The Fit Life, LLC

Friday, June 25, 2010

Pet Therapy

Part of living a Fit Life is being mentally fit. If you are not mentally fit, most likely you won’t have the motivation to become physically fit. For some, becoming mentally fit requires therapy. For me, it requires pet therapy. Luckily, I have the opportunity to get a lot of free pet therapy right in my own home.

I have four “pet” children (I can’t call them furry children because two of them don’t have fur) at home.

There’s Bricklee, my 18-year-old cat. I’ve had him since my 22nd birthday. He has lived in three states with me. He has traveled cross-country with me on two occasions, and stayed in numerous hotels. He even went on our honeymoon. He’s one of the most well-traveled cats I know! And he’s been more of a constant in my life than anybody or anything else has. At 18, I know our time is limited. I try not to think about that too much because it saddens me beyond belief. When I'm having bad day or just not feeling like myself, a big, old kitty on your lap does wonders. A cat friend can heal all kinds of ails—broken hearts, job anxiety, PMS. You name it, and kitty love can help.

Then there's Oscar Sandwich—the ferret boy. He's rotten to the core. He steals. Gets into everything he shouldn't. And tends to go to the bathroom right beside his litterbox. But he's cute as can be and hilarious—a complete ham. If you've had the kind of day that leaves you just needing a good laugh, Oscar is your man.

Finally, there are my step-turtles—Spot and Peg. I inherited them with the marriage. They're good turtles. They rarely cause trouble. And I think Spot actually likes to be around people. They don't provide a lot of interaction, but watching them walk around the yard while sitting outside with a glass of wine is a nice stress-reliever.

Mark and I are child-free—by choice. So parenting my pets is the only parenting I know. I wouldn't have it any other way. They save me thousands of dollars in therapy! Some day I hope to add a therapy dog to the mix.

So the next time you come home from work feeling a little down, give it a try. Invite the cat on your lap and tell him a little bit about your day. Give him a little scratch behind the ears. Pretty soon, your tension will start to melt away. Maybe you'll even feel like going out for a run.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day

For the last fifteen years or so, Father's Day has been filled with mixed emotions for me. I'm thankful and happy that I still have my father in my life (I have many friends who do not), but I'm sad because each year I watch M.S. take away more and more of the Dad I remember from childhood. On Father's Day I can't help but think back to childhood when Dad would take us to the Springfield Reservoir to swim. He always had us for a week in the summer (I'm a product of divorce) and we'd often head for the beach or somewhere different like Cumberland Falls, KY.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system. The body’s own defense system attacks myelin, the fatty substance that surrounds and protects the nerve fibers in the central nervous system. The nerve fibers themselves can also be damaged. The damaged myelin forms scar tissue (sclerosis), which gives the disease its name. When any part of the myelin sheath or nerve fiber is damaged or destroyed, nerve impulses traveling to and from the brain and spinal cord are distorted or interrupted, producing the variety of symptoms that can occur. (, June 20, 2010).

My father started showing signs of M.S. when I was about eight years old; however, back in the 1970's they didn't have the tools they have today to diagnose it. He was officially diagnosed with Primary-Progressive Multiple Sclerosis when I was in college. Each year I watch the disease rob him of more and more of his independence. Today, there is no cure for multiple sclerosis, and with diagnosis occurring most frequently between the ages of 20 and 50, many individuals face a lifetime filled with unpredictability. And each Father's Day and each Christmas I wonder if it will be his last.

So why am I writing about all of this depressive stuff on Father's Day?

I do have a point.

You never know what lies ahead. So embrace life and live it to the fullest! Sometimes my friends think I'm kind of crazy. My husband, Mark, and I enjoy our adventures. In our few years together we've gone rafting, caving, kayaking, skiing, hiking, rappelling, ziplining, and more. This summer we are doing a 100 mile bike ride to benefit M.S.

We have healthy, capable bodies now. And we're going to use them to experience as much life as we can, while we can.

My father always likes to ask us what we've been up to. He knows the answer will be something out of the ordinary. When we sat with him over dinner this evening he asked us what we did over the weekend. We told him that yesterday we took a tree climbing class and today we biked 50 miles. He just shook his head and said, "You two are crazy!" But in his eyes I can see that he yearns for an adventure. And, I really think he enjoys vicariously experiencing them through us.

My Dad's body was taken away from him far too early. At my age, he was already starting to feel the devastating effects of the disease. And so often that seems so unfair. But it has also taught me a life lesson.

Live now. Make your life an adventure. It's the only one you have.

Happy Father's Day, Dad.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Small Taste of Glory

A runner? Yes. A fast runner? No. I've tried to be a fast runner. I've worked on becoming a fast runner. But even at my prime (prime age, prime weight, prime shape) I was about a 9.5 minute mile. And today I average about an 11 minute mile. I can do a lot of miles. I just can't do them fast.

A week or so ago Mark asked me if I wanted to try a track race that the local running club was hosting. You could sign up for the 1-mile, 2-mile or a 2-mile relay. He thought it would be fun to sign up for the relay. They randomly assign you to a 4-person team and each person runs two laps around the track. "It's just for fun," he says. "To see how well we can do."

I spent the winter doing sprints on the treadmill, so why not? It's just for fun.

Today was the day of the race. And for me, it was one of those days where I just felt tired all day long. By the time I got off work I was dreading the race. And I'll admit, I did my fair share of whining about it to Mark. "What if I get on a team of really good people and I just ruin it for them? They'll all hate me!" He repeats, "It's just for fun!"

When we got to the track I could see there were some serious runners there. If you've been around races you know the ones I'm talking about. They are the ones doing warm-ups that would wear me out before the race even begins.

The relay was the last event of the evening, so we spent a lot of time sitting around watching the shorter races. When they finally gathered everyone for the relay event, I started to get nervous. They started reading names off and assigning people to teams. "Please just give me a team of all slow people so we can just run our pace and not care about winning," I thought.

They read my name. I was on a team with a jr. high track kid, a high school track kid and a very fit looking 20-something woman. "Crap!" is what came to mind. The first thing the high school junior said was, "I want to win this." "Crap!" came to mind again. "What's your 800 meter time?" he asks the junior high kid. "About 2:15" He asks the woman the same question. She said when she was on the U.D. track team hers was about 2:30. Then he turned to me and before he could ask I say, "Um...I don't have an 800 meter time. I do distance. I'm just in this for the fun and experience. Which leg should the slowest person run?" "Third," he says. "You'll run the third leg."

The first runners went to the start line and the race began. As the lady doing the second leg took off I felt myself getting more nervous. I did not want to look like an almost 40 clod out there and disappoint my team. I ran out to grab the baton from my teammate and started running. Fast. Too fast. About three quarters of the way around the track my chest was hurting and I was sucking in air like crazy. I thought I was doomed. There was no way I was going to make the second lap. I was already out of steam. But I wasn't about to walk with my young teammates watching. So I slowed the pace a little and tried to catch my breath. "All I have to do is make it around this track one more time and I'm finished. I can live through one minute of anything," I thought to myself. And I did. My heart rate was way too high and I could feel vomit rising in my throat. But soon I was approaching my teammate with the baton. All I had to do was hand it off and I was finished.

I finished--and with an impressive time. Our team came in 4th, and I received my first ever running trophy. I have tons of medals for finishing races, but never one for placing (Okay, there was one medal for placing third in my age group, but it was a small race and there were only four people in my age group running).

So a race I dreaded turned out to be a great experience. Now we're even planning to do some running workouts at the high school track.

So the moral of the story? Well, there are a few:
Don't be afraid to try new things.
Quit worrying so much about what other people think.
Try to give yourself a little more credit.
And finally, quit whining and just do it!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Follow Your Passion - The Fit Life is Born

It's been awhile since I posted a blog. I've been holding out for this one. It's taken some prep work! And then there were some unavoidable delays (i.e. trip to the emergency room, followed by some time off work). But now I'm ready.

This blog is to announce another new chapter of my life--The Fit Life. I have officially "given birth" (figuratively--it doesn't hurt so much that way) to a new fitness company called The Fit Life, LLC. And, I have once again given up my steady, 40-hour a week desk job to pursue my passion--fitness, health and nutrition.

This life is not new to me. I've done this before (only the first time I gave up a really high-paying federal government career and tried to make it in Washington D.C.--and later California--with a start-up company). But this time I'm entering into this new path with my own life being a bit more stable. I'm no longer living in one of the most expensive states in the country. I'm married to a wonderful husband who is very supportive of my new venture (and has good health insurance), and I'm a little older and a little wiser this time around.

This is not a decision I took lightly. I really had to examine my life and what brings me pleasure. I've come to realize that I am just not meant to sit at a desk. It's not the way I was made. I am happy when I'm active all day. I'm happy when I'm up early in the morning exercising as the sun comes up.

I studied for and passed my personal trainer certification test--which I had let lapse a few years back. I filled out the paperwork to establish The Fit Life as a limited liability company. I enrolled in a holistic nutrition program through the American College of Health Sciences so I can offer one-on-one counseling on holistic nutrition (I will add that service to my company in about a year). I designed my logo and got started on my website. I discussed my plan in detail with my husband. And finally, I officially resigned from my job at children services as of July 30th.

But there's still so much to do! I need to do more work on my website (, keep blogging (The Fit Life, LLC blog will now focus much more on fitness. I'd also like to start a Fitness Q &A blog), market myself like crazy, get more equipment. The list goes on and on--as does the excitement.

I've secured my first official "gig" which is teaching fitness boot camps through the Bellbrook Sugarcreek Park District. Yeah! So exciting!

I've officially deemed August as "Marketing Month!" I will market my rear off! So to all my creative friends out there, I welcome any marketing ideas you have (the more creative, but inexpensive the better). To all my media friends out there, I am so not above asking for a favor! ;o)

How does the saying go? If you love your job, you'll never have to work a day in your life. So here's to putting your passion to work for you! Cheers! There's more to come!

About Me

My photo
I am the owner of The Fit Life, LLC. The Fit Life, LLC offers fitness instruction and nutrition counseling in a holistic way. I focus on personal training using mainly your own body strength--very little equipment. I also hold a certification in holistic nutrition. Because nutrition counseling regulations are very strict in Ohio, I'm still working on what nutrition services I can provide to my clients; however, I'm happy to provide general nutrition information. I enjoy teaching TRX, Indoor Cycling, and Boot Camps.