Change.

My husband got laid off from his job yesterday.

There is a LONG story behind all of this that I won’t get into in its entirety here, but essentially his company had to reduce head-count at his level (after they cut at the lower levels and at the corporate office) and rather than doing it smartly or even remotely strategically, they wussed out. Basically let HR make the decision vs. allowing the district managers choose who was to stay and who was to go based on performance. Instead, HR chose based on time in role – and Scott happened to be one of three at the 2 year point in their position – not exactly “new” to the role, to say the least. But I digress.

Scott has been a dedicated, hard-working, and enthusiastic assistant store manager at this particular retail grocery chain for fifteen years.

Fifteen years of dedication, incredible work ethic and a smile every single day.

He never complained when they changed his hours up (which ended up drastically impacted how much time we had together not just on the weekends but during the week as well). It got to the point where we didn’t spend any time together most weekends and maybe two nights a week were we able to share dinner together. Not exactly a very good balance there, to say the least.

Yet – he never complained. He just plugged on. We made it work.

So, needless to say, yes – I’m a little bit angry that his company would be so short-sighted. I feel for him because he deserves so much better. But on the other hand, I’m looking at this as a blessing in disguise.

Maybe this will give us a chance to collectively find better work/life balance. It’s bound to be better than what we’d been dealing with up until this point. Plus, Scott has the time he needs to sit back and really think about what his next step will be which is a luxury, and not one to be taken lightly, that’s for sure.

The other piece of this puzzle that I’m really thinking about today? That this will be the first time in the history of our entire nearly 10 year relationship that I’ll have THIS much time with Scott. I’m so used to his work schedule leaving us little time for “us” on the weekend – he’d usually work Saturdays and every other Sunday. And, during the week, our schedules were fairly similar up until recently when he started working a few nights.

So now? The sky’s the limit.

I’ll wake up to workout and he’ll be right next to me, working out by my side (which I’m so excited about – what a great way to start my day!)

I’ll come home from work and more than likely, dinner will be made and we’ll eat it together – my, what a novelty.

And the weekends? Now that’s going to be an entirely different world for me. I had quite the routine worked out on Saturdays to keep busy – working out in the morning, cleaning the house top-to-bottom and errands in the afternoon. Worked out pretty well. I jammed as much into the day so I could enjoy the rest of the weekend with Scott when he got home from work.

Now he’ll be there ALL weekend. We can spend time together. He can spend more time with his friends than he’s had time for in the past. We will have a level of freedom for the forseeable future (at least near-term) to enjoy the weekends as our time, not one interrupted by work schedules. I honestly don’t quite know what to make of this change. It might sound so normal to all of you that don’t have a job that requires nights/weekends but for me, this is a treat, a luxury, something not to be taken for granted. So needless to say, this is all so very surreal to me. I’ve never experienced it with Scott ever, ever, EVER in our relationship. Crazy.

All in all? This change is going to be a welcome one. Yes, it’ll be stressful at times while Scott figures out his next step. But, I’m also looking forward to the next phase in our marriage, I sense good things on the horizon. Great things, even. And, in honor of that prospect, I bought Scott a book today to keep him busy – been wanting to buy it since getting back into the Joel Osteen ministries again. The title of Joel’s latest book?

This is your time.

Pretty perfect, huh?

Playing catch-up

Ever feel like you’ve been running in place all day? Running, running, running but not getting anywhere fast?

Totallllly sums up my day…well my week, really.

Been a super busy week at work for various reasons (again, none of which I’ll get into here!) and, amidst that, I’ve been in my self-imposed Kick “boot camp” this week. too. So between work and Kick practice AND teaching a Kick class with my sis this morning, I’m sorta feeling like a hamster on one of those spinny wheel thingies.

I’m finally sitting down now to get back to my blog, my blog friends and, well, a pedicure. Yep, my sis and I treated ourselves to pedicures and it was just lovely. Exactly what my kick-weary feet needed! (Let it be noted that I *thought* about whipping out my camera to take a pic of my perty toes but I’m too tired to do it, but I promise I’ll fulfill my promise of more “people pics” in the blog, Heather, I did swear by it, didn’t I?)

AND, speaking of sisters, this segues nicely to my next point about my other sis, Jen (blogging over at Growing More than Vegetables). Jo beat me to the punch in the <wait for itttttt> “auntie throwdown” by revealing it on her blog first today, but Jen is pregnant!! The first of the three of us to get pregnant and it’s just awesome. The way it should be. Jen was always the protective, nurturing one amongst the three of us, especially when we were little and hated all the stares and pointing fingers (oh look! Triplets!). Somehow just being near her when I was scared just felt so comforting. Still does, too, not gonna lie. And she gives the best hugs. A sure sign of a good mom-to-be in the making! And while yes, I’ve lost the first round of “auntie throwdown,” Jo better watch her back whilst I come up with my counter-move. ๐Ÿ˜‰

In other “catch up” news, I had a few minutes towards the end of the day today to read up on a couple of my favorite blogs and caught this one from Heather at Where’s the Beach. Towards the end of the post, she brought up an excellent concept, one I think we should all “borrow” as often as possible. It was from a Shape magazine story on learning to love your body for what it is. A pull out from the Shape magazine article is a list of the top reasons for loving your body:

8 Reasons to Start Loving Your Body
  1. because itโ€™s unique; no one else has the same one.
  2. because itโ€™s capable of extraordinary feats, enabling you to run, climb, jump, lift, squat, snuggle, and spoon
  3. because no matter how badly you treat it, itโ€™s willing to give you another chance.
  4. because itโ€™s expressive, telling you how it feels and broadcasting to others how you feel about it
  5. because, letโ€™s face it, confidence is pretty sexy
  6. because your daughter must learn to love hers
  7. because somebody out there admires, covets, and adores it
  8. because youโ€™ll regret not loving it more later

I’ve been harping on this a lot lately which is partly to force ME to think more positively about my body more often, but it’s also true of our culture. We’re so ready to just steer towards the negative – “If only my stomach was a little flatter” to “if only I was strong enough to resist that piece of chocolate cake at the party.” Why not spin it around and focus on the positive more – like this list states, our bodies are a gift, they are uniquely ours and we should treat them as special property worthy of only the best treatment. That includes the mind/body element – hence the positive perspective of our bodies versus the negative.

So while I’ll refrain from listing eight things I love about my body like the list from Heather’s blog, I will start with just one reason: It’s strong and capable, carrying me through my days which lately have been jam-packed with everything under the sun. And for that, I am very grateful.

Ok, you’re turn. ๐Ÿ™‚

The “Wicked Half”

It’s official.

I *just* signed up for my first-ever half marathon.

ACK! (my new favorite word as my sister so aptly pointed out to me today!)

Part of me is SUPER excited to get ‘er done.

Part of me is skeered that this will be a challenge I will have a hard time completing.

But more of me knows that its the exact right challenge for me because it stretches me out of my comfort zone, distance-wise and gives me a HUGE goal to look forward to for the foreseeable future (aside from Kick,that is!). Annnd it’s a check box off my new years’ resolutions and my bucket list, woo!

And I know, you’re probably wondering if I threw “focus” out the window but alas, I have not (I don’t think, anyway). This half isn’t until September 25 so by then, the chaos of Kick will have subsided and hopefully I’ll be in a good rhythm with the program and teaching my own class (yes, that’s me being “Positive Polly” that I’ll have my own class!) that I’ll have the time to focus on training for the half.

I actually love that it’s called the “Wicked Half Marathon” – it just sounds bad-ass and very New England to me which is perfect in my book. ๐Ÿ™‚

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As an aside, I urge you all to head on over to The Balance Broad to read her take on size and whether or not it matters. I love her perspective and obviously totally agree with it. ๐Ÿ™‚

And PS. No news on the Kick front – though I’m pretty sure you’re probably all very sick of me blabbing about it, ha.

Hello, Kettle? Meet: Black.

Y’know the whole “pot calling the kettle black thing?”

Yes, well I’ve decided I’m horrible at taking my own advice, especially when that advice comes from the sage words of Joel Osteen or my husband or my friends (IRL and blogger alike!).

I got an email from my fitness director today basically saying that she’s going to review everyone’s tapes, send them in (the ones that haven’t been sent in) and regardless of that, she’ll be deciding who is getting a class/not getting a class based on her/the gym’s standards and not based on BTS, necessarily. Obviously, we all have to pass the assessment first – which is done by BTS – but according to her, their standards for passing are “minimal” and don’t necessarily reflect the standards of the gym in terms of granting someone a class on the schedule. A long way of saying “watch out, you aren’t all going to get a class just because you pass the BTS assessment.”

Which, of course I knew all along but reading those words from her today left a sinking feeling in my stomach.

What if I don’t get a class?

I know, it’s NOT the end of the world and I’ve still made such leaps and bounds as it is, that I shouldn’t feel like a failure if that happens.

But…I will.

It’s just something I’m so passionate about achieving and want SO badly that if I don’t get a class, I’m going to be very upset (so watch out people, I may need a bunch of virtual hugs!).

Now maybe I’m overreacting and have nothing to worry about but I’m just so afraid of the potential letdown that I’m anticipating the worst and it stinks.

Such a rollercoaster this morning – especially after I had a great morning workout, I practiced two of my five tracks that I was assigned to learn this week from the new release until I had them down pat. I also practiced two of the other tracks a bit but am planning to focus on those hard-core tomorrow until I have them down, too. I was feeling so confident that by Friday I’d have all five of the ten tracks down pretty well for our next group practice. It was a great feeling, a relief, and it made me feel good that I made the right decision about focus.

But now I’m feeling sort of down, and not all that hopeful. And I’ve totally lost sight of what I said yesterday – this is NOT in my hands to decide, the when I’ll reach my goal aspect. The timeline is not in my hands, nor was it ever. It’s in God’s hands when I’ll reach my goal – which is comforting in a way because at least I know that I will reach my goal eventually, even if not on my timeline (which is, um, NOW – too bad I don’t know already if that matches His timeline or not, huh??).

Anyway, just a lot rolling around in my brain today. I am trying not to let it get to me, focusing on my day at work (which isn’t looking all that awesome either, but at least its sunny out and I have plans with one of my bestest friends tonight to look forward to) instead.

As usual, though, thanks for listening to be “blog it out” once again.ย  ๐Ÿ™‚

Finishing what I started

First off, thank you so much everyone for your words of support and encouragement after my last couple of posts on Kick. It means the world to me and was super-helpful in coming to my most recent decision re: focus.

So anyway, I like to think timing is everything, as you know. I happened to watch another DVR’d episode of Joel Osteen last night that, once again, spoke to me at the exact right moment and thus, is the inspiration for today’s blog post. His message was around dreams and goals and how God always finishes what he starts, even if it happens in a time frame that is quite different from our own time frame for that goal or dream. Joel pointed out that God never aborts a dream and nor should we – we should act confident, like our dreams will come to fruition, that it WILL happen.

After listening to this message and taking it all in, in the context of my current frustrations with Kick, I realized that I need to trust God’s timing. It may not jive with my personal timeline but I have to be OK with that. I will finish what I started – even though I’ve had doubts about that lately, wondering if Kick is really right for me, is it worth all the effort, etc. As my sister so aptly reminded me this morning, I need to take a step back and remember why I’m doing this in the first place – because its a dream, a passion fulfilled. No duh, it’s going to be hard – if it wasn’t hard, why would it be a dream or a goal in the first place?

So, my goal for this week and next? Focus on the goal and the reason behind that goal – letting go of the frustrations and the anguish and just take all of it in as part of the process of meeting my goal, of finishing what I started. I am not a quitter, I’m in this until the end – even though I have a sneaking suspicion that there really is no “end” to this particular challenge. ๐Ÿ˜‰

A comment that changed everything…

…for those of you that blog, you know exactly what I mean. Just one comment from a reader who brings a new, fresh perspective can change everything. Well, I had that moment today.

If you go to my blog post from yesterday and read the comment from Lourdes, you can probably guess where this blog post is heading.

It’s time to change up how I’ve been approaching Kick. Up until now, I’ve simply woven it into my existing workout regime. And, that has often meant working out more and more, which isn’t a bad thing necessarily, but when it causes me to lose focus without me even realizing it? Yes, then it’s a bad thing.

After reading Lourdes’ comment (THANK you a million times over!), I realized, in part, what my struggle has been with Kick, at least recently. I’ve been overdoing it – trying to be great at everything – running harder and longer, lifting heavier and harder, kicking and jabbing with ferocity. While Kick has been quite the mental challenge for me as well as physical, the fact that I’ve been weaving Kick into several other workouts hasn’t necessarily been the best idea. And – I probably never would have considered that fact had it not been for Lourdes’ comment.

So, what am I going to do about it, you ask? I’m going to do something that’s I’ve never considered before. I’m going to focus. Just on Kick and core/endurance work.

What that means is no more Power classes. Limited running or spinning. No Cathe workouts. Almost a sole focus on Kick:

…Learning the ten new tracks for the Spring ’10 release.

…Practicing technique so my punches are more intense, my kicks more precise.

…Working on my core via pilates and core fusion classes (and planks every night before bed, plus 25 push-ups since the new Kick release has push-ups galore in the conditioning track)

…Improving my endurance even more so I’m not wimpering my way through the tail-end of a Kick workout, and thus, ruining my Kick technique in the process.(this may mean a couple of running sessions during the week)

This is HARD for me to swallow. Cutting certain things from my typical workout regime is already something my mind is battling. I want to lift weights. I want to spin. I want to run (though I think a case can be made to keep running in the mix for the sheer endurance benefits it has).

But what I want more is to ROCK Kick. Like really rock it. I want to be in the top of my “class” vs. somewhere in the bottom half.

So that means sacrifices. Mentally, I need to prepare. Physically, I’m ready to Kick, Kick, Kick.

Mentally I need to push out the irrational fear that avoiding weight lifting or other forms of cardio will NOT make me lose muscle strength or “lose” my spinning and/or running ability. I also need to realize that this is short-term, for the most part. For the next couple of weeks, especially leading into the launch of the new release, I’m going to be very Kick focused. My sister agrees to a certain extent, but part of her thinks we’ll get “kicked out” from doing Kick and not that much else as part of our workout routine. I’m taking the “why not” approach (or trying to!) – figuring that maybe the reason I’ve struggled with Kick is because I haven’t had as much focus as perhaps I need to in order to achieve my goal of not only passing the Kick assessment but getting a class of my own on the gym schedule.

As you can see, a lot of this is still running around in my head, but I’m going to give it a shot. I owe it to myself to find focus. I equate it to preparing for a finals in college. You spend hours and hours and days and days focused on the materials you need to read and review in order to pass those intense exams at the end of the semester. I need to approach Kick in much the same fashion, at least now that I have new material to learn in the next few weeks and while I still have the Kick assessment looming over my head.

Though, I was never very good at “studying” in college – I was always one that pretty much picked things up as I went and didn’t need to study hard-core like others in my class. But then, maybe that’s my problem now – I think I can “cram” and get by with Kick but that’s not so this time. I’ve got to accept the fact that this particular challenge or “test” is going to take extra work than perhaps I’ve had to put in, in the past.

So, my workouts this week will be pretty much all Kick, Kick run-throughs with my fellow instructors and pilates/core work, plus MAYBE one long run (but that’s it, I promise).

And you know what? It’s ready or not time…I might be more “not” than “ready” now but I’ll come around. Hopefully. ๐Ÿ˜‰ WIsh me luck in the meantime – it’s gonna take some adjusting in mindset for me, that’s for sure.

A mixed bag ‘o emotions

Alright, so I’m feeling a little bit rollercoaster-y today (yes, that is a word!).

Let’s start with the good.

I went to Ride today for the first time in eons. I mean, I’ve been to other Ride classes but seriously haven’t gone to the 8am class on Saturday in at least three months due to Kick, amongst other things. I went today and it was killer – it was taught by one of my favorite Ride instructors who just ROCKS that class no matter what. Even when you are at your most tired, your legs don’t want to move any harder or faster, he gets you there. It’s amazing. It’s this class that I’ve always found that I let my body go and I just live in that sweat-filled moment and ride my butt off. It’s sort of like an out of body experience, Ride-style, if you can picture it that way. So, needless to say, endorphin rush is my new best friend today! Plus – I went to pilates after that which I’ve not done (at this gym anyway) – but more on that in a second.

No, the not so good.

We met with our fitness director last night and, let’s just say, her delivery leaves much to be desired sometimes. Yes, she can be SUPER sweet and caring and then, when she gets down to business, she can be infuriating, mostly because she makes those sweeping generalizations that I hate. Anyway, I’m not going to get into everything we discussed here, but long story short, she mentioned she might want me to re-tape. Yes, re-tape my assessment video.

Um, what?

But – she mentioned it as if it were no big deal and then moved on to a new topic. Ok, thanks, super helpful. Not.

So, I asked to talk to her for a few minutes after we went over the new release (which, um, she wants to launch in ohhhh, two weeks, but that’s another story entirely).

She pulled me into her pilates studio with this look of concern on her face. “What’s wrong??” She said, all concerned. (Ummm, what do you mean what’s wrong? You drop a bomb like that on me and then wonder what’s wrong?)

I asked her for some real, 1:1 feedback – what do I need to do to pass this assessment, what do I need to do to prove to you that I can and WILL do this? What can I do to prove that I will be just as good as the “top three” already are?

And she was helpful, honest and encouraging. For the first time since I started working through Kick with her. A little late, no?

My biggest issue with her has been her scattered style of managing the various group fitness programs at my gym. Because she’s so busy and juggling so many balls all the time, she hardly has time to really focus on each instructor to make sure they’re getting where they need to be. So yes, the “top three” right now are the three Kick instructors who already teach either Power or Ride. So, duh, obviously they already know how to teach and, to a certain extent, how to prep for other BTS classes because they already do so. Wouldn’t it make sense, then, to spend MORE time with the ones that are “newbies” at teaching but also really, REALLY, want to be great teachers (like me!!)?

Yeah, I thought so, too.

Needless to say, I was so frustrated last night BUT I did feel better after talking to her separately because it seemed clear that she does want me to succeed and she does want me to get a class on the schedule. As for my tape? She’s going to review it again. She doesn’t think I’ll fail necessarily, just that some of my technique could use some tightening up – which I know, and I’m working on every single day. Which she’d know if she ever took one of the classes I teach. I digress – sorry, see? I’m such a mixed bag of emotions! I mean, on the one hand, it’s fine if I need to re-tape to pass, but on the other, I really just want to get it done, push that release aside so I can totally focus on the new material for the next launch. I HAVE to learn those tracks ASAP and as of now, I’ve only gone through the new release three times. That’s IT.

As for the pilates class this morning? That’s the other thing she mentioned – she is requiring us to start taking a core class at least once a week to tighten up our core strength for all the punching, kicking and stability work we do in Kick. I totally get that and honestly, by her “requiring” us to do it will actually force me to go. I get so frustrated by core classes because I’m not flexible at all for one, and for two, I do have a weaker core which always annoys me for some reason, probably because I don’t view myself as “weak” very often (or try not to!).

I think this all goes back to the fact that I am NOT good at not being good at something, especially something I love as much as fitness. I think that’s what really got me last night – this is the first time, probably ever, that I’m not in the “top of my class” so to speak. I’ve always been an overachiever, always been one of the best students, best managers at my job, and one of the more fit in my circle of friends, family, etc. Yet, this Kick thing really gets me. I’m NOT at the top of this class. I realized going in that this would be a ginormous challenge for me (not just the class itself, but the teaching element, the choregraphy, etc.) but even now, when I’m hitting a stumbling block, I need to remember just how far I’ve come. I keep saying it, but it’s true – I need to keep that perspective as I face the next “hill” in what has become a challenge with no end. And I’ve gotta be ok with that, because it’s not ending anytime soon, that’s for sure!

In closing (sorry for the whopper of a post!!), I’m reverting back to this quote that inspired my blog post the other day because it just fits so perfectly here, too:

Be active, be energetic, be enthusiastic and faithful, and you will accomplish your object. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Why I run

One of my favorites, (part of the famed “girls night” crew), Meg, sent me a link to a slideshow at Boston.com that totally inspired today’s post.ย  She actually sent it to me earlier this week but I wanted to save it up for an inspirational Friday morning post as we head into the weekend and all. ๐Ÿ™‚

The link was to a running tally of testimonials called “Why I run.” What struck me, aside from the sheer honesty and passion behind each post, was the common theme amongst them all – check out a few examples to see if you can find it:

I run because running has taught me to love my body for the amazing things it can do. I run to set a healthy example for my two boys. I run to build physical and mental toughness, which serve me well in other aspects of life.

I run because it is my sanctuary, where I feel so alive and calm at the same time. A place where I know my legs will keep on going, if only I don’t let my mind get in the way.

๏ปฟI run because it is my therapy, my time to work out all the problems in my life. I run because my legs are strong enough and my mind is in need of exercise. I run to remind myself of the beauty that surrounds me and how very lucky I am.

I run because it gives me amnesia. I forget my problems, I forget my limitations, I forget those who mistreated me, I forget those who are gone.

Running has turned out to be “my thing.” I run to be inspired and to inspire others…It is hard on the mind and it is hard on the body…Running makes me confident and free spirited…nothing else can keep my anxiety at a low.

Each day I run, it is a small victory. It’s not life changing or mind-altering, but it’s a victory.

Pretty awesome stuff, right? To me – what screams out to me in these snippets (and others on the slideshow) is not the physical challenge of running so much as the mental challenge of running. Hits the nail on the head for me – running started out as something I did because I knew it was a great cardio workout but it was NOT innate, it was always hard on my body and my mind.

So you may ask, Why do I run?

I run because it forces me out of my comfort zone.

I run because its an outlet for my mind to wander.

I run because it makes me feel alive – those moments when I don’t think I can pushย  myself any farther and somehow my body just reacts.

I run because I can do it outside, with Scott by my side – some of our best conversations (even if some are one-sided while I’m huffing and puffing!) are had when we’re running together.

I run because I heart runner’s high.

I run because its hard. It’s painful. It’s rewarding. It’s a rush.

I could literally go on and on about why I run, but you kinda get the idea, right?

So now it’s your turn, why do YOU run? If you don’t run, why do YOU workout? Inquiring minds want to know. ๐Ÿ™‚


Fitness brings people together…

…like nothing else.ย  Seriously. This has struck me more and more often lately.

Was reminded of that this morning, in particular, when my mom sent me an email about my recent series of blog posts on my Kick assessment as well as my sister’s guest blog from yesterday. She read some of the comments from those posts in particular and was struck by how those comments were so spot-on with how supportive me and my sisters are of one another in real life.

This reminded me one of the “why’s” for why fitness has become so integral and ingrained into my life. When friends, family and colleagues ask me why I work out so much and what it is that draws me in — I have a variety of responses to that, many of which I’ve shared here. Feeling strong, fit and empowered; the endorphin rush; the obvious health and wellness benefits.

But another benefit and a more recent driver behind my workout-a-holic ways? The various friendships I’ve developed purely based on a shared passion for fitness.

  • The shared bond with my “IRL” (in real life) friends who either have always loved working out like me, or have recently picked it up.
  • The increased bond between my sister and I (my other sister, Jen, and I are also super-close, too, don’t get me wrong!) since she went through her divorce in the past year+ as we both threw ourselves into our workouts more than ever before.
  • The Cathletes I’ve met on previous Road Trips (more on this in a sec) – and those that have become Cathletes with me from amongst those IRL friends I noted above.
  • My Kick “family” at my gym – both my fellow Kick instructors-in-training and the “regulars” who come to all of our Kick classes and are always vocal about sharing their love of the classes so far (which makes me smile from ear-to-ear of course!)
  • The “crazy, strong, and loving it” Cathe Forum friends I most recently met via Heather at Where’s the Beach. We log on daily to share our workouts for the day, any challenges we’re facing and anything else related to our crazy workout schedules that we feel like discussing on that particular day. This is an awesome group of ladies from all over the world – thanks to Heather for convincing me to check the forum out originally!
  • And, of course, my fellow fitness and wellness blogging friends I’ve been so lucky to have met either in-person (Hey, Naomi!) or virtually, I LOVE sharing ideas for new workouts, reading about yummy healthy recipes and rooting one another on.

I’m re-reading this list again and, wow, I had no trouble whipping up a handful of various communities and pockets of friendships I’ve formed simply based on a shared passion for fitness. THAT is pretty darn cool if you ask me. ๐Ÿ™‚

In other fitness news, today is THE day for the Cathe Road Trip registrations!! This will be my third trip to the annual road trip in New Jersey where Cathe is based (it’s where her gym is and where her filming studio is, too) and I cannot WAIT to go back this year. Now that I’ve been to two of them, I’ve made quite a few friends who I am dying to see again, especially my “Sisterhood of the Traveling Cathletes” friends I met last year (though, sadly, at least one of them – Sue, can’t come this time, SAD!). It’s an amazing weekend of laughter, lots of sweating, lots of good food and of course, bonding with Cathe herself. What could be better?? Registrations open in about an hour and I’m DYING to get onto the site to get myself a spot (and a spot for my sis who is traveling today, ack!) – there are only 105 spots so competition is pretty fierce. Fingers and toes crossed!! I’ll report back later, I promise. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Quick update – Jo and I are in!! AND Heather made it too, YAY!!!!!!!! SO EXCITED!!!

I channeled you and Kicked it wicked hahhd!

Before I kick this offย  (ha, pun intended) for my sister, who is guest blogging here for the first time ever (woo!), I have to say this. I am SO freaking proud of her for how much she rocked last night’s Kick video assessment! She was strong, powerful and fierce – and funny – all despite the room feeling like it was about nine jillion degrees! I, in turn, channeled her energy, and went ALL OUT in class last night, seriously kicked harder, jumped higher and punched harder than ever. Even SHE noticed it from the stage which for some reason strikes me as hilarious (why was she paying attention to me, she had a job to do!).

But now, without further ado…I’ll let my sister tell you the rest. Thanks Jo!!

(and PS. I didn’t read her post before writing this foreword and now I’m totally teary, she wanted ME to be proud of her? Awww…ok sorry, carry on, hehe).

My first guest post – finally – for my sister – and I couldn’t be more excited to share my experience with my Group Kick video assessment with you! I wrote a brief post on my blog, about my experience, overall, but had a few more thoughts worth sharing, from a more hardcore workout perspective (for all of you wonderful workout-a-holics! Love it!).

So, here goes.

I came into this taping with a few things in mind – the usuals, like getting through it, not screwing up, or uh, passing out, but I also wanted to one important thing –

Make Jess proud.

And, channel her…channel her for the areas she was stressing about in her assessment (which, I might add, I did too, in terms of miscounting a few cues etc) and accomplish the thing that she’s thisclose to accomplishing herself – scoring a class based on our assessment and performance.

And, I think (and hope!) I did that last night.

It was actually the very first time I didn’t think.

I just went for it.

I “let myself be great” for the first – and most important – time…when it really counts. And seeing my sister beaming from the class gave me the energy and stamina to keep going. And, I couldn’t help but laugh inside watching her Kick it wicked hahhhd (for those non-New Englanders – that’s “hard” to you – lol), because she too was throwing herself into it. It was awesome.

I’ll never forget last night, as just about the hardest thing I have done in my fitness “journey” – harder than my very first 5K (which was extremely difficult for me as a newbie runner at the time), or my first 5-miler race, or even any of my first Cathe workouts. This. Was. Intense.

But I am so proud of how far we have both come since last December – it’s been an amazing journey and I wouldn’t change a thing…especially experiencing it with Jess, one of the only people that truly “gets” me, in all of my fitness fanatic ways ๐Ÿ™‚ XO!