• Swimming for fitness also balances life

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    Swimming laps with life is balance logo

    I love to swim. Ever since my dad taught me to swim when I was 5, I’m most at home in the water. When I was younger, I used to race. I was on my summer swim club’s swim team and later, in camp I  was known for my speed. Other kids excelled at softball or archery. I won races. I no longer swim to compete however. I swim for exercise and to relax. There is nothing like a long swim to stretch out my muscles after a long day. What is nice about swimming, is that you use all your muscle, with little or no stress or impact to your joints. My usual routine is to swim a little over a mile in the pool. In the pool at my gym, Asphalt Green, this is about 72 laps (or lengths of the 25 yard lanes).  This takes me between 40-50 minutes, depending on how I am feeling.

    If you’d like to calculate how many laps you need to swim a mile, here is how I did it:
    1 mile = 1,760 yards
    pool length = 25 yards (pool lengths vary so be sure to ask how long yours is)
    1760/25= 70.4 lengths

    I swim back and forth repeating the lap number in my head so I can keep track, boring, right? Not since I discovered the waterproof headphones and ipod case that attaches to my goggle strap. I have lots of songs programmed into my ipod shuffle, which makes my swim ever so much more enjoyable! This is the same system that Olympic champions, Natalie Coughlin and Michael Phelps helped to design and both use for their workouts.

    Want to know what I listen to while I swim? Here’s a sampling of one of my playlists:

    Get Your Own Free Hypster.com Playlist.

    The symbol on the image above is the Life is Balance® swim design. I am gearing up to having that design available on t-shirts in the next couple of months. Sign up for our newsletter and like us on Facebook for access to our sales, Fan-only coupons and be the first to know when new styles are available!

  • Scuba Diving… Find Balance with a Fine Balance

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    Scuba diving is one way to stay in balance

    Scuba diving is one way to stay in balance

    I was reading the class notes in my Cornell alumni magazine the other day and I noticed a recurring theme in everyone’s updates. In addition to updates as to where they were living, news of their families and what they were doing for work, almost everyone mentioned what they did for fun. They were either playing lots of golf, hiking or biking, skiing or playing tennis, or other sport and recreational stress relievers. Everyone had a way to balance out their lives with some fun sport or exercise routine.

    So I have decided to focus a series of blog posts, each to explore a different sport or activity. Today’s post focuses on one of my favs — scuba diving! The term, SCUBA, standing for self contained underwater breathing apparatus, was coined by Christian J. Lambertsen in 1952. In 1939, he invented a revolutionary underwater breathing system used by the military in World War II. He passed away on February 19 at the age of 93.

    I’ve been a scuba diver since the early 1990’s. I first learned to dive a Club Med in Cancun. I took their week long Club Med leardn to scuba course. At the end of the week I was Club Med certified. This did not mean that I could go anywhere and dive. I could only dive at other Club Med resorts. In order to be able to go diving anywhere, you must have a certification card (called a C-Card) from a recognized scuba organization such as PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) or Naui (National Association of Underwater Instructors) and SSI (Scuba Schools International), BSAC (British Sub Aqua Club) and CMAS (Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques/The World Underwater Federation) to name a few of the more well known organizations.

    If you have a C-Card that means that you have completed at least the most basic training needed to scuba dive. This usually involves some classroom and book work where you will learn the basics of diving physics, physiology and chemistry, as well as sessions in a pool where you will learn the motor skills and proper use of scuba equipment and the fine balance of neutral buoyancy — the seemingly weightless state in which you maintain your body in the water by controlling your breathing and the amount of air in your BC, or buoyancy compensator. In addition, there are open water dives required where you put all that you have learned into a real world test. And, finally there is a written exam to test what you have learned both in the classroom and the reading material. Once you pass both the written and open water exams, you will be given a C-card. This is your passport to dive! Without it, no reputable dive shop will rent you air or allow you to dive with them. There are many of advanced levels of certification that you can get after completing your basic, or Open Water level One course. Check with your local dive shop to sign up for a certification class. You can complete all all the course work and open water dives with your local dive shop, or if you’d prefer warmer water, you can ask for a referral letter which will allow you to do your open water dives at your next tropical vacation destination.

    I found an article on learning to scuba dive that goes into more detail on finding the right Open Water course.

    Here are some helpful links for dive shops and other useful information for scuba divers in the NYC area:
    Scuba Network (Equipment sales & lessons)
    Pan Aqua (Equipment sales & lessons)
    Adventure Scuba (Equipment sales & lessons)
    Empire Divers (Equipment sales & lessons)
    Village Divers (Equipment sales & lessons)
    Leisure Pro(Equipment sales)
    Ocean Blue Divers (Dive Club)
    NYUPS (New York Underwater Photographic Society)

    Life is Balance Scuba diving yin yang symbol

    "Neutral Buoyancy," the body position that every diver strives to attain is the tag line for this Life is Balance t-shirt.

    I'm certifiable scuba t-shirt

    Get this scuba design and more at Wear My Dive Art!

    Now that you’ve gotten certified, lets go diving! If you’re like me, the warm clear waters of the Caribbean or South Pacific might be calling to you. There is nothing like the feeling of descending into the blue to become one with the ocean’s vast environment. I guarantee that once you are underwater, any thoughts of work or stress will disappear! Swim along side a sea turtle until he leaves you behind to dive deeper or surface for air. Come face to face with a gray reef shark cruising the reef, or watch a giant grouper sit open mouthed in a cleaning station. Or look closely and you might see a tiny juvenile drum fish, no bigger than the nail on your pinky, flutter about in a coral crevice. Each dive is different, awe-inspiring in its’ own unique way. And each will leave you wanting more. You’ll surface from your dives, share sightings with your dive buddies and fill your dive logs with lots of memories. Of course, not that you’re a scuba diver, you’ll want to show off your enthusiasm by wearing a scuba t-shirt. You can find some unique scuba designs for men, women and children at Wear My Dive Art! and make sure to sign up for our RSS, join our mailing list or bookmark Life is Balance® to be the first to know when our very own scuba design for men and women will be available for purchase!

    Some of the dive destinations in the Caribbean that I’ve visited over the years include:
    The Turks and Caicos Islands, The Cayman Islands, Bonaire, Curacao, Tobago, Roatan, Cozumel and The British Virgin Islands, to name a few.

    There are so many dive destinations around the world and while I’ve been to many in the Caribbean and have had the privilege to dive the magnificent dive sites in The Red Sea, my bucket list had many more to yet be checked off, including Fiji, Bali, Palau & Truk Lagoon, The Maldives and The Seychelles, Australia and the Great Barrier Reef.

    Where do you dream of going? I’d love to hear about your favorite dive spots or what destinations are on your wish list.

  • Life, Life is Balance

    Posted on February 20th, 2011

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    Changing Direction to Achieve Goals

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    Lao Tsu inspirational quote

    Seen on the subway, this ad for FlatRate Moving got me thinking about change.

    I was on the Lexington Avenue subway the other day when I saw this ad and couldn’t help snapping a photo of it. The Lao Tsu quote certainly resonated with me since I have been taking a deeper look at my life lately. So often we get stuck in the same routine, unable to move forward. Take me for instance. I’ve lived in the same apartment for longer than I care to acknowledge publicly. I’ve had the same career since I graduated college and I worked for a company for almost 12 years — until one day I got laid off.

    This one event caused me to make my first change in direction. Instead of looking for another job, I decided to start my own business. I didn’t know if it would succeed, but I knew that if I didn’t try I would always have the unanswered question rattling around in my brain, “could I have done it?” I took the risk and, while it has not always been easy, I have never looked back. That was 18 years ago. Change is good.

    I know that there are more things that I want to achieve in my life, both professionally and personally. I can envision them. In fact I even made my first vision board that shows quite clearly what some of those things are. There are some empty spaces on my vision board. It’s a work in progress, just as my life is. Changing direction is sometimes necessary to get you where you’re supposed to end up.

    Vision Boards are a visualization tool to help turn goals & dreams into reality. Many life coaches recommend them. They are pretty simple to make. There are different types of vision boards and many creative ways of making them. I found an interesting blog article on how to make a vision board that you might find useful.

    I recently started a new inspirational T-shirt business which, if all goes the way I envision, will steer me in an exciting new direction and lead me toward attaining some or all of the goals and dreams on my vision board. There may be detours along the way and I might stumble a bit, but I am looking forward to the ride.

  • Older Posts Yeah! There are more posts, check them out.

    Newer Posts Yeah! There are more posts, check them out.