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Yoga-2017 (7 of 49)

A New Year Awaits By Chris Lewis

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There’s an old Zen Buddhist story that goes something like this:

One day a young Buddhist monk comes to the bank of a fast-moving, wide river while on his way home. He stands at the bank for hours pondering the best way to cross. Just as he’s about to give up, he sees a great teacher on the other side. The young Buddhist yells to the teacher, “Oh wise one, can you tell me how to get to the other side of this river?”

The teacher ponders this question for a moment as he looks up and down the river before finally yelling back, “my son, you are on the other side.”

What I love about this parable is that…well, it’s so Zen. I’m far from an expert on Zen Buddhism, but what I do know is that it’s not about providing an answer as it is providing a way (or not a way) to think. How you interpret the short little story is really up to you.

Is it a story about truth and perspective? Is it about what you desire is relative to where you are? The young monk wants to go somewhere, but from the perspective of the old master the young monk is already there.

Or, is it a story about mindfulness and living in the now? How we’re always searching for the next thing or place to be, when all we have to do is appreciate where we currently are.

The answer, from a Zen perspective, is up to you. It can even be both explanations when you think about it.

Which brings us to where we are now. A new year awaits – a time when many ponder resolutions for the coming year. A time when we aspire to do something better or be better. Not that there’s anything wrong with reflecting on the previous year and planning improvements for the next one. But sometimes we have a tendency to be a little too hard on ourselves. We make resolutions for the coming year doomed for failure because we never address the underlying reasons of why we even need to make resolutions to begin with.

Maybe it’s time to forgo resolutions altogether. Maybe it’s time to flip the whole concept on its head. Maybe it’s time instead to acknowledge all you’ve done and not dwell on what you haven’t.

So what I ask of you right now is to reflect on and celebrate all you’ve accomplished this past year. It doesn’t matter whether you believe you fell short of the goals you set for yourself a year ago. What you have accomplished is essential to the person you are today and it should be celebrated. You’ve put in the effort and you’ve come a long way. It’s okay to admit it.

As far as this coming year? Well, you can’t go wrong with the power of story to teach life lessons. Below are three more to help frame what’s ahead for you.

Ask the horse

A horse suddenly came galloping down the road. It seemed as though the man was in a rush and had somewhere important to go.

Another man, who was standing alongside the road, shouted, “Where are you going?” and the man on the horse replied, “I don’t know! Ask the horse!”

One of the more popular explanations of this story is the horse symbolizes our habits. They pull us in different directions. They are in control. All you do is go along for the ride. Well maybe it’s time to take back the reigns. It starts by telling yourself that you’re in charge and not your habits.

It will pass

A student went to his meditation teacher and said, “my meditation is horrible! I feel so distracted, or my legs ache, or I’m constantly falling asleep. It’s just horrible!”

“It will pass,” the teacher said matter-of-factly.

A week later, the student came back to his teacher. “My meditation is wonderful! I feel so aware, so peaceful, so alive! It’s just wonderful!

“It will pass,” the teacher replied matter-of-factly.

Highs and lows are a normal part of progress. The key is consistency. If your practice, your routine isn’t going as planned, don’t worry – know it will turn around. But at the same time don’t fear the possibility of it going south again. Don’t hide from trouble – expect it. And when it comes, know it won’t last.

Everything changes

“Suzuki Roshi, I’ve been listening to your lectures for years,” a student said during the question and answer time following a lecture, “but I just don’t understand. Could you just please put it in a nutshell? Can you reduce Buddhism to one phrase?”

Everyone laughed. Suzuki laughed.

“Everything changes,” he said. Then he asked for another question.

Accept it. For better or for worse, change is a natural progression of life. Don’t fear change. Embrace it.

These stories are provided to help you frame your own worldview. No one, especially me, has the right or is in the position to tell you what to think. But all four of these parables have been passed down from many generations. I’d like to believe they still exist because they’re still relevant no matter how life has changed over the centuries.

A new year awaits and I hope many good things lie ahead for you. You are a member of the TruTribe and TruFusion owes its success to people like you – a thoughtful and supportive community anyone would be proud to be a part of. We thank you for all you do. We celebrate what you’ve achieved. So let’s keep it going – with purpose – day by day.

The Ultimate Holiday Playlist By Your Favorite Instructors

The Ultimate Holiday Playlist by Some of Your Favorite Instructors

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The air has turned a bit nippy. You’ve pulled out those loud holiday sweaters. And you’re almost finished with those decorations around the house. The only thing missing are some tunes to fully immerse you in the experience.

But you’re already familiar with all the classics. You want something with and edge. Something you can run to while visiting the family, something you can dance to while tidying up the house, or something to sing to while driving around.

No need to despair. A few of our instructors have come to the rescue with some of their favorite holiday ditties.

Be sure to check them out via your favorite music service provider. And visit us on Facebook to post your own favorites.

 

Leah Trask:

“Yule Shoot Your Eye Out,” Fall Out Boy

“Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” Bruce Springsteen

“I Won’t Be Home for Christmas,” Blink 182

“Father Christmas,” Bad Religion

“Oi to the World,” No Doubt

“A Mad Russian’s Christmas” & “Christmas Eve / Sarajevo,” Trans Siberian Orchestra

“Christmas Day,” MxPx

“Christmas Wrapping,” The Waitresses

 

Miinta Judd:

“Christmas in Hollis,” RUN-DMC

 

Desirae Smith:

“Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town,” Bruce Springsteen

“Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays,” NSYNC

“Making Christmas,” Rise Against

“All I Want for Christmas is You,” Mariah Carey

“Christmas Canon,” Trans-Siberian Orchestra

“Ballin’ On Xmas,” Jim Jones

“My Only Wish (This Year),” Britney Spears

“Oh Hanukkah,” Maccabeats

“Jingle Bell Rock,” The Starlite Singers

“Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” The Jackson 5

“Blue Christmas,” Elvis Presley

“Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” Mistletoe Singers

“O Come All Ye Faithful,” Weezer

“Jingle Bell Rock,” Bobby Helms

“Oi to the World,” No Doubt

“Mistletoe,” Justin Bieber

“Happy Holidays, You Bastard,” Blink-182

“Silver Bells,” Stevie Wonder

“Christmas Time,” Christina Aguilera

“Last Christmas,” Ariana Grande

“Is This Christmas?” The Wombats

“Winter Wonderland/Here for Christmas,” Snoop Dogg, Anna Kendrick

“Please Come Home for Christmas,” Eagles

“What You Want for Christmas,” Quad City DJ’s, The 69 Boyz and K-Nock

“Alone This Holiday – Recorded for KROQ Christmas,” The Used

“Santa Claus Goes Straight to the Ghetto,” Nate Dogg, Snoop Dogg

The 12 Days of Christmas Workout - For Those On The Road or Stuck at Home

Holiday Workout – For Those On the Road or Stuck at Home By Chris Lewis

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Traveling or stuck at home at some point this holiday season? Don’t worry. Your fitness doesn’t have to fly off the tracks, because we got you covered.

Below are two versions of the popular “12 Days of Christmas” workout. One requires just your own body. The other assumes you have a kettlebell or a pair of dumbbells handy. In either case, both will work up quite a sweat to help keep you on your edge.

The workout goes like this:

Follow it like the song “12 Days of Christmas,” where you complete each exercise in ascending order as work your way back down the ladder during each round.

In other words, “On the 1st day of Christmas, TruFusion gave to me, one burpee; on the 2nd day of Christmas, TruFusion gave to me, 2 clapping push-ups, and 1 burpee; on the 3rd day of Christmas, TruFusion gave to me, 3 sit-ups, 2 narrow-grip push-ups, and 1 burpee; on the 4th day of Christmas, TruFusion gave to me, 4 squats, 3 sit-ups, 2 narrow-grip push-ups, and 1 burpee…and so on till you complete all the movements. So yes, you’ll do all 12 movements when you hit that last round of burpees.

Bodyweight version:

  1. Burpee
  2. Narrow-grip or clapping push ups
  3. Sit-ups or V-ups
  4. Squats
  5. Mountain climbers
  6. Split jumps
  7. Jumping jacks
  8. Russian twists or windshield wipers
  9. Jump squats
  10. Wide-grip push ups
  11. Supermans
  12. Burpees

Dumbbell/Kettlebell version:

  1. Weighted jump squat
  2. Manmakers
  3. Sit-ups
  4. Squat-to-press
  5. KB or DB swings
  6. Step-ups (use a chair)
  7. Weighted Russian twists
  8. KB cleans (4 ea side), or DB cleans
  9. Squats
  10. Push ups
  11. V-ups
  12. Burpees
The Latest in Wearable Tech - A Gift-Giver’s Guide

The Latest in Wearable Tech – a Gift-Giver’s Guide By Chris Lewis

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Smart wearable technology is even hotter this year – now with more options, more brands, more features, and unfortunately more confusion. It’s understandable with all our choices, what to buy can be a bit overwhelming.

The first question to ask should be what type of device to get. Consider the follow questions to figure this out:

  1. Do you want to get as much use out of it as possible or is it just for fitness?
  2. How much does style matter to you? Is it something you want to wear to the gym and out on the town?
  3. What’s your budget? Under $200? Sky’s the limit?

Today’s smartwatches have to the ability to manage just about every aspect of your life. Receive call and text notifications, measure distance and pace with its GPS tracker, track heart rate, monitor sleep, download apps, and sync it all with your smartphone. But expect to pay upwards of $300 for all that functionality.

If all you’re looking for is something to track your fitness progress and provide a little extra motivation, then consider buying a fitness tracker instead. Most track steps, heart rate, calorie burn, sleep quality, and some even provide call, text, and calendar notifications.

If form is much more important than function, then maybe investing in smart jewelry is right for you.

Below are some picks to satisfy all tastes and budgets.

Smart Watches

Apple Watch Series 2

A big improvement over the 1st generation with the addition of water-resistance, built-in GPS, brighter screen and faster processor. Although most smartwatches sport GPS functionality in its watches these days, Apple claims theirs locks in faster by pinging nearby cell towers. The Nike+ model includes all the functionality of Series 2 with the inclusion of its Run Club app and designs. But remember, you’ll need to have an iPhone to take advantage of all its features.  ($369+).

Fitbit Surge

Built in GPS, HR sensor, sleep monitoring, workout tracker (including step counter), even get call and text notifications. But unlike the Apple Watch Series 2, it’s not water-resistant and lacks Apple’s functionality. The upside: it’s much cheaper ($250). What does the rumored Fitbit acquisition of Pebble mean? If true, it’s too early to tell, but Pebble has a stellar reputation, so hopefully we’ll see even better technology coming from Fitbit in the future.

Garmin vivoactive HR

Straight up for the runner, cyclist, golfer and skier in your life. GPS, heart rate monitoring, activity tracker. Also has ability to receive call, text, and social media notifications, and has a long battery life compared to other smartwatches. ($250)

Pebble Time Steel

No GPS or HR capability. Just a solid smartwatch that pairs with Apple and Android. Receive calendar, text, email, and take incoming calls with its built-in microphone good for quick replies. Includes Pebble Health, activity and sleep tracker. Can last up to 10 days between charges. ($140)

Fitness Trackers

Fitbit Charge 2

Provides continuous, automatic heart rate tracking. Counts calories, steps, activity time, and measures sleep. Includes Connected GPS to track pace and distance in real-time. Receive text, call, email and calendar notifications. Even provides guided breathing sessions to find that moment of calm in your life. ($150)

Garmin vivosmart HR

Displays steps, distance, calories, heart rate, floors climbed and activity intensity. Receive text, call, email, and calendar alerts. Control your music from your wrist by syncing with your smart phone. Battery can last up to 5 days without a charge. ($150)

Microsoft Band 2

Continuously monitors heart rate, caloric burn, and sleep quality. Works with Windows Phone, iPhone and Android, and receive call, text, and email alerts. Its 11 sensors include a GPS, UV monitor, barometer and more. Customize your tracking based on activity type. On the more expensive side for a fitness tracker. ($250)

Withings Go

Not many frills but it gets the job done for a reasonable price ($80). Track steps, calories burned and distance. Monitors sleep quality. Easy to use. Can wear on your wrist or clip it to your pocket or bra. Its battery can last up to 8 months. Syncs with the Health Mate app.

Smart Jewelry

Misfit Ray Fitness & Sleep Monitor

Minimal but versatile. Stylish yet functional. The Misfit Ray tracks steps, calories, distance, sleep duration and quality. Pairs with iPhone and Android devices. Receives vibration alerts for calls, texts, and alarms. Never needs charging and is water-resistant to 50 meters. Can be worn as a bracelet or necklace in and out of the gym. ($70+)

Jawbone UP4

A sleek band too pretty to be listed just as a fitness tracker, the Jawbone UP4 tracks sleep patterns, heart rate, steps, calories and alerts you when you’re idle too long. Pairs with iPhone and Android. It even connects to eligible American Express Cards for easy payments at participating locations. Comes in black or silver. ($50+)

Bellabeat Leaf Nature

Wear it as a bracelet, necklace or clip it on, the LEAF tracks your daily activity, sleep, mindfulness and menstrual cycles as you wear it, and sends the results to your iPhone or Android device. Made from hypoallergenic stainless steel. ($200+)

Wisewear Calder

This stylish bracelet can alert emergency contacts with just three taps. It also tracks steps, calories, and activity time. You’ll receive iPhone or Android notifications with gentle vibration. It’s water-resistant (not recommended you swim with it though), can last up to 72 hours per charge, and made from 18k gold or palladium. ($325)

Our Instructors Give You 10 Ways to Stay on Track This Holiday Season

OUR INSTRUCTORS GIVE YOU SOME TIPS TO STAY ON TRACK THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

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It’s when many of us fall off our programs. Too much shopping to do. Too many holiday parties. Too many temptations. “I’ll start again tomorrow,” you say. But just like that it’s January and you’re having a hard time buttoning your jeans.

It doesn’t have to go down that way this year. Our instructors are here to help keep you on track.

What ideas do you have? Share yours on TruFusion’s Facebook page.

Jamie Zimmer:
– Drink water when you wake up & before you go to bed as well as throughout the day. You will stay hydrated and help to flush out toxins.
– Take Milk Thistle- a natural herb to help heal the liver.
– Do not eat right before bed- no holiday late night snacks!
– Keep up with workouts whether fitness, or yoga. Stay active.
– Portion Control. Better to eat 5 small meals than 3 large ones.
– Limit “comfort food’ & keep eating “live/raw/clean” foods. Our appetite changes as it gets cooler.
– Switch to tea instead of coffee. Coffee allows for bloating to occur.

Liz Steers:
– If you don’t have time to get to the gym, get a workout in while cleaning your house! Incorporate an exercise between chores.
– Don’t stress if you miss a workout here and there, it’s the holidays. Relax and have fun.
– Walk your dog, it’s a healthy activity for both you and your pet.

Tyler Clark:
– Get your workout done first thing in the morning. It’s a great way to start your day.

Leah Trask:
– Know that you aren’t alone and we all struggle to stay on track – so recruit a friend, an accountability partner. You are so much less likely to oversleep and bag out on a class if you know your buddy showed up and is counting on you to get sweaty with them!
– Eat before you go out. Part of why we overindulge is because we show up to holiday gatherings knowing there’s going to be food, but we also know that the food there is not the healthiest. Before you go out, eat a meal that you would make or consume any other time of year so that you’re satisfied headed in and less likely to binge on the eggnog and cheese dip.

Miinta Judd:
– Make sure you stay hydrated. Sometimes we mistake dehydration with hunger.
– Workout in the morning. You’ll burn calories all day long and you will feel motivated to stay on track.
– Eat healthy snacks every few hours throughout the day so you’re not tempted to continuously nibble on all those goodies people bring into the office during the holidays.
– Go gift shopping at the mall instead of online. You’ll have more fun shopping this way and burn calories as well!
– Get outside. Get a group together and play kickball or football with friends it’s a great way to bring friends together and stay fit too.
– Take a trip to the mountains. Play in the snow, ski, snowboard.
– Make fun holiday snacks that look good but are healthy for us. People tend to pick things on the buffet table that look colorfuL festive and fun. Just make it healthy!
– Remember it takes 90 burpees to burn 100 calories.

Cristina Osorio:
– Making a new habit seems easy but it’s actually very hard. Creating a new habit means carving out time from your usual routine to do something new. It could be stopping by the studio to take a class on your way home from work. We all try to do this, but home …couch…Netflix…are all so tempting. We typically use the excuse “I’m super tired and my work day was too stressful” to actually get to the studio after work and funny enough, that’s the exact time we need to take a class. Yoga helps relieve stress and can help our bodies get a more restful sleep. Whether it’s after work, before work, or on weekends, creating a new habit to take classes regularly requires you to actually commit for at least two weeks. Once you get over that uncomfortable hump of adjusting to your new schedule, it will become more routine and easier to maintain.
– “Treat” yourself with anything other than food. Most people think that taking classes regularly = deserving a reward every once in a while, and I’m not saying that we don’t deserve that reward, I’m saying that reward should be something that you can’t put in your mouth. When we treat ourselves with cheesy, fried, greasy, chocolaty, sugary foods, we create the wrong kind of habit and that’s what starts your ‘cravings.’ Instead, treat yourself to a movie where you can relax and de-stress at the same time. Maybe treat yourself to a new pair of workout pants or yoga leggings, which will add new excitement to your next few classes. What about treating yourself to a massage?…mmmm….that’s the best one.

2016-12-05

Gift Ideas for Fitness Fanatics

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It’s already December and time is slipping away. Whether that person on your list has been naughty or nice, we have a few suggestions sure to please the pickiest of fitness enthusiasts.

Yoga Mats

One is practical, another fun, and the third is the perfect choice for the environmentally conscience.

The Gaiam Sol Studio Select Dry-Grip ($70) mat is 5 mm thick and designed for the hot-yoga practitioner. Its top-coat absorbs sweat and becomes sticker the hotter it gets.

Ban.do mats ($32) are soft, comfy, and its two designs either remind you why you’re there, “Think it, Want it, Get it,” or what you have to look forward to after, “After This We’re Getting Pizza.”

Buy a Jade ($75+) mat and the company will plant a tree, in conjunction with its partnership with Trees for the Future. Their high-quality, non-toxic mats are made in the U.S. from sustainable natural rubber that contains no PVC, EVA, or other synthetic rubber. The Jade Harmony Professional received a 5-star rating by OutdoorGearLab.com.

Yoga Mat Carriers

Gaiam provides two excellent choices to tote that yoga mat to and from the studio in style.

On the lighter side, is the Gaiam On-The-Go Mat Bag ($15). Streamlined, light, simple, and designed to carry mats of all sizes.

For something with a little more heft and carrying capacity, consider the Gaiam Tote Bag ($25). Fully lined, easy access, and plenty of space for keys, phone, wallet, and other accessories.

Blender and Sport Bottle Combo

Less hassle and less mess. The Oster My Blend 250-Watt Blender with Travel Sport Bottle ($25) allows you to blend your favorite drink or smoothie right in its own stylish, individual-sized sport bottle. Choose from six different colors.

Bluetooth Earbuds

With Apple losing the headphone jack on its latest iPhone, it might be time to invest in a pair of durable Bluetooth headphones.

The Jaybird X3 ($130) provides a secure fit, sweat-proof, 8 hours of playtime, and customized performance with its MySound app that creates your own sound profile.

On the pricier side ($199), you can invest in the Bose SoundSport Pulse, which can come with a built-in heart rate sensor and works with apps like MapMyRun, RunKeeper, Endomondo and Runtastic.

Okay, not earbuds and not something I would run a half marathon with, but the Beats Solo 3 Wireless ($300) is the Cadillac of portable headsets. Over 40 hours of playtime, phenomenal sound, takes calls, activates Siri, etc. Practical for workouts? Not exactly, but worth every penny nonetheless.

Not Your Typical Water Bottle

Rid the world of plastic and look cool at the same time with these stainless steel bottles from S’well ($25+). Beautiful in form and able to keep drinks cold for 24 hours and hot for 12, choose from multiple designs, colors, and sizes.

Mobot ($39+) is the world’s first and only foam roller water bottle. Yep, you read it correctly the first time. Made of high-grade stainless steel, and the foam roll also serves to insulate your favorite beverage.

Jewelry with a Message

Fashletics ($42+) carries a variety of fitness-inspired jewelry and apparel for the crossfitter, weightlifter, or yogi in mind. Their yoga collection has handcrafted spikes, bracelets, and charms inscribed with messages for a little extra motivation.

Gym bag with style

The Sport Duffle from Poverty Flats ($80) is stylish and functional. Made of neoprene and vegan leather, it includes a wet bag and is spacious enough for all your gear and an extra set of clothes.

Meditate in comfort

Find seated meditations and poses a bit uncomfortable on the hips? The Meditation Cushion ($68) by Manduka might do the trick. The hybrid cotton and buckwheat hull filling provides optimal support and may allow you to take your practice even further.

Freshen up

The ARROW Limited edition Fresh Up Kit ($34) from Birchbox provides everything you need to leave the gym fresh and looking good. Inside the bright, stylish bag are a facial mist to liven up your complexion, a lightly citrus-scented aluminum-free deodorant, and a mango seed color enhancing lip balm that adjusts to your unique pH. All ARROW products are vegan, paraben-free, cruelty-free, and gluten-free.

What’s on your list this season? Visit our Facebook page and post what you hope will be under the tree with your name on it.

An Eater’s Manifesto - Why You Should Enjoy Yourself Over The Holiday

Five Tips on How to Stuff Yourself on Thanksgiving and Not Gain an Inch

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We spoke with Corie Richter, certified nutrition coach, former chef, recipe creator and menu developer for Thrive Health Bar – which has locations in all three TruFusions – to discuss ways you can enjoy yourself this Thanksgiving and win the battle of the bulge. That’s right, you can have your pie and eat it too.

Be veggie-focused first

Corie recommends loading up your plate the first time primarily with vegetables followed by some protein before digging into the stuff you desire. She says when you look down on your plate it should contain 50% veggies, 25% protein, and no more than 25% for the other stuff like all that carbohydrate goodness. Then – after you’ve given it some thought – you can head in for round two and allow yourself to indulge in your favorite foods.

And when we speak of vegetables, we’re not talking about mom’s homemade mashed potatoes. Those veggies should be green or colorful and smartly prepared. There are plenty of recipes for excellent salads, brussel sprouts, asparagus, and even green beans dishes all over the internet.

Be active

Yes, a no-brainer. But be active before and after the big meal.

Enlist your friends and sign up for a turkey-trot or get them together in the park that morning for soccer or game of football.

“That’s definitely going to rev up your metabolism and get it started for the day,” Corie says. “When you work out in the morning, you jumpstart your metabolism and you will continue to burn calories and fat even a couple of hours after your workout.”

By making it a social occasion, you make it more likely to happen. Never downplay the power of peer pressure when it comes to keeping you on track. And don’t forget you can also take a class at TruFusion that morning, but check the schedule first as all three locations have limited classes Thanksgiving Day.

After the big meal, take a nice long walk. Corie says doing so will help with digestion.

You can either take along family or friends or use it as a way to get some much needed alone time.

Be smart the rest of day

One meal won’t make or break you, but remember we’re talking about one meal – we’re not talking about ditching your diet for the next six weeks. Be sure to have a sensible breakfast and lunch.

Skipping a meal or two is even okay. Intermittent fasting is becoming more popular, but Corie only supports a nutritionally-based intermittent fasting approach. In other words, break your fast by covering all your bases with smart, nutritionally-dense food choices like the veggie-focused advice Corie recommends above.

Be picky

“Only eat it if you really, really want it,” Corie says. In her case, that means chocolate. She’ll indulge now and then when it comes to chocolate – for her, that’s worth it. But she’ll think twice when it comes to someone shoving a bowl of nachos in front of her. So limit your choices to foods that are worth it for you.

Be mindful

Take time to enjoy your food and savour every bite. It’s advice we’ve all heard before: Chew your food x-number of times, be mindful of what you’re eating, etc., but it’s an effective strategy to prevent you from stuffing yourself silly.

“There’s a mentality that goes along with that. If you really enjoy the bite – think about how it tastes, think about how it makes you feel – then you’ll feel more satisfied than if you rush through it,” Corie says.

Once again, let’s remember this holiday is an occasion to give thanks for all the good things in our lives. That includes family, friends, and some excellent food and drink on your table. You work hard. It’s okay to take a moment and appreciate all you’ve accomplished.

Corie Richter is available to answer your nutrition-related questions at: corie@thrivehealthbar.net.

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An Eater’s Manifesto – Lose the Guilt This Holiday Season

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“Food is a reason to gather, an opportunity to give, a symbol for what should matter most in our lives”

You’ve put in the time. You’ve put in the effort. You showed up and did the work. It wasn’t always easy making it to class on time, but you somehow found a way. But, even though you’re looking forward to the holidays – time off from work, spending time with family and friends (or not) – you’re not looking forward to eating yourself out of all the progress you’ve made over the year.

I’m here to tell you it will be okay. I’m here to tell you that you can indulge in that slice of pie and glass of wine. And I’m here to tell you that you can experience self-compassion and partake in this celebratory season without guilt.

Now, I want to be upfront and say I’m not addressing those who avoid certain foods because of conscientious beliefs (vegans, vegetarians, diehard paleo enthusiasts) or those who avoid certain foods for medical reasons (celiac, allergies, etc.). If that’s you, understand we support and respect the choices you make.

 Without further adieu- Here are 3 Ways to Lose the Guilt:

1. Shifting Your Perspective Can Be Key

When you’ve made it a daily practice to focus on what you put into your temple it can be easy to view certain foods as ‘the enemy.’ This is a mindset that sometimes looks at food as an inconvenience and can put a damper on your experience during this special time of year. It’s sitting around the dinner table with family and friends and feeling miserable about what’s to occur. It’s allowing guilt to diminish what should be a celebratory occasion. What I ask is for you to keep it all in perspective.

One meal won’t ruin all the work you put in. In fact, indulging now and then might help you stay on track longer…

2. A Slight ‘Cheat’ Will Actually Help VS Hinder

“If you tell yourself you can’t have something, you’ll tend to want it more,” Corie Richter says, certified nutrition coach, former chef, and recipe creator and menu developer for Thrive Health Bar. “But if you tell yourself ‘I can have it every once in awhile and I can enjoy it those few times I do have it,’ you’ll have less cravings.”

You truly can benefit in the long-term by giving yourself a break here and there and remembering to keep the big picture in mind.

3. Food Provides a Time to Gather and Bond – Relish in this!

Think for a moment why you’re here at TruFusion – How it makes you feel. Why you continue to show up. Yes, we all want to look good naked. But there are a lot of ways you could have accomplished that. Let me step out there for a moment and say it’s the people around you that played a big role of your decision. Whether you made the choice to join the TruTribe because the people around you pushed you to do more than you could have on your own or because you just like them, the fact is we shouldn’t downplay the role of community.

It’s the same with food. It’s not just about macronutrients or calories. Food plays such a larger role than that. Food is a reason to gather, an opportunity to give, a symbol for what should matter most in our lives. It’s an excuse to be around loved ones to share stories, laugh, and even cry. It’s the first thing a mother gives to a child. It’s one of the greatest forms of altruism. It doesn’t get any more basic than giving food to another in need. Also, is there a more fitting term for creating goodwill than to say we’re going to break bread?

So, stow away the guilt and don’t worry about the calories on that special day. Instead, focus on the relationships with the people that matter most in your life and maybe even develop new ones.

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TruFusion Instructor Dave Mazany is Far From Finished By Chris Lewis

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It’s hard to watch. But you can find an edited replay online. It’s one of fights that makes it onto a highlight reel because of the amount of blood and brutality. It happened on May 30, 2009. Ryan “The Real Deal” Ford versus Dave “Pain Train” Mazany on TFC 7 in Edmonton.

Both men step into the cage and it’s immediately apparent how much taller and wider Ford is over Mazany. Within seconds Ford staggers Mazany with a wild left hook then quickly follows up with swift left roundhouse kick to Mazany’s face and drops him. Ford jumps right on top of him and drops a fist like sledgehammer on Mazany as he tries to cover up. Mazany desperately tries to clinch, doing everything to hang on, never once giving up, but Ford picks him three feet off the mat and slams him back down. Ford now drops bombs. The referee steps in and pulls Ford off before stopping the fight. The camera focuses on the blood. Blood on Ford’s leg, the cage floor, and on Dave’s swollen face.

The video clip now shows Dave lying on a couch as someone works on him with a pair of forceps. “Before they stitched me up, they were literally picking bone out of my nose,” Dave says. At the end, Dave says kids should stay in school. “I think I’ll go get my masters,“ he jokes before the clip fades to black.

That night was a turning point in Dave Mazany’s life. Not only was his nose shattered and his orbital bone above his eye fractured, but so was his will at that moment. Dave was living in Alaska then. After turning pro in MMA, he shot out to a 5-0 record. In his gym, he was treated as an up-and-coming star. But then he took a beating. His third loss in a row. He was now 5-3. Those who were quick to praise him were now writing him off.

Dave had a decision to make. Did he want this?

“It was one of the most emotional times in my life, “ Dave says. “It’s easy to win, it’s easy to be the hammer. But once you’re the nail – that determines your true character.”

He knew if still wanted to pursue this dream, he would need to make a drastic change. So after he saved some money, he packed his truck and drove down to Las Vegas.

“I wanted to be around the best…Iron sharpens iron,” he says.

It was a tough at first. He lived off his savings. He slept on his aunt and uncle’s coach. He trained. But during a hard recession it was tough to get fights. And then one day South Africa called. It was the EFC, the Extreme Fighting Championship which organizes fights on the African continent. They called his gym and asked if anyone wanted to take a fight on short notice – 10 days short notice. Dave jumped at the chance and won.

“It was the rebirth of the Pain Train,” he says.

That was in October, 2010. From there Dave went on a winning streak and put his fighting career back on track. In July of this year. Dave Mazany faced South African favorite Leon Mynhardt at EFC 51 in Carnival City Casino, Johannesburg for the lightweight championship. Dave won the title on a first round submission. It’s his first championship belt.

But he isn’t satisfied. He is still pursuing his dream of eventually fighting in the UFC. It’s like everything he does. If he’s going to do it – he wants to do it right and be among the best. He trains out of Xtreme Couture on West Sunset almost every day. He grinds. He pushes on. That’s who he is – it’s all he’s ever been.

In MMA, there dozens – if not hundreds –  of organizations promoting fights all over the world. But the UFC is at the top of that list. To fight in the UFC, it’s as much about politics and marketability as it is fight records or ability. And Dave is 33. He knows if he has another loss that dream is most likely over.

But he controls what he can control and tries not to worry about what he can’t. So he trains and he grinds, but he’s also laying the groundwork for a life after fighting.

Dave knows he can be a good coach, a good trainer. By will as much as a chance meeting, Dave came to TruFusion to teach kettlebell classes. By luck it also happened to be at the time TruFusion was starting a boxing program. It’s been a good fit. He was instrumental in the class design, and he loves the team atmosphere at TruFusion – how everyone’s opinion matters, how supportive the team is.

He sees similar values between TruFusion and himself. Once again, if you’re gonna do something, then do it right. And he loves having an impact on people’s lives.

For Dave, it’s a joy to come in and watch people give it their all. It’s a joy to take a group of people who haven’t had much experience boxing and watch them evolve over time. He’s fascinated how energy is contagious. How it starts in one corner of the room and spreads throughout the whole class.

And just like everything else he does, he can be quite critical of himself. He leaves class and goes over it in his head. Could his playlist been better? Could he have given a better cue?

“He really cares about each and every client reaching their goals and goes above and beyond to help them get there,” says TruFusion member Suzanne Cunningham Philips. “Dave is an amazing instructor.”

But as he lays the road for another future, he’s not done yet with the present. His first title defense happens November 11 in Cape Town, South Africa.

Dave Mazany is not only far from finished, he’s just getting started.

Dave Mazany teaches:

Tru BattleBoxing, Monday @ 1 pm

Tru Boxing Core, Wednesday @ 1 pm

Tru BattleBoxing Express, Thursday @ 8 am

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5 Reasons Boxing Might Become Your Favorite Class – by Chris Lewis

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Boxing is the sport to which all other sports aspire. –George Foreman

Boxing and I go way back. As a kid, I never aspired to play professional football, baseball or anything like that. I wanted to box.

I studied the sport like any nerdy kid would. I knew the particulars of every weight class. I read every book I could get my hands on (pre-Internet). I knew who held which belt and knew the 10 previous champions before him. There wasn’t a UFC yet, so boxing was it.

You see I’m old enough to have watched Muhammad Ali fight live, and there were no “boxing” classes growing up like there is today. If you wanted to box, you needed to step inside a ring and learn it the hard way.

But my parents, the responsible adults they were, found a way to talk me out of it and point me in other athletic pursuits. I guess they didn’t like the idea of their little boy getting the crap beat out of him by kids who were much tougher.

But as I grew older, the urge never left me. Sure, I skirted around it and took a variety of martial arts, earning a rainbow variety of belts, but boxing was my first crush. I just couldn’t let it go.

And while living in New York City in my 20’s I came across my first real boxing class. It was the first time I wrapped my hands, strapped on a pair of leather gloves, and learned how to throw a proper right cross and left hook. It was the first time I put any real effort into smacking a heavy bag or throwing combinations at coach with focus mitts. I was smitten immediately.

I took classes just about every day and dove head first into learning the proper technique. I asked real boxers a lot of questions. I practiced what I learned as I shadowboxed in the mirror in the elevator up to my office. I went to Madison Square Garden as often as I could whenever they hosted a pro fight. My crush as a kid was now love as an adult.

Eventually, I coached classes at that gym and even stepped inside the ring time and again to fight in Golden Gloves tournaments against guys who were considerably younger than me. Throughout my 20’s, and even into my early 30’s, boxing was my passion.

But after I left New York, for some inexplicable reason, I also left boxing. I tried other classes, but what I could find at the time was mostly some form of cardio boxing. That didn’t cut it for me. So I moved on to other things. I got into indoor cycling, I ran a marathon after a bunch of half-marathons, I got into CrossFit, and all of those things are great. But unfortunately for them, I always compared it to my first. I always compared it to boxing, and it always fell short. I never got the same satisfaction trying to do muscle-ups and power cleans.

For many of you, boxing is not what it seems. You might be surprised to learn it’s not some animalistic endeavor where you throw hands as wild as possible at your target. It requires skill. It requires grace. And as you stand there and apply those skills, even against a heavy bag, and empty out your soul and every ounce of energy you have, you will feel this rush. You will push your body to a level that you will constantly search for again after you reach it the first time. I pretty much thought those days were behind me.

And then recently I came across Tru Boxing Core and Tru BattleBoxing Express. I wrapped my hands and strapped on my gloves once more. I swung away, and although a tad diminished, I could tell the skills were still there. I worked over the heavy bag with my combinations, I dropped to the floor for plank and sit-ups, I flung the battlerope in all different directions, and I hit the bag some more.

I left both of those classes a total mess. My shirt sticking to my body. My hands shaking. And in the end, I had to admit what just happened. Boxing, where have you been?

I can’t promise your experience will match my torrid relationship. But below are five reasons it just might.

1. You get to hit something without being hit back or going to jail
It goes against everything we were taught as kids, but admittedly, it feels pretty darn good. I don’t care if you’re pacifist at heart or in need of anger management training, hitting something (like an inanimate object such as a heavy bag and not a person) is the perfect remedy for a long day. And getting to leave class without a black eye or a broken nose is a nice bonus.

 

2. You’ll learn a skill, which hopefully you’ll never have to use
Many of you may have taken cardio kickboxing or some variant at your local globo gym where you punch the air in front of you, swing wildly, with little time if any spent on technique. The boxing classes at TruFusion are not those types of classes. Because you’re making contact, you need to know how to do it properly. There’s skill involved, and when you see it, you’ll appreciate the beauty in it. There’s a fluidity to the motion that only comes with instruction and time, and I guarantee you’ll get both at TruFusion. You’ll learn how to throw a proper jab, a proper cross, and a proper hook. And there’s nothing more satisfying than when you hear the thawk, thawk of leather whacking the bag as when you’re doing it right.

 

3. You’ll develop a deeper appreciation for one of the oldest known sports
Boxing was written about in Homer’s Iliad, which means it dates back to at least 17th century BCE, and it was introduced in the Olympics in 688 BCE. The ancient Romans banned the sport though during the height of the gladiatorial era because they considered it too brutal (seriously), and it disappeared from record altogether throughout the Dark Ages. But as the wearing of swords fell out of fashion during the Age of Enlightenment (17-18th century CE), boxing grew in popularity again. And in 1867 John Chambers, the 9th Marquess of Queensberry, drafted a set of rules that created the sport we have today. I got a few more nuggets for you:

– First heavyweight champion under Queensberry Rules: “Gentleman Jim” Corbett
– First case of film censorship in United States: 1897 when states banned prize fighting films from the state of Nevada.

What does this mean for you? I don’t know – I just love this stuff. But seriously, boxing has a deep and rich history. After you really get into the classes, I have no doubt you’ll get into the sport. And regardless of whether you believe boxing is barbaric or art, I also have no doubt you’ll develop an appreciation for what’s been called The Sweet Science. You’ll discover boxing is not about two people standing there and beating the crap out of each other. There’s skill and there’s strategy. And you’ll also appreciate what it feels like to be so tired you can barely lift your arms, but you do so anyway because of the most important aspect of a boxer- their heart.

 

4. Spoiler alert: You’ll get a great workout
Upper body, lower body, core, and endurance. Yes, you’ll work it all. A boxer’s endurance has been compared to that of a middle-distance runner. You’ll also get stronger, get tone, and improve coordination and agility. Don’t believe me? Read this article published in HealthBEAT from Harvard Medical School.

 
5. You’ll feel empowered
This is the result of everything written above. There’s a feeling you develop after learning and applying this skill. And don’t think for a second boxing is anything but a skill. Learning it takes time and patience. But then there’s this moment – when you’re throwing your combinations and it all clicks. You feel smooth and as nimble as a cat for once and not like  you’re Frankenstein with a pair of gloves on. You’ll walk to your car at night and say to yourself, “Self, you got nothing to worry about because I’m a badass.” Whether you’re kidding yourself is not important. What is important is finally feeling that way.