Check out my most recent article in the Neighborhood Trainer August newsletter!

Urban FitnessJim

by Jim Fantone, personal trainer

It’s just another day in the city. Not just any city though. We, here in New York City are fortunate to have opportunities on every corner and in every neighborhood for exercise.

First of all, we walk. A lot. I do anyway. It’s a choice to walk 20 blocks each way to my next client rather than take the bus or subway. If I do ride the subway, at the end of each ride is yet another opportunity. Subway stairs are notorious for taking your breath away. I see a set of stairs and I see quads and glutes in action! Take two steps at a time and I see extreme walking lunges. Man, that feels good. A little bit of cardio too. Just don’t stop right at the top please. Don’t get me started!
I find exercise everywhere. As I’m walking up Broadway toward home, I encounter people walking haphazardly across the sidewalk. My friend calls them Diagonerds. You know those people who seem to be angling to the left until you try to go around to the right, and just then they change tactics and begin to go to the right, right in front of you! Back and forth they go. Almost like they’re blocking for you. My take on this is they are my offensive line and I am a running back following my blocking until we get clear of the oncoming traffic (the tacklers) and then I don’t need them anymore and I shoot the gap and fly past them. Thank you!
With so many obstacles and challenges in a city like this, there is no excuse for not exercising. None! Use a backpack so your shoulders are even and the weight of your stuff is not hanging off to one side and get out there and move! Raining? Snowing? It just adds resistance to the exercise. Use the energy to navigate rather than complain. Let’s use our bodies the way they were meant to be used. Moving! You will feel better, guaranteed.

 

Leaning Into 60. Finally it is here!

60 Is The New Sexy! Well, that’s what I’ve been telling myself all year. It’s a good example of my approach to life. I want to lean into it, rather than fear it.

Today is the 60th anniversary of my birth. That’s right, I have now been alive for 60 years. Man, I am amazing! Wooohoooo!

I spent a good part of my life fearing things. Basically everything! That makes for a rough road! As a result of getting sober in 1979 I have a new lease on life. Aside from a four year relapse in the early 2000’s I have spent most of my adult life working on a change of attitude.

Now, I like to live in the present moment. It makes life so much easier but not only that, it’s more fun! So, one day at a time, I have managed to stay alive for all of these 60 years and for that I am grateful.

All of that being said, I think staying physically fit is so important to enjoying life. I don’t fear aging, rather I look forward to it. There is always something new to learn. I am wise because of my age. I am experienced because of my age. I am leaning into 60 because I know I will continue to get better with time.

How’s that for sexy!

 

I Live!

One thing “Time” always does,

Whatever “is” becomes what “was”

Remember the Thundering of last Thursday?

Today as my day begins I look back on the week.

So much has happened that I am reeling from the changes.

That’s why I try to enjoy life in each moment, remember to breathe, and live now!

I start today with a full heart and an empty mind. Anything is possible and everything is new.

JKF

7/2/12

Loss

Today I’m thinking about “loss” in a different way. I feel a sense of loss today that I can live with. It starts out feeling empty and for a moment it hurts. If I am still, that moment passes. If I don’t try to hold onto it, it goes rather quickly. On the other hand, if I want to keep that feeling of loss, I can create attachments that keep it with me. For example, I feel the loss of a relationship and it hurts for a moment. That feeling is sadness in my gut. I begin to cry and that experience starts to tell me things like I’m losing a part of myself, I’m never going to have another relationship, I will be so alone, I have failed. I ask myself, what have I done to deserve this. That kind of reaction will undoubtedly create more pain and sadness.

But, as I said, I am experiencing loss in a different way today. It’s more like this; I am feeling sadness over the change in my relationship, I breathe and start to cry. Crying is, in my opinion, one of they truest forms of expression there is, so I am going to enjoy this cry. My heart is full, not empty, if I am crying. It feels full! I am letting out the pain of this loss. Is it pain? Yes, it hurts. I feel suddenly alone. Wait. I like being alone. I do. It allows me to reflect on the beauty of my life, which, if I look back at it I realize that the challenges I have faced in my life have always forced me to grow in ways I otherwise might never have. Now that feels less sad. In fact the feeling I now have is gratitude. I am grateful for all of the sad times and the losses in my life because they have given me growth. I have grown considerably over the course of my life, but never as much as when I have been hurting. I am grateful.

This is a true story. Life isn’t good, or bad. Life is Life. How I choose to experience life dictates the quality of my life. Deepak Chopra has a quote I use to remind me of this. “Because I accept life as life, in my world, nothing ever goes wrong.” I am grateful today. I am happy.Image