With a Broken Heart………..

When the phone rings at 6 am it’s never a good call…This morning we woke up to that call.  Our 43 year old niece, Lori, passed away last night from an apparent heart attack.  She was the quintessential mom to her 13 year old twins, Sarah and David.  She was a great daughter, wife, sister, friend….EVERYTHING.  Everything Lori did, she did with the BIGGEST heart.  She will be missed by so many.  My heart aches for her husband, Gene and those beautiful twins, her mom, Nancy and her TRIBE of family and friends.  This is going to be a very tough loss for all of us.  Thanks to my sister and her family for being THE ROCK in our family.

I have no idea when I will be traveling to NY or how long I will be gone.  It’s very hard to be far away from family especially at a time like this.

I will try to keep my blog up so my students know what’s up.  If I am not here for SilverSneakers or 8:30 am classes, Ellen will be.  If you are a student, check this site or call the gym at 954 726-1070 and let’s go one day at a time.

Keep loving your loved ones.  That’s what our niece would want!


Rest peacefully, Lori.  You were already an angel here on earth….I guess now you got your wings.   You are so loved.

Adrenaline Driven This Morning………

While Sunday is usually rest day for me, I woke up this morning inspired and motivated to get moving.  Inspired by the likes of Rose Brickman who took first place in several categories yesterday at the 2014 NGA Central Florida Gator Classic Pro/Am.  I have witnessed her dedication to fitness and she does prove that 50 really is the new 30, but it doesn’t just happen.  It takes lots of work, sacrifice and the ability to see the brass ring instead of dive into immediate gratification.  Congratulations to her and I know this is just the beginning!  Personally, I just want to know how you walk in those shoes!


Of course I am motivated by the fact that Nicole and Kyle’s wedding is now, officially, THIS WEEK!  I just went out and took a 2.5 miles run around the neighborhood, came home and did some ab work and will be hitting the pool shortly.  Every summer I goal to swim 1,000 laps and my short term goal was to do 600 of them by the wedding.  I am only 15 away so will make a dent into the more long term goal.  Around these parts we get at least 5 good swimming months and my pool isn’t huge, so laps go pretty quickly and there is plenty of time to accumulate 1000 of them.  I love setting goals because it feels so awesome to complete them!  I have come to realize, though, that I will never be a long distance runner.  I can push myself to get out there most every day and do 1 or 2 or so miles but I can’t seem to push myself to do the distance runs.  This might have everything to do with the fact that my job is pretty physical, so I am good with all of it.

In fact, this morning, I am feeling good (great) with everything!  Getting up and looking at Facebook this morning, I was so happy to see so many friends and family members celebrating good things, good times, special occasions and…life!  From sorority sisters from way back when all gathering for a girls weekend in NY, to family and friends celebrating milestone birthdays and sports accomplishments as well as pictures from awesome family trips and milestone occasions like Nicole’s bridal shower and Allison’s engagement there were many smiles on my face and in my heart this morning.  Here’s a photo from after the shower, heading to the Hard Rock.  This one wasn’t on Facebook this morning, so I thought I would share…


With 6 days until the wedding I will be at the gym tomorrow, Tuesday and Wednesday for all regularly scheduled classes and then will be out until Wednesday the 6th of August.  Ellen will be subbing my Friday and Monday SilverSneakers classes but all MY(including senior strength) Tuesday classes will be cancelled.  I believe Ellen is subbing my Monday 8:30 class on Aug 4 but you may want to double check with her or the front desk later in the week.  Additionally, I will be entertaining ONLY happy thoughts and am in totally negativity free zone!  This doesn’t mean I wont’ be sending positive energy where needed (even during wedding time, life goes on and it’s not always perfect).

Finally, for all those that keep saying “take a lot of pictures at the wedding,” I need everyone to know that the bride and groom have requested an unplugged wedding.  This means they are asking guests to put cellphones away as they walk down the aisle, exchange vows and have the first dances.  We all understand how hard this is in today’s PLUGGED in world, but Nicole and Kyle want their night to be intimate and they would like their closest family and friends, who will be there to witness this monumental event, to be present.  They also have been encouraged by their photographers and videographers as too many great wedding moments have been ruined by a well meaning guest’s flash going off, or getting in the way.  We all hope that everyone attending will understand that this is all about these 2 “kids” who have worked INCREDIBLY hard to make their own wedding and are paying attention to every detail!

I am sorry for going on and on this morning.  I usually reserve Sundays for peaceful thoughts but I have wayyyyyyyy too much adrenaline flowing!  I do, however, wish YOU a very peaceful Sunday and thank you for stopping in.  Much love…….


Somebody’s Watching You….

Kids on the bus
 (Photo credit: roarpett)

Kids may not always listen to what we TELL them to do, but you can be sure they are always WATCHING what we are doing.  One thing Derek and Kyle always knew about me what that working out was not an option.  From their youngest years, they were filling in the blank with FITNESS INSTRUCTROR, when school forms asked their mother’s profession.  Also, from their earliest years, they never heard me complain about work, or working out.

So, today it makes me happy that Derek and Jolene have found an AWESOME (super awesome) gym in their neighborhood that they are joining.  This facility appears to have everything…and then some more.  I am also very excited that Kyle and Nicole are resting up today as they participate in their first half-marathon, in Disney, tomorrow morning.   That’s such a big deal!  The feeling at the finish line has to be amazing….

Their participation in fitness may or may not have ANYTHING to do with mine.  I get it.  I read the 4 Agreements!  Still, I feel good about the behavior I modeled… at least when it comes to physical fitness…

Remember, that even when you don’t know it, your kids are watching and learning from YOU.


Monkey See, Monkey Do (or Does NOT!)

Running circles on the beach, young female chi...
Running circles on the beach. (Photo credit: mikebaird)

Yesterday, while painting the beach part of my day, I spent some time just observing.  I watched the crashing waves, the surfers (surf was up!) the sky, the sun worshippers and everything around me.  For a while, I got caught up watching parents interact with their children.  What I started to watch was “monkey see/monkey do.”  There were parents running around in the sand with their children, their were parents playing in the ocean, swimming and jumping with their children and then there was the father with the toddler daughter in front of us.  Though I was not meaning to be judgmental in any way, I did notice that the families that were running and playing together were all in great shape.  The dad who ran around the most (and boy was he fast) was also the guy on the beach with ZERO body fat.  Kids too.  The guy in front of us was enjoying a relaxing time reclining on his blanket.  There is nothing wrong with that, in and of itself, but he was a rather overweight guy and his beautifully blond daughter looked exactly like him.  She sat building the same sand castle over and over again, and it saddened me that when she had to reach for sand, I could see it was hard for her to even move.  Then she wanted to be just like her dad so they laid a towel beside him so she could lay down.  It was a really cute minute, as the dad gave her her sunglasses and took a picture of her sunbathing, but it heart my heart at the same time.  My guess is there isn’t a whole lot of roll modeling of anything physical going on between those two.

My dad used to say “do as I say, not as I do,” but I don’t think he ever meant it too seriously.  He was smart enough to know that is NOT the way parenting works.  Your kids are watching everything you do and kids, especially young ones, always want to emulate their parents.  Show your kids that MOVING is as important as eating, breathing, sleeping and school!  Consider setting aside a slice of time every day to get outside and play WITH your kids.  You’ll not only have a great chance to bond, but your kids will be happier and healthier, and so will you!

Today I say good-bye for the summer to some of my favorite people in the entire world.  They are 3 generations of family that have modeled incredible behavior in many ways, and fitness aka moving aka play is way up on top of that list.  Though “I don’t wanna say good-bye for the summer”…I will miss them all but know that they will  fill their summers with lots of fun and daily doses of peaceandfitness.  Happy trails….

School’s Out for Summer!

Kids play skiprope on Morro Strand State Beach...
Kids play skiprope on Morro Strand State Beach - Wholesome Family Scene (Photo credit: mikebaird)

With school out this week if you are in south Florida, and soon enough if you are anywhere else, some parents are wondering how they will squeeze their exercise into the day.  While you may not always be able to slip away for your kickboxing or Zumba workout at the gym, there are so many alternative calorie burners, and many you can do WITH the kids.

If the weather is right (and living in land of every afternoon summer rain, I’ve learned that you have to take advantage of the breaks in the storms and sometimes just embrace them when they are sans lightening) getting outside and just playing with your kids can burn a couple of hundred calories an hour.  Even pushing your baby in the stroller will burn close to 150 calories in an hour for a 130 pound individual.  Kids love getting involved in gardening and an hour of that will burn about 300 calories for the same 130 pound person, and adding some leaf raking (kids love to jump in the piles) will add more calorie burn.  Hit the pool and race them doing laps, for a big bang.  130 pound person can burn close to 500 calories an hour swimming laps.

Stuck indoors?  House cleaning will certainly burn calories and exercise lots of muscles but if you are not in the mood, I say turn on the stereo and make like Ellen and just dance.  Encourage your kids to be leaders doing silly moves and you follow.  Take turns.  Get them involved.  Busy kids are happy (and healthy!)  kids and happy kids are happy parents.

Don’t just sit there.  DO ANYTHING!

Teach Your Parents Well…

I admit to be all over the place this morning, at least in my thoughts.  What a great weekend we had with the kids and the family.  In all the ways and places we can find peace, there is NOTHING like being with your adult kids and knowing that they are happy, healthy and terrific.  I won’t bore you with details, but I will say that when kids are small it’s frustrating that they think they know it all, but as they get older, there really is a whole lot to be learned from them!  From food and drink (we had a blast with our own DIY beer tasting where Nicole taught me so much in so little time!) to technology and cars, people, places, things and of course, animals, Mitch and I learned a ton this weekend from our “kids.”  Often, I wonder if we let our kids make too many decision for themselves when they were young, but seeing how that has all turned out reinforces the parenting path we chose.  I also came to realize that while Mother Nature knew it was wisest to give me little boys to raise, the grown up “girls” they have brought into our hearts and lives seem to round our little family out quite perfectly.  We crammed so much into the 24 hour period that we all got to be together, and even had a chance to be a family of 10 at the breakfast table, yesterday.  Thanks to Jane for suggesting Everglades Holiday Park.  It was not only educational and funny, but how peaceful to be out in nature amidst a sea of lily pads where getting up close and personal with the gators reminded me, once again, how we are all Mother Nature’s children and how amazing nature itself is!  Probably, the most hilarious and appropriate part of our time together was watching Justin Timberlake dressed up as a block of tofu on Saturday Night Live.   As the herbivores and omnivores watched together, it was kismet.  If you didn’t get a chance to see it, I am posting a link, below, which I hope will open to the segment.  If you are a fan of the show, it was an excellent episode with Timberlake as both the host and the musical guest.

Though Kyle and Nicole had to go back home and back to work (not before we tasted just one more beer…) we enjoyed an awesome dinner at Sublime with Derek and Jolene.  That place is always awesome, biggest problem being choosing between so many yummy options.  While the kids are here a few more days, I will be on an abbreviated work schedule.  With Ellen subbing for me today, all classes are covered.  I will be in for my 11:30 class tomorrow and have cancelled both evening classes.  I plan on being back at the gym Wednesday morning and back to my regular schedule.  I am also considering taking on a writing challenge that may lead to some part-time work, writing about what else but health and wellness.  The bonus is the research I will be doing for this initial project (which is basically the equivalent of an “interview,” is quite pertinent to this blog, so I will be learning more to share with all of you.  I will keep you posted as it unfolds.

Make your Monday marvelous, and maybe even meatless.  It’s been a few months for Mitch practicing meatless Monday and he likes it!  You may be surprised to find that you will, too.