You’ve probably seen the comical Snickers commercials that revolve around this punchline:
“You’re not you when you’re hungry… Snickers satisfies.”
Here’s my favorite of the series, which was released during the 2010 Super Bowl:
I saw this again recently and it had me thinking. Metaphorically, what is my Snickers? When I’m not feeling very “me,” I prioritize getting outside to go on a run. It clears my mind, sparks my brain, and reminds me of how happy I am to be me.
So... I’m going to try something different and raise the stakes for my readers! I want to know what your “Snickers” is. What do you do to boost yourself when you’re not feeling you?
Fill out this 3-question survey. I’ll pick a random entry and mail the winner a box of Snickers. Satisfied?!
In last week’s blog, Steven talked about the third place. In summary, in Ray Oldenburg’s book, The Great Good Place, the third place is essential for civil society, engagement, and a sense of belonging. Typically, the first place is home, the second work or school, and the third place is a places of community life. Churches, Starbucks, recreation centers, parks, bars, movie theaters, cookouts, and barber shops are examples of third places.
When I first read Steven’s blog, I realized why I have been feeling so miserable lately….ALL my three places are changing at once! In the last two months, I left my full time job in Kentucky, moved to Cincinnati, started a part time job, and in the next month and a half I will be moving AGAIN, and getting married. A coworker put it best when she commented, “It seems you put all of life’s most stressful events and crammed them into the next 2 months.” What can I say, I have always been an overachiever.
One of my strengths via Gallup StrengthsFinder is consistency and nothing in my life has been that in recent times. Don’t get me wrong, I know all these “issues” are first-world problems; however, when it comes to mental wellness, I need to focus on my best interest. Lately, I’ve been feeling as if I don’t have a place where I belong. I feel as if I’m a world traveler who keeps getting the door slammed in my face. Thoughts fill my head of, “Why did this happen to me? How did I end up here? When will I feel like I’m living out my true purpose? When when I have a place where it feels like home?”
I don’t know the answers to those questions, I am coming to terms with that. In the storm that is my life I have always found peace at the gym. It’s where I feel I belong, where I’m in my element, where my body is doing what it’s meant to do-move. No matter where I go, I can always find a gym; it’s been there for me during breakups, schooling (I defended my thesis in one), and change.
Whether your three places have been consistent for a while or you are driving the u-haul that is life, like me, your third place is individualized to you.
When the stress of home and work become too much to bear, where do you go? The answer, that is your third place.
P.S. For those who are wondering, my other strengths are discipline, empathy, restorative, and harmony.
Your friend in wellness,
Around 07:15 EST on Friday, September 14, 2018, Hurricane Florence, a Category 1 storm made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. This storm has wreaked havoc on the mid-atlantic and southeast US over the last 4 days. Although the majority of our team work remotely throughout the United States, Wilmington, North Carolina is the global headquarters to Globetrotter Wellness Solutions main offices, warehouse, and home to me, Steven Trotter, the principal of GWS. Today’s blog post is a little personal, a little about community and hope, and a little bit of a book review.
On August 28, 2018 a tropical wave appeared on the watch radar for the National Hurricane Center. By September 1st the system officially became tropical storm Florence. Florence seemed to not make her mind up on her path or if she was going to maintain or gain strength. What went from something we weren’t even concerned about became quickly the center of our attention.
The path of this storm seemed a little unusual; most storms that hit the Carolinas typically come from the south/southeast direction and sideswipe the coast. It was quickly noted that this approach was definitely not Florence’s plan. On Sunday, September 9th I spoke with 2 friends and we all agreed that something was off about this storm. It gave us an uneasy feeling and me personally, I felt this storm was different and the feeling I was getting was not good.
We quickly made our hurricane preparation plans as Florence became a category 4 storm and her path was going to be a direct hit for Wilmington, North Carolina. When you make this plan, you go through your risk management strategies. Hopefully you have your risk transfer in place already by having insurance; living on the coast requires, at minimum, to have a wind and hail addendum and based on actual property may require hurricane or flood. Since this is a passive strategy, you can spend your energy on risk mitigation. Risk mitigation is built on decisional balance are creating a pro/con list. For me, I started with my non-negotiable task lists such as removing any items in the yard, patio, or on the house that could turn into a missile. From there it went to securing electronics, creating a packing list, putting items to higher ground, collecting items such as passports, social security cards, birth certificates, and other important documentation, calling in prescriptions for Roxy (my beloved American bulldog/boxer mix), and filling the car with gas. I chose not to board up my windows because with my decisional balance I felt that this wasn’t as important as the other things I had to do given the amount of time that I had left . Also, my home isn’t directly on the water (spoiler alert: it is now) and the neighborhood is in suburbia and not a heavily wooded area.
The Third Place
As we were preparing for the evacuation and when the storm path became clear, businesses began making decisions on closing. Over the course of my career, I have noticed and been directly involved with when I managed fitness facilities, is that the gym or recreation center will stay open as long as safely possible. Here’s why. The Third Place. In Ray Oldenburg’s book, The Great Good Place, he discusses that the third place is important for civil society, democracy, civic engagement, and (in my opinion most importantly) a sense of place or belonging. If you are unfamiliar with this concept, the first place is usually the home, the second place is usually the workplace or school, and the third place is the anchors of community life. Churches are often people’s third place as well as coffee shops, social settings, salons, and other recreation and community centers. Starbucks strives to be a third place to match their mission of “to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.” I’m sure you are shocked to see that I am writing this blog at a Starbucks in Raleigh, North Carolina the city where Roxy and I evacuated to. For many people, the gym is their third place; it’s their sanctuary. The gym has always been there for people; it’s been there for people through marriages, divorces, births, deaths, celebrations, and grievance. It’s more than a place to workout; it's a home away from home and in dire times such as natural disasters (whether it’s mother nature or our lives) it’s the sense of community and belonging that we need.
Wilmington, North Carolina is strong. More importantly communities are strong. We have witnessed throughout history that no matter the storm, no matter the community, we pull together, and fight the fight together. Honestly I don’t know a lot of my neighbors other than the occasional chat in the yard or the wave as we are coming in and out of the cul de sac. Can I do a better job at this, absolutely. Will I do a better job at this when I am able to get home, absolutely. Even though quite a few of our neighbors don’t know each other, here is what I have witnessed in the last few days; most people evacuated however some folks stayed. People have evacuated to many parts of the east coast because depending on where you evacuated you might have been told to go to different locations due to where the storm’s projected path was that day.
In Ginger Zee’s, chief meteorologist for ABC, book Natural Disaster: I cover them I am one she so perfectly sums up a storm’s aftermath.
“Most people walk around after the initial tragedy, bewildered. Then they often start acting irrational, looking for house keys to a home that is no longer standing, or standing in line at a drugstore that’s been knocked to the ground. Eventually, sadness and some level of acceptance sets in. Hopefully, in the final phases of grief, we realize we are grateful to be alive and that we need to shift our focus off ourselves and onto helping others. We’ve all seen the footage and pictures of the first responders and the ordinary people who put themselves at great risk to make a tourniquet out of a belt for a victim or swim into dangerous waters to bring a stranded boy and his dog onto a boat. It’s quite inspiring, and in a weird way it’s what convinced me to write this book.”
I’m sure if you have been keeping up with the news you have noticed that Wilmington which was a peninsula up until a few days ago is an island that is completely inaccessible by land. Food, power, supplies, fuel, and potable water are all scarce. Cell service is shot and many people stranded there aren’t even sure what’s happening. People who have evacuated are seeing the flooding, people being rescued by boats and helicopters, and the destruction from afar and are unsure if their homes are still intact. People are helping people. In the neighborhood Facebook groups, neighbors that have never met before are now meeting virtually and realizing who is who. People that stayed are going to evacuees’ homes to take pictures, organize immediate repair if needed, and giving people closure on their wandering thoughts. People that stayed are taking gas, food, and water to each other. People with 2 story homes are inviting people without a second story over so they can get to higher ground. A lady even took the rest of her fuel to a stranded news team so they could get out. People are volunteering and helping each other. People are doing exactly what they should be doing.
To be completely honest, when writing this I wasn’t sure what direction I wanted to take it. Mainly because, I am not actually sure. What I do know for sure is that Roxy and I made it safely to higher ground and we have tons of friends, family, and colleagues that love us. That’s what matters the most; everything else...that’s what insurance is for. When will we be able to go home? Good question...we don’t know but we will be fine.
Weathering the Storm
It’s a fact that this isn’t the first hurricane to hit and it sure as hell won’t be the last. When you are weathering a storm, here’s a few tips for you:
Storms are inevitable. We will all go through them and most likely more than once. Whether this blog resonates with you based on Hurricane Florence or perhaps another storm in your life remember this “No matter your storm, it never rains forever. It can’t and it wont.” - Ginger Zee
Ways you can help:
I have always believed in Wilmington, and now I hope you do too,
Disclaimer: This post was not paid for by Fitbit nor did they provide me with one (though I wish! Shoutout if they’re reading this and want to make me a brand ambassador)
During my move my beloved fitness tracker, Fitbit Charge HR, of 3 years finally broke. I knew it was a long time coming; the band was coming apart, the screen cracked, no matter how much I cleaned it- it smelled, and the final straw was it wouldn’t sync or charge. Devastated, I thought how will I know how many steps I took? How long did I sleep? Did I hit my 30 minutes of activity a day goal? Worst of all without my Fitbit I would be in last place in my workweek hustle challenge with my old coworkers and I couldn’t let that happen for more than a week. There is a lot of research on the effectiveness of wearable activity trackers with technology advancing.
Therefore, for today’s blog I’m going to give you my stance on physical activity trackers and a review.
After moving into my new place and researching models online I fell in love with the new Fitbit Versa. It came in so many colors, had multiple new features, and looked like an apple watch. I trotted off to Best Buy and bought the masterpiece while my credit card cried a little. But remember, health is your greatest wealth. I immediately opened it when I got home and noticed how NICCCCEEEE the packaging was! (Fitbit definitely took a note from Apple here)
Day 1- Tuesday
After 30 minutes of set up and charging, I was on my way. I was amazed at all the new functions such as apps, music, weather, etc. My favorite part is being able to choose what type of workout I’m doing such as biking, running, weight lifting, all in all this helps provide a more accurate calorie burn.
After a night of sleeping with the my Fitbit on my wrist I synced it to the app. I was shook it told me my REM, light, and dark sleep. Today I decided to get 10K steps every day so I went to the gyms and walked around my neighborhood.
I went to the park for a run and tested out those features. It gave me a mile pace and would register when I had stopped running or took a break. This little device is simply incredible.
Do I need a fitness tracker to be healthy? Of course not! I will say that it doesn’t look too shabby on my wrist though. If you’re into learning about your body, driven by competition, and interested by data then a fitness tracker is definitely for you. Nowadays there are so many out there Garmin watches, Apple watches, polar watches, etc. There’s bound to be something that fits your needs and price range.
I have always been a person who loves to learn about themselves. This Fitbit allows me to do just that. To say I am in love with this item is an understatement. I would highly recommend this Fitbit watch to anyone. It is sleek, lightweight, and has battery power for 4 days! This “accessory” has helped me stay accountable to my goals and gives me a measurement of my health.
The Fitbit Versa is absolutely something I don’t leave the house with. Because if I did, if I took steps and the Fitbit didn’t track them, did I really take steps in the first place? Questions to ponder.
Your friend in wellness,
Keepin' it 100 with Willy T: Episode 7
The “dog days of summer” have come and gone. While reflecting, I wanted to highlight the chance I had to connect with my best bud since 9th grade, Jordan Ronning, for a day of disc golf back at in my hometown. Neither of us have much experience, we aren’t particularly good, and neither of us pretend to be either.
We both agree that sometimes it’s healthier to play without a score. I’ve grown in my comfort with being vulnerable in learning new skills. I’m a perfectionist, and historically it’s been hard to try new things because I want to be great at everything right away!
My relationship with Jordan has flourished over the years, in part because he’s taught me how to have fun no matter the circumstance.
Naturally, I vlogged the disc golf experience for you to enjoy:
How to Stay Healthy and Fit Traveling on the Job
Traveling for work has its perks- new people, new experiences, new cultures, or fine dining (shoutout to that per diem) etc. Working on the road could feel like constant mini vacations to some, say our principal Steven Trotter. He travels so much visiting our clients, the airlines should pay him to be a flight attendant. As a group fitness instructor, I’m sure he could choreograph a killer safety demonstration dance. This business development lifestyle can take a toll on your body if you aren’t careful. Constantly being in new environments or confined to small spaces with a lot of people (planes, trains, subways) can affect your immune system negatively and deter your healthy goal progress.
Today we have tips on how to stay healthy on the road.
The positives of never being in the same location is that you could take advantage of free gym passes. Plan ahead and research what is nearby- try a Planet Fitness, Anytime Fitness, or Life Time Fitness all in the same week.
If the weather is nice and you enjoy being outdoors, plan a hike or explore local parks.
When staying in a hotel, check out their fitness center and if it does not have what you need there are thousands of workouts on YouTube for free! Some of our favorites are Blogilates, HASfit, and The Fitness Marshall.
Regardless of what you decide, prioritize exercise to help you stay on track and if needed, plan it into your schedule.
Always have healthy snacks on hand. Non-perishable items include trail mix, dried fruit, nut butters, or protein bars. Traveling increases your chances of dehydration, be sure to drink plenty of water so your body can function optimally.
If you are living out of hotels consider traveling with a Crockpot or George Foreman Grill- just don’t set off the smoke alarm or else you may have some angry neighbors.
When eating out, ask the server to pack up half of your entree in a to-go container. That way you save half the calories and get another meal for later.
While traveling this is the time to focus on you, try to go to bed near the same time every night and aim for 7-9 hours of sleep. The best part is if you are at a hotel, crank up the AC guilt-free because you are not paying for the electricity bill. Most people sleep better in a colder room.
Even if you aren’t a business development professional, try out a few of the suggestions on your next trip and let us know how it goes. Don’t let traveling create rage against your wellness goals, after all we are all health warriors on the same fight.
Who we are
Just a team of round pegs in a square hole changing the world one interaction at a time.
Look back at it