What Does Getting in Shape Mean?

Getting in Shape is a phrase many of us are familiar with.  What does the phrase mean?

First, select the word Getting. Getting generally implies a future process.  We want to get something or we are in the process of getting something.

Second, take a few moments to see what the in shape part of the phrase means to you.  All of us see a picture of what we will look like, therefore have, when we do Get in Shape.  Some of the common pictures are:  six pack, slim waist and thighs, stronger pecs, – these pictures quickly lead us to visions of a better life.  A better life could entail better jobs, relationships, increase in financial security, less stress, on and on.

Cappy’s Boxing Gym understands these desires, visions, and also understands the kind of work it takes to get where we want to go.  Getting in Shape starts with the four Fitness Principals of Strength, Flexibility, Endurance and Mental Focus. Repetition and Practice is key.  We all are strong, but learning what kinds of strength to use in any given moment takes flexibility.  When you stretch the body you stretch the mind.  Endurance is tremendously important – change means we will experience the discomfort of allowing the suppressed Self to Express – thus “changing” our Shape.

Mental Focus is everything.  Getting in Shape does not necessarily mean we will become our picture of the perfect person.  We will only become more of who we are.  Therefore, Getting in Shape is a far more future reaching decision than we might at first think.

I encourage everyone to start with some form of Getting in Shape.  It is the beginning of your journey to the core of who you are.

Get Gritty to Get Busy!

I like watching TED Talks.  Friday’s talk was by Angela Lee Duckworth about how our previous predictors of a person’s success don’t work as well as we thought.  What really shows if a person is going to be successful and reach the goals the set for themselves is whether or not they’ve got grit.  What’s “grit”?  Think tenacious, stubborn, willing to try and fail, and try again.  That’s grit.

We used to think IQ, or SAT scores, or socio-economic status would predict a person’s level of success, but how many of us know smart people who haven’t done much with their lives?  How many of us know people who started out life with some adversity, but never gave up … and instead used that adversity to drive themselves to succeed.  That’s grit.

My goal is to bring grit to my fitness goals, and grit to developing this community.  What will you bring grit to in your life?



Leading Leads to Learning

I am leading this community not because I have the answers, and not because I have figured out how to have a consistent fitness routine, or how to stay on track with my diet.  In no way do I have that figured out yet.  I am leading this community because I allow myself to grow by honoring a committment to help others, and by doing so, learn from others as they grow.  I am leading this community since I am in the process of developing exercise as a habit, and I see plenty of other people going through my same struggle.  When I say struggle, I mean that some days I’m sticking with my commitment to eat a low-calorie diet of healthy food, get my exercise, and balance that with the other commitments in my life (like building this community) … and other days I eat the foods I know I’m not supposed to eat, I skip my workout when my back has such powerful spasms I have a hard time getting dressed, and I wonder how I’m ever going to stay consistent in making progress toward my goals.  When I get derailed from my goals, I wonder if I am setting a good enough example to be a leader.


There is a purpose behind every delay.


This community was born out of my participation as a coach in Landmark Education’s Self Expression and Leadership Program.  While I was coaching, I had the distinct privilege of helping people to unlock the potential they have in themselves that is aleady there, but don’t always see.  I got to lift them up, and see them as the transformed individuals they are … and are working to uncover.  There is a power that comes from having others in your life see you as already successful, and not paying heed to the part of you that wants to snuggle up on the couch in your jammies and live a small life.  This is what I see we can create with this community … a group of people that see each other as the successful, fit, healthy people that we are committed to being, even when we haven’t fully developed the habits that come with that way of being.

Developing the habits that come from a new way of being take time, and take choices … constant choice in the moment.  Do I continue to honor what I gave my word to by making a new (and not always comfortable) choice, or do I continue to do what is familiar?  We are pulled toward the familiar, but we get to really find out who we are when we honor our commitment, and from that make new choices that allow us to have entire new worlds open up for us.

I am privileged to have you as a part of this community, and welcome your input as we help each other develop the habits of a new way of being.


Play Has a Place in Any Fitness Plan

Horse LaughIt’s easy to get waaay too serious about fitness and exercise.  I need to have goals!  I need to know if I’m making progress!  After all, workout has the word “work” in it, right?  I won’t triumph without the “umph”!

Hold it!  I put this picture in because it’s silly, AND because I ride horses as a way to add variety to my fitness plan, and as a way to unwind.  When I ride, I have gotten accomplished enough with my skills that I work on specific training goals with my horse during each session.  If I don’t pay attention to these training issues, and honor their importance, I can face some serious consequences.  If I’m lucky, the effect of blowing off my training goals will be a slight loss of sharpness or refinement in how my horse is able to do her job.  If I really decide to ignore the training goals for each ride, I can create extreme soreness, pain, and even lamenss in my horse, and make it so she cannot do her job for weeks or months at a time!  How can this possibly be relaxing and fun?

The answer: I bring an attitude of play to each ride.  Every time I ride my horse, it is with an attitude that we will play with the skills we need to work on.  We can play with stretching.  We can play with seeing how many ways we can change directions, and change up the sizes of turns we make to keep my horse’s body and mind supple.  We can play with turning the incorrect response from the horse into an exercise that makes her work and think differently, and make the desired response easier.  We can play with standing still while other horses run around and learn that standing and chilling out is also an option … we don’t have to be going ALL the time during the ride.

What this opens up is an amazing opportunity for my horse to relax and enjoy her job.  When I turn her loose in an arena, she runs up to me and is ready to play.  To catch her again, I don’t have to chase her around until she pouts in a corner and lets me put a halter on … she wants to work with me because it is fun!  During the ride, her muscles are loose, relaxed, and better able to function and carry both of us with greater ease.  She can use her body with the greatest efficiency because she’s not stressed out, stiff, and fighting herself or me through the whole session.

I am realizing that I can take this attitude of play to my exercise.  I am taking time to add some play to my workouts this week.  The DVD routine has its place, but I am also seizing the opportunity to have workouts with scenery other than a painted wall and monitor.  Is my workout as intense as the DVD routine?  Maybe not, but my overall wellbeing is doing great.  My jaw muscles have relaxed, the chronic pain in my neck is lessening, and I’m seeing how my body responds to power walking and jogging … exercises I haven’t done during our cold and damp Seattle winter.

How do you incorporate a spirit of play into your exercise?  Some people reserve one workout per week as a “play day”, but what would happen if you brought the spirit of play even to your “serious” workouts?  What could open up for your body’s ability to perform if you entered into your workout with an attitude of play and fun?  I’d love to hear what opens up for you.

Newsflash: Spot Reduction/Spot Training Does NOT Work

It’s an easy diet / fitness pitfall … we think we can work on one area, and it will magically get thinner (thighs, butt, abs, etc.). We could start a huge revolution by focusing on getting our entire body fit enough to do what we need it to do, and still have some reserves left over.


Jane fondaI went through a brief period when I was about twenty-one when I committed to doing the Jane Fonda workout (!) every day (!!).  What I loved about Jane’s workout was the way it targeted all those “problem” areas–you know, the thighs, the waist.  Jane and I and all her workout friends in the video, with our big hair, eighties shiny spandex and leg warmers, blasted those areas with leg lift after leg lift and crunch after crunch.

Sometime between then and now it’s become common knowledge that spot reduction is a myth. There is even a Wikipedia entry on it.  In an inconclusive study in 2006  some scientists had male subjects do leg extensions for THIRTY minutes with the same leg. They found that the blood rushed to the active more than the resting leg (I’m no scientist but that doesn’t surprise me in the least), as well as…

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Starting Anew Every Day

A year from now, you will wish you had started today.I was having this conversation with myself last week. Due to a horrid sinus infection, I took some time away from my exercise routine to let my body fight the bugs and recuperate. I was also preparing for our launch event for Mentoring Movement, so I realized that fighting the infection, exercising, AND getting the event put together might be too much at the same time.

An Exercise for Everyone was a success! We had a fantastic gathering of mentors, and the participants who attended loved the information, and the fun, welcoming atmosphere we created. We are all realizing the importance of helping people become more active and enhance their capacity to live amazing lives through exercise and fitness.

Yet how does this tie in to “Starting Anew Every Day”? I am realizing that with my fitness goals, and with this community, each day is the opportunity to start anew toward our goals. We get to decide what we are committed to, and if we want to take the actions necessary to honor those committments. Every day, it’s a choice.

With my fitness goals, last week I had to decide if I was going to re-start my exercise program right before going on a trip. I went through all of the excuses, and the great “reasons” I had to just put it off. I then realized that there is no convenient time to start (or resume) an exercise plan, and that obstacles like a vacation are always going to come up. I would be sitting there at the end of the vacation, wishing I had gone ahead and re-started my excercise program. I figured out a way to take my workout program and equipment with me, and this morning I worked out in my room on Kauai, as the doves cooed outside.

For what we are creating with this community, each day I get to ask what are we out to create? We are out to create so much support for people being active, being fit, and living expanded, amazing, capable lives, that we transform our entire culture’s attitude toward being active. We see the seeds out there right now. People are exercising, people are showing what comes from being fit, and yet there is still the pull for lesser effort … to skip it just this once, and okay, skip working out one more time … it won’t hurt … and then a year goes by and we get to wishing we had started honoring our commitment and continuing to exercise every day. I will not be standing there a year from now and wishing I had kept building this community. One by one, we add our voices, and our support to each other and our goals.

It’s a Process

I can’t say this any better. It IS a process, and becoming aware of the process, allowing it to be present, is a beautiful breakthrough on its own.


Losing weight, toning up, trimming down, bulking up, gaining muscle. There is no shortcut, no quick trick or magic pill that will give you a long lasting, healthy and effective “workout” trick. All it takes is Hard work, dedication, focus and faith. I will soon be posting a quick and effective, yet hard pushing workout for men and women. It won’t be easy, you won’t like it and yes, you will sweat like a fat cat stuck outside in the sun.

But will it be worth it?

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