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On Inspiration, Motivation and the Drive to Succeed



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At MyFitnessPal, we love to celebrate major milestones — from major weight loss to major non-scale victories — what our community accomplishes is no easy feat. Success is all around us, and it’s usually sparked by a pivotal moment. We’ve asked our Under Armour ambassadors to share their journeys, inspiration and driving forces. We hope this inspires you to share yours in the comments below.

“Do what makes you feel alive. Love your body. Play outside.”

Adinda, an obstacle course trainer, is inspired by her mother and Mother Nature. “The two mothers that have always supported me since Day 1. Without these two women, I wouldn’t be the woman I am today.”


It comes as no surprise then that Adinda’s fire comes from the outdoors. “To wake up and have the possibility to discover what my body is capable of doing beyond what I thought possible and being proven wrong. Nothing is more motivating to me than to be active while having the opportunity to learn about different cultures and discovering different parts of the world.”


Adinda hit rock bottom and wasn’t taking care of herself — not eating right, drinking too much and not getting enough sleep. Her sister introduced her to bikram yoga. She slowly adopted a healthy lifestyle once again. Then, a trip to Vietnam changed things. She had one beer and her body rejected it. “I started ordering fresh coconut water through the concierge, enough to last me, for what it would seem like, a whole month on a deserted island. I drank a glass of coconut water every half an hour in hope to detoxify the toxins in my body and rid of the water retention from the swelling. I prayed and drank and prayed and hoped.” Eventually she was OK. “This was the time that I realized that I needed to love my body. This was the beginning of @Saktidin. This is my story and the prologue that signifies where I am today.”

“I am enough.”

Running coach and Run to the Finish blogger, Amanda looks inward for inspiration. “I’ve always been internally driven to seek out my best,” she says. “I don’t need to win a race, I just need to know that I showed up for myself in moments that were hard and I chose not to quit.”


She meets each day with wonder, “I’m excited to see what each new run will bring. Will it be a glorious sunrise? Will it be a run that I never want to end? Will it be a hot, humid, can’t breathe will-I-make-it-through run that leaves me smiling because I did?”


When Amanda suffered her first real injury, she recalls, “It was the first time I discovered the power of training my mind, and that led to greater success in every area of my life. I dug into podcasts, mantras, affirmations and suddenly it was just an injury, not the end of the world.” As we know, those low points can teach us many things by uncovering weaknesses that become opportunities for greatness, “I know how to flow with the discomfort and always keep my eyes focused on finding the solution.”

“I will rise under pressure.”

For Chaley Rose, singer and actress on “Nashville,” her mother was her rock and source of inspiration. After a divorce, her mother went back to college to get her masters in journalism. Rose recalls, “I watched her, at the age of 40, hustle her way into her first on-air job. Everyone told her it was too late for her. It was impossible. But she never heard them. ‘No’ was subjective for her, and I learned that and have lived it myself.”


For Rose, her day-to-day motivating factor is simple: “There’s nothing more motivating than knowing that you can have your dreams if you’re willing to fight,” she says.


Rose’s own experience gave her the courage to try new things. “I think there are lots of pivotal moments along the way to success,” she says. After a bad experience with a production company in Atlanta, Chaley looked to open up her career to acting. “It was the right place at the right time with the right coach. I fell in love with it and decided to pursue an acting career from there. I am where I am now because of that Atlanta experience. Painful as it was I wouldn’t change it.”

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“Treat everyday like an audition and every human you meet like they are going to be your boss one day.”

A dancer, Dani is inspired by bold people who are relentlessly pursuing their passion. She says, “People that inspire me today are the groundshakers, the ones who decide to pave their own path and way. Not waiting for a hand out and just taking risks and chances!”


So many different things motivate people, and Dani found hers in adversity. “The driving factor, honestly, is the people that doubt me, that whisper behind my back and question my abilities. I do it for the ones who ‘don’t understand,’” she says. “Then, the successes that happen along the way remind me what I set out to do is all worth it.”


For some, pivotal moments come a bit more regularly. “I have had a ton of low moments in my career. Being a freelance professional dancer, you can get off of a four-year world tour performing in front of 80,000 people every night sharing the stage with one of the biggest artists in the world, then when it’s over, you wake up that next day in your bed unemployed. That repeats after every job, no matter how monumental it was, when it is over, it’s the ‘what’s next” game,’” shares Vitale. “There was one job where I auditioned for 16 straight hours not eating or drinking a thing, then the next day another 8 hours to find out I am in ‘serious consideration’ to attend a week of rehearsals before tour.” Ultimately, after being assured she got the part, she didn’t. “I didn’t leave my bed for a week. That launched me into wanting to prove to everyone that I can achieve more than just this tour. That I don’t need the title of ‘Hi I am Dani and I am dancing for …’ and that skyrocketed my versatility in dance and the ability to reinvent myself as an artist! Sure enough after not getting [the initial part], I did about six huge performances with her the following years.”

“Don’t lose faith.”

Secret of DD blogger and influencer, Deddeh sees her mother as her role model. “My mother is my biggest inspiration, as an African mother, she had been through so much and she still managed to get on her feet and raise three children. Her strength and power inspire me.”


For Deddeh, being active and pursuing her passion keeps her motivated. “My yoga practice and my blog make me leap out of bed every day,” she says. “I can’t live without yoga, and I love writing and producing content to inspire people because their stories inspire me, too.”


Embarking on her Black Mirror Project took her to a new level. “I was sick and tired of being held back because of my skin tone and I just wanted to do something about it. I decided to put myself out there and mirror two images to show the world that if we are given equal opportunity, black models can do just about the same as a white models.” This moment still resonates with her. “The world reacted to my story, it was unbelievable, and now it makes me want to do even more. I’m inspired to speak out and make more changes for myself and the future generation. It made me stronger.”


“We practice courage by pushing our limits.”

Cyclist and fitness vlogger, Kym is inspired by “the women who have come before me who have ignored the warnings and blazed their own trail,” she says. “I’ve been told countless times that it’s dangerous. I’ve been asked ‘wouldn’t I rather just stay home? Do something else?’”


Nonstop knows women are held to a different standard, but have to keep going and work a little harder, “while my male counterparts are just expected to show their grit.” Kym doesn’t let anything get her down. “I know that potential has yet to be reached. There’s more to learn and more to teach,” says Kym. Each day is “an opportunity to live my life to the fullest and to inspire others to do the same.”

“Fake it ’til you make it.”

Videographer Lucie Fink has her family to thank for inspiring her. “I grew up with parents who told me that if I worked hard enough for it, I could be anything I wanted to be. Each time I reach a new personal or professional milestone, it’s that energy and positivity that motivates me to keep on moving.”


Lucie is fueled by her close bond with family and her boyfriend. “These relationships nourish me and cause me to wake up every day with love, happiness and energy.”


It wasn’t college, but it’s what came right after college. “I remember feeling like I wasn’t in the right place; I wasn’t doing what I loved, and because of that, I wasn’t flourishing and shining. That was when I started making art — for myself, for my family and for my portfolio.”


“Be daring, be different, be impractical.”

Ambitious Kitchen blogger Monique Volz also looks within for inspiration. “I know it seems silly but there is no better investment you can make than believing in who you are. Chase your vision and dream every day no matter what, there’s always a way to make it happen. Over the course of your life you will transform into several different people, so just be who you are, be wild, practice self-care, and love yourself and those around you.”


For Monique, her work is her driving passion, “I love what I do and that most of the time it doesn’t feel like work. I’m proud that I have worked hard to become the woman I have become today,” she says. “I love getting up, getting a workout in and having ‘me’ time before I get in the kitchen and make recipes to help and inspire others to eat healthier. Inspiring other people is my success story.”


After losing her father, Monique dealt with her grief by traveling and working out. This ultimately led her on the path she’s on now. “I found myself on a beach in Australia asking myself what I was going to do with my life and how I could become the person I was meant to be,” she remembers. “After I came home, I started cooking and baking as a therapy and to teach myself a new skill. Shortly thereafter, I launched my blog and worked endlessly doing what I love. If you love something, your passion and talent will shine through.”

“If life puts obstacles in your way, try always to find the positive side of it.”

Brazilian model Paola is inspired and driven by gratitude. “I think that my biggest motivational factor is to enjoy life, because I really appreciate it,” she says. “Every day I wake up thinking about doing something new and always in a better way. This inspires me.”


Paola emphasizes the importance of staying positive and how it can

On Inspiration, Motivation and the Drive to Succeed was originally posted at <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></a> by Sarah Sung

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Exercise at Home

What Your Workout Playlist Says About You



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Your workout playlist is so much more than a collection of high-BPM songs. It’s a much-needed source of focus. It’s extra motivation when you need it. And, of course, it’s a window into your soul.

OK, maybe not your soul. But if you gave us a look at it, we could tell you a few things about yourself. Specifically, these things:

Your playlist: Demi Lovato’s “Confident.” Katy Perry’s “Roar.”
What it says about you: You are a) A strong-as-hell female; b) A man who is extremely comfortable with his masculinity; c) Somewhere in-between. Whatever the case, you have our fullest support.

Your playlist: Enough EDM to power several Electric Daisy Carnivals.
What it says about you: You’re getting in shape for an important networking event, by which we mean Burning Man.

Your playlist: Jay-Z. Eminem. Biggie.
What it says about you: You are a hip-hop aficionado of a certain age, and you are more than capable of outworking hip-hop aficionados of a younger age.

Your playlist: “Thunderstruck.” “Start Me Up.” “Immigrant Song.”
What it says about you: Your fitness icon is Mick Jagger. Dude’s 74 years old. How the hell does he still look like that — and still move like that?

Your playlist: James Brown. Curtis Mayfield. Earth, Wind & Fire.
What it says about you: You like your workouts a little funky. A little soulful. And you’re getting fit because it helps you have the energy to do great things. (Including dominating a wedding-night dance floor.)

Your playlist: Shakira. Pitbull. J-Lo.
What it says about you: Your moves in the gym are only bested by your moves in the club.

Your playlist: The Clash. The Ramones. Blondie.
What it says about you: You’re working hard to make sure you can still fit into your vintage band T-shirts. Also, you want to stay strong for the #resistance.

Your playlist: The “Rocky” soundtrack.
What it says about you: You are unafraid of cliches, which is why you’re throwing punches in a meat locker.


Your playlist: Brooks & Dunn. Brad Paisley. Sara Evans.
What it says about you: You were born country, so while you might enjoy spending your evenings on a front porch with good bourbon and a sleeping dog, you also enjoy feeling like you’ve earned said pleasures.

Your playlist: Classical music. Or jazz. Or showtunes.
What it says about you: … We honestly don’t know. But we’re curious to learn more.

Your playlist: “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Family Trip.”
What it says about you: You have kids and you accidentally put on one of their playlists instead of yours. Because you have kids, and this is the kind of thing hurried parents do. Hey, at least it’s uplifting! If you need to go potty, stop! And go right away…


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What Your Workout Playlist Says About You was originally posted at <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></a> by Paul L. Underwood

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Exercise at Home

Foot Injury Workout Routine. 20 Minute Full Body Exercise Video



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Foot Injury Workout Routine. 20 Minute Full Body Exercise Video was originally posted at by Caroline Jordan


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Exercise at Home

Train Like an NBA Player — With Tips from the Atlanta Hawks’ Kent Bazemore



This post was originally published on this site

The NBA season is 82 games long, spread over eight months. Add a month of preseason, plus another month for the postseason (and half the league makes the playoffs), and you’ve got 10 grueling months for a body to endure. That doesn’t factor in the travel schedule, or the reality that, in the 21st century, players are literally million-dollar assets, risking their careers with every jump shot, hard foul and awkward landing.

It’s why we love to watch, and it’s why the players are some of the fittest, most inspiring athletes out there. We asked Kent Bazemore — who, over the past six seasons worked his way from an undrafted rookie to a key member of the Atlanta Hawks’ starting lineup — and former Los Angeles Lakers trainer Tim DiFrancesco how they do it. Here’s what they told us, in the form of six tips on how to train like an NBA player:


We mean this in two ways. First, you’re probably not built like an NBA player — that is to say, you’re probably not extra-tall with especially long limbs. That affects how you work out. As DiFrancesco points out, he’ll teach a player to do side planks with their legs bent, just to avoid putting excessive impact on their long-levered bodies. (For you, even if you’re not 6-foot-9, this can be a way to go easier on your body when recovering from an injury.)



Second, your lifestyle, while busy with work, family and relationships, it probably differs from that of the average NBA player. Consider that aforementioned travel schedule. “When you shut off the TV at 10:30 p.m. when the game is over, the players are hitting the showers and then getting on the plane to get to the next city,” DeFrancesco says. “So it’s another three-hour minimum before a player will even think about going to bed.” (And, as Bazemore points out, flying is dehydrating.) The next day, a player will likely be up by 8 a.m. for a shootaround or practice.

Rest when — and where — you can. “I’ll fall asleep on planes, on buses, it doesn’t matter to me,” Bazemore says, adding he’s a nap enthusiast on game day. “I love sleep. It’s very vital for me. When I get tired, I get grumpy. And I hate getting grumpy.”


One other thing: Remember NBA players aren’t all alike — just like we’re not all alike. DiFrancesco creates custom programs for each player he trains, and Bazemore prefers to keep his body in shape with Pilates, rather than the yoga some of his teammates prefer. So, by all means, train like an NBA player, but remember that your training may vary.


Simply put, every NBA player has the same goal: winning the NBA championship. So as soon as last season’s NBA Finals ended in June 2017, each player began training with an eye on the next Finals in June 2018. For Bazemore, that means devoting the offseason to building strength. “Deadlifts. Kettlebell goblet squats. More total body,” as he puts it. And then during the season, they’re careful not to push too hard, lest they use up valuable energy needed for the game itself. As Bazemore puts it, “I wouldn’t go and do 3 sets of 8 bench presses and 12 squats two days before a game if I feel like my legs are dead.”

For you, maybe the goal is running a half-marathon. Or winning the championship in your rec league. Or just beating your buddies in a round of golf. Whatever it is, make a plan to get your body into shape and maintain that shape once you’re there — including, yes, giving yourself permission to rest when your body demands it.


As you’d probably expect, each NBA team has state-of-the-art technology at its disposal. But sometimes, analog works best. On the Hawks, Bazemore fills out a survey every day where he rates his soreness and fatigue on a scale of 1–5. After practices, he rates how hard the practice was on a scale of 1–10. All of this is designed to adjudicate his overall wellness on a day-to-day basis. (DiFrancesco did something similar during his Lakers days.) These check-ins guide a player as he endures a game, a season and a career — and so he knows taking it easy during an early season workout helps ensure he’s fresh for the playoffs.

For you, such check-ins (in tandem with using a fitness tracking app like ours) can keep you on the right path and help you connect actions and consequences. (Bad workout? Maybe you didn’t eat or sleep well the night before.)

These check-ins can also reveal when you’re pushing yourself too hard. Bazemore advises, “Learn when to rest. Learn when enough is enough. We’re all competitors at the end of the day, we all want a little bit more, to squeeze a little bit more out. But you gotta learn when enough is enough, and get your mind ready to get back after it. You don’t want to burn yourself out.”

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So what does an NBA player do to get and stay in shape? We’ll turn it over to Mr. Bazemore: “Over the summer is where you put in a ton of leg work and have the longer weight-room sessions — an hour and a half, two hours sometimes. Building the foundation. Cardio. Maybe two workouts a day. Three workouts a day. Not really touching a basketball as much. Maybe some spot shooting, some ballhandling.

<blockquote class=”instagram-media” data-instgrm-version=”7″ style=” background:#FFF; border:0; border-radius:3px; box-shadow:0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width:658px; padding:0; width:99.375%; width:-webkit-calc(100% – 2px); width:calc(100% – 2px);”><div style=”padding:8px;”> <div style=” background:#F8F8F8; line-height:0; margin-top:40px; padding:50.0% 0; text-align:center; width:100%;”> <div style=” background:url(data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAACwAAAAsCAMAAAApWqozAAAABGdBTUEAALGPC/xhBQAAAAFzUkdCAK7OHOkAAAAMUExURczMzPf399fX1+bm5mzY9AMAAADiSURBVDjLvZXbEsMgCES5/P8/t9FuRVCRmU73JWlzosgSIIZURCjo/ad+EQJJB4Hv8BFt+IDpQoCx1wjOSBFhh2XssxEIYn3ulI/6MNReE07UIWJEv8UEOWDS88LY97kqyTliJKKtuYBbruAyVh5wOHiXmpi5we58Ek028czwyuQdLKPG1Bkb4NnM+VeAnfHqn1k4+GPT6uGQcvu2h2OVuIf/gWUFyy8OWEpdyZSa3aVCqpVoVvzZZ2VTnn2wU8qzVjDDetO90GSy9mVLqtgYSy231MxrY6I2gGqjrTY0L8fxCxfCBbhWrsYYAAAAAElFTkSuQmCC); display:block; height:44px; margin:0 auto -44px; position:relative; top:-22px; width:44px;”></div></div><p style=” color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px; margin-bottom:0; margin-top:8px; overflow:hidden; padding:8px 0 7px; text-align:center; text-overflow:ellipsis; white-space:nowrap;”><a href=”” style=” color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none;” target=”_blank”>A post shared by Kent Bazemore (@24baze)</a> on <time style=” font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px;” datetime=”2017-07-14T15:18:58+00:00″>Jul 14, 2017 at 8:18am PDT</time></p></div></blockquote> <script async defer src=”//”></script>

A post shared by Kent Bazemore (@24baze) on Jul 14, 2017 at 8:18am PDT

“Then the season rolls around. You’re always about working on what works for you. For me, that’s mobility. I go to SculptHouse here in Atlanta, which is Pilates.”

For those of us who can’t afford the time or energy to work out this intensely, DiFrancesco puts it in a relatable context. “When you break the body down into its core building blocks — bones, ligaments, tendons, muscles — what you’re talking about is preparing those building blocks for an incredible pace and intensity of schedule. For a basketball player, what you need to think about is starting from the feet up.” In other words, lifting weights might help you grow big muscles, but if the underlying structure isn’t strong, you’re not going to be able to endure a long season — whether you’re in the NBA or training for a marathon.

For an NBA player, this approach means working on the mobility of the lower legs and doing anything that keeps the hips strong and mobile as well as keeping the core strong. Bazemore mentions his love of planks and side planks, which can impact the entire body. Both men mention goblet squats, which are basically a deep squat executed while holding a kettlebell. Both mention deadlifts (with DiFrancesco pointing out that quality of execution is more important than lifting a lot of weight). DiFrancesco also mentioned landmine exercises, which combine weightlifting with mobility and, for a long-levered NBA player, means reducing the impact of deep squats during weightlifting. (Lowering your body when you have long legs is harder than it is for the rest of us.)


“I’m a very active person,” says Bazemore, referring to his off-court life. “I love doing things. Golf. Basketball. Walking the puppies. There was a time I was on my feet too much, and I was just so tired [all the time]. I try to shut down my night at 8:30 p.m. now, get in bed, try to get a good night’s sleep.” He knows it’s not easy, but emphasizes finding something to focus on. “It sucks sometimes, but I find things to do. I read. I let go with an old childhood toy of mine: Legos.”

“I love sleep. It’s very vital for me. When I get tired, I get grumpy. And I hate getting grumpy.”

Bazemore has another trick up his sleeve: Tom Brady’s line of Athlete Recovery Sleepwear for Under Armour. “I got it all, so I’ve definitely bought into Tom Brady’s movement. To be as good as he is, to play at his level, any athlete that does it that well, you gotta take note.” Thanks for noticing, Kent.


Here’s an understatement: Professional basketball players play a lot of basketball. To stay fit, many turn to another form of physical activity, including other sports. For Bazemore, hitting the links leaves him feeling energized — physically and mentally. “Golf challenges my perspective. It keeps me sharp, it’s not as impactful on the body [as basketball]. Nothing like hitting a good golf shot — it raises every aspect of your life. You come home to your wife with a big smile on your face.”

Speaking of, Bazemore has another way of unwinding. It’s his famous Baze Gaze — in which Bazemore videobombs his teammates’ postgame interviews by sneaking up on them and staring into the camera. Is it the end result of vigorous training? Yes and no. “It’s all about timing and the element of surprise,” Bazemore says. “It’s definitely instinctive. You gotta feel your way.” In other words, it’s about that moment where preparation meets opportunity. Which, in a way, is what training is all about.


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Train Like an NBA Player — With Tips from the Atlanta Hawks’ Kent Bazemore was originally posted at <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></a> by Paul L. Underwood

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