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Coaching by G: Winter Run Club!

Mon, November 6th, 2017 | Posted in: News, Events

My clients are the best. But, because this isn’t a Group Workout type of gym, they may not get the opportunity to meet some of the other amazing people who train with me.

We’re trying something new. Introducing the Winter Run Club!

  • Who: Coaching by G Clients, who have an interest in running a 5k
  • What: A group that shares stories, progress, and, does their workouts together!
  • Where: In the Studio for workouts, and via email to chat and keep in touch!

Our collective goal will be to sign up and run 5Ks, and stay accountable, and share our progress. We won’t let the cold Chicago winters get us down!

Interested? Fill out our survey here!

We can’t wait to get started! More details soon!

 

My clients are the best. But, because this isn’t a Group Workout type of gym, they may not get the opportunity to meet some of the other amazing people who train with me. We’re trying something new. Introducing the Winter Run Club! Read more »

The WHOOPIE Approach!

Mon, October 30th, 2017 | Posted in: News

Podcasts are a great medium for me - I love listening while multi-tasking. Recently, an episode of “Chasing Excellence” 

with Ben Bergeron really hit home, and did a great job breaking down the way I set and think about goals, and the way I talk about goals with my clients. This is beyond setting SMART goals.

For Coaching by G, goal-setting is embodied in the WHOOPIE method.

 

Let’s break that down:

Wishing &

Hoping

Outcome

Obstacles

Plan

I’m the kind of person who…

Execute

 

Wishing & Hoping is the first part of goal-setting. Listen to yourself - what do you say you want, and what do you say is important to you? What is your grand vision for yourself??

Let’s pick running your first marathon.

 

Outcomes are where you start to gain clarity around what actions you’ll need to take to achieve running your first marathon. You know that you have to do a certain amount of work consistently to get there -- but the idea of that work is not “sexy.” So we focus on the goal!

 

The human brain is actually designed to give you positive feedback when you even think about achieving a goal. This is why a lot of people stop there.

 

To see the outcome, the goal now has to be specific, attainable, measurable, and relevant in time.  

 

So how do we go deeper in thinking about your goal? Attaching emotion to desired outcomes allows you to feel a certain way. Focus on the outcome about how will you feel when you achieve this goal. Envision yourself succeeding; how good does it feel? You want to reach for that feeling of accomplishment and pride.

 

If you can’t feel the emotion?... it is probably not a goal...

 

But, it may be deceptively simple to think about your outcome and your plan. You need to take Obstacles into account. Your days won’t always go as planned. You may need to work late, maybe it’s snowing, maybe you have young kids who keep you up at night. You need to plan for these potential problems, so when a problem arises, you have already thought about what you will do in that situation.

 

You may not be able to foresee every possible obstacle, but planning for some will help you be more flexible when they arise.

 

Now your Plan becomes more clear. You know what you want, why you want it, and what may get in your way. The plan is a result of all the work you’ve already put in, thinking about your goals - it’s your blueprint.

 

The book “Rethinking Positive Thinking” stops there. WHOOP. And that’s a pretty good start.

 

But “Chasing Excellence” added two more letters.

 

I’m the kind of person who…  is a core part of the process. You have your goals set, and your outcomes in mind. But reminding yourself, throughout the process, that you are the type of person who runs in the snow, or gets up early to fit in a training, will help you stay on target and on track.

 

I am the type of person who keeps pushing, and that makes me proud. I can thrive, not just survive. Identify the obstacles, and identify yourself as a person who has a plan to overcome these obstacles. You stick to the plan even when things get hard. Make it who you are.

 

Lastly. Execute. You can’t get anywhere if you don’t execute your plan. You may need to break a larger goal down into smaller, more achievable tasks. And that’s fine. But you have to execute.

 

After all, you are the sum of your actions.

 

It is hard work to set goals and live in a place of constant vulnerability, reaching, growing, succeeding. But this approach to life empowers you to live your best life, constantly growing and evolving.

 

This is what I strive to do, for myself, and for my clients. Helping people achieve their goals while being mindful of the process is the most meaningful part of my job.

Podcasts are a great medium for me - I love listening while multi-tasking. Recently, an episode of “Chasing Excellence” with Ben Bergeron really hit home, and did a great job breaking down the way I set and think about goals, and the way I talk about goals with my clients. This is beyond setting SMART goals. For Coaching by G, goal-setting is embodied in the WHOOPIE method. Read more »

A Story, A Lesson, Your Goals

Thu, July 27th, 2017 | Posted in: News

I was attending an event for one of my athletes the other day; cheering them on and seeing them in action is really meaningful. While I was watching, someone else on the team came up to me to ask me a question.

“Do you know what program [this athlete] is on?

I laughed… “Yeah, I train him!”

His teammate looked at me and asked, “How’s he getting that score??? What is he doing? Do you know what his plan is?!?”

But I had to reply, “Yes! He’s doing a program that I created for him.”

His fellow teammate wanted to know how to achieve the results my athlete was seeing. But it isn’t about doing a certain type or amount of lifts or squats or rowing or running or swimming…..

When I create individual design programs, it’s about knowing where each individual athlete is right now, and where they need to be based on their goals. Everyone’s program is specifically geared towards them.

Knowing how another athlete trains may seem like the secret to success, but everyone is different. Individual design is FOR you, ABOUT you, based on where you are, what you do, and where you want to go.

Programs are based on several specific factors. A physical assessment, including measurements of strength, speed, power, and mobility comes into play. We examine your strengths and weaknesses, and work around them and with them.

You don't train like Michael Jordan to become Michael Jordan, or everyone would do it. You need your own program based on you, who you are, how you move, what you need, and your stated goals.

Most people don’t know where they are. And that’s fine, we just need to test. But in order to get to where you need to go, you have to plug in a destination, as well as an initial location. That’s the real power behind individual design. We find where you are, and get you where you need to be. And consistent action equals consistent results.

Let’s get in the studio and test where you are, and talk about where you want to be. Sign up for a free consultation today.

- G

I was attending an event for one of my athletes the other day; cheering them on and seeing them in action is really meaningful. While I was watching, someone else on the team came up to me to ask me a question... Read more »

Introducing: Coaching by G OPEX Oak Park

Fri, April 21st, 2017 | Posted in: News

This year, 2017, Coaching by G became the first OPEX license in Chicago. Why?

I started Coaching by G in 2009 to help people transform their bodies and their lives.

Joining OPEX for me is a continuing journey on the path I started down in 2009 to help others transform. My "WHY" has always been meeting individuals where THEY ARE in their journey, to partner with them in a relationship that is lasting and meaningful. OPEX embodies the same philosophy. This is an organic transition for me. Having the support of a large organization behind me, which encompasses the best coaching education I have ever seen, and the philosophy of one-coach-one-client, is great chemistry. Together we can effect change on a much larger scale. OPEX is a community of the best and smartest coaches in the field. Coaching by G OPEX Oak Park is part of a team of the best athletes and coaches in the world.

Our goal is to inspire people to live larger lives.

When you enter Coaching by G OPEX Oak Park you will immediately understand that your best interests are aligned with the gym owner and the coach toward achieving YOUR goals. While you have amazing ongoing support in the gym and with your coach, we will simultaneously be "teaching you to fish." One of the most important aspects of seeing long term results is tangible progress in areas of your life that you prioritize. Whether your priorities are providing for your children, earning a college scholarship, building your career without losing a grip on the rest of your life, or competing at the pinnacle of your sport, your Coaching by G OPEX Oak Park coach will design your path to reach your goals while helping you enjoy the ride!

When you start working out at Coaching by G OPEX Oak Park you will have your own personal coach who designs all of your workouts, your nutrition planning, and helps you with lifestyle changes that support you. Everyday you will have the opportunity to workout with a group of like-minded clients, and you will have a coach on the gym floor who will make sure you are moving safely and effectively. Just like you, the other clients will be building their lifelong fitness right next to you.

Coaching by G OPEX Oak Park gym is the perfect mesh of quality training in a fantastic environment. You'll immediately feel and see the difference from other gyms. Each individual is working toward personal goals developed with their personal coach in a targeted and effective method. Coaching by G OPEX Oak Park takes the best of personal training, the smartest program design, and the fun of a great fitness environment and puts it under one roof!

Welcome to Coaching by G OPEX Oak Park! 

Get started with a Free Consultation today!

Coaching by G OPEX Oak Park takes the best of personal training, the smartest program design, and the fun of a great fitness environment and puts it under one roof! Read more »

Finding Strength, Prioritizing Your Life

Wed, January 25th, 2017 | Posted in: News, Training

We’re four weeks out from the beginning of the CrossFit Open; I am reflecting on almost a year of training in preparation for this event. Anyone familiar with my journey knows that the last two years have been a time of transformation in my life. The specific events are less important than the course of change I have chosen. I reflect upon recognizing certain weaknesses in myself and asking myself the hard questions of staying or leaving, accepting or changing. These questions have appeared again and again over the last two years.

Acknowledging my weaknesses allows me to become strong again.

Mary Oliver writes in her new book Upstream “ The most regretful people on earth are those that felt the call .....who felt their own power restive and uprising and gave it neither power nor time.” When you recognize or acknowledge a weakness in yourself do you see that as something to simply accept about yourself (“It's just the way I am”) or do you see that as a starting point for work?

She goes on to say “So quickly, without a moment's warning, does the miraculous swerve and point to us, demanding that we be its willing servant.”

We must rise and accept the challenge.

I am blessed because every day in my work I get to help people transform themselves. I help people see the way to change. I help them clear a place at the table of life for themselves. So many people who are suffering with being over fat/underfit/over stressed are suffering because they have lost their place.

We all need to recognize that the time we make IS what we value. If you make time for everyone else but not for you...then you value everyone else, but that you do not value yourself. If you work all the time--guess what you value? If you talk about money all the time....etc., GET IT?

I know what I value because that is where I spend my time. If we agree that we only get one shot at this (life!) then it begs a few questions; what do you want to accomplish? What do you LOVE more than anything? What are you doing to be in the process of living toward the answers to those last two questions?

It takes time to distinguish what we want and what we want changes over time. It is important to revisit the questions often. And if you are just dancing as fast as you can without asking the questions......guess what you value?

George Mumford said that we live in this society that values MORE. But what if instead of saying “Don't just sit there, DO something! We say don't just do something, sit there.” Listen to that still small-voice that answers the questions about what you love more than anything, and what would you do if time space and money were not an issue.....

It is only your voice that can answer those questions. All of this is deeply personal.

And if we agree that this is all we get...then BE MINDFUL. Meditate. Live TOWARD what makes you feel ALIVE and discover your bliss!

Oh and one more thing: It's my job to keep reminding you of the priorities you have and help you realize them! I feel the most alive when I am teaching others about their bodies through biochemistry, fitness and nutrition. I am filled with joy each time I discover something new about my body through my own training, through pushing myself in ways I never thought possible. I am adapting to the forces I apply and living toward being my best self.

Four weeks out from the CrossFit open competition and.......I will be competing in an arena I’ve never stepped into before. I am excited to learn about myself through this competition.

Remember, I never lose......I either win or learn!

We’re four weeks out from the beginning of the CrossFit Open; I am reflecting on almost a year of training in preparation for this event. Anyone familiar with my journey knows that the last two years have been a time of transformation in my life. The specific events are less important than the course of change I have chosen. I reflect upon recognizing certain weaknesses in myself and asking myself the hard questions of staying or leaving, accepting or changing. These questions have appeared again and again over the last two years. Acknowledging my weaknesses allows me to become strong again. Read more »

Introducing G's Book Club!

Wed, October 5th, 2016 | Posted in: News, Events

I have some exciting plans, and I want you to join me! 

The holidays are right around the corner. This year, let's get ready for them together. Staying healthy through the holidays is possible with mindful preparation. Let's be AWARE together.

So... It's time to unveil G's Book Club!
Date
: Sunday, October 30th
Time: 2 pm
LocationOak Park Public Library 
Book: "Rising Strong" by Brené Brown
Snacks: Provided by yours truly. (I'm a chef!)
Cost: FREE!
RSVP RIGHT HERE, TODAY!!!


GUESS WHAT? You don't have to read the book if you don't have the time. You'll still get something meaningful out of this book club discussion, as we all talk about her ideas in the context of our own lives. (And if you have time for the Cliff Notes version, a quick summary of the book is available here.)

Why book club? I am bringing my business to the next level. As you know, my Ph.D., nutrition knowledge, chef experience, and athletic training enable me to offer more than just a "personal training" experience. I'm your resource, your coach for life; I think it'd be a lot of fun to start here as a group, share experiences and ideas, and create a community of support for your goals.

Questions? Email me or my assistant, Jamie.

I'm really excited to start this journey, and I hope you'll join me!

Oh, and while we're at it, sign up for my email list! I don't spam or share your information. They're just emails from G! 

It's time to unveil G's Book Club! RSVP for our first meeting on October 30th! Read more »

Stressed! How to deal

Tue, August 30th, 2016 | Posted in: News

I AM SO STRESSED!!!!!!!!!

When stress accumulates (and it does—all stress is cumulative—work, relationship, training loads), how do you continue to live TOWARD who you want to be, and how you want to feel? Even good stress is hard on us if we do not manage it wisely. When I work with clients who are ready to transform their bodies (lose weight, gain strength, lose body fat, develop lasting eating habits) we always have to find a way to manage stress. Stress is part of life. So many things that come your way, everyday, that you did not actively choose; it becomes more important to make decisions about what you can choose. There is not always a relationship between effort and outcome. 

Here are some guidelines for living TOWARD your best self:

  • Control everything that you CAN control—e.g. Sleep, what you eat and drink, your attitude, training, what you watch, what you say, who you hang out with, how much you work, etc.
  • Let go of anything you CANNOT control—e.g traffic, weather, other people, etc.

It's a process. Part of the process of managing stress is being choiceful. If I do not choose what is acceptable to me, then I accept whatever comes. Seems a haphazard way to live, yet so many people live that way. 


A REAL LIFE EXAMPLE

Here is an example of stress and how it impacts me; I am getting ready to depart on a two week trip to Italy with my father, who is about to turn 79-years-old, and has Parkinson’s disease. (If you haven’t experienced that type of stress, I am genuinely happy for you.) We are going to visit family, and he has couched this trip as the last time he will go to Italy, where he was born and raised, and where all of his family lives (besides my mom, my sister and myself). 

If you know me, you have already heard many of my concerns regarding this trip. When you own your business, there are not paid vacations. It's a financial hit for me to leave my business (working on getting employees—easier said than done). I workout 5-6 days a week getting ready to compete, in an arena I have never wholeheartedly competed in, and one which challenges me in ways I have never known (I love this, btw!). I will not have access to any kind of equipment that I usually use for 2 weeks. AND, I DO NOT eat grains, dairy, cheese (I know that is dairy…just sayin’), fruit, night shade vegetables (as in tomatoes, eggplant) or sugar of any kind.

So I am seriously in trouble, right?!

Nope!


HOW I WILL SUCCEED

I know my values. I know what it feels like when I eat off my plan, and it feels horrible! 

Will I ALWAYS be in control of my food on this trip? No. My family, who are all amazing chefs, will cook for my dad and me, and I will eat bits of things that are not part of my plan, because that is part of feeling Italian love. I will eat minimal amounts of things that do not make me feel good. I can recover from that. Especially because I will do on-the-road training that I can do anywhere (burpees is translated as burpess in every language across the globe! I love universal exercises!).

I am renting a bike and will ride as much as possible.

I am taking running shoes for intervals and walking, and a jump rope to practice double unders.

I will meditate everyday. I can do a walking meditation or a sitting meditation. I use the app 10% Happier, and I love the choices I have with that app. Meditation allows me to breath into what I believe. Meditation is a gift of time for sitting with my thoughts. 

Lastly being out of my business for 2 weeks is probably not the worst thing for me given that I was blessed with a jam packed summer training some of the most amazing athletes... and everyone can use a break from me. 


PLANNING AHEAD

I’ve also planned a week long adventure with my coach three  weeks after I return. I will be in Arizona training with @coachlyons1 in October. There will be fairly strict adherence to my eating plan (although she promised me some good coffee and great wine!) and the training will be intense.

I am choosing to let go what I can’t change and I am making plans to make sure I live TOWARD what feels great to me, and toward what aligns with my values of eating clean, so I can sleep like a baby and train insane.

Not to mention opportunities to hang out with my one and only father in Italy can be fairly remarkable, and there are certain opportunities worth sacrifice.

I find a lot of inspiration in Brene Brown's book, Rising Strong.

brene brown

She continues... "We know when we are showing up and when we are hiding out, when we are living our values and when we are not.”

Show up for yourself, for the life YOU choose.

Set your goals and know your values. Become vulnerable to the process of change. You do not always end up where you intended, but the process is worth it all.

I AM SO STRESSED!!!!!!!!! When stress accumulates (and it does—all stress is cumulative—work, relationship, training loads), how do you continue to live TOWARD who you want to be, and how you want to feel? Even good stress is hard on us if we do not manage it wisely. Read more »

What Drives Me; Why I Train

Wed, August 17th, 2016 | Posted in: News, Training

Alice Munro wrote in her commencement speech at Penn, "Here’s the thing about self-comparison: In addition to making you vacate your own experience, your own soul, your own life, in its extreme it breeds resignation." Your focus on others is simply that. You cannot have laser focus on your race when you are watching someone else race.....insert goal for race.

 

Michael Phelps (R) of the United States leads Chad le Clos of South Africa in the Men's 200m Butterfly Final on Day 4 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Adam Pretty/Getty ImagesMichael Phelps (R), swimming. Chad le Clos, comparing. 
Adam Pretty/Getty Images

This Alice Munro quote complements my BHAG blog post, because when you don't KNOW where you are going by CHOICE you will go by chance. You will follow others where they are going and be lost from your own path.

There is no integrity in "it's not fair" and "I deserve". I take responsibility for my own well being. This life is not something that is happening to me this is something I'm choosing for myself.

I LOVE training.

Why train? I love being in the arena. I love to be in there doing the hard work. For me it is about doing the hard work. The JOURNEY for me is being in the arena: face bloodied, covered in sweat, driven by my inner voice, my inner choice. 

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly;....who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly."*

Training hard gives me an amazing reason to fly right; to eat clean, to sleep as hard as I train, to meditate. And each of these things build on the others.

That's how I train people as well. Know your goal. Meditate. Sleep. Show up ready to train. When it's time to eat, you will be fueling all of the things you just accomplished and building a cycle of shifting toward success. All of a sudden it is easy to make the healthy choices because it rules YOU. 

Meditate. Make conscious choices. Train hard consistently. The choice about what you put in your mouth shifts, and you know you are fueling the next thing, whether it is training, working, sleeping, or being present for your partner/child/parent. 

Everything is connected. Give it your best. When you KNOW where you are going, when you actively choose your path, THEN you have something to give; to yourself first, and then so much more to others. 

I just like to show up strong, silent, doing - and that is my winning. Doing. How do I take what I am learning and actually change the way I am living?

Doing. Training. Practicing who and what I want to be. 

*Theodore Roosevelt, "Man in the Arena," 1910

Training hard gives me an amazing reason to fly right; to eat clean, to sleep as hard as I train, to meditate. And each of these things build on the others. That's how I train people as well. Know your goal. Meditate. Sleep. Show up ready to train. Read more »

What do you need to change?

Mon, December 3rd, 2012 | Posted in: News

November 2012

What do you need to change?

We all have our sticking point.
Each of us has a “thing” we do--a habit--something we need to change that is our sticking point. 

There are so many ways to enact discipline, to enforce your will, to make things happen, but humans are complex and just as we are able to force change, we are able to justify not changing. 

What is one thing you need to stop practicing?
What is one thing you need to keep practicing?
What is one thing you need to start practicing?
Do something about it...today!

What is one thing you need to stop practicing? What is one thing you need to keep practicing? What is one thing you need to start practicing? Do something about it...today! Read more »

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