#FitFriday ruminations

#FitFriday ruminations…

Accountability is awesome.

(this would be me both pre-class and contemplating a post-class run and then me after class and after crushing my first solo run in a long time!)

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I talk about accountability a lot, I know. But truly — sometimes it just takes the simplest of actions to truly commit to your intentions — workout related or otherwise. I have to give mad props — yet again — to the barre n9ne community, this group of ladies is nothing short of inspiring and hard working and SO SO committed. Not just to their barre-volutions (you should *see* their transformations — a post for another day…but seriously unreal) but also to their cardio health, too. We have a fun little group of barre n9ne-rs who are part of the ‘barre to 5k’ group Jolene and I launched with Tanya last year. The group started as a way to help clients who wanted to go from walking to running but needed a little support to get there. Today, this group has evolved into one giant cheering squad. Constant words of encouragement and virtual high fives are the norm in this group. And a biggie — the accountability thing. We’ll routinely schedule #b9virtualrundates — reporting back with our progress, post-run. And do you know how hard it is to skip a workout if you’ve *just* told a bunch of ladies that you’d be ‘out there virtually’ at xx time, the next morning? You better damn well believe I’d never miss that run after all that. And the same is true for anyone in this group — you shout it loud and proud, you commit, and you get ‘er done. And then be prepared for an onslaught of “nice job!’ and “way to go’ and “rock on!’ that will come your way, post-run. LOVE. ❤

Compliments, while simple in theory, can leave a lasting impact. Case in point:

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That would be a love note my husband left for me on my container of almond milk in the fridge for me to find this morning. I literally laughed out loud when I read what he wrote. (I may have also blushed.) But really? It reminded me that a simple compliment can mean the world. In this case, it reminded me that my husband happens to love me very much and finds me to be pretty cute. How lucky am I?? It also reminds me that I need to be more diligent of complimenting him — as I’ve said before, I have a hard time accepting compliments, especially from my husband. BUT — I’ve been working on it. By not accepting his compliments gracefully, I’m sort of throwing his words back at him in a way, pushing him away instead of pulling him in. So I’ve gotten better at it with time — and I’ve been focusing more on paying *him* compliments back. Especially now that he’s so into Crossfit, my husband is a hottie. 😉

And finally — paying it forward is by far the most gratifying feeling in the world:

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I came to the studio on Thursday morning to teach my usual 6am toned, firm, fit and ready class and found not one, not two, but three gifts waiting for me at the studio. From clients who have been working their bums off to get fit and healthy for life. And they wanted to thank me and barre n9ne for helping them get there. Wow. Just wow. The sheer fact that I have an impact on anyone to get more fit and healthy (and happy!) is a beautiful thing. I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to use my own barre journey as a means of helping others chase their own fit dreams — teaching is my way of paying it forward and I can’t say it enough: I teach with gratitude. Every single day.

So that’s that — my #FitFriday ruminations. I’m in a very happy place today and really hope you all are too. 🙂

You know you’re a (die-hard) fitness instructor when…

You know you’re a (die-hard) fitness instructor when…

You literally fall asleep with a constant 8-count scrolling through your brain.
(hold for 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, annnnnd 1…now pulse 8, 7…)

…this is a much more serious problem on Sunday nights when you have a double to teach in the morning.
(and your biggest fear is oversleeping despite multiple alarm clocks being set…pulse it 8, 7, 6, 5, 4…)

On your drive to or from your day job any new song you hear on the radio that sounds even remotely like good playlist material, you immediately shazam for download later.

…and then spend the rest of the car ride trying to figure out where that song would fit into your playlist for your next class.
(hmm could Muse’s “Madness” be a good ab series song? Perhaps for arms & abs tomorrow night??)

You get WAY too excited about new workout gear — particularly of the Lululemon variety — and have to immediately instagram as many selfies as you can before your early-am classes start (hence no audience to see you making funny faces in the mirror at 5:30 in the morning…). Case in point:

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On your lunch break, you routinely review your class plan for the night ahead and wonder if you could do anything to make the class more interesting, unique, surprising or more intense…y’know, to keep those clients on their toes (literally, ha!). ;-P

And you totally geek out over all the fun instagram pics you spy as part of the barre n9ne studio #b9poseadaychallenge  contest that we (as in me and my sis Jo, marketing pro’s for the studio!) kicked off earlier in the week. So much so that you just HAVE to get in on the action yourself:

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(this shot was taken just prior to me kicking my sister’s cute bum during barre fusion on Sunday night, hehe..but um, wtf is up with my expression here??)

And you get ridiculously giddy at the thought of training to teach a new style of workout at the studio — a training that is coming up FAST in February. A training I cannot WAIT to get through — and a class I cannot WAIT to rock at the studio…quite literally ‘rock’ it too. The workout? It’s called POUND – rockout workout. And OMG it looks like a BLAST. <–much more on this later, I promise! 

You  know you’re a (die-hard) fitness instructor when…you ADORE teaching, no matter how tired you are, no matter how long of a day you’ve had, no matter how early you have to wake up to get to the studio…none of that matters.

All that matters is that you love it, that clients love it…and that maybe, just maybe, you’re making a teeny tiny difference in the world.
…all while doing something that you love. 

On leaders, on leading.


This week in Cali for work has been quite the whirlwind so far. But it’s involved some really interesting parallels I just had to jot down while they were fresh on this (very weary) brain of mine. So here goes…brace yourself – this may be a little all over the place.  (And yes, sometimes I feel like my blog posts need a “proceed with caution” warning label, what of it?) 😉


I sat in on a workshop discussion yesterday, actually two of them, that both tie back to this ongoing goal of mine to get and stay uncomfortable as much as I can this year – a year of “no limits” as I dubbed it back around New Year’s.

One workshop talked about the Myer’s Briggs personality testing and how to both use your personality attributes to your advantage, but also ways to “revolt” (for lack of a better word) against your personality attributes in some ways, too. In other words — make your innate personality traits work for you but also work against some of those very ingrained traits to push past boundaries that might be holding you back. (In other words: get uncomfortable, get out of your regime, your routine, your “normal”!)

The other workshop talked about women in leadership and how to become the leader on your team, in your department and within the company overall (have I mentioned how much I dig the importance placed on personal growth and development in the workplace that happens at my new job?? And how much emphasis is placed on growing the women in the company?? Um yeah, it’s pretty awesome).

The common theme(s)?

Get uncomfortable. If you’re innately an introvert – just do it, get out of that comfort zone and force yourself to take more risks. If you’re an extrovert, take a step back to let others (introverts especially) shine.

Stay uncomfortable. Portray leadership traits – even if you don’t necessarily feel it, ACT like a leader. Command a room versus hiding in a corner trying to become invisible. Dress for the part – appear pulled together and poised even if you don’t feel poised and pulled together. Fake it ’till you make it.

Turn that discomfort into quasi-comfort. A leader isn’t sitting around, status quo, in comfortable situations day in and day out. Nope. They are constantly in uncomfortable situations. But it’s how they harness that discomfort that’s the key. They force themselves to appear comfortable even if they truly aren’t. So think and act like a leader, no matter how uncomfortable it may actually feel. Even if that means reciting positive affirmation in your head to give yourself that mental boost needed to portray outward confidence.

Bottom line: It’s time to stay uncomfortable.
(as if I needed that reminder, huh??)

…in my (yes, MY!) barre n9ne classes. <–whee!

…in my job.

…in my running (and future marathon-ing).

…in my relationships.

…Because it’s the only way to let yourself be great. By pushing past boundaries, getting used to being uncomfortable — learning to lead vs. follow.

And chasing those dreams.

Where did this passion come from?

As I sat in Terminal B at Logan Airport yesterday waiting for my flight to San Jose to board, I flipped through blog comments from my post. I smiled at the words “inspiration” and “passion” that seemed to be popular themes among the comments.

…and, as I settled into my seat on the plane, I got to thinking.

Where did this passion (for healthy living) come from?

I mean, I know that passion tends to be ingrained, but it’s got to start from somewhere, or something, right? I sat and turned the question over in my mind and suddenly, my mind returned to a childhood memory.

Of opening my lunchbox to find applesauce and “ants on a log” (celery with peanut butter in the middle as the “log” and raisins as the “ants” – to this day, I still love this snack!) sitting there staring back at me. Looking around at my fellow classmates, who chomped on bags of chips and cookies, and I knew my snacks were “different” than everyone else’s but that was ok (mostly) by me.

I remember looking back at that time and thinking, “wow, my mom really buckled down on the healthy eating thing when we were little. I dig that.”

Fast forward to middle school.  My parents had split up. My mom was now raising her triplet daughters on her own. She did so with one income and not much in the way of child support, all while putting herself through college and working full-time. She was (and still is) supermom. I admire her strength, perseverance and commitment to giving us the best possible life she could at that time while working on giving us a better life by finishing her degree (she later graduated summa cum laude from Wellesley College – go mom!!).

But it was during that time, when money was extremely tight, that I first experienced what it was like to be unable. Unable to choose the healthiest and highest quality foods to eat. Unable to dedicate large chunks of time (and money) to physical activity (we weren’t the “typical” kids who were granted the luxury of taking ballet, dance, or gymnastics classes or participating in school sports).  Unable to do many of the “typical” things most kids our age totally took for granted,  having no idea what it was like to be unable.

It was also during this time, that I distinctly recall feeling extremely grateful. That I had a mom who worked her tail off to put food, any food, on the table for us. That we had incredible grandparents who routinely made us dinners and carted us around while mom was busy with school. That my sisters and I had each other – to look after one another every single day, taking turns making dinners (which is a whole post in and of itself, lots of funny stories from that time), and being our own mini-family when mom was in school or at work or at home but distracted with homework.

Sure, we didn’t have the best options for meals – Chef Boyardee beefaroni made regular appearances at the dinner table, as did Tuna Helper and other quick-fix meals that offered nourishment of sorts, but very little in the way of fresh, healthy, wholesome ingredients, to say the least. But at that point in time? We didn’t care – it was food, it didn’t matter where it came from or what was in it.

Fast forward to high school and then college. My mom finished her degree, got herself an excellent job at an area school as a technology director, and the money strain lessened a bit. Fresh ingredients returned to the table. I started going to the YMCA, and then the gym at my college, and I started to see just how incredible the world of healthy living was again. I had it as a child, missed out on it as a pre-teen/teen and had it back in my life in my early-20s and onward.  

…and the rest, as they say, is history. My passion for healthy living took center stage in my life for good.

I say all of this not to create some sort of pity party that we endured a bit of a “rough patch” growing up (because honestly, during that time my sisters and I didn’t really even recognize how tough we had it until years and years later and we looked back in comparison one day…). I say all of this, sharing this bit of history with you, because I now see that this is where my passion comes from.

I’ve seen both sides of the equation. The inability to choose to be healthy. And then the ability to make my own choices and to naturally find myself gravitating towards a  healthy, fit and energetic lifestyle. One that I completely credit to the early years when my mom insisted on raisins over m&ms, bananas over bags of chips and tree climbing and fort building outside over hours spent motionless in front of the TV.

This is why I am who I am.

Because I’ve seen both sides. Experienced both sides. And now I can fully appreciate the ability to choose healthy. Gratefully so. Yet another reason why this journey towards becoming barre n9ne-certified means the world to me. Just like I said before, it’s my chance to pay it forward. In way more ways than one.

So next time someone asks me: Where did your passion come from? I’ll say – it’s a long story, shall we chat over coffee? 😉

Paying it forward – barre n9ne style (or: BIG news!)

Which one on this list does not describe me:

Runner (and soon-to-be marathoner!)
Lover of all things sweaty.
Foodie (and wine-o) fan.
barre n9ne instructor.

If you were about to mentally cross out “barre n9ne instructor” — you’d be wrong.

Yes, you read that right — my BIG NEWS: I’m in teacher training to become barre n9ne-certified!!
…and guess whose joining me on this wild ride? Yup, my sister. We’re doing this together. Which just fits.

I am thrilled. Honored. Humbled.
…this is what paying it forward is ALL about for me.

Even though we’ve known about this for awhile now and actually started training two weeks ago, I still have a hard time putting into words just how passionate I am about this thing. I am ridiculously excited to share my passion for all things barre n9ne with each client that walks through the studio door — and even those that are hesitant to walk through that door, I hope I can reach them through this blog and any other channel I can. I so firmly believe in this style of exercise and how truly life-changing it can be – body, mind and spirit – that to be able to teach in this style is a dream come true.


I have big plans to rock out this certification process so I can get my butt on that barre n9ne schedule as soon as possible. This will mean many hours in the studio practicing, and many more hours spent at home honing my practice so that I can meet the (very high) bar (barre?) that Tanya, Julianna and the rest of the barre n9ne family of instructors have set. They are an incredible bunch of women – women that inspired me to make giant life changes, changes that have evolved me into the confident, happy and strong person I am right this very second.

I’m finally living my best life now — and it’s getting even better by the day.
…and I cannot wait to pay that forward in the studio, around the studio (via b9 rundates!) and here on this blog. I hope you’ll join me for what should be a pretty awesome (and wild) ride, barre n9ne-style. 😉