Motivational Personal Development

What to do When You’re Going Through a Tough Time

We all have those periods of a few days, weeks, or months where we are just down in the dumps.

I for sure have been there… and I’m sure you have as well.

When I go through those times, I always just tell myself, “let’s just wait it out, Hunter”.

Sometimes, waiting out doesn’t work. I get to such a low point and force myself to take action because I just can’t tolerate it.

I force myself to make a decision to change.

One change that has worked well for me is getting very clear on my goals, my visions, and my purpose.

I don’t hold back. I write it down, and get it super clear and specific.

Some people say to dream realistic… but its hard to get excited about “realistic” dreams in my opinion. So I write down the biggest dreams I have… because those get me excited.

This focuses my mind on the positives in my life and my potential, vs the things that are keeping me down.

When you get more excited about your purpose, you will forget about being down in the dumps.

What is your potential? What are you truly capable of?

Apply this, and let me know how it helps you.

If there is anything I can do to help you, know that I’m here for you. I’m just an email away.

I’m also here at the gym – and I’d be happy to sit down and talk with you about your dreams / goals / and purpose.

To set it up, fill out the form at and we’ll be in touch!

Motivational Personal Development

Rule of Kindness

You should hear the things people say when they think no one is listening! I’m often in the back row at the gym, and people tend to mumble as if no one is listening back there. Well I’m on to them! I’ve given them a rule to follow, and the rule is starting to spread beyond the back row. Once people adopt this rule, I hear reports that it is really effective not just in the gym, but in other areas of their lives. One woman shared the rule with her husband and when she was about to break the rule at home he said, “You know, Dorrie would want you to rephrase that.” And so she did, and then promptly reported how this little rule really makes her think and be a little kinder to herself. So now it’s like I’m listening at home too.

Language is really powerful, and the messages we tell ourselves have a great impact on what we believe. Sometimes we don’t realize these messages are being delivered behind the scenes, but when they are shown the light of day by speaking them, it becomes obvious. And so I developed this rule to edit these messages. It is this: Only say things about yourself that you would say to my face about me or another friend. Seems simple enough, right? We are all taught that if you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all, but somehow we think this doesn’t apply to talking about ourselves.

The first group of phrases we eliminated at the gym were lines like, “I am a sweaty mess;” “I am a wreck;” “I am not graceful;” “I can’t do that;” “I am such a wimp;”etc. I would call them out on it and say, “Are you saying I’m a wimp? Are you say I’m a mess?” Realizing these words were hurtful directed at someone else made them realize they were damaging words for themselves. Together we rephrase things. “I am not coordinated,” becomes “I am working on my balance.” “I can’t lift that,” becomes “I am getting stronger.” “I am a sweaty mess,” becomes “I am working hard.” Changing these subtle messages brings a kinder internal voice and gradually builds confidence.
Our culture makes it hard enough to go easy on ourselves. We receive very loud messages that our value is based on our appearance and furthermore that our appearance should meet a certain criteria. I cringe when I hear people talking about getting ready for bikini season, or having to get their summer arms. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look good and feel good – but what upsets me is when people feel bad because they don’t see themselves meeting a certain arbitrary standard. What we have to embrace is that we are all different and we are all beautiful (and handsome) in our own way. Our bodies are built differently, respond to exercise and food differently, and are meant to be lived in differently. There is no right way to look. All bodies are good bodies, and it is truly powerful when we tell ourselves this. Thanks to the million messages we receive from media and our society we are bombarded with insults about how we look and how we need to conform to an external set of standards. When we succumb to these messages it sends another hurtful message: “I am not loveable as I am, but I will be when I reach x,y,z…” I am throwing the nonsense flag up on that. You are loveable right now. The work you do at the gym, and anywhere else to be the best version of you is fantastic, and you are not less than extraordinary before hitting any of the goals you set there.

When I meet someone or talk to a person I’m paying attention to what she says and how she acts. This informs me about her character. I want to live in a world where being kind, funny, loyal, passionate, smart, interested, and interesting are valued above how someone looks. Our bodies are not objects or ornaments, they are instruments for living. I look in the mirror and say, “What am I capable of?” not “If only my arms were smaller.”

The road to body positivity can be long and winding. I’m inviting you to walk it with me. Along this road I remind myself that my goals are my own. I don’t compare or compete with my neighbor. I don’t have her body, and my hips are unique as my fingerprints. Most people don’t stare at their finger tips and say I wish they swirled a little more to the left. We don’t go around fingerprint shaming ourselves! We shouldn’t go around body shaming ourselves either. In a group setting it can be natural to compare or assume the same goal as your neighbor, but I remind myself that their bodies are different and we will have different goals and outcomes. Similarly, I keep my focus on performance goals as opposed to aesthetic goals. I want to be stronger, healthier, and more agile, etc. This keeps my mind focused on my standards that I can feel, not someone else’s that they can see.

My theory is that being kind to ourselves breeds acceptance and builds confidence. On this path of body positivity stick to the rule. Only say things about yourself that you would say about a friend right to her face. Talk about yourself with kindness and encouragement and you will propel yourself forward on your wellness path.

Motivational Personal Development Strength Training

Summertime Secrets of Success

School’s out for summer! I think those very words are a throwback for all of us reminiscent of the freedom we had as kids with no homework, no schedule, no alarm clock, and no structure. As adults there is a mixture of both chaos and feeling carefree when the calendar page flips to late June. Some of us have changes in our work schedule in the summer too, and if we have kids at home there’s no doubt our routines are upended. Even with those variables aside, summertime seems to get filled with lots of activities and visitors and our schedules blow out the window as soon as we open them up for that summer breeze.

So how do we handle the chaos of camp carpool, spontaneous trips to the lake, and the joy of just being outside while maintaining our gym regimen? How do we make time for the gym when there are so many other activities in our lives? And the big question, does the gym need to be a priority if we are getting exercise lots of other ways outside this time of year?

I’m pretty sure you know my answer to the last question. I’m so grateful for the workouts at the gym that have given me the strength and endurance to do all these other activities I enjoy. Since I attribute my level of fitness to the work at the gym, I’m going to continue to make that a priority. So the real question is what is my strategy for summer success?

This week’s big reveal is that nothing changes about the combination for success: Have a goal, create your habits and routine, be accountable, and have fun.

Top 4 Secrets to Summertime Success

1~ Set a seasonal goal ~ We already know our long term goals, but when summer comes, we can think about short term goals to mix it up and keep us focused. My long term goal is to stay fit and strong, but specifically for summer I want to increase my speed on the winch handle while sailing to be a better racer. I’m tackling those battle ropes and those biceps curls with sights for a podium finish on the racecourse. Maybe you want to train for a Tough Mudder or hike Mt. Battie, or maybe this is the summer that getting up out of the sand at the beach will be a little easier. Having a short term goal will make it easier to stay motivated and stick to your schedule.

2 ~ Keep the rhythm going ~ There are lots of ways to add exercise to your life when the weather is nice and the water is warm: paddling, swimming, walking, or biking. I like to see those as activities of a healthy lifestyle, and not necessarily a replacement for a workout routine. There are so many variables that can sidetrack us from those best laid plans. Continuing classes provides the routine we need as the foundation for our wellness. Plus training at the gym offers specific benefits, development, and toning. I also don’t want to risk losing the gains of strength training by taking a few months off. Maybe I’ll drop one day at the gym and commit to adding a vigorous walk as a substitute, but more than one or two subs can become a slippery slope. I make sure to have my scheduled days at the gym and prioritize my fitness routine. It might be different times or less frequent, but I’m still committed in a way that works with my schedule.

3 ~ Accountability ~ Having a fitness buddy is important. Try to find a walking partner or a neighbor at the lake house who likes to paddle and would like to commit to getting together once a week. This way if you’ve replaced a gym day, you will be more likely to stay committed to your alternative exercise with a friend. And that slippery slope I just mentioned is especially possible if the weather turns. Have a bad weather back up plan. Check the gym schedule on Zen Planner to add a drop in if we hit a rainy spell. Trying new class times is a great way to meet new people too and increase your accountability network.

4 ~ Fun ~ Last but not least, whatever you are doing have fun with it. A few times this week I’ve run into people in town and they have immediately launched into their apologies about not being at the gym. Summer schedules should be absolutely guilt free. Never apologize for being fulfilled and doing what you love. No doubt those are the best summer memories, the ones filled with freedom, fun, and laughter. Mix it up, embrace the chaos, created some calm, and enjoy the carefree feeling. It’s summertime and the living is easy…


Motivational Personal Development

How Do You Make the World More Beautiful?

One of the joys of living in a region where we have all of the seasons is experiencing the many moments of beauty that emerge, the sudden splendors that come but pass quickly in their time – the ruby blaze of autumn leaves; the diamond sparkle of fresh snowflakes; and the gilded petals of the forsythia as they are awakened by the lengthening days of spring. With our summer sun there are more moments coming and going at a rapid pace. This week our lupine are blossoming with their plumes of lavender and pinks. I am always reminded by these purple spires of the children’s book, Miss Rumphius. She is tasked with one instruction: you must do something to make the world more beautiful. Of course she chooses to travel and plant beautiful flowers, and the book’s illustrations could be sketches of the Maine countryside. The lupine are a very literal beauty, and I am grateful to witness this each year. When I see them, I am reminded to do my part to bring beauty to the world.
Literal beauty is only one kind of beautiful. I think beauty can not only be how something or someone looks, but also a state of mind that comes from harmony within ourselves. I think this comes naturally as part of a self-care routine. When we prioritize ourselves by eating well, drinking water, working out, and getting rest, we radiate beauty and wellness. When we are loving ourselves this way, beauty shines out from us and our actions like a beacon. When we are taking care of our needs, we are able to create the space to bring beauty into the world.
This weekend I thought about my to-do list and how to spend my time in a meaningful way. The most important thing to me was to be of service to others. This was how I could make the world more beautiful. My parents have just arrived to their summer home, and I decided my time would be best used helping them get their garden going. It was a great joy to share this moment as summer emerges, turning over the earth and planting their flowers. I’m fortunate that my folks have always set an example for me of being generous with their time and helping others, and by trying to make the world a little bit better by contributing. Even this weekend my dad said to me, “ The only things you can take with you when your time here is done, is what you have given away.” Digging in the earth this weekend was much more than adding a splash of color to the yard. It was about adding beauty through the gift of time and service. What is your Beauty? Are you taking care of yourself in a way that brings you harmony so that you can radiate beauty? Are there actions you can take that bring beauty to the world in a way that is meaningful for you?

Exercise Tutorials Flexibility/Recovery Strength Training

Floor-play for Strength and Mobility

Remember the feeling of complete abandon rolling down a grassy hill as a kid? I love the memory of those moments – full of glee, completely carefree. Put me at the top of a hill and prompt me to roll down today, I might think twice about injury, or even if I would know how to actually roll effortlessly to the bottom. Not that we have lots of opportunities to roll down hills, but moving effortlessly enhances so many other activities like playing on the floor with children or puppies, gardening, kayaking, tent camping, beach combing, and more.
Here’s where Floor-play Friday comes in. I’m so excited about my new Friday morning routine. This is one of my workout at home days, and I want to use the time filling in some of the gaps I don’t fill at the gym. One of my goals when I started working out at Hybrid was to increase my mobility. I read an article about a “sit down, stand up test” study that gauges our longevity by measuring our ability to move from the floor to a standing position. The premise is that as we move from a cross-legged seated position to a standing position, we assess our musculoskeletal fitness and deduct a point for each time we use a limb to assist. The fewer assists, the higher the score. The higher the score, the more mobility we have. And finally, the more nimble we are, the better we age and insure our autonomy in our later years. So one thing I check on Floor-play Friday is how nimble I am by taking into account my flexibility, balance, motor coordination, and muscle power.
The test is simple, if you’d like to try: From a standing position, lower yourself to the floor into a cross legged seated position without using your hands, arms, or knees to slow your descent. Then stand back up without using your hands, arms, knees to boost you, if possible.
The moment of truth…how is your get up and go? You might find that over the years you have adopted a way of getting up and down that compensates for an injury or imbalance. The good news is with a little practice and simple awareness you can probably increase your score by one or two points right out of the gate. I would guess that many of us have gained points since we started Hybrid, and if you are looking to gain a few more, my top four exercises for this are the squat, the plank, forward lunges, and the superman. Lucky for us, we do those at the gym. But what else can we do on Floor-play Friday to help us ace this test?
As an infant, it took us about a year to master the get up and go. We first learned to sit up, and then to crawl, and finally to walk. Breaking down our movements into deliberate, simple sequences we can master this again with strength and fluidity. I break down Floor-play into two categories: a planned, controlled sequence and a free form session.
The controlled sequence is the Turkish Get Up. In this exercise we move from floor to standing while balancing a weight overhead. It is total body exercise that improves mobility, stability, balance, and flexibility. I do a few on each side (I notice one side is more challenging than the other), and feel my entire core muscles firing throughout.

My free form session includes natural ground movements with little to no impact, but great benefits. I make up my own movements combined from Floor-play sessions I’ve done in other workout classes that include rolling, rocking, stretching, arching, lunging, squatting, engaging everything from toes to fingertips, creating a sequence connecting one movement to the next from sitting to standing and back again with fluidity. I notice my hip flexors opening, my core stabilizing, and an ease of getting up and down from the floor. Rotating my knees from side to side while on my back provides a gentle flex of the spine and feels like a massage of my lower back. I might rock from a child’s pose to a cobra, and roll back up to a squat, and then move forward on to a knee and reach one arm up to the ceiling. Floor-play is about following pleasure cues; I do what feels good for my spine, my joints, and my muscles, and in the end my senses are awakened, my spine is supple, and I have a vitality to bring to my day.
I’m pretty sure if I do this for a year, I’ll master the toddler’s sit, crawl, walk, sequence like a boss, and I will be ready to roll down a grassy hill. And hopefully I’ll be nearing a perfect 10 on my get up and go score. Who’s with me?