Year End Health Reflection- Part 2

Hello, friends! Welcome to my year end health reflection Part 2! Previously, I answered questions which were adapted for Katy Bowman’s Move Your DNA podcast from Robin Blanc Mascari’s “Completing and Remembering” list. The first set of questions reflected on the previous year. These questions are all about looking forward and setting goals for 2019. Here are my answers:

15. What would you like your biggest health triumph in 2019 to be?

Building the Move Well ATL community. I firmly believe community is an essential human need, and that there is a distinct lack of it in today’s world. Building a community centered around movement that helps people to move better not just for themselves but for others would represent a huge triumph.

16. Health advice you want to give yourself for 2019?

2018 taught me that simplicity is key. I think it is easy to get caught up in new trends, tools, and methods but the basics are the basics for a reason. They are time tested and get results. I love Michael Pollan’s diet advice: Eat food. Mostly plants. Not too much. The same simplicity can be applied to sleep, exercise, mental health. If you have the basics down and are still struggling to see results, then you might look to a new exercise or supplement. But standing on a bosu ball doing one handed kettlebell swings isn’t going to do much if you can’t squat with good form. Master the basics before you look for something new.

17. How are you going to change your movement results in 2019?

More stacking my life. Katy Bowman introduced me to the #stackyourlife principle. It differs from multitasking in that you’re not trying perform several different activities at once but rather you are accomplishing several different goals with one activity. Walking to the grocery store with my kid, for example, is one activity that gives me several different movements- walking, carrying a load, shifting my carrying position, distance looking (yes, eve movements count too!)- and also allows me to complete an errand, spend quality time with my kid, gives my kid exercise, and reduces my carbon footprint. I’ve been finding ways to stack my life for a couple of years now, and this has produced the greatest results by far. For example, I’ve seen more progress in rehabbing my feet this year than any year prior, and the simple change I made is stacking my barefoot time with work, teaching in studios that exercise in bare feet.

18. What are you trying to complete in 2019 or what would you be happy to complete?

I answered this question on Katy Bowman’s Move Your DNA podcast. You can hear the full answer in the audio clip here. My answer starts at the 46:20 mark. Abridged version: Wiggle your big toe! Years of poor footwear have left me with immobile toes. I still can’t move my big toes independently from the others, and 2019 is the year it happens.

19. What indulgence are you going to experience? What are you willing to do?

Travel will be my indulgence this year, which will mean some creative planning, financial and otherwise. One opportunity I have is through the American College of Sports and Medicine (ACSM) Undergraduate Exercise Science Trivia Bowl. I will be competing at the Southeast regional meeting in February, and if our team wins, we will travel to Orlando to compete in the National competition. This is an opportunity to have my travel funded by my school and the ACSM, so I will be studying and reinforcing my knowledge over the next few months in order to make that happen! I’d also like to visit friends in New York and Denver (hello, beautiful hiking opportunities!) and maybe take one camping trip out of state.

20. What would you like to most change about your health in 2019?

I’d really like to balance out the time I spend consuming and the time I spend creating. Our culture is set up to facilitate consumption- whether its food, things, social media, television, etc. And while I don’t think consumption is inherently bad, I do find that when it’s out of balance with my creating I tend to become less focused and present, and more self-centered. I also have found that the more things I have the harder it is to take care of them. One goal for 2019 is eliminating some of my stuff so that I can take really good care of the things I have.

21. What are you going to learn in 2019?

I have been interested in fascia for a couple of years now, and I definitely plan on continuing that education and deepening my knowledge in 2019. I was able to have a short fascial stretch therapy session with Stretch To Win certified Fascial Stretch Therapist Hannah O’Leary (@stretchgalatl) earlier this year as part of a demonstration for one of my classes. She worked on the shoulders for about 10 minutes, and in that short amount of time my mobility was drastically different. The most radical part of the experience was the change in my breathing. I have pectus excavatum, a bone deformity that results in a concave sternum which compresses the heart and lungs. Often my breath feels shallow, even when I am working on slow deep breathing. After 10 minutes of this therapy, my chest was much more open and my breathing felt deep and easy. This experience reinvigorated my interest in fascia and my commitment to learning more to pass onto my clients.

22. What will be your greatest risk in 2019?

Becoming more of an entrepreneur and less of an employee. I have big goals to transform the way the world looks at exercise that will require me to develop my own programs and practices. It’s definitely a risk to start your own business, but it’s one that I feel is necessary to communicate the message I want to in the health and fitness industry.

23. What are you most committed to changing and/or improving in 2019?

More time outdoors. Numerous studies show that increased time in nature is beneficial to your health, lowering blood pressure, boosting immune response, reducing stress and more. Last year was the first year in a long time that I didn’t take a camping trip. In 2019 I’d like to take one per season as well as spend more time hiking.

24. What underdeveloped talent are you planning to explore this upcoming year?

Dance. I’ve worked hard in 2018 to reduce my perfectionist tendencies, which have really held back my creative expression. Now that I’ve laid mental foundation to allow me to perform more freely with less fear of criticism, I’d love to improve this skill and find more performance opportunities.

25. What brings you joy in health? How are you going to have more of that in 2019?

Creative movement. I have found this in pole, aerial silks, and dance, and I have particularly enjoyed playing with freestyle and choreographing my own pieces. In the past couple of years, I have had other goals and spent less time with these practices. However, I think the creative outlet they provide is really important to my mental health, and practicing more would fit with my goal of balancing consumption with creation and help me work on that underdeveloped talent. Hey! There’s a little #stackyourgoals for you!

26. Other than yourself who are you most committing to loving and serving?

I’m most committed to serving kids. You know the saying, “You can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself”? With the majority of adults in the United States being sedentary, overweight or obese, and experiencing chronic health problems, where does that leave our children? I feel strongly that in today’s culture, children need both examples and advocates for their health. I will continue that work this year through my leadership with the Boy Scouts of America. I will also be introducing educational programs in schools and movement-centered events for children and families through Move Well ATL.

27. One word that you would like to have as your health movement theme in 2019.

Patience. I know that if I put in the work, the results will come, even if it’s not on my timeline.