Ranks right up there with divorce.

Completely different dimension.

Completely different challenge.

But yet, (just about) the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

What’s that, you ask?

My Group Kick video assessment class was tonight and well, damn.

DAMN.

Not gonna lie…pretty damn close to the hardest thing I’ve ever done physically.

It was ridiculously hot and humid in the room (thanks Zumba class for that, just prior to mine!).

I was slightly nervous, but not as nervous as I thought (more relieved to just get ‘er done!), but had a sense of anticipation and adrenalin like no other.

And, at times, I thought I was going to keel over, pass out, throw up, or possibly die. (okay, now I’m just being dramatic!)

BUT.

I made it! I did it. I am sososo proud of myself, and glad I made it this far.

Sure, there’s that pesky “did I pass” concern, but I am feeling pretty optimistic…and hey, if I don’t pass, I can try again, right?

(Trying not to think about that, because uh, see all points above leading to near-heart  failure!)

But, looking back at  my earliest posts on Group Kick – from training in December, to being frustrated and not able to break through, to our first preview class, we’ve come a loooong way baby, and I am so proud of that, of doing this, of taking the chance, and really going for it. There’s certainly more work to be done, but I’ve made it this far – with my sister as well as a great group of Kickers, and I can’t wait to see how much more we all improve.

And, look for a guest post from me tomorrow, on my sister’s blog EatDrinkBreatheSweat recapping more of my post-mortem on my taping. I’m tapped out tonight and ready for bed. Phew.

~~

And PS – I got a really sweet, thoughtful email from CBE today, and am feeling a lot better. A LOT better. I guess there’s something to be said for letting it be, no? More on that in a later post…

Happy (Quote) Friday everyone! I feel as though destiny and determining and controlling your own fate has been sort of my theme this week, and mindset, as things progress with CBE, as I’m facing a crossroad of sorts, and just generally something that I am feeling right now, so I thought this quote would be perfect:

“It’s choice–not chance–that determines your destiny.”

I think sometimes people tend to think that destiny is only determined by chance or accidentally and that we don’t have control over our destiny as much as we really do. While I of course have strong faith in God and know that ultimately, He is the master of our destiny, I also think it would be lackadaisical to just sit back and wait for life to happen. Sometimes it is too easy to release that control and just let what happens, happen and not try to steer your way to your destination, or perhaps even better, to steer your way through your journey (as life is just as much about the journey, as it is about the destination!!).

I’m trying to take a rejuvinated approach to tackling where I go next in life – how I get there, why I get there and when  get there – and my goal is to make choices that are smart, brave, and perhaps even a bit out of my comfort zone (imagine that!).  I think that part of me has shifted back towards comfort zone tendencies, on occasion, which is why I’ve felt stagnant and frustrated in the last month or so, on and off, and sometimes you just need a reminder like I got yesterday from a conversation with one of my sisters, to take charge, and just go for it.

So, I’m going to do that, and keep challenging myself, at any chance I get. I think CBE is a huge example of how I am doing that anyway. I feel challenged by the potential that lies within this “thing” with him (notice I’m not labeling here, people!) but in a good – but out of my comfort zone – way. And that’s a good thing.

On that note – happy Friday everyone – and to you, take control of your own destiny, don’t let it go by the wayside to chance. It’s more fun this way 🙂

It’s been sort of an up and down week for me.

I’ve been ridiculously tired (not really sure why!), and have had my share of frustrations with Group Kick this week (but feel better after my reality bitch-slap!), and the weather here in New England has been borderline monsoon (thankfully, no snow!) – and on top of that, I’ve been up to my Overthinking Ollie ways a bit in terms of CBE, so I thought today’s quote Friday was quite appropriate:

“Maybe all we can hope to do is end up with the right regrets.”

Tackling Group Kick first – at times in the past couple of weeks, I have questioned whether the stress and intensity of this particular journey has been worth the effort, partially because of this over-tiredness – and then I realize that I am completely going against everything I write about in my blog and everything I stand for – taking chances and the leap of faith that whatever decisions I make, ultimately shape who I am and make me a better person.  And then, this posted to my “fitness idol” Cathe’s web site and that passion and fire came flooding back (my sis has a fab post that expands on this more, and a lot of my thoughts exactly!)…NO REGRETS, if I make it, I make it, and if I don’t,  at least I went for it and tackled something completely and utterly outside of my comfort zone, right?

Next – CBE. I plan to post a few more thoughts on “knowing when you know it’s ‘right'” this weekend, but after my posts on CBE this week, and the feedback I’ve heard from you all (and from my “real life” friends and family), I’m still staying on the optimistic route of this – there is huge potential, as far as I am concerned, this feels much more real than anyone else I have dated so far, and if I didn’t keep exploring it, I would most definitely regret it. So, I’m going for it…and you can’t stop me 😉

And generally, I just really, really, really love this quote. It so simply states what I stand behind and what I try to strive for on a daily basis, and what I try to inspire and help others do as well – LIVE your life, because the worst feeling in the world, to me, is regret. It’s an awful emotion, and one that is not easily escapable. So, you take chances and risks that maybe push you out of your comfort zone – so what? No harm in that. More harm in not accepting the challenge and always wondering “what if?” and regretting taking the challenge that was handed to you.

So, on that note, happy Friday everyone! I’m heading into what I’m hoping is a fabulous weekend. Cheers!

Hmm. I may be breaking the dating hiatus. I know, I know, I haven’t been on the hiatus that long…all of 1  1/2 months maybe? Well, funny how things like stumbling across chemistry.com can perhaps sway things in the other direction, isn’t it?

While I won’t get into too much detail, since we all know I have a fear of jinxing first dates (after jinxing a few here by talking about them before they actually happened!), I will say that I think I am ready to test the waters again. See, I tried out the “free weekend” chemistry.com was offering (sort of like eHarmony.com, for anyone not familiar with it – thanks Snark for the suggestion to check it out!) and after looking through my “matches,” one stuck out at me. We got to the emailing stage (since there are several back and forth questions and “qualities you’re looking for” steps first) and swapped personal emails before we were cut off at the end of the weekend (without signing up), and have traded a good chunk of back and forth emails during the last two days. I sense promise and potential, and I hope I’m right, but until we actually meet, of course I have no idea if it’s going to go any further than that.

But I will say this…

He’s divorced, he has almost an identical outlook on life (live it, be happy, travel, find genuine people, be true to yourself and others…it’s as if he reached into my brain and read from it, seriously), he digs a good workout and well, he’s also pretty damn hot, which is just a nice side benefit, isn’t it? Admittedly, he fits a good handful already, of some of my list items. What else?

He’s 41.

11 years older than me.

That is something very different than I have ever took into consideration in the past. I have never dated anyone more than 3 years older than me or likewise, 3 years younger than me. However, if I didn’t know his age, I’d say he “seems” more like my age. If that makes any sense. Not that there is anything wrong with being 41 – at all – but I always thought a 10+ year age difference would cause some issues with seeing eye to eye.

Of course, time will tell, but this is me looking to take a chance, a leap of faith, and seeing what happens. It feels a little like chance, and if I don’t follow through with it, I’ll always wonder “what if?” So, here I go…stay tuned….

It’s the year of “why not?” so I’m going to stick with my gut and go with it. Thoughts??

Round two – the “real” Kick preview this morning was jam-packed with 30 people.

WOW.

It was intense, it was exciting, it was HARD, and it was sweaty.

But it felt amazing, and the feeling was ten-fold to the “high” I felt after Friday night’s preview class.

As I again gazed around the room in between my tracks, glancing to my right to see a great friend trekking right along with us, and seeing the rest of the crew giving their all into this class, I felt like I was watching it all happen in slow-mo, from outside of my body, all the while putting every last bit of energy into each punch, kick, body rip, and jump knee. It may sound overly dramatic and “just” working out, to some, but this is something that I never in a million years thought I’d be doing, and sometimes I still can’t believe I took the chance in the first place.

It is as though taking the chance is almost as satisfying as the challenge in itself. Almost. But the challenge has been WAY more of a challenge than I was prepared for, so I gotta give credit to the challenge itself just a smidge more than taking it in the first place!

And beyond being amazed at what I’m capable of, both mentally and physically, it’s the first time in a long time that I’ve truly felt inspired and driven in the job at hand. Because, at the end of the day, what we are doing is a job, technically, one many do as a career (and something I secretly – okay not so secretly! – would love to do full-time, but that’s a story for another day…), and it feels so refreshing to love what I am doing all the way to my core. It has felt so rewarding and is teaching me so much about myself, in all aspects of my life, and I just love it, even with the ups and downs and frustrations that I’ve felt over the last month and a half.

And, my sister’s blog recaps some of the frustrations leading into today’s class, but I’m going to leave mine simple today, as I sit back and bask in the adrenaline rush that has slowly waned into the feeling of half-beaten (my body is slowly starting to ache!) and serenity.

…and enjoy the last bits of this weekend, which has literally flown by in an instant. But, it’s been worth it!

It’s only fitting that leading into Thanksgiving, I do a few posts on things I am thankful for. Today? I am thankful for taking chances, and here’s a few of the things I have taken chances on this year that have paid off pretty well:

  • Selling my house…even though it was a short sale. It was a huge risk, to say the least, with no definite outcome. And it had several more cons than pros, but for me, it was the chance I needed to take to truly move on – out of a bad investment, and out of what was my marriage and the “marital home.” I have no doubt that it was the right chance to take, no matter the financial ramifications.
  • Getting out of my comfort zone. My Group Kick training is LESS than a month away, and I’m still scared out of my mind, but also SO excited to get started. It’s going to stretch me out of my comfort zone constantly, and I need that. It’s the only way I grow.
  • Keeping an open mind…by meeting new people, whether they appear to be my “type” or not. As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t know that I have a “type” but I have had some great dates recently with those that have not nececssarily appeared to BE my type. Take “the Russian” for example (boy #10) – surprise – we had our third date last night! It was awesome…we went to dinner and then saw 2012. Cemented the fact that there is definite, strong, chemistry, and I truly like being around him, so it’s off to a good start. I think date #4 may be looming as well (funny enough, he asked me out for later this week, the same day as I have tentitvely made plans with boy #9 for date #2! We’ll see where that goes – stay tuned!).

Let’s face it – I was not one to go out on a limb or take chances before “the situation” began, and now, I feel like I am not only more WILLING to take chances, I look for chances to take, whenever I can. It’s helping me grow, it’s making me happier, and I’m learning a heck of a lot!

So, on the eve where my life took a sudden detour in a direction I never fathomed (it was Halloween that Pete officially decided he was going to move out), I thought the following quote was a good one for today’s quote Friday:

“Sometimes goodbye is a second chance.”

This is a lyric from “Second Chance” by Shinedown. I heard it this week on the radio and that lyric struck me (I think my brain now thinks in terms of my blog, I swear – it just comes to me sometimes, and feels so “right” for my posts). When Pete said goodbye to our marriage – it was a second chance, for him, but also for me. At the time, and really, only until recently (last 4-6 months or so) have I seen it that way, too. This period of my life has been so crucial to shaping who I’m becoming, and it does feel like I have the chance to really make it what I want. I feel that power, I have the support I need, and it’s just a matter of me making it happen – me and only me. It used to feel scary and daunting to think of it that way, but I’m doing it, and I have been doing it all along, whether I realized it or not.

I think this quote is a universal one, too. Anyone going through a transition in their life, whether it be the end of a job, and the beginning of another, to a move, to a new relationship, to ending a relationship – it’s a second chance…while we don’t get too many “second chances” in life, I think the most important thing is in realizing you have a second chance to make it happen – whatever that may be – rather than looking back and regretting not taking that leap of faith for that job/relationship/home etc. Though cliche – everything DOES happen for a reason, and seeing it that way is a driver (at least for me) in making the best/most of it, and finding my path.

Who’s with me?!