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RISE UP Pull-Up Challenge

RISE UP Pull-Up Challenge

RISE UP Pull-up Challenge

We believe that every girl and woman should be able to walk up to a pull-up bar and RISE UP!! It’s a life metaphor for tough challenges. Pull-ups are hard which is why we picked them:-). YOU WILL GET THEM. Stick with the program, share your stories and videos and let’s do it together.

Rise up unafraid
Rise up with confidence in who you are
Rise up believing in the power inside of you

Put that power into your life and go after what you want.

 

 

Download Girl Power Challenge

 

 

Your Narrative Becomes the Story of Your Life

Your Narrative Becomes the Story of Your Life

Key moments exist in our lives where big experiences become processed and embedded into our memories, heart, and minds.  These moments can leave deep wounds and stay stuck with you or springboard you forward into  productive growth. Diving into life wholeheartedly, taking risks, and pushing ourselves means that we will fail along the way.   How we get up from the fall and keep moving forward serves as a catalyst for growth.  We use perspective to write the narrative about the experience, but sometimes we are so stuck in disappointment, that we are unable to find a way to change the story in our minds.

This is the moment I’m most interested in– Just before disappointment digs it’s tentacles too deeply into our psyche, when it’s most impactful to have a  superhero narrator sweep in to save the story. 

One of these moments is still crystal clear in my mind from my own experience running in High School. 

I’m telling this story in hopes that this will remind you of an experience of your own, and you will find a way to help someone change their narrative and stories…

It was the spring of 1987, Oregon State Track Meet, Hayward Field, Eugene, Oregon.

Our team drove down from Beaverton to the famed ‘FIELD OF DREAMS’ in the track world, where Steve Prefontaine ran his famous races for the U of O and qualified for the 1972 Olympic Games.   Stepping onto the track we felt goosebumps from the spirit of the hallowed grounds where running icons had changed the sport forever.  Prefontaine once said, “To give anything less than your best was to waste the gift.” Everyone knew we all had to run faster and harder if we were going to win this 5A State Track Meet, loaded with talented runners from all over the state. 

I had one problem, however.  I was really sick- a few days into the flu, I was struggling to find the reserves I knew I needed to fulfill team calculations for winning State. 

When they announced 1st call for the MILE run, I remember feeling dizzy and weak and just hoping for a miracle.  I was a hot, clammy, wobbly mess when I lined up for the race.  When the gun went off and the crowds were screaming from the stands, I tried to hold on. I was hoping for muscle memory or adrenalin or whatever could help through these 4 laps.  I went out fast trying to stay with the girls I usually competed with, for as long as I could…

Slowly I begin to drop away and I remember feeling desperate to have the strength to hold on for my team, but I just couldn’t.  When the bell lap rang and everyone started their  kicks, I had none.  I can barely remember the final stretch in front of the stands, I was so dizzy and tired.  When I finished at the back, I dropped to my hands and knees in the infield.  As I was grasping the magnitude of the whole race, one I’d worked for all winter and spring, I could feel the devastation of failure settling into me. I had let everyone down.  Suddenly, my dad was there. 

Somehow he  had made his way out of the stands and onto the track  and was on his knees in front of me.  He grabbed my shoulders and made me look him in the eyes (similar to the picture above with his grandson after a ski race).  He had that same light in his eyes you see in this picture of him.  He said this:  “I have never, ever been more proud of you than I am right now.  I have never seen you run a greater race than that one.  You gave it everything you had and it’s all we can ask for in life- is to just  give it the best we’ve got. You could not have done more.”  I felt the devastation lift out of my mind and body. Instead, just like that, he rewrote my narrative into something I’m proud of instead of crushed by even to this day.

He wrote the story for me when I could not see it that way. It sent me on a trajectory in running, college, and life that could have been much different, had I processed it on my own.

For that gift, Dad, I will always be grateful.  Here’s to the coaches and mentors, teachers, parents, peers who reach into a friend’s or athletes’s life and grab the pen to edit their story. 

Cheers to all of you! Let’s vow to keep an eye out for each other. 

After all, every one of us are trying to write the masterpiece of a lifetime.

Dad, you really have inspired us.  xo

~Wendy

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 🙂

Philosophy of Mind and Spirit

Philosophy of Mind and Spirit

A great run, ride or a great yoga experience transforms life perspective and attitude profoundly. It helps break through the mind clutter or negative thoughts that distract us from what’s important in life. A great run can open up a space in your heart and mind, which you can fill in with your choice of the best energies life has to offer: strength, gratitude, inspiration, fire, endorphins, humor, guts, compassion, grit or moxie. Every time you enter this space and nourish these qualities, your life and your practice will flourish. This energy can alchemize doubts, fears, and insecurities in your head and even help tune it out of your environment.

How does that space open up into a magic elixir of good stuff and how do we break through the clutter to get there?

CORE Strength, Rhythm, Flow and Soul

These are the 4 key foundations of “breaking through” the clutter of the mind and body to enter the space where things become effortless.

CORE strength is the magic key both physically and energetically, it is the essence of your strength. You are poised for greatness when you align your body and support it with the groundwork of core strength and balance. All movement in your body originates at your center. Your power is the source around which arms and legs, muscles, facia, bones, tendons, ligaments can all work. Without a strong core foundation, everything has to work twice as hard, and work as separate entities. With all focus and energy gathered at your center, you can stop “trying” so hard to move your limbs.  Your limbs will relax, and you feel harmonious in the flow of movement. You can be in sync with your breath and your body.

This creates the magic of rhythm. It doesn’t matter if you are moving fast, slow or not at all. When you tune in to your breath and feel a rhythm, you can relax into it. Rhythm comforts the uneasy, chattery brain, and it soothes the nervous system.  Rhythm of breath, no matter how fast, keeps you in your sympathetic nervous system where the body can relax. It becomes easy to find the space for gratitude as your body lifts, lengthens and practically levitates. This is how to “break through” and find the soul of the run, or the soul of yoga.

This is the magic of flow. Flow is the difference between enjoying aerobic efforts and dreading them.  Stressed out, shallow breathing and erratic form triggers chatter in the brain and the parasympathetic nervous system, or the flight or fight program.  The brain starts saying, “I hope I’m burning calories, I hope I fit into size 6 jeans, I hope I’m beating that other guy. What will the scale say? I’m heavy, this hurts, I’m slow…” Going through the motions with the wrong intentions zaps the soul, extinguishes the rhythm, and diminishes strength.

The formula of flow is to begin by focusing on the core, relax your limbs, let power and energy flow through them. Find a rhythm with breath and movement, quiet the chatter in the brain, and tune in to the experience of the dynamic and soulful space right inside of you.

Red Ball Stretches

Red Ball Stretches

Here are some great stretches that you can do with this ‘magic’ little Red ball to turn your day around!

 

Place the ball under your sacrum and lie flat on the ground with legs out long on ground.
  • – Legs long and pelvis is neutral so the ball isn’t anywhere in your low back or too far down at your tailbone. You should feel your pelvis opening up..Hold for approximately 45 seconds
  • – One knee up toward your chest so the other hip flexor can stretch out. Hold same amount of time
  • – Switch
  • – Bring both knees up to 90 degrees and hold for one minute. You should feel your abdominals in this isometric ab exercise. Feel your chest melt and your ribs relax. Let your femurs drop into your hip sockets to help your hip flexors relax and allow your pelvic floor to engage more.
  • – To challenge more: straighten legs up to ceiling without bringing them closer to your chest. On exhale see if you can lower your straight legs down slightly and on inhale raise them. Repeat 5 times without moving the ball or coming out of neutral pelvis. Also do it alternating legs up and down like scissors
  • – Marching. Knees bent just alternating one foot down at a time in a marching motion concentrating on moving from your core and not your quads. Hips really still.

 

Ball placed between shoulder blades:

Lie on your back with the ball between shoulder blades. Pillow under your head and arms extended out to the side for a pec stretch. Hold for 1 minute

  • – Arms up to ceiling. With straight arms, reach them up to ceiling and then let them sink back down. 10 times
  • – Snow angels. Try with knees bent so you don’t arch your back as your arms reach back behind you. Start with arms out to side and drag them, on ground if possible, (making a circle) behind your head, then up to celing, down by your side and repeat. Then reverse directions. Do 3 times each direction
  • – Interlace hands behind head. Legs straight on ground. Inhale, and on exhale slowly nod your chin forward (keeping an imaginary tennis ball under you chin) while your ribs wrap together letting them float your upper body up toward a half roll up. (the red ball is still touching your back but you pull up to just on top of it) The funneling down of your ribs allows the upper body to bend up but the pelvic floor connection pulls you up. It’s a great exercise to help you isolate the lower abs that are so hard to get.. Inhale as you lower, Exhale as you come back up.
  • – With rotation, do the same exercise, but once you are up, inhale, then exhale and add a rotation to one side. Keep the hips still and keep your chin over your sternum so your obliques are really doing the small twist, not your head. Try 5 on each side.