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How Karen Dubs Found Her “Flexible Warrior”

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Towson University alumna, Karen Dubs, starts every day at 5:30 a.m. with 10 minutes of Sun Salutations – after she takes care of her two rescue dogs, of course.

Sun Salutations are a yoga flow to warm the body and stretch muscles.

Dubs is a registered yoga teacher and she owns a yoga health and fitness coaching business “Flexible Warrior.”  Her goal is to bring chillpower and flexibility to tight athletes. She has written a self-help book “Find Your Flexible Warrior: Think, Stretch and Eat for Balance and Resilience.”

She discovered her passion for yoga and fitness when she was just 17 years old thanks to her mother and Jane Fonda’s workout videos.

Although she maintained an active and healthy lifestyle from a young age, Dubs faced a time where she didn’t think she would ever be able to workout and feel the same.  She was diagnosed with Lyme Disease and an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis in her early twenties.

“When I was diagnosed I was really really sick,” Dubs said.  “I had a hard time washing my hair.  I was so tired and so achy.”

The combination of both her Lyme Disease and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis can cause active fatigue, joint pain and weakness in the limbs, making it especially difficult for someone like Dubs.

“I know people look at me now and think that I’m so healthy, and I am kind of, but I’m always walking a tightrope,” Dubs said.  “I always say I’m like living in a box.  I can’t go too far out of the box because then I get in trouble as far as my health is concerned.”

In the past, Dubs turned to coffee and sugar to stop feeling tired all of the time, but eventually how poor her diet was becoming.  She cut out coffee and sugar and became aware of healthier alternatives that gave her just as much energy, such as a green smoothie instead of coffee.

“I didn’t think I was ever going to feel good again,” Dubs said.  “I thought I was always going to be sick.  But thankfully I’m not and I can really credit yoga and nutrition for that.”

The 1991 Towson graduate has faced health problems that made her come out stronger and more self-aware.  Although she was always active, she focused more on fitness than diet.  Now, she pays close attention to what she puts in her body and how it affects her overall attitude and energy.

“If you don’t take care of yourself, you have nothing to give to anyone else,” Dubs said.  “You cannot give from an empty cup.  When I take care of myself then I can be there for other people.”

Dubs stays active and keeps herself busy each day.  She has client appointments from 7 to 11 a.m. Monday through Friday with lunch breaks at 11 a.m.  After lunch, she goes to her home office where she works with her online client appointments.

Dubs handles all of her social media accounts and blogs, and coordinates all of her events.  But despite her schedule, she always finds time to stretch or do a Sun Salutation.

“My big thing is 10 minutes a day,” she said.  “I think everyone can do 10 minutes a day.”

She is also a certified Pilates and Spinning instructor, a personal stretcher and a health coach specializing in flexibility, balance and recovery. She has taught Yoga for Athletes programs for the Baltimore Ravens football team and the University of Maryland Terrapins men’s basketball team, in addition to helping Olympic Pentathlete Suzanne Stettinius stay recovered and flexible as she trained for the 2012 London Olympic games.

Aside from her passion for fitness, Dubs also has a love for rescuing dogs and encouraging others to adopt.  She has two rescue dogs of her own, Stella and Luna, and works closely with BARCS Animal Shelter in downtown Baltimore.

 

 

 

It’s Just What Lynsey Addario Does

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Lynsey Addario working on location with her Nikon camera. (Photo courtesy of Nikon USA)

Lynsey Addario works as a war photographer, or conflict photojournalist, and sometimes she risks her life for her job.  For her, it as her calling in life.  But she didn’t always know it would become her career.

So why does she do this?  She says that it is her way of giving a voice to those who do not necessarily have one.  She loves being able to share other’s stories through her lens from all over the world.  Conflict photojournalism is definitely not for everyone, but to Addario it is her calling in life and her passion.  It’s just what she does, making “It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War” a perfect title for memoir. Her career makes her feel most alive even when it has come close to taking her life from her.

Some people are born knowing exactly what their passion is.  Lynsey Addario was not one of those people.

Addario was finding her way in becoming a successful photographer at the age of 27 when the September 11 attacks took America by storm.  She was then presented with the opportunity to travel to Afghanistan to cover the American invasion in retaliation for the terrorist attacks. Addario had been to Afghanistan for work before, making her one of the few photojournalists with experience in this location.

From here, she finds herself making the decision to dive deep into conflict photography and leave behind what is perceived to be a more “normal” lifestyle.  She puts her life on the line to take photos of those who have story that need to be told.  From this, she constantly faces danger.  Although she has been kidnapped twice, she continues to seek the unpredictable in her many travels for her job.

Despite Addario’s far-from-normal lifestyle and career, she doesn’t find herself to be an “adrenaline junkie.”  Some may find that hard to believe since she’s brave enough to put herself on the front line of wars in Third World Countries, but she says she doesn’t crave the feeling of having her life on the line or the uncertainty of getting into dangerous situations.

However, Addario feels unsettled when she watches news happen on TV because she feels that she is in the wrong place because she should be present to get the first-hand photographs and experiences.  She almost feels let down she’s not covering the news because she feels as though she’s unable to get the raw photos she should for her job.

As a photojournalist, she is able to communicate through her photos to convey a message or tell a story.  If she’s not present to take these photos, she’s unable to tell that story or relay that voice.

Addario says that one of goals as a photographer is to motivate people to act.  She puts her life on the line in hopes of making a difference in the world one photograph at a time.

Her drive and mentality is inspiring.  Although she takes many risks, she was born to do this.  She is living her dream job despite what other people think or say about it.

Hear what Addario has to say in her own words about her frenzied career choice in an interview with Getty Images here.