Health and Fitness Blog

August 1, 2021

Put fear in its place.

You may know that I’ve started mountain biking with my husband this year. It’s been a fun and scary experience. Bike riding dirt trails is like riding a roller coaster with the winding path in front of me, but I’m in control. It’s also similar to navigating the smoothest way through the water while rafting a river, but I’m doing it on two wheels. I’ve learned how to negotiate turns with my front tire, that the power is in my rear tire, to keep my weight centered over my bike and to keep my pedals level. But, I have to admit that I’m just scared of going downhill. Even when riding my road bike on smooth pavement, I fear the speed of the descent. Risk-taking is not in my genes!

We’ve ridden enough that I’ve noticed better control, more speed, stronger climbs and overall more fun. But I continued to avoid “the bridge” on a trail that we frequently ride. The wooden bridge led to a steep drop off then steep incline. My husband encourage me to take it, but I would instead turn onto another trail. Until one day, I stopped at the bridge and considered it. I got off my bike and walked over the wooden bridge to look at what I was in for. (Very similar to stopping your raft before rapids to get out and view the obstacle ahead!) I went back to my bike, took lots of deep breaths and went to the top of the bridge. My body would not let me get on and ride from there. I got off and moved backwards off the trail. I let a couple of other bikers go by me. Along came an 81 year old man on the path that crosses under the bridge. He noticed my hesitation and commented that at his age, he doesn’t think about those things anymore. That was the encouragement I needed. I moved back down the trail, took more deep breaths to calm my shaking and the rest is history. I proceeded to ride onto the bridge, scream all the way down and then screamed on the way back up the other side. If you’d like to view it. => Kalynn and the bridge (Be sure to turn your sound on!)

My point in sharing this story is that conquering your fear allows you to grow, both your physical skills and your mindset, but also increases your ability to overcome obstacles in your life.

Here is an excerpt from my daily motivational calendar explaining the phenomenon of putting fear in its place:

Consider what role fear plays in your life. Some fears are natural and serve a self-protective purpose. Taking risks, however, increases your self-confidence, resilience, creativity, and competence. The trick is to spend a few minutes determining which fears contribute to your well-being and which limit it. 

What have you done lately that scares you or is new to you? 


April 14, 2021

Wow! What a Ride!

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to live a life so full that you smile all the way to the end?!

I love this quote so much. But not for the reason you may think. I don’t necessarily agree with the wearing yourself out completely. Isn’t that what is going to happen anyway? And, of course, we do want to prevent prematurely wearing yourself out due to neglect. But I do think that life is worth living to the fullest. And you can’t do that unless you prepare yourself and your body for the adventure. Our bones, muscles, cardiovascular system weaken naturally through the aging process. While it isn’t necessary to eat well and exercise to create a “pretty” body (in my opinion), it should be to maintain good health, strength and endurance for living the life you want to live. For having the strength to participate, for having the power to adventure, for having the confidence to know you can manage. Build your personal health around the goal of creating lasting memories, that cause you to proclaim “Wow! What a ride!”

I challenge you to consider what your “Wow! What a ride!” goals are for the next year, and for the next few years.


July 12, 2018

Happy Place

This is my happy place. Let me clarify, this is one of my happy places. But this is my MOVEMENT happy place. Where I feel freedom and a sense of exploration. It’s familiar and easy, but it’s also challenging. I can make it challenging and that’s also what I love about it. I control what my ride is going to be like – the distance, the difficulty, the intervals, the speed, the place. It challenges me and keeps me interested. It touches all my senses to move on my bike and I love that. I might be completely in my head, but it also gives me the opportunity to notice what is all around me.

  • THINK: This is my place to think. A quiet place in my head for focused thoughts or problem solving or idea generating.
  • HEAR: It’s my place to be motivated, destressed or relaxed by music. It’s my place to learn from podcasts and audiobooks. It’s a place to hear the sounds around me – children playing in the park, cars driving, birds chirping, trees being stirred by the wind, bees buzzing (hopefully not as they are stinging me!), water flowing in a river or canal and the splash of ducks landing.
  • SEE: Outdoor anything! Landscaping, trees changing through the seasons, roads on my familiar route, people enjoying walking with their dogs, the sky and the clouds. The clouds! This is what I most look forward to and am thrilled by. I am in love with the layers, the shapes, the contrast against the blue sky, the difference from one day to the next.
  • SMELL: It’s amazing all the scents I come across as I ride. The smell after a rainstorm, trees and flowers in bloom, dirt from a path, fresh mown grass, dryer sheets, frying bacon, grilling from a BBQ, country air and agricultural fields, mint fields and just plain clean air.
  • FEEL: I feel the pressure in my ribs as inhaled air expands my lungs. That pressure is crazy strong when I’m working on hill climbs! I notice when my muscles strain to push the bike pedals or when they are gliding smoothly along the flat road. The pressure of the bike seat or the tingle of my toes is tough but makes me recognize that I’ve ridden further or harder this time. The wind blowing on my face and body can be nice, just what I need or overpowering! I feel the power to move. I can go anywhere. I can take the familiar route or choose to go further, or even choose a completely new path. Ride along the greenbelt, through neighborhoods, or out in the country where the cows roam and the grains grow. I get to see these areas close up.
  • TASTE: Most of what I taste while riding is my water! But there is definitely some variation and I notice! Cold, fresh, icy water to begin my ride. Warm, bottle tasting water when it’s been a couple of hours. And that’s okay, because hydration is what’s important. Once in a while, I experience the taste of a bug. I spit them out and try to forget those quickly.

What is your MOVEMENT happy place? And what are the reasons why? What do you experience in all of your senses? What keeps you coming back to it again and again? If you haven’t figured out where it is, it’s time to explore. Maybe you feel light and happy splashing in a pool, running along the greenbelt kicks your adrenalin in, maybe the green on a golf course makes you smile, or the view from a hike on the greenbelt fills you up. I encourage you to explore and figure out where your MOVEMENT happy place is!