Nov 8, 2014

Four Cs: Critical Principles within Dance Fitness

When the dance and fitness worlds collide, four beautiful principles come together!
  1. Comfortable:  absence of pain and distress, free of anxiety, feeling of ease and security
  2. Challenge: full use of your abilities and resources during trying but stimulating situations
  3. Compassion: awareness of the needs of others and a desire to alleviate a person's suffering
  4. Confidence: trust, faith, and self-assurance; a belief in your own abilities
What are the senses of comfortable challenges
  • Accomplishment striving and task completion
  • A pounding but slowing heart at the end of a journey
  • Heavy breathing but calm words of "Hello!"  
  • Reaching the final push or lift and striving a bit further
In aerobic activity, this is defined by being able to talk with single words yet you are breathing heavily during repetitive motions like walking, cycling, and swimming.  In strength training, it is the moment when you can perform one more exercise safely before you loose proper form from muscle fatigue during motions such as lifting and pulling. 

Reaching the CC level of intensity in both causes a safe overload: push your body to reach just slightly beyond it's capacity and doing so stimulates the body to grow stronger (muscle strength) and longer in capacity (muscle or cardiopulmonary endurance).  Pushing well beyond this limit at once can burn more calories but raises injury risk and requires a longer recovery period before the next trial.  Some activity is always better than none but I encourage you to give a bit more for greater results.

What do compassion and confidence look like?
  • Rising posture
  • Shining sweat 
  • Glowing yet lifted eyes
  • Radiant smiles
  • Open and welcoming arms
Compassion in dance connects instructors, students, and communities through movement and music.  When a group moves compassionately in sync; physically connects through eye contact, partnering or circling; or simply unites in a display of positive emotion; the experience deepens support, encouragement, and unity.

Confidence is possessing faith in the class you enter when you enter, and growing your confidence during big or small dance attempts will leave you with less fear in your life.  Turn your thoughts toward the similarities between you and other dancers: what is inside matters most, and what is outside becomes an aesthetic of diminished importance.  Engage in every challenge with a positive goal in an open heart and mind.  You will receive so much more.

Want to retain these principles?  A happy child can remind you.

Wishing you comfortable challenges filled with compassion and confidence!
XO - Megan

Sep 30, 2014

The Art of Setting and Achieving High Expectations

The top educators in the world list "Setting High Expectations" as a priority step to reaching great achievements: a belief that WONDERFUL THINGS ARE going to happen to you!  From your first hot air balloon ride, to switching careers, to changing your health habits: aim high to reach high in your life.  Once you set a high expectation, plan 1. Resources, 2. Timed Steps, and 3. Support to move from belief to reality.

Defining Resources, Timed Steps, and Support

1. RESOURCES: The valid, trusted tools and knowledge to reach your goal.  Seek resources that are 1. accurate and 2. level-appropriate. If your resource is convenient but not from an expert or it is from a professional but not understandable, keep searching.  Correct materials at your level are worth their weight in gold!

HOT TIP: When searching online for content, resources, or products, read "Comment", "Testimonial", and "About" pages to get a feel for who the creator is and the type of client the resource was designed for.

2. TIMED STEPS: The timeline and size of steps fit into your life, today!  Although vast changes are a wonderful thought, most if not all daily life changes will happen in small, quick, and simple modifications to your normal routine.  Make long-term changes by repeating those small behaviors over time.

Small example steps are: taking 5 minutes a day to write down daily spending habits, swapping out the yogurt for a cleaner brand on the next shopping trip, and making a call to a local gym to ask about their programs. 

HOT TIP: Keep moving forward by making the steps to your expectation REQUIRED, not optional.

3. SUPPORT: Build a support network of people who have been there, done that.  Seek referrals, ideas, or experience friends, family, and area professionals: their feedback is priceless. 

HOT TIP: Kiss shyness goodbye and ASK professionals the questions you have to build your plan.  Experts are people just like you but simply further along on the same journey.

Example Expectations in Action
High Expectation: "Hey Megan, I'm going to become a fitness professional!"

Oh, wow!  Tell me more...

High Expectation with a Plan:
"Hey Megan, I would love to change careers and become a fitness professional!  I can begin working one-on-one with members at a local gym but here's what I need to do:

The local gym requires an ACE Personal Trainer certification; I looked into it online and the ACE PT Exam materials and testing procedure seem valid (NCCA accreditation) and are broken down into segments that fit my 12-14 week/10 hrs per week available study time.  ACE has email reminders, study guides, flash cards, and live chat support, too!

I can make it work if every Monday-Friday from 6-8 AM if I set my alarm and get going on time, plus I'll schedule in two extra study weeks in case emergencies arise before my testing date, so 14 weeks total to prep.  My super family is going to limit distractions during my study hours.  May I email you once or twice if I have content questions?"

Great goal and those first steps sounds amazing! Absolutely!
The expectation may be a strong belief, but the expectation with a plan changes your reality by developing passion, preparation, obstacle avoidance, plus you will gain supporters along your journey.

Take your high expectation and PLAN for it!  What's on your life list?
Wishing you success beyond your wildest dreams!
XO - Megan

Sep 11, 2014

Honoring all on Patriot Day: LaBlast Style

Honoring the memories, tragedies, survival, and empowerment of a single day in the history of the world through dance.  

"Let freedom ring... Let the weak be strong... Throw the stone away..." - Martina McBride

Embrace the rhythms. 
Repeat the mantras.

To a blessed and inspired life, EVERY single moment.
- Megan

Warm-Up Traveling/Tango: Born This Way, Lady Gaga

"Spread your wings; you've got this!"
Warm-Up, Isolations Mixed with In-Place Cha Cha/Disco/Jive: Wings, Little Mix

Sept. 11, 2001 
2,996 deaths; +6,000 injuries 

Salsa: I'm Alive, Celine Dion

LaBlast Weight Loss Challenge
Empowering our Body, Mind, and Emotions

"Stronger, Harder, Wiser, Faster, Smarter"
Hip Hop Salsa: Fighter, Christina Aguilera

"Make Love to the DANCE FLOOR"
Cha Cha/Salsa/Jive: Dance Again, Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull

"Pride Inside You"
Disco/Strength: Rambo - Hardwell Edit, Deorro and J-Trick

Cha Cha/Salsa/Merengue Partnered: Independence Day, Martina McBride

"Trust Yourself"
Slow to Fast Jive: Proud Mary, Tina Turner

SQQ Rumba with Weights: No Air, Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown

"Party Dance!"
Samba: Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy; Big & Rich

"Transition to Life"
Cool Down: Breathe, Faith Hill

"Feel Good.  Life is Good."
Goodbyes: Feeling Good, Nina Simone

Jul 25, 2014

Response: The Secret Power Behind Commitment

Commitment is only intended action without response.  Response is the reaction or reply that gives commitment power.
  • Body Action: In movement, intended action requires the body's response.  The brain can cue "Gesture!" or "Travel!" or "Turn!" but relies on the response of the body to propel the action.
  • Relationships: Communicated intention requires the response of the other person to complete the loop.  A person can communication in a thousand ways "Let's DO ____!" but all stops without a reply.  The response will strengthen or diminish subsequent commitment.
The opposite of commitment?
  • An unmet high-five 
  • An email without reply 
  • A hug held with tension 
  • Waiting in vain

Powerful commitments are those met with response.
Wishing you the blessings of progress,
- Megan

May 14, 2014

Fitness Selfie: Taking Your Quick and Valuable Fitness Notes

Alright, worldly readers: You must take some pictures of yourself to monitor your progress on fitness goals.  Why?  Because they tell you where you really are right now.

Grab someone to take a load of pictures of you working out.  These images are like a mirror in motion and the purpose is not perfection.

Your fitness selfies should tell you:
  1. Is my form correct?  Snap the TV or instructor in the background to compare.
  2. How do I feel on the INSIDE: Stronger, Faster, Freer?  These are your goals.
  3. How does this compare to where I was a week ago and where I want to be a week from now?
Fitness pictures are both ugly and beautiful: you are working hard, dripping with sweat, breathing heavy, reaching to hit your mark.  But you are alive, thriving, and growing so view your pictures in loving ways.  Time is fleeting and precious.

Injuries and illnesses inflict a huge loss of hard-earned strength and stability.  Today I am three weeks back from a 3-month forced pause to overcome both so some May 2014 progress checks were needed while working out to P90X3:

Picture #1 Jump-Switch Lunges
Note: Progress to be had on speed and height

Picture #2 Twisting Lateral Lunges
Note:  Higher elbows, lower shoulders

Picture #3 Low to High Turning Lunge
Note: High moments, YAY, can I stay here a bit longer? ;D

A note on my workouts: As a full-time mom, almost always 30 minutes is all I or any working person can get in every day.  P90X3 accommodates my needs, creates results, and the instructor Tony Horton is hilarious which decreases the stress of the oncoming hard work.  Then if time allows my bonus cardio reward is LaBlast Fitness: dance, dance, dance, YAY!

Love yourself by working hard and progressing your fitness selfies, take the brief notes that will help you succeed, then get ready for improved daily workouts.

Life is a journey: have fun earning your fitness and those feel good remaining hours of the day.
XO - Megan