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The Bullhorn, Issue #056 -- Monthly Motivator for May 2011
May 30, 2011

Just the right push to succeed!

Power of Peers

A few days ago, my older boys needed to miss track practice during the day…so I figured that I’d go for an evening run with them. At first, our pace was painfully slow and I thought it would be hard to motivate them to run 3+ miles at the rate we were going…but then it happened. Daniel (10) opened up his stride and took a lead in front of us which prompted David (12) and Matthew (13) to close the gap. And before long, we easily ran 3+ miles in a series of leap frog moves and it had nothing to do with their mean old Dad nagging them…it was peer pressure.

This phenomenon is nothing new. I see it all the time as a father and a coach. When we see our peers advance, there seems to be some innate force in us that propels us to stay with them. I can’t explain it, but I see the results in many different settings with the same outcome.

I remember when the world used to think that Kenya had the ‘corner’ on elite distance runners. And while they have had an unbelievable line-up of talent, I believe that their success lies within the way they train – in teams. Team training has had a resurgence in U.S. distance running with Hansen Brooks and other groups, and with this resurgence the U.S. has returned to join the world’s distance running leader board. Perhaps it’s not where you train, but who’s training with you. I remember the ‘push’ to beat my fellow teammates in cross country much more so than the runners from other teams.

But peer pressure is bigger than just a distance running motivator – it can help you attain any of your fitness goals. How (you ask)? Success stories…race stories…sharing of goals…sharing your story. With this concept in mind, The Fitness has tried something new: a series of pages that are your stories. Stories of weight loss, first marathons, favorite running routes, favorite running shoes, and the list will keep growing. You can add your own story with pictures and all. Check it out! You can also browse what other people wrote and add comments or rate their stories. It’s an experiment and one that I’m hoping helps you and others gain the momentum you need to succeed. Stories are powerful because they’re real: people like you and me – trying to be something better.

Use the positive effects of peer pressure and read other people’s story or share one of your own. Cheer other people along by commenting on their stories and check back to see what others have said about you. Life’s a team sport – don’t think that you’re in this alone!

My Cholesterol Experiment

Well, after nearly 20 years of data I’ve finally summarized my cholesterol self-experiment and the results may surprise you.

First, the background: I became aware that I had high cholesterol as a young adult. This was rather disturbing for me, because I did NOT want to start taking medications and I felt rather helpless that this little number had so many negative risk indications.

I wish I could say that set out on a path of the straight and narrow and ate nothing but nuts and berries and ran like Forrest Gump…but this was not the case. I rode a roller coaster ride of ups and downs in my health and fitness routine, and gradually some of my habits improved. And while I’m sure that my habits will continue a trend of ‘ups and downs’, I’m much more confident in my ability to control my cholesterol without medications.

I won’t spoil the story or the summary of the data, but if you’re like me and have battled this little number – check out my cholesterol self-experiment results. I know that everyone is unique and results vary widely amongst everyone, but it may be worth exploring the possibilities of what you can do on your own before you start taking a medication that you may or may not need.

Happy Summer!

As the unofficial summer season has now started (for us northern hemisphere folks), don’t worry if you’re not where you thought you’d be when you set your News Year Resolutions several months ago. Re-Assess: Where are you? Re-Evaluate: How are you going to get there? Write down your goal. It’s a continual cycle…we all go through it. And it’s far better to pursue our goals than not – the true rewards are in the pursuit. Happy Summer!

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Exercise of the Month:
Body Dips!

Body dips are a great tricep, chest and shoulder exercise that can be done with minimal equipment. Using a stable chair, place your hands on the front corners and place your legs out in front of you. If you’re just starting out, try this with your knees bent (as shown). For added weight and benefit, keep your legs straight with your heels touching the ground. Slowly lower your body weight by bending your arms and keeping your elbows close to your sides. Raise your body back up to the starting position (arms straight) as you exhale. Do a comfortable set of repetitions and take short break between each set. Try to work up to 3 sets.

Sound Off!

If you have any feedback (positive or negative), success stories to share, or suggestions for future articles, please feel free to drop us a line. We’d love to hear from you and we take all feedback, suggestions...and yes, even criticism very seriously. We’ll use this information to improve our newsletter and The Fitness Motivator site to help you and others like you attain your fitness goals.

Encouragement to Succeed!

P.S. - Please feel free to forward this to a friend!

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