Hips Don't Lie: The Myrtl Routine

Thursday, April 30, 2015

It's all in the hips, Alex Morrow told me. And, no, Alex isn't a salsa dance instructor. He's the founder of Resolute Running Training Center in Birmingham and president of the Birmingham Track Club

This year I hope to run three half-marathons, begin training for my first full marathon and I hope to log 1200 miles by December 31. When I first had a chat with Alex I asked what I should do to avoid injury since I plan to run so much this year. 

"A lot of recent research says that 90 percent of injuries no matter where they occur are related to imbalance in the hips," he explained. 

Think of the hips as a bowl of milk, Alex said. If that bowl doesn't stay balanced milk will spill and wherever it lands you can expect an injury. 

That metaphor gives a whole new meaning to the idea of crying over spilled milk, huh?

Dancing to Shakira songs in my living room (Just Dance for Wii, anyone?), unfortunately, is probably not enough to keep my hips happy. 

My running coach, Ann Thomas of Resolute Running, recommends the Myrtl routine. The Myrtl routine was developed by Jay Johnson, a coach based in Boulder, Colorado. The Myrtl routine gets its name from its focus -- your hip girdle. All the exercises in the Myrtl routine either strengthen or help provide greater range of motion in this area. 

"The Myrtl routine helps ward off injuries by maximizing flexibility in the hip girdle area and strengthening the glutes," Coach Ann explained. "The routine was also designed with the assumption that most of us spend a great deal of time sitting, and it should address any asymmetries in your hips."

The video below will help you add the Myrtl routine to your workout regimen. 

The Success Checklist: How to Evaluate Your Blog Like Advertisers & Influencers Do

Monday, April 27, 2015

Guest Post by Jennifer Brown Banks


When I got word last month that my site had won a “Top Blog” Award, I was doing the happy dance here. It was the third consecutive year in a row I had managed to garner professional recognition, for what began as an experiment of sorts. Not to mention, when it comes to promoting my site through the social media scene, I admit to being somewhat of a recluse.

But as they say, “three times is a charm.”  With this last one, there was more than a warm and fuzzy feelin’ and a validating experience. I had what Oprah often refers to as an “AH-HA” moment! It dawned on me that when it comes to this blogging business, I might know a thing or two that would actually be “marketable,“ in terms of helping others to get the recognition they desire and reap a return for their sweat equity.  

Though the path to success may have varying routes, as it applies to other genres of writing, blogging tends to be more straight and narrow. Accordingly, I offer the following checklist for those of you seeking to encounter fewer detours on your journey. 

Is your blog poised for success? Here’s how to objectively assess where you stand based upon what advertisers and influencers often look for in a blog.

If you’re on board, let’s look at your blog through different lenses.

Here are a few factors on which they‘ll likely focus. The more of these you can check off, the more you’re on point!

Does your blog have a logo, slogan, or tag line? 

Not only does this enhance your site’s appearance and establish you as a professional, it helps to solidify your brand and distinguish you from the crowd.


Do you have an “About Me” page that identifies who you are and the purpose of your site? Is it written in first-person, and in a conversational tone? How about a head shot in a prominent place that reflects who you are?

Does it convey what readers can expect to “take-away” in exchange for their time? Contrary to popular opinion, an effective “About Me” page is not really about you; it’s about your audience.


Can visitors easily determine your blog’s theme and intended readership? Or do you have topics from art to zoology addressed in your posts? Do you have tabs and labels for easy navigation? Or once there, are readers trapped in a virtual maze? Keep in mind that many times advertisers are trying to strategically target a specific demographic with their products and services. If they can’t figure out yours in the first few minutes of visiting your site, you’ve lost them in more ways than one.


Social proof can come in many forms. It can be written testimonials from satisfied customers, or a gadget on your site that reveals how many Tweets you have from your “peeps."  According to Hubspot.com’s marketing blog, “Your product or service could be the best in the world, and it's okay to lay that claim -- it's just that people may not believe you unless they hear it from other people, too. And that's exactly what social proof does.”


Though good writing can sometimes be subjective, one of the best metrics for blog success is how your words resonate with readers in the way of feedback. How active is your blog community?  Do readers respond to your posts through questions, suggestions, ongoing discussions and thoughtful threads? These are things to consider.


A regularly updated site shows discipline, commitment, and consideration for your blog followers. Bloggers who are here today and gone tomorrow confuse readers, come across as amateurs, and lose the potential opportunity to build a solid platform and a supportive fan base. Do you blog on a regular schedule? Or is it typically whenever the mood hits you?

Sporadic blog posting can be counterproductive, and cause bloggers to work “harder, not smarter.”

If you’re looking to “win friends and influence people” these factors are crucial for future blog success. Incorporate them in your strategic efforts to reach new heights and new goals.

Jennifer Brown Banks is an award-winning blogger, ghost writer, and relationship columnist. For more than a decade, her work has appeared in print and online publications such as: Today's Black Woman Magazine, Honey, Pro Blogger, and Women on Writing.

Let's Take Flight Together (or My 7/11 Special)

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Do you dream of seeing your byline in your favorite publications?

Do you have an idea for a blog or business, but you're not quite sure where to start?

Maybe you already have a blog or brand, but it's not getting the attention you feel it deserves.

Or perhaps you've written a book but you just can't seem to sell it.

If any of these sound familiar, I'd like to help you get unstuck and soar. Let's take flight together!

As founder of See Jane Write, a Birmingham-based organization for female writers, bloggers, and entrepreneurs, I used very simple but very powerful strategies to grow a small writing group into a network of hundreds of women. And this network has helped me start an award-winning business and land the paid writing opportunities I once only dreamed about. You can use these same strategies to build buzz for your blog, book, brand, or business. 

I want to share these strategies with you and answer any other questions you may have about writing, blogging, or business

For the next seven days I will be taking appointments for 11 one-on-one coaching sessions.

I'm calling this my 7/11 special. No, you can't come to me and fill a pot with your favorite flavor of Slurpee, but I can fill your mind with what you need to take your next step.

If you live in the Birmingham area and would like to meet face-to-face for more hands-on help, you can get a one-hour session for only $99 (usually $125).

If you live outside the Birmingham area or simply just need to chat, we will meet on Skype and your one-hour session will only cost $75 (usually $100).

This offer ends April April 18. 

Here's what one of my clients had to say after we spent an hour chatting at her favorite Starbucks:

My one-on-one session with Javacia was more than I expected. She not only listened to my goals and aspirations, she provided me with practical next steps to help me accomplish each. She was friendly, yet very professional. I left with an ambitious to do list which is now my roadmap. She followed up, as promised, with websites, worksheets, and tons of information to help advance my dreams to write, get published, and speak professionally. I now consider her my writing mentor.

-- TiJuana W.

You see, after we meet I'm not going to check your name off my to-do list and forget about you. I'm going to follow up with information and inspiration to keep moving your closer and closer to achieving your goals. 

If you know you need guidance, but you're not sure this is right for you, simply email me at javacia@writeousbabe.com with any questions you may have.

If you're ready to fly click here for a face-to-face session or here for a Skype chat and then email me at javacia@writeousbabe.com for next steps.

Let's do this!

Hello April

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

I often tell people that it is physically impossible for me to run without listening to music. I usually say this with laughter but I'm not actually joking. There have been times when I've been out on my favorite trail and I ended my run early simply because my iPod's battery was drained. But yesterday I did a 5-mile walk/run with no music. All I had was the sound of my breath, the wind, the nearby cars, and the occasional notification from my RunKeeper app that was helping me keep my pace.

And this is no April Fools' Day joke.

As I finished my run I began to think about other things I've once declared I couldn't do -- either jokingly or not -- and I decided that April would be the month I declared that all things are possible. I'm challenging you to do the same.

Turning my calendar to a new month has always given me a sense of new power and new hope. I wish the same for you.

What goal will you conquer this month?


Do you have big plans and bold dreams but you're not quite sure where to start? Let me help. I am now offering one-on-one consultations via Skype for WriteousBabe.com readers. Get a one-hour session for only $97. Email me at javacia@writeousbabe.com for details.