Tag Archives: Beachbody

A HOSPITAL FLOOR & THE BUSINESS OF BUSINESS

Its hard to admit you failed. And Im not sure I really like that word anyway. FAILED. Ive been told to embrace it by the CEO of Beachbody. So many success stories were proceeded by tons of failure. Michael Jordan, Einstein, Steve Jobs….the list is endless. But we, as a society with a short attention span, focus on the million hoops made, the scientific break throughs and the billion dollar company that IS Apple. We don’t really look at or focus on the FAILURES that came before. I went into Beachbody Coaching almost 4 years ago, gung ho, full steam ahead, and became successful and built a team and a paycheck and a few awards and titles and rank advancements later I felt pretty good. And then life happened.

 

I could blame my lack of focus in my business on a divorce, brain rot, moving, illness, spending all of my energy on coaching cheer. I could. It would all be true. 2017 has been extremely difficult for me. EXTREMELY. I don’t recall a time in my life of more stress, sadness, tragedy, anxiety, change and fear. I am a tough cookie. In many ways. In other ways I am human. I am fragile and mortal and sad and stressed and want to curl up and give up. My 20 year marriage ended this year. My grandmother died this year. My dear friend’s son took his life this year. I walked 121 miles this year. In 11 days. My physical body was not 100% this year. My workouts were off. My nutrition has been off. I moved this year. I left a job I love this year. Quitting my position as assistant cheer coach has made me more sad than I expected. I met a Dude this year. That I did NOT want to care for. If timing is everything then fate picked the absolute WORST (or best if you look at it differently) time for a Dude to walk into my life. (Or fall in my lap 😉 ) And sitting in that hospital room alone after they wheeled him away for emergency testing and surgery last week brought back a flood of memories.
I spent so much time crying in hospitals. I lost several pregnancies late. LATE. As in 5 months in late. I spent hours waiting for test results about brain rot in hospitals. So anxious I couldn’t breathe. My daughter was tested for thyroid cancer and I sat in a waiting room wanting to die. And trade places with her. And I sat in a hospital room in Houston last week alone. Its a feeling I wouldn’t wish on anyone. And if my anxiety level was any higher Im pretty sure Id have had a heart attack. I stared at the floor in that room and questioned everything Id ever done. I have made mistakes. Ive hurt others. Ive hurt myself. I question my ability to parent. I question my ability to let others in. To love. And to be successful. I let my team down this year- my Beachbody team. I had JUST ENOUGH energy to end a marriage and move and find the will to put my pants on each day….so my team got nothing from me. And for that I am sad. I have apologized to them. They are some amazing people.
I needed this time, this year, this space, this break….from everything. To try to find me and get mentally healthy. I think my body needed rest. Ive slept a lot lately. Im in the business of making healthy bodies. Of fitness and working out and building muscle. And I think it escaped me that the mind and the soul are just as important as the body. And mine needed rest. And time. Im a few pounds heavier than last year. I don’t have a 6 pack currently. I don’t have the energy I had last year. My fitness is not at its prime. But Im ready for a fresh start. Im ready. And I don’t regret taking the time to get my mind and soul right. I don’t. My body was screaming for rest. And I only get one body.
You don’t wake up one day and its all better. You don’t. I wont wake up January 1st and be “over” all the things that happened in 2017. It doesn’t happen like that. Though I wish it did. Its a process. And Im learning to respect the process. I am ready to be physically FIT again. Im ready to have a FIT business again and do what I do. Im good at it. I love my job. Ive committed to an “INSANE DECEMBER”. Gonna do the hardest Beachbody workout EVER for 30 days—INSANITY MAX 30— and document my journey. Im going to get back to my team. And leading by example. And healthy eating. And reading. And doing the things that fill me up. Its time. Im ready. And I need to be me. I also need to forgive myself for the time off. For the breakdown. For the mistakes. For everything. Truth be told…..I am HAPPY. A happy I never knew I could be. It doesn’t look perfect. But my soul feels good. And I realized the moment I looked down at the floor in that hospital room last week….that I am enough. I am strong. I am worthy. I am capable. And a good cry washes away a lot of shit. 🙂
Its ok to fall down. Its not ok to say there.
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WHY I HIKE

I am slightly obsessed with the movie “WILD”. You know the one with Reese Witherspoon where she treks across the Pacific Coast Trail to find herself. I’ve seen it a few times and for some reason I cry though the entire movie. I do not share the same “colorful” history as Cheryl Strayed. Well….not QUITE as colorful. But the theme of her hike. The reason behind it was that she was trying to “walk back to the woman her Mother thought she was.” And I get that.
I grew up in Texas. I lived there for 41 years. In case you’ve never been we don’t exactly have what you’d call “mountains”. So the fact that I’ve literally fallen in love with the mountains, with hiking, with trees and trails and dirt and long hours on the side of a mountain and boulders and gravel sliding and outside is pretty weird. I had no idea 3 years ago what the word “fourteener” meant. No clue. Im now obsessed. I think that when we are growing up, at least for me, there’s this plan you are expected to follow. College, job, marriage, kids. House with garage, a few pets and a mortgage and a schedule. A schedule. And it was what I wanted. I got it. I wanted kids so terribly bad and when we lost so many pregnancies I was devastated. I am beyond grateful for my kids. They are damn amazing. Funny, smart, witty, strong, smart-asses with opinions. All I ever want is for them to be happy. Thats it. And if that includes college & marriage & kids then great. If it doesn’t then thats great too. Happy is what matters.
Moving to Colorado was so scary. So. Scary. We knew no one but one friend. No family here. Moved across country to new schools, new weather, new people, new jobs, and the knowledge that I might be alone here someday. That’s some scary shit. Military families are amazing.  But as I’ve said before, when you wake up to a diagnosis like Brain Rot there are two paths you can take. And we took the one that was right for us. The scary one. The unsure one. The one where we just had to throw safe to the wind, grab on to the idea of not knowing. And there is not one single moment of regret. There are moments here and there that I tear up because I miss home. Texas is my roots. My family. My past. The place that built me. I am who I am because of Texas.
But moving to Colorado has opened a part of me that I think I knew was always there I was just scared. The part of me that wants to roam and travel and not have responsibilities and not have a mortgage and just write and wander. Hiking found that for me. Its funny my son says “isn’t hiking just walking?”. I suppose you can look at it that way. But…I grew up at about 500 feet above sea level. I don’t know how to explain what altitude sickness feels like if you haven’t had it. But I now LIVE at 7,400 feet elevation and my hikes most often take me well above 8,500 feet. It can do quite a number on the body. And climbing to 14,000+ feet elevation is QUITE an adventure. The lack of oxygen alone makes it difficult to say the least. Gasping for air WHILE bouldering over scary rocks and maneuvering barely-there-trails is exhuberating. Almost dying makes you feel very alive.
And there’s the terrain. Enormous boulders the size of which Ive never seen. The views. God I would hike JUST for the views. Never in my life have I seen such views. And I get to see them daily. The accomplishment of summiting a mountain cannot be explained in words. It is not a team event. You don’t rely on others. You can’t out-smart or out-perform a mountain. You can’t train for fear. Pure, raw, animal, biological terror that comes when you have to cross a very sketchy part of a trail that very well may lead to your death. People die hiking & climbing all the time. You bargain with the large rocks you step on…”please stay sturdy, please stay sturdy”. As you place your life and trust on this piece of nature that just doesn’t give a shit about you. Doesn’t it sound fun? And when you ascend to the top you know that YOU got you there. No one else. No team, no equipment, no shortcuts. Just you and a mountain and on THAT day the mountain decided to let you climb. Nature is bigger than me. I am just a speck of dust on the side of a mountain.
And searching for the words to answer the question WHY I hike I guess maybe theres a million reasons but perhaps its just that….that I am nothing on a mountain. I don’t have to be Mom, Wife, Business Owner, Leader. I don’t have to pay bills up there or think about Brain Rot or worry about all the things we worry about. All I am responsible for on a mountain is getting my ass up and down alive. No clutter. No homework. No technology. No noise. No complications. And I can feel small. There’s no ego on a mountain. It doesn’t care if you have great abs or are a Two Star Diamond Beachbody Coach. It doesn’t care. One bit. And I like that. No pressure to be all of those things. No pressure. Its funny but I breathe deeper and fuller and slower and more purposefully when there’s less oxygen. Makes me slow down.
I don’t know why it means so much to me. I dont know why exactly I love it so very much. I like Starbucks and cute jeans and dressing up as much as the next girl. But I have never in my life felt more at peace, more whole, more happy, more home, than on a mountain. I absolutely LOVE not knowing. Not having a plan. I LOVE it. And every time she lets me get up and down unharmed I say “thank you”. For all that I leave up there and all that I bring down.
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ALONE ON A MOUNTAIN

When I was 15 I had my first “boyfriend”. Then I had a boyfriend every year for the rest of my life. Before I met Patrick I spent some months alone. Going out with friends and to parties as a single girl. But other than those months there has been very little time since I was 15 that I did not have a boyfriend.

 

This past week was our Spring Break. What an amazing friend I have that let us use her family’s vacation house in the mountains, on a river for a few days. It was my idea of a dream. Hiking all day, beer at night, quiet, peaceful views of a full moon. And a lot of alone time on a mountain.
I think I always had a boyfriend because I thought being alone wasn’t ok. Or maybe I was insecure. Or unsure enough of myself. That I “needed” another person to confirm that I was worthy or lovable or whatever. I know there’s a lot of psycho-babble crap that applies. Im not sure I really liked myself all that much. I guess we all struggle with our self esteem. At least I did. Ive said this before but dear God I love my 40’s so much more than my 20’s or 30’s. I told my Mom yesterday before she left to go back to Dallas that I am happier now than I think I’ve ever been. Then I took the long way home from the airport. And turned the radio up very loudly and drove. Just drove. Alone.
There are not enough words on the planet for how much I miss my Dad. And how much I miss my Grandfathers. And how much I miss the guy I married. Lots of men gone. Or going. When Patrick & I first married we lived in Austin and hiked and biked every single weekend. We were very active. He did some biathlons and lots of bike races and we went to the gym a lot. I loved having a partner that enjoyed the same things I did. He is not that guy anymore. He is different. I love that he has a trike and can get out there on his own or with me chasing him on a 2 wheeler and do his thing. Have some freedom. But it is different. And I look at couples and sometimes get sad. Or hope they realize life is not promised.
It is the strangest thing to grieve someone when they are still alive. Your physical body is so much a part of who you are on this Earth that as it changes and fails you there is a grief. A loss. I remember when I realized I’ll never hike with my husband again. I’ll never climb a mountain with him. Ill never go mountain biking with him. Ill never do a lot of things we used to do. And even though you know Brain Rot will take those things it is still shocking how fast it all happens. It makes me sad. I rarely hike alone. I have a posse. My girls, my sisterhood of women is unbelievable. I cannot imagine life without them. I don’t know how a woman doesn’t have other women in her life. How lonely. I’ve always said…if a girl doesn’t have some seriously loyal friends, and I mean the kind that would bury the body and never tell, then she’s not the kind of girl I’d be friends with. I’ve buried some bodies. With some sisters. And it will die with me.
So I am so grateful for those hiking partners and friends and women and trouble makers. But I’ve never really REALLY hiked alone. I even took a partner up Pikes Peak. So this past week at the vacation house I decided I was going to go on a real hike alone. And let me clarify. I get the feeling some people think “hike” is synonymous with “walk”…. IT. IS. NOT. I ascend 2,000 feet in elevation at times, scurrying and bustling over large boulders on edges of cliffs. I am ready for mountain lions. I am at times lost. I lose the trail at times. I HIKE.
I took a long hike one day this past week. Alone. I got lost. I bouldered. I crossed the Arkansas River. I got scared. I lost the trail. I sat and had a cry. Then I got up and kept going. When I wrote about my climb up Pikes Peak last summer I wrote that instead of “finding” whatever I thought I was looking for on that mountain that I “left” some things instead. Things I needed to leave. Well. I think maybe I found some things on my Spring Break solo hike. I found out Im really strong. I found out I never “needed” a boy. I found out I like myself. I found out I will be ok. I. Will. Be Ok. Sad things are ahead. But I can hike alone. I can survive alone. I can do “alone”. I don’t want to. I didn’t want to lose my hiking partner, my biking partner, my security. But sometimes we don’t get the things we want. And falling down in the middle of a mountain to cry about it is ok. It is ok. As long as you eventually stand up. And keep moving. And I came out at the end of the trail, the hike, the bottom of the mountain, stronger than when I started the ascent. I went up that mountain alone. I came down that mountain alone. And I’ll do it again.
I wouldn’t change things about my early life. But I would certainly tell that girl how incredibly capable and strong she will be some day. And that she CAN. She can do it. When you can be alone with yourself, no one around, no one to share the moment or the view or the scenery or the feeling with and still be genuinely happy, genuinely filled with joy, contentment and PEACE….you have learned to live.
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NO PLAN B

There was a girl who never left the sidewalk. There was a girl who never colored outside of the lines. There was a girl who stood on the sidelines while others jumped. And judged them. I could’ve fallen off the curb, gotten a bad grade for the bad coloring, gotten hurt because I didn’t know what was over the cliff if I jumped. She was cautious and timid and nervous and anxious and sad. I don’t miss her.

Ive written about this before- Im sure I have. But I’m not going to go back through my blogs to see if I have because I don’t care. It doesn’t matter. When I want to write, I write. Whatever comes out. I promised myself that years ago when I started this blog…NO EDITING.
I am aware that my lack of schedule, lack of planning, lack of organization drives some people crazy…especially my Beachbody Team. God Bless them. Without Lori, Traci, Amy and a few others I’d forget my head. Grateful for amazing friends that compliment my craziness. When I decided to become a Beachbody Coach two years ago I made a DECISION. There will be NO PLAN B. My husband has brain rot. I don’t know how long he’ll be able to work. Or walk. Or talk. And there’s something about looking at your kids in the eyes and knowing…I AM THEIR FUTURE. IT IS UP TO ME…that gets your motor spinning and your pride thrown out the window. Balls to the wall or nothing at all. And that is how it has been for the most part. There are days…Lord there are days I curl up, cry, climb a mountain and want to never come down. But I do. I always do. When you’re a Mom you just don’t have a choice. And I don’t have a Plan B.
Years. YEARS I spent poo-pooing this whole “scam” of marketing and “selling” to your friends. I guess I just didn’t understand what it all was. I know I didn’t. Plus I was afraid. I have worked out to Tony Horton since 2008. I could’ve joined this Coaching gig 9 years ago. If I’d been braver. If I’d been less skeptical. If I hadn’t been afraid of taking leaps of faith. Could I kick myself for that? Yes. BUT. It has all worked out exactly how it was supposed to. A passion for fitness and helping others get & stay fit help motivate me. And the people I work with….not co-workers…FAMILY. They motivate me as well.
I spent last weekend being spoiled in Los Angeles by a company that TRULY cares about the health of this country. That knows there is no magic pill or shake or anything else that will make you healthy. Its hard work. Its getting off of your ass, moving more, eating less, and eating well. Thats it. Thats your magic pill. And I can get behind that 100%.
Now in 3 days my upline coach is treating me and a few other coaches to a weekend in Cabo San Lucas. Holy WHAT? For doing my job. I honestly think I might be dreaming some days. Unorganized, forgetful, technically challenged me…who would’ve thought it? You know who? ME!! Because I decided. I decided to jump before checking. Leap before looking. Stop worrying about the details. No one gives a shit if your pictures look perfect or your family looks all loving and sweet or your fitness is on point or if you have perfect wording or time things perfectly. No. One. Cares. You know what they care about- that you can relate to them. Thats it. I tell my coaches who are worried about making mistakes that they should be more worried about NOT making mistakes. Those that make no mistakes are never going to succeed. I make a 1,000 mistakes a day. And I own them. And love them. And learn from them.
I am absolutely no one special. No one who knows anything more than anyone else. So giving advice is a bit over confident of me. But I will anyway. If there is anything Ive learned. Anything Ill teach my kids. They’ve watched this journey first hand you know…its DO NOT HAVE A PLAN B. If you have one, you’ll know its there. Its a safety net. Its a back up plan. I no longer believe in those. At all. I know I wouldn’t be where I am if I’d had a Plan B. It is so beautiful, so freeing, to walk through life NOT KNOWING whats ahead. No plan, no spreadsheets, no time limits, no having to answer to anyone else but ME. Life is way TOO SHORT for me to be making plans ;).
Balls to the wall or nothing at all!
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There’s No “I” in TEAM, but there is one in LIFE

When you get married and buy the house with the picket fence and get the dog and have the 2.5 kids you have it all. You do. Its how its supposed to be, right? I got lucky. Amazing husband, two crazy awesome kids and a great place to live. I watch how other people parent. How patient they are and how they make their children such a huge priority. I do as well. My kids, my family…they are my life. I would kill for them. Die for them. And I am a Wife and Mom. Proudly. Happily. It is my greatest role in life. The best two things I’ve ever done are those two kids. And after MANY pregnancy losses I am acutely aware of how lucky & blessed I am to be called Mom. It’s my favorite name. Do you sense a “but” coming?
I’ve often thought of a bride when she walks down the aisle. Such a symbolic gesture of Father “giving daughter away” to her husband. My Dad did. He cried. I cried. I was born Jennifer Renee Ellis. When I went to legally change my name after I got married I changed it to Jennifer Ellis Nugent. It says that on my social security card. A name may only be symbolic to some. But when I BECAME Jennifer Nugent I did not let go of Jennifer Ellis. When I became a Mom I did not lose my dreams. For me. My desires and visions and the things I wanted for myself. When you become a family your dreams broaden. I dream for 4. I dream for my kids to have a beautiful happy future and for Patrick to race again and for us to all be ok. I’ll beat some doors down, pick, fight, claw and never stop working for those dreams to come true for them. But I still dream for me. And I wont feel guilty about that. I wont.
I think there’s this layer of foggy guilt that lies across a mother. For when she does things for herself it is selfish. It is not for her family. I work with women who feel too guilty to workout, get fit, take time for themselves. They can’t seem to justify 30 minutes a day just for them if it takes time away from their kids or husband. And I know its harder for Moms/parents of smaller kids. But part of my “job”, my calling…is to let people know its ok to dream for YOU. And be unapologetic about it. My Mom and Dad were very much in love. They vacationed together and separately. My Dad took trips with his buddies (usually on a Harley through the mountains). And my Mom took girls weekends trips with her friends (usually to a spa or retreat of some sort). I grew up watching this. And it was my normal. And it worked. They took time together, many trips, many nights out for “dates”. But they also took time for themselves. When you marry at 18 like they did its pretty important, difficult, and awesome to continue to hold on to YOU. That part of you that was YOU before there was anyone else.
This whole Beachbody Coaching thing has been a DREAM. Along with that dream comes trips I earn, work trips, meetings, fun stuff. Stuff I have to leave town for. Stuff I have to leave my kids for. So I miss some things. Once in awhile. I’ve missed a couple of soccer games and a few cheer performances. And I was sad about it but…..I am a good Mom. I am completely and beautifully and crazily bad at this parenting thing MOST of the time but I know Im a good Mom. Because I have GOOD kids. And those kids watch me chase MY dreams. Watch me do this thing for ME! Its mine. And I hope Im showing them that its ok to always chase your dreams. And I mean that in the very most selfish of ways. I thank my family for understanding and standing behind my dreams. Because I never stopped being that girl- Jennifer Ellis- that had big dreams. How beautiful that I get to chase them now. Relentlessly and unapologetically. Dream a little. Dream a LOT. Dream big and never EVER lose YOU!IMG_9185

ONE YEAR IN…..

I leave for Los Angeles in 6 days! I am going on a Beachbody Retreat. My awesome upline coach is taking her Diamond Coaches to stay in a big fancy house for a few days to celebrate us reaching a milestone in our business. I cannot believe how full circle it is for me. Exactly 1 year ago in February I was in Los Angeles…beginning this journey….

I work at home right next to a large calendar that is a wipe board. I can glance up and see what’s on the agenda for the week. I looked up today and saw on Feb 1st I wrote “1 Year”. It’s the one year anniversary of me signing up to be a Beachbody Coach. And for some reason it made me VERY emotional. It has been one helluva year. So many things have happened because of Beachbody. So many good things. So many changes in me.

To say I am cynical or skeptical or a glass is half empty kind of gal would be mostly correct. I have always been a bit pessimistic. Not sure why. I just got blessed with that personality…you know…the one where you are ALWAYS waiting for the other shoe to drop even when things are going great. I spent 40 years that way. I am different now. I’d say Im even a slight optimist…though that MIGHT be going out on a limb. I blame some of this annoying positivity on my friend, Stephanie R.

Stephanie & her husband lived here in Colorado when my family moved here. In fact, we bought a house not far from them. What’s funny is she lived down the road from me in Texas as well. Total coincidence that we moved to the same town in Colorado. OK- she will disagree and give some credit to the Big Guy upstairs for that “coincidence” so I will acknowledge that here.

I knew Stephanie was into this Beachbody thing but I had no idea what it was. I just figured it was some multi level marketing scam, pyramid, weird, bother your friends thing. I never asked. I didn’t give it much thought. But as time wore on and we became such good friends I watched what Stephanie did as a Beachbody Coach. As a business person. As a leader. As a successful entrepreneur. I watched. From afar. And I promise this blog is not a Stephanie worship-fest…but she is truly the catalyst that sparked my venture into Beachbody so I throw cred where its due!

First of all…I have some street smarts. I have an endless bank of knowledge about stupid tv trivia. I can name the title of almost ANY song if the first 5 seconds are played. I have an uncanny knowledge of most rap singers. I can actually quote Tupac Shakur’s “Changes”. I know A LOT about cars. But where business shit is concerned I am clueless. Or so I thought. I majored in Psychology in college because you didn’t have to take Calculus. I steered very clear of the business department or the finance classes or the marketing people. They seemed to be from another planet that actually THOUGHT things threw analytically. Made plans and spreadsheets and crap. NOT my forte. I am more of a jump now and worry later kind of girl. So becoming a “business owner” was laughable to me. I can’t own a business. I can’t run a team. I can’t sell stuff. I can’t. I don’t DO that. I don’t like the word “can’t”, though…. Kind of a challenge I suppose.

And so husband’s brain rot is not going away despite my endless attempts at “willing it” away. Brain still rotting. Colorado isn’t “curing it”. Ignoring it seems to not help either. Reality is that we don’t have a clue what our future holds. And I don’t just mean our physical future or our ability to deal with this disease. I mean our financial future. Son of a bitch I just want to curl up on the couch and feel sorry for myself…oh and him of course but holy crap I have to put on my adult drawers and deal. Like a big girl. Like a girl who needs to get her shit in order. Like a girl who has 2 kids who want to eat, and wear clothes, and go to college. And brain rot or not that crap’s not changing. So I take the “I can’t” and I say “why the hell can’t I?”. I decide to become a Beachbody Coach in February of 2014. After, of course, I drilled Stephanie with 1,000 questions about whats and wheres and hows and “Im not selling crap”, and “is this legit” and finally drove her crazy enough that she took me to California…to Beachbody Headquarters. To tour it. To see the real live people and CEO and trainers and holy crap it was legit. The skeptic in me was silenced.

So I jumped in with both feet and have not looked back. I could not be prouder of the company I represent. They give to charities that are important to me. They truly believe in people. They believe in me. As a coach. As a person that represents them. They crank out crazy, awesome workout programs for every fitness level that WORK, that are SAFE, that get RESULTS. And this damn Shake. Ive tried to find a fault. I can’t. Its just a giant super vitamin in a shake. That actually tastes good. I couldn’t, wouldn’t sell something I didn’t believe in or use myself. And my pediatrician loves this shake for my kids. Completely natural, soy-free, awesomeness in a drink. Really. Look at the ingredients.

Being a Beachbody Coach is a lot of things. And I swear to you if I can do this ANYONE can. This company is successful because the products WORK. There is no magic pill. There is no secret weight loss guide. Its all about empowering YOU with great workouts and products and guiding you through the process of literally WORKING YOUR ASS OFF. I feel and look better than I have in years.

Selfishly, the thing I am most grateful for is my SPARK returning. Being someone’s wife and someone’s Mom is amazing and purposeful and mostly pretty damn cool. But there once was a Jennifer Ellis who was just Jennifer Ellis. And it’s been pretty cool to see her again.

And just a big giant thank you to Stephanie for allowing a girl that’s a bit “rough around the edges” to join her team 🙂

I am grateful for this past year. What a ride its been. And I am looking forward to what is in store for me…I don’t have a spreadsheet, or any clue what’s going to happen this year…and I kinda like it that way!

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THE PASSING OF THE GUARD: AN ART DESK AND A NEW CHAPTER

I started this Beachbody thing in February 1st of this year so it’s been 8 months that I have been coaching. I love it. I work from my kitchen counter. I don’t love that. We have these swively stools and I sit and stare at the cabinets as I work. My printer is downstairs in the basement. So when I print something I have to run down there. My workout space is also set up in the basement. All of my Beachbody DVD’s, my weights, my yoga mats, my exercise ball, my husband’s weight bench, etc, are all down in the basement.

I also started my term as Colorado Springs Chi Omega alumna Secretary recently. And Im pretty sure my sisters are concerned about their dues checks and membership forms floating around in my chaotic house. Im not exactly what you’d call organized. I may be Type A with my workouts and my social life but not so much in my business life.

My daughter claimed this amazing little nook in our basement when we first moved here for her art supplies and desk. She has a great desk and a bazillion art supplies, paints, brushes, charcoals, sketch papers, etc. We set up the area when we first moved in. She used it quite a bit for awhile. She is in 8th grade now and her interests have changed. Her LIFE is cheerleading. I cannot IMAGINE for the life of me where she gets that!!?? Her little art supplies have not been touched in months. Instead she tumbles across the basement, stretches, back bends, jumps, practices cheers, and coordinates matching hair bows to workout outfits. Oh…and her makeup has taken over the art supplies. 😦 I think I am sad. I am so happy she is growing into such a beautiful, smart, responsible, driven young lady…despite her crazy mother. But a little part of me is sad. The art brushes are all dried up.

I realized recently I cannot function on my kitchen counter. There are Chi Omega alumna forms, checks, and letters everywhere. There are scratch papers with Beachbody notes, my spirals, and my workout schedule scattered on the counter as well. Beachbody and Chi-O have merged to create some crazy sorority workout mess that I cannot keep control of on my kitchen counter.

So I asked Maddie if I could have her nook. Her art nook. She didn’t seem to mind. She just asked that we organize (and by “we” I mean me) her art things and put them in the storage closet. We have 2 HUGE storage closets so there is plenty of room. I spent last night (while she was at cheer) emptying her desk of art supplies and filling it with my spirals and Chi-O forms. I even STARTED a little bulletin board to decorate with inspirational things to hang above the desk.

She came home last night and said “wow you just really evicted me from my nook, huh?”. I asked if she was ok with it. She said yes. She didn’t say much else. I went to bed.

This morning I went down to “work” at my new area and glanced at my bulletin board. Right there in the middle was this big green “child-like” note pinned to it. I think Maddie and I both knew that putting the art supplies away was more than just putting the art supplies away. Time moves too fast sometimes. ENJOY. EVERY. SECOND.

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Saying goodbye to Trampolines & Coming to Terms with my Happiness

Happy, cheery, spunky people are annoying. To me anyway. I was born a realist. And to realists there is nothing to be happy, cheery or spunky about. I’ve grown comfortable with my sarcasm and my complete conviction that the glass is always half empty. ALWAYS. I love that quote from the movie title that Jack Nicholson is in- “Is this as good as it gets?” I mean your born, you deal with a bunch of shit then you die. There’s your life narrative for you. I remember being 13 and standing at the rim of the Grand Canyon, looking out over it and realizing how insignificant I was. How insignificant we all are. Pretty profound for a 13 year old. Don’t I sound like someone you’d just loooove to spend time with?

But apparently happy, cheery, spunky people are contagious. Annoyingly contagious. I feel like Benjamin Button. I think I am aging backwards. I was more “grown up” at 13 than I am at 41. What the heck? I was such a serious child and teenager. Everything was so black & white to me. You follow the rules, you get to places on time, you don’t tolerate half-assedness. Is that a word? If it’s not I’m taking ownership right here right now. Half-assedness (the act of not doing a task to your full ability). I was such a rule follower when I was younger. And now…NOW I do all that I can to learn the rules and then break them. Now I know things are not always black & white…there’s a lot of gray. Now I’m actually late sometimes…but mostly that’s my kids’ fault. Now I think there might just maybe probably be a chance the glass is actually half FULL. AND WORST OF ALL….I’m happy and cheery and spunky. Well, most of the time. It’s awful. I feel like I’ve betrayed my true self. What has happened to me? At 13 I hadn’t experienced tragedy of any kind. No real sadness or loss. At 41 I have had plenty of tragedy in my life. Plenty. And a lot to be sad about.

I’m thinking maybe there starts to be a basic appreciation as you age that you are actually still here. “Wow. I’m still alive! Pretty cool. Now I need to get off my ass and enjoy it.”

I struggle with aging just like everyone. I don’t like wrinkles or age spots or the minor pains in my joints or making a grunting noise every time I stand up. I am definitely not in love with the consequences of a jumping jack at my age or the fact that I’ll never EVER jump on a trampoline again without some sort of “protection”. I know…TMI… Whatever! But I AM in love with being alive. I am grateful every day that I wake up. And I guess that makes me happy, cheery, spunky and annoying. And throw in a bit of sarcasm and snarkiness cuz I’m pretty sure that’s not going away either.

I know that exercise has always been my anti-depressant and since I’ve kicked it up a notch recently maybe there’s something to be said about that. Maybe it’s these peaceful, majestic mountains I get the pleasure of looking at everyday. (No I’m not smoking “local plants”…yet) Maybe it’s the fact that my kids turned out pretty decent (so far). Maybe it’s the cool husband that got stuck with me. Maybe it’s just really who I was all along. When you live your life as if the other shoe is always about to drop it’s pretty hard to enjoy the happy moments. I am certainly enjoying the happy moments now. And….if the other shoe drops….I’ll just enjoy it all bare footed.

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Fourty-two Years!

Today would have been my parent’s 42nd wedding anniversary. It’s another date on the calendar that my Mom (and us kids) are reminded that he is not here. Birthdays, Christmas, Thanksgving, they are all dates on a calendar that are tough for people who have lost loved ones. But really- you don’t need a special occasion to realize you’re sad and miss them. I miss my Dad every day, not just on particular dates. None are worse or any better than the other dates. Sad doesn’t know what day it is.

So to juxtapose the sadness I had this amazing weekend in Los Angeles at a Beach Body conference. And had a few great conversations over wine (1 yellow container’s worth) hahaha about sadness and choices. Two sweet girls and I talked about loss. Sometimes it’s easy to say “my Dad died and that HAPPENED TO ME”. It’s our “story” and it often defines us if we let it. I decided a long time ago that my Dad’s death did not HAPPEN TO ME. It happened. And it sucked. But there are choices made after such a tragic event. And I chose life. In fact, I choose it every day. There have since been many sad and difficult things happen in my life. And every day I still wake up and choose life. Be alive every day. Live every day. Jump out of your comfort zone EVERY SINGLE DAY. Going to L.A. this weekend was definitely jumping faaaar out of my comfort zone.

I am a 41 year old Mom from Texas. I have never been to Los Angeles before. One month ago I was not working (and hadn’t been in many years). I’m not sure why in the world I thought I could sling workout videos and shakes and build a team of awesome coaches and be successful at it. I guess the voice in my head that said “you can” was louder than the voice that said “no way, not you”. Sometimes I’m just too stupid to realize I can’t do something. And that’s a GREAT quality I get from my Dad.

It was an awesome, amazing, inspiring, transforming, and energizing weekend. I feel so excited about what’s ahead for me. In one month’s time I’ve changed physically, I feel better and I already have 4 awesome coaches on my team who are just as excited (and hopefully as “stupid”) as I am. I hope their “I cans” are louder than their “no way I can’t’s”.

My Dad would be proud of me no matter what I ever did or didn’t do. I know that. But I’d like to think he was watching me at that conference and thinking “you got it right, girl- don’t just be alive each day….LIVE!”

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EMBRACING MY PALE SKIN & MY FEAR OF LOS ANGELES

So I’m headed to LA this weekend. As in Los Angeles California not Louisiana. There’s a conference there for Beachbody & since I’m a new coach I thought it’d be good to attend all of the training I possibly can because I want to do this right. I want to soak up as much knowledge & information as I can so I can be the best coach possible. Ok it’s 20 degrees here & I just want to go to California- sue me!

So it dawned on me that southern California people are very pretty.They are tall & tan & fit & pretty- at least that’s what I imagine. So in my haste to look more “Califonia-y” I bought some spray tan in a bottle. Because I am pale, people. I mean lilly white, baby’s butt pale. I am a mountain girl now. No beaches here in Colorado. So in order not to scare anyone of the pretty California people I figured I’d better get a bit of color on my legs.

Well. The asshole that invented the spray can must be a contortionist & a professional paint sprayer. I turned & twisted & tried to reach all my parts. First of all the nozzle was clogged & spit & made funny sounds & I couldn’t possibly reach my back. I seriously look like a spotted leopard or like I have some disease.
And yes Im aware theres tanning LOTION. Now.

Also- my dog Gus lays in the bathroom while I shower & wouldn’t move when I started spraying so now he has a spray tan too.

I guess I’ll embrace my paleness, my mountain-esque coloring, my fair skin & freckles. There’s a lot worse things to be than pale. LA could not possibly be as scary as how I must’ve just looked in the bathroom. As my daughter would say “first world problem, Mom”.

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