Dreaming My Dreams

Howdy, Do you remember your dreams?  What did you want to be when you were a child?  I wanted to be a journalist.  My best friend and I decided that when we were older (21 years old was 'older' to us at the age of 11) we would live together.  Our basement would be an ice rink and there wouldn't be stairs that led to it.  Instead there would be an ice slide from the bottom floor to the ice rink basement.  I can remember the conversation like it was yesterday and I still kind of want that ice rink basement idea. :)

Over the years I have had many dreams.  I have reached some (working out for a living) and let others go (School of Journalism at Columbia University).  I have noticed when I limited my dreams based on societal things and worked hard to allow my mind to wander into anything that would sound interesting to my soul.  I remember when I found out that Elmo was a black guy named Kevin Clash.  I was watching a talk show years ago where he was the guest.  It wasn't until that moment that I realized that I hadn't ever considered becoming a puppeteer because somewhere inside I had judged it as something black folks didn't do.  I had never seen someone black doing it and had completely counted it out as an option.  The funniest part was I am, in no way, stereotypical with how I live my life.  Still, no one is immune from those judgements about what is or is not possible.  We are surrounded by limiting factors every day.  After that moment, which was profound for me, I knew that I had some digging to do within myself.

Dreaming is so important.  Being limitless when you dream is the key ingredient to finding out what you really want to do.  Taking away the need to know how is the hardest part of dreaming.  We always want to make sense of something, so much so that when we dream we forget to just feel what you feel, think what you think and then see what shakes out.  So, I challenge you to dream.  Dream big.  Make a list of what you want to do, what you want to be, where you want to live, how you want to feel.  There are no limits, there is no right, there is no wrong, there is just you.  Before the phone existed someone wanted to talk to someone else who was far away.  Before hot air balloons someone wanted to float around in the sky in a basket.

You just never know where your dreams may take you…



Things Are

Howdy! There is a reason you are reading this, and that your feelings were hurt, or you were happy, or that a, b or c pissed you off.  Instead of lumping something you have experienced in the boxes of good and bad, why not see what those situations are telling you?

When you place the judgement of something being good you are inviting the possibility for bad to happen in your space.  Without good you would not have bad.  The contrast is what makes the distinction, the distinction is what brings about the contrast.  So, how do you not deem something as good or bad?  Well, you take the words out of your language, for the most part.  Seriously, perspective is everything.  I could label things as bad and good and walk away only to see that someone else had come along and changed the labels on a few things.  Wait!  There isn't an inherent good and bad?  You mean that some people think that physical scarring is good and others thing that it is abusive?  Some cultures arrange marriage and others do not, all label their way as the right way to do things. Perspective allows you to see that when you give something a side, you have to allow for it to have another.

Letting go of the words forces you to think in a new way.  Words are powerful, which is why they hurt or heal depending on the person, the words, the time, space, energy.  Take away the good and the bad and you have a thing, an experience that allows you to see the complexities within it.  There are areas that you may want to keep, give back or let go of.  When you look at something as information you pay closer attention to all of the details, you may begin to see where it is actually a benefit to you when you may have only seen it as bad or good.  Labels limit, it is their nature.

Try for one week to practice lessening the labels.  How do things begin to feel when you do?  What information is available to you?



What's Good???

Good morning! It is Tuesday!!  :) This only  takes a few moments to do but gives to you for much, much longer.  So put down whatever you are doing and take a couple of minutes for yourself.  Every Tuesday morning I am going to ask you to write down 5 things that you are grateful for and email them to me (keep for yourself as well).  What are you feeling gratitude around?  Here are mine for this week:





Pushing Past Limits.  

There are no right or wrong answers.  It is about what you are grateful for.   It is proven that doing this once a week for three months (actually just 9 weeks) makes you happier, healthier, exercise more and less sensitive to perceived slights.  You will sweat the small stuff less and focus on what really matters.

So… what are you waiting for???

Food for thought:

We spend a lot of time making excuses for why we do not do what we know we need to in order to reach our goals, to take care of ourselves, to live an awesome life.  We allow ourselves to do less than our best because we feel it is too hard to always make the effort to do better.  We cheat ourselves when we turn a blind eye to our less than ideal behavior.  Pay attention and hold yourself accountable.  Own your choices fully so you can fully choose what is best for you.     

"We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." ~Aristotle

"If you do not conquer self, you will be conquered by self."  ~Napoleon Hill

Have you made any excuses today?



On Your Mark

"I am too positive to be doubtful.  Too optimistic to be fearful.  And too determined to be defeated."  ~vandon Yeehaw!

I LOVE winning.  It's true.  The other truth is that everybody does!  Ok, not everyone but most.  As an instructor and coach I am not competing in the same way I do as a rower, runner, Words With Friends player.  Instead I compete to get my athletes as fit as I can get them.  To bring them to health and wellbeing in the best way for them.  I become their biggest fan, their resolve when they have none, and their answers when they are questioning.  I find fulfillment in the work that I do and for that I am grateful.

I haven't competed in a race or event that wasn't connected to supporting a client in quite some time.  So I haven't actually tapped into my own personal desire to compete for Aina in a while.  Basically I haven't had to be in that place that I put my riders, clients, athletes in and then coach them through.  I hadn't had the opportunity to compete with me for me.  Until recently when I joined The LAB - A Crossfit Gym on Eastlake.  I am not doing anything that is amazing, just small workouts of the day (WODs) when I show up… but compete I am.  Because my schedule is packed with teaching and training I don't get to the gym as much as I would like.  The two times that I have had the opportunity to compete I have had the fastest time overall completing the workout that was assigned.  Can I tell you how fantastic that feels??  It is GREAT!  Seriously.  I love competing and I love seeing the hard work that I do pay off in a way that I enjoy.  One of the many benefits of being fit is being able to swing a kettlebell until the cows come home. :)  Yep.

Now, just because I compete doesn't mean I have to win or that I get upset when I don't.  I am a coach, and a very good one, and I understand perspective.  Prior to that I was an athlete that was new to competing.   In my freshman year of college I lost a huge race as a part of a team that had, up to that point,  won everything.  I was devastated.  I sobbed for hours on the floor in my dorm room while my then boyfriend grew ever exhausted with me not getting ready for a date we had.  I felt overcome with sorrow for the work I put in only to lose by less than a second in the Championship.  It was so hard because I had never experienced that kind of loss before.  The loss of a race.  The loss as an athlete.  It was a very important experience, one that I grew tired of quickly and realized shortly after the final tears fell that I was taking things way too seriously.  It was a game.  It was FUN, right?  I needed to see how seriously I took it, how important it was/is for me.  I figured out that I didn't need to be devastated by a supposed loss.  I learned that it was during those time when most of my information was gathered to lead me to amazing future successes.  I learned that the how in dealing with anything matters more than what the anything is.  I also learned that the toughest competition is within… moving to a stronger place within yourself.  Doing more than the day before.  Pushing through no matter what.

I know people who get afraid of competing, who think it is negative because they feel that it puts others down, or leaves others out.  There is nothing wrong with loving being first in something.  It feels good.

I believe that we often don't compete because we don't want to lose not because we don't want to win.  Are you not competing because you are afraid of the work it takes to be great or because you don't think you ever could be?




"I'm not in competition with anybody but myself.  My goal is to beat my last performance." ~Celine Dion

First Spartan Race Down!


I am home after over 12 hours of being away racing in my first obstacle course race.  I am tired, scratched up, and sore.  I am also very happy.  It was fun and ridiculous and easy and hard.  There were parts that were absolutely doable and others that were, well, let's say that I had a 30 second moment where I told myself that I was going to have to really dig deep and just deal with the temporary pain I was in.  I am glad the pep talk worked.  It usually does at this point in my life.  My client and I finished and spent the remaining hours we were together discussing the parts we loved, hated and loved to hate.

As this was my first obstacle course crazy ass race, and because they don't tell you the course ahead of time, I went into it with an open mind and no fear.  What is the point of worrying about something you cannot control?  It couldn't be that bad after all.  Everyone was welcome to enter the race so it would have to be doable for everyone on some level.  I expected there to be challenges.  I expected there to be parts that were brutal and other parts that were simply fun.  I am happy to say that all of my expectations were met.  What I was most appreciative of was the teamwork among the participants.  Literally everyone was on everyone's side.  It wasn't a competition, it was play time for adults!  It was about pushing yourself and giving a hand to anyone who needed the help.

One of the "treats" on the course was a barbed wire hill of mud.  This wasn't a slight incline.  On this hill were ropes places strategically down to the beginning because you wouldn't be able to get up it without the rope.  By that I mean, your ass was grass if you didn't use the rope to pull yourself up.  People actually began to slide down, which was scary and dangerous due to the people and the barbed wire behind them.  The wire was around 16 inches above the mud which meant that there were a lot of people with a lot of holes and scratches in their clothing (and skin). I saw lots of hair hanging from the wire.  Pretty funny if you ask me.  It took me 10-15 minutes to climb this big ass hill, I would say (and that was actually pretty fast).  It was absolutely ridiculous!  It was during this hill that I questioned the meaning of life and my point on the hill.  Once I was at the top and went around to help my client I saw the amazing amount of support that was being given.  There were hundreds of people and everyone cheered, pushed people up in front of them, pulled people up from behind and simply encouraged with words.  It was a coaching heaven.  I felt elated to be a part of such a love fest.

By the time we finished we had completed 23 obstacles, my client accomplished a goal that was set over a brunch 5 months prior, and we went through more mud than we had ever seen in one place.  Besides the mud there was fire, cargo netting to climb, spears to throw,  walls of varying heights, barbed wire that just wouldn't end, ropes to climb, posts to balance on, nets to go under, slides to slide down and much more stupidity.

I cannot wait to do it again.



Love What You Do, Whatever You Do

"The only limits are, as always, those of vision."  ~James Broughton So I have been discussing work with various peeps… and realized it is a topic that comes up time and time again.  Work, what you spend most of your day doing, deserves to be looked at carefully.  Any place that you put your time is worth paying attention to.

We are what we think, say, do etc…  If you give something your time you are giving a part of yourself.  If it isn't something you enjoy what the heck are you doing?  No end is good enough to lose yourself over.  We tend to look at things such as money, status, etc. when considering a "job" instead of considering how much of your life that "job" will be taking.  And take it will if you aren't being fed by it.  It is no wonder we sometimes look around at our lives and wonder why we are unhappy.  If you are not happy with how you spend your moments in the work that you do, that work will become your hell instead of an expression of your dreams.

When you love what you do everything changes in you.  Love has a place to take hold and blossom.  Finding that thing to do that you love isn't always easy.  Sometimes you have to try various things and leave various things when they don't work.  It is always ok to go toward what works and leave what does not.  Think about the alternative, staying in something that steadily and most certainly will asphyxiate your dreams.

Your life is limitless, go live without the fear that keeps you from pushing toward what you really want.

"If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is compromise."  ~Robert Fritz

Good luck in realizing your dreams :)