A Fitness Tale

A Fitness Tale

Pick up your copy of our inspirational adaptation of “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens. You’ll laugh, cry, cringe, and think/learn (don’t worry, not much). If you don’t make it to class this week, or don’t even workout at CBF (that’s most of you reading this), just contact us at:


and we’ll email  ”A Fitness Tale” (pdf format) to you. It’s free. You can re-gift it to friends.


fitness cover


Laureen – Grace & Grit

Laureen – Grace & Grit 

Laureen, age 63, liked PE as kid, so much that she did the most sit ups in her class as part of the President’s national fitness program, and also learned archery and modern dance. Those were just harbingers of an impressive and very diverse exercise and dance history yet to come.

By the 1980s, Laureen was a professional belly dancer in Portland. Then, in the late 80s to mid-90s, her job as an IT/database/system administrator took her to the Bay Area in California, where she joined a women’s whaleboat rowing team with 8 rowers and a coxswain.  Each woman muscled a 15 lb. wooden oar to propel the 2500 lb. boat. She says the rowing technique was similar to crew, but whaleboat rowers are seated on a fixed bench, so in addition to burning muscles, the race to glory also included butt blisters.

Though the years, she’s frequented gyms for Pilates, boot camps, and ski training classes, and pursued outdoor activities like hiking, x-c skiing, kayaking, and picklelball.

And Laureen dances on – now flamenco.









Strong to the Core

Strong to the Core 

A strong core is critical to function effectively and safely in everyday life and recreational/sports activities.


Some think the core equates to those ripped, flat belly muscles you see in fitness ads, but there’s much more to it than that.

The core includes the entire trunk from the lower rib cage to the pelvic floor. It is built with three layers with over 30 sets of muscles . Some are very large, like the transverse abdomenis that wraps around your entire trunk. Others are very small, like the rotatores that span one vertebrae to another in the spine. All of these muscles are connected with, and reinforced by, incredibly strong bands and sheaths of connective tissue (called fascia).


Your core performs all kinds of important jobs without you even having to think about it, including:

- Enables the arms to reach and legs to walk because the core provides a stable platform from which the shoulders and hips can generate force.

- Rotates your body so you can, for instance, shovel snow, control a dog pulling on the leash, or heave a bag of cement into your truck, or hit a pickelball. (Thanks, Tracy. Great form in the picture below.)


- Protects your internal organs and stiffen your spine, so you can safely lift and carry things and fall without injury.

- Maintains balance and erect posture, whether you are standing or moving. Note the next time you trip how it’s your core area that first braces and initiates a recovery movement to re-establsh your center of gravity over your lower body.

- And not to forget, core strength helps prevent urinary incontinence, assists in bowel movements, and enhances your sexual performance.

Some of the muscles in the core are best conditioned by dynamic exercises, like throwing medicine balls or band knee-to-knees, and others by static exercises such as planks.

Numerous injuries and lower back pain are caused by weaknesses or imbalances in the core.

If your core gets strong, so does the rest of your body. This is why we do lots core work in every class at CBF. 











types of exercise