Friday, May 1, 2015

Karla Akins: Fit For Life And Writing

Everyone's Story is pleased that the wonderful Karla Akins joins us once again. I love Karla! She manages to make us smile while sharing important facets of life. This week Karla writes about the value of exercise and staying fit, not only for health's sake but also for the writing and faith journeys that we continue through our years. Please check out Karla's BookGiveaway, her cute book trailer, and of course, her inspiring message. Both Karla and I look forward to hearing from you.
***I'll love for you to take a moment and take this month's short poll on the right-hand sidebar. Thanks so much.


BookGiveaway:
Karla is offering 1 copy of any one of her books (some are only in e-version) to 1 randomly chosen commenter. The winner will be announced here on Friday, May 8th between 5-6 PM EST. To be entered in the Giveaway, please leave your contact information within your comment








Diary of a Wimpy Grandma by Karla Akins


Hello. My name is Karla and I’m a wimpy grandma.

I own it. In fact, that’s what I told my personal trainer (PT) the other day.

Which is the very reason why I have a PT in the first place.

You see, not only am I a wimp but when it comes to exercise, I’m lazy. 

As comedian John Pinette put it when asked by his trainer to do a sit up: “I don’t do ups. I do downs. Sit down, lay down, chow down, slow down. Give me a cheeseburger I’ll wolf it down. But I don’t do ups. Ups defy gravity. Gravity is a law. I obey the law.”

Like John, my favorite activities are sedentary: reading, writing, eating, rinse, repeat. I blame it on the fact that I was never encouraged to play sports as a kid. Title IX didn’t actually hit our public schools in Kansas until I was a freshman in high school. By that time I was beyond hope. I was that kid in gym class who tossed up my cookies after one lap around the track, who never made a basket, and couldn’t hit the volleyball over the net. 
I’ve never had much confidence in my physical abilities. I’m clumsy, uncoordinated, and have no depth perception (which makes riding a motorcycle a real trip). I suppose that’s why swimming is the only “sport” I enjoy. I don’t have to worry about causing harm to myself or others. Also, when you’re fat, you float really well.

However, I’m not getting any younger, and I want to live the last years of my life strong. So, when a gym opened up in our town (pop. 6000), I thought, why not? Let’s join. And not just join, let’s sign up for some personal training sessions.

Having an imagination is great for writing but doesn’t always serve one well in real life. What on God’s green earth (where there exists DQ Blizzards and Chocolate Cake) was I thinking?
.
After my first session with my trainer, one thing is patently obvious.

I’m going to die.

And since I’m going to die eventually anyway, why speed up the process by exercising until my legs feel like gummy worms and my arms like last month’s limp celery?

Seriously, though, I signed up with a once-a-week trainer because I simply can’t motivate myself to exercise. I need a drill sergeant. I’m not intrinsically motivated to do anything that has to do with moving faster than 1 MPH and sweating.

Still, I think maybe I did a good thing in joining a gym and signing up for training. I tried to get out of my second session by texting my trainer and telling him I wasn’t coming. I have fibromyalgia, and I was aching and hurting and depressed. But PT’s too good at his job. Guess who was suited up and at the gym ten minutes later?

This wimpy grandma.

PT’s got me doing things I never imagined I could do. Activities I was convinced my body didn’t know how to do and would never learn. I thought my knees were too shot to do stepping-up exercises. I didn’t think I could walk faster than 3.5 MPH on a treadmill without hanging on. I was sure I’d end up flying across the gym in a hilarious YouTube video, but no. My body is much more capable than even my imagination could fathom.

Maybe, just maybe, this gym thing wasn’t a hair-brained idea after all. Maybe I’ll actually get stronger and in the process gain more confidence in my ability to take better care of myself, make better eating choices, and not fear pain.

There is no growth without discomfort. I need to embrace that fact.  My biggest obstacle at this point is my attitude and my ability to stay motivated.

What about you? Are you addicted to working out like a lot of people I meet at the gym? Or are you more like me and hate to sweat? I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments below!

“Like an athlete I punish my body, treating it roughly, training it to do what it should, not what it wants to. Otherwise I fear that after enlisting others for the race, I myself might be declared unfit and ordered to stand aside.”
1 Corinthian 9:27 (Living Bible)

Check out Karla first and very popular appearance on Everyone's Story titled Be Inspired By Autumn.


Karla's Ah-hahs To Tweet:
Author Karla Akins @KarlaAkins on Everyone’s Story: Diary of a wimpy grandma (Tweet This)

Author Karla Akins @KarlaAkins: What’s the connection between fitness and writing? (Tweet This)

Like #BookGiveways? Check out @KarlaAkin’s varied offer on Everyone’s Story (Tweet This)


Author's Bio:
Karla Akins’s first novel, The Pastor’s Wife Wears Biker Boots was published in August, 2013. She also writes interactive, biographical narratives, and content for iPad applications with an on-going contract for her World Explorers Every Child Should Know series. Jacques Cartier, hit #1 on Amazon in its category. Her hobbies are book-hoarding, riding her motorcycle and looking for treasure. She is represented by Linda S. Glaz of Hartline Literary Agency.

Places to connect with Karla:



43 comments:

  1. Karla, thanks for regaling anyone who reads this post. Love your light look @ life, and especially this topic. I've always been a walker…the benefits really motivated me right from the start, but then I'm pretty much neurotic about stuff like this.

    I'm glad you signed up w/what sounds like a marvelous PT, and wish I lived closer…I could use his advice!

    Thanks a lot for sharing,

    Gail Kittleson

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    1. Gail, I wish you lived closer so that we could be walking partners!

      As always, thanks for visiting.

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    2. Thanks for stopping by, Gail and for your kind comments. I like walking, too. Wish we could take some steps together!

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    3. What a fabulous post! So funny. A few years ago I received a directive from Father. "Get down to the gym. Now. Exercise!" Ir was an order!. And I obeyed! Glad I did!

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    4. Margie, this is a classic "Father knows best" and boy, does He ever! So glad you listened. I bet you feel better too.

      Good seeing you!

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  2. I'm with you, Karla. This grandma's exercise is watching the grandkids play. Their energy is more than enough to make up for my lack thereof. They do occasionally drag me to the park, where I tend to find a nice bench in the shade and read until they're ready to go home. Exercise is important, and your sacrifice has certainly motivated me to at least think about joining a gym, or, at the very least, start watching my Zumba videos again. Thanks for this! Patty Perrin - relivliving@gmail.com

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    1. Patty, welcome to Everyone's Story! Do check back for Karla's reply, but I'll say this: I'm so glad to see one of my guests inspire one of my viewers. Yay!

      Hope to see you again.

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    2. The grandkids were one of the reasons I wanted to get in better shape. I love playing with them. But keeping up with them is getting harder. I'm so thankful they're involved in active things like dance and soccer. As a little girl I always wanted to be a ballerina. As I tell people now -- aren't you glad that didn't happen? LOL. Horrors. But at least I wouldn't have developed a love of all thing sedentary. Maybe. I have a feeling you sweat doing ballet, too, so no, I probably would have failed. Oh well. I yam what I yam! Thanks for reading and enjoy those grandbabies!

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  3. Walking has always been the best workout for me. gmfuhlman27@gmail.com

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    1. Gail, thanks so much for your visit this evening (and for your Google Follow of my blog). Ever since I was a kid, I loved walking. Back then it was from one end of Brooklyn to another. I just never got tired of it. I still enjoy walking but sure do wish the winters weren't so cold. My treadmill is okay… not the same as the outdoors where I get to think and pray, or if I'm with my husband or friend, enjoy a nice conversation.

      Hope to see you again.

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    2. I love walking, too. For a long time I couldn't walk because of my hips hurting me so badly. Now after losing some weight it's so much easier and it's so enjoyable! I get a lot of good thinking and praying done, don't you? The treadmill just isn't the same as ambling down the neighborhood sidewalks. Thanks for stopping by and reading!

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  4. I can certainly relate - I am a wimpy grandma too. Enjoyed the post and I loved Karla's book The Pastor's Wife Wears Biker Boots.

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    1. Ann, you might insist you're "wimpy" when it comes to exercising, but your heart is too full of love for your family to make me think of you as wimpy :)

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    2. Ann! So nice to see you here. You are such a wonderful online friend. Thanks for making the time to read and stop by. Hugs to you and those beautiful grandchildren!

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  5. What a fun post! I laughed out loud..I like that - I don't do UP's I've got to write that one down! thanks for the day brightener..
    ps.. I don't like to sweat either :)
    dkstevensne AToutlookDotCOm

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    1. And I love, love, love when my viewers laugh out loud. Smiles are contagious! Always good to see you, Deanna.

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    2. Yay! It does my heart so much good to make people smile and laugh. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your comments. :-) It's fun to meet another "I don't do ups" friend!

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  6. AnonymousMay 01, 2015

    Hi Elaine. I enjoyed your visit with karla. Sounds like she has some interesting books.I wish I had walked and exersized more during the time I was healthier. Now, when I try it makes my hips hurt so bad I have to stop.I never was in any sports, except when I was a kid we played outside most days. All kids did. all of us spent time in games that gave us much exersize. and, children were outdoors a lot instead of sitting so much with phones, electronic games, computers, etc. I am glad I was a kid back then. But as I got in High school, I didn't do gym and such. I was in the band and got lots of walking then. :) Things were so much simpler then. I would love to win one of your books. Thanks Elaine for this post. GOD bless.
    Maxie > mac262(at)me(dot)com <

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    1. Fondly waving to you, Maxie, from the Northeast. You've reminded me of the time when I was in high school. I was the one that was always picked last for a gym-team sport. One day we were "made" to play softball. Ha. I was picked last… and stunned everyone (including myself) by making a home run! You also brought back memories of me happily playing outdoors with childhood friends. Remember the game Red Light Green Light 1 2 3? Ah, we certainly were busy, active children.

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    2. Maxie! Yes, we played outside all the time! I am thankful for those memories, too. I remember spending hours outside with my pets playing with them. I was the one having the good time, but I bet those puppies thought they were having a good time, too. I used to ride my bike and I loved walking at home and out to the pasture at my grandmother's house. But even then, I usually took a notebook with me to that pasture, climbed a tree by the creek and wrote in my notebook. Wherever I was there was writing going on in the midst of all that play.

      I wish kids today could get outside more. It's so dangerous now. I wandered at my leisure all over my grandmother's neighborhood. I'd walk down to the creek and collect fossils and rocks. I had so much freedom. I could never allow my children to do that today. And the gym just isn't the same as being outdoors. Oh for the good ol' days of summer, right? Thanks for reading, Maxie!

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  7. Actually, I love to work out, Karla. (Don't throw a shoe at me :) But I also love to laugh... so thank you! :)

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    1. Sounds like Karla is too busy these days to spare a tennis shoe, Kathy (g) Thanks for visiting this evening.

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    2. Kathy, I'd love to know how you came to love it, why you love it and what motivates you. I hope you'll share! Thanks for reading and stopping by. Means a lot to me!

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  8. Loved this! I do Pilates twice a week and water aerobics because I love doing it, but the specter of knee replacement surgery has me doing leg lifts with 10 lb weights every morning. Stay with that PT. Sounds like a good one!

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    1. Pat, you're so wise to keep up those daily exercises to stave off surgery. I wish you continued success/health. I'm still fantasizing about one day, when I don't have to deal with my current messy indentureship aka the day job) taking up dance-exercise classes, minus skimpy leotards. Don't want to hurt anyone's eyesight--LOL.

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    2. Patricia, I love water aerobics. What I don't love is the time-factor. I've got to get it into my head that it's worth every second. I have a negative attitude about suiting up and the time it takes to suit up, change, refresh myself afterwards. Ugh. It's an hour and a half of my day I just can't spare. At least I don't think I can. I'm grateful for our backyard pool, though! It's just that I don't actually exercise when I'm in it. LOL.

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  9. Karla, you look great. Thanks for sharing about your struggles
    with exercise. I may not be a grandma, but I'm a wimp when it comes to exercises. Sounds like the accountability and discipline you receive from the PT is worth the pay and effort. Maybe that's the missing piece here. Thanks for another fun post, Elaine.

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    1. Kathy, thanks for your visit. I always enjoy seeing you here. I try to hosts guests that offer a variety of pick-me-ups to my viewers…but when I apply this now to Karla I'm picturing her weightlifting with barbells :) Power to you, Karla!

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    2. Thanks, Kathleen! I think my PT is really changing how I even think about food. I realized today that when the donuts came home after church yesterday I didn't even give them another glance! Wow. Wish I could say the same for those cookies I ate at the dinner last night. ;-) Baby steps, right? Yes, I definitely need external motivation. I'm simply not going to motivate myself because there are too many reason i.e. excuses not to do it. Thanks for reading. Your support means a lot to me!

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  10. Hi Karla, It's fun to get to know you and I enjoy your sense of humor. It's like imagining Erma Bombeck as a pastor's wife! Seriously, though, I'd imagine a sense of humor would be a requirement for that life position! I am an exercise wimp too but my body feels so uplifted and refreshed every time I follow through I wonder why I don't do it more. Thanks for the encouragement to keep my health at the top of the priority list.

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Delores. Wow. I can see "the Christian Erma Bombeck" in Karla's signature line!

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    2. Awwww, you and Elaine made my DAY. When I was a little girl growing up and writing my parents always dubbed me the next Erma Bombeck because I loved writing about funny things. I guess I've always had a funny outlook on life. We were huge Bombeck fans in my family. I can't tell you how much your comments uplifted me today! Thank you, thank you! Hugs and keep on exercising!

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    3. Karla, I'm smiling now because you're smiling.

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  11. I am kind of in the middle on exercise. While I don't hate it I don't absolutely love it either. I do Leslie Sansone's walking videos at home and Denise Austin is a great cardio worker if you want to go that route. I try to live a pretty healty lifestyle. I hardly eat any meat, salmon yes. I drink a lot of green tea during the day and eat healthily. I love the title of your first book Karla Akins. Anyone that has a title like that has got to have a great sense of humor and write great books. I know I would love to read them !

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    1. Deanne, so nice to meet you here! Sounds like you live a well-balanced life. I'm trying to get there. And isn't Salmon delicious? I grew up in Kansas -- nowhere near Salmon -- but my father had grown up for awhile in Oregon, so he craved Salmon patties and made them for us now and then. YUM! Thanks for stopping by and reading!

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  12. Forgot my email address, silly me.

    Deanne
    Cnnamongirl(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Deanne, it's always, always a pleasure to see you. It pays to take care of yourself!

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  13. Fun one, Karla. My son was a personal trainer in his other life and he's never gotten over it. It's hard to hide from him, though now that he has his own home he doesn't know where my cookie stash is. Great advice - great post.

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    1. Davalyn, so nice to see you. I think I might be seeing another moral of the story: exercise, stay healthy, and enjoy the occasional cookie?

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    2. COOKIES!!! They are my downfall. I LOVE cookies! ;-) Thanks for reading, Davalynn!

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  14. What a fun week it's been on Everyone's Story, all thanks to guest Karla Akins. Thank you, Karla, for always contributing a smile for everyone.

    Thanks too for your fun BookGiveaway offer. The winner--who gets to choose any 1 of Karla's books--is…

    Margie. Congratulations, Margie. Both Karla and I will contact you via direct email.

    Blessings to all.

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    1. Thanks for hosting me, Elaine! What a generous blog you have here! God bless!

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    2. Thanks for the kind words, Karla. I truly appreciate them.

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