Friday, September 28, 2012

“I want your thighs!”

I received an email this week from a friend of mine that simply said, “I want your thighs.”

I had to laugh. really? They were referring to a cropped version of this imagepicture, taken at the finish of the only half marathon I’ve done this year. It was the first weekend in June, and was slated to be my “A” half for 2012. It turned out to be closer to my LMNOP half. Anyway, this isn’t about that.

I wrote back, “what”?

“I will do anything to have your thighs.”

Ok, I can work with that. So I replied, “Squats, lunges, running, box jumps, and more running.”

“Well, anything except that shit.”

Seriously? Well, my friend was half kidding with that response. They know well enough that those are exactly the things that I’ve been doing, and that they would likely benefit as well. It just made me laugh.

Apparently, someone else wasn’t impressed, either. image


Happy Friday, everyone. Have a great weekend!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Looking ahead to 2013

Never too early to plan ahead, right? Right. This week, even though I have a big event coming up in the near future (Chicago!), I will be thinking ahead to 2013 and beginning the preliminary stages of goal setting.

I have many areas that I want to improve in:

  • family (Dad, husband, brother, son)
  • runner
  • fitness coach (oh. wait. I have to BECOME one first….)
  • Nurse

What areas of your life do you divide yourself into, or do you? Some people I know consider themselves to be just ONE person. Same at work/home, etc. Not me. I bounce in and out of ‘roles’ many times every day.

A buncha years ago, when I worked in a cubicle in Charlestown, MA, the dude on the other side of the cardboard wall would mock my voices. He said that I had many different ones on the phone, depending on who I was speaking with. There was “Hello, this is Sgt. Soboleski” and “Oh, hi, honey” (ex-wife), or “This is Gene, how can I help you”. of course, READING the words doesn’t really do it justice, does it?

Anyway, that’s not the point. What I’m kinda wondering is if YOU have different personalities for your different roles.

Hit me up in the comments! Thanks!!!! (and Josie, I have a hunch that you do….)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

My responses to #Attune chat 9/19/12

Sadly I was unable to attend one of my favourite Twitter chats today because I had to be part of a Medical Records Committee meeting. It happens once a month, so I DO get to attend #Attune 3 times per month. I really enjoy the fast pace of the half hour chat. Topics range from food to exercise and pretty much everything in between. Here are the questions from today’s chat and my responses. Not quite the same feel as the exchanges during the chat, but hey….why not, right?


Q1: Do you ever have days where it’s hard to go work out? Do you find getting back to basics helps you jump over that hurdle? A1: Lately there have been several days where it has been hard to workout. Mostly because I get trapped in my head. Getting back to basics DOES help me get back on track. Stick with what you know!

Q2: What small things motivate you to workout? A2: never wanting to be the Dad who watches his kids play instead of playing WITH them is very motivating. Knowing that other people my age are doing amazing things is also very motivating. Having a goal race or event is helpful as well.

Q3: How do you get back into being active after you’ve taken a break – from injury or just because?  A3: When I get back into it, it has to be with both feet. I can’t ease back into it; my eating needs to change, my sleep/wake cycles need to change, and my activity levels need to change. The renewed energy I feel from doing this often spills over to other areas of my life.

Q4: What would you suggest to a friend who wants to become more active? A4: I would say, “let’s go for a walk!” As our facility’s Wellness Coach, I would ask if they wanted to sit and chat about their goals, or did they just want someone to be their cheerleader? I don’t think it is my place to tell them what they should do, but I CAN be a resource…

Thanks again, @AttuneFoods, for hosting the chats every wednesday at noon Eastern.  If you are on twitter, I encourage you to follow the chat. If you are gun-shy about getting onto twitter, let me know, and perhaps I can calm your nerves…

See you there!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Need a bit of energy?

Then you need to try @EnergyBits! Seriously. I was fortunate enough to be able to try a sample of their Energy Bits (they also have Recovery, Skinny, and Vitality Bits).
Made with ONE INGREDIENT (hello, Clean Eating!), they really packed a punch. I took the recommended amount (20 bits), and sat back to wait.jekyllandhyde Kinda like Dr. Jekyll, I was excited and apprehensive at the same time…ok, not really, but can you imagine? wow. anyway…it was an interesting half hour or so before I began to feel any changes…
The first thing I noticed was that I had a bit more pep. I was at work, and typically I need an extra cup of coffee or two in the afternoon to perk me up. The bits were fantastic, and the energy lasted MUCH LONGER than coffee.
 The second time I tried them, it was before I went out for a medium distance (10k) run. I had NO belly issues, and no dip in energy levels during the run or for quite a while afterward (my wife was happy about this, as I used that energy to finish some projects around the yard!).

The sample came in a nice little tin. When you buy a full order (which I highly recommend that you do!), you will get a refillable travel tin like this one to take with you for those unplanned pick me ups.

 Curious about what you get out of these little gems? Here is the nutritional information for the EnergyBits.

As you may know, I am a big fan of companies or “brands” who engage with customers online. EnergyBits has a great Twitter presence, actively participating in weekly #runchat, #ultrachat, and my favourite, #wellnesschat.
Based in Boston, MA, they are a young, energetic, active company with a great new product that is actually useful. They are made in the USA, contain NO chemicals, additives, preservatives…just ALGAE. That’s right. I’m no scientist, so I’ll leave the technical jargon to the experts. Check out their website at and see what you think~!
As a special thank you, readers can use the code BLOG when checking out to receive 10% off of your order!!!

hey, FCC…I received a sample from EnergyBits, but the opinions are my OWN. Move along…

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Safety and Grass Roots

The bus route that our kids take has been changed this year, right out from under out noses. Here is the letter that I am sending to the School Board as well as the town’s Selectmen. I’ve posted it on FB. If you know anyone who lives in the Hartford, VT, School District, please pass this along to them.

Even if you can’t make it to the meeting, please call the Superintendent’s office and voice your concerns at 802-295-8600. Thank you!

Imagine our surprise, 3 days before school started this year, to learn
that our bus route had been changed. We didn't learn this from the
school, we learned this by chance from a parent who was looking into
sending their child to my wife's daycare for after school care. If my
wife wasn't being interviewed by this potential client, we never would
have known of the changes until our 6 year old son was dropped off on
the side of the road on a major street in Hartford Village.
When my wife learned of the changes, she immediately called the bus
garage to get clarification and explanation for the change to our
route. She was told, "Well, I was told that I had to cut the budget,
so I made changes" by the manager. When my wife attempted to express
her concerns about the potential dangers involved, she was told that
"there are older kids who get dropped off there, too. They can look
after your child."
What? Since when does it become the responsibility of the neighborhood
kids to see that our child makes it home ok? Isn't that the school and
bus' responsibility? What the manager also doesn't realize is that
most of the older kids in our neighborhood are also athletes and are
typically not on the bus in the evening. Between the new drop off
point and the relative safety of our cul-de-sac, there is a blind
corner that most people cut when coming down the hill, in the
direction of the pedestrians. There is no sidewalk, and nowhere for
kids to walk except in the road.
This corner is dangerous on a July afternoon. I can't imaginedownhill
expecting my child, or any of my neighbor's children, to walk that
route in the waining light of a cold, snowy, icy February afternoon.
While I almost understand the need to cut corners with bus costs, I
don't understand why we have to do it at the risk of the kids. Ours is
not the only route changed, and I have heard that some kids now have
to walk close to half a mile to get to their old drop off locations.
This is intolerable.
At the end of my wife's conversation with the bus garage manager, she
was told to contact the Superintendent's Office to voice her concerns.
The call was made, and my wife was directed to speak Jim, the
Financing Director. My wife had to leave a voice mail message, inblind corner
which she briefly expressed our concerns and asked for a return call.
Nearly 2 weeks later, we have yet to hear back from Jim.
During the first week of school, our son was nearly hit by a car while
walking home from school. If it had been in the winter, he'd very
likely been hit.
current bus stopThe morning pick-up has remained unchanged; a group of kids get picked
up at the end of our cul-de-sac, then the bus continues up the hill to
the upper cul-de-sac, picking up those kids. Safe. Convenient. Parents
are able to watch the bus stop areas to make sure the kids are
treating each other respectfully.
If true, hard dollars are being saved by placing our kids in harms way
because of the bus changes, I would like to propose the following
solution, at least for our neighborhood:
Have the kids PICKED UP at the new location, but dropped off at the
old. Why? Supervision. In the mornings, our neighborhood has parents
who are around and willing to wait with the kids on the side of the
busy street. In the afternoons, all of the parents are at work, and no
one can help monitor their safety.
I implore you to look into this as an alternative to the existing
route, but would really rather see the town revert back to the routes
that have been travelled for at least the past 10 years. Let's work
together to find some fiscal savings without putting our children in
potential physical harm's way.
The Soboleskis.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Wellness is like a trip to the salad bar…

some days you might feel like just greens and a few crunchy things, other days you want to load your plate up so it overflows the edges. Then some days you walk right past the veggies and fruit and go straight for the pudding and whipped cream.
my point is this: I don’t believe that there is any ONE method of fitness/wellness that is right for everyone. I think that there are many ways that work for most of us. does this make sense? lemme try to explain, using myself as an example.
my life is pretty much a whirlwind. I have 2 older (15 and 19) stepsons, and we have a 6 year old son together. oldest is in college, and the two others spinning dad_1are active in sports for their ages. my wife runs a licensed daycare in our home, and I work as an RN at a local Veterans’ Hospital. There is never a dull moment around our house, nor is there ever a moment to spare. I’ve looked into and talked with many people about many different workout plans over the past 5 years that I’ve started to focus on my wellness.
at first I thought that I would just be a runner. I love running, especially on trails. But I somehow forgot about winter in Vermont. So I looked into the old standby; 110lb weight set from Sears. It is gathering rust….To get ready for spring running, I looked into BootCamp style training. Then more running. Then some yoga. And running. Peppered throughout all of these were setbacks. I’d feel very motivated for several weeks at a time, then nothing. I wouldn’t care if I didn’t workout. I would eat whatever I wanted, as much as I wanted. And then I’d find some inspiration and start working out again. Inevitably I feel better when I work out and watch what I eat.
for me, it is very important that I don’t just do ONE type of workout. Like that salad bar that I mentioned, I enjoy having choices. If I don’t feel like going for a run, I know that I can get a satisfying workout with BootCamp or tabata style exercises. If I’m not in the mood for either, then I can get my sweat on doing plyometrics. Options, baby, options.
my advice is to ask around. See what your friends are doing. Find out what they like about a program, and what they don’t. Importantly, find out WHY the like or dislike the workouts that they are doing. This will help you to know which ones to choose for yourself.
variety is KEY to a successful wellness/fitness program. What are some of your favourite workouts that you’d like to share?