July 18, 2017

I Needed This

Have you ever been somewhere or attended something and had the distinct feeling of belonging? Knowing THIS was where you were supposed to be despite where you wanted to be or second guessing decisions? A validation you never knew you needed so desperately?

Cue my Saturday.

Which I was nervous AF about attending. Which was messing with my brain all week. Which was something I knew I needed but didn't prepare for well. Which scared the poop out of me. Which ended up helping me find a different side of myself.

If you read my one post last week, you would have seen a bullet point about a BODYCOMBAT advanced training. I have only been certified since December so advanced training was a bit of a stretch but the trainer leading everything is a friend of mine and a role model as well. It was local [all the praise hands] and a lot of people I originally certified with were attending which made it less scary. Normally I'm miss OVER PREPARED for trainings but this time things were different. It was launch week, I was behind in life & choreography and since I DON'T have my own COMBAT class on the schedule I had yet to teach any of the tracks until Friday. As in the day before the training.

Yeah, talk about procrastination which is another post for another day.

I won't bore you with a full play by play [you can catch a bit of the recap here on my Instagram] because that would take awhile, but I will give you the big piece moments. I honestly arrived to the class exhausted, defeated and scared but thankfully my trainer felt my energy and immediately changed it, asking about life and then put me at ease to make sure I felt comfortable. Having friends in the class also helped me relax and helped me realize I needed to test myself and not play it safe.

Meaning, I chose to present a track outside my ability and essence. BODYCOMBAT is a fitness class combined of mixed martial arts, one of the arts being Muay Thai. I have been fascinated by Muay Thai for years but have never stepped into a class. Teaching BODYCOMBAT has given me a tiny glimpse into all the martial arts and I've been able to 'glaze' my way through Muay Thai tracks using motivating words for participants, but have never been authentic to the essence.

My first presentation went well, I actually received the compliment of 'checking all the boxes' [which no one else received], with the challenge of finding my inner warrior or barbarian. Because Muay Thai is tough. Muay Thai is no holds bar. Muay Thai is strength and bravery. Muay Thai is the complete opposite of my personality, but that is why it fascinates me.

Throughout the rest of the day we learned about all the martial arts, practiced our punches/kicks, used gloves to work on our strikes and then BOOM it was time to present again. I was one of the last to present and it was incredible seeing the growth of my fellow instructors in such a short time. One of the best parts of being an instructor is the sense of immediate TRIBE and family once you are certified. Everyone was championing everyone and I could see the smiling encouraging faces as I stood on the stage to present.

From the track introduction I changed. I was strong. I was intense. I was NOT smiling [until I was told I could bring a bit of fun to the track, ha]. I was fierce. I used my big girl voice. I let the words of the song speak through a build and then unleashed my HUGE voice to push through the jump knees at the end of the track. In a sense I lost my mind coaching and surrendered fully to the teaching the moment. When the music stopped I had this moment of confusion because I completely forgot where I was until I looked up at my friends. And the shock on their faces said it all. I did it! I had changed and found what I was challenged to find. Y'all, it was awesome.

To be clear, I wasn't perfect, I had help creating certain moments as I mirrored what my trainer was doing to help me achieve my goal. There are quite a few technical moments that need to be cleaned up but I FOUND what I was looking for and it couldn't have come at a better time. The past few weeks I've felt quite a sense of loss and sadness. My purpose seems lacking and last week, during a particularly vulnerable moment, I felt so insignificant and unwanted because I wasn't part of something I desperately thought I needed.

And then THIS! THIS! This moment on Saturday where my being here made sense. If I had traveled somewhere else I wouldn't have found THIS person. This part of my soul wouldn't have felt awakened and I wouldn't have experienced how GOOD I can be at something I truly love. Sunday I was asked to sub a class for a friend and I took EVERYTHING I learned on Saturday and brought it to the class, even though it was a different format. One of my fellow instructors from Saturday attended the class and he told me afterwards he was blown away by my teaching. He said I rocked it and he could tell how much the members enjoyed the class even though they were working extremely hard.

THAT is what matters. THAT is what I work for every class. That is what I've felt was missing in some classes recently and now that I've found I can't wait to teach again. It's not my full time job, but it brings me so much joy. Even when I'm tired, helping people makes me happy and knowing I have more tools in the box to give them a great class is beyond fantastic.

If you've made it this far, congrats. What started off a just a post has unexpatlyed turned into one giant pat on the back, which normally I'd cringe reading, but not today. Not now. My heart needed this pat. My body needed this pat. My whole soul was aching for this pat. Today I wish you success in finding your validation. Be it small or huge, I send you ALL my good vibes. Because THIS, this is what living is all about. CHEERS!

July 12, 2017

Whirlwind Wednesday

Somehow Wednesdays have become my recap my life days. Why? I honestly don't know. Maybe it has to do with time. Maybe it has to do with the fact I can't seem to want to open my computer at home. Maybe it has to do with the fact the past 20 days have been insanely busy and crazy. Probably a culmination of everything I guess. Today is just a recap mishmash which might not make a lot of sense. Onward to the bullet point style post.

|| My family left last week and Wednesday was one of the hardest days I've experienced in a long time. Waking up, getting ready to go to a job I don't like because I don't have much time off, while my sisters were at home broke my heart. I just wanted to hang out with them a little bit more and I couldn't. Life can be so hard sometimes. Yes, I know people have it harder. Yes, I know we are lucky with technology but it's just not the same. The only constant thing in life is change and I know I need to embrace that mentality with our distance. Hopefully some day soon I'll get there.

|| Le Husband and I took a very quick trip to northern Michigan last weekend to celebrate dear friends getting married. Again I felt the drag of not having vacation as we had to make it only a three day trip, with two days traveling. It was quite a trip with lots of driving but well worth it in the end. We were able to explore the beautiful destination of Petosky and reunite with great friends. Kickball couples for life.

|| Gold's Gym Fitfest this week and I'm drowning in choreography. Every quarter I tell myself I'm going to learn the new releases immediately and not wait to the last minute and EVERY QUARTER I'm scrambling to learn releases the day of, night of and right before class. Life just keeps happening and I will admit I'm grateful for a quiet office where I can practice right now. Wish me luck, I'm launching three formats this week!

|| I also decided to further my BODYCOMBAT certification and attend an advanced training on Saturday. Did I mention already that I DON'T have a COMBAT class right now so I've barely cracked open the release? Ha, yeah, that's going to be a fun Friday after work. Sometimes I don't understand why I do this to myself.

|| Le Husband is traveling more than ever and I'm so proud of him in his job. Weeks like this it's nice to have the full house to myself one or two nights, but other times I miss him a lot. Our relationship has gotten back to where it used to be now we are more settled and I'm so grateful. We aren't perfect and we still have LOTS to work on {communication}, but the fun spark heart emojis have been back for a bit and I'm beyond thankful.

|| My crazy pants instructor life and some plans in the future have me in a bit of a funk right now. I'm feeling kind of lost again, without a direct path and an increasingly feeling of melancholy is right in the back of my brain. I attribute a lot of the blah to my diet which completely derailed from the tracks the last two weeks. Good foods in should help my body and mood, right?

So, friends, how are you? What's happening? Tell me in the comments!

July 7, 2017

Family Friday

You You Part of me wanted not to post this week. Part of me couldn't let it go unnoticed my family was here. My heart was whole for three days. We had so much fun, it was wondrously fabulous being reunited. Crazy a week from today they were here....HERE, with me. And now they aren't and my heart is sad.

Wednesday was a pretty painful day for me. I cried through the early morning and let's not even talk about the drive to work. Even though life is in a MUCH better place than the last time I saw everyone it was still incredibly hard to drive away to work while they drove back to Virginia. Sometimes I just don't understand.

Anyway, today is not the day I want to dwell on anything. Today I just want to post fun pictures and remember our family 4th of July weekend. It was a glorious time on the lake, even with rain, and we all had a blast together. We spent time catching up, laughing too much, catching some rays, eating too much food, working out together, dancing, hugging, crying and just being the Brady Bunch. I want to do it allll over again, RIGHT NOW!

June 30, 2017

Friday Faves

June ends today, what in the what?!?! I blinked and the month is over. This one feels especially quick to me because June marked a YEAR since our move. YES, a YEAR. I am 365 days passed the start of the hardest year of my life [okay drama queen]. Now that July is right around the corner, we're LEGIT Tennessee peeps. Whoa, just whoa. Okay, time to get on with some faves before I go all nostalgic and nonsense.


+ This book. I love snipers, I love mysteries, I love trying to figure it out before the end.

+ Our house is ready for guests. Not perfect, but ready for guests.

+ I was abe to help out a new friend in an emergency and felt good about getting things handled when she wasn't sure where to turn. Instructor life can be crazy, but we all have each other's back.

+ This week has been so busy and stressful so I've needed an extra laugh or two. My sister helped me out at the end of the week with this guy. For those of you who don't know, I SUCK at math. The worst. So any math funny is always about me. This is my kind of class for sure.

+ This morning was my last FRIDAY 6am PUMP! WOOOOP!

Hope you have a fabulous weekend, loves!!!!

June 28, 2017

What I'm Up To {June}

Hello! Today I'm linking up with Shay and friends for What's Up Wednesday. I always think it's fun to look back on the month and look ahead to the next one while reading recaps from other bloggers. Come join in the fun why don't you?

What We're Eating... so much healthier than last month, woohoo. For those of you who are new here I had gallbladder surgery back in May due to many attacks which were extremely painful. Fatty foods were my nemesis so I stopped eating them. So, you can guess what I did once the gallbladder was gone...yeah I ATE ALL THE THINGS resulting in feeling crappy and gaining weight. To combat the bad cravings, Le Husband and I did a mock WHOLE30 at the beginning of the month and we now both feel so much better. I'm still not as lean as I would like but my body is back to craving WHOLE foods and not processed crap. That is a WIN within itself, woohoo!

What I'm reminiscing about... having a job where I could do whatever I wanted when I wanted. We used to be able to galavant at a the drop of a hat and take a long weekend for kickball events. Now I really have to THINK about vacation and when I plan to take time off. I get very few paid days off now and coordinating them with my boss can be tough. I miss the freedom [and the money] but I know this is just a learning season and soon I'll be on to better things.

What I'm Loving... my new haircut. So fresh! So fun! So blonde! SO Summer!

What We've Been Up To... getting the house together some more. Homeownership and remodeling is a never ending process. We are --this-- close to having the bottom floor set and I can't wait until we can take a week or two off and just live. Everything is coming together nicely and I am super excited to show people the before and after once it gets set.

What I'm Dreading... when my family leaves next week and having cameras in the office. YUCK!

What I'm Working On... studying new releases and getting my choreography memorized. Also trying to find lil bits for the house for decor. Where do you find cute, cheap but not cheap looking pieces?

What I'm Excited About... my family is coming into town for the weekend, even the ARIZONA sister. It has been way too long since we were all together and I'm beyond excited for us all to be whole again.

What I'm Watching/Reading... watching videos for LES MILLS, reading choreography and reading my NASM textbook and notes. I need to rock it with my test and lots of textbook reading is in my future.

What I'm Listening To... LES MILLS music and podcasts. Loving The Accused and getting into other true crime podcast recommend by friends and readers. Anyone have a good podcast they think I should listen to now?

What I'm Doing This Weekend... hanging with my family and playing kickball.

What I'm Looking Forward To Next Month... July is bringing family into town, vacation to Michigan for a wedding, a kickball tournament in North Carolina and Le Husband's family coming into town. It is going to be super busy but super duper fun. What have you been up to and what are your plans for July?

June 27, 2017

Confessions of a Group Fitness Instructor

+ We work harder than you can imagine to learn our content, add our own spin to it and perform with intensity for you each and every class. Sure we may be in shape, but bringing it each and every rep takes more effort than you can imagine.

+ When you leave during the abs/cooldown tracks we worry about you. Stretching out after an hour workout is SO IMPORTANT and when you duck out early we can only hope you stretch at home.

+ Like every workplace there is DRAMA and politics. Instructors can be divas and it can be exhausting.

+ All of us have had one of those uncomfortable digestive body moments when teaching.

+ If you have a question, critique or issue PLEASE COME TO US AT THE END OF CLASS. Nothing hurts worse than hearing second hand someone wasn't happy with your class. We teach FOR YOU, so if you need something or notice we are lacking something, please approach us directly.

+ Don't be scared if you are new, we've all be there and can spot you whether you raise your hand or not. We ask if anyone is new to help you, not embarrass you so if you can get to class early to introduce yourself to us and we promise your class will roll a lot smoother.

+ 99% of us get butterflies before each and every class.

+ Making a mistake, even a teeny blip can make us feel like we failed the class. WE HATE MISTAKES!

+ YES, we have a list of THOSE members. The ones who don't listen. Who show up late every class just because they are too cool to be on time. The ones who do their own exercises no matter what the class is doing. YES, we know who you are and YES we warn other instructors about you. #dontbethisperson

+ What we get paid to teach does not compensate the entirety of effort put into each class.

+ Our end goal is to get you healthier, so if you have a success story from class PLEASE share it.

+ You have no idea how much a "Great class" can mean, especially on our own tough days.

What do you want to know about teaching from a fitness instructor? Ask me!

June 26, 2017

Weekending - { The One With New Hair And A New Lake}

Hey, hey, honeybees! How you doing today? Did everyone have a great weekend? I'm coming at you pretty tired from a quick weekend away. Well, not away, we were in the same state, just NORTH. Le Husband has family who were at a lake house an hour away and they sent us an invite last month. Even though life is busy already, we said yes because, family. 

And yes, I'm super tired because someone ate way too much bad for me food Saturday night and my body decided to rebel and not let me sleep. Yeah, super fun, but oh well. Lesson learned, limit the processed food or you will pay, ha. Since I'm tired this weekend update is fast and furious as I type it this morning. 

My weekend started great on Friday as I had a hair appointment to get my locks fresh. It had been way too long since my last visit to the salon and things were pretty desperate. If you follow me on Instagram [why aren't you?] you would have seen I asked for some help deciding what to do with the huuur. Long story short [ha!] I used to only be able to grow my hair out past my chin and always had short hair. Well, around 30 - and my engagement - my hair decided it would grow so I was able to get it long enough for an updo for my wedding. I thought I wanted to do the post wedding chop but never did and have had hair the same length since 2013. Since I JUST recently became a Tennessee resident I thought, new state, new hair, let's try this. I honestly expected to chicken out, but asking online friends and my sisters for advice and the glass of wine I had at the salon gave me the courage to try something new. 

Y'all, I LOVE IT! SO much. I gave the stylist a bit of license and it was a lil shorter than expected, but I TOTALLY 100% LOVE IT! So freeing, so fresh, so fun, so summer, so blonde, SO NEW! SCORE!

The rest of the evening was spent doing stuff around the house since family is coming into THIS WEEKEND [I can NOT handle the excitement]. Saturday morning I was up bright and early [I miss sleep] to sub two classes for someone. BODYCOMBAT was fun, I'm still working on my conditioning but I rocked BODYPUMP like no one's business. I don't say that to be cocky, but with so many classes and some feeling subpar it's always nice to have a YES I ROCK moment. 

I scurried home, wolfed down some protein oats and eggs and then we packed up all the food and drove about an hour north to meet Le Husband's family. Norris lake is gorgeous and the house was so quaint at fun. I failed to take pictures, sorry. There also was very limited to no service so we spent the weekend nicely unplugged. Lots of lake time Saturday, lots of delicious food for dinner and lots of funny shenanigans from drinking alcohol. My tolerance is low with how little I drink now, but it was funny watching others enjoy themselves. 

Sunday morning arrived and we hung out until mid afternoon then headed home. I remembered to snap a few pictures before we left, thank goodness. It was so beautiful, I see why so many people vacation here. 

The drive home was just long enough for me to catch a quick nap and then it was a whirl wind of dinner out, cleaning, painting and getting ready for the week. The alarm came way too quickly this morning and I'm trying to get off the struggle bus and into the week. There is no time for chill because I have to learn FIVE new RELEASES for launch next month, finish putting together the house and make sure we have enough food for family. I want the week to slow down and speed up at the same time, haha. 

Hope you have a wonderful week friends! I'm cheering for you!