Sunday, July 24, 2011


Years ago, I read an article about a psychologist who worked with athletes to overcome the mental hurdles that hindered success in their sports. He told the story of a pitcher who fell apart after missed pitches or when batters hit home runs. He'd throw wild pitches, hit batters, or toss perfectly hittable pitches. The psychologist decided to take him out to a baseball field, give him two baseballs to hold in one hand, and ask him to throw a strike.
Obviously, the pitcher couldn't do it.

The lesson was this: You can't throw a strike if you're still holding on to your last pitch. You have to let it go.

The lesson applies to scenarios far beyond the baseball field.  If you’ve ever set a goal and didn’t reach it, you’ve had two choices.  You could carry your failure with you or leave it at the finish line.  You could absorb the lessons and forget the outcome, or drag the results like a weight.

Whether you’re an amateur or a pro, the ability to extract lessons from a poor performance, and then move on, are the hallmarks of continued success.  Very few people have an amazing first try.  Almost everybody, even those with boatloads of experience, has had an awful performance.  Actors forget their lines, dieters binge, and runners walk across the finish line.  It happens.  So it happened.  What now?

Ask yourself this question: “What good can come from this?”  How can you use negative experience to your advantage the next time you’re faced with a similar challenge?  Your job as a successful person is to pry deep inside the shell of disappointment and expectation to find your little pearl.  Did you make up lines instead and make the audience roll in the aisles?  Ha!  You acted at acting!  Well played!  Did an old flame call and fuel the fire of an emotional binge?  You’re smart to have deleted the phone number and tossed the junk food.  Did you finish your race despite having a bad night’s sleep or an upset stomach?  Indeed, you’re tougher than you thought.

When you can accept the value of all experience, both positive and negative, you carry the lessons with you.  Your life broadens.  Your life experience becomes a textbook of resilience.  You take control of the next similar situation.  The actor knows to practice his lines, learn them from the inside out.  The dieter knows he shouldn’t answer phone calls from people who cause pain.  He vows to turn off the phone and go for a slow, relaxing walk instead.  The runner knows she must sleep well if she wants to run fast.  She’s diligent about an early pre-race bedtime.

If you stumble (and you will), get up again.  You might stumble again.  Get up again.  There is a Japanese proverb that says, “Fall down seven times, get up eight.”  This is resilience.  This is in you.  You might have failed yesterday, or you might fail tomorrow.  The most important thing you can do is to try again.  Get up.  Dig deep.  Crack through the shell of defeat and self-deprecation to extract the value of your experience.  Live your life stronger than yesterday.  Release yourself from the negative experiences that drag you and prevent success, but hold on to what you learned.  When you free yourself from the results of negative experience, you open yourself to a world in which all things are possible.

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Last Day

Good Morning!

Today is the last day of our challenge to beat the national step average.  Did you beat it?  Did you notice anything about your days?  On which days did you accrue the most steps?

When I started, I was shocked at how quickly my steps added up!  I forgot how much our legs can move in a day.  I also noticed other things about days when my steps were lower:
  1. I slept in.
  2. I worked more on the computer.
  3. I didn't have my morning Stroller Fitness class.
  4. I didn't get a good night's sleep the night before.
I noticed that my energy level had everything to do with my activity during the day.  I walked over 21, 000 steps on Monday, but yesterday I only reached a bit over 17, 000 (that's what happens when Scrabble games go late into the night...).  I realized that my sleep has everything to do with how I feel the next day!

From this challenge, I learned that I need to maintain a more disciplined sleep schedule.  As the week moves on, I find myself staying up later and later, and my energy level drops a little more each day.

What have you learned?  Did you beat the average?  Let me know!  I love hearing from YOU!

We'll have another fun challenge in September.  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

We're Moving!

Good Morning Everybody!

It's Wednesday morning, and I hope your legs are moving!  I started my challenge on Monday because hubs had the pedometer.  The thing I enjoy about the pedometer is that at 4 o'clock, I can look down, see that I've amassed 7, 328 steps, and realize that, although it beats the ladies national average, that's pretty sloth-like for me.  What do I do?  Head out the door! 

Nothing cures a bad case of sitting around the house like a 2 or 3 mile walk with my kids.  And then suddenly, my step count is up to 19, 000 and I feel much better.

How has your experience been with your pedometer?  What have you noticed about yourself and your habits?  There's a little place right below this post where you can share.  It's in the "Comments".  I'd love to know!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Let's Do This!

Get moving everybody!  Get your pedometer on ad GO!  Wear it when you're making your cup of morning joe.  Wear it when you're folding laundry.  Wear it when you're exercising, but don't wear it in the shower, or if you're a swimmer!

The goal to see how much we move every day.  If the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, let's see how many sngle steps it takes!

If you don't have a pedometer yet, don't fret!  This is a  flexible challenge.  We're not competing against each other.  We're in a contest to beat lethargy, fatigue, and extra pounds.  We're trying to win back ourselves, our lives!  So, if you want to start on Monday or Tuesday, or you're reading this a year later, it doesn't matter.  The point is that you take the first step.

Let's do this!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Get Moving!

Hello Everybody!

Tomorrow we start our walking challenge.  Armed with a pair of sneakers and a pedometer, you're going to head out into the world, and you won't return until you've amassed a serious number of steps!  Ladies, you're going to try to beat 5, 120 steps each day.  Gentlemen, you're going to try beating 7, 192 steps every day.  Think you can do it?  (Hint: I do.)

Here are some tips:
  1. Put your pedometer and your log book right next to your bed.  Put it on right when you get up, and take it off right before you get in bed.  Record your step count each night.  Make it as accurate as possible so that you can see how far you've gone each day.
  2. Keep you pedometer level and at your hip.  Attach it to your pants, but not your belt for the most accurate count.  Don't put it on the outside of your pocket.
Here are some no-no's:
  1. You may not stand still and shake it to increase the number.  Hold yourself accountable and have some integrity, for crying out loud!  There's no prize except increased fitness and a hightened awarenes of your every day movement!
  2. You may not accrue steps by jumping in place.
  3. You may not purposely skew your step count.
  4. You can throw all of these rules away and throw the curve, but I'll be awfully suspicious if you get 30, 000 steps in one day.
Are you going to beat the daily average? 

Leave a comment by predicting what your daily average will be!

Sunday, July 10, 2011


The winner of the awesome pedometer and water bottle is:

Lisa, who wrote, "I love to walk at Lake Chabot. They have some great views, nice paved trails, and tall trees for shade. "

Please email me your mailing address and I'll drop your cool new things in the mail!  My address is

I loved reading all your favorite walking spots.  The walking challenge will begin on July 16, so get ready!
Thanks for participating everybody!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Prelude To A Challenge and A Giveaway!

Remember a few weeks ago when I challenged you to walk and I mentioned something about "seeing you in a week"?  Major computer-in-the-shop fail.

So, I'm trying to make it up to you.

Beginning on July 16, challenge yourself to beat the statistics for one week.  Ladies, try walking more than 5, 120 steps in one day.  Gents, shoot for more than 7, 192 steps.  The challenge begins in two weeks.  You'll need a pedometer and a place to record your daily step count.  If you don't have a pedometer, don't worry!  I'm giving away this Awesome New Pedometer and 32 oz. water bottle.

The New Balance Via Mini tracks your steps, distance, and calories!

(yours will have blue buttons!)

What better way to get inspired to move than to have your real-time progress staring you in the face?  Only 3, 228 steps today?  Time to get out the door and GO!

You must do two things to enter:
  1. If you are not already, become a "follower" of the Fitness With Natalie blog.  Just clickety-click "follow" and viola!  You're done.
  2. Leave a comment and tell me your favorite place to walk, hike, or run.  "We have a beautiful park in Ventura called Arroyo Verde, and the trails there are my favorite place to run."
That's it!  You're entered!  Be sure to click and comment before 11:59 PST July 9, 2011for your chance to win!  Check back on Sunday, July 10 to see if you're the winner!  Open to US residents only (sorry friends across the pond...)

Let's get ready to move!  Good luck, and thanks for participating!