Meet the Experience Life team, and get a behind-the-scenes look at how the magazine comes together each month.

Monthly Archives: May 2011

Experience Life Magazine

A Workout for My Body and Mind

I’ve never been a very physically active person. For years, to excuse my lack of activity, I’ve joked with people that I’m a thinker, not a doer. But now that I work for a fitness company, even remotely, the importance of being physical is hitting home more than ever. Unfortunately, most sports and exercise regimens fit in one of two categories for me: beyond my level of eye-hand coordination, or boring.

Over the years, I have tried different sports; the ones I enjoyed (skiing, tennis, dance, gymnastics and some team sports) fell into the first category, and those that didn’t could never hold my interest for any length of time or consistency. I had despaired of finding an activity that I was able to do and actually wanted to do. Well, this winter I found something that fills both of those requirements: rock climbing. Or, more specifically, rock wall climbing.

I first became intrigued with climbing after reading about via ferrata in our September 2010 issue, a cool way for beginning climbers to reach heights they wouldn’t have thought possible. This January, having just graduated from school, I was looking for something to fill up my newfound free time, and decided to head to one of the Life Time Fitness rock walls.

I was hooked from the first climb. A couple of weeks later, I convinced my best friend to take a belay class with me so that we could climb together. A few weeks after that, once I realized that my friend didn’t have the same level of interest I did, I found a regular climbing partner through a climbing discussion board on the club member Web site.

It’s been three months now, and Ryan and I have settled into a really comfortable schedule: two evenings a week at a gym close to home, and one weekend afternoon at a gym farther away but with twice the number of routes. As much as I’ve enjoyed the physical improvements that come with any form of regular exercise — my upper-body strength is the best it’s been in years — this weekend I realized that it’s the mental exertion that keeps me coming back for more.

I’ve always been a puzzle person. As a kid, word searches were my favorite, and as I got older, I progressed to crossword puzzles. For a while in high school I was completely obsessed with jigsaw puzzles — the more pieces the better (though I doubt that I have the patience for them these days). And even my reading and television/movie-viewing choices are mysteries, the ones where they subtly give you all the clues so you can figure out who the criminal is yourself. But really, climbing is just my latest puzzle.

The first time I climb a route is always the most exhausting because I’m navigating all the different options on how to get to the top. There are different ways I can get there, but there is usually going to be one way that is going to be quicker or easier that I’m trying to find. Should I put my left foot or my right on this foothold? Do I need to be leaning to the left, the right or flush to the wall to be able to grab that next handhold? I usually find that most new routes takes me at least three tries, and can take as many as 10, to get to the top. And the longer it takes, the cooler I think I am when I make it.

So, what I’ve discovered this year is that, given the right medium, I am actually a thinker and a doer. Who knew?

– Jocelyn Stone, Associate Editor

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Experience Life Magazine

Quinoa Conundrum

Quinoa.jpgI like quinoa. It’s fast, delicious and easy to make. Plus, it’s incredibly healthy. (For more on the health benefits of quinoa and how to prepare it, see “Quinoa” from the March 2008 archives.) So I was interested — and saddened — to read in The New York Times (March 19, 2011) that worldwide demand for quinoa has soared, causing the price of quinoa to go up and making it prohibitively expensive for many people in Bolivia, where it is grown and has been a diet staple for centuries.

In the past five years, quinoa consumption in Bolivia has dropped an astonishing 34 percent, while rates of malnutrition have skyrocketed as people begin to eat less expensive — and less healthy — food. Bolivian officials are trying to increase domestic quinoa consumption, but they have an uphill battle: A bag of white rice is less than half the cost of a similar-size bag of quinoa.

I hope they make progress in fighting this alarming and unhealthy new trend. It’s sad to think of the people who grow one of the world’s healthiest foods as not being able to afford it.

– Laine Bergeson, Senior Editor

Experience Life Magazine

Welcome to Team Talk!

After months of talking about starting an Experience Life team blog, it’s finally happened — welcome to Team Talk! We’re so excited to give you an “all access” pass to Experience Life, and to connect with you on a more personal level.

While I’ll be coordinating the blog, various members of our very eclectic and talented team will be contributing. Here at Team Talk, you can expect to find tidbits on what and how we do what we do each day — there’s a lot that goes into producing 10 issues a year; behind-the-scenes looks at meetings, cover shoots and the everyday shenanigans happening in our office (fitness-product testing and flash mob pushups are pretty common occurrences); good-to-know news and research that we’re interested in and think you’ll want to know about, too; our favorite things (workout gear, books, kitchen gear, the list goes on!); and our own personal successes and struggles when it comes to consistently walking the talk of Experience Life

We’ll also be asking for your input and suggestions: What do you want to know more about? Tell us and we’ll do our best to fill you in.

That’s the basic gist of it — enjoy and let us know what you think! 

– Jamie Martin, Manager – Digital Initiatives

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