You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, they say. As a common saying, over-analysis of it is useless. But it’s a saying because it contains an important kernel of truth: changing after doing… Exclusive: Kira Stokes, who trains the Fuller House star, Shay Mitchell and Ashley Graham, spills at-home workout secrets and dishes on her clients’ different training styles Imagine you're standing in line, shoulder to shoulder, alongside 20 or more incredibly beautiful women, all vying to be "chosen" by the same man. Stressful, right? Now, picture doing that 12 to 14 hours a day, five days a week. In a nutshell, that's my job. I'm the highest-earning When schools went fully online in March, English as a Second Language (ESL) students were left without the materials they needed and the personalized instruction that helps them succeed. That’s where teachers filled the gap.
You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, they say. As a common saying, over-analysis of it is useless. But it’s a saying because it contains an important kernel of truth: changing after doing something one way for a long time is hard. We all get into routines, and breaking out of those routines is just hard, even if the routine itself takes effort. Humans are creatures of habit, and it’s why your college professor could confidently place your graded essay on your desk even though the class technically had open seating.
Changing is even more difficult when you truly start to think through the complex soup of who we are and why we are that way. The nurture vs. nature debate is a fascinating one, but it highlights just how many factors go into how we are as people. Our environment shapes us. Our experiences shape us. Our relationship with other humans help shape us.
But change doesn’t happen all at once. Relationships don’t happen all at once. Deep relationships take time, and changes of character take time. To be sure, one can have a truly magical day, a magical week, and have that leave a lasting impression on people. But those days are rarely the moment where the boulder is pushed over the proverbial mountain, unless it is the straw that breaks the camel’s back—if you’ll allow the mixed metaphor. People are complicated, and there are a lot of things to have opinions about, a lot of ways to behave, a lot of beliefs to hold.
All this is to say that I really despise awful love stories, which abound.
Alright, maybe despise is strong. To phrase it another way: I am not hooked by a lot of love stories. That’s because there a lot of love stories simply aren’t believable, in that they don’t make me feel anything for the characters.
A good love story invests into each character. People don’t fall in love in a day, fundamentally changing who they are in the process. You can become infatuated with someone instantly. That person can become infatuated with you. But it’s not love until you give it time. You can’t take shortcuts in relationships. They develop based on shared experiences and time spent together. And if you don’t show that, then I simply don’t feel it.
Recently, my wife and I watched the 2009 Disney animated film The Princess and the Frog. It’s a fine film, with some really great musical numbers. But it has a core problem, one it shares with a lot of other fairy tales: it takes place over one night, and lo and behold both lead characters fall in looooooove with each other whilst simultaneously going through major character development. It’s a sweet story and all, but I hardly felt for them.
Ultimately, a love story should be like a math problem: you’ve got to show your work. Space the story over weeks, months, or longer. Establish that the characters already know each other. A relationship is complicated, and that complexity is frankly necessary.
People don’t get married to their Tinder date the very next day for a reason. Why would we expect that to be the case for a love story?
Author: Matthew LaMar
Work(out) From Home: Candace Cameron Bure’s Trainer Will Inspire You to Move Your Body ASAP
Work(out) From Home: Candace Cameron Bure’s Trainer Will Inspire You to Move Your Body ASAP
“You get a little spoiled when you have a trainer.”
Understatement of 2020 when it comes to working out, right? That’s what Kira Stokes, the celebrity trainer who works with celebrity clients such as Candace Cameron Bure, Shay Mitchell and Ashley Graham told us when it comes to working out at home since the Coronavirus pandemic hit.
Fortunately, many celebrity trainers have pivoted to online workouts, including Stokes, who has her own fitness app that offers a free 7-day trial.
Stokes has been honing her unique method for decades, focusing on the mind and body connection and emphasizing transitions between movements.
“I’m very proud of being 45. It’s a testament to the method to be able to remain healthy and strong,” Stokes told E!. “I really started training clients when I was a sophomore at Boston College. Knowing at that time too that it was my calling, that I would call my roommates into the common area before we go out at night, I’d be like we’re going to need to tighten those buns before the bar. I was that girl as annoying as that is in college. I was like, if we’re going to drink it we’re going to earn it.”
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And Stokes’ celeb clients definitely earn it when they do one of her Stoked Method workouts as “every move has a meaning and purpose,” the trainer stressed.
So often, people rush through their workouts without realizing that each section of it are equally as important, from warm-up to stretching afterwards.
Candace Cameron Bure, Kira Stokes
“I always say every circuit in the workout is like a chapter in a story. So we can compare a workout to a book, right, every chapter has a beginning, a middle, and an end so there’s a prelude and there’s a conclusion,” Stokes explained. “You realize by the end of the chapter the purpose of each word that you read. The same should hold true for a workout, every move, every circuit should have a beginning, a middle, and an end and every move should make sense with what comes before and after it.”
Stokes is all about the transitions between movements, hoping to create major changes in those key moments that so often are overlooked in other workouts. No dropping to your knees in between moves in Stokes’ plan.
“Every circuit is progressive in nature, meaning you can’t just do a squat then just drop down and do a push up, and then flip over and do a sit up,” Stokes said. “There’s some transitional element that weaves mobility into the circuit.”
As for why transitions are so important, Stokes explained, “Those transitions add a whole different element and what they also do is really foster Mind-Body connection, which is so huge to my method. It’s like there’s such a massive difference between just going through a movement, or truly reminding your muscle.”
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Stokes’ “star client” is Candace Cameron Bure, who she has been training for six years, and the pair have been hosting Instagram Live workouts every Monday since March, inviting the Hallmark Channel stars’ legions of fans to join her training session, filled with laughs, colorful workout leggings and sneaky cardio.
“I’ve seen her get stronger and better and honestly she’s like the female Benjamin Button and I feel like her every year,” Stokes gushed. “What she struggled most with is cardio and just making sure that she gets enough cardiovascular conditioning in is, I think, her biggest challenge. I encourage her and she takes a lot of power walks and shorter jogs.”
But Stokes stressed that “everybody’s body is different” so it’s OK if what works for you is different than what works for someone else and that goes for her celebrity clients as well.
“Their programs shouldn’t be the same. Shay Mitchell is a beast,” she explained. “That woman loves to sweat. She is the opposite of Candace because she’s like, ‘Give me more cardio, give me!’ She has trouble with the strength of her upper body, you know, everybody’s struggle is different, everybody has one.”
Mitchell gave birth to her first child, a son named Atlas, in October 2019 and the Pretty Little Liars star didn’t start training with Stokes again until six months later.
“She did it right. She fully let herself heal and she didn’t feel pressures of working out straight away,” she said. “I will tell you right now training her now versus before she had a baby it’s like with the same exact person.”
And model Ashley Graham has also been working with Stokes since giving birth to her first child in January 2020, with Stokes saying, “She’s losing the baby weight the right way, not looking for a fad diet or quick fix, actually [in it] for the long haul.”
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And the long haul is what Stokes is all about, wanting to encourage her clients and their fans to express gratitude during every training session.
“I have everybody take a moment to be grateful for the ability to move and challenge your body because it’s truly a gift,” Stokes, a self-proclaimed positive person,” shared. “So if you can start in and your workout in a way that you’re like, truly connected to your body. It’s just amazing the difference you’ll feel during the workout.”
Given the restrictions many have been facing given the Coronavirus pandemic closing gyms and workout studios, Stokes offered up a simple tip she’s shared with Graham and her other clients.
“You have got to get outside and take a walk. I think for everyone in the circumstance we’re in, the minute you step outside–if you have the ability to do that–and you’re out in nature, nature changes everything. It’s soul-soothing. If there’s ever a time where you’re not motivated to work out, take a couple deep breaths, like, you’ll make it happen.”
You can get a 7-day free trial of the Kira Stokes Fit app right here.
Author: Tierney Bricker
A Legal Sex Worker on What It’s Really Like to Work in a Brothel
Imagine you’re standing in line, shoulder to shoulder, alongside 20 or more incredibly beautiful women, all vying to be “chosen” by the same man. Stressful, right?
Now, picture doing that 12 to 14 hours a day, five days a week. In a nutshell, that’s my job. I’m the highest-earning legal sex worker, not only at the Moonlite Bunny Ranch, but also in the United States. Over the past two years, my chosen career has taught me invaluable lessons about myself, about men and about how we view sex work as a society.
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So, what is it like to be a legal sex worker? It’s countless hours of my life I’ll never get back sitting at the nail salon. It’s spending more than $2,500 per year on condoms and lube. It’s stigmatizing, degrading, difficult and the best thing I’ve ever done with my life.
My job is that of a psychologist, relationship coach and sexpert all rolled into one. During downtime, I continue to educate myself on matters of human sexuality, psychology and sociology — books, lectures, online videos — anything I can get my hands on. This knowledge bank has become my lifeline when figuring out how to navigate the masses.
I spend intimate time with men, couples, single women, divorcées, virgins, kinksters and widows: There isn’t just one type of person that sees sex workers. In that same vein, there isn’t one type of person that becomes a sex worker. My colleagues are retired servicewomen, grad students, mothers, doctoral candidates and more. We are an incredibly diverse group of ladies with one commonality — a genuine passion for intimacy.
The technicalities of my job are fascinating: Sex work is only legal in Nevada and only in specifically licensed brothels. We are hired as independent contractors, which means we set our own rates. We can say no to anyone or any activity we don’t consent to.
Safety and consent both factor heavily into Nevada’s system. For example, when you visit our location, you’ll notice an electronic entry gate. This lets us track who is coming and going and prevents minors from entering the facility. In our rooms, we have two-way speakers that allow us to communicate an emergency to the cashier instantly with the push of a panic button. They are seldom used. Each week, ladies must visit with the in-house doctor for STI testing. We must be free of disease in order to work the floor. In addition to this, once a year, we must update our license with the local sheriff’s office.
My day begins at 7 a.m., with an hour-long workout. Fitness and health are incredibly important to me, personally as well as professionally. Then I shower and begin the daily ritual of putting on my war paint.
While I’m perfecting my mascara, I’ll visualize the day ahead. Do I have any appointments? Am I working floor traffic today? What are my goals? This internal dialogue continues through my 10-minute drive to work.
Each lady has their own suite, decorated to their tastes. For me, this means a Keurig and coffee station.
When the bell rings, it means we have guests wanting a “lineup.” Remember that shoulder-to-shoulder image from earlier? We smile, say our names and try not to wiggle (it’s considered disrespectful to the other ladies and is a form of what we call “dirty hustling”).
The guest then walks up to the lady of his choosing and she takes him on a tour of the property. They finish the tour back in the lady’s suite, where they negotiate. Personally, I hate that word: I always consider it to be more of a conversation.
At this time we review what activities they’d like to try, experiences they’re interested in, and discuss any fantasies or bucket list items. We then settle on a price and proceed to the office to book the party.
The cashier is an invaluable part of the team. She handles the money, keeps track of our time and notifies us when our time has come to an end. I am a member of a team. The brothel machine extends far beyond myself as the sex worker. The cashiers, bartenders and door attendants all work together to create the legal Nevada brothel system we know today.
You may assume my job is primarily about sex, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Sex is assumed — it’s already on the table. What I’m really selling is intimacy.
Intimacy is a crucial element of health and wellness. It affects our physical, mental and emotional health in tangible ways. Much like petting a cat can lower your blood pressure, so too can a quality hug. With this concept in mind, it’s no wonder there are a vast number of reasons people patronize sex workers. Their spouses may have died, or they’ve yet to have a sexual encounter with a woman. Sometimes it’s a couple seeking their first threesome or a gentleman with autism wanting to have a “practice date” so they feel more confident in their skills.
Sex work is a public service, and not one that everyone in society is comfortable with. As we move into yet another renaissance of sexuality and identity in the new millennium, attitudes may continue to shift and change.
Is sex work right for you? No one can make that decision for you, but understanding there is more to the industry than most people see at first glance is the first step to thinking differently about the topic in general and how it affects society as a whole.
A version of this story was published January 2018.
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Albemarle County ESL teachers talk lessons learned from Spring online classes
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) – When schools went fully online in March, English as a Second Language (ESL) students were left without the materials they needed and the personalized instruction that helps them succeed. That’s where teachers filled the gap.
When Albemarle County Public Schools shut down schools and shifted to online learning, the transition happened almost overnight. The steep curve of that transition was even harder on ESL students. Teachers went the extra mile, sometimes literally, to make sure students had what they needed to learn.
“We met parents at the bus when making lunches for the school lunch program,” Murray, Scottsville, and Red Hill Elementary School ESL teacher Eve Solomon said. “I met parents when they came into town, they would call me and say ‘Hey, we’re going to the store, would you like to meet us?’ And I would meet with a student or give them materials.”
Getting students the supplies was just one challenge facing teachers and administrators. Classes being online also left students without the individualized attention they need. Again, teachers stepped up to the plate.
“Many of the parents requested that I work with their children, twice a week,” Solomon said. “So, I was on Zoom conferencing every day from nine to four in the afternoon.”
Across the school district, the pandemic forced teachers to innovate how they taught. Eve turned to examples from the real world.
“She planned fun, hands-on activities like cooking together by Zoom to emphasize math and science vocabulary,” ACPS ESL Liason Emily Elliott said. “Giving virtual tours of their home towns from around the world to help build language, history and geography.”
All of the lessons the teachers learned in the Spring will help them move to a hybrid educational model in the Fall.
“Technology is a tool in our toolbox,” Solomon said. “I don’t think there’s a thing that can replace classroom instruction.”
Albemarle County Public Schools says the district was able to help more than 150 english learning families, with the help of a 24/7 hotline.
Copyright 2020 WVIR. All rights reserved.
Author: CJ Paschall