Tagline exposed. . .


Writing a blog is much harder than I thought. Not that I expected it to be easy, but I thought I would get better at it faster. When I’ve hit roadblocks in other areas of my life, it has always helped me to get back to basics. So, I’m taking the “Learning the Fundamentals” at the Blogging U for the second time.

My first title was “Live Your Life Not Your Age.” I’m a 68-year-old personal trainer, and my plan was to write about health, fitness and nutrition-especially as they relate to people over age 50. But you know what they say about making a plan. And God (either with upper or lower case, I’m not sure where I stand on that today) is laughing a lot right now. And then there’s that phrase, “a lot.” When I was a college professor, about three lifetimes ago, I would have drawn a big red circle around those words and probably added an even bigger question mark.jbwriting cable

Which brings to my second blogging goal:  to improve my writing. I do not remember writing being this challenging or this time consuming. Admittedly, I haven’t written anything other than academic papers, grants and FaceBook posts for twenty years. I’m educated, articulate and sometimes funny, or so I’ve been told. And I used to think I was a good writer. Blogging should be a no-brainer.

When I realized I wanted to write about something besides health and fitness, I changed the title of my blog to “An Extraordinary Ordinary Life.” I’m not even sure what that means, but when I thought of it…well it felt “right.” Health and fitness will always be a top priority because it is my struggles to live healthy (among other things) that have made me extraordinary, at least that’s what my friends and clients tell me.  How were they defining “extraordinary”? Odd, unusual, unexpected, accomplished? Umm. Have to think about that.

This week’s “Learning the Fundamentals” assignment is to write a tagline. Well, I’m stumped. The tagline is supposed to provide context for the blog’s content. Content–like I have a clue. But here goes:

An Extraordinary Ordinary Life

A woman’s search for meaning by writing about how her adventures with exercise, nutrition and spirituality have changed her life from ordinary to extraordinary.

Comments and suggestions welcome.


Change is coming

Tjb writing gym2oday is the beginning of the new me. Me the writer. Me the chronicler of all things extraordinarily ordinary happening in my life. My stomach is queasy acknowledging that this is me taking a dive into the unknown. This is me being fearless.

Can I do it? Can I observe my life, describe the “event” and –this is the big one—say something? You notice I didn’t say “have something to say.” No more equivocating. I have something to say and will welcome the joy of experimentation and herald my emergence as a writer.

The following pseudo interview with WP

WP:       Your current blog is called “Life Your Life Not Your Age.” Will you be keeping that name?

Me:       That’s a great question, especially to my few, wonderful followers. The new title will be “An Extraordinary Ordinary Life.”

WP:       Does this change in title reflect a change in theme or content?

Me:       There isn’t a one-word answer for that, WP. My life is about health and fitness. I am, after all, a personal trainer. I will continue to share my experiences and expertise in those areas. What will change is the purpose or my blog and my style of writing.

“An Extraordinary Ordinary Life” will be a diary of sorts and a venue for me to develop my writing. Because I practically live in a gym, health and fitness will be reflected in my journaling.

jbwriting cable
Me getting in some writing at the gym


WP:       Will you…

Me:       Let me just interrupt now. One of my goals is to keep my posts short and to post regularly. Plus, my new personal style will require more reflection. So, dear blog followers and readers, I have to get to it! Please stay with me during this period of growth. Share your comments with me. Point out blogs you think will inspire and teach me. I will continue to read your blogs which have lead me here. Thank you.



“The Three of Us”

We are three amazing women who like to be fit. We met and work out at Snap Fitness in El Centro, CA.  If you saw us, you probably wouldn’t match us up as workout buddies, but we make a great team. The Three of Us

Our ages are 33, 51, and 67 and we have differing levels of strength, flexibility, and endurance. One thing we have in common is our stubbornness. Things can get very interesting! Our goal is to keep each other motivated and committed to at least four workouts a week.

Each of us has one or two little body issues—hip replacement, arthritis, exercise-onset-migraines, bone spurs, sciatica—you get the idea. We modify the exercises to accommodate our bodies.

Last week we started a twelve-week workout program. Here’s our workout for the first three weeks. We do three sets of 12 reps for everything except abs, where we do 20 reps.

Week 1 workoutWe determine the order of our exercises based on the location of equipment in the gym and how crowded it is. We do super-sets rotating through three exercises, unless I can convince my partners to include an interval component—fat chance, but I keep trying.

I like circuit training and abs. Tonette hates circuit training and abs. I like body weight exercises. Both Tonette and Alisha like to lift heavy weights. We compromise.

Share the upcoming three months with us! We’re planning on having some fun. We’ll share our workout and nutrition tips and look forward to hearing about yours.

A Vision of Me

My life today is not the one I envisioned 20, 30 or 40 years ago. I’m not standing in judgment of what I’ve done or where I’ve been so much as a taking a look at the paths I’ve chosen or the ones that have chosen me. Kurt Cobain wrote,

I never envisioned getting old. How the heck did this happen! It seems like the phrase “don’t trust anyone over 30” just rolled off my tongue yesterday not 37 years ago. What did I think was going to happen every year when I blew the candles out on the cake! There was always so much to do and so many places to go. “Tomorrow” tomorrow seemed like a galaxy far away.

inside every old person

New Year’s Day has always been my favorite holiday. I would put on the black-eyed peas, get a cup of coffee, find my favorite journal and pen and begin the sweet adventure of envisioning myself at the end of the year. I was usually thinner, healthier, and smarter. Sometimes I actualized some of my New Year’s resolutions and other times not. In reality, achieving the goals was not as important to me as planning them. I loved having the vision of a better me.


Today I am a woman in search of a vision. How do I want to spend the last 30+ years of my life? What do I want to accomplish? What goals do I want to set? I always loved what I call the “big” goals. Thirty-five years ago I reached my goal of running a marathon.  Twenty-three years ago I received my doctorate. I have to remind myself that my goals don’t have to be “can you top this” type of goal.

Almost ten years ago, as a result of one of life’s curveballs, I left academia and the business world with serious questions about my ability to do work that required mental, psychological and intellectual prowess. Becoming a personal trainer was never a life-long dream. It was a desperate act to find rewarding work that would not cause another mental or psychological downward spiral. It was all about physicality.

When I began thinking about getting certified as a personal trainer, I was very concerned that my brain wouldn’t function well enough to pass the requisite exams. But here I am at age 67, a certified personal trainer with nearly ten years of experience.

A central theme of my life vision today is to help other people, especially those over 50, live healthier and fitter lives. As much as I appreciate the joy my hours with clients in the gym give me, I still feel that I haven’t quite identified my true vision. I think there is something more out there for me. Perhaps I worry that I may not be physically able to be a personal trainer forever. When those thoughts come, I remind myself to stay in the moment and experience gratitude for what I can do.

For now, I am on a vision quest—living each day with my spirit open to whatever insight comes.