Kat Tansey ~ Author, Educator, Founder of Choosing To Be Fit
In September of 2011 at the age of 67, I was slammed with a big wake-up call that vividly demonstrated to me how dismal my future would be if I didn’t figure out how to take better care of myself. Founding Choosing To Be Fit was the result of my journey, so that I could refine and teach the steps I took and continue to take to achieve and maintain my fitness and vitality.
I’ve spent my career helping people and organizations change. I began in 1969 in the computer services industry, and was rapidly promoted over a nine year period into positions in product development, training, consulting, project management and marketing. I left the corporate world in 1978 to become a partner in a recruiting firm, and subsequently opened my own consulting business in training & organizational development.
In 1989 I wrote a book on organizational change and joined a rapidly growing outplacement firm to develop a new practice in Organizational Change Management.
Then in 1990 my own life changed dramatically when I was struck down by an unknown malady which would later be called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Reduced as I was from a vibrant and active organizational change consultant to a lost and depressed couch potato, I followed the path of the Buddha to learn how to meditate. I pulled back from the brink of suicide to discover my true Buddha nature as I unraveled the mysteries of mindfulness meditation with the help of my Feline Zen Master. I wrote about my journey back to health from CFS in the award-winning book, Choosing To Be: Lessons in Living from a Feline Zen Master.
As an advance scout for the baby boomer generation, I have always been on the frontier of research and knowledge vital to my health. For example, few knew about the damage antibiotics and birth control pills did to the body’s internal flora in 1990 – the word probiotics was never discussed in polite company. And formaldehyde outgassing from fresh paint, pressboard and carpets in a newly redesigned office? No one had a clue that this could lead to toxic overload and result in a very cool brainy woman spiraling down into the land of confusion that was alternately called Epstein Barr, Chronic Fatigue, or Fibromyalgia.
After achieving my return to full health in the mid-nineties, I continued to research, write, and teach about change and health issues. I spent several years studying the effects of toxins in the air and water, and another year researching the impact of EMF on human beings. Because I was having difficulty sleeping, I researched and wrote a book about how to resolve the syndrome of insomnia. And for over four years I interviewed a wide range of mid-life experts on the Finding Magic in Midlife radio show, covering a wide range of topics like Emotional Freedom with Dr. Judith Orloff, My Stroke of Insight with Jill Bolte Taylor, Loving What Is with Byron Katie and The How of Happiness with Dr. Sonia Lyubomirsky.
I’ve struggled like so many other boomers, beginning in 2007 with a life threatening event in my partner’s life, which lead to disastrous events in our finances and two moves in two years as we began to rebuild our lives.
Throughout all of this, I thought I knew what to do to maintain good health, and I tried to do my best. But the pressures of care-taking and the stress of life’s events caught up with me, and one day I found myself unable to stand up in my garden after squatting to plant some herbs. I quite literally did not have the strength in my legs to stand up. So I sat in the mud and cried, picturing that great scene in Gone with the Wind when Scarlett O’Hara raises her little fist and declares to God that she will never go hungry again.
And so in September of 2011, I began yet another journey to learn what I needed to do to bring myself back to full health and fitness. Choosing to Be Fit is the result of this journey.
Kevin Narog ~ Fitness Coach & Certified Nutritionist
How many people who decide to go on a fitness journey happen to have a Certified Nutritionist and Cross-Training professional right under their roof? At the time I began this journey, Greg’s son Kevin was staying with us, and he became my teacher, coach, and collaborator all rolled into one. We spent many hours hanging out in the kitchen talking about diet, natural supplements, exercises, and motivation. I was able to try his ideas and get clarification right away on points I didn’t understand. I am so grateful to him for his expertise and support in my fitness journey.
Kevin began working out at the age of 11 when his grandfather gave him a pair of dumbbells for Christmas. He has been heavily involved in the study of diet and exercise for most of his life and has spent countless hours researching and attending seminars and certification courses in the fields of athletic training, nutrition, injury prevention, and supplementation. He has received his C.S.C.S. (Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist) from the National Strength and Conditioning Association, and also holds a Cross Fit Level I Certification.
Kevin has been a Cross-Fit Trainer at Core Athletics in Oxnard,California, for the past four years. Core Athletics is a training facility that offers group training classes for clients ranging from elite level professional athletes to sedentary individuals looking to improve overall wellness.
In the corporate arena, Kevin leads exercise classes that are available to all Behavioral Science Technology employees through their wellness program. These are held at the Sacred Space Studio in Ojai, California, across the street from BST on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
Kevin also involves himself in community service by providing Coaching at the Ojai Recreation Center, where he leads group training classes in cross training, strength, and conditioning, as well providing personal coaching in nutrition and motivation.
Gregory Narog ~ Creative Chef & Motivational Sherpa
The first person on my team was, of course, my life partner Greg. His support and encouragement have been instrumental in the development and creation of Choosing To Be Fit, and I’m delighted that he agreed to be our Creative Chef. Greg is both talented and fearless in the kitchen.
Drawing on his Biology-Physiology and Electrical Engineering educational background, Greg actually likes sifting through technical jargon in biochemistry, electrodynamics, nutrition and physiology, mind-body material. He balances this left brain focus by experimenting with alternative practices like acupuncture, Qi-Gong healing, EMF resonance practitioners, holotrophic breathing, intention devices, meditation brain wave balancing, raw foods nutrition, static weight training, and other adventures.
Greg loves experimenting with natural foods and recipes. His family introduced him to good foods by having him help tend the family garden and orchard beginning at the age of 6. His father was employed as a Propulsion Systems Mechanical Engineer in the Aerospace industry, but he and Greg’s mother were life-long avid gardeners, as were his grandparents. As a result of his upbringing, Greg has a keenly developed ability to assess the freshness and healthfulness of produce at the market.
Greg health was impacted by being severely whacked in a two mighty thunderous rear-end vehicle accidents, both while stopped waiting for a red light to change. In the process of discovering how to rebuild his strength and flexibility, and learning how to mitigate pain, he has explored and experimented with most of the alternative approaches to pain medications for rebuilding structural integrity of his body.
Mombasa DeGoonacoon, Energetic Healer & Lifestyle Coach
Mombasa has been with me since the beginning of the journey. Actually, she arrived many months before that and had I listened to her earlier no doubt my life would have been easier. She bore me no grudge about this, and was happy to provide her special insight and guidance as soon as I was willing to listen. She is quite a bit smaller and furrier than the rest of us, but every bit as important to the team. She has been instrumental in helping me heal from injuries and illnesses.
Mombasa is descended from the same Degoonacoon lineage as Poohbear DeGoonacoon, the Feline Zen Master of Choosing To Be, and his kitten muse Catzenbear. Mombasa naturally excels in the art of meditation, however she decided to concentrate on the study of Energetic Healing as her specialty. She chose to remain with her extended birth family until she was five, learning and practicing the many skills needed to become certified as a Lifestyle Coach.