Every Ending Is A New Beginning

Life has done a 180 (quite literally) in the last few months. This is probably a big reason why I have not been blogging as much as I would have liked. Partly because my time as been limited, but we all know when we really want something we MAKE time for it. So, I would say my lack of blogging has been largely due to: a) not knowing exactly what to write b) mixed emotions making my ability to speak “truth” difficult, as I am not really sure what my truth is.

Never the less, I have been asked several times lately when I was going to put a new blog up…so, alas, here it is. I will try to fill you in on the details of what’s going on in my life to an extent that I am comfortable with sharing. Some thoughts and ideas may not make the World Wide Web yet.

The big picture: we have sold our Connecticut home and have bought a condo in Venice, Fl.  Venice is the town that Erik and I have called our “2nd home” for many years now. Erik’s parents bought a condo there in the late 80’s and we have spent a ton of time there in the last 10 years. We absolutely love it there, and have developed real comfort there. We have our friends, our coffee shop, our ice cream joint, Gunner has a vet, a groomer, etc. I guess it has always felt like home to us, and every year when we take the Venice exit off of Interstate 75 we just both just breath a deep sigh of relief and our mood just changes.

capri west

This past Winter we knew we had to explore other areas and not “settle” with Venice.  While deep down we always saw ourselves living there, we needed to make sure places such as Asheville, Charleston, Savannah, Jacksonville, Beaufort, etc did not steal our hearts. While each one of these places made a distinct mark on our hearts, there was no place like Venice. The number one factor: the weather. Almost every day of the 2 month stay in Venice was sunny and 75-85 degrees.

Here’s the other thing you need to know: for the last 20 years Erik has been Food and Beverage Manager at a New England golf course. This means working 70+ hour weeks in the Summer, leaving Winters our time to vacation. Well, how many places can we go in the winter? We aren’t big island goers. We aren’t ones to sit on the beach all day. We would much rather go on an adventure. Ride our bikes, hike the mountains, explore small towns, etc. So, we would spend winters in Florida , and many years ago realized that the community we are in is VERY seasonal, with a ton of golf courses. So, we started to think about changing our seasons. What if we worked seasonally in the winter, while still enjoying beautiful weather, and then spend the summers traveling?  Then we can go to places that have been right at our back door for so many years, but we were never able to get the time off to explore. Bar Harbor, White Mountains, Adirondacks, and…the National Parks!!  Now we can go see Crater Lake, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Moab, etc because the summer months will be our time to travel.


This all seems like it was an overnight transition and a seamless one at that.  Those who are close to me, however, know that this was a multi-year process and a lot of small steps that have lead to one big step. It really is amazing how things have gotten to where they are now, and how organic it kind of feels, while knowing the we have spent so many years planning, making decisions, taking risks, but most importantly: listening to our hearts. Last year we bought a camper and used it to explore the Southern Coast this past winter. Well, it looks like that camper will be getting a lot of use, as we will have summers open now to take it wherever we wish.

With all of these amazing changes there are, of course, always some negatives. For one, I am leaving my home. The place I grew up, where my family resides and where I have made memories of a lifetime. I am leaving my job as a personal trainer at a fitness company I co-founded with my brother and that has been one of the most rewarding endeavors of my life. My clients and the bootcampers at mission FITNESS have made my life so enriched and fuel my energy daily. I can honestly say that I will never find another place like it. Not only because of the incredible staff and clients we have, but because it is a business I put my heart and soul into for many years. It is now my brothers business and to try to excel for something bigger than you…to help him succeed and give my nieces a better life, made me a better trainer. To walk away from this place will be one of the hardest things I will ever do. However, I know a part of me will always be there, and I know I will always find my way back to mission FITNESS even if it is just to take a bootcamp while I’m in the area.


As I write this and look around at our blank walls and boxes labeled with the few things we decided to keep, I can’t help but get teary eyed. This is the first home Erik and I have ever had. We have been here 13 years and we have grown so much as a couple since we moved in. If these walls could talk….the ups and the downs we have experienced here. Just a few years ago I would have told you that this place was perfect for us and that we would never sell it. But, this past winter the 5 months we spent traveling has changed us. We came back to Connecticut different people and we no longer feel like we fit here. Sometimes you must go away to come back stronger, and not only are we both stronger now, but we are stronger together. I feel a bond to Erik that I have never felt so strong. He is not only my husband but he is my teammate, my partner, my rock. I am so excited for what we have ahead of us. And in the midst of the chaos of these next couple of months I will do my best to stay calm and trust the process. To surrender to what is and have faith that if we keep chasing what pulls our hearts and live our truest selves we will end up in the right place…wherever that may be!


Sunday Workout

A few Sundays ago I did this workout with fellow Personal Trainer Lauren.  This is the workout she does regularly, and if you saw the shape she was in, you would start doing it immediately!  Enjoy!

Workout Challenge #2

imageI constantly have clients telling me they never get the same workout as they do when the are working out at the studio. Whether they are on vacation, at home, at college, etc. their workouts just don’t come near the ones with me. I know a lot of this is being in the presence of  a very energetic class, or having me (your personal trainer) not giving you an option to stop. That being said, no matter what I do I will never be able to replicate the exact energy of the mission FITNESS studio.

However, I will give you some challenges you can do and I recommend you find a friend (or group of friends) to do them with.  This will help you push harder and prevent you from stopping when you get “uncomfortable”.  I also would love for you to leave a comment with your time or questions/comments!

Tuesday Challenge

20 Kettlebell Swings (35lbs)

20 Plyo Jumps (20″ high)

20 Shoe Claps

20 Wall Balls (goal height 9 ft using 14lb dynomax ball)

20 Burpees (chest must hit ground)

REST 1 minute & REPEAT for 5 rounds total. 


Can You Teach Passion?

Sometimes I use this blog as a sounding board.  A way to get my thoughts out there…to the universe.  The thoughts may not always make sense–they may be jumbled–they may not provide an answer, but selfishly I am releasing it from my mind for my own benefit. If it benefits someone else, that is the icing on the cake.


The question that’s on my mind today: CAN YOU TEACH PASSION?  Can you help ignite the passion inside someone?  As a fitness instructor I can look around the bootcamp room and see the ones who are “in the zone” and others who are just going through the motions.  I battle with letting that “be” and understanding that everyone is at my class for different reasons.  Some are there to literally just get out of the house…to get away from it all.  Some are there because they need to get their hour gym time in.  THEN, there are the ones who walk through that door and they are there to work AS HARD AS THEY CAN for one hour.  They are focused and determined.  Some to excel at racing, some to lose that last 10 lbs, and some to just walk away knowing they gave everything they had for an hour.

Whatever their reason is, there is a visible difference in the two bootcampers.  As I said, I battle with letting this be.  I understand that some have no desire to be “in the zone” for an hour, and are okay with just being comfortable for an hour.  However, I also know that people are scared to step OUTSIDE OF THEIR COMFORT ZONE, but do not realize that that’s where LIFE BEGINS!  To walk away from a class (or any workout) so shakey you can barely walk and knowing you gave it your EVERYTHING  produces a “high” better than any drug.  You will walk away from that workout and spend the day feeling like a different person.  THIS is why I want everyone to experience this.


So many people have no idea what they are capable of, and when they take that leap outside of their comfort zone they realize there is a whole life out there that they are missing out on.  I look at it as MY job to teach this to people. But, how do you teach passion to someone?  How do you make them understand that a life lived without REAL passion is a life not lived?  Maybe it is not fitness that will spark their passion, but when they are inside the walls of my class, it is my job to see if it is.  Call me biased, but I tend to think that the passion and lessons learned through fitness and competition is the gateway to life in general.  Learn how to push yourself PHYSICALLY past your comfort zone and you will surely do it in every other aspect of life.

This brings me back to my last post “Why Competition Makes Me Cry”.  My wish is that every client of mine that finishes a race has emotions…even if it’s not tears.  That is because they know that HARD WORK means success….whether at the race or in LIFE!