Viewing entries tagged

What's Meant for You Comes to You

I have always wanted to live in California. When I was an ocean lifeguard on the east coast I dreamt about the California climate and the ability to watch the sun rise and set over the ocean versus bayside. 

I wasn't sure how I was going to make it out there. I was running an in home fitness training business in Maryland and it was really taking off and writing my fitness column in the local paper, the Annapolis Capitol. At that time I was also in training for my first national physique competition as a bodybuilder in the bikini division, and finishing up my Masters degree. I had a lot going on, but I couldn't stop thinking about what life would be like in California.

I would look at the prices of apartments and cost of living and be left depressed and feeling like it was out my league and hopeless. I wrote out a budget of how much money I would need to make each month to even live a decent life in California. 

I was invited out to work at the Arnold Classic, a huge bodybuilding competition in Columbus, Ohio. I was working as a supplement girl and got to see some of the competitors I idolized and even caught glances of the most notorious bodybuilder, the original Mr. Olympia, Arnold Schwarzenegger, himself. 

On the flight home I ended up sitting next to the current Mr. Olympia Jay Cutler's training partner.  We got to talking and he said they were working on a fitness website and needed a female writer to develop content. 

The next thing you know I get a call from the investors and development team and I am boarding a plane for a business meeting in Las Vegas. My wardrobe consisted mostly of workout clothes so I had to go out and shop for business casual attire. The meetings went better than I expected and the next thing you know I am signing a contract to develop content and be compensated with the exact amount per month I had come up with when I was crunching numbers trying to seek a way to make it happen on my own. 

I could work for anywhere and receive my checks in the mail. It was the perfect opportunity to make a move. By the Fall I was living my dream in Hermosa Beach, California. I would walk down to the beach every evening and my eyes would well up with tears as I would watch the sun set over the ocean, just as I had wished to experience when I was sitting on the lifeguard stand back in Fenwick Island, Delaware for all those summers. 

This experience always reminds me that we can try to come up with so many plans and "make it happen," but sometimes the intention is strong enough and things fall into place in the most surprising and wonderful ways. 


When I was 18 I was no longer just a student of the gym and physiology. I became a certified trainer. 

Patrick, the training manager sat me down one day to teach me the art of sales and selling sessions and packages. 

He drew a spiral on a blank piece of paper. You see, these outside layers are the bullshit reasons people will give you about why they want to get in shape. He tapped the pen in the center of the spiral. 

"You have to get to here." he said. Sometimes they may breakdown and cry and tell you their life story, sometimes they will be stone face, but if you can get to here you have a client. 

Over the years I have learned that the epicenter is emotion. Emotion is what will drive you to make a decision. It runs deep. Sometimes it's deeply lodged in you and it's like peeling away the layers of an onion to get to it. 

You cannot just want to do things, because you feel as though you should. It cannot be a fleeting desire, a random thought. It must be something you yearn for. It must be linked to something that means the world to you, whether that's your kids and family, calling in a comeback to feel your strength after a tough time, or for a cause you consider to be your life purpose. 

Emotion will drive you. If it's coming from your heart and good intentions; if it's helping you be a better human, let it. 


Never Be Afraid to Be Strong

I grew up as an avid equestrian, but I was more into the care taking of the horses than horse shows and ribbons. Everyday after school I would come home from school toss on a pair of brown coveralls, and walk along a path through the woods to the farm that backed up to our property. In order to board my horse there I would muck stalls and feed the horses every evening. I got strong from tossing hay bales, lifting 50 pound bags of grain, pushing the heavy wheelbarrow, and carrying water buckets. 

One day in gym class when I was in 4th grade my teacher created a push-up wall where you could post a construction paper star of your push-up personal record. When I gave it a shot I did over 40 full push-ups. 

The boys made fun of me for being able to do that many push-ups as a girl or maybe it was just because I beat their score. 

My gym teacher pulled me aside, stooped down so we were eye to eye, took her hands to my shoulders and said, "Don't ever feel ashamed for being strong." 

In that moment I discovered strength within my strength. 


Grateful for Dirty Worn Out Shoes

When I was a kid I had a speech impediment. By the time I was three words were coming out at a rapid pace with slurs, stutters, and untameable excitement. My parents enrolled me in a special ed school for speech lessons.

Everyday my parents would put me in a fabulous frilly dress, comb my long dark hair, and drop me off at my grandparents house before they went off to work. My Grandmother would walk me down her driveway and we would wait for the bus together. Other full size yellow buses would roll by with kids laughing and peering out through the windows. I waited for the short bus

Even at a very young age I remember feeling frozen at times on that bus. I didn’t understand why Michael and Jenny were in wheelchairs, why their bodies were frozen or why they couldn’t get up and sit next to me to talk to me. I had so much to say!

I would quietly watch as the teachers spoon fed the kids in wheelchairs as I ate my dry fruit loops out of a plastic bag. I remember feeling like my body was frozen and numb like theirs too as the wheels in my head were trying to figure out what was going on and why they couldn’t run around outside with me, why they couldn’t move.

I would go home and tell my parents how Michael had these shoes that were so bright white and clean. "They are never dirty!" I would exclaim. 

Even though those days are now so distant in the past they instilled a deep sense of gratitude for the ability to move. I am very grateful my shoes get mud on them and wear out.