2018: Looking Forward

It’s the first Friday of 2018, and as I’m staring down below freezing temps, I figured it would be the perfect time to chat about what I’m excited about in this new year.

Wait – no reflection on 2017?

2017 was one of the most action packed years I’ve had – I got married, I started working at Sweat Fixx,  I was reposted by SELF magazine, and rebranded my blog (just to name a few of the things). I don’t think I have enough time or space to accurately give a reflection on the year.

If I were to sum up 2017 in a couple words, it would be “Hell Yes.”

Looking forward to 2018 – I would say that the words that will drive this year are going to be “Let’s Do This.”

Let’s throw away that fear, those excuses, and self doubt.

“Let’s Do This”.

I have some big plans for this year, personally & professionally. I took some time this weekend to sit with my husband and we wrote out what we want to accomplish this year on little slips of paper, folded them up, and placed them in a covered mason jar next to our coffee maker. Where we can see them every single day.

To remind ourselves of what we want to accomplish.

What we are working towards.

To start every day with a cup of coffee and a healthy does of “Let’s Do This.”

I’m looking forward to the challenges that will help me grow, learn and become stronger.

I’m looking forward to getting out of my comfort zone and being more active in the community – leading more workouts, hosting more yoga workshops and moderating more talks.

Taking that leap.

Going for it.

So, 2018: Let’s. Do. This.

 

Alive. Thrive. Revive. The Power of You

I’m Amanda. I’m a passionate human, who wants to hear your stories and watch your story unfold

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On Friday, the air was crisp and the sun was shining as the Sweat Fixx team headed to the Lynnfield Meeting House for a lululemon Sweat Collective event. After a 4:30AM alarm, I was looking forward to being able to focus inward and see what the day had in store.

I don’t think I was prepared for how much I needed it.

The luluemon team from Market Street Lynnfield organized an amazing afternoon. I’m going to try to recapture the afternoon, and re-insert some of the magic that happened.

ALIVE

The “Alive” part was the first part of the day. Once everyone arrived and met each other, Lizzie told us that the first part of the day was going to be a silent nature walk. Silent being the key word. So, after a few uncomfortable laughs, I filled up a cup of coffee to keep my hands warm, and we all walked outside… in silence.

I would be lying if I said it was a welcome silence at first. It was uncomfortable. It was challenging. Twenty people walked in a single file line down Main Street Lynnfield, in complete silence. Friends, strangers, it didn’t matter – you couldn’t talk.

After a couple minutes, I felt myself started to ease into the silence. Looking at the houses around, the fall colors and enjoying the crisp air that surrounded us. It was really the first “fall” feeling day, and having a warm cup of coffee in my hand was really heightening the feeling of the season. It was a moment to be alone with my thoughts and enjoy the fleeting nature of each and every thought.

We turned off of Main Street onto a small nature path, and instantly, I felt my heart feel FULL. I LOVE the trails and the forest, especially when it’s alive with the colors of fall. In silence, you could hear the soft squish of the pine needles, the snapping of twigs underneath, and the rustle of the wind in the swamp reeds.

You could also hear my fantastic spill off the boardwalk.

It was like falling in slow motion – but nothing about my back hitting the edge of the boardwalk was silent.

But it was a shock.

Similar to life, we all have that “slipping” moment. When things seem to be going too perfectly, when we get a little too comfortable, life often goes “HEY PLOT TWIST”. Sometimes that “slip” comes in the form of a break up, a lay off, a big fight or a hard stop from your body.

But, just like any time, you have to get up. In front of me and behind me, team mates reached back to help me up. To make sure I was ok.

And for the first time, I was thankful for the shock. It was a stark reminder that no matter what, I’ve surrounded myself with some of the most amazing people, who will always be there for me when I fall.

Literally.

So, with an embarrassed ego and a grateful self, we continued to a little clearing where we could see the tops of the buildings of Market Street. We talked about what it was like to be alone in our thoughts, before we headed back. As I came face to face with the edge of the boardwalk that I had JUST slipped on, I went around and climbed back up. We walked in silence back to the road, and brought conversation back all the way to the Meeting House.

ALIVE wasn’t about being perfectly silent. It wasn’t about being perfect at all. It was a chance for me to stop and take a moment to listen and to realize the small part that I play in the greater world around me. That I have my place, a strong community, and a team that I’m grateful to be a part of.

After a quick lunch, we took on the next phase – Thrive.

THRIVE

IMG_9276In order to thrive, you need to come face to face with who YOU are, and we drove head first into the deep end. We created our purpose statement – who you are, what you love to do, why you do it, and how it helps transform. In my signature chicken scratch, I started to dig into my WHY. I have always loved to write and hear about people’s adventures, troubles and wins. It’s that love of storytelling that made me want to be a journalist, then a social media manager, a blogger and eventually a fitness instructor. I wrote “STORY” in big capital letters… and came up with the statement that I started this post with.

With our purpose, we would start visualizing where we wanted to be in 10 years.

Now, this has ALWAYS been a struggle for me. I don’t even know what I want for dinner right now, how the heck was I going to know what I wanted to be doing in 10 years?!

10 years from now, I’ll be approaching my 40th birthday. Where did I want to see myself in 10 years?!

Honestly – it’s scary to think about.

The idea that what I’m doing right now, can help set me up to where I want to be in 10 years?! Can it really? Absolutely.

As we all worked to grasp this 10 year concept, there was a resounding consensus that we wanted to be happier and have less worry. But, we acknowledged, that the constraints that we had to achieving this revolved around two big things – time & money.

As one man eloquently put it, “A squirrel still knows to collect nuts for the winter.”

We spent a good amount of time, talking about striving to balance our need for a safety net and our need to make our soul happy. We agreed that when our soul and true being is happy, the people around us felt it. When we were happy, our lives reflect that.

We we are stressed, that comes back at us, too.

We shared our dreams, our fears, and our aspirations in a circle – bouncing ideas and stories around the circle. People who had been strangers 3 hours before, were now delving into their deep selves and sharing with each other.

As we worked through our visions of ourselves, we also talked about setting positive goals for ourselves. But not just any goals. Goals with a “by when”.

Literally, my new favorite term.

Setting a goal with a “By When” sends you and the universe a little note. That this is something you are serious enough about wanting, because you put a deadline on it.

Fresh with the excitement about tackling our “by whens”, we cruised into our final period of the day – “REVIVE”.

REVIVE

“The moment you value yourself, the world values you”

Lizzie lead us through a Kundalini yoga meditation, where I’m pretty sure my soul found it’s happy place.

The circular breathing. The stillness. The self-reflection and love. It was the complete opposite of the world that was happening outside of the Meeting House.

We pushed away the negativity and let in the universe with each breath. As we laid down in savasana, I started to feel an uncomfortable feeling in my right lower back.

Oh right. My fall.

Laying with my legs out straight made electricity flow through my veins, so instead, I modified. I came into my Supta Baddha Konasana, and instantly felt at ease.

I was listening.

As we ended the practice and ended the meeting, I felt at ease.

My soul needed the reminder that no one else is in charge of your life. My heart needed the fresh air. My mind needed the jolt of the fall to come back to its senses.

As we parted our ways, and I headed back to the studio to teach a 5PM class, I started to feel a little more sore but a little more grounded.

I checked in with the rest of the team later after someone had asked how I was feeling. After I let them know that I had a bruise the side of my butt cheek – one person responded back with a text that reminded me why I do all of this.

“If you hadn’t fallen, one of us would have. You saved the rest of us.”

If I can help one person, change one life. Then I’ve done my job.

Thank you lululemon, thank you crew, thank you to everyone who came into my life yesterday for the resounding grounding that you helped me with.

I can’t wait to see what life has in store for us in the future, and I hope our paths continue to cross.

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2017

2017.

I can’t believe we are here.

I started this blog 5 years ago, as a way to keep myself accountable in my journey to healthy. 5 years later, I’ve completed 2 marathons, 5 half marathons, countless 10k’s and 5k’s and am now at a different part of my journey.

I took another plunge straight out of my comfort zone at the end of 2016.

I became a TRX Bootcamp instructor at Turnstyle Cycle (Kendall Square), and a Fixx Instructor at SweatFixx – a new rowing focused studio in Wakefield, MA. On top of that, I’ve decided to kick up my Beachbody coaching business.

Why?

Because I’m passionate about watching people learn to love themselves. Watching a client go through class and struggle with a set – only to see the determination in their face the next time they come in, and then watching them CRUSH what they couldn’t do before is AMAZING. Having someone come up to me and say “I was able to catch up with my kid today, and I wouldn’t have been able to do that without you” is one of the best things I can have anyone say.

So 2017 will be a little bit more reflective on here of that. I’m still recovering from my stress fracture.  I still haven’t been cleared to run yet. But that’s ok. I’m at peace with it. I’ve found that I can see have that training cycle, with cross training, Core De Force, PiYo, TRX, Spinning and Rowing. I found that community that I was missing at the studios where I teach, and the team that I am a part of.

Here’s my promise to you. I will always be here for you, and my resolution for 2017 is just to be a little bit better than I was yesterday.

And with that – I also promise to blog a little more 😉

TGIF, y’all!