A journey of Perseverance 

Over the weekend I was sharing with a new friend about my goals for my business, how fitness has changed my life and how the reason I became a coach is because I want to share that with others. 
My journey hasn’t been perfect, some days I feel like a fraud because I make a big declaration only to not completely commit myself to follow through. Take for example this last 21 day program, I shared my Facebook page that my goal was to wake up and get my workout done first thing… that lasted about 10 days until my mind and body were telling me I needed a mental break. Then I started having knee issues and now it’s Day 22 and I still have 5 days left of the program, (which I am stil Planning on doing because then I get a sweet tshirt) but have accepted it didn’t work out how I had thought. 

Other times I have a great moment with working out and running that I am so thrilled to share. I achieve running goals I never thought I could do. Complete more consecutive push-ups or just make it through a workout easier than the time before. 

But it’s all a journey, a journey of perseverance. 

Perseverance isn’t something you demonstrate when things are easy. Perseverance is doing the things that matter when it’s the most difficult. It’s what drives you when you’ve got uncertainty and fear. Perseverance is seeing people around you complain (even if it’s your own inner voice – which isn’t you. It’s echoes of the people around you have said cruel or unnecessary opinions that had nothing to do with your potential.) Perseverance means still believing that the opportunity is huge, knowing the struggle is temporary, and remembering the imperative of our work is real. 

Perseverance. It’s what matters when your reflex is to quit. Perseverance is the only thing that separates the long-term success from the short term quick hit.

I haven’t given up on my fitness or my business because in my heart I am encouraged to keep going and see what I am really capable of when I fully commit- because I can’t honestly say I have every day. I’m going to keep persevering and discover what I can really achieve. 

“Perseverance supersedes talent, genetics and luck. There is no true success without it.”

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In the business of Changing Lives & Chasing Dreams

Two posts in 2 days?! This is what happens when I’m on vacation! 

Today is the 1st of the month which marks another month of me taking the leap to become a health and fitness coach. It’s been 10 months now! 

When I first started I had no idea what I had gotten myself into, I just knew I was looking for fulfillment in a job. I loved fitness and sharing it with others so I thought this would be a great way to support, share and encourage others in health and fitness goals and find their strength, like I have

What I’ve found being a part of the Beachbody community is a group of like minded, positive and motivating people. People, especially women, who aren’t afraid to set goals and reach for them. Who want the flexibility of working their own hours and changing lives, including their own. I’ve met new friends from ALL across the country that I would’ve never met otherwise and have the opportunity to earn trips and other fun rewards. 

To me, this business is more than just home workouts, it’s making a commitment to yourself to challenge your body, mind and spirit. It’s pushing play on your workouts, and that practice carrying over to other parts of your life, it’s about not giving up. It’s discovering what you are really capable of, and being rewarded for it. It’s building confidence, self-esteem and belief in yourself. 

I’ve been afraid to share this opportunity with others for reasons I don’t really know, maybe because I felt embarrassed at first to tell the world that I was one of 400,000+ coaches and I NEVER wanted to be considered a salesperson. Maybe because I was afraid of being judged or hearing “no, that seems like a scam”(it’s not because that’s illegal). But over the last 10 months, I realize it’s SELFISH of me not to share this opportunity of owning your own business, a dream I’ve always had. We are in the business of changing lives and I am nothing but PROUD of that. Even if i wasn’t a coach I’d still want to be a part of this community and go to live quarterly events. 

It hasn’t always been easy to be a coach because things didn’t “just happen” and it requires work to be successful, it’s simple work but not easy. But every time I considered quitting, my HEART kept telling me to keep going, that I had a story to share and I needed to keep being that example to the world. “The two most important days of your life are the day you were born, and the day you find out why” 

So this month I’d LOVE to mentor 10 motivated and committed people who feel like something is missing in their life and want to explore an opportunity to help others and earn some income along the way. Once I started getting out of my own way, I started earning enough to cover my utilities, car insurance and cable/internet. What would that kind of extra income mean to you? 

(Disclaimer: Beachbody doesn’t guarantee any level of income, its depend on your own efforts) 

You don’t need to be a personal trainer, but if you are this is another avenue to help people reach fitness goals without adding more gym hours

You don’t need to be an expert in social media, or even in top shape, just willing to share your journey and life with others. You just have to BE YOU, and that’s how people will connect with you! 

Who is the perfect fit? 

➖Someone who has a HEART to help others with their health & fitness 

➖Someone who feels they are meant to SERVE others but just maybe doesn’t know how to

➖ Someone who is busy but is a hard worker and gets things done,because we’re all busy right?! But we make time for what matters 

➖Someone who is self-motivated and wants to work part-time hours on their OWN schedule, right from your laptop or phone to build something substantial

➖ Someone who is serious about their work but also know how to take a break and have fun with earned rewards and incentives. 

My current team, Team Exceed the Dream is on FIRE lately and we can’t WAIT to help more people change their life with you. 

So if ANY of this interests you, if you aren’t doing work you love and want more out of Mondays, or are looking for a side job, let’s chat and see if maybe this would be a good fit for you too!

Comment below or email me at sarahchasinglife@gmail if you want to learn more and lets chase dreams together! 

Finding Strength 

Hey There Followers! 

I know it’s been FOREVER! I don’t have any good excuses. But I’m back, and my plan is to be posting more consistently again because I’ve missed sharing my journey here, plus I’ll have lots to share as I train for my first marathon this fall. So thank you for continuing to follow me.

To get back in the swing of things….

What does strength mean to you? 

Strength to me used to mean that I was strong enough to lift a certain amount of weight, do pull up or any other physical activity. 

But what I’ve learned during my years of fitness is that strength is as much of a mental gain and is as important in your life as physical strength is. 

My fitness journey has never been about weight loss, in fact I’ve gained weight, but has been more about building mental strength more than anything else. Yes I’ve developed muscles, yes I’ve gotten stronger, yes I’ve gotten better at push-ups and pull-ups but what I’ve gained mentally can’t be ever touched. I’m more confident, Im always working toward a goal, I feel empowered , inspired and have a more positive outlook. 

What sticks out to me the most when I think about the last six years of my life is that when I first turned to running I found it was the one thing in my life that I could control. I was on the verge of losing my job at the time, working through a breakup and I just felt a little lost. A year and a half later I felt even more lost, I was even more unhappy with my job, I was going through a bigger heartbreak and I felt like as a 25-year-old, I wasn’t where I thought I’d be in life (expectations are bad I know), but it wasn’t helped that I was overly emotional due to side effects of medication from endometriosis. I used to look in the mirror and I didn’t even recognize the person that was looking back at me. I vividly remember spending half days in my bed crying, which isn’t like me AT ALL. Needless to say my self esteem was at an all time low and I could barely get through an every day conversations without crying. It got to a point where I started seeing a counselor because I didn’t know what else to do. Not many people know that, but it’s part of my story and I wanted to share it because I’m not perfect, I have problems too. 

After about six weeks of talking, I began to realize that the power to change my life lied within myself and between daily journaling and working my way through P90X (90 day strength program)!I was finding my way again. People around me started noticing physical changes (getting toned) but what they may not have seen was the mental changes. I pushed play everyday on my workout even if Infelt sore, I listened to my youngest brothers advice and I started saying yes to more things, to try to discover that elusive happiness and to do things for MYSELF vs for someone else and one thing I did was decide to pursue my MBA (one of the BEST decisions I EVER MADE) and that sent me on a trajectory to change my whole career and subsequently my life and that was in large part to have the confidence and the mental strength to do it. 

I thank the jobs that made me unhappy, the heartbreaks and the tears for leading me to where I am today. 

As a result of my fitness journey I have more positivity, I have a stress reliever, a goal to work toward and am a part of a motivated, encouraging online community which carries over to all areas of my life. 

That’s why I feel compelled to share my journey with others. In the hopes that you’ll be encouraged to say yes to yourself and discover you are capable of so much more. I’m no one special, just a girl who hasn’t given up. 

We are all stronger than we know. 💪🏼

First Race of 2017- Forks XV

The first words always seem to be the hardest for me. It has been 3 months since I last wrote, and what it really comes down to is I haven’t made this a priority like I used to. It is currently 5:30am on a Saturday morning, and I figured- “enough procrastinating already just rip the bandaid off and write something! It can be short, long and it doesn’t have to be groundbreaking just get back in the habit.”

The point of this blog was to share my running and fitness journey with a little life now and then, so I thought the easiest way for me to get back into writing is to recap my first race of 2017.

To give a quick recap of my running over that last 3 months it has been ok. I am not where I had hoped I’d be, mainly because I was having some knee issues that lasted for 2 weeks at the end of the February. I haven’t had knee issues for over 5 years so I didn’t know what was causing it. I ended up starting to wear a knee brace, and changed the cross training I was doing,  thinking maybe that was irritating it. It’s better now, not 100% but it gets better everyday. I am also nearly 15% of my way to my goal of running 1000 miles this year, I have mapped out the remainder of the year and with a marathon scheduled for the fall I expect to be able to achieve this goal but anything can happen in the next 9 months.

Onto the topic of this post, I ran a 15K on Sunday, March 26th. It was the 2nd oldest race in my area (44th Anniversary) that a few hundred people completed. After running for the last 6 years this is my first time running this race because with it being at the end of March, and a longer distance I wasn’t always trained enough for it.  The fun fact is that my Dad also ran this race 4 times in the 80’s, so it was fun to add that to a list of races we have both done.

I arrived at the race about 45 minutes before the start, and picked up my bib. The pick up was in a school, which was nice because it was about 40 degrees out. I stayed inside and warmed up in the hallways, listening to music, trying to clear my mind and get in the right mindset. I was feeling pretty good. I headed back to my car with about 15 minutes to go until start to drop off my race tshirt and sweatshirt I was wearing and then arrived at the start line with 5 minutes to go. Just enough time to get this picture 🙂


This race was my first big test of my last 6 months of training and recovering from a hip flexor injury. Despite my Dad’s warning, I ended up going out too fast on the first mile (I let my ego get the best of me), but found a good rhythm from miles 2-6.


It was a rolling hills course, and I paced with a couple different people until about the halfway point when I ran mostly alone but had others in my eyesight. My legs started to feel a little fatigued around mile 6.5, and then the hardest part of this course was from mile 7.75-8.25, a big hill. At 7.75 it was up and around a corner, and I had hoped it was ‘the hill’ everyone had referenced, but when I got around the bend and saw another hill I had a few choice words! Thankfully that 8 mile hill wasn’t as bad as it looked, after I got over that it was was downhill and flat until the finish. Unfortunately I started my kick a little too early and the last .2 miles I was hurting!

I finished in 1:21:26 (8:41 pace), which I am happy with considering it was my first time running the course, and I didn’t pace as I should’ve, I didn’t remind myself to ‘run my own race’ as I usual do during the early miles. There is room for improvement for my next race in 5 weeks, a half marathon.

Thanks for reading, I’ll post again soon, I promise!

 

P.S. February 22nd marked my 2 year anniversary of having this blog!

First Steps to 1000 miles

One week into the new year, and as committed to on my Facebook page, I am writing one blog post a week to share my fitness journey, which will include tracking one of my goals of running 1000 miles in 2017.

1/1-1/8/17 Recap

Sunday 1/1- Happy New Year! My first workout of the year was a Core De Force workout. These workouts are still a fun way to challenge my coordination and feel like a fighter!

My first run of 2017 was on Monday January 2nd. I decided to change up my ‘usual’ route and headed for some hills. My first mile was a steady incline for 330 feet. It was slow and steady but I wasn’t going for speed rather the challenge. During this run I thought a lot about how I made what seems like an ambitious goals with aiming for 1000 miles. But we only grow from our challenges, so I reminded myself that just like running up a hill, I will get to those 1000 miles 1 step at a time.

Tuesday January 3rd, my first day back to work in 10 days! Ugh, I had a really hard time getting up! So I only did about 20 minutes of Insanity Asylum Strength workout. It was better than nothing. I intended to finish the rest of it when I got home from work, but got home late, so that didn’t happen.

Wednesday January 4th I did the “Grab bag:Power” workout by Joel Freeman through Beachbody on Demand. I didn’t have a sandbag so I just used weights. I really liked it though, it was 35 minutes of circuit training.

Thursday January 5th I had an extra hour of time in the morning so I went for a run even though it was 20 degrees out. I was surprised when I started running that I was running an 8:15 pace (my “normal” pace is closer to 8:50-9:00). I have no idea where that pace came from but I was so pumped about it, only to have my watch die right at the end of it! Thankfully the data still saved, because I would’ve been bummed if it didn’t (runner problems!)

Friday January 6th was my last day at my former job, and I went to bed late the night before so had a super hard time getting up. Even an early morning text with my best friend seeing if she was working out too didn’t get me out of bed. I succumbed to the fact that I needed some rest on a day that would feel surreal and maybe emotional. So it became an unplanned rest day, filled with cupcakes and cookies too.

Saturday January 7th became a double workout day (to almost make up for yesterday). My first workout was at a Super Saturday Beachbody event, and after a very informative and motivational morning learning how to grow my coaching business, a group of 50 of us did Piyo Live with a Master Trainer. It was a lot of fun! Throughout the years I have thought about maybe becoming a fitness class instructor, but I am juggling too many other commitments. I talked to my best friend about this (I saw her over the weekend) and her response was ‘of course you would like it, but with what time’ haha. Maybe down the road. But either way it was a lot of fun, because I love Piyo and got great results from it.


Later that afternoon, I visited with a college friend that I haven’t seen in a year and half, and we were able to sneak away from her husband and 2 kids and I introduced her to MMA Speed (Core De Force). Again it was fun to do with a friend.

Sunday January 8th, I was staying with my best friend and we had agreed to go for a run together without realizing that a snowstorm was going through! The roads were COVERED, there were 15 mph winds and it was close to 0 degrees out. But we got 3 miles done, and felt soo much better about our day when we finished up.


Monday January 9th, was the first day of my new job and new schedule when I will be getting home earlier. It was also the first day of my January fitness accountability group. It was the perfect day to start fresh. Over the last few weeks I haven’t been following a workout plan as best as I could be because the routines were 45+ minutes and I wasn’t waking up early enough or the holidays, etc. But there is no benefit in listing excuses, so I decided to just start a new program (p90) in the hopes that the shorter workouts (30 minutes) and new routines would jump start my motivation to get back on track. Plus knowing 6 people are looking at me to be a good example, is keeping on track.

Thanks for reading. Did you make fitness resolutions? How are you doing with them?

Resolutions: 2016 Recap & 2017

2016 is officially in the books! Are you glad to see the year over? Was it one of the best years for you? Overall the year was pretty good to me. The first half I achieved some great running goals (at this race & this one) while the second half I had to work through an injury, I started juggling more swim coaching hours, trying a new fitness program, and just getting through a day at a time vs feeling like I am enjoying my life. Looking back on the last few months has made me realize what I really want my priorities to be and it is reflected in my 2017 resolutions (see below).

But first I need to finish up with my 2016 resolutions, and even though these are one of the least popular types of posts I write, I couldn’t go through the whole year and not write an update for December. So for those who are interested, here is how 2016 finished up for me.

to train for a marathon– At this point most of you know this didn’t happen in 2016, but it WILL happen in 2017 as I am officially registered for the 2017 Wineglass Marathon.

to find my true purpose in my career- Throughout the year I have alluded to how heavy this resolution actually is. A year ago when I made it I had hoped that through a course I could discover what kind of job was ‘meant for me’ by becoming more aware of my strengths. I have altered what I talked about in this section for the last few months, feeling like this goal would take me longer than a year to figure out. So I talked about how I decided to become an online fitness coach back in September and about a local leadership program I have been participating in.

But I actually have some news to share, an unexpected opportunity was presented to me a few weeks ago and I have accepted a new job(!!), one I hope will challenge me, where I will continue to learn, and potentially make an impact in my community. It was a really tough decision for me, for so many reasons that I could take up a whole blog post about, but I won’t get that detailed! I lost sleep over the decision realizing how much my life would change. I wrote pro/con lists, I had conversations with my closest friends and my parents and what it came down to was an amazing opportunity was being presented to me now. It means I will cut my commute from 50 minutes to 15, I can buy a house and finally feel settled where I live. It’s going to be a big change, and I am nervous because I don’t fully know what to expect, but I am taking a leap. My first day will be Jan 9th, needless to say 2017 has the potential to be a great year for me.

On another note, to continue sharing about my Leadership program. The first session of the month was on Diversity & Human Services- which focuses on educating us about food insecurity and the local food bank. This was a very enlightening day as I have been lucky enough to never experience food insecurity, but there are so many people in my community that are impacted by it. My group was so touched by some first hand stories of how a community center impacted them, how they all support each other to get to the store to shop, that we want our community service project to support the growth of the center.

The second session was on Business & Industry, we toured a local forklift manufacturing company. They produce 90 forklifts a day via assembly lines, lean business practices and it was really interesting to see how it all comes together. During the second half of the day, we had the opportunity to tour a museum of an International corporation that was founded in my area, and heard from current employees about their various jobs. It got a little technical so I found the museum more interesting. This program is more than halfway over now and will end in March. So only a few more months of these updates 😉

A quick update on my online coaching, I am slowly growing it, I am trying to be consistent but I know there are still room for improvement in order for me reach the goals I’d like. I am excited to work with the small group that is taking steps to a healthier new year.

to treat others better and think before I speak– Overall this resolution was challenging because it didn’t follow SMART goal guidelines, but overall I have tried to be better about this, especially holding my tongue, but I feel it’s had more to do with me just getting older and wiser.

to do things outside my comfort zone– see the above on taking a new job! I can’t think of anything else in December that tops that!

Read 25 books in 2016– This did not happen, this goal turns out was a little too ambitious. I only made it to 16, and have made little progress in 2 months in the current book I am reading. This WILL change in 2017.

to reduce clutter in my life– As I mentioned last month overall I feel I have been successful in this goal, but made no specific steps forward in December. With a new job closer to home I hope to ‘catch up’ on ‘clutter projects’ I have let fall into the ‘someday’ category.

to eliminate excuses and procrastination– Over the last week specifically I have tried to be productive in the 10 days I had off from work, I had a list of things I wanted to get done, and when I was feeling overwhelmed that I wouldn’t get it all done, I just took the time to schedule tasks out on the days and I feel good that after this break I balanced being productive with some R&R.

Overall, reading through these resolutions, I realize I actually fall into the category of most people- that I was very successful with my resolutions but I feel I made a good effort. Some were better than others. Some were easier to track than others. This is the first time I have reviewed my resolutions every month, so it’s been a learning experience that has impacted my resolutions for 2017.

So what did I decide? I wrote up a post a few days ago regarding my running resolutions- which are so easy to track, check those out here. I am very excited to pursue those. Besides those, I also WILL (not want, not hope to, WILL)

  1. Write in my journal at least once a week
  2. Attend church 2 or more times a month
  3. Read 18 books throughout the year
  4. Write a blog post at least once a week, I was doing good on this through July of 2016 but started slacking when I got injured with my running.
  5. Don’t over commit myself, and not feel the need to say yes to everything and everyone and leave room for time for myself.

I want to keep my resolution list short so I can be successful. Did you make resolutions for 2017? How will you stay accountable to stick with it longer than 4 weeks?

This post is long enough, if you have read this far, THANK YOU!! I hope you enjoy following my journey of striving for more in life and the opportunity to grow.

Wishing you a happy and healthy New Year.

2016 Racing Reflections & 2017 Goals

It’s that time of year again, a time for reflection and setting new goals. An opportunity to start fresh and make changes.

Within the next few days I will write up my final entry regarding my 2016 resolutions (I have a big announcement to share so stay tuned for that) and share my “life” resolutions for 2017. In the meantime I wanted to write a recap on my 2016 Running Races and share with you my running goals for 2017.

I had hoped 2016 would be the year I became a marathoner, but as many of you know I suffered an injury in August and couldn’t run for 3 weeks, putting that goal on hold. While it would be easy to dwell on the things that didn’t happen or didn’t go right, it’s much more productive to focus on what did go right.

This includes:

1) Completing my 3rd half marathon in a new personal best of 1:55:22. Bettering my previous time from 2 years prior by nearly 2 1/2 minutes. This was my first race of 2016, and I changed my training to be more speed focused than the previous 5 years I have been running. I still ran 3 days of a week, but instead of just ‘getting the miles in’, I spent 1 day completing a tempo or hill run, 1 day completing intervals and 1 day was my long run. The change in pace paid off.

2) Running a sub-25 5K, a 6 year goal. This was an “unofficial time” on a training run about a week after I ran my half marathon. I was feeling good, and decided to see if I could do it. I never thought I would achieve this goal, even changing it to something more realistic. Read more about it here

3) Completing my first 20K. This was a long standing local race that was really cheap to run, so I figured it was a great excuses to have some company on my long run for the week.

4) Finishing my 5th Boilermaker 15K under my goal time of sub-80, 1:19:30. This turned in a very memorable race as I landed in the medical tent post race.I can truly say I gave it my all during this race, Read more here.

5) I Participated in my first Cross Country series and made some new friends along the way. This was a step out of my comfort zone since I haven’t run cross country since I was in middle school. But it helped ensure I ran once a week, and I really looked forward to seeing everyone every week and mixing up my running.

Some these races seem so long ago, especially because I haven’t been running as much as I should and would like. It’s so easy to forget what my body is capable of, but the pictures, my scrapbook and this blog help to remind me I can do hard things. I just have to believe in myself and stick to a schedule.

With that in mind, and after a lot  of thought, I have (mostly) decided on what my  race schedule will be for 2017 (subject to change ;)) along with my overall running goals.

My races will be:

2 15ks: 1 new one in March, the other my usual Boilermaker in July

My 4th Half Marathon on May 7th: Goal is 1:52:30 or better.

My FIRST Marathon (take 2): Wineglass Marathon Oct 1st with the goal of finishing with a smile on my face 🙂 A Sub 4 hour would be nice too!

I also enjoyed the Cross Country Series, so I will most likely participate in that again.

Mileage Goal: 1,000 miles. This seems a little unreachable, especially because 2016 I am finishing up around 475, but considering the last 4 months I have only ran 1-3 times per week, I think this goal will help keep me motivated even when I am not training for a race.

What are your goals for 2017?

“If we write our dreams and goals down, we dramatically increase our odds of realization. If we share them with other they become potent and alive”-Kristen Armstrong

Resolution Check In: Month 11

I know I am more than a days behind on getting this written, I had 90% of this written last week but I’ve had a lot on my mind and the days just got away from me.

What this process has taught me is that some resolutions are more tangible than others, and easier to track progress and I will be keeping that in mind when I make my 2017 resolutions.

Being nearly halfway through the last month of 2016, below are the steps (or lack there of) I took toward the resolutions I made nearly a year ago.

to train for a marathon- For those who are new to my blog, I planned to run a marathon, but an injury sidelined me. I plan to register for the Wineglass marathon 2017 within the next 2 weeks.

to find my true purpose in my career- I have been using this space to share my experience with the Leadership Program I am participating in and also sharing my progress as a new online fitness coach.

First for the Leadership program update. I have sessions on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of every month, and each session has a theme. The themes for this month were: Education & Sports/Recreation and Government & Broome County History.

On the Education Day we went to our local BOCES and had a tour of the school and learned about the many different extended learning programs, special needs, non traditional and experiential learning classes. It was really interesting to see the different learning environments. I followed the traditional education route, and was successful, but it made me wonder how I would have done had I participated in a non traditional program. It was great to see how passionate and more engaged students become  when they are enjoying what they are learning.

After BOCES, we had a session with the local AAA Baseball & AHL team Managers. Both of these teams are going through transitions. Our AAA Baseball just was rebranded/renamed and our AHL team will be relocating. We had the opportunity to learn about how the players between the two teams are different, but have similarities when it comes to temporarily living in my area. It was interesting to have a ‘behind the scenes’ talk regarding these teams.

On the 2nd session of the month, we spent the morning with various panels of politicians, ranging from local to state representatives, and getting tours of county legislative chamber and city hall. The various politicians were very busy so after their intros and learning a little bit about them, we didn’t have a long time to ask them questions regarding what they are doing to improve our area and the state. It was clear that they all had a passion for representing their constituents.

During the afternoon session of that day we spent some time at the county library speaking with the Historian and learned about the many resources available to look up people, places and things that occurred over the last 100+ years. It made me wish that I had family that grew up in the area I live in now, so I could do research about them! After that we went to a local art, history and science center & Museum. It was great timing to go there because the whole place was decorated for their Home for the Holidays exhibit- Trees all over the place, garland, lights, etc . It was beautiful, and it was great we got a free admission into AND all received a free yearly membership. A perk of the Leadership program!

As far as my coaching endeavor is going, I feel A LOT better about it than I did in October. It took me a while to realize how overwhelmed I really was and how I probably trying too hard. I am doing much better at not feeling nearly as overwhelmed (most days) by trying to do too much. Plus, I have connected with a few people so I hope this will be a bright beginning. I have accepted that I just do what I can, when I can, vs feeling pressured to HAVE to do something everyday. I know my business will grow more the more time I put into it, but I have to believe that the consistency will pay off. Plus I can focus on quality vs quantity.

I also had a moment when I was listening to a podcast about ‘Vision’, and I got goosebumps when I heard the quote. “The 2 most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why”, and I am starting to feel like this fitness journey, although has started slow is an avenue which I can help people and help them see they are capable of so much more, not only in their health but their life.

After 3 months of this coaching, I am have grown personally, as I have challenged myself to go outside my comfort zone, have helped 5 people better their health and I am looking forward to seeing where this goes.

to treat others better and think before I speak- I feel like November was a pretty good month for this, it could be because I am juggling so many obligations that I don’t have the energy to argue with someone. I also noticed that I hold my tongue better in a professional work environment vs with my family. I have had a lot of thoughts going on though, that a specific instance doesn’t stand out as to how well I really did on this goal.

to do things outside my comfort zone- Besides the steps I have taken to grow my coaching business, I volunteered to give a leadership presentation to female students at the campus I work at. It was based on the book Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, which I read earlier in the year. The presentation was called “Lean In: Women, work and the Will to Lead”, I had about 15 students attend, and even though I ended up putting together the presentation kind of last-minute (due to being out-of-town the weekend before I had to give it), it went really well. The students were really engaged, and I wasn’t nervous at all to stand up in front of them, something I HATED to do in college. I was terrible at public speaker 8+ years ago, but have learned over the years that the better I know the material the more confident and comfortable I am to present. This presentation was outside my comfort zone because I haven’t led a learning program before.

Read 25 books in 2016- I did not make any further progress in November, I started a book (GoPro) and even though its only 150 pages, I am only halfway through still. At the end of the day, it just isn’t a priority to me. I know it should be, but sleep is trumping reading at night right now! I have read 16 books so far this year, plus listened to hundreds of hours of podcasts.

to reduce clutter in my life- I look around my apartment and see things that I really want to sort through (tear outs from fitness magazines of workouts, unread magazines, unread or unenjoyable books, etc) and I want to spend time clearing them out. But they aren’t a priority for me yet, but it would be great if I could get to them by the end of the year, I’m adding it to my ever-growing list of “do when I have spare time”. I also added more clutter to my life by registering for a bunch free webinars to gain some knowledge but my email box gets filled up. It’s my own fault, but it definitely was not a step in reducing clutter in my life.

to eliminate excuses and procrastination- If you noticed, I mentioned whether an action was a priority or not throughout November and it’s clear that November was full of excuses and procrastination, I would make a list of things I needed to get done, and it would take me longer to get done than it should have. I feel like everyone goes through phases with this, and even though I felt like I had some months better than others, November was not a good month.

 

Thanks for reading!

5 years ago… the surgery that changed my life 

Today, November 30th, 2016 marks the 5 year anniversary of a surgery that changed my life.

I have been thinking about how I wanted to share my story for months, and whether I should at all but I was inspired to share due to this podcast.

Not many people outside my family and close friends know this story, but I wanted to share in case it helps one other female.

What lead to my surgery started at the end of August 2011, I woke up one day with so much abdominal pain I almost couldn’t walk. I made it to work just to have my coworkers tell me I looked pale, that I needed to see a dr, etc. but I thought it was just cramps/period pain so I took Midol and the pain became tolerable.

Over the course of the next few days the pain decreased but my grandmother made me promise to go to the Dr, even though my pain had gone away I went so I could say I did. The Dr at the walk-in checked things out but they didn’t think anything was wrong, especially because I wasn’t in pain anymore (it wasn’t appendicitis). They told me if the pain came back they would send me for an ultrasound. But they probably thought I was a hypochondriac going to see them when nothing was wrong.

The next month I didn’t have as much pain so I didn’t think anything of it. In October, after I ran a 5K with my best friend and I had some more pain and after a few questions from her (a now Dr of Physical Therapy) she asked me if the pain was cyclical because she was concerned I might have a cyst. So I went back to the doctor and based on their previous notes they sent me for an ultrasound. What was found from the ultrasound was a 2 1/2 inch “complicated cyst”. I was recommended to go and see an OB/GYN to get more analysis on the results. When I saw the OB/GYN I had another ultrasound done and was told that not only did I have a cyst but I had endometriosis. I had heard of endometriosis from a friend of mine from college who had recently also had a surgery. But other than that I didn’t know what it meant.

For those who aren’t familiar with endometriosis it is a condition which “many women have during their childbearing years. It means that a type of tissue that lines your uterus is also growing outside your uterus. This does not always cause symptoms. And it usually isn’t dangerous. But it can cause pain and other problems” (see more here).

When I met with the doctor he told me that my case was so severe (4 on a scale of 5) that I needed to schedule a surgery ASAP to remove the lesions as no birth control would help. He was actually surprised that it took me so long to come and see him, indicating that I have a really high pain tolerance. So within a matter of a week time period I went from feeling fine to scheduling a surgery. It was very overwhelming and I was scared that the cyst would cause problems with my ovaries and I wouldn’t to be able to have kids, etc. My mind just spiraled out of control to worst-case scenario. After stressing for a couple days I realized that I needed to calm down and just deal with and outcome if and when they occurred.

I scheduled the surgery for November 30 and knowing that I had a fix in the future helped me get through some painful days. Over the next month the pain worsen and on Thanksgiving that year I was in so much pain I barely ate dinner and wound up  curled up in a recliner with a heating pad on my abdomen and had taken Ibuprofen. The only thing that got me through was knowing I had an upcoming surgery that would (hopefully) fix the problem.

On the day of my surgery my parents came with me to the hospital. I was scheduled to go in at 9am and it would only take about 2 hours, but was dependent on how severe everything was. Once I got prepped for surgery, I remember being wheeled out to the room to surgery, within 30 second the the anesthesia hit me and then my next memory I have is waking up in the recovery room and feeling like I had to go to the bathroom haha. The surgery went really well but it turns out my cyst had burst (which was why I was in so much pain a few days beforehand!) and my appendix had become inflamed so that was removed too. But my insides were cleaned out via the laparoscopic surgery.

Waiting in the recovery room to be released
My recovery took 4-5 days before I could walk straight up and my body was functioning properly.  I had to be careful how I twisted and couldn’t lift anything heavy for a few weeks due to the stitches. Stairs were tricky as the incisions were near my hip bones, and I had to put a footstool by my bed so I didn’t have to so high to climb up. I was glad I lived on a first floor apartment, and my mom was able to stay with me for a few days.

But each day I got stronger and kept trying to walk more. I was so anxious to get back to running. But I became frustrated because even after I got my stitches taken out I was having a muscle catch in my  abdomen and it created pain. When I saw my Dr about it, he said because I was so thin, a muscle knot can be a nuisance, so I had to massage it out. Finally after about a month from my surgery I was able to run about 2 miles and you would’ve thought I just want an Olympic medal. I was so ecstatic and so excited because I was looking forward to running my first half marathon and about five months.

I was able to successfully trained for and run my first half marathon in May 2012.

img_0574Throughout 2012 I still experienced some abdominal pain, but nothing to the extend it was. I was told it was the leftover small lesions that a surgery couldn’t get but eventually  they would resolve themselves. In order to keep my condition at bay I was prescribed birth-control pills. This was meant to keep my estrogen levels low to prevent lesions from forming again. Over the course of the next year I ended up trying 5 different kinds of birth control as I tried to find one that “fit”. That was probably the biggest struggle of my recovery, I became very emotional, I didn’t recognize the person in the mirror and I didn’t feel like myself. After working with my Dr we were able to determine a low dose pill that kept my condition under control but didn’t make me feel emotional and helped my body.

I’ve been on one prescription since January 2013 and things of been great since. I have annual check ups with ultrasounds and everything has continued to be good. As a result of the surgery I no longer have days where I’m curled up in bed in pain and exhaustion. I no longer have nausea like I used to, I can run, lift, kickbox, etc, without having to stop due to pain.

This surgery truly changed my life and I am so grateful to my best friend for recognizing my symptoms so I could be properly treated. Endometriosis has no cure, but can be kept under control, and I am proof of that.

Do you or someone you know have endometriosis?

This is a pretty quick recap of my story but if you have any questions I would be happy to answer any. I didn’t want this anniversary to go by without acknowledgement.

Fitness Update: Nov 20th-Nov 27th, 2016

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your friends and family.

This past week was a good week for me. I am starting to see improvement in the Core De Force (an MMA Inspired/Kickboxing) home DVD program I am doing, and was able to get a 2 short runs in.

So I will start with last Sunday 11/20: This was my last Cross Country race in the series I have been participating in since the beginning of October and it was quite a way to end the series! Living in Central NY it finally decided to snow a couple of inches. So in a matter of 24 hours it went from mid 60’s to low 30’s with 4+ inches of snow overnight.


So the race was at a local obstacle course, so I was anticipating the worst. I could have easily bailed due to the weather, like my other teammates did, but I figured I would go, have fun and not worry about my pace. So I bundled up and joined about 30 other people to run “the wimpiest obstacle course” or “the hardest cross-country course”, there were roots, lots of turns, hills, snow and mud! It was quite a way to end the cross-country series and I was glad the wind held off so I didn’t freeze along the way!

Monday 11/21- Due to the Lake Effect snow storm going through, I had to leave for work (a 40 mile drive) earlier than usual so I bumped my workout from the morning until after work. As good as it feels to get workouts out-of-the-way, it actually gave me something to look forward to all day. The really great thing about the workout today was after an active recovery on Saturday, and a run yesterday, I was well rested for this workout. I was FINALLY able to complete a “Ground to Fighter Stance”. I was cursing it a few days beforehand, and it’s right up there with a burpee! But today I felt strong, more agile and it was great to feel the improvement.

Here’s a video:

Tuesday 11/22- Was similar to Monday with the snow, so I split my 45 minute in two in order to get to work on time. I did 6/12 rounds + a 5 minute core challenge before work, and the remaining 6 rounds after work.

Wednesday 11/23- I mixed things up a little and swapped out my 45 minute workout, for a 27 minute one called MMA Mashup, it was 6 rounds instead of 9 and was 2 rounds of some of the other workouts (MMA Shred, Dynamic Strength & Power Sculpt). Plus I did 15 minutes of Core Kinetics, one of the hardest core workouts I have ever done.

Thursday 11/24- Happy Thanksgiving!! I am grateful for my health to be able to complete two workouts today because I really wanted to “Earn the Feast”. So I started my day with an unofficial Turkey Trot (because almost every other runner was doing one!) with 3 miles around my neighborhood. 

Then I did Power Sculpt, which had lots of plyo moves so I was hurting doing it right after my run!

But I wanted to be able to enjoy some pie without feeling guilty- I love apple and am a new fan of pumpkin pie!

Friday 11/25- On a non related fitness note, I was awake at 6am without an alarm to watch Gilmore Girls: A year in the Life. This is my favorite tv show, I wanted the series from when it was first airing in WB network when I was in high school, watched the DVD box sets several times throughout college, and had been looking forward to this day for over a year since it was first announced the revival would happen. What can I say, I am a loyal fan!

After my binge-watching (it was 4 90 minute episodes), I did MMA Plyo. This was the first time I did this workout and I was expecting it to be REALLY hard with lots of plyo moves. But it wasn’t, there are other workouts that were more cardio/plyo based than this one. It was still fun though, and really tested my coordination with many combo moves.

I also received my FREE tshirt just for completing PIyo. This tshirt can’t be bought only EARNED!


Saturday 11/26- Was kind of an off day, I ran different errands, went bowling with my nephew, and tried to be productive in catching up with some projects I have gotten behind on. I told myself I would do my workout in a little while, or after dinner, etc. Before I knew it, it was 10:15pm and I still hadn’t worked out. So instead of just taking a total rest day, I did a 20 minute Active Recovery routine to get my blood flowing a bit and get some quality stretching in- especially since I was feeling my double workout from Thursday some. The stretching felt great and I reminded myself that a 20 minute workout is better than a 0 minute workout.


Sunday 11/27- Was Dynamic Strength day again (see Tuesday). The 12 rounds seemed to go faster today, probably because I have done this routine at least 6 times now, so I am more familiar with the moves, but I just take it 1 round at a time. I am seeing my strength improve though, as I was able to complete 2 rounds of triple wide pushups (tricep pushup out to regular pushup then out to wide pushup, then repeat back in & out for 50 seconds) without going to my knees. So the improvement is small, but getting there.

That’s all for now… until next week!

How do you keep yourself motivated when the weather changes? Do you have any improvements to share?

Quote of the week:

If we reach the big victory our joy will not be diminished by having celebrated steps taken in the right direction along the way. And if we don’t reach the goal, we may be disappointed, but we will have fully embraced the journey—and perhaps that is the real prize all along.”-Kristin Armstrong