So You Say You Hate Exercise

Time for a little tough love.

I didn’t become a personal trainer for the huge amount of money I could make. Not for the fame and glory that I could achieve. Nope, I became a personal trainer because I believe in fitness. How much better our lives are if we exercise.

Which is good because there hasn’t been a whole lot of money, fame, or glory involved. But I do know I’ve changed a few lives, so that’s a pretty good trade-off.

There is one thing I’ve grown pretty tired of hearing though, not just from (a few) of my clients, but from non-exercisers in general. The random people who come to the gym, friends of clients, even other bloggers (!). They will walk in, look disdainfully around at the equipment, the members sweating, the trainers demonstrating, and say, often haughtily (like this makes them special in some way), “I hate exercise.”

I used to consider this a challenge. I could take this person, create a program for them, find something that they do enjoy, and they would become lifelong exercisers. Barring that, I could at least make them like me enough to enjoy the time we spent together training.

The problem with the former goal is that it rarely happens. They stick to a program for a while, complain a lot, start to find excuses, then disappear from the face of the earth the gym forever. Or at least until next New Years.

The latter solution isn’t perfect either. There is a large segment of the population who won’t hire a personal trainer, so I’m missing a large part of the target audience. And while I do have a few clients who train with me because they enjoy my company, they would rather chat than work out, and they are terrible at adhering to the other parts of a fitness program normally done on one’s own, like cardio and proper nutrition.

I’m tired of sugarcoating exercise, of trying to make everyone happy, of spending my valuable time convincing you to enjoy doing something that will make you feel better, live longer, play stronger, and generally have a better life. So, to that end my new mantra is…


Suck it Up, Buttercup

Who ever said that everything that you do in life had to be fun? We, all of us, do many things daily that we don’t really enjoy. Do you like brushing your teeth? Cleaning the litter box? Scrubbing the toilet? Do you do it? Yes, because not to do it would leave you in a stinky place.

Even if you enjoy your job, you don’t always like it. But you do it because, you know, money. You clean your house, mow your lawn, help your kid with homework you may not understand yourself. Fun? Not really.

You do all of these things because, well, you have to, need to, are compelled to, whatever. For the most part, you don’t do them because you like them. You may even hate them.

If you spend a half hour three days a week lifting weights, or some other form of strength building exercise, and take a little time for a walk most days of the week, you can receive benefits way beyond having a clean litter box. You can lower your blood pressure and cholesterol. You can reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, and osteoporosis. You can avoid the pain of many joint diseases, improve your balance and posture, and general overall health. You will feel better. You will look better.

look better

All of this for only two or three hours a week. Many people spend that much time a night watching television.

So suck it up, buttercup. Just get out there and do it. It doesn’t matter if you don’t like it. You need it. It’s important. There are many resources available if you are new to exercise and need a little help getting started. You can contact me if you have question, either in the comments or from my contact page.

Who knows. You might even begin to like it. A little.

Love your health


To all my regular readers. You probably realize that I’m not speaking to you. I know that most of you either love to work out or have come to terms with its importance. But, you may have, as I do, friends, acquaintances, family, that sprinkle the “I hate exercise” line into your regular conversations. Now you have something to answer with.

2014: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly. The Year in Review

Giveaways are always a good thing. The winner of my last giveaway of 2014, a $100 Visa gift card that can be used to help her community, is Lisa B., who wrote: Haruko Sato would be my favorite story; she braved surgery to help to lessen the effects of her condition and keeps a very positive attitude. I give to my local food bank regularly and donate to charities that care for the elderly in hospices in our area and would use the card accordingly. (The winning comment was generated using The giveaway was sponsored by Medtronic.)

2014 was an interesting year. The title of this post came to me because I’ve had so many good and bad things happen this year (and only one ugly, fortunately). I always find it useful to review the previous year before setting goals for the upcoming one. It gives me a chance to see where I am now, and make the plans that will get me where I want to be a year from now. So here is my year in review.

Year in Review


The Good:

Ragnar So Cal was really the highlight of my running year. I was dragged talked into doing it by Melissa, but I am so happy that I said yes when she asked me to take her place due to an injury. And while the run itself was great, the best part was meeting 11 women who will be my friends for life.


My Recaps:

I’m a Ragnarian!
The Culture of a Ragnar Relay
5 Essentials for Ragnar (and my Complete Packing List)

My return to the marathon, while having moments of both bad and ugly, was overall a great experience. Alan and I were both undertrained, which we really felt from about the halfway point on, but, who cares? Our return to the Rock and Roll Marathon (we both did the original, back in 1998) was definitely a good.


My Recap:

Rock and Roll Marathon San Diego Recap


The Good

I updated to a new theme for the blog back in March. I really love it, and I plan to tweak it a little in the coming months (2015 goal alert!).

I wrote a couple posts for the Fitfluential blog, which is also something I want to expand in the new year.

My Posts:

The Importance of Youth Sports: A Coaches Perspective
Training for Your 2nd 5k

I attended my first blogging conference, Blogfest, and it was amazing. I not only learned a lot about blogging as a business and a passion, I met so many of my favorite bloggers. I’ll be back, in Los Angeles, next July!


My Recaps:

Blogfest: It Starts with the People
5 Reasons You Need to Go to Blogfest 2015

The Bad

I always want to expand my readership, which was happening early in 2014. However, once summer hit my numbers took a hit too. They seem to be climbing again, but I’d really like to keep them going in one direction (and that would be up).

I feel like I’ve been a bad blog-friend during the second half of the year. Time challenged to be sure, but I did manage to keep posting regularly. What has suffered was my replying to commenters, reading other blogs and commenting there, and general blogging best practices. Again, something that I’ll be working on. Really, there is no excuse for bad manners.

Favorite Posts

Every now and then I write something that I’m very proud of. Here are a few from 2014.

Risi Salad

Favorite Recipe Post: Herbed Risi Salad with Creamy Tarragon Dressing
Favorite Workout Post: 3 Hill Workouts to Get Faster and Stronger
Favorite Running Post: Running Notes: 7 Key Points for Coaching Girls
Favorite Sponsored Post: Fit Fall Fashion: Fun at Lorna Jane
Favorite “General” Post: So You Want Me to Hire You: 5 Tips to Help You Get That Interview

Most Popular Posts

Stop the Negative Self Talk! 5 Tips to Turn it Around and Improve Performance
10 Questions Never to Ask a Runner This is my fifth all-time most popular post!
12 Running Myths You May Still Believe
From the Coach: 10 Life Lessons from Running

Notice a trend? Boy I sure do. All of my most popular posts this year are about running. You may just be seeing more of those in 2015.


The Good

I started working in a new country club in November. I am really excited to be back to more personal training. I love what I’m doing, I’m working for the woman who hired me once before and we have a really good working relationship, my co-workers are nice, and I’m starting to fill up my training schedule.

I was fortunate to attend two fitness conferences in 2014. As part of Blogfest, I was able to attend the last two days of the IDEA World Fitness Convention last August. I also attended the IHRSA convention in March. I am so lucky that both of these respected conferences were held in Southern California! And that both will be in Los Angeles in 2015!


photo credit

My Recaps:

Fitness Education: What I Learned at IHRSA 2014
Inspired: Using the Lessons from IDEA World in the Real World

The Bad

I spent a lot of time unemployed in 2014, which in one way was wonderful since it was during the summer and I got to spend a lot of time with my husband. But being on unemployment is bad, mostly because they have no respect for the people to whom the money is vital. It is impossible to reach them by phone, they are late with payments, and overall, it just sucks.

The Ugly

The only ugly of 2014 happened when I was fired from my job of nine years with no notice, no severance, no nothing. Even uglier, you can’t read about it because I was encouraged to take down the post to avoid potential legal action. But, it did feel good to write about it, and if you happen to follow me on Bloglovin’ or Feedly, you might still have a chance to check out my post.

While the ugly almost overwhelmed the good stuff this year, I’m a pretty positive person, so I can even find the good side of losing my job. I wasn’t happy and it was time to move on. Getting back to the “real” part of personal training instead of managing has been wonderful.

With all that good stuff, there is still room for improvement (there always is!), so I am working on my 2015 goals for running, fitness, career, and blogging. Coming soon!

What would you say was your best accomplishment in 2014?

There But For the Grace of God

I’m not telling this story to brag, or to say how kind Alan and I are. I don’t want any praise or kudos for just acting as another human being should. No, I’m telling this story because it really made me appreciate how lucky I am.

Alan and I stopped at the grocery store this afternoon to pick up a few things for dinner. As we were walking out to our car, we noticed a woman, carrying a couple grocery bags, walking a little aimlessly through the parking lot. Her balance was bad, and she obviously couldn’t find her car. Frankly, by just watching her walk, we suspected she might be drunk. Very drunk.

Finally, Alan walked over to her and asked if she was alright. She said yes, but she couldn’t find her car. He asked if we could help, but she said no and started walking toward another part of the parking lot. Now, this was about 5:00 on a Saturday evening in August in the desert. There weren’t a lot of cars to choose from. We asked what kind of car and she said a Mercedes.

She walked wobbily away from us, so we got into our car and started out of the parking lot. I scanned the lot, but couldn’t see a Mercedes. As we passed the woman, she slowly sat down on the ground. Alan turned around, stopped, then finally noticed the Mercedes parked close to where she had been originally looking. I got out of the car, and we offered to drive her (it wasn’t that far away, but she was looking pretty bad). She said that she was fine and started toward her car again.

About halfway there, she again sank to the ground. This time we both got out of the car. Alan helped her up, and asked her again if she felt she was okay to drive. She said that she was fine. She was an attorney and a nurse, but she had received some bad news and was a little upset.

Alan said that since she was an attorney, she would know the consequences of getting a DUI. That seemed to sink in. We offered to drive her home and she agreed.

As I was driving her to her home just a few miles away, she started talking, somewhat confusedly, saying that as an attorney she worked with driving under the influence cases, that (referring to how we were helping her) she was usually the one that did this. She broke down a little and said that she had some really bad news, a bad diagnosis, but, because she was always the helper and the strong one, she didn’t expect that anyone would help her. She didn’t think that her kids could take the news.

I just listened and tried to tell her that hopefully, some of her friends could step up and listen, and help out if necessary. That maybe it was their turn to help her. She didn’t seem to think there was much hope of that, even though she said that she had friends.

I just felt so helpless, telling this lonely woman, who was probably around my age, that surely someone would step up and support her, she just had to ask. By the time I got to her house, she told me it was colon cancer. She said that she’d just got the diagnosis. I tried to offer some hope, that there were probably treatment options, but she repeated that she was a nurse, she worked in a hospital, like that meant she knew where she was heading.

I ended up giving her my card, and told her that if she needed someone to talk to she could call me. I have her card too, so we’ll check in on her tomorrow. She was very grateful that we helped her out. While I appreciate that, I am thankful that, when I think what could have happened with a woman who was not only distraught, but probably self medicating with drugs or alcohol, that we may have prevented an accident from happening.

As I got back in the car with Alan, I felt so sad for her. That after giving so much that she should be afraid to ask when she needs support. That she doesn’t think her children could handle the news. That she is really alone in the world, facing the most devastating news in her life. And I am so grateful, that, in spite of a few challenges in my life that seem so minor by comparison, not just that I have my health, but if I ever need to ask anyone for help, I don’t have to be afraid that there will be no one to be there for me to lean on.

Always remember that there, but for the grace of God, go I. Go we. And the awesomeness of being in the right place at the right time. A little reflection for this Sunday morning.


Comments closed today. Just some food for thought.

Opening New Doors for the Future

What New Things Does the Future Hold?

I have been a personal trainer for a long time. I was late to the career, but as I made changes toward a healthier lifestyle (over 20 years ago), I knew that since fitness was my passion, I could make my passion my career.  

Therefore it might surprise you that I am contemplating a career change again.   Maybe it is my destiny to change my direction every few years, to open new doors and see what waits for me behind them.  

I have been thinking about this for a long time. I have reached a point in my fitness career where I am in management, meaning I do a lot more paperwork than actual training. While I love the security of my full time position, losing the hands-on aspect of my job makes it seem a little barren.  

At the same time, my husband has reached retirement age, but has no intention of slowing down. He can’t imagine not working. He would like though, a career that allows him to set his own goals, hours, and still has a decent financial reward.  

Why not, we thought, do something together?  

Real Estate 2 

When my husband suggested getting our real estate licenses, I was hesitant. Me, a saleswoman? It is true that sales are a part of almost any service career, maybe especially in fitness where you are selling a healthy lifestyle, sometimes to people who definitely do not want to buy. But real estate sales?  

It is also true that we would make a great team. Alan can sell anything. He is outgoing and personable. I am more reserved, but I’m nice and people like me. He’s more excitable and I’m more calm. Except when I’m more excitable and he’s calm. We would be like the Yin and Yang of real estate!  


The more I think (and write) about it, the more excited I get. We have signed up for an online real estate course, and are working our way through. It isn’t easy because it is all new and boring and complicated. We’ve spoken to a local broker so we have a place to start when we’re ready. I even started watching all of the real estate shows on television!


If we could make it through 26.2 together, real estate will be a piece of cake!

I’m not totally giving up my fitness career either. I hope that this new step will allow me the freedom to get back to working individually with clients. I’d even love to expand my coaching and other online training services. But that’s a post for another day. For now I’ll say that I will still write about fitness, running, and health. I have no plans to make this a real estate blog!  

So for now, I continue to study and work toward this new opportunity that I am making for myself. Wish me luck! Now, back to my books!  

Have you been considering opening a new door in your own life? Read below to find out how you can enter for a chance to win $10,000 to make your dreams come true.

Merck Consumer Care, the makers of OXYTROL FOR WOMEN – the first and only over-the-counter treatment for overactive bladder – and MORE magazine are launching the “Open A New Door” program to help women 50 and over overcome barriers when pursing their passions.1,857 women 50 and over on MORE’s reader panel were surveyed to reveal what dreams they want to pursue in their second stage of life and what barriers they would face trying to reinvent themselves. In a perfect world, 97% of the women surveyed would choose a variety of ways to reinvent themselves in the near future. However, nearly 9 out of 10 (89%) of these women admit they would face obstacles in their quest for reinvention.  

One woman who enters the “Open a New Door” contest will be awarded $10,000 to help her realize her reinvention goals in the areas of professional development, volunteerism or travel, in addition to a personal coaching session with Pamela Mitchell, founder and CEO of The Reinvention Institute. Women 50 and over can visit to enter. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN IN THE OPEN A NEW DOOR CONTEST. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE THE CHANCE OF WINNING. Starts 8:00:00 am ET on 5/20/14, ends 11:59:59 pm ET on 6/30/14 (“Promotion Period”). Open to women who are legal residents of 50 United States and District of Columbia and 50+ years. Void where prohibited. Subject to the Official Rules, inclusive of the entry judging criteria, available by visiting during the Promotion Period or by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope for receipt by 8/4/14 to: Open A New Door Contest RULES, P.O. Box 13106, Bridgeport, CT, 06673-3106. Sponsor: MSD Consumer Care, Inc.  


The Top 3 Times I Needed a Walgreens Healthcare Clinic

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric®  Community. This content has been compensated as a part of a social shopper amplification for #CollectiveBias and its advertiser. #HealthcareClinic All opinions are my own.

I can’t remember the last time that I had a medical emergency. Thank goodness. There are times, though, when I wish I had a convenient option that could take care of minor yet important health care needs. Either small things that need to be done, like vaccines and health screenings, or more urgent things like illness or small injuries that need attention. Those things that I know would require a three week wait for an appointment if I called my doctor. That’s why I was so excited to learn about Walgreens Healthcare Clinic.

Walgreens Healthcare Clinic is open 7 days a week and weekday evenings too. For certain things, like vaccines, physicals and wellness checks, and monitoring of ongoing conditions and medications, you can conveniently make an appointment. For more urgent issues, like illnesses, minor injuries, and skin conditions, you can walk in. Waits are typically around 20 minutes and you can check online for the current wait time at the clinic closest to you. For example, Walgreens Healthcare Clinic – Phoenix has six options to choose from. so you can check online for the most convenient location with the shortest wait.


The Top 3 Times I Needed a Walgreens Healthcare Clinic


We do A LOT of trail running in this family. Usually we stay on our feet.

  1. Just a couple weeks ago, I was running on the trails near home. I was by myself, but not too far from home. My foot hit something on the trail and I took a header, managing to scrape my knee, hand, and elbow. At the time I felt more embarrassed than hurt, but I did have to sit there for a while to take stock and regroup. When I started running again, I was surprised at how much my knee hurt. Not like it was sprained or broken, but more like someone had kicked me in the knee. It would have been a great idea to have it looked at right away, so I really could have used a Walgreens Healthcare Clinic.
  2. Several years ago, Alan and I were running along the Art Smith Trail with a group of friends (notice a theme in our injury pattern?). Because he is a gentleman, he stayed back to run with a slower woman (the rest of the group, including her boyfriend, had dashed ahead). We arrived at the halfway point of what is an 18 mile run and stopped to wait. And we waited. And waited. Finally, Alan and the woman showed up. He was holding his arm because he had tripped on a rock on the trail, fallen and taken a gouge out of his arm just above the elbow. It wasn’t deep but it was wide. Fortunately, that halfway point is also an escape point, so we took the shortcut, where one of the other runners had planned to stop so her car was there. After hours of waiting we were finally seen, and found out all that was needed was to pick the sand out and bandage the wound. This would have been so much faster and easier if we had seen gone to a Walgreens Healthcare Clinic.
  3. Like many people, I tend to gut it out when I’m sick. I’ll buy my over-the-counter medications, go to bed, and basically cross my fingers that I’ll feel better. That usually works, but about two years ago, what seemed at first like a cold just got worse and worse. It turned out to be bronchitis and I ended up missing a lot of work and taking a long time to get better. It would have been so much smarter to have gone to my local Walgreens Healthcare Clinic and get checked out right away. That could have saved me a lot of misery.
Sick Day

This is my world when I’m sick.

There are over 400 Walgreens Healthcare Clinics nationwide (click here to see if there is one near you). They offer programs for prevention and illness, treatment for minor injuries, health monitoring and management. See the complete list of health care options here.


I’ll bet if you think about it, you can tell me a time that you could have used a Walgreens Healthcare Clinic.

#MNBChallenge: Week One. Amazing

Whew! We just completed the first week of the Move Nourish Believe Challenge and it was pretty amazing. I love this challenge! It is fun, different, and doesn’t require me to twist myself into interesting yoga poses in order to participate. Not only that, the prize is $1000 in Lorna Jane Active apparel! How’s that for motivation?

Week one was all about Movement. Each day brought a different challenge and participants shared their accomplishments on Instagram and Twitter. Here’s how my week went.

Day 1: Sweat It Out. Show Us Your Favorite Way to Sweat!

 #MNBChallenge: RunningIf you know me at all, you know that running is always number one in my sweating book. And running with my dog makes it even better.

Day 2: Change it Up! Sweat in a New Way!

#MNBChallenge: Change it Up PilatesOn of the perks of working at a fitness center that has a Pilates studio is the availability of a spare reformer when you need one.  It was a lot of fun and reminded me that I really need to do more Pilates. It’s such an amazing workout.

Day 3: Let’s Get Planking! Plank for at Least 5 minutes (you can split it up).

#MNBChallenge: Let's Get PlankingI really wanted to do the entire 5 minutes at one time, but I wasn’t sure that I could. My recent planking is done during the classes I teach, on a stability ball, for one minute at a time. Could I hold up for five?

I was dressed to go running, waiting for it to get a little lighter outside when I decided to go for it. I used an app on my ipad for the photo op, so that I could show the countdown. At a minute, I still had a smile on my face. With 2:56 left, Coco (top right corner) came over to give me a little encouragement. I held on. At the halfway point, Olivia (bottom left) gave me a kiss to help give me strength. And with about 35 seconds to go, Penny (bottom center) whispered “you can do it” into my ear (that’s what I heard anyway). And at 5 minutes, my timer beeped, I collapsed on my mat, sore but pretty darn proud. And still managed a six mile run afterward!

Day 4: Buddy Up! Work Out with a Friend Today!

#MNBChallenge: Running Buddy UpRunning with the best buddies in the world makes the miles fly by and motivates me to get out the door.

Day 5: Fave Friday! Show Your Five Fitness Favorites!

#MNBChallenge: Running Fave FridayThe rules said that our fitness favorites could be workouts, equipment, people, exercises..whatever gets us moving. After a little thought, I first picked my favorite race, the La Jolla Half Marathon, then realized that I got my fitness inspiration from the people I am surrounded by!

Starting at the top right: Hanging with a few of my SweatPink and Fitfluential sisters; Bo Eason, whose presentation at IDEA World Fitness Convention rocked my world; my grandsons who love to run with their grandma and grandpa when we visit; the students in my group exercise classes, who defy aging through their hard work; and my cross country team, who train so hard during the summer months in the desert.

Next week the challenge is all about Nourishment. Monday’s challenge is to go meatless. I think I have that one in the bag!

Have you joined the MNB Challenge? It’s a great way to give your 2014 resolutions and goals a kick in the pants.

Pick one (or all) and tell me: What’s your favorite way to sweat? What new fitness activity would you like to try out? Who is your favorite workout buddy? What or who inspires you to stay fit?