Monday, January 28, 2013

Managing our Fears

Managing our Fears
Pre swim school- Determined and Olympic bound

Dara Torres, the oldest swimmer to ever place on the U.S. Olympic team was once quoted, “The water doesn't know how old you are.”

This past Saturday, I donned a too tight swim cap, along with my newly purchased Speedo, and dove into my first swim class at age 31.  OK, so I didn't exactly dive.  It was more like cautiously stepped down the ladder and eased myself into the pool. 

I know what you are thinking.  How did I never learn to swim?  Well, I don't particularly like water. (I take really fast showers).  I hate the feeling of wet hair.  My "learn to swim" option growing up was a disgusting, fish filled, mucky bottomed family pond- so I opted out.  I once wore "swimmies" to a birthday pool party at age 12 and got made fun of so badly that I vowed I would never go in the water again.  I can float and doggie paddle so I could never really drowned.

I decided it was time to push my humiliated 12 yr old self aside and face my fears by enrolling in swim school.  I was incredibly nervous Saturday morning and felt like I was off to my first day of school.  I can't remember the last time I felt those emotions.  There were about 19 other non-swimming adults who looked as terrified as I felt and we all laughed nervously as we learned to blow bubbles, float face down, glide and eventually work our way up to alternating arm strokes while holding onto a paddle board.  I couldn't believe how much we learned in such a short period of time.  I thought I would come home as a master bubble blower and nothing more.  I couldn't stop gushing about my accomplishments for the rest of the day.  "I put my face IN the water and glided the ENTIRE width of the pool!  I was swimming!"  An outside observer even commented on how fast I was.  I told him it was probably because I was wearing my new Speedo and was aiming for the 2016 Olympics.  I'll probably be ready to qualify after my 9 remaining lessons.

Facing our fears can add a new level of excitement to our lives.  When was the last time you stood head to head with something that terrified, shamed, or belittled you?  All too often, we set ourselves up to overcome and then retreat the moment "waters get rocky".  Sometimes all it takes is a little direction and knowing how to break our fear down into manageable steps so we don't throw ourselves head first into the pool. 
  • Can you think of something that is both fearful and intriguing to you?  I've always been intrigued by other swimmers but was never able to consider myself as one.   
  • Think about the steps you need to take in order to make it manageable.  Step one: find a swim class.  Step two: buy a swim suit.  Step three, blow bubbles.  
  • Surround yourself with "experts" and supportive people.  I tried to learn to swim many unsuccessful times from friends.  Although they had good intentions, I realize now they serve as much better cheerleaders on the sidelines. 
  • Celebrate!  Don't downplay your accomplishments.  What may seem minor to someone else is a hugely valid success for yourself.  "I swam the ENTIRE width of the pool with my face IN the water!"  Do you have any idea how impressive that is? 

Have you overcome any fears lately?  Do you have any fears you want to share?  What were/are the steps to make it more manageable?   Leave your comment below, tweet MtvdNutrition, or post on the Motivated Nutrition Facebook page

In Future Olympian Health,


Joanie Johnson, CHC
Motivated Nutrition

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Princess and the Pea...and Other Nasty Things

The Princess, The Pea...and Other Nasty Things
Arctic Blast Bike Face
I've been sick this week.  I'm actually convinced that I'm not sick but I've (as my best friend stated it) "frozen my cilia" after riding my bike in the freezing cold without covering my face.  Bad move #1 this week.  NYC has been hit with an arctic blast and unfortunately, peddling is the quickest way for me to get from point A to point B when I'm training clients.  I noticed the heavy chest feeling at the end of last week and fought my hardest to keep the nastiness at bay.  My usual regime of greens, vitamins, zinc, tons of water, extra sleep and aromatherapy baths didn't do it this time.  Frozen cilia or not, whatever is going on in this bod, it's nasty.  (I've since adopted the amazingly attractive full face mask look above while riding).

Spending "sick" time in bed can be less than glorious.  After 2 days of fighting miserable boredom, I decided to "treat" my sorry self to a movie and some semi-sweet chocolate chips ( a personal weakness of mine) Bad move #'s 2, 3 AND 4

#2 Sugar temporarily suppresses the immune system cells responsible for attacking bacteria.  Consuming lots of sugar while sick is a terrible idea if you're trying to get better fast. 

#3 Eating in bed is disgusting.  The only thing you should do in bed is sleep...well, maybe not the ONLY thing, but that's for a different kind of blog post.  Remember the story of The Princess and the Pea?  Crumbs, peas, or chocolate chips in the bed are NEVER a good thing

...which leads me to bad move #4: Accidentally dropping chocolate in bed and then sitting on it for 4 hrs.  You can imagine my surprise when I stood up to find the bed, my back, my pants, t-shirt, pillow and yes even my computer was covered in melted chocolate.  I honestly thought for a brief moment I had an "accident".  My finance, Micah, happened to walk in at the exact moment of my discovery and had the same look of shock on his face.  I had to prove it was indeed chocolate by licking my t-shirt.  (Bad move #5?) 

Do you ever unhealthily "treat" yourself when you're not feeling well?  What's your guilty sick day pleasure? Leave your comment below, tweet MtvdNutrition, or post on the Motivated Nutrition Facebook page

In (less than optimal) health, :(


Joanie Johnson, CHC
Motivated Nutrition