I wasn’t a jock in High School. I certainly wasn’t in college. In fact I wasn’t a jock until well into my fourth decade.

Now, it’s an identity I really dig wearing.  I mean I really love it!

Identities are interesting. We, kind of like acting the part of who we want to be.

I saw a woman today living in a wheel chair, noticeably sick, with oxygen attached. Severely obese. And I thought: There is a very good chance this woman will forever be making compromises between what she wants to feel and what she can feel.

I am new to the concept of creating the life I want. Until recently, I squandered the opportunities, privileges, and wisdom God has so lavishly given me. I had the revelation that it is up to me to take my life by the balls and F****** Live! “Look at where you’re going! See where you want to go! It is MIND, body and spirit. Get your MIND RIGHT, sister, and make a plan!”

In that vein, I made a decision, among other things, that I want to “Feel” certain ways. For example, I want to Feel Attractive. And by that I mean, I want to be a person people want to be around. I don’t want to be heavy, or burdensome or down or dreary. I want to be light and sunshine. You know? I want to be attractive in every way. I want to be a person people like to look at. I want to be a person people want to talk to. That is attractive to me.

But this woman I saw today, her face in obvious pain, will probably forever in this life have to compromise between what she wants to feel and what she gets to feel. We all have to do that to some extent. We all have to make compromises to some degree.

Identities are an interesting thing. So this Me of being a Jock, I thought it’s the first time I’ve ever identified with anything I actually like! And I really, really like that! I like the way I walk. I like the cheer in my conversation about my passions. I like that I can smile SO MUCH MORE. I like the way when I enter a room it’s obvious what I do and some people want to talk about it. I like the way I dress. I like the people I’ve come to know who share the same interests.

And I thought, our differences should be so cool to each other! Don’t you love an artist? She processes thoughts in a whole different way than you. Don’t you love an engineer, or the Horse-Lady who just wants to talk about her animals, or one of those guys who loves to work on cars, or bicycles, or guns: the enthusiasm in his voice with things you’ve never heard of! How they dress, and walk, and think. I just love our differences!

I just want to be a person who loves our differences. Can you see how that could really impact the world? If we made a habit of that? Can you see someone insecure in the identity they’ve chosen, or ended up in by some horrible circumstance and you come along and loved them and they see more in themselves than they’ve ever seen before and they decide they want to change and be something amazing and not insecure? How that could change the world?

I really, really like that.

January 25, 2017


Eyes to See

I’ve been going it alone for a long time.

I grew up in an era when we didn’t see a doctor for cuts and colds and constipation like people do now.

Other than dental and chiropractic care, I could count on all my digits how many times I’ve been to a doctor without using any twice. I don’t trust them. Not even a little.

Which explains why I’m here at an optometrist office pacing the room like a crazy person about ready to pass out from anxiety. If you offered me a chance to have my teeth drilled instead of this, I’d take it in a heartbeat.

My eyesight has been going south for a few years. At first I bought some cute reading glasses to get me by. But as I became more and more illiterate without some visual aid, I became obsessed with buying dollar store glasses and placing them in every nook and cranny in our house, in my car, at my office, my purse, book bags.

But that’s not why I’m writing.

I’m writing a story about friendships.

Warren and I were watching a TV show the other day where two of the main characters are best of best friends. They were in the military together, and now ER docs together. They would literally die for one another.

Now, I’m not asking for a girl friend who would literally die for me. But having one who understands that I am overly insecure and fearful when it comes to anything that compromises my physical prowess, and would accompany me to an eye appointment so I could cry on her shoulder, would be really nice.

I’m not asking for a pity party here. But I’m making a point that this is how I set my life up. And I’m sad about it. I don’t think I’m alone in this. I think some people have Bestest Friends living in the same zip code, and some don’t. Some people found a way to hold a person so spiritually and physically close to them that they could experience the every day menial and profound and boring and exciting trials of growing older, and some didn’t. And I think it’s one of the most under-rated qualities of life.

I’m sad that I have evolved to be a person who somehow shunned such intimacy – whether by a result of my upbringing, my shame for being needy, or my tendency to move every few years — that I can feel so alone with matters so trivial like going to an eye doctor. I like being independent, but I wish I had figured out a compromise. Especially today.

May 2017

The Trouble with Facebook

“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” George Elliot

The trouble I have with Facebook is the sharing of the memories.

Today I got one from “8 years ago.”

First of all, I’m still in shock that Facebook even existed eight years go. But the most depressing part is recognizing that in those eight years, other people – who think eight years was a Long Time Ago, or a “circa-” have developed from a being who had a curfew, to one who has solved worldwide problems; from a person

who had virtually no responsibilities, to one who governs multi-million dollar enterprises; from a student who had to be reminded to do homework, to one who has broken world records, while I was deciding what to have for dinner.

In eight years, people have literally changed the world, while I watched Law and Order on Netflix.

This under-achiever complex I have is a crisis. It’s a crisis that needs a fighter.

The chance that I’ll make much impact on the world is pretty narrow, but I am working to fortify my mindset so I can overcome barriers. I am working to surround myself with people who believe I can, because they are doing the same; I am working to go to sleep every night with my dreams under my pillow, so I can wake up every morning with intention to reach them, no matter how impossible.

My Goals are still a little unstable. I only have a teensy little pinhole of vision. I have a mountain of doubt and a huge collection of insecurity. But I am desperately open to wisdom and motivation and encouragement. And beyond anything: hope. And I am willing to take action.

Eight years from now, in 2027, when I’m 62 years old, what are you going tell me Facebook? I want you to remind me that I am a conqueror. That I did not give up. That I believed in myself. That the hope I attempted to harness was a fitting match. I want to see the world through eyes that are satisfied with who I have become.

What about your Memories? Where were you? And where are you going?






Are You Offended By My Body?

People in my business (and others) want to complain that there is too much Social Media emphasis on bodies. So… things like selfies of washboard abs, and and advertisements using uber-fit chicks are actually Dis-couraging to people who are not already there, not En-couraging to them, they say.

There is a problem with this attitude. Many problems.

  1. Where do we draw the line on beauty habits?
  2. Isn’t self-improvement the message?
  3. Vanity saved MY life!

And Bonus points: Body fat measures ARE a measure of health!


I wear make-up. I shape my eyebrows (on a good month). I shave my legs. I go to the tanning booth. I have my hair styled and colored! (And I’m not alone!) And, I know women who will sit for God-knows-how-long, so that someone else can paint their nails!

Where are we going to draw the line with our beauty habits. Who gets to decide that natural hair color is not ok, and can be tampered-with, but natural breasts are, and should not be augmented? Who gets to decide that flaunting a well-sculpted body is damaging, but flashing a great pair of new shoes is ok?

Also, I know women with virtually flawless skin. I have seen countless ads and SM posts of people with perfect teeth. I can’t see how that would be discouraging? Don’t they just make you want to hydrate and floss?


O My! We all started somewhere! None of us were born with the body we have now! We either made poor decisions, or good decisions. And a lot of us made poor decision before we made good decisions and we want to share that experience with others a) to encourage them that “if I can do it, you can do it!” and b) because it feels good when strangers say “good job!”

The desire for self-improvement is a basic human… shall I say Obligation? I have been a person who didn’t understand that desire. And it’s confusing. And that confusion is WAY worse than the struggle to be better every day. Trust me. Yay for us getting #bettereveryday!

And Finally and Most Passionately, 3.

The fact that I have a large “Vain,” is the reason I am even able to type this message now. The mirror has kept me accountable to my potential to be of very little good to anyone. I will candidly tell you, back in the day, it kept a needle from my arm, and vast quantities of alcohol from my lips when that seemed like a really good option for my life. Don’t judge people who need that damn mirror to keep being amazing! Celebrate the fact that we are contributing to the good of this planet, however we do it.

And Bonus points: Actual fact: People with more muscle mass ARE, as a whole, actually healthier than those with not enough. MBI (Body Mass Index) is no longer a viable measure of health. The more muscle you have, the better able you are at handling things like (whatever ) life (throws at you)!

I Am A Champion

One of my favorite qualities about the new me is I refuse to be a victim.

If I take responsibility for everything that happens to me, it puts me in control of the outcome, not someone else. And I like that option.

When I lose a competition I intended to win, I allow myself a few hours to feel sorry for myself. But then, as if I am one of my own clients, I remind myself losing is part of the game.

The big reality check though is: do I really, for reals feel like a Loser? Or am I willing to feel like a Champion?

A Champion friend of mine, Zack, just told me: losing does not make me a loser. And I have to see myself as a Champion. That means not just blithely parroting the words “ok… I’m a champ-ee-on…”

It’s a mindset that translates to doing what Champions do.

Champions know that other people are working just as hard as they are. Champions recognize what they thought was their best was indeed short of their best. Champions appreciate that it’s going to take more… or at least different- than before. Champions take a realistic look at what it’s going to take to get to the next level, and make a realistic plan about their future.

Where are you a year from now? If you quit moving forward toward your dreams, or goals, or achievements, or whatever you call them, can you proudly look yourself in the eye? Or will you hang your head in regret?

Let’s stay in the fight. Let’s keep evaluating and scouring and calculating our performance. Let’s diligently assess our reality. Let’s be honest with ourselves. Let’s not be victims but Victors

Don’t start your exercise program until you do this

Collegiate and professional athletes make goal-setting a necessary part of the season, and we should too. I think goal-setting should be our number one first priority when we’re creating a health and wellness plan.

That said, I also think goal-setting is one of the most difficult processes! Here are some example of questions that you might have:

What goal should I set? Is it ok to set big goals, or should I set small ones? Can I consider following through with good daily habits meeting a goal, or is that just something I should do anyway? I just want to feel good, is that a goal? Last year I set a goal to start losing 150 pounds, well that didn’t work, so goals don’t work for me.

This is a multi-part series about goal-setting strategies that will lead you to success.

  1. There are three different categories of goals: Outcome Goals. Performance Goals. Process Goals. Focusing on the first one usually leads to anxiety and often failure. Focusing on the other two leads to success.
  2. SMAART Goals are imperative (Specific, Measurable, Aggressive yet Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound). Starting here, outlines your purpose, and is how you measure success.
  3. To keep motivation high always connect your Process with your Outcome. The reasons for the process goals must be very vivid in your mindset.

Different Categories of Goals:

Outcome goals are things like winning a race, or losing the most weight in your office “Biggest Loser” challenge. They usually have something to do with comparing yourself against someone else’s outcome, which makes them somewhat out of your control.

Performance goals are like mini-goals that take you in the direction of your outcome goal. They are something you have to work for, and are focused on your improvements. Performance goals are completely within your control.

Process goals focus on the strategies you’ll take to accomplish your performance goal. They are also completely within your control.


When you set goals, they have to pass the SMAART test. Whether you are setting Outcome, Performance or Process goals, they need to have a positive response to every question. You will ask: Is it Specific? Yes. Is it Measurable? Yes. Etc. If it’s No, or Maybe, you might be setting yourself up to lose.

Always connect your process with your outcome:

Understanding the reason for the things you’re doing to get you toward your performance or outcome goal really helps motivation. When my athletes see the connection between range of motion training and easily getting over an 8 foot wall, they are way more likely to do their daily foam rolling exercises. If you see the connection between lunges in the gym and easily hiking with your partner on your Hawaii vacation, you’re way more likely to do them!

Next time, I’m going to get into more detail about the different categories of goals. I’ll give you example that I hope will help you set and reach your goals!


Andrea Bowden