You Can Get Fit!

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So, I went away for a while. Weeks became months. And I was ashamed to write this post….. because it had been so long.

But I chose to face my shame and show up here again. In the past three months, I have been in a major car accident (luckily I was driving a safe car and made it out only with whiplash) and in the hospital only to have major surgery to correct a problem that had been building up more than I knew. Suffice it to say…… I am much, much healthier now. It’s a change I should have made a long time ago.

But having dodged two major medical bullets during the month of March (the hospitalization and the car crash were within 9 days of each other), my life’s purpose is starting to become more clear. There’s still quite a bit of fog, but a few things are obvious:

  • The little annoyances? They’re just little. Driving through traffic… things like that? In the big picture, who cares. Running out of walnuts for a recipe? Eh, use pecans. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
  • Good friends are priceless. See them as often as you can. You don’t know where you will be tomorrow.
  • Life is too short to waste time. I’ve been selling things I don’t care about and clearing my life of clutter, and I make a living teaching private sessions at a Pilates studio. Very gratifying. Once upon a time, I wasted my life in Corporate America…..
  • There is a bigger purpose for me out there. No, I’m not getting all woo-woo New-Agey or religious on you, but I have some big projects in mind. On a smaller scale, I help with organization of my community band and have coordinated a few social events–creating a sense of community (sorely lacking these days). I also have a few larger-scale ideas…
  • And much, much more! (said in best infomercial voice)

Aside from deep thoughts and finding gratifying work…


I made a veggie salad composed of sushi ingredients!

And we painted part of our kitchen purple!

I’ve been trying a lot of interesting healthy recipes. Some hits, some misses… but that’s the point of trying, right? I’ll let you know of some of the good ones!

‘Til then, folks… stay healthy!

Hey everybody!

I’ve been hiding out… hunting down all sorts of new fitness teaching jobs, trying to get back into action. Revisiting my old life, trying out a little bit of new life along the way (preaching some Pilates, since that is truly what has held my body together through poorly-done hip surgery #1, botched recovery, and hip surgery #2).

But but but! If you happen to be a resident of the Seattle area… I know not all of you are, but on the off-chance… I’ve set up a Facebook page so you can figure out where I’m teaching group fitness classes! That’s not the only content; I also add in a few links to recipes I’ve tried, and various other health tips.

Wanna follow along? Here’s the link: Get Fit With Brooke

Meanwhile, I’ve had trouble figuring out more recipes to share with you all. I’ve been cooking up a storm to keep my health in check, but nothing has struck me as wonderful. I have a few more possibilities over the next few days… stay tuned, I promise not to abandon you! I want to try a variation on the quinoa chowder from the beginning of the month with mushrooms, garlic, and artichokes…

Keep on moving!

(Did you guys enjoy the holiday? This blog did!)

As a society, we’ve become more and more email-reliant. American obesity is on the rise. Coincidence?

I say, take small steps to fight back! How often do you get up during the workday and actually walk around? (Believe me, it actually feels great to get away from the computer, both mentally and physically.) You might say, “No biggie, I’m just going 100 feet down the hall,” but it’s our little habits that add up to big changes!

Do you work in an office building with multiple floors? Try taking the stairs sometimes. After a while, it’ll become a habit, and the stairs will become second-nature.

Are there multiple restrooms in your office? If you have the time, why not walk to a more distant one now and then? (You’ll also have people wondering about you. 😉 )

And—probably most important in my book—if you need to chat with a coworker, put down that keyboard and actually physically go to them and chat. The benefits here are twofold. First, you’ll get some movement into your day. Second, I feel that most conversations are so much more effective when handled face-to-face. You burn a few calories, and you improve office morale at the same time!

Besides, I know that if I get up for a short walk even once every hour or two, I feel so much more refreshed and cheerful than if I’m stuck in a chair in front of a computer the entire day. I know which version of me I’d want to work with…

And you’ll become that perpetually-cheerful coworker who never fails to put a smile (or smirk) on everyone’s face!

Yesterday, my husband was sorting through boxes of old stuff. He found a print-out of an email I’d sent to him when I was feeling directionally stuck. It was 2000, I’d just left a bad internet startup, I was lost in life and didn’t know where to go next. So, out of frustration, I decided to write a list of long-term goals for myself.

When I read this list last night, much to my shock… I’ve accomplished almost everything on the list! The two things that I haven’t done are things that I’ve tried, and since decided they weren’t right for me.

Interestingly, even though I regularly worked out at the time, none of my goals were fitness-related. And all of my goals related to me and to my husband – I had no lofty ambitions to save the world. I guess I wanted to make sure I was happy with myself, first.

Among my July 2000 goals:

  • Try and teach a few college classes. Starting in 2001, that was my main career for a while – I’ve taught at six different schools!
  • Get paid for a few freelance writing articles, which is something I’m doing regularly, right now.
  • Drive cross-country with my husband – we’ve done Chicago to Seattle, not quite the whole way, but a lot!
  • Buy and learn a few more musical instruments and improve my sax skills. I’ve played my alto and tenor sax with a few bands here, and I regularly play my harp.
  • Live overseas to learn the language and culture. Heh, thought it would never happen, but tagged along with hubby on his biz school quarter abroad 2 years ago! Unfortunately the Danes just spoke English when I tried to practice my smattering of Danish…
  • I also had a goal of moving away from my family, which was a big deal. But I did end up moving out of state, after thirty years in California.

A week after I wrote this “goals” list, I totally forgot about it. I think this proves that I really do have a core set of values that make me happy! Whether or not I’m reading a list of goals, I orient my life toward these values.

I recently started writing another goals list, and since my career now involves fitness, so do my goals. This time, my goals are more far-reaching, including things such as helping a third-world entrepreneur get started, and starting my own 5K charity race. Not something I’ll accomplish tomorrow, but hopefully within the next 5 years. Hold me to it! On the other hand, ten years ago, I never thought I’d own a fitness business (happy first birthday today, Port-A-Pilates!). I’d love to hire more help and make my role location-independent (yes, I’ve read too much Tim Ferriss!). And one of these days, I’ll do a perfect yoga handstand.

What are your goals for the next month, or year, or next five years? Write them down, fitness-related or otherwise. Tell others about your goals. They will ask you how you’re doing and keep you on task! Making progress keeps us happy!

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