Archives for February 2012

Kickass Tunes: The Mend

Who loves kickass, folksy tunes? ME. 
Especially when they’re written and performed by kickass people… and especially when those peeps are from Kentucky… and really especially when I happen to know the artist personally, and can vouch for his awesomeness.
May I present: 
So sit back, 
kick your feet up, 
pretend you’re in Kentucky for a hot second, 
and have a listen: 
*my fave is #9 
<p>&amp;amp;amp;lt;p&amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;a href=””&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;The Mend by JasonTylerBurton&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;gt;</p>
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Taking advantage of the sun…

The weather’s awesome this week
so Tang and I are taking full advantage.
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
There’s an old plantation home not far 
where I live, so we like to cruise down there
to be off leash and run amok. 
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Him running amok: 
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Me kicking amok:
That’s right. That’s my leg (on the right).

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Old brick walkways are the ish:
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Checkin’ it all out
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
We love the sun. 
And the warmth. 
And breaks from work. 

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A trip, and victory…

Sunrise from my hotel room in Chicago yesterday:

Sometimes when I travel I just want to chill the F out. So that’s what I did this weekend. I had to teach a TRX course in Chicago Sunday, so I just pulled into town Saturday, posted up in bed with room service, and read my book! 
And guess what? 
I FINALLY finished The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo…
It only took me 6 months. 
Victory is mine. 

now I just have to read the next 2 in the series…
Hope you guys had a great weekend. 
Get after it this week! 
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Never Stop Learning

People ask me all the time how to become a trainer, what makes a great trainer, how to you get to be a presenter, etc… My answer is simple: NEVER STOP LEARNING.

Step 1: Buy books that pertain to your industry. 
Step 2: Shove the info into your brain. 
Step 3: Learn like a mother* and be smarter/better! 

*photobucket is being a B so forgive the missing #1

Sure you need a degree and a certification to get started/hired, but the great leaders of any industry are always pushing themselves to know more, stay ahead of the curve, and THAT’S why they end up being the leaders of their industry.

Yes, I have my degree, 
a couple certifications, 
and years of experience, 
but I’m far from knowing it all. 
And if you think you already know it all, 
you’re dumber than you know. 
So invest in yourself. Especially if you’re a business owner. I spend lots of money on continuing education each year. I go to conferences, I take courses, I read books. And THAT’S what separates me from Joe Blow down the street that just likes to work out and has a good body, so he became a trainer at Bob’s Gym. I try to get a new book every month and my reading goal is to spend about 20 minutes a day reading for my profession. It’s a small goal, easy to hit, and I usually end up engrossed and reading more…
What am I reading now? 

So take that $10 you might spend on a couple days worth of Starbucks and go online and buy a book today. Trust me, you’ll thank yourself. 
Happy Wednesday! Make it a good one! : )
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Goal Setting 101

Anybody else’s to-do list look like this? Mine usually starts with things like “take a shower” or “eat breakfast” because it makes you feel good to know that you’ve made a small accomplishment in your day, right? Small accomplishments feel GREAT, mainly because your big ones are too big to get done all in one day. So keep that in mind when you’re trying to figure out how to reach a HUGE goal for yourself… sometimes it’s best to break it down into smaller goals first.

For example: One of the biggest mistakes my clients make when they set their goals is that they make a really big goal and then stop there. They don’t reach it as quickly as they’d like, get frustrated, and quit. Which then makes it harder to start up again, which then makes it harder to achieve their goal. So if their big goal is to “be skinny like they used to be” we make that the big one, then make smaller ones that will serve as steps to take in order to reach the big one. 
Exhibit A:
Big Goal: Get skinny like you used to be. 
Too big to do really fast so let’s make smaller goals to get there…
Goal #1: Figure out how much weight you want to lose, how much time it will take, and be specific
“I want to lose ____ lbs in ____ weeks.” 
(remember that you’re only able to safely lose 1 to 2 lbs per week so be realistic!)

Goal #2:  Join a gym or hire a trainer. Either of these will work, but make sure your gym is close to your home/work or your trainer can train you at convenient times so you’ll actually attend sessions without having to rearrange your schedule too much. (You’ll have to rearrange a little bit, obvi.)
Goal #3: Commit to working out at least twice per week to start. 
Go take a group class that has strength training involved. Pick two different ones during the week so you can see which you like best so you’ll actually go. Or schedule two sessions/week with your trainer. Either way, put them on your calendar and GO. Make it just as important as a meeting you have to attend for work, but don’t tell yourself to go to the gym EVERY night during the week, ’cause it ain’t gonna happen. And you’ll just set yourself up to feel bad later.
Goal #4: Get at least 2 servings of veggies per day. 
Notice I didn’t tell you what NOT to eat. When you look at eating healthy like taking away things that you like, it makes you not want to stick to it. So, just start by adding in the things that you know you should be getting. If you can add these things in, you might not be so hungry for other things (mickey d’s) later. 
Goal #5: Get 7 or 8 hours of sleep at least 3 days during the week. 
You sleep in order for your body to have a chance to re-charge the batteries, get back to its normal operating state, and for your muscles to heal. If you’re not allowing yourself time to sleep, you’re asking for trouble; getting sick, staying sore, being stressed the f out. It doesn’t have to be every night, but try for a couple nights a week of hitting the sack at a decent time. 
then all the sudden…
“HOLY SHIT, I’m losing weight, getting stronger, and feeling better simultaneously!”
*angels singing*
*clouds parting*

Not all these goals need to happen at once. 
Maybe work on goal # 1 for week #1. 
Add in or focus on a new goal each day/week. 
Eventually you’ll get to the point where doing all of them will come naturally…
just not the first day.
When you start making small changes, it’ll eventually add up to help you reach that big goal, but make sure you’re being realistic in the steps you’re going to take to get you there. Your goal may require 10 small steps to get you to the next level and that’s FINE. There’s no limit on how many goals you can have, so make your to-do list achievable. 
This goes for ALL types of goals.
 Say you hate your job and want a new one, but it’s in a different field than you’re already in. Damn. You might need a whole new degree or certification. Seems daunting at first, but break it down…
 Goal 1: register for class/test. Goal 2: study x number of days per week. Goal 3: update resume. Goal 4: take 20 minutes per day to search for new jobs/internships that will give you experience in that field. Goal 5: apply for new jobs. Now it’s still a lot, but much easier to wrap your head around.
Get my drift?
  1.  Make small goals. 
  2. Smile as you check them off your to-do list. 
  3. Get better. 
  4. Achieve goal. 
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Ballet: Getting back on the horse…

Or I guess I should say, back to the barre. 
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
I am a fitness instructor, but first and foremost: I am a dancer. 
I started dancing when I was 8 years old because my mom wouldn’t let me play softball. I ended up falling in love with ballet and eventually other forms of dance as well. I went on to dance at a performing arts high school, (yes, just like FAME) and then onto a college conservatory. After so many years of too much movement and not enough rest, my body turned against me and my heart fell out of love with dance, especially ballet… well maybe not out of love completely, but the spark was definitely gone…
… and that’s where fitness began for me. 
Although I’ve been able to enjoy a career of movement and helping others, I still really miss getting to dance every day. And not performing in the last 6 years has been weighing on me a lot lately. I’ve had my mind on ballet a ton the last few months and it was awesome that the Louisville Ballet School had an online deal for 11 classes. I scooped it up immediately, but was really scared to get back to class. I’ve taken only jazz classes for the past few years because it’s safe, fun, less daunting, and I was just too intimidated to get back to ballet. It’s still dance, but there’s just something different about ballet class. 
The discipline. 
The focus. 
The heart. 
It all needs to be there to have a successful class 
and I just didn’t know if I had it in me anymore. 
But I finally got my ass to class last week (TWICE) and had the most amazing time. Aside from the 3 horrendous foot cramps I experienced… I wasn’t as bad and out of shape as I thought I’d be, (thank you, fitness career) And even though my feet and calves weren’t as strong as they used to be, my technique was still there and it all came back to me quickly… like riding a bike. Being at the barre, jumping and turning in the centre, and floating across the floor: Yes, my legs were shaking. Yes it was harder than it once was. But I was home
It was the most amazing feeling I’d had in a while. I don’t know why I waited so long to get back to ballet, but it definitely reignited the spark and I can’t wait to start taking class regularly again. One of my goals for 2012 was to perform again and to do so requires me to get back into the routine of taking class. I told myself to dance at least once a week this year, more if my schedule allows, and I’ve done pretty well so far. I just need to keep at it. I hope to perform with my roommate’s dance collective at the start of summer and this is just what I need to get my ass back in the game… or my feet back in the shoes. 
Is there anything you guys use to do that you’ve longed for lately? 
Happy Wednesday! 
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A day for love…

Remember when you were a kid and Valentines Day just meant picking out cards for all your friends and classmates and exchanging candy? 

It wasn’t this fuss over whether or not you had a date or were alone. 
Or if you had a date, what gift to get them. 
It was just fun. 
And sweet. 
And everybody was happy. 
Let’s go back to that. 
’cause we could learn a lot from kids…
So whether you’re loving a significant other, 
a family member, 
a best friend, 
a pet, 
a child, 
or just yourself… 
Celebrate the LOVE.
Happy Valentines Day!!! 
my fave:

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Chi-town in February…

… is REALLY COLD. Like 18 degrees as the high, cold.
I had to teach a TRX course yesterday in Chicago, so I decided to make a weekend out of it, like I usually do when I get to go to fun cities. My friend Brian*, from San Diego decided to come visit the same weekend so we made a road trip from KY to IL and then did tourist-y things all weekend. Good times, for sure. : )
The drive north:
The snow that was really fun to drive in:
Taxi that had my nickname:
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
our reflection in The Bean in Millennium Park:
freezing our asses off, but enjoying watching
the ice skaters fall:
enjoying the view from the cafe at the top
of the Hancock Observatory:
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Even though it was only 18 degrees out, (which is about 60 fewer degrees than I prefer) we had a blast! It’s rare that I actually get to experience the tourist side of a city so I’m glad we got to run around this weekend before I had to work and he had to jet back to SD. So long, Chicago!
actually, I’ll be back in two weeks… so… until then, Chicago!

*and just so everybody knows: yes, brian is hot. yes, we are great friends. no, we’re not dating. ’cause i know what you’re thinking. ’cause i’ve already been asked. a lot.
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BFF Trip 2012: Where to go?

So, here’s the deal: Me and my two BFFs are planning a girls’ trip in April. It’ll be just the three of us, and will probably take place between a Thursday and Tuesday. We’ve been trying to plan a European trip for quite some time, but between Bonna’s work schedule (at a bank) and Amanda’s work schedule (for a Virginian school system) our time slots available are slim and consist of about 5 day spans. Notice how I just blamed them… When you work for yourself, like me, you can take off whenever you want! Muah ha ha ha ha
Since we decided against a four day Europe trip… we opted for Montreal, Quebec. However turns out, to cross the Canadian border you take the normal price of a place ticket ($300ish) and add 500 to that number. We couldn’t find tickets for less than $800 which is a bit much when you’ve only got a few days…
Then, we decided on Central America since it’s close, but still out of the country. BUT then we discovered that week is spring break then and every touristy city along a beach will now be packed with high schoolers drunk off of Smirnoff Ice and Boonesfarm. Not really how we envisioned our trip…
So now, we’ve had to change our game plan.
We’re trying to decide between these 3 fine cities.
All close, all interesting, and
all places we’ve never been:
Savannah, GA
Austin, TX

Charleston, SC

All three of these cities we’ve been dying to see,
should be fairly easy to get to (i.e. flights costing LESS than $800)
and all in the South.
Which, let’s face it, will be fab no matter what.
So I’m asking for help, ladies
(or gentlemen, if you’re reading).
Where should we go?
Vote now, please:
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As you may know, we have 5 animals in our house.
My dog, 3 cats, and Churchill.
Churchill is Tamara’s dog and he’s… special. ; )
If nothing else, we stay plenty entertained.
Churchill gets this burst of energy every night around 9:30pm.
I filmed this (do you “film” with your iPhone?)
after he’d already been at it for a few minutes:
And this is what he and Cash like to do
on a regular basis:
(I promise Cash isn’t being hurt.
He loves this and could run off, if he wanted to, at any time)
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