It started after we pressed record while awaiting laundry on spin cycle.
And then the cycle continued. Round and round.
We’ve had an awesome year thanks to YOU.
And by you, I mean you. All of you.
You, hooping in the (laundro)mat.
You, triceps dipping on street corner pylons.
You, pushing up while bearing down at work.
You, shopping bag biceps curling.
You, paint can russian twisting while painting the baby’s nursery.
You, overhead mailbox bin pressing while hall monitoring.
You are the #MOVEment.
Happy Birthday to you! Happy Anniversary too!
In honor of Women’s Health and Fitness Day, I’m launching a fun contest! Now here’s the catch. Both men and women can enter though you gentlemen would be entering in support of the women whom you may know and love. On to the prizes:
2nd Skype or Phone Call Wellness Consultation (3 Winners)
3rd Small Group Fitness Session (10 Winners)
To enter: In 500 words (text) or 3 minutes (video) or less, please explain why you are in need of a wellness consultation. What challenges have you faced this year? What should I know about your story? What are your fitness goals for 2014? Be creative! Gentlemen entering on behalf of a gentlewoman, who is she to you? Why is she deserving? And how would this fitness session help her to jump-start the new year? Please email written responses and video links to TheFitCycle@gmail.com.
Rules: Entries close on Monday, October 7th at 9PM EST. Fitness sessions can be based in New York City, New York, and/or Phoenix, Arizona. Skype winners can be international. Phone call consultation winners must use a United States of America exchange only. One entry per person please. Winners selected by a panel of three (3) wellness industry judges. Prizes forfeited one year after award date if unused. No cash value or exchange of services permitted.
About Women’s Health and Fitness Day: Nation’s largest annual health promotion event for women of all ages. This year’s event is set for Wednesday, September 25, 2013, and in future years, is always be held on the last Wednesday in September. This unique national program — with participation by local organizations throughout the U.S. — focuses attention on the importance of regular physical activity and health awareness for women.
Yes, I know. You know. There is in fact a national celebratory “week” for everything. Shark Week. Mashed Potatoes are Best with Butter Week. I Locked Myself Out of My Apartment, Again, Week. This Selfie Makes Me Look Cute, Right? Week. But if you have a family –especially if you have a family!– the most important week of them all is National Exercise With Your Child Week.
Don’t have kids? That’s cool. Don’t care to have kids? I don’t care. Kids are the future, and they’re truth-tellers. Ask a kid something. Anything. Something that you really want to know. Something with which you’ve been struggling. They will tell you. No soothsayer, line-card-toe reader fees apply. Wouldn’t you then want to play with these little humans? Yes! That’s the answer! You do. So, GO! Go play.
Just the other day I played with some kids. This is what happened.
“Oh but Andia, it’s been so long since I exercised my inner kid. I don’t even know how to play anymore!” you cry. (Wo)man, that’s a shame. We need to work on that. I can help. In the meantime, here are some ideas that I’ve crafted to get you started on the “Reclaim Your Kid, with Your Kids, Journey.”
Partner Workouts are examples of exercises that families can do together. Siblings and parents unite! Size difference is not a limiting factor. Working out together always makes folks closer and more engaged with one another. Children who regularly assist with or share in workouts with their parents feel empowered and confident. They are part of a team and developing leadership skills all the while. Let’s get it in:
Exercise 1: A favorite move is the PUSH-UP CLAP. Partners, both in push-up start position, align themselves opposite and head-to-head from one another. On the same count they perform a push-up and when returning to the start position they each clap one hand together with their partner. This move is fun, auditory and requires communication and synchrony – teamwork!
Exercise 2: WHEELBARROW PUSH-UPS. Watch the contents, they’re fragile.
Exercise 3: JUMP ROPE, a lost art! Kids love it and jump rope games can go on for hours and can morph into countless variations. Not only does it attend to cardiovascular health but it is also a high intensity compound workout. Think muscle building here. Parents want to get involved? Try double dutch or jumping together in the same rope.
Exercise 4: TAG, YOU’RE IT! What kid doesn’t enjoy tag? Boys chasing girls. Girls chasing boys. Siblings chasing each other. Toddlers chasing birds and rabbits. How do parents fit in? Well, a friendly game of tag is a fun bonding opportunity that seems to be a pure game. Not so. Track athletes run sprint series from a dead stop. Basketball, football and softball players run lines as athletic drills. The same movement(s) is being exercised in tag. The chase is exercise for all parties involved and whether or not they know it, a HITT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout!
OK. I’ve helped you. Can you help me? Join The Fit Cycle #MOVEment. Share this post with your family and friends. Send us photos and videos of your action. Click here for ideas! Oh! One more thing. If you live in or are visiting New York City on Saturdays in August, check out Summer Streets. It’s amazing and I love it.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cglZTivOohM&w=560&h=315]Dear Universe,
The family that plays together stays together! That’s what I was taught growing up. Well, not in so many words but it was implied. We cycled. We rock climbed. We meandered through parks and swam in brooks. We visited museums. We crafted and designed. We explored. We played, together. And we still do. (Side bar: I wanted to grow up to be Pippi Longstocking, just not the [semi]orphan part.) And play is what I strive to do every day — even now. With friends’ kids, with neighborhood kids, with tall kids, with small kids, with folks trying to find their inner kid. It moves me.
Enter the twins: Theo and Lily. What energy, what color! Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel’s Thing 1 and Thing 2, naturally. That makes me, you know, “the Cat in the hat.” And by “hat” read voluminous Afro. But too is a retreat to “conjunction junction what’s your function?” with SchoolHouse Rock!, sunny day(s) “sweepin’ the clouds away” on Sesame Street, after-school specials, “The More You Know” PSAs and other programming of childhood yore.
Before mobile devices, WE were the mobile devices. Devising mobility. Mobile in our devicedness. (Yes, I coined a word just as my nine year old self would have, with pride.) Hopping, beeping, buzzing. Hunting and gathering activity. Imagining moves. Just as I do now. So here’s to youth, to creativity, to fun, to family, to exercise –played together. Get it in where you can fit it in.
You know where to find me, AndiaBut that’s only part of the story. Here’s how it all began:
Querido Spanish Harlem,
You keep me up at night. I mean, you really keep me up at night. Why is the dog barking? Why is la música blaring? Take your lovers’ quarrel inside! Put those kids to bed! But then, if I don’t fight it, I count the beats instead of sheep and you comfort me. Your heartbeat becomes my own and soothes me into deep sleep.
Morning. No alarm. You jostle me awake, rudely at times, and I cut my eyes at you. But it’s only fleeting because I feel lucky to wake up to you. You inspire me. Your legacy, your sabor, your passion – en fuego! Your energy is palpable and I covet it on days when I’m away too long. You coo at me on the street and welcome me home. “¡Oye mami!” Yes, I see you, you have a blessed day too!
You dance and parade with me, share your wares with me, feed me and it tastes so good. We’ve broken bread together and you’ve watched my back. Now it’s my turn. The Fit Cycle is for you El Barrio, all of you. A movie and a MOVEment. I’ve made my declaration, this is my dedication.
What a week! Before we get to the highlights, let’s get to the shout outs! Special thanks to one Donell Creech, master and commander! His vision for Blacks in Technology was a complete success and we are proud to have been a part of his team’s groundbreaking efforts. Thank you too Hugh Forrest, Director of the SXSW Interactive Festival. He wrote me a personal note before I made the journey to Austin and that just set things off! A lot of people spent a lot of time working collaboratively to create the remarkable South by Southwest experience, we thank you all.
Adventure is near the beginning of the dictionary, and that is where this story will start too.
Monique was an all-star on a panel about the provocative Quentin Tarantino film Django Unchained that included academics, film and cultural critics, filmmakers and activists. The room was PACKED and the conversation at times animated. *Disclaimer: the discussion was far superior to the actual film. That is not just my opinion, it is [reel] fact.
My panel was inspired by real people making real-time decisions about their health and livelihoods. Have to give it to my shredded counterparts for flexing on the shared mic and inspiring my early morning “vacation workouts.” I contemplated doing hanging abs from Adonis’ biceps but that might have been awkward, so I refrained.
Steve Garfield framed the SXSW experience as the sum of serendipitous meetings. We agree Steve, we agree. How’s meeting one’s cousin, James, for the very first time for $1,000, Alex? Oh! Daily Double. And then, of course, there will always be that time in which you meet your neighbor from Harlem while awaiting your tropical protein smoothie at a local Austin cafe. Rushing cabs and then sharing them with Microsoft developers and social media managers and journalists and literal world changers. Or, Sara Reinertsen on Trinity Street at 4PM — we both serve as ambassadors for the Women’s Sports Foundation. She couldn’t talk long as she was preparing for her own presentation –The Bionic Athlete– and an early morning run. Commitment.
We danced with the lead designer of standout app foursquare but were too nervous to two-step our way over to NY Times columnist David Carr who was really feeling the beat. Go ‘head with your bad self Dave, I see you. Maybe, in the tradition of SXSW, we’ll meet him randomly in the street here in New York. Or maybe it’ll be in Newark, home of the “Social Media Mayor” Cory Booker who we were excited to street meet. Cory is tall. Tall man swag. And brilliant too. His presentation was rated “top talk” and we know why. We were there. Check it out here. Speaking of brilliance –two words: Mae Jemison. Here are another two: Interstellar Travel. That’s what she said. Her panel may have been our favorite as she’s made history –first woman of color in space– and continues making it with plans for the 100 year Starship: Yes, “Daring makes a difference.”
Standing in line for the bathroom and being recognized as the “fitness girl from Forbes” always proves entertaining. It is a little less awkward when in broad daylight waiting for a grilled cheese sandwich though. It was tasty especially with the unicorn grilled on top. You might hear of Austin food truck lore and I am here to tell you that Grits and Greens prepared by local farmer Hoover Alexander is the best in town. Delicious, nutritious.
We were on our feet a lot. But promise of learning how to really play poker from a professional caused me to sit. Enter Edwardo Jackson, son of the 206. That’s the Seattle, WA interchange for those unfamiliar with the Emerald City. We sat for photographer Robert Fogarty and the Dear World campaign. Actually, that’s not true. We stood again while he took our photos.
But then we ran when a Twitter friend told us that a clip from our movie was being shared by Hugh Hefner’s daughter Christie Hefner, Executive Chairman of Canyon Ranch Enterprises, across town at another SXSW panel. Her panel, sponsored by the world’s largest PR firm Edelman, explored “the research and anecdotes of how digital content can transform health, change attitudes and behaviors and turn knowledge into action through compelling storytelling across mediums.” How’s that for social media and contagious content!
I started with thanks, I’ll end with thanks. To those people doing good things for their communities and the planet, thank you. Personal best high jump high fives to scholar, activist and athlete Terri Givens of Take Back the Trail; the good people of organic neighborhood market The Boxcar Grocer in Atlanta, Georgia; the peace bringing RootWork of Naya Jones; and to the dedicated and impactful curation of Ashara Ekundayo of HUB Oakland. To those leading inspired and inspiring lives, big side-to-side bear hugs for you.
We look forward to next year. Until then, get it in where you can fit it in! –Andia
Our official “Healthy South by Southwest” initiative was announced live yesterday on KXAN-NBC and we encouraged viewers to tune into our live Twitter feed via hashtag #SXSWfit. We will be tweeting fitness and nutrition tips and finds throughout the 20th anniversary conference to encourage participants to make the most of the festivities in a healthy way. Some of the world’s most innovative and creative minds will be in attendance and this population often takes issues of health and wellness as second, or third –shoot– as last thought! Sitting at desks, eyes glued to mobile devices, posture compromised –break free!
Speaking of innovative and creative minds, enter Steve Garfield! Yes, we’ve mentioned him before: “father” of the modern vlog and friend of The Fit Cycle. What you may not know is that my first introduction to Steve was almost two years ago via an online interview in 2011 in which we discussed golf, fitness and two very important members of my then film crew: Olivia and Joaquin. Coolest part of this story? Today I met Steve –in real life! Today was a good day.
What a warm Texas welcome! Thank you to the good folks at Austin’s No. 1 rated television station KXAN-NBC for hosting Monique and I today! We talked The Fit Cycle, South by Southwest, filmmaking and fitness flash mobs. Stay tuned throughout the weekend for more updates of what looks to be a most amazing and memorable experience!
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Puh345egEjg&w=560&h=315] Get it in where you can fit it in! –Andia