How to find ease in the turmoil of life by Mary Jaksch

How to find ease in the turmoil of life by Mary Jaksch

How to find ease in the turmoil of life by Mary Jaksch


When we see a wilting plant, we know what to do. We water it. But when we are exhausted and stressed, it’s often difficult to know how to recover. The problem is that the exhaustion many of us suffer from can’t be fixed by a holiday at the beach, or a visit to a day-spa. Because it’s not just our body that’s exhausted, it’s our soul. When the soul is exhausted, we suffer from loss of joy and hope. Life then seems increasingly difficult, and sometimes even meaningless. In those times we’re estranged from a dimension of being human that adds ease and joy to life. We’re estranged from our natural spirituality. By natural spirituality I mean the insight and wisdom that comes from a deeper recognition of who we are, and of how our life is interwoven with all other beings. I came to spirituality the hard way. Twenty-five years ago my life was in tatters: my marriage was disintegrating, I was homesick, having just emigrated to New Zealand, and work was a nightmare. That’s when I started Zen meditation. It wasn’t a magic bullet, but I began to find islands of ease within the chaos of my life. Maybe you too are suffering, especially in this dire economic climate? In my experience, even if we are powerless to change our circumstances, we can learn to find island of ease within our distress. I use the word ease because it implies that our body is relaxed and that we are at peace with ourselves. It also means that we are in harmony with everything around us. When we are at ease, even difficult tasks begin to flow. Here are four ways of finding islands of ease…

Click here to read about these four ways that will help you to feel more alive and peaceful, instead of preoccupied and stressed.

If you are new, or a regular, meditator we offer a :30min meditation & breath-work class open to all every Wednesday at 4pm.

 

 

Armed with Purpose

Armed with Purpose

THE SECRET TO PERSEVERANCE

Life can be very distracting. A recent statistic indicates that kids’ attention span is a mere 6 seconds. With a mind that bounces around constantly, we can tend to be very reactive to our emotions and experiences. This can send us swirling with conflicting emotions, and it becomes very challenging to find our inner compass to help us navigate our daily lives.

The question becomes, “How do we balance opposing emotions?” For example:
  • – Contentment and motivation
  • – Dissonance and peace
  • – Being and doing

 

How can we feel content and grateful for an experience, but still want more? Once we decide we want more, we experience the feelings that what we have isn’t enough. While wanting can be motivating, wanting also makes it difficult to appreciate the gift of the present moment. In the sports world, an athlete may qualify for a National event and feel fortunate to be there. Yet, inevitably the competitiveness creeps in, expectations immediately grow, and the gratitude for simply being there can turn to disappointment if the new expectations are not met. We must persevere, but where is the wellspring that encourages us to get back up and continue. How do we avoid spiraling into that disappointment? We know we need to dig deep, but where do we go when we are digging deep? Where is the secret door we are unlocking inside of us to help us move between frustration and elation?

Motivation to achieve something more requires us to persevere, strive, reach, stretch, take chances, and change. These are the essential ingredients for growth. To reach new goals, we are required to brave the vulnerability and doubts that fear of failure can evoke. Our ability to rise up and keep trying is what makes us great. This process can churn up dissonance, and the way we process this mental dissonance can become one of life’s most important skills.

When we live fully – challenging ourselves, succeeding, failing, rising, and repeating the cycle – our mind, body and heart are constantly recalibrating and rebooting. Subconsciously, we are changing, reorganizing ourselves with things that we are learning. Every success and failure changes us. Mistakenly, we believe that we can go back to the way it was; to ski, run, or play like we did at a race or game last month. However, we cannot erase what has happened and go back to the past. We have learned, reconfigured systemically – energetically we are different. We’ve got to show up in the present moment with our new “re calibrations.” Our minds seek the steady ground of the familiar past, but regardless, our new moments will be experienced differently. We cannot hit rewind, yet we waste a lot of energy trying to do just that. Life is non-linear. Our lives have many dimensions, but we seem to seek a linear journey. Actually, our purpose is what that keeps us stable, not the experiences we’re having.

We must fortify our heart, core, even our bones and visceral body, with our fundamental convictions, purpose, and values. Our state of being will burn so strongly with our purpose that it becomes the non-negotiable, the fixed asset part of our lives. As we manage chaos, vulnerability, disappointment, and even success, our safe house of core beliefs prevents us from reacting too deeply to our experiences in a way that could cause us to quit, or get too frustrated, or too attached to fear or success. Armed with purpose, we are able to maintain perspective and gratitude in the big picture of our lives. At the same time, we can keep striving, creating, and taking chances to achieve our goals. When life gets messy and disordered, and we find ourselves struggling, we can let the power of our purpose burn a light through the doubts, fears, and conflicts. We are powered from within; nothing, and no one, can take it from us.
A deep sense of purpose is what helps athletes bounce back with resilience after a bad race or season. Musicians, writers, firefighters, mothers, fathers, military personnel, doctors, teachers… The list is endless, because we all have the ability to identify what it is we believe in and let it guide us. We can be at peace and content with our purpose while simultaneously seeking improvement and managing chaos

Our purpose helps us persevere through it all.

xo Wendy

Healthy Simple Food Swaps by Jen Meister

Healthy Simple Food Swaps by Jen Meister

Healthy Simple Food Swaps

Most asked questions:

What is good for me and what is not?
What can I eat in place of this or that?
Why is one food better than another?

By making small tweaks to your diet, you can realize some amazing health benefits over time.

Here’s a list of Healthy Simple Food Swaps that will put you on a fast-track to eating nutritiously—and deliciously!

HEALTHY SIMPLE FOOD SWAPS

Click here to read Jen’s list of simple food swaps….

12 weeks till your BEST Half Marathon!

12 weeks till your BEST Half Marathon!

12 Weeks until Steamboat Springs Half Marathon and Summer Running! Are you ready? Need a plan? We’ve got you covered!

This plan is adapted and morphed together from our favorite plans including Runner’s World Smartcoach, Run Less, Run Smarter, & Nike.com, Run Like a Mother, Jeff Galloway’s articles, and of course, our own experience.
Begin this training program with a good running base and make sure you are comfortable with a 7-8 mi long run.  If you aren’t familiar with any kind of speed or tempo work, you will love it.  Proceed mindfully and listen to your body.  If you experience pain in any joints or low back, calves, hamstrings, feet- make sure you have your gait pattern checked by a reliable source, ideally PT or running coach. If you’re trying for a PR, speed and tempo work will make you fast but increase your distance and speeds with a gradual progression.  As always, if you have medical concerns, consult with your physician for guidance.

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week 1

M: 2mi or XT

T: Warm up 1 mile, 2mi @race pace/tempo, 1 mile cool down

W: Rest

TH:1mi warm up, 4-6x 400m (this is one lap on track, or .25 mi, or 2minutes) zone 4 with 2min easy jog between. Cool down 1 mile

Fri: 2mi or XT

Sat: 8mi

Sun: Rest

week 2

M: 3mi or XT

T: Warm up 1 mile, 5×4 minutes @tempo with 2 minutes easy jog in between reps, 1 mile cool down

W: Rest

TH:1mi warm up, HILL repeats: Run a medium grade hill between 100-200m long in zone 5, jog down after sprint and repeat 6x.  Cool down 1 mile

Fri: 2mi or XT

Sat: 9mi

Sun: Rest

week 3

M: 2mi or XT

T: Warm up 1 mile, 3x 1mile at tempo with 3 minutes easy or 1 lap on track in between, 1mi cool down

W: Rest

TH: 1mi warm up, 6x 1min in zone 5 with 1 min. easy jog between, cool down until you reach 5 mi.

Fri: 2mi or XT

Sat: 10mi

Sun: Rest

week 4

M: 2mi or XT

T: Warm up 1 mi, 3 mi @tempo, 1 mi cool down

W: Rest

TH: 1mi warm up, 4-5x 800’s (.5mi) zone3/4 building speed at half way point, jog 3 min easy between 800’s. Cool down 10 min.

Fri: 2mi or XT

Sat: 11mi

Sun: Rest

week 5

M: XT easy

T: Easy run 4 mi

W: Rest

TH: Warm up 1mi, tempo 4 mi, 1 mi cool down

Fri: 3mi or XT

Sat: 13mi strong last mile

Sun: Rest

week 6

M: 3mi or XT

T: Warm up 1 mile, 6×4 min@tempo with 2 minutes easy jog between, cool down 1 mile

W: Rest

TH: 1mi warm up, 6-8x 400m (this is one lap on track, or .25 mi, or 2minutes) zone 4 with 2min easy jog between. Cool down 1 mile

Fri: 3mi or XT

Sat: 14mi strong last mile

Sun: Rest

week 7

M: 3mi or XT

T: Warm up 1 mi, 4 x 1 mile @tempo pace with 3 minutes easy between, 1 mile cool down

W: Rest

TH: 1mi warm up, HILL repeats: Run a medium grade hill between 100-200m long in zone 5, jog down after sprint and repeat 8x.  Cool down 1 mile

Fri: 3mi or XT

Sat: 10 strong last mile

Sun: Rest

week 8

M: 3mi or XT

T: 1 mile warm up, 4 miles @ tempo, 1 mile cool down

W: Rest

TH: Warm up 1mi, 2xPYRAMID: 1 min, 2min, 3min, 4min, 3min, 2min, 1min in zone 4/5. Easy 2min jog between, 5min between pyramids. Cool down 1mi

Fri: 3mi or XT

Sat: 11 strong last mile

Sun: Rest

week 9

M: 5 mi or XT

T: 1 mile warm up, 7x 4min@tempo with 2 min easy between, cool down 1 mile

W: Rest

TH: 1mi warm up, 5-6x 800’s (.5mi) zone3/4/5: run the first third of the 800 in zone3, 2nd third in zone4, last third in zone5. Jog 3 min easy between 800’s. Cool down 10 min.

Fri: 2mi or XT

Sat: 12 strong last mile

Sun: Rest

week 10

M: 3mi or XT

T: 1 mile warm up, 5x 1mile@tempo with 3 min easy between, 1 mile cool down

W: Rest

TH: 1mi warm up, 8-10x 400m (this is one lap on track, or .25 mi, or 2minutes) zone 4 with 2min easy jog between. Cool down 1 mile

Fri: 4mi or XT

Sat: 10 strong last mile

Sun: Rest

week 11

M: 3mi or XT

T: 1 mile warm up, 2 miles@tempo, cool down 1 mile

W: Rest

TH: Warm up 1mi, 2xPYRAMID: 1 min, 2min, 3min, 4min, 3min, 2min, 1min in zone 4/5 – let each hard effort get faster as you go. Easy 2min jog between, 5min between pyramids. Cool down 1mi. (Find a hill in the middle of the hard effort and practice running up and over the hill strong and fast.)

Fri: 3mi or XT

Sat: 8 strong last mile

Sun: Rest

week 12

Monday: 3mi or XT

Tuesday: 3mi with middle mile at race pace

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 3 miles with 5x 30 sec pick- ups/ striders at end

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Easy 20 min jog

Sunday: 13.1 RACE!
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TRAINING ZONES

My favorite descriptions of zones are by Dimity McDowell in her book, Train like a Mother.
•    ZONE 1 60-70% Perceived effort: warm up, cool down, really easy run, can talk easily

•    ZONE 2 65-75% Perceived effort: Easy, long runs, can still talk while running

•    ZONE 3 75-85% Perceived effort: Tempo runs are in this zone- between half marathon and 10k race pace, can talk a little but not chat

•    ZONE 4 90-95% Perceived effort: Intervals, hills, speedwork are in this zone- 5k race pace is in this zone, talking not possible, heavy breathing!

•    ZONE 5 95-100% Perceived effort: Short pick ups/ sprints less than 60 sec.  No talking possible, you are on fire
RACE AND TRAINING PACE CALCULATOR

http://www.mcmillanrunning.com

NOTES
•    If you are running this race with the purpose of just finishing and you’re not worried about your time goals, you should just do the speedwork or tempo work once a week- on Thursdays.  Alternate which one you pick each week.  Replace Tuesdays with a run no more than 10% higher than the previous week, at an easy pace, starting week 1 at 4 miles and building to 7, then stay between 5 & 7 miles until week 9.  Run 3-4 mi on Tuesdays week 10, 11, 12.
•    Our runners substitute tempo or a speedwork with an indoor spin class when the weather is rotten.
•    Yoga, Pilates, or strength circuits are a must at least 1x per week but ideally 2-3. A strong core and flexible body are key for maintaining alignment and proper mechanics for running.
•    We offer treadmill interval class on speed days- look for a class near you if the weather is tough.
6 Easy Rituals to Keep Your Metabolism Firing by Jen Meister

6 Easy Rituals to Keep Your Metabolism Firing by Jen Meister

Hello!

I’ve been working with over 50 women in my NEW 4-week SHIFT/Bar Method Program (more news about that at the end of this article), and the questions I’ve been hearing from participants got me thinking about easy ways to keep your metabolism going. This is something many of us struggle with, particularly as we get older or work sedentary jobs that slow our metabolisms without our permissions!

Let’s face it. This is an area where we can all use some help! With that in mind, here are my five easy rituals to start cleaning your gut, including inflammation, extra weight, bloat, and that overall clogged feeling! And as a bonus, I included a sixth ritual that has a direct effect on your metabolism.

What are Jen’s Ritual’s? Click here to find out more!

xo Jen

the GOLD within us

the GOLD within us

Sometimes tense athletes get in their own way from really experiencing phenomenal results. Our intentions with Pilates is to help you discover your true selves in natural movement. Exercise is only as good as the posture you do it in. As we age, we layer faulty movement patterns over the effortless beautiful alignment we had as kids. We can help you uncover that.
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Here is a Buddhist story we refer to often, hope you enjoy it!

There was a young man who had a clay statue, a family heirloom. He’d always wished that it were bright shiny gold instead of plain brown clay. When he began to earn a living, he put aside a little now and then, until he had enough for his special project: to have his statue covered with gold.

Now it looked just the way he wanted it to, and people admired it. He felt very proud that he had a gold statue. However, the gold plating didn’t stick to the clay very well and it wasn’t long before it began to flake off in spots, so he had it gold plated again. Soon he found himself using all of his time and resources to maintain the gold facade of his statue. One day his grandfather returned from a journey of many years. The young man wanted to show him how he made the clay statue into a gold one. However, clay was showing through in many spots, so he was somewhat embarrassed. The old man smiled and held the statue lovingly. With a moist cloth he gently rubbed it and gradually dissolved some of the clay. “Many years ago, the statue must have fallen in the mud and become covered with it. As a very young child, you wouldn’t have known the difference. You forgot and thought it was just a clay statue. But look here.”

He showed the grandson the place where the clay was removed, and a bright yellow color shone through. “Underneath the covering of clay, your statue has been solid gold from the very beginning. You never needed to put more gold on to cover the clay. Now that you know what its nature really is, all you have to do is gently remove the clay and you’ll reveal the gold statue you’ve possessed all along.”
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IN essence our job is to polish our very own gold statues. Maybe we don’t have to change, just help find the inner statues within and let our GOLD shine through 🙂