With each passing year, the holiday season gets a little more interesting around here. Having a child in the house makes the weeks leading up to the big day pretty special as there is a crazy amount of joy and excitement in the air. The holiday music is on, the gifts are wrapped, the tree has every ornament we own (which is a lot), and of course, trips to go see Santa. One weekend we went to an indoor market to see jolly old Saint Nick and we had a funny moment. As we were waiting for his arrival, Emilia and I went out to the car to grab something. On our way back in, we spot Santa Claus driving in a red minivan with Mrs. Claus riding shotgun. After they park in a handicap spot, he gets out of the car and is looking a bit disheveled and stiff. He had a significant limp and was moving around as if he was a prime candidate for a knee or hip replacement. I couldn't help but think his body must not have liked that long ride from the North Pole. Emi takes one look at the guy and says, "that is not the real Santa". I said you just might be right little lady!
With that being said, here is to creating many more memories, moments, stories and spending time with those that you love. Merry Christmas!
One last thing...
For those keeping tabs on Emilia's exciting news (she told everyone she saw at the gym this week that she had a loose tooth) it finally fell out yesterday. Not only will she get a visit from Santa this year but also the Tooth Fairy. Crazy excitement over here!
What I've Been Thinking About...
In the 1950's, researcher Curt Richter conducted a study. The intent of this study was to find out how long rats would be willing to swim in a confined space before giving up. He was testing their will to fight and after a few trials with both domestic and wild rats, he decided to tweak the experiment. After watching the rats swim, he was able to tell when they were ready to give up. It was at this very moment that he decided to pick them up out of the water and rescue them. He held them for a period of time and eventually put them back into the water. What happened next amazed him!
After the rescued rat was placed back in, he sat and watched this little animal fight like it never fought before. It was as if the rat knew that if he fought long enough, and didn't quit, some man would come in and rescue him from the watery abyss. This animal now had hope and because of that, was willing and able to swim for a significantly longer period of time. It is an interesting experiment as it shows how one benevolent act can totally change the outlook of an individual or animal. At a time where hope is lost in many individuals, one kind act can be all it takes to bring someone out of the funk they are in and light a fire within them to never surrender and to fight on!
Fitness Tip of the Week
I recently read a story about how humans are much more likely to adhere to giving their pet a medication than they are themselves. This doesn't come as a total shock as serving others, especially animals, seems to be of a higher priority for most people. But, if the person doesn't take care of themselves (75% of those prescribed medication do not follow instructions), then they will not be able to help others optimally. There is a give and take here and it reminds me of the airplane-oxygen mask scenario: Adults, put yours on first, then take care of your child. It is counter-intuitive but If you have no oxygen, you are of no help. The airline created a checklist in case of an emergency and if followed properly, things should be okay. When we look at things from taking medication to performing physical fitness, creating a daily process or checklist to take care of what is important (YOU) will improve adherence and eventually, your health.
Getting healthier is on the top of the priority list for many people at the start of a new year. Unfortunately, only 22% of all Americans get the recommended daily fitness requirement. A major problem with this is that individuals typically set outcome goals which are binary and may be something like "I want to lose ten pounds". This doesn't give us a blueprint or checklist to follow and eventually turns out to be nothing more than wishful thinking. Instead of outcome goals, we should create process goals to get us to our destination. This type of goal setting creates a step by step guide to get us from Point A to Point B. In the above example of losing ten pounds, your process goals would be like...
Changing the Game: The Parent's Guide to Raising Happy, High-Performing Athletes and Giving Youth Sports Back to Our Kids by John O' Sullivan
I first learned of this author through his podcast under the same name. During these episodes, he interviews highly reputable guests (coaches, teachers, authors, researchers, etc.) on a variety of topics that all center around developing children to not only be great athletes, but great human beings as well. In this book, O’Sullivan shares tips on how to create an environment that promotes positive core values and life lessons for your child through sport rather than viewing success based solely on wins and losses, which club team you play for, scholarships, etc. It is his intent with this book to give adults a new paradigm and a game plan for raising happy, high performing children, and provides a national call to action to return youth sports to our kids!
Quote of the Week
"They are able because they think they are able" -- Virgil
I hope you all have an awesome week!