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Why we should check-in with friends - Fitness Challenge - 10 Glute Bridges

Updated: Feb 19, 2021

Hello, Day 17 in our February Fitness Challenge.

Today I have asked you to call a friend who you haven't talked to in a while.

I think it's hard sometimes, to separate ourselves from day to day life and remember people who played a major role as our circumstances and priorities shift. I use to find it important to cycle through my 'friend reservoir' and check-in. Then major changes happened in my life; mostly loss. I realized how much can change over a short period of time. I also pride myself on daily personal development, so stagnant movement is not within my lifestyle. I'm not the same person I was... which hinders my connection after too much time has passed.

Now that I am in my mid-30's I find check-ins incredibly difficult. I'm not sure if it's progressive disconnection, an inability to fully connect, or reason/season friends 'mis-categorized' into lifetime friends. The importance of regular communication is just like most healthy lifestyle changes... accountability, consistency, and the decision to start again.

These challenges are not just for you. Perhaps you haven't been through some of what my life path has given me. I envy people who are still able to share everything with each other or who connect regularly. Living the ins and outs of life, together.

This is my building block.

My stepping stone, if you will.

I find it pertinent to a healthy lifestyle because you never know where someone is at... perhaps your call could change their perspective, alter a life changing decision, or bring a smile to their face and a reminder of a time when life didn't feel so heavy.

Out of Highschool I had a friend who I knew was struggling. I mean, I was definitely fumbling my way through life as well. I made it a point to call them up 1-2 times a year just to find out how they were. If they didn't answer, I left a message telling them how much they impacted my life and let them know I still cared. Not sure if this effort ever made a difference, but does it hurt to share with someone how much they mean to you?

Another friend, who I dated for a brief time, had a life outside of my comfort zone. They were the sweetest heart in a tough exterior. We talked on the phone consistently until they decided to work things through with their ex. A blessing too... as they went on to have a beautiful little family. It warmed my heart to do our yearly check-ins; hear all the growth, the found connection, and a smile behind the calming voice of a settled lifestyle. My friend died young, just before our connection one year. I treasure the memory of those check-ins.

In progressive years, I've fell off this pattern. Closed myself up and forgot 'in order to feel connection, I must connect'. Check-in became a word that turned my stomach. Within the span of a phone call my whole world changed in an instant...

  • "Kelsey, there's an obituary in the paper, I think it's -our friend-." - It was. I called his Mom to comfort the sobs then met his 'secret' boyfriend for coffee to deliver the news.

  • "Kelsey, I know how much you cared but -he- killed himself last night..." - an obituary card is the only reminder of our long talks about retirement, paradise, and the world.

  • "Kelsey, Thyroid cancer has turned to lung cancer, come to the hospital." - It spread to bone cancer at an accelerated rate and 4 days later we said good-bye.

  • "Kelsey, -he- had a stroke and we don't know if he will make it..." - He didn't. My last visit was 3 days of singing, hand holding, and crying beside an angel on life support.

  • "Kelsey, we called the ambulance, -she- can't use her legs." - 5 months of hospital to hospital, care-taking, and watching one of my most inspiring survival stories.

  • "Kelsey, -his- pneumonia is stage 4 lung cancer, they are transferring -him- to palliative care." - One month later, gone.

  • "Kelsey, -he- is gone." - We knew this day would come.

It took a long time before the ringing of a phone didn't spike my fear response expecting bad news. It still does sometimes when I see a name I haven't heard from in a while. I think that may be why I'm apprehensive of picking up the phone for a positive phone call again. We have other ways to 'connect'; social media, text message, even email. Oh goodness, how did life get here?

Like most things, we either get better or bitter. I can decide to see the disconnect as reason to continue separating or start to work on creating action towards being more connected.

It starts and continues with our own attention - a purpose created.

By including this task in a healthy lifestyle challenge. I hope to influence, not only myself but, others who may have been through similar experiences to push past the discomfort and learn (or choose) to connect again. Change the call into a good connection.

It's important to hear each other's voice. Share milestones, celebrate progress, help each other through. My life has fallen so far off track with this, it'll take intention to get it back. I know the value of connection. For many years, I practiced it. As I say, we are all in process and sometimes it's about recognizing where to start again.

Life is a journey.

Reach out to each other.

Ideas on what to share or talk about:

  • The Weather (Because why the heck not?)

  • Recent Successes or Accomplishments

  • Milestones of the One's we Love.

  • Our every day life, stressors, and emotions.

  • Ask advice for certain situations, decisions, or ideas.

  • A change in circumstances.

  • New career, hairstyle, possession, favorite pop culture purchase.

  • Nothing in general... watch a show together, clean house while in conversation, be present and just enjoy the spaces of silence.

As per usual, here are some follow up articles to read...

  1. This one from Science Daily explains why phone calls create stronger bonds than text-based communication. I found it very interesting how we can perceive a phone call as less invasive than an email/text or avoid it all together because we may feel awkward. Yet, it's the exact connection we are craving and would help us feel better. The more we use the skill of social connection, the better (and easier) it gets.

  2. This article from Psychology Today talks about emotional intelligence (EI) and empathy (understanding how someone is feeling). We can hear voice inflection, emotion behind the conversation, and better connect through real-time communication. You are more emotionally intelligent on the phone really... gives us examples of why connecting on the phone can help us understand each other more.

  3. From The Greater Good Magazine (Science-Based Insights for a Meaningful Life), they ask should you call or text? weighs in. In this article they use the study mentioned above from Science Daily. Reconfirming how important it is to overcome the feeling of 'awkwardness' and pick up the phone.

Today's task... reconnect.

Call a friend who you haven't talked to in a while.

Update me on how you did, I'd love to hear.

Fitness Focus: 10 Glute Bridges

This is a great exercise to build the glute muscles, especially if you deal with hip/knee/back pain. It's the perfect stepping stone to getting the butt firing so it can do it's job at assisting (Ha.) with everyday movements so your other joints don't have to work so hard. Our sedentary life gives our major muscles of the caboose ample time off - Glute Bridges are an excellent addition to any workout.

Today the challenge is to complete 10 of your favorite variation.

There are so many... if you're confused as to which one to choose.

Start with the basics...

  1. Lay on your back (smooth flat surface).

  2. Stack feet under knees in a 90 degree (or as close to) angle.

  3. Brace the core and with a breath out push through the heels to lift the hips off the ground. Squeeze the glutes at the top of the movement.

  4. You can pause in the up position or come back down right away to tap the floor.

  5. Try to complete the repetitions without resting your butt fully down until all 10 are complete.

  6. Inhale down, exhale, push through the heels and squeeze.

- With the single leg Glute Bridges: complete 5 repetitions per leg.

- The Stability Ball Glute Bridge activates more of the hip flexors (hip thrust movement)... choose this variation once you achieve core stability.

Video Instructions:

Well Day 17... I hope you found value.

Any questions, message me anytime.

Once you've completed the day... comment below with your findings and progress, I'd love to support you while we challenge ourselves one day at a time. #DayOneAlways mentality with #believeagainfitness effort will create the #healthylifestyle consistency we need. Social media hashtag #februaryfitnesschallenge2021 and be sure to have FUN.

We've got this together.

🌹 Take care all and much love.


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