Follow by Email

Saturday, April 30, 2016


Cleaning out the inbox of my email...I have emails in there from 2010.  I thought they were interesting or that I would go back and read then.  Now, I am sharing some of them with you.  The question is...Why did I save that?  Unfortunately, there are some good ones that no longer have active links.


Jen Sinkler - Thrive as the Fittest

In New Zealand’s Maori culture, the spiraling “koru” symbol representing an unfurling fern frond indicates new beginnings, new life, awakenings, personal growth, positive change, strength and peace. I was touring the country with the U.S. women’s 7s rugby team in 2003, and during an afternoon of shopping, a handful of us were picking out traditional jade and bone necklaces.
I was drawn to the koru immediately, connecting with its shape on some fundamental level before I even knew the meaning attached to it. Each of us was pulled to something different, something that held significance in our personal lives.

Since then, the spiral has cropped up for me when I need the reminder to release, move, change, grow, expand. It’s not just Maori culture that this symbol hold significance.

In Celtic tradition, for instance, the spiral represents the journey to enlightenment, as well as the same echoes of release, growth and evolution. Spirals have even, in recent years, also showed up in ways relating to the body — our fascia is set up in spirals, and the idea is that moving in circular ways can be healing.

Thus, it is no coincidence I campaigned for the “spiral aisle” that I will walk during my wedding ceremony tomorrow.
I fully expect that this next life stage will involve all of the beauty and change that new beginnings bring.

Here’s to embracing growth and change in whatever way you are encountering it in your own life.

Curvily yours,
Jen Sinkler



The following link was good (and gone) so I am printing the whole email.  It is a good workout.

Guest newsletter by Mike Whitfield
The Secret of Ab Training Finishers

I train my clients at an independent gym.  We have all kinds of amazing equipment, including Hammer-Strength, Life Fitness and even a cute little circuit area with a traffic light (yes, a traffic light... yeah, I said “cute”).  You see, the traffic light is on an ongoing cycle.  When it is green, you are to perform reps on one of the machines, including an ab crunch machine.  When it turns yellow, you have 10 seconds left.  Once it turns red, you move onto the next machine.  Ha-ha, so cute.

The truth is - it’s extremely rare I use any of the machines.  As a matter of fact, I never use them when it comes to ab training because over the years, I have learned they are useless and can cause more harm than good, leading to neck and back injuries.

Learning from coaches like Alwyn and Rachel Cosgrove, Craig Ballantyne, and Stuart McGill, among others, I’ve discovered our abs were designed to work in unison.  Shamefully, went I first started training people years ago, I threw in crunches and even sit-ups (yeah, I know... the horror).  But I learned my lesson and my “ab tool box” now includes what works, which is variety of planks, cross-body mountain climbers, rollouts and more.  I even use the little-known methods like high rep dumbbell rows and KB/DB swings (not too many people know that these work your abs... but now you do - and you’re welcome).

One of the things I obsess about is metabolic finisher methods.  I love experimenting with rep and set schemes, as well as rest periods.  I’m sure you have used finishers in your workout programs.  They are challenging, “fun” (and I put that word in quotes because, well... you know) and burn tons of fat.  But one of the questions I kept asking myself was, “How can I use these effective ab exercises in a metabolic finisher?”.  Let’s be honest, you won’t huff and puff performing cross-body mountain climbers.

But if strategically placed in with metabolically demanding exercises like burpees, you can certainly perform a metabolic finisher and work your core efficiently simultaneously.

For example, let’s take a look at the following metabolic finisher (and you’ll see what I mean by me experimenting with rep and set schemes, too):

The 5 X 5 Ab Finisher
Do the following circuit 5 times, resting for 20 seconds between circuits:

1A) Jump Squats (5)
1B) Spiderman Pushups (5 per side)
1C) Lunge Jumps (5 per leg)
1D) Cross-Body Mountain Climbers (5 per side)
1E) KB or DB Swings (5)
 As the cool kids would say - “that’s sick dawg”.
 But the secret to this finisher is that it’s metabolically demanding, your heart will be pumping and you will have sculpted your abs at the same time.  That’s the beauty of what I call an “ab finisher”.
The reason I find finishers so fascinating is that they burn so much fat in such a little bit of time.  After all, I need to stay on my toes so I can keep the 105 lbs I have lost off for good (yeah, I said 105 lbs.   I’m kinda’ proud, so that’s why I typed it).

Mike Whitfield
Certified Turbulence Trainer


Tuesday, April 26, 2016


Popping in for a quick review...if you work in an office or spend a significant part of the day sitting at a desk, I have a recommendation for you.  Check out the Varidesk.  I bought one two weeks ago after spending several months thinking about it.  It arrived just in time.

The desk starts in a sitting position and rises to a variety of heights once of which is quite tall.  I don't feel it is super secure at its highest but it is at the lower levels.

Sitting position


Prior to purchasing the Varidesk, I was using boxes...they didn't work very well and interfered with working.  I ended up either predominantly sitting or standing.  This desk easily goes from seated to standing. 

The past two weeks it was a God send.  I could not sit or stand for long periods of time.  There were a lot of ups and downs.  I was very grateful for this desk!

I believe it is healthier to have the option to sit and stand.  Initially I thought I could stand all day but standing, just like sitting, can become painful.

The company who makes Varidesk was excellent.  The delivery was prompt.  There were no shipping costs.  They pay for returns.  The desk is heavy and solid and well made. 

Do it for yourself.

Saturday, April 23, 2016


For some reason I am having a difficult time writing this post.  I planned to do it Thursday night and then on Friday.  It just never happened.  Maybe the difficulty stems from the fact is that I don't really have a decision on whether or not I can participate in the SFL or maybe I think it just gets tiring hearing me talk about me.

LIMBO...a state of uncertainty. 

It had been a very difficul two knee was huge, I couldn't sit without pain down the leg into the ankle, I was taking the elevator to the second floor at work (say what) and it took an act of God to get my right leg into the car.  There were days that the leg felt not so bad but that was rare.

Of course I wasn't sitting still... I drove this sorry ass leg to New York City and back and Jamestown, RI and back.  I walked NYC dragging my right leg behind me.  I even danced a couple dances at the Narraganset Café.  Hey, when this song is being sung by DD Bastos who can resist.

Finally, Thursday afternoon was the orthopedic appointment.  X-rays showed osteoarthritis in both knees, left worse than right.  No shit.  Does anyone over 50 not have osteoarthritis in their knees?  Problem was that the osteoarthritis in my right knee, which had been dormant, decided to cause trouble.  The result was huge swelling and lots of pain.  No way could I bend that knee.

The ortho doc drained 40 CCs of fluid from the right knee...said it didn't look like an infection but was going to test it anyway.  He was also testing for gout.  A discussion about a cortisone injection ensued but I said I don't mind having something taken out of my knee but I didn't want anything put least at this point.  The MD did say to make sure to treat with Kevin and keep the other stuff going on in the right leg under control.  Appointment made.  Monday 9:00 AM. 

Ortho doc told me to rest it for 24-48 hours.  Of course, the question becomes...please define rest.  I just spend the past weekend walking and dancing with a bum leg.  After the third request to define what rest meant, he asked what I did for a work out...he said no squats or deadlifts for a couple weeks. 

All the medical professions (MD, PAC and student) leave the room, I hope off the table and I could a normal person.  I was so excited I proceeded to tell everyone who crossed my path.  Oh this was after announcing it in the hall.  I would say I was about 75% improved.  Friday I felt 90% better.


Yo, Patti, not so fast.  I am walking, resting and working out.  Something still feels a little off.  There are definitely no squats in my future right now.  I am not sure what my next steps should be. 

I do need thank you to everyone who reached out to see how I was.  It was much appreciated. 

I didn't realize how terrible I felt until I felt better.  Caring and concern from other people helped.  My sense of satisfaction and gratitude returned Friday.  I was working on gratitude those two weeks and it did help but I wasn't 100% in.  (How could I not have been grateful to see Jordan Calixto perform at Juilliard?  How could I have not been grateful to see Kat and Rick, watch D.D. perform, and eat eggs?)

In case you are wondering how I defined rest today, here is the work out I did...

Four rounds of the following

Bicep curls 6 reps with 25 pound weight.
Some triceps 8 reps with 25 pound weight
Overhead presses 6 reps with 12 kg KB
Some band stuff that I don't know what it is called 20 reps
KB rows  reps with 14 kg KB
One legged RDLs 8 reps with 16 kg KB (left leg only)
One leg seated squats on the left only,

I did do some KB deadlifts with a 16 kg KB.

Because I love carries, I had to try some out...Farmer's carries with 35 pounds didn't cause any pain on either side.  I tried racked carries on the left and it was painful so I stopped those.  Overhead carries caused no pain on the left but did on the right.

At this point, I did one handed swings on the left side with a 12kg KB which was pain free.  Didn't even attempt the right.  I did 5 rounds of 10.

I had planned to see if I could snatch on one side but then forgot.  Really...I forgot. 

So I am doing some work outs but none that will help me pass the certification.  Hanging in limbo. 

Friday, April 22, 2016


This is my all time favorite video...not sure that that says about me.

Scanning for videos that reflected what I was feeling and came across this. The words are much deeper than I every really thought.

This is the song that turned me on to Tom Petty...I loved Tom and my sister loved Mick Jagger.

The man is in his 70s...still talented and mighty fine...

Ana Popovic for something new...

 And of course Prince...I am hearing talk that this was the best NFL Super Bowl half time show. Agree or Disagree?


Tuesday, April 19, 2016


There's a great deal of power gained from practicing loss; as Master Yoda said, "Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose."

Sunday, April 10, 2016


I spent some time thinking about what I wrote yesterday about my injury.

I don't want people especially older people to think that they shouldn't exercise because they will get injured.  Yesterday, despite my injury, I was committed to some volunteer work.  I used crutches.  I was hobbling.  A few peoples asked what happened and I mumbled something unintelligible.  They all said, "Oh was it from exercise?"  The reality is it is not the exercise that is the problem, it is the person doing the exercise.

Usually, and especially in my case, you do more than you should.  I had learned to control this tendency somewhat.)  Some people start exercising without proper instruction and their form sucks.  I've seen form at the YMCA that makes my eyes bleed.  You see, it is the person, not the exercise that is the problem.

I have really learned to modify what I do but as I said yesterday, I pushed myself way to far with the squat challenge.  I didn't listen to my body.  As a result, I paid the price.

Even today.  I went to buy one of these...

and what do I do.  I park a gazillion miles away from the store.  It was the wrong decision.

The reason I updated the previous entry is to tell everyone to keep on exercising.  Just do it right.  I want to inspire you to move your bodies.  It is so important.  Just do it right.

As much as I want to attend the above (especially looking at pics from recent events.), I am not sure I can make it a reality this year.

Saturday, April 9, 2016


It looks like I may have gone from this...

to this...

at least temporarily.  I think when I did three days of the squat challenge in one day last January, I hurt my leg but not enough to concern me.  I think my current training regiment exacerbated the condition enough to be debilitating.  What I think I need to do now is rest that leg (there will be an upper body work out going on) but the lower body will only being doing exercises from Kevin Carr and those will be exercises will improve the leg.  I will be moving and walking sometimes with those crutches because I believe you need to move to improve. 

Resting the leg from deadlifting, squatting and pressing means I probably will not have enough time to train to hit my numbers for the SF Barbell Certification.  However, I know me.  I fight so I will never count myself out.  Knock me down but never count me out.  Ever. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016


You're fit, fab and over 50 but you need to be functional too.  Injury or pain limit can limit your movement, your independence and your mental health.  The older you get the more important limiting pain and injury becomes.  When you do develop pain it is important to keep moving and to seek treatment...the treatment I am talking about is not pills but movement.

As we age, movement can become more difficult and we are more prone to injury.  Keeping mobile is so very important for a long, functional, happy older life.  Walking, biking, running, strength training and even housework can cause injury and pain but they also keep us healthy and help us maintain balance.     

When I train for events or train with a specific goal in mind, I do sometimes find myself with some serious limiting pain.  That is where I found myself this weekend.  Walking was difficult.  Movement was difficult.  Workouts were non-existent. 

What I decided I needed to do was make an appointment with my massage therapist, but not just any massage therapist.  He is a fitness coach extraordinaire.  He is committed to keeping people functional.  He was my coach and for a long period of time he was trainer to a group of older fitness enthusiasts.  He understands.

I started seeing Kevin Carr of Movement as Medicine even before he was fully licensed.  I had long standing problems with my feet, developed some shoulder mobility issues and had some hand issues.  Not only did Kevin treat my issues but he provided me with exercises and strategies to keep the pain at bay.  If I do my exercises regularly, I am pretty much pain free.  Before today, it has been almost a physical pain free year. 

Kevin Carr

But there is always something...This current leg issue seemed more complex.  Of course, it isn't.  One session with Kevin and I am about 50% improved.  He provided great exercises.  This weekend through today I had my sad desperate face on...I was concerned. 

Today, that frown is turned upside down.  Soon I will be me again.  Most importantly, Kevin said to keep training (if it doesn't hurt). 

My message to my older friends is to please keep moving and please take advantage of therapeutic massage therapy when those joints feel painful and when you feel like you can't put one foot in front of the other.  I would also recommend Kevin...I promise he will understand your pain and speaking from personal experience, he can solve any problem. 

Also, what I decided to do is to get myself a adjustable height desk.  I really need to sit and stand during the course of the day at work.  Desk jobs do a number on the body and while I've employed a number of strategies to help keep my sedentary day a little more active, the ability to sit and stand will help with aching hips, tight IT bands and trigger points in the butt.

Arriving on Monday

Get out there and move!

And kudos to my co-blog author...Girlie!

Monday, April 4, 2016


To begin...some days this is how we write blog posts...

I have been talking about my training for the Strong First Barbell Certification.  Here is a great blog posting on what the 3-day weekend entails.

And my report on my training is...I am struggling and concerned.  I believe in my mindset but I can't always believe in my body.  I am beyond fatigued.  I feel like I cannot sleep enough.  Also, I've run into a "injury" right leg is in pain.  In particular, most of the time, it is my right IT band.  It is surprising how everything I need to do....the bench, the military press, the deadlift and the squat impact the legs but they do.

Here is a log of my work outs:

W4D1: Thursday 3/31/16

Deadlift - Let's just say I went far too heavy for the number of reps and sets I had to do.  My form was trash at the end of the sets. 

Bench press - I went up to 75 and felt okay.

I finished with barbell row, shoulder taps and hamstring curls.

The amount of weight I put on the bar kept getting screwed up.  I couldn't add for the life of me.  This isn't meant as an excuse but it is a very long day.  I start work at 6:00 am and start my work out at 5:30 PM. 

This particular day I had to dig deep to get myself to SOS.  I was exhausted and wasn't sure what I had.  In addition, my IT band has been affecting my sleep.  One solution I have is to seek treatment, again, with Kevin Carr at Movement is Medicine.  This isn't the first time I've had the problem.  When I use to run, I had frequent IT band issues. 

W4D2:  This was suppose to occur on Saturday 4/2/1.  However, I had a 10:00 appointment.  No problem.  I will get to the YMCA at 7:00, get it done, get an ice coffee and get to my appointment.  Let's just say, things didn't go as planned. 

So the following day, Sunday, 4/3/16, I dragged my sorry ass to the YMCA at 10:00 AM (way too late0 and it wasn't pretty. I did my pre-work with lots of foam rolling.  I decided to forego TGU's and KB swings.  I hit the bar for military presses.  UGH...50 pounds was very difficult.  There was no progression.  Ugh...deadlifts.  Just didn't feel right.  So, I gathered my belongings and went home.

Early in the afternoon, I was able to do my deadlifts at a lower weight, did the rows and around the worlds.  I threw in some carries.

Now, my schedule for the week is affected.  I can't work out today because that would be two days in a row.  I will do some foam rolling, stretching and mobility work but that is it.  So it will need to either be Tuesday or Wednesday at 5:00 AM. 

So, let's just say, at the moment, I am very discouraged...I reminded myself of injuries/health issues I had at the beginning of my training for the SFG.  This just feels different.