Photography by Terri Pouliot

That darn branch!

A few weekends ago, I wandered about our beautiful Ohio trails to do some hiking and exploring. In between trails, I stopped in awe to view the magnificent arches under the Ohio Turnpike Bridge on Riverview Road.

It was extremely muddy and the best position to avoid the muck was on a patch of gravel opposite the bridge’s underpass.

Unfortunately, there was this darn branch in my view. Dead, ugly gnarled tree and smack dab in the middle of the photo I was trying to capture.

This obstruction began to irritate me, so I moved into the mire and oozing sludge for a better angle. I kept sinking deeper into the rain-soaked earth, until I was not really comfortable with my stance.

I decided it best to move back toward dry ground and continued shooting.

A couple things came to mind. The dead tree branch sort of grew on me. It was a part of the view. It had more of a right to be there than I did. It had flourished at that very spot at some point in time. It was only a matter of time before it would return organically back to the earth. It’s job was complete.

And what I perceived as an obstacle, wasn’t an obstacle at all. It was a part of the whole picture. It belonged there.  The obstruction actually created a point of interest.

Now, I realize with the aid of Photoshop; I could remove the tree, digitally. But I won’t. I like it. I’ve learned to appreciate it. The branch reminds me that life isn’t always a picture perfect postcard. There will be obstacles and ‘dead’ branches that obscure our view. We have to learn to look beyond, to look past them. If we don’t; we will never see the beauty that life has to offer.

And life is truly beautiful when we choose to go deeper.


With the new morning
comes hope,

The one day of the year we sanction ourselves
to begin with fresh optimism
and approve the releasing of disappointments,
and sadness of yesterday.

The hope is the thing
that fills our heart with anticipation
that perhaps anything is possible
and this will be the ‘Year’.

May all your hopes and dreams come to fruition.
Your intentions create action.

My sincere wishes for a beautiful New Year!


This morning’s lovely reminder that today is a gift.

The Goal of Any Exercise Program


The goal of any exercise program should not be to exhaust you.

To perform high numbers of burpees, box jumps, or any single exercise is counterproductive.

Go ahead and perform high rep / high intensity moves and see how great you feel afterward.  I guarantee, no matter how advanced of an exerciser you are, you’ll feel wiped out.

My System is thoughtfully designed to help increase strength, endurance, balance and muscle mass. Depending on a client’s individual goal, there will be very specific movement patterns involved. The end result is always to create more energy, not to annihilate the body. Depletion is not the goal.  A well thought out exercise program should always leave us feeling better, not worse than before we began.

To train to failure, exhaustion and soreness should never be the goal. So don’t use the degree of exhaustion and soreness as an indicator of the level of effectiveness of a workout. Improving  body composition, endurance, balance and strength are worthy goals to pursue.