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Work/Life Balance: Work Hard, Play Harder, Live Well

SmartphoneWith technological advances like laptops, smartphones, tablet PCs, and virtual meeting tools, we’re more connected to our offices than ever before.  As I write this, I’m sitting on my couch at home watching a news program, monitoring work email on my smartphone, and playing fetch with my dog Max, all while dinner’s cooking in the oven.  Being able to stay connected to our work responsibilities 24/7 does have several benefits, including improved productivity and greater flexibility in our schedules. 

On the flip side, as workplace connectivity continues to increase, many professionals are struggling to draw the line between work and personal time — and working too much isn’t healthy!  Last year, a study published in the European Heart Journal suggested that people who regularly work long hours increase their risk of heart disease by 60 percent. 

Driving Range at Kissing Camels

Driving range at Kissing Camels

Here at Garden of the Gods Club, our philosophy is that you should definitely work hard but also figure out how to play harder.  As legendary football coach Vince Lombardi put it, “The dictionary is the only place that success comes before work. Hard work is the price we must pay for success.”  If you want to be successful, you must work hard.  At the same time, you need to take care of yourself.  Setting aside time to decompress, engage in activities you enjoy, and spend time with family and friends is critical to staying healthy and motivated. 

So what might this kind of work/life balance look like?  

  • Going for a morning run before you drive to the office
  • Heading over to the driving range to hit a few balls during your lunch break
  • Enjoying a  couples massage with your partner
  • Spending quality time playing with your kids at the pool
  • Having drinks with your friends at Happy Hour

You can choose to spend your downtime however you wish, as long as you make it a point not to be working at all hours.  Work hard, but play harder, and you’ll live well!

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Your Guide to Winter Hair Care: Our Q&A With a Salon Professional

Static electricityThe other day, I was walking by a window and caught a glimpse of myself in the reflection.  A few strands of my hair were standing straight up!  I wondered how many people had seen me like that before I noticed — how embarrassing! 

Here in Colorado Springs, where the winter air tends to be very dry, many of us find ourselves battling to keep our hair moisturized and free of static electricity.  This may sound silly, but I do have one trick that works great:  keeping a dryer sheet in my purse.  When my hair is standing on end, I run the dryer sheet over my hair, and it removes the static.  As a bonus, my purse always smells great!

I also asked one of our salon professionals, Robin, to share her best advice for keeping our locks looking beautiful all year long. 

Me:  What’s your #1 tip for keeping hair healthy during the dry winter season?

Robin:  When you put on your conditioner, massage it into your scalp and leave in a little bit for moisture.

Me:  How often should hair be washed during winter?

Robin:  You should only wash every other day or every third day so that your hair’s natural oils have a chance to develop and nourish your strands.

Me:  Does the temperature of the water we use to wash our hair make any difference in its healthiness?

Robin:  This depends on if you have oily or dry hair.  You should use very warm water on oily hair to clean the oil out, but if your hair is dry, you should use lukewarm water so that some of the oils are retained.  

Me:  What is dry shampoo?

Robin:   Dry shampoo is something you can use when you’re in a rush or traveling, but it will still leave your hair a little dirty.  I don’t recommend using it.

Me:  Give me the low-down on conditioning.  What kind of conditioner is most appropriate to use during winter?

Robin:  This depends on the texture of your hair.  If you have fine hair, use a light conditioner during winter, and don’t use very much of it.  For coarse and thick hair, I recommend using the same amount of conditioner that you would use during other times of year, but concentrate your conditioning mostly on the ends of your hair.

Me:  If someone’s experiencing a buildup of product in her hair, is it ok to use a clarifying shampoo during winter?

Robin:  Absolutely!  Use clarifying shampoo on any hair type during winter or summer, if you’re experiencing buildup.

If you wish to speak with Robin or schedule an appointment with her, please contact our Spa Concierge at 719.520.4988.  Robin typically works Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.  Don’t forget that during our Tranquil Days, which are Mondays and Tuesdays, you’ll get 20 percent off all services, including hair care.

We want to know:  What are your own strategies for keeping your hair in check during winter?


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Things to Do This Weekend in Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs

It’s almost Friday!  What are your weekend plans?  I desperately need to clean my house, but I’m also going to try getting outside to enjoy this warmer weather.  If you’re in the mood to go hiking, Garden of the Gods Park is always a great bet, or you might want to check out Seven Bridges or Mount Cutler Trail.  And don’t forget to bring the camera so that you can participate in our photo contest!  If you need other ideas for fun activities to do this weekend, here’s an overview of some of the events happening in Colorado Springs this weekend:

  • The Barber of Seville — Saturday, 7:30 pm, & Sunday, 3 pm, Pikes Peak Center.  Opera Theatre of the Rockies presents its 2011 season production, The Barber of Seville (Gioachino Rossini’s comic opera), based upon the revolutionary French play by Pierre Beaumarchais. Presented in the grand operatic tradition, The Barber of Seville will be performed in its original Italian with English supertitles.  Tickets range from $23-60.  www.pikespeakcenter.com
  • Indoor Farmer’s Market – Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm, 2521 W. Colorado Ave.  (Old Colorado City).  Indoor, year-round Farmer’s Market, plus arts & crafts and entertainment. Free food samples. Fresh local-grown greens.  314-8714
  • Delicious Downtown Food Tour - Saturday, 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm, downtown Colorado Springs.  Walking tour designed to help you discover new and delicious eateries while learning about this beautiful city’s history. Food Preview: Italian manicotti, decadent wine, green chili enchiladas, fresh spices, savory barbecue beef and pork, berry-infused vodka martini, spicy chicken satay, Colorado-brewed beer, blueberry cheesecake crepe, and more!  Tickets are $49 per person.  www.coloradospringsfoodtours.com
  • College hockey:  Air Force vs. Robert Morris — Friday, 7:05 pm, & Saturday, 7:35 pm, Cadet Ice Arena at the U.S. Air Force Academy.  472.1895, www.goairforcefalcons.com
  • College hockey:  Colorado College vs. Minnesota Duluth — Friday, 7:35 pm, & Saturday, 7:05 pm, Colorado Springs World Arena.  576-2626, www.worldarena.com
  • Skate with the CC Tigers — Sunday, 11 am, Honnen Ice Arena (14 E. Cache La Poudre St.).  Skate with the 2010-11 Colorado College Tigers, take pictures with these hockey players, and get autographs. Admission is free.  Skate rentals available.
  • Rock & Worship Roadshow — Sunday, 7 pm, Colorado Springs World Arena.  Featuring bands like MercyMe, Jars Of Clay, and Thousand Foot Krutch, this show is geared toward fans of all ages, especially families.  In addition to bringing a night of exciting performances, the tour is also dedicated to a bigger purpose:  helping kids with juvenile diabetes via “Imagine A Cure,” a non-profit organization that supports research leading to a cure, as well as serving those with medical needs around the world via Compassion International.  Tickets are $10 at the door.  www.therockandworshiproadshow.com

Have a wonderful weekend!

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When Swinging Your Golf Club, Remember the Letters PGA

What do you think of when you hear the term PGA? Yes, PGA does stand for Professional Golfers Association, but it’s also one of the most important acronyms in golf instruction. When PGA professionals hear the term PGA, we’re thinking Posture, Grip, and Alignment.

Proper Posture

P is for Posture. A great example of the proper posture for a golf swing is the way a third baseman stands when he’s waiting for a hit ball to come to him. The body should stand up tall with the  head up, not slumped on the chest trying to keep it down.  Arms should be extended, but not locked.  Back should be straight but not rigid.  Grip should be firm but not too tight.  Legs and feet should be solid but not stiff. This posture is often referred to as an athletic position.

Correct Grip

G is for Grip. The best grip is one that allows the player to hit the best shots. A good grip will allow the player to hit the ball to the maximum distance and in the proper direction. A golfer can grip the club with three different grips: overlap, interlock, or ten fingers. A few things to consider when choosing one of these grips is preference, ability to get the club face square, grip pressure, and  making sure you can see up to 3 knuckles in the left or right hand depending upon a right handed or left handed golfer.

Correct Alignment

A is for alignment. When addressing the ball, your body (feet, knees, hips, forearms, shoulders, and eyes) should be positioned parallel to the target line. When viewed from behind, a right-handed golfer will appear to be aimed slightly left of the target. This optical illusion is created because the ball is on the target line and the body is not. The feet should be shoulder-width apart (outside of the shoulders to the inside of the heels) for the middle irons. Your weight should be balanced on the balls of the feet, not on the heels or toes.Your knees should be slightly flexed and directly over the balls of your feet for balance.

Your swing evolves from your setup. If you focus on the pre-swing fundamentals, you are more likely to improve your golf game. A good setup does not guarantee success; however, it improves your chances of success on the golf course. If you have any questions or would like to learn more, please leave a comment for me here on this blog.


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How to Mix Business and Pleasure Effectively

Business trip

What do you look for when reserving a hotel room for an upcoming business trip? 

Life is too short to be all work and no play, so when I’m preparing to travel on business, I look for a hotel that not only is close to where I need to be but also will allow me to combine business with a bit of pleasure. 

When booking a business trip, I look for the following amenities:

  • A spacious and up-to-date fitness facility where I’ll actually enjoy working out
  • Convenient on-site dining facilities with healthy food options available
  • Out-the-door-access to walking and hiking trails so that if the weather cooperates, I can get outside and enjoy the fresh air without having to worry about traffic or congestion
  • A quiet location where I can get some shuteye without being disturbed by the sounds of trains, traffic, etc.
  • High-speed wireless Internet access so that I can work on projects efficiently
  • Room service in case my projects take longer than expected (as if that ever happens!)
  • A full-service spa because, as I already mentioned, my trip shouldn’t be all work and no play
  • A 24-hour front desk in case I need to make any changes or adjustments to my reservation at any time of the day or night (I also prefer booking with the hotel directly for the same reason.  I very rarely go through any third-party booking websites, as I find it’s much easier to work with a hotel directly.)

I’m sure that you road warriors out there have other qualities that you look for in a hotel; please share them with us by leaving a comment here on this blog post.  If your business travels ever take you to Colorado Springs, keep in mind that the Lodge at Garden of the Gods Club has everything I mentioned above and more — and we offer corporate rates to boot.  Contact me if you want to know more!

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