Harmony – December Theme

“Harmony makes small things grow, lack of it makes great things decay.”Gaius Sallustius Crispus (Sallust), Roman historian and politician

Harmony during the holidays

I love the holiday season. For me, it’s always been a time of jubilation – the get togethers with family and friends, the falling snow outside enjoyed with a glowing fire inside, the anticipation of the joy others will feel at that gift given, the surprise at the thoughtfulness of the gift received.

But, I know many of us feel stress and trepidation during this time of year. The list making for what gifts to get all of those friends and family. Wracking our brains trying to think of that perfect gift for each person. All of the preparations for family coming to stay for extended visits – and the stress of having them staying for extended periods! It can all be a bit overwhelming.

I recall a holiday from 2019. Misti and I hosted family and had 20! people staying at our home, and another few joining for the holiday meal. It was crazy. Fun, yes! But also hectic with everyone on top of one another. Picture National Lampoon’s Family Vacation – times 4!

How did we deal with it? By carving out some down time for just the two of us. Finding some quiet and solitude in the midst of the chaos. Seeking a state of inner peace, taking a moment for some individual calmness, and thus creating balance with the busyness around us. By finding harmony.

And when we found harmony, we were able to bring joyful positive energy to our family relationships. Those few days together strengthened the relationships we have with our adult children, brought together our in-laws, and helped our children and their grandparents bond. That harmony helped those small relationships grow to have a great impact on our family.

Here’s a few tips for how to find a bit of harmony yourselves during this busy holiday season:

Quick and Effective Workouts
With schedules packed to the brim, it’s crucial to prioritize short yet effective workouts. Try incorporating two time-efficient exercises into your routine:
Tabata Training: Tabata is a form of HIIT that involves 20 seconds of intense exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated for four minutes. Choose exercises like squats, burpees, or jumping jacks to get your heart rate up in a short amount of time – repeat 8 rounds of 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest. Take a minute break, then repeat another 4 times and you have a SUPER effective 20 minute workout.
Bodyweight Circuit: Create a circuit of bodyweight exercises, including push-ups, lunges, and planks. Perform each exercise for 30 seconds, then move to the next with minimal rest. Repeat the circuit for a quick and efficient full-body workout.

Mindful Moments Amidst the Hustle
Research indicates a profound connection between mental harmony and physical well-being (Murphy et al, “The Benefits of Dispositional Mindfulness in Physical Health, 2012). Taking mindful moments during the holiday chaos can significantly contribute to your eating practices, quality of sleep, reduced stress and better physical health. Here’s a simple way to practice mindfulness:
Mindful Breathing Exercise: This is one that we frequently use at the end of our group sessions. Find a quiet space, sit comfortably, and close your eyes. Inhale deeply through your nose for a count of three, hold your breath for moment, then exhale slowly through pursed lips for a count of four. Focus on your breath, letting go of any tension. Repeat for a few minutes to center yourself and promote mental clarity.

Simplifying Nutrition for Balance
Amidst holiday feasts, maintaining a balanced diet is key. Simplify your nutrition by focusing on whole, non-caloric dense but nutrient-dense foods. Here’s a quick and healthy recipe to support your well-being:

Quinoa and Vegetable Stir-Fry:
1 cup quinoa (uncooked)
2 cups mixed vegetables (broccoli, bell peppers, carrots)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon ginger, grated
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook quinoa according to package instructions.
In a pan, heat olive oil and sauté garlic until fragrant.
Add mixed vegetables and stir-fry until tender-crisp.
Mix in cooked quinoa, soy sauce, sesame oil, and grated ginger.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.

During the holiday chaos, finding harmony is not only possible but essential for our well-being. Embrace quick workouts, incorporate mindful moments, and simplify your nutrition. These small steps can make a significant difference in maintaining balance during the festive season. Prioritize your health, and you’ll find that harmony can coexist with the holiday hustle.

December Member of the Month – Steve Maline

Some of our members love their guided workouts with our phenomenal staff.  Some crave the community they find through our semi-private sessions.  And some of our members come in, jam to their own tunes and knock out a HARD workout on their own like it’s nobody’s business.  And by that, I’m referring to our December member of the month – Steve Maline.

Steve is one of the most engaging and open people I’ve met here in the Valley.  He always has a smile when he comes in, an encouraging word to offer to people in the gym (even though that’s our job!) and loves to wrap about food, music and biking – three of my favorite things!  So I was really excited to sit down and chat with him for this month’s interview.

Steve, what’s your origin story?  Where are you originally from and how did you come to be in the Vail Valley?

I’m from Thousand Oaks, so a SoCal kid.  When I was a kid the beach was the place to go to and surfing was the thing to do!  I moved to Arizona for a while, then up to Northern California.  I loved racing mountain bike and did a bunch of races around the Southwest.  I had a great family which provided me a really good foundation.

I had a really culinary driven background.  We used food as an avenue of travel and exploration, and a way of connecting.  I made a career of that interest, and came here in 2007 to open Spago Bachelor Gulch.

Nice establishment!  That must have been professionally rewarding, but quite demanding?

It was my professional passion.  I also opened Spago in Maui and worked across the Wolfgang Puck empire.  But it was difficult work.  When you’re opening a restaurant it’s 40 day stretches of going in at 6am to oversee breakfast prep and sticking aound till 11 after the last seating has been cleared.

So how did you get through the stress of that?  What were the things that kept you going?

My family, parents, but mostly my wife Brooke.  I felt passionate about what I was doing, but took some really important things for granted.  I stepped back from that world and took more time to focus on my relationship with Brooke, my health and took time to appreciate how good I have things in my life overall.

And how do you fulfill your passions now?

Being out riding my mountain bike around here.  Staying active.  Brooke and I still have dreams of opening a little trattoria or wine bar here.  I love seeing people in business here in the Valley, they’re truly genuine and I can see how they run their business from the heart.

So what brought you into Dogma Athletica?

I used to work out here back in the 2010 time period but had dropped away.  I came back in January 2023 to check it out since I was recovering from a broken wrist and had some drive to get back in shape.  I wanted to slowly build back up, and Dogma was simple, close and super-convenient.  But what has kept me around is the nature of this place.  There’s a difference between being nice and being kind, and you guys have created a kind place.  You acknowledge people when they come in, you’re always greeting people warmly, you know everyone’s names – it’s kind of like that old show “Cheers”.

Steve, I really appreciate that differentiation between “nice” and “kind” – it really hits home with our Kindness theme from November.  Any parting words of wisdom for our readers?

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.  Make the days count.”  That’s my quote for it.  But overall just be cool.  Don’t be scared to be yourself.  People appreciate you being genuine with them.

We truly appreciate Steve and having him as a member at Dogma Athletica.  Out of that appreciation,  we’re happy to provide his next month membership on us!