Motivational Personal Development

If There was a Book About Your Life, What Story Would it Tell?

What if you could write the story of your life… and everything that you wrote down came true?

You could choose the setting, the plot, the characters, and even how the book ended.

What would you write?

Who would the people be in that story?

Where would the story take place?

What would happen in each chapter?

When we look at our life as a book, it’s a little bit easier to digest.

The truth is… we are all writers.

Everyday we write another page in our book.

What is the book of <<First Name>> going to look like?

Go write another awesome page today! Enjoy the warrrm weather!

Have a Terrific Thursday!


Flexibility/Recovery Motivational Personal Development Strength Training

Brick Foundation for Strength Training

Last night we got to do barbell bench presses and I remembered my first time doing them- again an intimidating exercise when it’s new. Historically these have a very masculine appeal and are not very ladylike. So the first time I did them I looked at the bar over my head and had a little chat with it making a deal that I would guide it down nice and steady to my sternum and that its job was to return safely back to the rack on my exhale. Just using the bar seemed like a big deal, almost suffocating in a certain way. Well here I am into my 2nd year of bench pressing and without hesitation I load up the bar and do some reps. (I still have my little chat with each set, just so we know we are on the same page.) It’s fun; it’s challenging; I’m sweating, and maybe even a little grunt escapes from my chest on the final rep. But I still remember when it was just the bar and how heavy that was at the time. It wasn’t just that it was heavy- it was that it was new and unfamiliar- my body didn’t really have a script for that movement. The closest thing might have been tossing my son up into the air with a giggle and catching him on the way down when he was a toddler, but I probably stopped doing that long before he was 45 pounds, and that was nearly 20 years ago. So the foundation was weak or nonexistent, but now, over time, brick by brick, I’ve built a solid foundation and can set the barbell moving without delay.

It’s good to remember this progression when it comes to exercise and strength training. Each movement no matter how small is another brick in the foundation of our strength. I often hear people lamenting their modifications during a new exercise or while recovering from an injury, a break, or illness. “I hate that I can’t do a full lunge, squat, jump, curl, press, etc.” I remind them how important this time is for their bodies and for learning or relearning a movement, to get programmed and to create proper form for safety and longevity. Each modified curl is still a curl. The smaller or more basic the move, the better we are creating proper form, and training our bodies so we can add complexity, increase range of motion, and add weight to our lifts as we progress.

It’s important to do what we can and recognize our own biomechanics. This might change from day to day- our hip flexors might be tight one day and another we are able to drop into a deep squat. When we modify a movement to adjust for these changes we leave judgement at the door and celebrate our self-knowledge, exercise safely and get a more effective workout.

When modifying, use the cues from the instructors and think about the purpose of the exercise and what movement patterns are included. Choose a modification that addresses the same muscle group and works toward this same purpose. When you are ready to add a challenge you can choose to increase your efforts when it feels right.

My challenge to you this week is not to see a modified exercise as “less than” but rather as its own valuable movement. We are layering our foundation of strength- brick by brick.

Motivational Personal Development

The Secret to Enjoying Stress

Did you see the Giant Turtle I posted yesterday on my facebook page?

Melissa (my girlfriend) and I had just gotten home from dog sitting for a friend when I saw in the distance, on our porch, a giant turtle…

If you didn’t get to catch it on facebook, here’s a picture of when we walked up to him/her (sorry I’m not a turtle biologist).

Obviously in a stressful situation – this huge snapping turtle found a way to enjoy the stress a little…;)

We brought him to Rocky Pond, and although he wasn’t too lively when we first found him, he was energetic by the time we had arrived.

Before we let him go, my brother said, “Quick, we need to name him. What’s the name of a movie character who almost died but didn’t.”

I said “Bruce Willis” thinking of the Die Hard series.

Bruce Willis then swam off into the distance. He even waved good bye to us with his tail before diving.

So what can we learn from Bruce Willis with the Cigar in his mouth?

Probably nothing. I tried so hard to make a relation to enjoying stress with this turtle we found yesterday but just couldn’t. He just seemed miserable. You have to give me credit though, I even photo shopped this photo to make him seem happier…

I’ll just get to the point.

I look at stress in a few ways.

Controlled stress – stress that you put on yourself, and Reactive Stress – stress that “happens” to you.

An example of Controlled Stress would be when you challenge yourself. For example, “Tomorrow I’m going to wake up at 5am” would be an example of controlled stress. You are breaking your norm to challenge yourself.

An example of Reactive Stress would be when a turtle shows up on your door step and you need to save him.

We have both of these types stresses in our lives. Most of us would prefer the Controlled Stress… because we put it on ourselves at a time convenient for us. The reactive stress can pop up out of no where and throw your day for a loop.

Here’s what I like to do.

Appreciate them both.

There’s something so fun about putting out fires (reactive). It keeps you on your toes. It keeps your mind sharp, and when you figure out that problem, you feel invincible. On the flip side, if too many of these things happen, you can sometimes get off track from your daily mission, and all the things you wanted to get done just don’t happen.

Controlled Stress is great because you have complete control. It empowers you to set your day up how you please. However, if we just had this all the time with no fires, it might be hard to get motivated. I find my controlled stress time (planned activities) are geared to help prevent fires.

So how do we manage these two things alongside each other, since we need both to be at our best?

We schedule them.

Controlled Stress in Mornings, Reactive in the Evenings

I love to start my day off with a routine, where I get the most important tasks of the day done when I’m most fresh. I prevent as many “reactive” stresses by staying away from my phone and facebook as much as possible. I also try to isolate myself from other humans at this time.

After the morning, I’m ready to go. I feel like a hundred bucks because I got all of the most important stuff out of the way. I’m ready to take on some fires. I head into the office, and look for opportunities.

After I deal with those fires for that day, I make a note, and my new morning projects go towards creating a system that can prevent that fire from happening next time.

Maybe you’re a mother or a father who has everything in the morning dedicated to your kids (getting ready for school, getting day started, etc) and then after you go to work. You have a few options!

One, you could get up earlier, or two, you just schedule your controlled time to later in the day!

Controlled Stress tasks look like this:

Writing Newsletter, Working out, Prepping and cooking food, Grocery Shopping, Yoga, Reading, Gratitude Journal, Goal Journal, Shower, etc.

I look at all of these items as investments in myself.

Reactive tasks look like:

Answering the Phone, Making phone calls, answering email, meetings, going to work or office, networking, being with kids (although I may look at this differently when I’m a parent), etc.

These items are investments in other people.

So…to recap.

Set some time aside during your day for your controlled stress activities to invest in yourself and give yourself that time you need. After that, you’ll be ready to go for your reactive tasks which will allow you to work with others and take on the awesome problems for that day!

I hope this helps! Have a great Monday!

Motivational Personal Development

Know What You Are Worth

Happy Sunday Morning!

This morning I feel extremely grateful for the people who are in my life – although I’m not really thinking about that much at all. I’m not really thinking about anything, actually – which is very rare.

The lack of thought is due to a few things in my life right now – the warm weather, I’ve been doing what I know I should be doing, and finally solving some problems that have been poking at me for quite some time.

All the clutter seems to be gone.

But today I’m grateful for the people in my life because if it weren’t for others, I would not have the life I have.

I find the dynamic really interesting how people come together in the first place. Sometimes, you just cross paths and find common interests. Sometimes, you go to someone because you both have something the other wants.

This is how love works right? You look for someone who you love, who will give you love back.

Almost all relationships are transactional, no matter how you look at it – and even typing this I feel like I’m breaking some Taboo. “Hunter, are you serious? You’re relationships are transactional? You’re a horrible person!”

I say it because I think it really is the truth.

And that truth to me sounds like an amazing opportunity. Because there’s nothing I have found more joy in my life than being able to give something to someone that they really want.

More times than not, I’m able to give something to someone for nothing in return… just because I love to do it – and I love hearing a week, a month, or a year later how that made a difference for them.

I also really love it when I’m able to help someone, but also get something in return. Whether that is time, knowledge, money, or experience – It’s a real gift that I look forward to each day. It allows me to put food on the table and focus my day on my love of… helping people…..on a platform I get to chose.

I believe there are a lot of people out there who have amazing talents and skills who can change the world. I know quite a few actually. But they hamstring themselves because they have a hard time receiving the love back.. They view themselves as “slimy” if they take anything for their work.

Unfortunately, they end up having to do something for most of their day that they don’t like, in order put food on the table. This takes up so much time that they could otherwise be using to share their gift with the world.

I was reflecting back with my girlfriend Melissa this morning to when I first started my entrepreneurial journey in high school. It was watching an old video that I watched my junior year by a guy named Elliot Hulse.

He said there is a 3 step formula to doing what you love as your “non-job”.

1. Love Something
2. Share the Love
3. Receive it back

I wish more people learned about the “receiving it back” step. A lot of people sell themselves short. It’s not easy. I’ve spent thousands of dollars on coaches who have had to repeat this to me over and over because I have constantly under valued myself.

So, I have a a challenge for you today.

My challenge for you is:

Ask yourself – Where are you undervaluing yourself right now? How can you get back what you are worth?

Don’t sell yourself short. Take care of you.

When you take care of you, you can change the world in the way you want.

If you’d like, answer those questions and let me know the answers. I’d love to hear what you have to say.

Have a great Sunday, and a great Holiday Weekend!

Hunter G.


I mentioned in the first paragraph I’ve finally been doing some things I’ve been procrastination on. I’m finally keeping my goal journal. It’s my new morning ritual that starts the day off by filling my mind with my dreams, vs other junk that could be dropped in otherwise. Give it a try!

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?

Personal Development

Strong Moms for All of Us

Recently I wrote a list of the people I admire and their attributes. This outline serves as a reference for my intention, what inspires me, who influences me, and what qualities I value in life. My list includes my mother who is patient, compassionate, present, peaceful, and a good listener. I also included many of my mom friends from the gym who I see as resourceful, dependable, self-reliant, knowledgeable, loyal, and independent. These qualities inspire me everyday. Life throws a lot our way and the moms in our lives are amazing role models for all of us in how to handle what comes at us, with grace and ease. I feel very fortunate to be part of a community that includes many strong moms. Your strength is not just in your deadlifts and back squats, but also in your successes and struggles, your personal daily prs and your ability to show up and do your best, just like you do at the gym.

Who is on your list, and what are the qualities you admire?

Motivational Personal Development

What is Your Awesome?

This week I have the pleasure of visiting my niece and nephew during my trip to Colorado. My time with them consists of doing things they love and watching them be awesome. We play tetherball, ride bikes, read stories, make slime, and there’s soccer and flag football games too. Both of them have something they are awesome at doing, and their joy and excitement around that is contagious.
Yesterday I took them to their school fair, complete with sack races and a dunk tank. I love seeing them in their world and having them share it with me. Sven, a circus arts performer, was my highlight at the fair. I’m always impressed when someone can do these amazing stunts and entertain an audience with humor and wit, with a peppering of philosophy. Sven climbed towers, balanced on giant spheres, and juggled fire. It was meant to impress the kids, but I was riveted. This man was “doing his awesome.” I realized as he set up to do his final tight rope walk that he was not just entertaining us, he was not an exhibitionist, he was simply exceptional at his art and inviting us in to his passion. His mission was not to inspire us to become circus artists, but to inspire us to be awesome at something we love.
As he began his walk across the tight rope, he looked out at us and said just what I was thinking, “Boys and girls, I know I make this look easy, but this is hard. I’ve been doing this for 28 years and I’m really good. But I’m not here to inspire you to become jugglers. I’m here to excite you to find something you love and be awesome at that. Then go out and share that with the world. That’s the world I want to live in, where people are awesome at different things and they share that with each other.”
Today was my turn to share my awesome with the kids. We went on a full day expedition in the mountains. There was so much joy between us as we laughed and learned, and sang and summited. This is the world I want to live in, just like Sven, where people share their awesome with each other and bring joy not only for themselves but to each other by sharing it…

What is your awesome?