Trailer: “Something Amazing”

Mia Moyano is an aspiring film maker in her Junior year of high school.  “Something Amazing” is a touching, short film about her mother, Sharon Starika, and the ways in which her work with the Feldenkrais Method is changing so many lives – including Mia’s.  Something Amazing is told by Mia, revealing how she sees her mother, and how much she admires who she is and what she does for others.

Trailer: Something Amazing

Free Yourself From Back Pain With This Upcoming Workshop


The ‘C’ Word


Commitment.  How many of you are truly committed?  What does it really mean to make a commitment? Are you afraid about becoming committed?  What does this represent or mean to you? What does commitment have to do with sports and our physical activities?


I invite you to take a look about how commitment shows up in your life, work, marriage/relationships, sports, activities and health.  More than ever, society is losing site of what it means to be committed. Why?  We are faced with instant change in our daily lives and environment. As technology continues to grow on a daily basis, we are constantly challenged to stay focused, satisfied and committed.


Lets back up for a moment.  To have a clear understanding about commitment, the relationship to technology and why our ability to be committed is losing its place in the world, we need to review how we lived our lives decades ago and how we are living now.


Decades ago, we did not have this level of technology, and thus, all of these distractions – including cell phones, computers, iPads, and electronic games.  These devices capture our attention while giving us instant gratification.


It’s the instant gratification that is causing or creating several problems for all of us.  When we can have instant gratification, we forget what it means to work hard for something. In the past, when we wanted something, it usually took time for us to achieve it. It was a satisfying process.  In fact, in many ways the end goal often became less important as we traveled along the road of process and progress.


It can be difficult to understand the down side of receiving things instantly, but there is a downside.  As children, we use to go outside to play and physically move, engaging with the environment and other children.  As adults, we learned to take care of ourselves, to find a job and/or career to work to earn an income to be able to support a family and to enjoy time together at the end of the day. Most of our day was spent in the environment in which we live. There was a deep involvement with the environment around us.  The environment is constructed of the people and the places around us.


Something to ponder: How has your life changed since the world of technology has changed? Have you ever noticed going to a Starbucks and see everyone sitting alone typing on phones or computers? Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for technology, growth and change.  In fact our survival of our species is and has been dependent on growth and change since the beginning of time. (Refer to past article;  Running good for the Body and the Brain), explaining how running greatly affected the size and development or our brain more than any other species on the planet. However, it is important to reflect over time during the process of growth to remember and consider what is truly important to maintain in our lives, and what we can let go of.


So how would/does technology effect our level of commitment? Think about it for a minute. What does it mean to be committed?  Is this something that takes place in an instant? Could you consider a commitment to be a decision?  A thought and or idea that takes some mental time to ponder? Here are some places I have and continue to have commitments in my life.  Perhaps you can take a few minutes today to make your list of how you stay committed in your life.


1) Being physically active on a daily basis.
2) Feeding my body nutritiously to have a healthy body and a healthy mind.
3) Being a responsible pro-active mother and parent for my daughter.
4) Being a responsible adult managing my work, and job on a daily basis to take care of my daughter and myself.
5) Being in an adult committed relationship that takes a mental commitment, communication, willingness to give and take and openness to change, growth and differences.


Many of these commitments we are not writing down daily, but we are aware we are in an ongoing process with them.  It is being in the process continuously that makes it a commitment. Now take a look at being physically active.  This can be training for your first 10k, or half marathon, of first triathlon. Once you decide to make a commitment, ask yourself what are your next steps to ensure a successful outcome:


1) Make sure you are feeling positive about the commitment you have set for yourself.  Is it obtainable, does it generate a positive feeling for you, and does it provide a sense of pleasure, accomplishment, determination, and satisfaction for you?

2) Develop a time-frame in which to achieve or check in with your commitment.  Make sure your time-frame is reasonable.  Often we can set ourselves up for failure by setting to high of a standard and/or goal with unreasonable time to achieve it.

3) Set up a routine/workout and have it written it down on a calendar or use a calendar developed by some online sites to use as your daily guide.  Review your calendar daily logging in your workout/activity, time, distance, etc.  By following a calendar, it will keep you accountable for your daily workout and moving towards your goal.

4) If you miss a day, or a workout, don’t let yourself down the following day.  It is okay to miss a day, but keep in mind your goal and get back on track.

5) Acknowledge yourself for being committed. Notice how it makes yu feel.  Notice how being committed to an activity effects the rest of your life.  Are you more positive?  How do you feel about yourself?  How do you treat others?


I see the growth in our current world as exciting and challenging at the same time.  I know for myself that commitment, especially with my sports, has been a very big part of my life and has helped shape the other aspects of my life in a very positive way. However, I do see our younger generations struggling more than ever with school, holding down a job, careers, relationships, etc.


Perhaps one of the easiest ways to bring commitment back into your life, or the loved ones around you, is finding a sport and or activity to begin.  Perhaps for you it means signing up for a Triathlon.  Perhaps for your significant other, it is joining a gym. Or for your child it is joining a team sport at school or outside of the school. I believe being active is one of the best ways to learn and experience commitment. Being able to establish a commitment with a sport and or an activity will allow you to naturally develop commitments in the other areas of your life.


The ‘C’ word, what does it mean to you?

Measuring “Feeling Good”

How and when do you feel good about yourself? How do you feel about your workouts? Reaching a goal?

Defining what “feeling good” means to you is the first step in evaluating the ways in which you can “feel good” in many aspects of your life.

“Feeling good” can be a physical sensation, an emotional state, a mental state or a combination of all three.   Any of these states can be triggered in a moment’s notice.  Think about how you feel in different situations and what seems to affect you. Take a moment and reflect on how you feel upon waking up, after a run, after working out, after sitting in traffic, after being at work, etc.  In any of these situations, how you feel comes from the act of doing, being, accomplishing, or a combination.

Ask yourself:  Why is feeling good important?   “Feeling good” is certainly better than feeling bad. How we feel can not only shape our day, it can eventually shape our life.   It effects how we are able to cope with our life, being productive, focused, and or handling what tasks lie in front of us.  Maintaining a healthy physical state, emotional state, and mental state provides an overall sense of wellbeing and happiness which makes life much more enjoyable.

Let’s begin by looking at the physical part of feeling good.  How do you know when you physically feel good?  Is it when you wake up in the morning?  Is it after you have accomplished a workout?  Is it because you feel strong, fast, light, powerful, successful, and/or energized?  Notice there are a variety of ways in which each of us decides what “feeling good” means to us.  First and foremost decide for YOU what “feeling good” is and how you physically get there.

One way to feel good is to workout.  For me, working out can mean a run, a hike, a bike ride, training at the gym, a yoga class, a walk, swimming, downhill skiing, skate skiing, etc.  Part of my prerequisite for a workout is both experiencing exertion and accomplishment. I need to do an activity where I am exerting myself.   When my heart rate goes up, I sweat and I begin to feel alive.  This brings about a good feeling inside of me.  During these workouts, I feel strong, powerful, agile, and free.  Soon after my workout I feel centered, calm, focused, pleased with myself, and accomplished.  This is what “feeling physically good” is for me.  It is very important for me to begin my day with a workout because it allows me to stay on top of my  game for the entire day.

There are many other physical ways we can create “feeling good.”  For example, getting enough sleep, eating nutritiously, and hydrating all contribute to feeling good.  These topics were covered in my previous article: Energy.

It is also worth examining what makes you feel bad physically.  By knowing both sides of the coin you will feel more in control to create “feeling good” in your daily life.  Training/workout in a way that makes you feel good about yourself, where you feel successful and accomplished.  Refrain from evaluating yourself against others.  Your evaluation should only be comparative to yourself, and no one else.  Stay within to reap your rewards.

What about emotions?  Let’s stay in the camp of relating to your workouts, training and competitions.  Certainly we feel and have emotions connected to our physical self.  So if we feel energized, most likely we’re feeling positive and happy within ourselves.  There is a direct correlation between the physical and emotional world.  However, it has occurred to me and I’ve seen many people develop a negative emotion despite their positive performance.  This is often the case when we have set our personal standards to an outside standard, which will never be optimal.  Avoid comparing yourself to anyone.  It is the beginning of the end to not feel good about you!


Here are a few tips to help you stay positive: Find something in your workout or training everyday that makes you “feel good.”  This will impact your training, goal setting, your ability to compete and most importantly, how your life goes.  Next, have reasonable goals.  I’m going to exercise today, get enough sleep tonight, have a day of rest because I have over trained, or fuel my body with appropriate hydration and fuel to maintain a healthy, happy body.  Setting goals that teeter on the impossible will set you up for failure.  Your emotional state is delicate. Treat yourself and your emotions with care.  Start your day off in the right direction with a physical good feeling to emotionally set the stage for a positive day for yourself.

Your state of mind is also key, and comes from the combination of your physical and emotional state.  If you physically and emotionally feel good, most likely you will mentally feel strong.  Mental strength truly is the key to your personal strength, endurance, success and happiness.  It must be acquired through your physical and emotional states.  It is virtuously impossible to be mentally strong when you’re down on your physical and emotional game. Your mental strength gives you the power to survive one’s daily life.  I usually begin my day, as I mentioned, with the physical, building my emotional and mental state for strength for the rest of the day.

I’m sure many of you may go in a different order; maybe you start with your mental state, or emotional state.  What is important is to find the state you can access the easiest to give you that “good feeling” to begin your day with.  From there, I highly recommend playing around with the idea of developing the capacity to access your “good feeling” from any of our states.  For example, let’s say you take a day off to rest to recover.  On this day you may find that you are “feeling good” from your mental state by knowing a day off is going to benefit you tremendously.  The more you are able to shift states to create your sense of well-being, the healthier and more functional of a person you will be in the world.  Relying ONLY on ONE state for “feeling good” can be very dangerous, and lacks flexibility.  First, learn for yourself how you cultivate “feeling good.” Next begin to play experiment with “feeling good” physically, emotionally, or mentally.

Soon you will be happier, feel more satisfied with yourself and your life, so you can enjoy and live your life to the fullest.

Creating and Experiencing Empowerment

Empowerment is one of the greatest experiences we can have throughout our lifetime. Beginning as a baby we develop into a child, then from a youth into a young adult and finally into an adult. Most of us have had daily experiences of empowerment or “promoting self-actualization” throughout our life. Such experiences shape us into who we become as adults. As we reach adulthood fewer experiences of empowerment occur and for some they become non-existent.

How can you bring empowerment back into your life?

There are several ways to experience empowerment and because our earliest experience is through movement, I find this to be the most accessible and profound place to experience empowerment. During one’s experience of empowerment the movements feel easy and they have quality of smoothness and fluidity to them, you experience a sense of effortlessness with complete agility. In that one moment with all of the ingredients there, you have an exceptional feeling you would like to have over and over again.

Reflecting back on childhood, we can all remember a time when we enjoyed the gift of moving freely; whether running through a field or playing a game of kick the can, swinging on a swing set or climbing a jingle gym. Even now as an adult, you can bring that feeling back in to your world. Perhaps through sport or working out, empowerment can become part of your life again.

Where should you start?

Choose something you would like to improve like running, biking, swimming, or workout routine. Once you’ve selected a sport, take time to make a list for yourself of where you feel deficient or would like to see some improvement. Identify what you would like to improve and then come up with some reasonable goals. Often, we create goals that are much nearly impossible to obtain, which can be a set up for disappointment and failure. When you set a goal that is reasonable and obtainable, you are aligning yourself for success and empowerment and you can reach your goal with ease, fluidity, and smoothness.

Variety provides the opportunity to experience change, growth, improvement and empowerment. Read “Is Variety Part of Your Game?” for more on this.

For example, if you set the goal of improving your running 10k personal record by 10 seconds, think of a few ways in which you can change your current running style or training to move toward that goal. Relying on only one path to achieve your goal could set you up for failure.  Instead, come up with different options like adding in hill workouts, speed work, or distance. I recommend trying these changes one at a time.

If you are going to try the hill workouts, add it in to your weekly routine and stick to it. Pick a distance of hills and number of times you will repeat it. The number of times you repeat your hill needs to be flexible so you can determine what you can currently do and what you may be able to do in the future. You want to stay at a level that feels comfortable for you to avoid straining or stressing your system. As you improve, you can time yourself and increase the number of times you repeat a hill. You will see how this impacts your daily run and your distance and you may even experience two or three levels of empowerment.

Empowerment is that moment when you achieve something you hadn’t achieved before. It is an exhilarating feeling of ease, fluidity, effortlessness and even grace. In that moment, you feel like you are on top of the world and it is truly magical. It is one of the most amazing feelings any of us can experience and it makes us a much better person in our daily lives and how we relate to others. Search for ways to add the experience of empowerment into your life and take off!