Exercise & Kettlebells

1779979_10100866517459333_9192196250835438796_nFinally I am adding exercise to this site! It has been in my books for month. For those who may not know me and my personal history, we’ll start there, but my degree is in Exercise Science. Previous to being a gluten-free baker, I was a kettlebell instructor to 10 years. I will be collaborating with my beautiful mother, who is the best kettlebell trainer I have ever met, so look forward to video posts coming soon with her.

Okay, so exercise? For me this can be a slippery slope. I very much feel that we in this country struggle to balance this. Either we do too little or too much. And yes too much exercise has an adverse effect on the body. So how do we balance it? How do we start exercising for us? Not because we ate too much. Or too punish our bodies. Our because we feel obligated too. How can we approach exercise and our bodies with a loving manner?

This is big for me. Check out my blog Monday and you’ll get some insight into my own personal struggle with body image. How can I exercise and eat good to FEEL good? That is more along the lines of my thinking now. How do I feel? Not what does the scale say. I am no longer living for approval or validation based on the numbers on a stupid scale. Those do not reflect me. The beautiful, happy, content, loving person. MORE than the person you see.

Health is important though, but it starts inside. My outlook now is to look at health from a respect perspective. I respect by my body by feeding it certain things. By hiking and walking. By working on sleeping enough, stressing less, and lifting heavy things and remaining flexible so I CAN LIVE. My health helps me accomplish my goals in life. Plus you can not be of service to anyone else if you are not here. We can create and bring on illnesses in our lives. Use health as prevention.

So exercise? I have always  been drawn to the human body and it’s great potential. From drawing sports pictures growing up. To playing sports. I watched my sister lift weights in our garage growing up (she is 7 years older than me). I was intrigued and pleaded with my father to let me lift too. He told me when I was 10 I could. I was hooked right out of the gate. I am very strong naturally, something most wouldn’t suspect as I am so small and smiley. Very assuming, but I have spent my life lifting weights with men, and I have kept up or surpassed many of them. 

I was drawn to the possibilities. Weight-training is a mental game. It is your attitude and perspective that often determines what you can lift and not our physical bodies. We often don’t believe in our own strength. And this can be applied to our own life. i think that was my attraction. How we live half-lives in a way. That we live as we are supposed to, but we don’t tape into the infinite possibilities inside us. We are extraordinary and strong, but we don’t often have confidence in our own potential. Our own lives. The dreams we could bring into life. The adventures we are missing out on. What we have to contribute to this world. The relationships we could build.

I speak from personal experience. As I said I started lifting when I was 10. I loved pushing myself, surpassing what I believed possible. I exercise because it feels damn good to break these barriers. Example:

36361_407995979841_2256963_nHere is this photo I was performing an 80 pound Turkish-Get-Up. This was my second time. I had done it once before, six months before this pic. For six months I was stalled and couldn’t do it, or even 70 pounds. Why? I psyched myself out. The day this picture was taken I looked down and it all hit me: I am strong enough to do this. And I quickly got down and did it. And I didn’t just do it, there was no struggle, it was beautiful and smooth. For months I had really been telling myself I couldn’t do it. I had waited and paused before it each time, trying to pump myself out. When really I just needed to stop thinking about doing it, and just lift it. I had to KNOW that I was strong enough.

Lifting is a mental game. And I love kettlebells because;

  • They are functional and allow for diverse movement. Lifts performed in kettlebells mock moves you do in real life. They help you in your every day more. They allow for a full-range of motion. Machines and bars can be restrictive to the depth of movement
  • They work your whole body. Movements like the Turkish-Get-Up and windmill work the entire body. You could do a few of these and call it a day
  • They don’t take up a lot of space and can be easily transported. I love to take mine to the park and play outside. Being in the grass allows for experiments and great juggling because you don’t have to worry about them bouncing when you drop them. I have also taken mine on countless vacations. I’ve done them on the beach, in the mountains, at rest stops, in the rain, in the snow, the options are endless
  • Any one can do them. I’ve worked with kids (here are my nephews when they were little) to 80+ year-old men
  • No matter your restrictions you can use them. If you have an injury hindering your lifting, you can use easily adopt a program. Because you can use a single bell. Or use strictly your upper body or lower body. We’ve worked with all kinds of restrictions.
  • They are great for balance and flexibility. Lifting should be all-encompassing. Sometimes people will focus on strength, but totally miss the boat on flexibility. What is the point of big muscles if you can’t move or even touch your toes?

These are just a few of the things I love. And I do my kettlebells 2 to 3 times a week. In between I try to get out and walk and hike as much as I can.

So in the next month we explore kettlebells and exercise more in depth. How much? How often? Exercising in groups. Breathing. Tension. Kettlebell moves starting with the swing. I am really excited to collaborate and share this with you. Because I love kettlebells and I do miss training them.

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