Opened eyes open hearts.

No, this post was not hacked. I’m just growing up. 

I find myself grinning from ear to ear inside, so no one knows. All they see is this poker face I display for the world to see. 

That’s all they get. I’m special. I know I am. I am going places in life and although I’ve been treading water for some time now, I have yet to exhaust all my efforts. 

My time will come. Until then, I am enjoying this road of self discovery. School is tough. Probably always will be considering I will continue attending full time and working full time.. But this won’t be forever. The projects I have due mainly involve life experiences, and in doing so, I am finding my life to be quite impressive. My mother was right, (okay Justine you were too), I don’t give myself enough credit. When I get stopped by random members at the gym and go into a little detail of my hectic life, their reactions alone make me aware of just how hard I am working. 

Clients in the morning, school for a few hours, then back to another location to train 8 or so clients. Everyday I clock in to one or another location. I find the 12 minute tan, or a late start of 11 on Fridays, to be my down time. I’m usually tired, can squeeze in a cat nap here and there.. But don’t mind being incredibly busy because I feel if I had nothing to do, I’d do just that.. nothing. At one point I felt worthless because I wasn’t doing anything with my time .. And now that I have none to spare, it makes you appreciate the simplest things.. (Or make you quite irritable when people don’t respect it). 

I thank God every day for finally opening my eyes.. my heart.. but more so my mind. The woman I am becoming is something to be proud of. 

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Not for nothing.

I’m going to start documenting more of my daily experiences. I feel like so much goes on through out my day that most of it is worth noting.

Like how whenever I step foot into an –fitness, I am stopped quite frequently. I haven’t been to the Waukegan location in a while because of relationship issues, but more so because I was told I had to pick one location. Why they would risk my clients being upset, is beyond me but very like this company. It’s me who isn’t benefiting from working multiple locations. Time, gas, money.. I mean, I get paid $6 (before this “big time” promotion. Yes you read that right), me going to Waukegan to train, doesn’t make much sense. But I do it, why? Because my clients truly are everything. 

So when I visit these locations, an hour and half early to squeeze a workout in, I get stopped a lot. Out of the 90 minutes I had to myself, atleast 45 of those were used to talk to members, answer questions, bring them up to speed with my life or help them with theirs… Some of them geniunely care about my well being and that, THAT is why I do this. Shit pay, living pay check to pay check while I park my car that’s breaking down daily next to the sports cars of these sales guys. These “general managers” have it pretty nice doing nothing while they leave for the day in a brand new car. I barely get time to eat or go the bathroom because I’m booked back to back, yet anyone else gets to leave whenever, put their feet up while they play FarmVille or some other addicting game they’re wasting their time on. I have zero incentive to work here. Took a huge pay cut, I have no insurance, and the company could give a shit about me. It’s disheartening, to say the least. 

So when I have random members compliment me on the work that I’m doing, although it doesn’t pay the bills, it does more for me than money ever will. Take today for example, before I even finished my workout I had 4 members walk up and start conversations. Some about where I’ve been, other complimenting how “good I look”.. But the ones that truly stick with me are the ones that see me and my clients working together. “I’ve been watching you, you are a great trainer”, “this club needs more people like you”.. Those comments (the acknowledgement), make the shitty pay and long hours so worth it. One day this will all make sense. 

She’s baaaack!

I was going to write a pretty personal post but realized I need a little more time to gather my thoughts. The post will be extreme but my voice should be heard, regardless of possible backlash. 

So before we even scratch the surface, a little look into why I’ve been mia..

I started school full time. I had plans to post my reflections when the semester ended, but clearly FB and ig and doing nothing with my time when I could be writing, is (or was) more important. I’m hoping that changes. Even with a few more writing classes than last semester, I don’t want to use that as an excuse. I want to write. I want the motivation back to write. I am extremely excited about becoming a better writer.. But the start to becoming better at writing, is to write.

I’m here, alive and well.. I suppose. Besides a bruised foot from dropping a weight on it, due to not paying attention for the mere fact I was huffing and puffing because no one reracks their weights.. no one. Except me of course😛.. But outside of that, I’m holding up pretty well. 

Another semester has begun so I’m barely into the whole mix of things. Still full time, but already can tell these classes are no joke. I just have to be on my toes. I thought I could skate by last semester, just doing the work.. Still participating and fully active, but I could have done more. Luckily for me, I was placed on the honor roll again, even after an honest mistake took place. Long story short, I started working full time (training clients which is rewarding, yet exhausting) while preparing for finals. It was a dumb decision in which I took a huge pay cut (to work more for a company that doesn’t give a shit about me), all the while taking my energy away from school, the true desire I have to achieve. Anyways, I had a pretty long paper due and that’s where most of my time was spent doing. While revising the paper, I realized I had a two page paper due in 20 minutes which just so happened to be the same topic as the much longer paper. So, my smart ass improvising self did, was take a snippet of the longer paper and use it for the paper that was due shortly. Now, I complain a lot due to the lack of common sense people have, but in no way shape or form did I think what I was doing was wrong. Dumb yes, illegal hell no. After all, it was my own work. A little later down the road, okay 24 hours later.. It kept me up at night. I turned in the paper, but started thinking. This was for an ETHICS class. Not only was what I did ethically wrong, I felt it was disrespectful to the teacher and ever since I have hurt people in my life, I vowed to become a better person not only for myself but for society. So, with a guilty conscious wearing thin, I emailed the teacher. I told her what I had done, apologized and told her I’d gladly accept the zero. Well, she thanked me for the honesty and did in fact give me the zero which ironically took me from a high b to barely passing with a 5% (with extra credit, I received a low B as a final grade), all for making the right decision. It hurt me, but it was my own fault and I have no one else to blame. Although I could have gotten away with it, it was something that should have never been done in the first place. Lesson learned. So apologies that that was not in fact a long story short, but you came here to read right?:)

Something else worth noting, one of my professors (who I now meet with regularly), has become such a great influence in my life and has truly made me excited for school. She is a teacher that WANTS you to succeed. Tough as shit, but truly amazing. She one time called me brilliant before I had to write my first paper for her, and y’all should know I don’t edit because I’m so not confident anymore about my writing, that you can just imagine the pressure I had writing it? Complete and utter shit show to say the least.. 

That was the extent of last semester. I took it with a grain of salt and realized I’m spreading myself pretty thin. Even with being a full time student, I took on more clients (okay I doubled my clientele), which should be a good thing.. However, I’ve bitched long enough about this company (and how I am busting my ass for zero appreciation, though 12/13 I received my first thank you in 3 years) so you know how I feel, so get this. My job was almost in the air after a random member accused me of calling a client a bitch. Laughable .. Excuse me? I swear we all know that.. But my clients are the ONLY reason I stay where I’m at. I legit have zero incentive of working for this company besides creating these genuine and incredible relationships with my clients. Why would I ever do such a thing? After I asked my “boss” if that came from my clients mouth he said no and wouldn’t tell me who from. After saying I have more customer service issues with another said couple, I flipped. I walked away and was stopped by yet another member. He goes, “not for nothing, but the guy with the backwards bears hat snitched on you”.. I was floored. I had never seen this guy in my life before. That was besides the point, after I texted both people in question, I screenshotted the conversations. They couldn’t believe what was going on and said they “loved me as not only a trainer but as a person”. I sent the conversations to my boss saying, thanks for believing/trusting me. Told me he’d tell me on Monday if I was still employed. Monday, he texts me saying he’ll give me another chance. Excuse me again? I’ll give this company another chance is more like it.. Come Tuesday, they promoted me. Okay let’s not get excited, they’re just giving me the pay they once took, back. Fantastic. Thanks so much..

Smh. Nothing else is really coming to mind.. Except I have never had so many clients motivated and excited to do the work that’s in front of them. When they get excited for meeting their protein goal, or wanting to learn to do regular push ups, it literally makes my heart happy. I just hope my experiences that will now be made public, can help the rest of the world unfuck itself.  

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Some days, it has to be about you.

Physically this is easy, mentally.. No one can prepare you for that. Picking up weights, following a “diet”.. Weighing your food, popping pill after pill.. That shit.. That shits easy. You can follow any “cookie cutter” routine you’d like written by any top dog in the industry.. Shits science. What they don’t tell you, is how insane the trip could be ( that is if you’re serious not just having a PT/coach because it sounds cool. Not to just lose a few pounds. I’m talking life changing goals outside of any comfort zone you have ever allowed yourself to be in). It takes consistency, even on your worse days. It takes dedication, even when you fail to see the destination. They don’t tell you that at your lowest low you might actually find yourself. This journey isn’t just about fitness. This journey is about being well, in every aspect of your life. You will see how working on yourself, gives you a whole new meaning. 

  
This photo was taken 2 days ago and I can’t stop starring. Call me vain, but I am just incredibly proud. I’m actually sitting up in the picture and was amazed at the photo I ended up taking. You see, I have tons of girls photos saved on my phone (I’d give a guy a run for his money), and use them as motivation for the day week month or even minute.. but it wasn’t until I took this picture did I ever think “that’s me?” ..Me? Somehow through all of this, I found my motivation, ME!

Now, even though life has still got me on my tippy toes, I haven’t lost sight of the end goal. I started school full time and work is picking back up, but everyday I find a way to improve myself. Whether it be this blog post or an extra push up I didn’t want to do but did, I am giving this my all because 

I lost myself a long time ago, and this journey to finding her, might just save my life.

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Dr. Bruce Lipton

“The moment you change your perception, is the moment you rewrite the chemistry of your body”.

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Barely scratching the surface. 

My life is a disaster (imagine that) but I look like I have my shit together. I am quite possibly in the best shape of my life, and it’s probably from treading water for 25 years. I am however staying positive (with an occasional hiccup here and there), and I believe that’s why I’ve managed to stay afloat. 

I am currently eating around 2200 calories a day. No cycling (nutrition wise) just keeping my macros constant and my sugar low. The biggest thing I have changed is, I’ve added spinning into my program. I am addicted. I am on a 30 day streak and my goal is 9 more till my birthday (8/14). That will bring my total of spin classes starting from 6/14-8/14 to 54 rides in 2 months. Adding that type of “cardio” has completely shaped my body. Now, before I say anything else I want to comment on how cardio is not the answer, it’s only part of the equation. It should compliment your routine not complicate it. Meaning, don’t over do it if your nutrition sucks. I’m serious. 

Under eating and over working will not work in your favor. It might on the scale side of things, but the scale is meaningless. The scale is only important in the fact that you need it for the sole purpose of calculating your body fat percentage. I am the heaviest I have ever been (sitting around 150#), but in the best shape I’ve ever been in.       
..With that being said, I’m working on a project. It’s my last attempt to give this fitness industry a try. I’ve been in it for awhile and slowly losing patience for people who find having a personal trainer as something to brag about instead of a tool for getting healthier. No one wants to put in the work, I take that back. People WILL do the work, yet won’t budge on their “diet”. It’s impossible to out train a bad one. I tried. Eating crap made me feel like crap. I still looked decent but I was weak and sluggish. My legs felt heavy and I was constantly tired. All I am trying to do is spread my knowledge to whoever will listen and take charge of their lives. I want people to give a shit. I know Rome wasn’t built in a day, yall have been with me through it all, so I know it’s not always a walk in the park. However, coming to see me for a training session smelling like McDonald’s, is probably not going to yield you the results you’re looking for. I don’t mind ups and downs because Id be naive to think otherwise, but I don’t want people to give up. I don’t want people to waste my time. It’s annoying and I take way too much pride in this to be disrespected. 

I’m struggling, in and out but I will not give up. Who the fuck is with me? 

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Thinking thoughts on purpose. 

I am learning to give myself permission to become who I was meant to be. Because all this time I’ve been fighting myself, my own true worst enemy. And although the battle is yet to be over, I have found a new strength in me. With having faith and truly believing, THAT is what was key -MC

 …and that came out of no where. I haven’t written something that rhymed in forever. Nor was it meant to.. I was inspired to post so early this morning after I heard the best lesson of my life. It’s the first morning in two weeks that I didn’t need to set an alarm. Around 830am I turned the TV on. What made me click on Joel Osteen, I have no clue, but there was a reason I did. That service was meant for me. I cried majority of the time which was picked up in the background when I recorded the sermon, cute. But I was speechless. The title of this blog is a quote he said that will forever be embedded in me. I cannot live a positive life with a negative mind. There’s just no way around it. 

I am changing and it’s beautiful. 

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Looking fit means shit. 

With everything going on, years ago I’d punish myself by feeding the pain. Today, I am still holding strong. I no longer look to food as comfort, but as fuel. I realize that with everything going on in the outside world, if I lost myself I’d have nothing. 

I am consistent with my workouts and try to progress every day. My “diet” (you should all know by now I use that word very loosely), is not where it should be, but due to circumstances I’m making the best out of it. 

All said and done, I am in the best shape I have ever been. What does that even mean? I should rephrase that.. I LOOK like I am in the best shape of my life. 

  
Here’s the thing… 

..I can bang out 225# deadlifts, 50# DB shoulder press’.. But when it comes to skill work, and actually USING my muscles, I found I am actually quite weak. 

Shoulder taps, ring dips.. being as sore as I was, I just couldn’t hang (no pun intended 😜). ..and as competitive as I am, it sucked at first.. But I walked away excited for a new challenge. I never get bored with trying to PR on a lift (especially bench and deadlifts), but I’ve never been so intrigued with trying to be versatile in this industry. I don’t want to just look strong, I want to be strong.   
  

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Hope, is an anchor for the soul.

I wish I could be this bitch that I’m perceived to be.. That resting bitch face, I got on lock.. Being one, I struggle with. Would I be fighting so hard if I was all about myself? If I didn’t care so hard? I wonder how I would live this life with another heart. The one I have is too fragile. 

This place just makes me sad. The cruelty of it, the pain the hurt.. We have a way of separating ourselves.. Judging everything.. We as a society.. A nation.. A world.. We cause so much unnecessary hardship, yet ask have the balls to ask, why? We blame God for taking away, but don’t thank him enough for all that he’s given.. Which to us, wouldn’t seem like much. We’re greedy, and one day we will finally understand the meaning behind this place..

I just hope it’s not too late…
Today marks the day, that in all fifty states, that same sex marriage is legal. It makes me so incredibly sad, that it had to take this long. There is not enough love in this world, and to hear people defending against such a “law”, is disgusting. You don’t have to agree, which I can’t understand why, but to fight against equality.. Just goes to show you how far behind we truly are. I understand we are making progress.. But how is that even something to celebrate? It’s year 2015.. Race should never have been an issue, same sex marriage should never have been an issue, woman’s rights should have never been an issue… It’s the ignorance that I find to be the issue. I am sad we flourish on inventing new innovations for the future, yet seem to care less about the present. How are there still kids starving? How are people living their lives with no care in the world except the dollars in their bank accounts? Hoarding money, invading taxes, not paying people a decent living wage… I hate to sound redundant, but again we all have the same outcome. The money means nothing at the end of the day and will not allow you to escape the inevitable. Why are we working against each other, when we would flourish tremendously together? 

Pray to whatever God you believe in, love who ever you want, be whoever you want.. Isn’t that what we preach? Be you.. Be you in a world that will judge you for being you… A place where we all yearn to be different but so accustom to fitting in because it’s easier. We’re fake. We are such a contradiction it makes me cry. It makes me cry because maybe through all the pain heart break and tragedy we place on ourselves, that one day we’ll finally make a break thru. I’m not saying what we’re doing isn’t enough, I’m saying it shouldn’t have ever been an issue to discuss. The color of your skin, who you sleep with at night, how much money you have.. It’s all irrelevant. Why don’t we understand that? 

Maybe through all the bullshit, we will learn a lesson so important, that it was all worth it..

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