It’s been a funky week so far, getting back into routine, and work, and working out, all while trying to combat the cold-from-hell, but as the week is coming to a close, and the long weekend is upon us, I’ve been randomly collecting a few of my favorite things at the moment, and I figure they’re worth sharing, because they scream happiness, inspiration, hope, and fun…and since I’m all ‘puppies and rainbows,’ they’re itching to be blogged about 😉

On the plane to Vegas, I ripped out a few articles I was reading and tucked them away. One of them was an interview with Sarah Silverman and “7 things worth repeating.” A couple of my favorites:

Sweat a little every day. Organize your apartment, do your laundry, play basketball or nuzzle with another person (me: does a kitty nuzzle count? Cuz that’s all I got right now. Heh.

Sarah’s mom’s advice on heartbreak: ‘it hurts, but don’t put up a wall…take a risk and fall in love – it’s worth the pain.” (me: YES, YES, YES! Completely agree)

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Another article I was reading was from Marie Claire, and it was on “the science of sex” and it focused in part on a book called “For Better: The Science of a Good Marriage,” which focused on what qualities comprise lasting love.

It talked about chemistry, literally, whether chemical connections play into dating, love and marriage, and validated that a little more for me, both literally (chemical balances, hormones etc) and also noted that chemistry does play a role in whether there is a love connection, and while I didn’t need to read that to know that for me, personally, but it still validated it even more for me. Chemistry doesn’t mean sexual or romantic feelings solely, either, it’s the whole package. It’s there, somewhere, I know it. Where, when, how and who? That remains to be seen…but it’s out there somewhere.

It also talked about expectations and whether setting them too high in love and marriage is the kiss of death. Research from UNC notes that it’s actually the opposite…when you set expectations too low, that’s when relationships and marriage fail. AMEN.

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Winning bets that yield fun things like this – is that a cute magnet or what? Seriously, it makes me smile every time I open the fridge. Thanks my bloggy friend!

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Quotes like these. Can you read them? This is also on my fridge, and I read them every single day. (told ya this post was random, or if I didn’t, you can probably figure that out by now!)

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DOMS. Or, delayed onset muscle soreness. After 4 days of NOT working out (yes, I know, this is *crazy* for me…) while in Vegas at BISC, I was desperate to get back to that particular part of my routine. Despite my better judgement, I did a couple of crazy back-to-back weight workouts (upper and lower body) that I am completely paying the price for today, 2 1/2 days later. I’m limping, I’m aching, and I’m having trouble standing up after sitting for awhile.

So, why is this one of my favorite things, you ask?! Because it means I’m back to my workout routine, of course, and DOMS scream (no pun intended…) that the workouts are working. Told you I’m a little bit crazy, right? And that I have the cold from hell? Yea, in hindsight, probably not the best idea, but I’m embracing it, mmk?

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Long weekends!!

I am stoked for this weekend, truly. I have a weekend packed with fun plans, with my Group Kick “family” tomorrow night (celebration is in order, if I do say so myself!), my brother-in-law’s annual birthday bash on Saturday, and the beach on Sunday and/or Monday, likely. Life’s pretty damn good, no?

So, there you have it…some of the things I’m digging at this very moment. There are some more potentials brewing, but for now, I think this list is plenty long. I hope you all got a laugh out of this, perhaps share some of these favorites, and all have a fantastic long weekend welcoming the official start to summer, my most favorite season ever.

I PASSED MY GROUP KICK ASSESSMENT!!!!!

I want to shout it from the rooftops…I am elated, ecstatic, relieved, proud, and excited, all rolled into one. Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect, with all of my frustrations and struggles with Kick since my sister and I began this journey in December (wow, six months sure does fly, doesn’t it?), but was thrilled (and a teensy bit floored) to see the email this afternoon saying:

CONGRATULATIONS! You have passed your Group Kick® Assessment and now join a dedicated, professional and committed team in delivering Body Training Systems® (BTS) programs. Attached are your Group Kick® Certificate of Completion and Assessment.

Becoming a Group Kick® instructor means that you have access to a comprehensive education system to support you and your club in creating WOW! experiences to get more people MOVING!

When I look back at where we began, we’ve both come a long way, and I couldn’t be more proud of our accomplishments and doing this together. Jess posted a great list of things she’s learned from this experience, and I’d echo all of them…and add to that list the ability to be patient. While I may not always appear to wear my “patience pants” (I know more often than not, I can’t find them in my closet!), with Kick, I’ve tried to bide my time, take it day by day and always keep in my mind that the goal – for me – is to pass. Not to *necessarily* get a class, but to pass. I think my sister has struggled with this a little bit more than me because she WANTS a class badly, and that has added more frustration for her, stresssing over that piece, rather than just the passing piece. However, I think most recently, she’s become pretty “zen” about it and I’m proud of her for that, and I’m proud to make her proud, because that makes me happy (could I have said “proud” one more time in that sentence? heh.)

So, I say bring it…bring it ON, whatever the future holds in my Kick career….BRING IT...I’m ready to kick some!!

Well, it’s Quote Friday everyone, and please bear with me as I feel as though this may be a doozy of a post (and go in a few different directions).

It’s been a pretty difficult week for me, emotionally and mentally, as I’m sure some of my posts have indicated, at some underlying level, and today, well, I felt a little like I hit rock bottom of sorts. See, I’ve been working three jobs – main job, Group Kick (not that I get paid for that, but I digress)  and some side work that I haven’t really mentioned here, but it’s sapping up 5-10 hours a week of my time during the evenings, yet, I’m broke. Flat out broke.

Was expecting some money to arrive in my account yesterday or this morning from said third job and it has yet to arrive, so where does that leave me?

Overdrawn. By a lot.

And I have so many things I need that I haven’t even been able to buy, till I get paid. Not even big things, mundane, little things. Yet, I don’t have the money for even that. It came to a tipping point this morning, where I saw the state of my banking, saw what little is left in my savings, and sat on the floor and cried. I felt alone. I felt no security blanket. I felt a little bit scared.

It was one of the first times in a long time that it’s hit me square in the face that it’s just me…no backup in the form of a husband, or a boyfriend, even. Just me. And not to say that I am in such dire straights that I have no support, because I do, in my family,  and I know it could be a lot worse (and I truly hope this post doesn’t come across as complaining or short-sighted). But for the amount I am working, I’m frustrated that I can’t even make ends meet suddenly. I’m not spending on much at all, above and beyond my monthly bills. My pride feels bruised, too, because I have managed for so long on my own, and suddenly, I feel as though I am at square one.

And, then, on the other hand, I feel a little bit sheepish for even complaining about the state of my finances, generally, or here, but I just need to get this feeling out of my system, because like I said in an earliest post this week, stress and worry aren’t going to fix or change anything…and it’s never too late to get back up again.

I just need to get back up.

So this quote really sums up what I need to express:

“The greatness comes not when things go always good for you. But the greatness comes when you’re really tested, when you take some knocks, some disappointments, when sadness comes.”

I feel tested, I feel knocked around, dissapointed (at myself) and a little bit sad.

But on the other hand, I am grateful – very grateful – for all that I have that has nothing to do with finances, because, at the end of the day, it’s just money, and as my brother-in-law Scott always says: “you can’t take it with you.” This too shall pass for me, I just need to feel it, release it, and move on.

So that’s what I will do. I have a great weekend ahead of me, complete with my sister Jess’s retaping for Kick tonight, and mine on Sunday (let’s rock it sis!) and a party tomorrow night. Happy weekend everyone, and if you are feeling knocked around, try and shake it off, ok?

Mini-update: Check out I Used to Have Hair/Canadian Bald Guy’s post today – the perspective poem, well, really, I couldn’t have said it any better myself. Point taken. Much needed!!

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And, as promised, an update on my date last night – with chemistry.com boy #2.

It went really well actually, surprisingly so.

I am really glad I went (cue “I told ya so’s” from all that encouraged me to go), we had a good time at dinner, and I learned more about him and what he stands behind in terms of a relationship (no cheating, no disrespect, truly seems like a nice, genuine guy), and I think I felt some chemistry too. A hug goodnight didn’t quite tell me for sure (I think he *may* have wanted to kiss me, but did not) but I think i will see him again. I just have a crazy busy week ahead, and then V-E-G-A-S the week after, so I’m just not sure when that will be).

We interrupt the usually-more-serious, usually-more-personal, usually-more-insightful blog to bring you TIAGO!!!

Yes, my friends, I got to meet my absolute FAVORITE Group Kick instructor (he works for Body Training Systems and has been in the past two of our instructor DVDs, and he’s well, very easy on the eyes) – Tiago – today after my Ride class, and well, it’s the only thing I can currently think about so I figured I’d gush, I mean, blog it out for all of your amusement 😉

One of the other Group Kick instructors (Steph) and I decided we’d “hang around” practicing on the heavy bag for awhile because we knew he was coming to our gym (from Atlanta..he puts the HOT in HOTlanta!! teehee, yes, I’m 13, suddenly, I realize) for a Group Ride Intensive class (one of those days I *really* wish I taught Ride!) and we wanted to meet him. So we did, and we chatted with a few other instructors who were still there after class (one of which was CSB…yea, he’s stil a cutie, but has NOTHING on Tiago!). Just as we walked over to practice at the bag, he walked in the door.

O.

M.

G.

Steph and I ran back over to the reception area, tried to compose ourselves as we were both super giggly, and me, well, I was shaking! Like, seriously, hi, I’m 30, not 13, how is this man making me shake in my sneaks?! It felt like meeting a really hot celebrity, on one hand, but on the other, it also just gave me a super jolt of inspiration to keep fighting my Group Kick demons and go for the gold. It was just awesome. He was extremely nice, we chatted about Kick and training for it, as well as Body Training Systems, in general, and all the work that goes into the trainings, the intensives, and the tapings etc. It was quite cool.

And, wow, is he hot. Tall, lean, muscular, and oh, did I mention he has a sexy Brazilian accent too?! Not too heavy, just enough where it’s well, sexy. Okay, seriously, I need to stop gushing. I’ll leave you with the trailer for the April ’10 release that we’re launching next week – he’s in the middle (with the “Let it Rock” song) and is the taller of the two dark-haired men – c’mon, admit it, that man is gorgeous 😉

Disclaimer – I promise this post isn’t a complaint-laden one, but I just have a couple of frustrations brewing and what better way to get them out than on my very own blog, right? So, bear with me, mmk? 😉

Frustration #1 – Group Kick.

Sigh.

So, you know that just about-the-hardest-thing-I’ve-ever-done thing – that Group Kick assessment thing? Well, there’s a chance I may have to redo it.

Um yeah, not so happy about that.

“Kimmie” my fitness director finally got around to watching my assessment video (oh, only two weeks after I taped, but I digress) and I finally got some 1:1 time with her last night after practice to get her feedback. She feels that I need to tighten up some of my moves a bit (but, in my opinion, while that’s valid, I feel the areas that I need to work on are problem areas we are all still working on), and make them more powerful. Okay, fair enough.

But.

When I asked – “do you think I will pass if I mail this video in?”

Her answer? Yes, probably.

So, why go through the torture of re-taping when I can mail that one in, and in the meantime, work like hell to improve my form issues and make my moves more powerful?

Therein lies the frustration.

While I may fight her on that a bit harder than I did last night, because I just want to get past the assessment, hopefully pass (if I fail, I retape, and by then, a few weeks from now, my thinking is that my form will have improved, so why not take the chance, right?!). So, this Group Kick journey continues and while I am mostly enjoying it all, it’s moments like this that get me so frustrated because I am working really hard and see the improvements, but on the other hand, I am frustrated with myself because I know exactly what she’s talking about regarding my power and how it wanes as the class progresses. It’s because I have always done a ton of home DVDs and not a lot of classes, so it’s so easy to just get stuck in a trance, almost, going through the motions and not pushing it as far as you could. That habit – way, way, way harder to break than it sounds.

So, I’m back at it, I’m going to kick it into high gear (no pun intended) and hopefully, hopefully, prove to her that I can do it, that I am not just good – but great.

Frustration #2

Dating. Bet you saw that one coming from a mile away, huh?!

No, it’s not my most recent foray into chemistry.com (way too premature for that!), it’s just the lack of true “success” at it – why does it seem so difficult for me – a not-terribly-bad-looking (my lame attempt at saying I’m not bad looking, without sounding like a complete ego-maniac because clearly, I am so not, and so don’t think I’m the best thing since sliced bread in the looks department – I’m ‘aight – heh.) – 30 year old, that is fun, active, happy and funny – to attract what I’d call the “right” guys – those with the qualities that I’m looking for? And, not on chemistry.com, since that’s basically out of my control, since the matches are sent to me (still something that’s hard to get used to, I must admit), but generally.

Where are the guys? Seriously, where are they?

If they’re at the gym, they don’t tend to approach (and okay, I am a wuss in that department too, probably a big part of my problem – SinglieGirlie is my idol! Heh.). If they’re at the restaurants and bars I am at, they don’t tend to approach (again, same problem, my fault there too. Catch-22 in a way). And, heck, they’re not even at the grocery store 😉

Anyway, that’s just more of a general rant, because I just wonder how the heck people meet each other these days, if not through a friend (come on friends – pony up! ha), family, or when out on the town?

Online, I suppose.

So, I’m sticking that part out, for now, and in the meantime, keeping my eyes peeled for potentials at the aforementioned places above, and maybe I’ll grow some one of these days and approach. Maybe that should be on my to-be-determined bucket list (ha).

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.

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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…

I Kicked it “wicked hahhhd” today at Group Kick – I haven’t taught a Saturday class in about a month and was feeling a little trepidation about it this morning, because I wanted to really rock it.

And, seriously, sometimes there is NOTHING better than a good adrenaline rush!

I had two friends come to class, which totally made a huge difference – seeing familiar faces – and my co-instructor and I had fun teaching, and everyone seemed to enjoy it, went with the flow. It’s been weighing on my shoulders for awhile – wanting to break out and really just go for it, and I think I’m on my way, the edge towards greatness is almost there…I can feel it.

So, for that, I am glad, and I am truly giddy for such wonderful weather here in New England! It’s close to 70, bright sunny skies, windows are open, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the weekend unfold…especially seeing CBE. We’ve been texting non-stop today, and I’m really looking forward to our time together. Stay tuned…and hope you all have a fabulous weekend!!