I Did it My Way

It’s about that time again to shake things up.  Last year was a big year of change for me: It was the ending to a 10 year window of my life.  2017 started off rocky, but I’m not about to let that throw me off course.  I made the changes last year for a reason, and I need to keep my focus on moving forward.

One of the things I let go of last year was my side personal training business.  I had started the business without focus, and it did nothing but cause me stress.  I had let other influence the direction I took with that business, and in the end I was worn out and resentful.  It was hard to let go of something I had put so much energy into, but it was the right thing to do.

I didn’t give up on fitness, however, I simply let that business go.  I kept teaching a volunteer class at the YMCA, and I spent the year enjoying my own work outs.  The break did me a lot of good, but it’s time for the break to end.  I’m rested and ready to get back out there, but this time it will be on my terms.  This time I’ve started a fitness blog that will feed into a Facebook page I’ve set up.  I will be teaching a few classes new classes, but more importantly, I will be writing about fitness in the most honest way I can.

I almost quite the fitness business because of the fakeness of it all.  The fitness industry is about making money and selling an image and that does not sit well with me.  I love working out because it’s good for my mind and it makes me happy.  This time around, it’s not about selling spots to my classes or getting my next client.  It’s about sharing what I have learned over the years.  Sharing my struggles and sharing my successes.  I won’t be cross blogging, as my fitness blog has nothing to do with this site.  However, I wanted to share my new project with you all.  If you’re interested in checking it out for fun… here’s the link.

https://kamloopsfitnessfreak.wordpress.com/2017/02/28/first-blog-post/

I don’t care if it becomes a success.  It only matters that I do it my way.

That Bitch “Conscience”

Little raindrops streak across my office windows.  I look up from my computer to watch the trees outside sway lazily from side to side.  The day’s earlier promise of sunshine has been wash away by a thick layer of ominous clouds.   I place my hands around my steaming cup of tea, as I lean back in my chair and sigh.

cold

The cooler weather begs me to curl up on my couch with a throw across my legs and glass of wine in hand.  There is literally nothing more enjoyable than relaxing to the sound of raindrops on my tin roof.  It’s calling to me right now; trying to seduce me away from my planned evening workout.  Wine or workout… workout or wine…decisions, decisions — who am I kidding, I know damn well it will be workout before wine.  She’ll have it no other way.  Who is she you ask?

“She” is my conscience. My relentless, nagging, down right mean, conscience.  “No rest until your work is done,” she snarls.  Why oh why does she have to be such a bitch.  I love myself, don’t get me wrong, but my conscience can be a real pain in my ass.  She’s always looking over my shoulder; she reminds me daily to push, push, push.  Yesterday, I skipped my evening workout (still did my morning run though); boy was she pissed.  That’s likely the reason she’s being such a hard ass about me wanting to skip tonight.  No way in hell would she be ok with two missed workouts in a row.

I wish I was better at standing up to her, but I crumble like a dried up biscut when she raises her eyebrow in disappointment.  Can’t get nothing past her; that’s for sure.  Still, I feel like being rebellious, so like it or not, I’m shortening my workout to 30 minutes tonight.  TAKE that!  I’m gonna show her…

My body is telling me it needs a break, and I want to give it one.  Unfortunately, the little voice in my head will not allow it.  Maybe one day I will have the ability to let go from time to time.  Until then:  30 minutes on the bike = 2 chilled glasses of Ms. Kim Crawford.

 

A NEW Addition!

woman, girl, relaxing

Just another zapping Friday.  Yep, the brain is still giving me grief over taking away it’s medication, but I’m not giving in.  I’m a bit weary, so I’m glad for a couple of days off.  The best part about this weekend is that I’m getting a new bed.

Ohhhhhh… I can feel it now: Soft, flat, comfortable; come to mama.  My current bed was purchased only a mere 7 years ago, and I’m not thrilled to be putting money out again so soon.  When I put out $1500.00 for my current sleep apparatus, I was expecting no less than 10 years with it. Instead, I had 3 years of satisifactory sleep, followed by 4 years of hell.  It’s a big heavy pillowtop bed; super soft, but it sinks in the middle.  Everynight, I crawl into bed, shoves some pillows down the left side of my body, and squirm restlessly all night to find a comfortable position.  Rigamortis sets in overnight, and every morning I feel like I’ve aged 100 years.  As much as it pained me to hand out money I didn’t have, It would have pained me more to have not.

ONE more sleep — just one more painful, sleepless night until I will be floating on mattress heaven.  I might even stay in bed all weekend just to take it all in.  Wouldn’t that be decadent — a weekend in bed.  I’d totally do it if I had a partner in crime, but two days of self entertainment is probably asking too much of myself.  Although, I could give it my best shot!!!

coffee, cup, mug

This new addition to my little family of household furniture has brought with it a bit of a dilemma.  Do I go to the gym after work today, or………… do I go pick out new bed sheets?  How do I make this decision???  If I work out, I can reward myself with a glass of wine (the first of the week).  But if I buy new bed sheets, I might get motivated to buy new paint, which means full bedroom overhaul.  ——————————————————My problem here it big!  Wine or weekend reno?  This decision can only be solved one way: coin toss.  Heads is gym/wine, tails is…too much damn work.  Screw it, I’m going for wine.

Well my happy blogg’n friends, happy happy Friday to you all.  May you sleep well, eat well, and love well.

How To Lose a Guy in One Date

No date should start with “Omg, I think I’m going to be sick.”  Sunday morning, however, that is exactly how my date began.  Thank god, we were seated in the booth located right beside the bathroom.  The look on my poor dates face when I jumped from my chair and ran to the bathroom was nothing short of horror.  Bless his heart, he was still waiting for me when I returned.

Now, let me clarify that my date had nothing to do with my nausea; he was a perfectly nice man.  My Sunday illness was totally self-inflicted, as I was suffering from a bad case of heat exhaustion.  We had fairly warm tempatures over the weekend, and on Saturday I decided to go for a 10km run along the river.  Normally, I would run in the morning to beat the heat, but on that day, the time had gotten away from me.  With a belly full of oatmeal and coffee, I started my run at 11:00am.  By the time I finished, it was just before noon, and the tempatures were pushing 30c.  Instead of cooling down and re-hydrating myself, I went straight to the coffee shop to read my book.  I ordered my usual 16oz almond milk latte and a piece of banana bread.  The coffee didn’t sit well, but I didn’t listen to my body.

Red Faced and Drinking Coffee — Smart Move???

Feeling a bit ill, I drove up to the garden center and spend an hour in the sun looking at flowers and herbs. I hopped from store to store picking up potting soil, a hanging basket bracket, and a six pack of beer.  I arrived home at 2pm and immediately started planting my garden.  Like any normal person, I poured myself a nice cold glass of beer after working out in the yard.  I drank two beer within a matter of 20 minutes; you’d think I’d realize that maybe I was thristy, and water would be a smart decision (blonde moment).  As soon as I finished my second beer, I felt tired.  I laid down on the couch with the intention of taking a quick 20 minute nap, which ended up being a 2 hour sleep.

When I woke up, I realize what I had done.  I was completely disoriented and my head was pounding.  I stumbled into my kitchen and tried to down a couple of glasses of water, but my stomach wasn’t having it.  My body was burning up, yet I felt cold and weak.  I ran a warm bath, while keeping a cold cloth on the back of my neck.  This made it worse!  I ended up in bed by 8:30pm with no dinner and still no water in my system.

I woke unusually late Sunday morning (8:30am) still feeling like total crap. I figured it was most likely dehydration, so I slowly drank a glass of water while I checked my online dating messages.  I had a message from “chevytrucksrules” asking me if I wanted to meet up for a coffee.  “Great Idea”, I think to myself.  Some food and coffee would surely cure my headache.  Thinking I was being smart, I drank another glass of water and droved to the cafe.

I arrived first, so I ordered a muffin and a coffee and waiting for him to arrive.  By the time he got there, I had finished my breakfast, and I was half way done my coffee.  We talked for about 30 minutes or so when I felt my face go clammy and my stomach start to turn.  Oh dear god… I’ve already told you what happened next.  I politely explained my situation and told him I needed to go home.  He was such a gentleman; he even offered to come by my house later than day to change my winter tires over to summers.  Unfortunately, the rest of my day was spent in bed.

I completely know better than to let myself get dehydrated, but on Saturday I must have left my brain at home.  Today, I’m a bit better;however, I’m still pretty tired.  LESSON Learned for sure.  No beer until I’ve fully rehydrated myself…

My Chevy actually did message me today, and he even asked me out for another coffee, so I guess he isn’t turned off by a woman who can’t hold down her breakfast.  I’m going to give myself a day or so before taking him up on his offer though.  To all the Singles ladies and gents. out there — Do not forget to drink your water.

 

I Raced Myself, and I won!

A sea of red could be seen for miles across our city on Sunday morning.  On your mark, get set, go…. and we were off.  Thousands of bodies trying to cross the start line; eager racers jetting to the side in an attempt to pick up pace.  Slowly the mass begins to separate as each finds their place and the race is on.   I pick a spot near the middle; I put my headphones in and start my place list.  “Thunderstruck” by ACDC gives me a beat to find my rhythm — two breaths in, one out, two breaths in, one out.  I repeat this mantra; ignoring the urge to stop before I begin.  “Keep it slow and steady”, I remind myself.  “Don’t go out too fast, or you will burn out too soon.”

Capture

Right in the middle with my headphones in…. breathing 

I fight the urge to pass the girl to the right.  She is clearly 20 years younger than I am, and she has her game face on.  I stay two strides behind and keep my focus.  Breathe – Breathe – Breathe.  “… working double time on the production line…” song number three begins, and I’m warming up.  My pace has quickened and I’ve left the 20 year old in the dust.  I spot my next competitor.  If I pick up my pace just a bit, I can pass him on the left and cut in front of him.  Here I go, the speed burns my quads, but I push on.  I’m right on his trail; I move to the left, and I pass him.  “Another one bites the dust…”  I can see the water station coming up; should I stop?  No, too soon.  I buzz by, leaving a thirst group behind me.

Heel to toe, heel to toe — my feet have their groove, as my arms pump in unison.  I’m running alongside the river now, and I spot a log drift slowly in waves.  My eyes lock on the log and count how many steps it takes to pass it.  One, two, three, four — it’s gone.  Up ahead I see a group of walk/runners.  They are on their walk cycle; I pick up my pace and skirt around them.  “You may be right I may be crazy, but it just may be a lunatic your looking for… ”  I wave at the familiar faces standing on the sidelines.  They cheer me on, and put out their hands for a high five. Slap one, two — I’m floating on air!

Can this be right, the turn around already?  It is!  Volunteers cheer and wave me in the right direction.  I’m on my way back, and I maintain my pace.  There’s a man to my right, he’s inching ahead of me.  I let him go by — I watch as his legs propel him forward.  I keep my eyes fixed on the back of his head.  I’m counting again.  I count the bobs of his head, up one, down two – one, two, three.  I’m beside him now, and I move in front.  Not by much; can I keep this pace?  How far behind me is he?  I think I can feel him right on on my tail.  I pump my arms and tell my legs to move.  Faster, just a little faster — I need to gain some ground.

Here comes the final climb.  It’s slow and gentle, but my tired legs can feel the incline.  “Focus on breathing; the faster you go, the sooner you’re at the top” my internal voice repeats itself over and over until I reach the peak.  It’s all down hill from here.  There he is, he’s coming up on my right again.  I can see his picking up speed as we start the decline.  Little does he know, I can fly down hills.  Should I?  How much further is it to the finish line.  If I pick it up now, will I still have enough for the final push?  I go for it.  Pump, pump, pump my arms.  I drive my knees up, and he’s gone.  Behind me know.  I must keep up the pace to keep my lead.  I see the last turn only meters away.  I’m at full speed, as I turn and see the crowd surrounding the finish lane.

“Pump, pump, pump… breathe, breathe, breathe – go, go, go – don’t stop” I chant myself through the gates, I only have a few seconds until I’m there.  “Keep pushing, you can do it” My feet hit the finish line, and adrenaline rushes through my entire body.  Every inch of me is alive with excitment.  Someone puts a finisher’s medal around my neck, and I shuffle out of the finisher’s circle.

This is not my first nor my longest race; however, it was one of the most satisfying.  The older I get, the more I appreciate what I can get my body to do.  I’m not a top placing runner; I usually finish somewhere just above the middle of the pack.  For me, it’s not about placing — it’s about pushing myself.  I came in at 57:30 minutes in this 10km race.  I’m 41 years old, and that is the same time I had when I was 30 years old.  To me, that’s a win!  My internal dialogue is what gets me through the finish line.  I don’t care if I actually pass my targets; however, they are what I use to challenge myself.  With every pass, I build my confidence, and I move further and further ahead.  I’m so proud of myself and everyone else that made it from start to finish on Sunday morning.

A race is like life; you must keep going and push yourself to the finish line.  Each pass is a goal achieved, each marker a moment of realization.  My hope is to come to my life’s finish line full of pride and excitement for all I accomplished — I raced myself, and I won!

 

 

 

What is Beauty

fit

 

What is beauty?  This is a question I ask myself often.  Like many women (and men), I often tend to compare my looks to other people.  I long for eveything I do not have such as straight thick hair, a clear smooth complexion, a petite body frame, long eyelashes… etc.

Why, I wonder, do I do this?  Every person is unique and beautiful in his or her own way. Why do I focus on what I don’t like about myself, when I should be celebrating who I am.  I am short, athletic, muscular, curvy, with thin curly hair, green eyes, and high cheek bones.  My chest maybe larger than I want it to be, but other people get breast implants because they are unhappy with their small boobs.  I may not be skinny and petite, but I am strong and healthy.  My wrinkles are a reflexion of the obstacles I have faced and the joy I have experienced.  Every scare on my body tells a tail of the life I have lived.

Beyond my physical appearance there is also my soul.  They say a person’s beauty cannot be measured by his or her physical appearance, as it is what’s inside that counts.  A Cliché – maybe, but there is so much wisdom and truth in this saying.   Are people not showing their beauty when they offer love and respect to others?  I think they are.  I may not be perfect but I am kind and thoughful; I respect other peoples rights to have an opinion; I laugh and cry; I have empathy, I love.  I am like every other human being on this earth who feels insecure at times – strong and confident at others.  I hurt, I get angry, I make mistakes, and sometimes I fail.

I have been on this earth for 41 years, and it is time for me to value myself and my beauty for what it is.  I will accept and love the shape of my body, the unruliness of my hair, the freckles on my face, my big feet, muscular legs, and every crease that appears when I smile.  I will not define what beauty is, as beauty can mean and be so many things.  Instead I will accept and charish every part of who I am.

 

Fitness Insight

Although I have been a personal trainer and fitness leader for over 12 years, I do not want to dedicate my blog to fitness.  Today, however, I will share a little insight for those interested in what my fitness journey looked like.  Becoming a trainer  happened by accident for me –  my interest in fitness was fueled by my own desire to overcome my constant weight battle.  I have struggled with weight problems for as long as I can remember.  I’ve tried every diet on the planet, battled eating disorders, and pushed my body to the extreme with exercise.

Before I took my training to become a fitness leader, I was a long distance runner.  I believed as long as I was running, I didn’t need to worry about dieting.  This of course is not true, unless you have a great metabolism to begin with.  In the third year of my running career, I developed something called I.T. syndrom – a common runners injury.  I was unable to run without extreme pain.  It was completely devastating to me, as my life was deeply entrenched in the running world.  If you are a distance runner, you know what I am talking about.  Feeling empty and alone, I went looking for something to fill the void running had left.  I was worried of gaining weight, and I was jealous of my running friends who had unintentionally left me behind.

One afternoon, while browsing the magazine ailses at Chapters, I came across a womans fitness magazine called Oxygen.  The cover model was absolutely gorgeous – both lean and buff.  A body image I could only dream of achieving.  Flipping through the magazine it was obvious these women “lifted”, and lifted heavy.  Many of them were personal trainers offering tips on training and dieting.  I was completely inspired, and descided to join a gym.  If I couldn’t run, I would lift.

It wasn’t too long before I decided I wanted to be a fitness trainer.  So I took the necessary training, and before I knew it I was teaching aerobics, spin class, boot camp,and soon training clients.  I engrossed myself in the fitness world.  I attended workshops and conferences; I followed all of the experts advice on how to attain the perfect lean body.  I ate clean, worked hard and passed my new found knowledge on to hoTMP_Kim_Knox_MAY_2012_-61peful clients.  I trained hard, and then….. I fell hard.

I am only speaking for myself in this next part, as I can only guess what other trainers experience.  

At 37, I was in the best shape of my life, and my little side business was becoming more successful.  I was making tons of money, and my clients were losing weight just like I promised.  My plan was to quit my job, and find something part-time while I slowly increased my training to a fulltime business.  However, with time my disipline started to falter.  I was tired and resentful.  I wanted to not care what I ate every second of the day.  I longed for the days when a skipped work out was not the end of the world.   My body constantly ached, yet I couldn’t (wouldn’t) give it a rest.  To make things harder, I was watching my fellow trainers entered fitness competitions and posted their achievements on Facebook.  I didn’t feel good enough, and soon their constant photo updates and comments really started to “piss” me off.

“No Excuses”     “Get a Body like mine”     “Train with me and look like this”

It occured to me that trainers were not helping people – they were selling.  Selling the unattainable “perfect body.”

This, I decided, was not the message I wanted to pass on to others.  This was not what I wanted for me.  Sure, I want to be fit, and I want to have a great body just like most people.  But at what cost? I wasn’t happy, and I never felt perfect enough. I also could no longer take peoples money and promise an ideal that was not realistic.  I no longer wanted to be part of selling “perfection” to people.  I wanted to teach acceptance and guide people to a healthy appreciation for food and exercise.  For a trainer, however, this ideal is not lucritive.  People don’t spend money on acceptance, they spend money on beauty.  So, last year I made the decision to stop training people one on one.  I now give freely my fitness advice.  I teach fitness classes as a volunteer at the YMCA, and I try to lead by example my healthy eating habits. I am teaching myself to find balance in life.  I haven’t completely found it, but when I do – I will share my knowledge freely.

Fitness is a business, and unfortunately, thin is what sells – not health.  I know many trainers will disagree with me, and maybe I’m wrong (although I doubt it).  I’m not saying all trainers are  in it for the money only, as this wouldn’t be true. Many trainers want to see you succeed, your success is what fuels them.  The problem isn’t with their intention; it’s with their product.  A personal trainer can be very helpful in teaching you how to exercise, but be careful to find a healthy place in your life for fitness.  Don’t obsess over it, enjoy it.  Give up on perfection, and look for balance, that is where happiness lies.