Sky Walk

Coach Erik here:

I recently witnessed a transformation I would like to share with you.

For my father’s 70th birthday, I invited him to overcome his visceral fear of heights by joining me on the Sky Walk located on the west rim of The Grand Canyon. The Sky Walk is a glass walkway that allows visitors to walk 300 feet off the ledge of the canyon (4,000 foot drop) with only a glass railing and floor (unnerving to even those who are comfortable with heights.) To make this happen my father had to take action in spite of immense fear. He had to have faith. He had to be willing to deal with the unknown. He had to believe that there was a power inside of him that was greater then the obstacle at hand. The look of empowerment in his eyes as a result of challenging (and overcoming) his fear was truly amazing!

Is there a fear that has limited you in the past? If the answer is yes I invite you to to consider this acronym: F.E.A.R = False Evidence Appearing Real. Is your fear real in the present moment? I invite you to consider this possibility: Overcoming fear is a result of creating new empowering evidence in the present moment that challenges your old limiting fear. How does one create new evidence? Step out on your “Sky Walk.” Gather new data. Take action!

Take away: There is a power inside of you that is greater then the obstacle/fear at hand. By taking a leap of faith and creating new empowering evidence in the present moment you can transform your life forever.

Live Fit and Be Well,

Coach Erik

 

About: Coach Erik Hajer is an award-winning trainer and author who has helped thousands of people live the fit, vital, and empowered life they deserve. He holds a degree in exercise physiology and was named one of the top trainers of 2011 by Boston.com In addition to training “for life” Coach Erik is a 12-time marathon and 5-time Ironman triathlon finisher. 

If you liked this post you may enjoy Coach Erik’s other free posts, comments and exercise videos on his website. All can be found at: www.coacherik.com 

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Dirt Pile

 

Coach Erik here:

Have you ever been faced with a challenge that felt so overwhelming you didn’t know where to start? That was me last weekend when I faced down a pile of dirt (10 feet long and 6 feet high) that had to be removed from our back yard.

As I began the project it became increasingly clear that there were many life lessons to be learned/remembered from this massive pile of dirt.

My offering today is (what I believe) to be the five key “inner tools” needed to take on a massive dirt pile or any other challenge/goal you’re facing.

Key 1 Decide and Commit:

I had to decide I was going to remove this pile of dirt and fully commit to the project. The word decide means, “to cut off all other options.” When facing a challenge or embarking on a goal I invite you to decide and fully commit. Often the most challenging part of a goal/challenge is to decide. Remember not deciding is also a decision.

Key 2 Have a Compelling Why:

If your why for doing something is compelling enough the how will show up for you. I couldn’t stand having an eyesore of a dirt pile in front of my studio. As a result I focused all of my concentration and energy of moving it. I invite you to think about your “why.” Is it compelling enough to move you into inspired action?

Key 3 One “bucket” at a time: 

I invite you to focus on your next small step when facing a challenge/goal. If I had kept my focus on the entire pile I would have given up. Fight the urge to think of the whole project or end result. One baby step at a time. Forward momentum. Slow and steady wins YOUR race!

Key 4  Find Pleasure in the Process:

How does on find joy in a pile of dirt? I kept my mind on the challenge. I wanted to prove to myself I could do it. Also I thought of the fitness benefits of carrying hundreds of 50 lb. buckets across the lawn. I invite you to engage in the process. Get lost in the adventure/challenge. Prove to yourself that you can do it!

Key 5 Ask For Help:

There is nothing like support when you’re engaged in a challenge/goal. Ask for help. At my lowest point of overwhelm I asked my wife Theresa for help (in the form of a tribal scream at the pile.) She knew I needed a “you’re doing an amazing job” which got me over the hump. There is great power in receiving support. We all need a coach, friend, or significant other, to blow wind in our sails.

Take away: When facing a massive dirt pile or any other challenge/goal the four key “inner tools” are: Commit, have a compelling why, take it one “bucket” at a time, find pleasure in the process, ask for help.

Happy digging!

Coach Erik 

About: Coach Erik Hajer is an award-winning trainer and author who has helped thousands of people live the fit, vital, and empowered life they deserve. He holds a degree in exercise physiology and was named one of the top trainers of 2011 by Boston.com In addition to training “for life” Coach Erik is a 12-time marathon and 5-time Ironman triathlon finisher. 

If you liked this post you may enjoy Coach Erik’s other free posts, comments and exercise videos on his website. All can be found at: www.coacherik.com 

 

 

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The Happiest Person I Know

 

This morning my wife showed me a Nordstrom Magazine clothing advertisement featuring a handsome young man with Down syndrome. The advertisement reminded me of one of my best friends, Fleming Fox, an extraordinary human being I would like to share with you.

Fleming was born with an extra 21st chromosome (Down Syndrome) however that has not stopped him from having an extraordinary life. Fleming lives on his own (staff supported community house), has a job he enjoys, friends, hobbies, etc.

The thing that jumps out about Fleming that I would like to share with you is his attitude. Fleming spreads love wherever he goes. Chances are if you meet Fleming you will get a hug, a smile, a high five, or a “have a great day!” Fleming is happy. I mean REALLY HAPPY. So happy that I had to ask him the other day, “what makes you so happy Fleming?” His answer blew me away. “Coach E I’m so happy because I love being alive. I don’t let little things bother me, and I am happy being me!”

I felt compelled to ask him about his disability, “Fleming it must be hard having a disability” Fleming replied, “Coach E I don’t like having downs syndrome, but I was born with it and there’s nothing I can do about it.” “I am happy anyway because I get to choose to be happy or sad.” “I choose to be happy!” “People sometimes look at me funny, but if I smile at them they smile back and know I’m a real person with feelings.”

To me Fleming embodies what it’s all about. Gratitude for life, spreading love, finding comfort in your own skin, letting go of that which you have no control, not sweating the small stuff, and playing your cards with grace, positivity and wonder.

Fleming is my hero. I believe is not disabled but uniquely abled. He holds a PhD in life. Fleming has inspired me to cease to “major in the minor” and be happy no reason.

I invite you to do the same.

Live Fit and Be Well,

Coach Erik 

About: Coach Erik Hajer is an award-winning trainer and author who has helped thousands of people live the fit, vital, and empowered life they deserve. He holds a degree in exercise physiology and was named one of the top trainers of 2011 by Boston.com In addition to training “for life” Coach Erik is a 12-time marathon and 5-time Ironman triathlon finisher. 

If you liked this post you may enjoy Coach Erik’s other free posts, comments and exercise videos on his website. All can be found at: www.coacherik.com 

 

 

 

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What’s in Your Heart?

 What’s in Your Heart?

A few months ago I (along with 5 other teammates) took on an event called the Tough Mudder. The Tough Mudder consisted of 28 mental/physical obstacles over 10 miles on Mt. Snow in Vermont.

During the event I had a deeply inspiring experience I would like to share with you. I had learned before we started out on our four plus hour challenge that one of my teammates (and fellow tribe member) S.M had undergone open-heart surgery and was living with the constant reminder that she could have complications. While she was cleared for all activity you can imagine the courage it took to throw her hat in the ring for an event that would test even the most fit of hearts.

At one point during the event S.M and I got separated from our team during an under water obstacle. The challenge at hand was to swim under a large pipe fully submerging your face and body in a creek of thick mud and 35 degree water. I watched as other participants climbed over the obstacle instead of diving into the mud, fearful of the cold, being submerged and getting dirty. Without hesitation S.M dove head first under the pipe, emerging with mud and a huge smile plastered on her face. She could have easily gone over the pipe, no one would have known or cared.

I got to see into her heart that day. Instead of fear and limitation I found courage and possibility. Thank you S.M for reminding me of the power of taking action in spite of fear.

The take away message is this: When you face your next fitness/ life obstacle I invite you to look into your heart. Dive in. Get dirty. Take action in spite of fear. Find a way. Or you can always take the “safe” sure way.

We know what S.M will do.

Live Fit and Be Well,

Coach Erik

About: Coach Erik Hajer is an award-winning trainer and author who has helped thousands of people live the fit, vital, and empowered life they deserve. He holds a degree in exercise physiology and was named one of the top trainers of 2011 by Boston.com In addition to training “for life” Coach Erik is a 12-time marathon and 5-time Ironman triathlon finisher. 

If you liked this post you may enjoy Coach Erik’s other free posts, comments and exercise videos on his website. All can be found at: www.coacherik.com 

 

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Putting it on the line


 

 What do you do when you put it all on the line and come up short?

 In 1998 I set a goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. I trained relentlessly and came up short, 5 times in a row (often by minutes.)

 Finally it all came together in 2002 when I had my breakthrough race and won my ticket to Boston. To be honest I wanted to throw in the towel many times along the way, but something inside of me refused to give up.

Have you put yourself on the line lately and fallen short? Have you been afraid to put yourself on the line for fear of falling short? If the answer is yes, I invite you to consider this:

There is something inside of you that is more powerful then your current circumstances or past results. Take action in spite of fear. Learn from setbacks. Get back up when you fall down. Adapt and adjust. And never ever give up!

 You never know just how close you are to making your dream a reality!

 Live Fit and Be Well,

 Coach Erik    

About: Coach Erik Hajer is an award-winning trainer and author who has helped thousands of people live the fit, vital, and empowered life they deserve. He holds a degree in exercise physiology and was named one of the top trainers of 2011 by Boston.com In addition to training “for life” Coach Erik is a 12-time marathon and 5-time Ironman triathlon finisher. 

If you liked this post you may enjoy Coach Erik’s other free posts, comments and exercise videos on his website. All can be found at: www.coacherik.com 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lost and Found on a Colorado Trail

 

This past weekend I participated in the Bear Creek 50K (31 Mile) Trail Run in Lakewood Colorado.

The event was an amazing and epic adventure in the Colorado mountains. I experienced euphoric highs and had to dig deeper then I ever had during intense lows. I was filled spiritually and challenged both mentally and physically. In short I lost myself and found myself on a Colorado Trail.

Here is what I discovered about ultra trail running and about life:

I (we) can do so much more then we think we can.

When I (we) stay open to possibility and simply begin, the how will be made clear.

When I (we) take a wrong turn (in my case running 4 extra miles) it is best to let it go, regroup, find your trail and carry on.

Having support is vital, in my case my friends Karen and Jonathan who lifted my spirits and supported me the last 6 miles.

Approaching an experience without expectation and judgment is a sure way to have fun, find your natural rhythm, and come alive.

When you reach for your potential your whole world exponentially expands.

Sharing enlivening experiences with others (in my case friends/tribe members Dustin, Bob, Rob, and John) creates bonds that can last a lifetime.

Take away: I invite you to dwell in possibility. Reach for your potential. Push your boundaries. Seek new challenges and shared experiences.

Wishing you magical moments and happy trails on your next adventure!

 Live Fit and Be Well,

 Coach Erik

About: Coach Erik Hajer is an award-winning trainer and author who has helped thousands of people live the fit, vital, and empowered life they deserve. He holds a degree in exercise physiology and was named one of the top trainers of 2011 by Boston.com In addition to training “for life” Coach Erik is a 12-time marathon and 5-time Ironman triathlon finisher. 

If you liked this post you may enjoy Coach Erik’s other free posts, comments and exercise videos on his website. All can be found at: www.coacherik.com 

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Sweet on the Sweet Potato

 

Coach Erik here:

This week’s superfood spotlight is on the mighty sweet potato. The sweet potato is a nutritional juggernaut and considered one of the healthiest foods on the planet.  

Here’s a snapshot:

Sweet For Your Health:

Sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamins and minerals and have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These properties can help eliminate free radicals and repair damaged cells and membranes that are associated with diseases such as cancer and heart disease.

Sweet For Your Fitness:

Sweet potatoes are a complex carbohydrate, which makes them a fantastic source of slow burning energy, perfect for fueling your day or a sustained exercise effort.

Sweet For Weight Management:

Loaded with fiber, eating sweet potatoes will help keep your hunger at bay. Plus, sweet potatoes have less of an impact on blood sugar then white potatoes. Eating foods with a lower impact on your blood sugar helps your body utilize calories for fuel versus storing them as fat.

Sweet For Taste:

Sweet Potatoes are tasty. They can be mashed, baked, or made into healthy french fries!

Take away: Eating sweet potatoes once a week (or more) has powerful health benefits. Plus, sweet potatoes can boost your energy, help manage your weight, and taste really good!

I invite you to consider getting “sweet” on sweet potatoes and kick your nutrition plan into high gear!

 

 

Erik Hajer is an award-winning fitness and wellness coach and author of the book, LIVE FIT AND BE WELL: A Personal Transformation Workbook. (Amazon: http://amzn.to/t3z97A ) In addition to training for life, he is a 13-time marathoner and 5- time Ironman Triathlon finisher.

Connect with Coach Erik and the Fit and Well Tribe online at http://erikhajer3.wpengine.com There you will find community, support, inspiration, and awesome training videos too! 

Please pass this along to anyone you know who may need a boost. 
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Stress Relieving Superfoods

stress-free-zone

 

Let’s face it we all get stressed out sometimes. In fact many of us deal with varying degrees of anxiety and overwhelm on a regular basis.

The good news is in addition to stress reducing activities such as exercise, and mindful breathing, there are a number of superfoods that can really assist us in managing our emotional state and help us bring our body/mind back into balance. Here are my go to anxiety relieving superfoods:

 

1) Nuts: (Almonds, Pistachios & Walnuts)

B-vitamins in almonds, pistachios and walnuts can help our body hold up during stressful events by reducing blood pressure, boosting the immune system and regulating increases in adrenaline levels. I also find the crunchiness of nuts to be very soothing.

2) Avocados:

Avocados creamy texture can help satisfy stress related food cravings as well as reduce the frantic feeling often associated with stress and overwhelm. My go to is often 1/4 raw avocado on a 7-grain flourless English muffin. Yum!

3) Sweet Potatoes 

Sweet potatoes boost serotonin production which leads to an increased sense of well-being. Want to get mellow? Sweet potato fries are a delicious vitamin rich way to chill out. Click here to read more about this nutritional superhero: http://bit.ly/WDQrrT 

4) Omega -3 Rich Foods:

Omega-3 rich foods such as salmon and flaxseed can improve mood, and may help alleviate depression, aggression and hostility. (I wish I had some flaxseed some for a fellow motorist who wanted me to know how un-impressed he was with my driving skills this morning!)

5) Oranges:

Studies suggest oranges may reduce cortisol (stress hormone) when you feel anxious and overwhelmed. Chronic stress and increased cortisol levels are often associated with the storing of body fat around the belly button.

6) Spinach (and Other “Happy Greens”)

Spinach and other “happy greens” are full of foliate and B-vitamins, which help to regulate mood and manage your bodies “fight or flight” response to stress.

Bonus: Green Tea

Green tea has a compound called theanine which some believe promotes feelings of relaxation and well-being.

So the next time you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, I invite you choose nourishment such as; nuts, avocados, potatoes, omega-3 rich foods (such as salmon and flaxseeds), oranges, spinach (and other happy greens), and green tea to help you manage your state. And keep in mind, this feeling too shall pass!

 

Erik Hajer is an award-winning fitness and wellness coach and author of the book, LIVE FIT AND BE WELL: A Personal Transformation Workbook. (Amazon: http://amzn.to/t3z97A ) In addition to training for life, he is a 13-time marathoner and 5- time Ironman Triathlon finisher.

Connect with Coach Erik and the Fit and Well Tribe online at http://erikhajer3.wpengine.com There you will find community, support, inspiration, and awesome training videos too! 

 
Please pass this along to anyone you know who may need a boost. 

 

 

 

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Breakdown to Breakthrough

I learned this lesson while on a run with my family on Saturday.

We had our two girls in the jogging stroller, my wife running beside me, endorphins flowing. Life was good. That’s when things started to go south. 

We had just crested Heartbreak Hill (Boston) when I noticed that the wheel of the stroller had lost 2 screws and was pretty much toast. We would not be able to run back to the house. The challenge was we were 4 miles away. Hugh! My mind went into a tailspin and the negative self-talk; “This completely messes up your training run Erik!” “I knew this was a bad idea to run with the girls!”

We began to walk home. I was grouchy. “How could this happen to MY run!” That’s when our 3½-year-old Bianca said, “daddy watch ME run!” She then proceeded to run half a block (with my wife) with giant smiles on their faces. Our 10-month Francesca stared to clap, smile and giggle. Something inside me shifted from what I didn’t have (my ideal run) to what I did have (precious moments with my family.)

The rest of the walk was filled with laughter, conversation, and songs. It was the most enjoyable 4-mile walk I’ve ever had. (Much better then the high intensity run I had planned.)

Take away: A “breakdown” in life may be an opportunity in disguise.

I invite you to embrace your next “breakdown.” It may be exactly what you need to breakthrough.

Live Fit and Be well,

Coach Erik

About: Coach Erik Hajer is an award-winning trainer and author who has helped thousands of people live the fit, vital, and empowered life they deserve. He holds a degree in exercise physiology and was named one of the top trainers of 2011 by Boston.com In addition to training “for life” Coach Erik is a 12-time marathon and 5-time Ironman triathlon finisher. 

If you liked this post you may enjoy Coach Erik’s other free posts, comments and exercise videos on his website. All can be found at: www.coacherik.com 

 

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What I’ve Learned

Coach Erik here:

I’ve had the great fortune of working as personal fitness and wellness coach for the last 17 years. In that time I’ve had the privilege to work with hundreds of clients. The irony is my clients have been some of my greatest teachers. My offering today is a few “gold nuggets” that I have picked up along the way.

People often begin on a fitness journey to change the way they look. They stay on their fitness journey because of the way it makes them feel.

The most effective exercise is the one you enjoy the most.

The most meaningful exercise is reaching down and helping someone else up.

“I don’t have time” is code for, “It’s not a top priority right now.”

If a person’s “why” is compelling enough the “how” will take care of itself.
Taking action in spite of fear can transform a person’s whole life.

A real expert is someone who helps awaken the expertise in the other person.

It takes the same amount of energy to be positive as it does to be negative. Being positive feels better.

People are not the sum of their parts (body, brain, etc.) They are an integrated whole. Thoughts, actions, environment etc. all have a direct effect on a person’s health and well being.

Successful people are “failures” who refuse to give up.

Ordinary people can do extraordinary things.

When a person steps out of their comfort zone the possibilities of their life expand exponentially.    

Habits shape a person’s life. Changing your thoughts changes your actions. Changing your actions changes your habits. Changing your habits changes your life. What you think about you bring about.

If a person does not love and accept themselves as they are they will spend their entire lives feeling inadequate and unfulfilled no matter how successful they become.

Breakthroughs happen when a person begins to believe the power inside them is greater then their current circumstances.

Live Fit and Be Well,

Coach Erik

About: Coach Erik Hajer is an award-winning coach, adventurer and author of the book, Live Fit and Be Well: A Personal Transformation Workbook. In addition to training “for life” Coach Erik is a 12-time marathon and 5-time Ironman triathlon finisher. 

www.coacherik.com 

 

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