Thursday, March 7, 2013

Spring ride!

March is one of those crazy months in Montana. One minute it's blue skies and balmy breezes, and the next, you've got snow blowing sideways. 

I'm learning not to take the glowing moments for granted.

It would have been easy to be reeled in by the pile of dishes, a queue of emails to return and another article to read, but I stopped to pull the to-do hook out of my conscience so I could fly.

Time to pull out the townie!

I brushed off the thin layer of dust on the Schwinn, checked the tires, and took off. No need to change my cowboy boots. Just gimme clear roads and the sun on my face.

Enough sun to make a shadow!

First time this year I didn't ride with gloves on.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Start March strong! I'm offering Fitness Wisdom with support

Hiking with the dudes on Saturday

Spring is teasing its way here, even in cloudy Kalispell, Montana. The temps are higher, the sun is stronger, and you can tell that nature is ready to make a move for green.

I'm also getting more hits on my posts about my exercise routine (need to update that one, FYI) and my couch to 10k adventure (also needs a touch-up).

Now that the winter blahs are dissolving, dump the pressure of having a New Year's resolution. Let's take that spring energy and get March going powerfully for you.

The Fitness Wisdom offer in two parts
1. Connection One
Making connections makes things happen. I want you to have support to make the switch from struggling with exercise to craving it, so I'm sending out two emails a week (started last night!). You'll get a Sunday permission slip to set up pajama workouts for the week plus a Wednesday Humpday Hello just to check in and remind you of your own power.

If you want to get in on the email connection, just send an email to Of course, I ain't never gonna share your info with anyone else. It's for my eyes only!

2.  Connection Two
We'll be following the Fitness Wisdom Connection series that I recorded earlier this year. The first one's free, and you can listen to it anytime right here.

If you sign up for webinars #2 and #3 (only $25 for both), you'll have access to a private Facebook forum where you can chat with me and others who are transforming their relationship with exercise.  This is the juicy stuff. You'll get to swap ideas, recipes and booyahs! with other amazing women. Changes happen fast when there's a team behind you.

However you choose to receive support is completely up to you. It's your life, your body and your power, sistah (and brotha!).

I'll still be here on Bike Bliss, writing about whatever hits me when it comes to exercise and claiming my life. I'm always available for questions and comments here or on my Facebook page. I'd love to have you along!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Exercise: Suffering doesn't make it better

I've been simmering for a while.

Way back in October, the very wonderful Joel Runyon threw down the gauntlet to his mediocrity-defying fans: Do something you hate.

The world's gone soft, he says, and it needs to get over its sparkly unicorn entitled self and deal with the hard. Reality ain't pretty.

Pick something you hate, he said. Learn to love it anyway.

My knees nearly buckled when I read this. Hell no, I muttered. I've come too far to take that mantra. Joel, I love you and your fan-effing-tabulous off-the-charts life. I adore the inspiration you hand out, and there's no denying that it's working for thousands of people each week.

I'm not saying you're wrong, but I've got the receipt for this version of "No pain, no gain." You can have it back.

When I hear "Love what you hate," I'm reminded of all the courageous women I know who smiled through a rotten deal, stood by a destructive partner, starved themselves for the scale or endured a demeaning boss.

They weren't making excuses or looking for the exit when things got a wee bit difficult. They honestly thought they were stronger than the pain. They figured they had enough willpower, discipline and smarts to stick by their choice and save the day.

What they didn't calculate was the cost in confidence and power over all of the years of stuffing their intuition and moving forward anyway. Most of these women describe something like erosion -- a gradual wearing down of their joy, their optimism and their wholeheartedness until the river of Make It Work Anyway cut too deep.

That river exposed their essence, and they awoke from the denial and numbness. They quit doing what they hated and stopped telling themselves that it was okay.

Now that they're enlightened quitters, do you know what they say instead?

I wish I'd left him sooner.

Shoulda turned in that resignation years ago.

I'm so glad all that is behind me.

I know this pattern because I'm one of these women. I have a great family and an amazing husband, but I'm one of the millions who has lapped up the message that forcing myself toward success is the only way to get there. And I've paid the price.

After Joel posted Love What You Hate, I steamed, but stayed silent. I didn't write, thinking that his blog's popularity and my obscurity settled the issue. The world wanted his message, and mine was just reactionary and weak -- exactly what he railed against. 

I'm speaking up anyway, because I'm tired of everyone shouting through a megaphone as they pin medals on the idea that suffering leads to happiness.

It's clear that Joel's battle cry has struck a chord with many others who are looking to summon their inner power. Excellent. I have no desire to quarrel. I don't need to make this right or wrong. Let them find teachers like Stephen Pressfield who stoke that fire in their belly each day. I will watch and be amazed by all the impossible things they accomplish.

But I can't stand by. For those who can't bear to take on another thing they hate, I offer another option.

Find something you love more.

I don't love running, but I love the power in my legs and the nah-nah I give my inner critics as I defy them. I don't love crawling out of my warm bed to my chilly basement to do yoga in the winter morning darkness, but I love the beauty of my muscles stretching and reaching in graceful ways. And I love the freedom of biking -- deeply, truly and seriously.

When I love that strength in myself, I don't need to hate anything. I'm already home.

So maybe we don't need to draw lines between love and hate. I'm offering you permission to challenge the idea that exercise equals suffering. You can refuse to be a martyr.

Do something you love, and when it gets hard -- and it will -- choose something you love more than the struggle.

Chances are, it will be your own strength.

Monday, February 11, 2013

More Fitness Heresy on tap!

A little Monday oomph is waiting for you over at Living Healthy Together!

Ever felt like an inspirational phrase didn't fit? Me, too. Here's my take on "Get out of your comfort zone!" 

Want more Fitness Heresy? Try #1, #2 and #3.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Valentine's Day: Get your bike love on!

Bike valentine by hello truelove
Handmade goods are rolling in for some bike love this Valentine's Day!

A quick trip through Etsy today gave me some great ideas for my bike tribe, from cards to hats and Ts. I put my favorites together in a collection here, and I'd love to see some of your faves!

The saucy card at the top is definitely on my list, but so are these pillowcases by jems1987.

I'm hoping to get this dress from Sharp Shirter and a bike date with Hot Husband. What are you cookin' up for Valentine's Day?

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Willpower vs. Momentum: And the winner is . . .

Nothing like the NFL's High Holy Day to inspire another round of dedication, discipline and just-do-it hype.

Yesterday, I wanted none of it.

I was blasted from being up half the night with a feverish child and a Downton Abbey marathon. (I'm all caught up now, thanks.) I dragged myself around, making excuses for being at half speed and wishing I felt better so I could get out for a real ride on one of the rare sunny winter days we have in Kalispell.

Finally, as the sun was an hour from setting, the pull of a ride in sunshine was too much. "Only a quick ride," I told Hot Husband, and I set off on on my 20-minute loop. I just needed to get out and move, but I knew I couldn't handle much.

I biked through the ice and slush on my neighborhood's road and hit dry pavement. In a flash, I knew that the bike was hijacking me. We were going toward the mountains, away from the rush of traffic with sun was at my face.

I rode and rode. I blew past my turnaround point, and the killer hill was no problem, even on my beastly old-school mountain bike. The ride was freedom and flowing motion at every moment.

In 45 minutes, I was back home, humbled by the realization that once again, I had learned that momentum triumphs over sheer willpower. I hadn't forced, rewarded or manipulated myself into getting out and feeling the breath and heat in my body. The ride kept tugging at me, and instead of rolling my eyes and finding a distraction, I just went along.

This week, I'm doing another online class on getting yourself to this place where you are drawn to exercise because it makes you feel powerful and grateful. There are no detailed workout plans, no special diets to follow, no new standards for what you should or must be doing. It's all about coming home to your body, without guilt.

Go here to find out how it works. Here's the link to register. And if you have any questions, please email me at

Friday, February 1, 2013

February = Pajama workout love!

Here's a crazy idea I had today. Let's make February Pajama Workout Love Month!

Starting today, go for fitting in a PJ workout each day and just notice what happens. How do you feel? What's easy? What's hard? What surprised you?

I'll be posting my pajama workouts on Facebook and Twitter (@bikeblisschick) with the hashtag #pjworkout. You can follow me there or, if you're taking my next webinar, you can join the private forum where we can chat about all sorts of permission slips to chuck the usual assumptions about exercise.

For more on pajama workouts, head on over to this post on Living Healthy Together and listen to my online class. All of the webinars will be recorded, so if you can't make it live, no problem. You can get the info later.

I am constantly amazed at how much power pajama workouts give me for such a tiny investment in time. I always walk away energized and motivated in ways I haven't been able to muster through forcing or using guilt to get it done.

For ideas for micro exercises, try this gallery on Livestrong or this video from Marianne. Pick 2 to 4 exercises that appeal to you and do them for 15 seconds to a minute -- whatever feels good to you. That's it! No equipment, no special clothing, no huge time commitment.

See you at Webinar 2: Uncovering Your Wisdom!

Wondering what the %^$# a webinar is? Here's your answer.