Flag Girl

This is Flag Girl Amanda.

Driving home from my 10 minute morning hill sprint with dog Ruby and my 9 year old son, I happened to see Amanda doing some Prisoner Squats at the side of the road.

Amanda is a Flag Girl with the city’s sewers crew. I parked my car and high tailed it over to chat with her about what she was doing. With my son and dog in tow, I told her what I had witnessed. She explained that she had been in a motor-vehicle accident on March 27, 2012 and since has been in a lot of pain. She had gone through all the required active rehabilitation for the soft tissue damage. However, since the physical treatments that were covered by insurance had come to an end she had to become self-sufficient and consistent with doing the prescribed exercises throughout the day on her own. She quickly showed me the list of exercises on her phone.

Yay, Amanda!

Because her job requires for a lot of standing she finds that the immobility is what contributes to her pain. As a result she does whichever exercises she can while on the job.

I can’t tell you how happy I was to see this. On one other occasion I noticed a Flag girl doing some lunges and now wonder if it was Amanda then also!?

I’ve often wanted to contact the city and offer to give a workshop on how workers can help themselves throughout such long days of mostly stationary work – because standing around (though at least there is movement), can be equally difficult on the body as sitting at a work-station all day. In addition, I think that long hours, like what Amanda does can often leave workers fatigued by days end and the last thing they want to or feel motivated to do is think about doing a ‘workout’. So what if people in this situation could be shown (and convinced) that some, focused exercises done with precision, specific to their needs could do a world of good!

This is why I love the 4 Minute Morning concept as well as Stretch B4 Bed idea too. Each session doesn’t have to be an event, but rather a few minutes of focused attention, a moving meditation, which is what Yoga is; time spent inwardly focusing and becoming aware of our physical being, which subconsciously trains our body to function correctly when we are not able to be focused inwardly…like, most of the time!

Here is a little video of what I saw Amanda doing that morning. She re-created the moment for me so I could post it here. Of course, my preference would have been to catch her spontaneously, but this will give you the gist.

I just wanted to reinforce here, how beneficial and necessary micro-breaks are for all of us, regardless of injury or as daily maintenance. I think our culture has gotten a lot carried away with the more is better philosophy with regards to exercise. We need to step back and focus more on how our body functions and less on doing exercise for the sole purpose of looking a certain way.


  1. This is excellent and it’s true. I mean, well I don’t know about doing the little things and breaks your talking about, however sitting still all the time is very difficult for me as well. Go Amanda is right! LOL 🙂

  2. Bravo for Amanda!
    As for the 4minute morning concept I would love to do this but ..I’m not so in shape coming out of bed rightaway , rather evening person. Should I force this a little?

    1. First start with the Bed Stretches http://bit.ly/wzdIab (my version or a series of stretches that work for your body). I find when I start with bed stretches, by the time my feet hit the floor I feel awake and am ready to move much more than when I don’t prime myself first.

      I will be uploading additional stretches to the Bed Stretch #1 & #2 routines I’ve already posted…it’s just a matter of getting round to it.
      Let me know if you give it a try and after a week or so if you notice a difference? Also, if after a week or so of doing just the bed stretches to wake up, be sure to start with Week #1 – Day #1 of the 4 Minute Morning…All it is, is marching on the spot. If you follow the progressions it will gradually ease you into more each week as opposed to trying to do a lot right away.

      Take care!

  3. I like your blogs. Common sense and balance. I’ve started on your 4 Minute Morning and love the idea that so much can be compacted in so little time. You are one of only three bloggers I follow …. and I gain something from each of you.

    Thank you …..

    1. Thank you nikkitytom, What a compliment. I’m glad the idea resonates with you.
      I will be visiting your blog regularly as well. With two young musical kids I look forward to picking up some ideas from your blog! As well to get myself back on the piano bench…even if for only 4 minutes a day! 🙂
      Nice to meet you!

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