Fit to Print: Vermont Writers Weigh In
State of the Arts
By Pamela Polston [04.29.09]
Three recent books by Vermonters are germane to this week’s Health & Fitness issue, albeit in very different ways. ...
Health and Fitness issue of Seven Days, May 2009
Burlington author Suzanne Brue released The 8 Colors of Fitness last year. Its subtitle declares its mission: Discover Your Color-Coded Fitness Personality and Create an Exercise Program You’ll Never Quit! Such breezy optimism smacks of a diet fad-of-the-moment, but the 8 Colors idea is based on extensive research into personality types using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. The popular “test” is based on Jungian personality theory, and Brue is, according to the book’s foreword, an “expert practitioner” of the MBTI.
As such, she knew that different personalities process and respond to information in different ways. Brue’s innovation was to apply this knowledge to individuals’ struggle to get and stay fit. Is exercising viewed as a burden? A social occasion? A challenge? What type of exercise appeals the most to whom? According to Brue’s research, it depends on personality type. As with everything else in life, different strokes for different folks.
Readers with little or no understanding of MBTI or Carl Jung needn’t worry; Brue goes over the basics at the beginning of the book. She then divides the 16 types into eight pairs, assigns each a different hue — and voilà! The eight colors of fitness.
If it sounds complicated, it is, sort of. But readers who can get through the psych talk at the beginning will find the remainder of the book filled with clearly written and accessible examples of personalities, explanations of what motivates and rewards them, and specifics on what kind of fitness regimen is likely to get them in gear. Most readers will recognize themselves in a personality described herein, such as this one:
With their jump-in-with-both-feet personalities, Reds seek activities that grab their attention and bring their senses to life, such as mountain biking, bike racing, and water and Alpine skiing. They also enjoy fast-paced games of basketball or racquetball.
If you’re the sort who chafes at the idea of being “typecast,” this book may not be for you. But if you’ve been wondering why you can’t stick to any exercise program, it can’t hurt to find out whether you’ve been pursuing activities of the wrong color.
The 8 Colors of Fitness by Suzanne Brue. Oakledge Press, 186 pages. $20.99.
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