your problems at the door and escape through the sweat. Breathing is important to any workout. The type of breathing is going to be different based on the workout, but find a rhythm to your breathing and give your body the oxygen it needs. Smiling helps your workout. That’s not scientifically proven. But, follow my train of thought. Smiling creates a positive association with whatever you’re doing at the time. Don’t believe me? What were you doing the last time you laughed really hard? Laughing is the original ab workout. So, smiling and laughing should be a part of any workout. You should have fun while exercising. No matter what your fitness goals, you’re not going to accomplish them in one hour. Repeat, try a class twice. Try other classes, try all of the classes (remembering to rest in between). Find the classes that your body enjoys. Burpees aren’t for everybody, neither is cycling. Try, try, try, repeat.
Instructors: Remind them how to breathe and remind them often. Whether you want to be or not, you’re on stage. Make this a fun and memorable experience. Do some call & response, laugh with them (not at them), laugh at yourself (if you demonstrate an exercise and stumble), have fun as you teach and they’ll have fun doing it.

I hope you’ve found this helpful. Try these habits all through January and all of 2018. Here’s to your strength!

The Secret to Six Pack Abs (#BodyFaming)

I hope you liked the click-bait title. I promise not to pull a fast one and write about our lord and savior, Cthulhu. I’m writing this to address a frequent request from fitness clients. Everyone wants a goddamned six pack. Whenever someone tells me their fitness goal, I have an automatic response. “Why?” I’ll continue on to say, “Before you answer, understand that you don’t need to justify it to me. But, I’m here to motivate you. If I know the source of your motivation, I can help to push you in the right way.”
 
After someone tells me that they want a six pack, the answers I’ve heard as to why have never been about anything but vanity. There’s nothing wrong with being vain. But, sometimes we need a different driving force for the sake of longevity. Vanity of the societal conditioning variety touches us all in some way, I get it. The next thing I tell the hope-to-be six packers is some potential good news. I tell them the secret! Just be sure you are one of the two. There are two types of people who have those six pack abs we see in the media.
The first type of person to have a six pack, has it because they’re literally being paid to have one. Think actor, model, or internet celebrity. When your career, literally, depends on how consistently you rock those rock hard abs then guess what, it’s your life! Not just a regimen of crunches. No, it involves so much more. A variety of total body movement, dynamic core stability challenges, precise/planned eating habits, and several other daily choices that one has to make when they could lose a modeling gig due to not having those abs.
The second type of person to have a six pack, has it because they don’t care about having one. Think about every person you know who likes to play as an adult just as much as they did as a child. You may notice that they often have that six pack. I’ve often instructed my clients to go outside and play. They ask what to do in between sessions and I tell them to run, jump, dance, and just have fun for the sake of play. It really is a great way to help your body thrive. This type 2 persona just wants to ride, run, swim, surf, hike, hang glide, ski, etc. and in doing all of these things, the natural movement of their body and their own desire to eat healthy tends to leave them with a six pack. But, most of the people I’ve met who love to play don’t give a shit about that feature of their body. They care more about their next camping adventure.
Where do you fit into all of this? Well, obviously, all people in the world fit into more than two categories. But, where you fit should be determined by your answer to a simple question. Why do you want a six pack? Are you being paid to have/keep one? If yes, see above. Do you enjoy playing and enjoy foods that fuel your body (instead of foods that hinder your health)? If yes, see above. Do you just want a six pack because pop culture told you that’s how the world defines sexy? Do you just want a six pack to send a selfie-laden fuck you letter to your Ex? Do you just want a six pack because you think it will garner some street cred? If the answer was yes to any of those last three questions, take a step back. You’re fine with whatever way your belly looks right meow. Once more for the cheap seats, you look fine just the way you are today!
There are no scientifically proven health benefits to a well developed rectus abdominis. The irony is that stressing over having a six pack (or anything), increases cortisol levels. Cortisol causes inflammation in the GI tract and is often seen as belly fat. What if you didn’t stress over a six pack? What if you just chose to move your body because bodies are designed to move? What if you just ate good/whole foods because you still want to feel good in 10 years? This is the type of person I try to be. I take off my clothes for money and I don’t spend time stressing over my abs. I’d rather enjoy the movement and grind I’m giving to my audience than worry about muscular definition. As long as I can move, I’m grateful.
So, now you have the secret to six pack abs. The secret is that there is no secret. You have them because it’s your job. You have them because you enjoy moving your body in many ways and you don’t care about them. Or, you want them, refuse to change your habits, and stress over not having them which exacerbates the issue. I’m writing this to encourage you all to be in the category with me. Move your body because you love your body, NOT because you’re a critic of your body’s appearance. #BodyFaming


Tough Mudder Training

If you’re reading this, it’s because someone (hopefully the person in the mirror) has convinced you to participate in an adventure race. Maybe it’s a Spartan Race, an Urbanathlon, or a Tough Mudder. If you think it’s just a mud run, please keep reading. (Spoiler: It’s more than that!) I’ve finished a few Tough Mudder events and I wanted to write this up to (at least mentally) prepare people for the event. None of the aforementioned events compare to the Western States 100. But, Tough Mudder isn’t easy. You will be sore, but the event can be fun! So, you’ve signed up for a tough, fun adventure race that will make your body sore? Congratulations! Here’s how to survive it.

I’ve participated in Tough Mudder 2.5 times, all in Tahoe. I ran it in 2011 at the Squaw Valley resort. I broke my foot while training for the 2012 event. I still went up to Tahoe to give my friends the moral support they needed. I finished the Summer event on July 13th at the Northstar resort in 2013. Does that make me an expert? No. But, I can share some things with you that have helped me earn 2 orange headbands.

Choose your teammates wisely. Don’t choose your teammate based on fitness level. This isn’t the grade school playground. Don’t pick the tall kid, the fast kid or the “climbs stuff good” kid. Instead, choose the team member that will stay positive and smile when they are cold, wet, getting electrocuted in the face, getting barbed wire snagged on their booty cheeks or running five miles up a hill that never fucking ends. Never. Fucking. Ends. When you’re going through obstacles like that, no one gives a shit about how much you can bench press. When you’re going through obstacles like that, the attitude to get up and keep going is the only thing that matters. Complainers, settlers, and whiners should never be on your team. Complainers will find something wrong with every rock on the mountain and they’ll tell you all about it! They will not shut up! Settlers will settle for the bare minimum. No, we didn’t come this far just to fucking go around it. Tough Mudder is a challenge not a race. That’s part of the Tough Mudder pledge. Settlers will sing those words all over the mountain as they stroll along, claiming to be in no rush. It’s true. This event is not a race. But, it’s not a damned crawl either. We didn’t come all of this way to go for a stroll in the woods. Hustle up! Whiners will be afraid of every obstacle no matter how much you’ve prepared for it. So, having super heroes on your team is great. But, if any one teammate is a complainer, settler, or whiner, the whole team will get dragged down! Choose wisely. At some point, all of you will need to mentally or physically uplift the other.

Don’t just train, train with specificity. “How does somebody even train for that?” is the question that I hear the most. Well, isn’t it obvious? Go to the nearest mountain, build 20 obstacles that are spread over 10-12 miles, invite some friends, add beer, shake well, and giddyup! Okay, so that’s a tad impractical. Here are some other options. Run on trails with hills (no exceptions). If you’re new to running, start on flat asphalt and gradually move to grass, beach, then trail (in that order). But, hills and rocks need to be under/around your feet in order for you to prepare for this event. The biggest challenge will be running downhill on loose footing for 5+ miles with switchbacks. Get wet, run until dry, repeat. Find some little kids and fill up their inflatable pool with ice water. (Please, warn the kids first.) Jump in, fully clothed in your event day gear, stay in for at least 10 seconds, get out and run until you’re dry. Then do it all over again. Wear the right clothes and train in them, first. Old school rules state: Never do anything new on race day! That includes those special Underoos that you bought for the event. That ballerina costume fits great and looks great with the group photo. How will you feel after mile 5 when that glittery thong is in the crack of your ass? Wear things you are willing to part with (and that includes your GoPro-people lose shit all the time in these events). Remember, there is barbed wire. Do NOT wear shoes that are almost dead, you’re going to need some good brakes heading down hill. Do NOT run this race in Vibram Five Fingers. I don’t care how many people you’ve seen do it. I don’t care if your badass friend did it. I have two words why not, puncture wound. The TM staff doesn’t go through and pick out all of the pointy rocks so that you can have a safe run. One sharp rock can end your race. In both events that I’ve finished, I’ve seen people bounding up the hill in those shoes at the beginning of the race. By the end of the race, they were all limping due to rolled ankles, toe injuries, etc. Train in what you plan to wear on race day. Costumes are encouraged, just be prepared for what it’s going to feel like. Be mentally prepared to bleed. No matter how covered you are, there’s a good chance that you will bleed. In 2013, I wore a full body compression suit and I still walked away with three scars and a bruised rib. In 2011, I did this run in shorts and a t-shirt. Ha! The rocks enjoyed tearing up my skin. Crawl around on the ground. Learn how to crawl on grass, dirt, and rocks without terrorizing your knees. Find some monkey bars, learn how to hang from them without injuring your shoulders and get mobile using just your arms. Make muscle-ups your friend. This exercise will help you with a lot of the obstacles. So, to sum up your training. Be able to run in cold wet everything. Be able to crawl under anything on any terrain. Get over your claustrophobia. Learn how to hoist yourself up and over things. Learn how to run after unexpected pain zaps you. During training, I was stung (twice) by a Yellowjacket. While that wasn’t planned, we had to keep running (mostly out of fear). Nothing could have prepared me more for getting shocked in the face with 10,000 volts with 5 miles left to go. Yes. That’s a thing. That can and will happen. Which brings me to my next survival point.

Be strategic with those obstacles. Each obstacle will have a few lines so that everyone can get through. When you go to the grocery store, don’t look for the people that have the fewest items, look for the most efficient cashier. The same logic applies here. If you’re about to get into a dark underground tunnel and crawl behind someone, don’t get behind the person that seems uncoordinated and uncertain. You’re asking for a traffic jam. Further, give some space between you and the Mudder in front of you. Don’t go in on their heels, unless it’s your teammate and they want you close. During the Electric Eel obstacle (slip and slide + live wires + tight space = HTFU) I heard about this one Mudder that froze and curled up into a ball. The Mudder behind was stuck, getting zapped, repeatedly. Don’t slide into a traffic jam! Also, FFS, listen to the volunteers. They will be giving you coaching points on how to complete the obstacles. Don’t try to do it your way. Let go of your ego. You may be a badass, but you’ll be a tired badass. Play it smart.

FAQ
“Can’t I just walk around some of the obstacles?” Sure. You can also be locked in a room with a willing <insert your favorite celebrity> and give them a handy instead of going all the way. Come on people, you didn’t train, drive a few hours, and dress like a Liger just to walk around obstacles. Real talk, don’t be stupid. If you can’t swim, don’t jump in the deep water. Walk around the obstacles that could get you fucked up in the game. But, otherwise, go for it.

“What should I eat?” Eat a proper breakfast. Don’t eat a peanut butter sandwich and try to run 12 miles on a mountain. You’re an adult, you should know what a proper breakfast is, for your body. I’m not going to tell you to eat 4 eggs, 2 sausages, toast, coffee, juice, and a banana like I did. You might be a Vegan. Besides, I eat that same breakfast quite often. Remember, nothing new on race day. So, as part of your training, start eating a “proper” breakfast and see how far it will get you. If you run 2 miles and pass out, that’s not the right breakfast for your body.

  • Invest in some trail running shoes. Make sure that the laces can be tucked somewhere other than inside the shoe.
  • Don’t pin your bib number (and safety pins) on your chest/stomach. Did I mention that you’ll be crawling around, in mud, a lot. Unless you want to get a safety pin jab in the belly, just put the number elsewhere.
  • Gloves. You don’t need them, but should you wear them… They can be your best friend or worst enemy. If you buy the right gloves (that stand up to varying wet/dry conditions and still provide grip while hanging by your finger tips) then you’ll be happy. If you buy the wrong gloves, you’ll be pissed. Why would you wear gloves at all? NONE of the water is even 45 degrees. ALL of the water is finger-curling cold. After the 10th cold water obstacle, you’ll need to hang by those finger tips. So, of course you don’t *need* gloves. But, they’ve done me right.
  • Eyewear. Just don’t. Unless you wear contacts and you’re trying to protect your eyeballs, any eyewear will be a detriment after the first mud splash. They don’t provide Windex on the course.
  • GoPro. Prepare to lose it. That is all.
  • Underwear. Buy some moisture wicking draws or your underwear will become an under war.
  • Sunscreen all of your bits. There are some compression suits that have sun protection. But, your head and other bits of skin will burn like bacon. You’ll be out there for 2-6 hours. That’s not a typo. You will NOT leave your teammate behind. So, if you need to carry someone (yes, that is one of the obstacles) it may take a while. Waterproof, sweatproof, 10,000 volt proof sunscreen. Do it!
  • If you can find someone willing, get a Sherpa. Some teammate’s lover, friend, or roommate will (hopefully) be willing to hike the spectator trail and schlep some supplies for you and take pictures. Make sure that person (or your bag that you should leave at check-in) has a dry change of clothes and some comfort food for the finish line.
  • Lodging. Stay as close to the start/finish line as possible. Book your stay the minute they announce the venue. You’ll be happy when you wake up stress-free and happier when you can shower immediately afterwards. TM crew will hose you down at the end. The water will not be warm. Did I mention that all of the water is cold? So, choose your event date wisely! There’s an event in Toronto in Autumn. Ha! No thanks!
  • Create a team chant or call. When someone gets too far behind, they can call out the code word for “Wait for me!”

So, I hope all of this helps you to prepare for your first Tough Mudder. Don’t be afraid of Mudder. Make it YOUR Mudder. Enjoy your training.

Here are some pictures before, during, and after the event in 2013 with my teammate, Sae. Good times!


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About This Blog

When I first began this blog, it wasn’t a blog. I would copy/paste the song titles and artists of my music playlists from my Spinning classes. I then began to write out the motivation behind my song selection. From there, it grew to me writing about fitness-oriented experiences that have inspired/educated me. When the list of people continued to grow, I made an email newsletter into a blog. The plan is to post weekly. However, a full life (that I love-no complaints) often finds me backdating to keep up appearances that this blog is weekly. I’m a liar. 😉

Over the years, this blog has evolved into subjects beyond fitness. As you’ve noticed, I’ve written about relationships, dating, etiquette, food relationships, social media addiction, erotic short stories (one so far with more to… wait for it… cum), and many other topics. I hope that all 700+ of you that have subscribed to this blog will continue to forward/share my posts with people all over the world. Side note: You have no idea how much it humbles me that my blog is being read on the other side of the globe.

Life’s too complex to try to create a different box/blog for every thought in our heads. I look forward to sharing even more with you.

Love Your Sweat

There are many times that I’m certain my words will get me fired from my job as a fitness coach. Taken out of context, some of the things I say to my clients would certainly raise some eyebrows. Recently, I said eight letters, three words to a client that would certainly fall under the “outside of my scope as a trainer” umbrella. I told a client, “I love you.” *Cue the dramatic music as the audience gasps* It’s true, I love my clients. I don’t have a favorite, all of my clients are completely different from one another. But, I love them all for the same reasons. In each of my clients, I see a human being that has made a conscious decision to take control of their fitness level. We don’t lose our health with old age, instead we give it away throughout our lives with the unhealthy choices that we make.

There are times when my clients will scream, cuss, cry, call out for Jesus, or tell me that they hate me. I embrace the four agreements, so I don’t take (most) things personally. I get it. I recognize the catharsis behind their words and actions and it makes me love my clients even more. We all have a choice. We have a choice to step up to challenges and gain strength or we can accept what’s in front of us and choose not to take charge of our fitness level. We can choose to be any BODY that we want. Trust me, before you start listing the excuses, I’ve heard most of them and used the rest of them myself.

Love who you are and grow stronger from there. In daily interactions, I’d love to see more body faming and less body shaming. Shouldn’t it be easier to see the beauty in ourselves and others than it is to find reasons for critique and judgment? I love my clients for making the choice to not judge themselves (too harshly) and committing to a new challenge in their lives. “Jet, you don’t know your clients very well. We judge ourselves all of the time!” That may be true. But, perhaps it’s the raised serotonin levels from the workout. When I see my clients sweating and smiling, I see self love manifest. I see someone that doesn’t want to fall victim to hereditary diseases. I see someone that recognizes the relationship between body composition and life expectancy. (Quick note on BMI, ignore it. BMI is an outdated metric used by insurance companies to make denying coverage easier. BMI doesn’t take a lot of other deciding factors-BF% for one-into consideration. So, at 5’11”, 195 pounds and 10% body fat, BMI will list a person as overweight.) In my clients, I see a human being that is in a better mood by the end of the session (even if the only reason for the better mood is that the session has ended). Keep doing what you’re doing. Keep putting in the work. Love your sweat.