Heyyyy Fitties! What up?

It’s been a busy few weeks, eh? I’m hitting the ol’ goals list hard this month. I’m prepping for a Body Pump training this weekend (GULP) which coincides with this kid’s 24th birthday and we’ve got some fun tricks in store for him. Also on the agenda for the past few weeks: Craft shows… oh yeah, I sometimes make stuff like this:

Yep, those are wine bottle candles. Yep, I made ’em myself.


And teaching! Lots of fundraisers for cancer and adoption and… some funny hats:

Totally vegan! And hot! (Hot like warm, not hot like sexy.)

And brunches and booze and oh yeah I’m also studying to get my Corrective Exercise Specialist Certification via NASM. I’m especially excited about this one… it’s HARD, but I’ve been so fortunate to work with clients in small group settings and many of them are battling back from injuries. Our pilates class looked like a rehab center for awhile with our bands and Bosu’s and other instruments of torture. It has been incredibly rewarding when someone tells you they can tell their foot is healing and is stronger than it was thanks to your class. Just… best feeling ever.

So that brings me to a little recap of the last year. This time last year, I was winding down my practice as a lawyer. And, as God is my witness, I’ll never go lawyer again. For 12 months now, I’ve paid my bills exclusively by doing fitness. I’ve even had some money left over for girlish indulgences (hey, I have to look presentable in my line of work. Mama needs her mani’s ya’ll).

I absolutely loved every freakin’ minute of the past year, even the minutes that were hard. I’m exhausted most of the time. I’m triple booked most of the time. I stink nearly all of the time. But this is without a doubt the absolute best job I could ask for. If someone were to ask me, “What would you want to do if you weren’t a group exercise instructor?” I would say, “I would want to be a group exercise instructor.” It’s that awesome. I used to think being a dancer with NYCB would be the best job ever, but I realize that’s not so. Yes, their costumes are way better than mine, but I get to eat (and wear turkey hats to class). And my career is just beginning when most of them are hanging up the dance shoes.

Okay, I guess maybe they still have an awesome job and they could always do group exercise once they’ve retired. And THEN they can eat. Win-win!

So there are posts all over this blog about how I made this leap and what I did and why it’s so important… one day, I’ll get ’em all organized in one place. Promise. I have a search bar if you’re so inclined.

I definitely could not do what I do without the support and encouragement of this guy:

He believed in all of my hair brained schemes along the way and was right there helping me learn to use tile saws or configuring my blog or stepping over piles of sweaty clothes or having dinner ready when I got back from teaching far more classes than were good for me. And he’s dealt with so many emotional crashes and burns this year and he never once suggested separate bedrooms. All while working on his OWN side business projects (and never having emotional crashes of his own. Oh, and while re-wiring our house). The Antirat. He’s a prince among men. Brian Tracy once said “Choose your spouse carefully, for your marriage will determine 85% of your happiness.” So true and I am beyond blessed. Marry up. I certainly did.

Also this girl right here is a big reason I’ve been able to stick it out this year when the going got tough:

You gotta have a battle buddy. Someone who’s in the trenches with you. Someone who’s got your back and someone whose back you’ve got. My Teresa Lastenia is the best fitness bestie and battle buddy a girl could ask for. She believes in me when I don’t believe in myself. And then I believe in myself again. Love you T! <3

I also have a PHENOMENAL team of coaches working with me that made 2012 an amazing year for my Beachbody business. Teresa and I hit Diamond together, went to a Diamond leadership training event in Florida, qualified for Beachbody’s Disney World and Vegas trips together… we also were fortunate to lead our team’s weekly call together. It was an absolute BLAST.

Thanks to Beachbody, I’ve made the equivalent of teaching 188 group fitness classes (that’s based on my current rate of pay. Last year, my rate was lower because I was less awesome so it would have been like teaching 205 classes last year). Pretty nice! It’s allowed me to dedicate my time and energy exclusively to helping people get fit and helping younger coaches learn how to mentor their fitness clients.

I was about to say that this year has made me develop a thicker skin and it’s made me mentally and physically tough. Then I did my little shout out to my support network and I’m blubbering like a baby.

But really, I have gotten stronger this year. I understand a lot more about life and how goals are achieved. I understand that as Americans we are so blessed by a lot of things, but one thing we are cursed with is a sense of entitlement. We believe that the world is our oyster (which is true) but we don’t realize the struggle involved with achieving great things. People are absolutely baffled at the idea that building a fit body or a thriving business takes sacrifice (time, money, sleep, foods you want to eat, tv shows you want to watch).

I’ll be honest, I was shocked at how hard being self-employed is. There were times that I was watching the deadline tick down to my student loan payment and I was $300 short and I was just like 1) FUCK, please pay me on time (this is huge. Please pay self-employed people on time. You have no idea how big this is. Uncle Sam does not want to hear about why my $1200 student loan payment is short because the girl who does payroll for your company has strep) and 2) why aren’t I sitting in some cushy cubicle collecting a regular paycheck so I can avoid this hassle?

Teresa can tell you. She has the heytells. There were times when I was SWEATING. But it all worked out. Every month.

So what’s all the point of this? I guess it sounds a little self-congratulatory… yay me! And I suppose I do feel a little “yay me” because I fucking earned the life I’ve got. I stuck it out through a lot of little tiny pay checks and classes at 7:15 on a Saturday morning (and thank you to the 2 of you who showed up). My goals for 2013 are to amp up what I did in 2012 so that I don’t have to sweat QUITE as often when those bills come due. And, dare I say it… maybe even starting using that savings account again?

But the point isn’t just to give myself a pat on the back, it’s to encourage YOU to be here next year. No, I’m not saying quit your well-paying job and white knuckle it for 12 months to see if you can live off a fitness instructor’s earnings. But I know you have a goal in your heart of hearts you want to achieve. Musical instrument? Weight loss? Travel? Foreign language? Those are the biggies, I think. Maybe it’s more time with your family? Less time in front of the tv? Here’s my encouragement to you… struggle. Do something HARD and enjoy watching strength replace your weakness. Do it for the 12 months and EARN the right next to December to say “I CRUSHED my goals. I did what I said I was going to do. And it feels AMAZING.”

Because truthfully? It feels beyond amazing. I did it. Here’s to 2013.

You are not here merely to make a living. You are here to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, and with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world. You impoverish yourself if you forget this errand.” – Woodrow Wilson