Happy New Year (yes, I know it's February)

Happy 2013, everyone! I realize this post is a little past due, however, I needed some time to get my thoughts together…and a Puerto Rican vacation. For me, this year is going to signify focus – it’s a toughy, but I’ve got this. (For those of you who know me, my mind is all over the place.)

When looking back on 2012 and the intentions I set for myself, I said, “I want to explore some of my personal goals and really focus on being happy, while still maintaining my success at ‘the office.’” What does this mean for me in 2013? Focusing on the present: there is no reason to dwell on the past or let my mind take over my state of being—this can turn into an unhealthy emotional spiral. That’s just no fun. :)

One of the most important accomplishments for my career in 2012 is graduating from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN). I am proud to say that I am officially a Certified Holistic Health Counselor and accepting new clients! If you or anyone you know wants to learn more about their health, please reach out for a free consultation! Yes, I’m shamelessly promoting myself.

In the world of Equinox, I just finished a nutrition certification through Precision Nutrition and, upon passing the test at the end of January, was just promoted to Tier 3+ (the highest level at my gym). I can now offer my clients nutrition advice, in addition to kicking their butts into shape. Next up in the nutrition world, I will be taking a three-day course to become a Poliquin™ BioSignature Practitioner. This course will allow me to provide my clients a well-rounded approach to fat loss by utilizing nutrition and supplementation. I’m super excited!

In my personal life, I went through a pretty big breakup, but was a long time coming, but I came out as a better person. I learned a lot about myself, what I want in a partner and to follow my heart in all situations. A break-up is just a stepping stone to finding the person you will spend your life with, right? And for now, I will continue to enjoy myself as a single woman in Manhattan. :)

In terms of my career, I want to begin putting together a plan to start my own company, which will combine nutritional coaching and personal training. I hope to do this with a girlfriend of mine who is quitting her job. More to come on this new development!

Overall, in 2013, I want to explore, create, and of course, focus.

INTENTIONS FOR 2013

• Enjoy simple pleasures: short trips, books, yoga, meditation, cooking

• Spending time with and visiting friends and family

• Volunteer work - in the US or overseas

• Make every moment count and use my free time productively

• Continue advancing my studies of nutrition, kinesiology and anatomy

• Finally use the art supplies under my bed (I purchased last year) to paint

• Take weekend trips (lots of them!)

• Monthly massages

• Visiting sites in NYC that I’ve yet to see

• Updating this blog!

 

Back in time: Review of 2011

I realized that I never posted my review of 2011 to my blog, so here it is...2013 to come shortly! I can’t believe it’s already 2012; 2011 has been the fastest year of my life. Maybe that’s because I’m 30 now? I remember when I was a child and time would go by so slowly – it felt like decades before summer could arrive and I could play. Now, I celebrate Halloween, and all of a sudden there are Christmas decorations and then bam, it’s December 31st! A lot has happened this year, and instead of sending a holiday card of me doing a plank on a NYC park bench, I decided to make a lovely little blog post for you to read. So, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, and Happy New Year!

In December of 2009, I moved out to San Diego to attain my EMBA in Global Entrepreneurship from SDSU, which would have led me to Hong Kong, India and Abu Dhabi. Close to the program’s start date, it was canceled, but I decided to live in San Diego for the year with my best friend, Jodi, rather than move back to NYC. I soon realized that a career in business and marketing was just not the best path for me (with some help from my friends and family). So instead of wallowing in sadness over lost opportunities, I got my personal training degree through the National Academy of Sports Medicine.

After a year of having tons of fun with my friends in San Diego, visiting family, traveling (Hong Kong, Malaysia, Italy, Hawaii and Iceland), it was time to get back to the real world…all the way across the country. I moved back to NYC in January of 2011 and just four days after I moved back to my old apartment in Soho, I accepted a position as a personal trainer at Equinox in the West Village, a short walk from my apartment. I can’t say I knew what I was getting myself into, but I knew I was pursuing this career for me and nobody else, which felt awesome (and still does).

Professionally, I have accomplished a lot in a short period of time (I like to think). I built an amazing base of clients whom I love. I’ve gained an incredible educational experience and, I really do love my job. I went through an intense education program, which took me from a Tier 1 trainer to a Tier 3 Trainer in under 10 months. I followed the advice of my managers and all the hard work paid off; for the months of October, November and December, I was the number one trainer at my club.

In the midst of my studies, I gained numerous certifications including Pre- and Post-Natal, Power Plate, ViPR (Vitality, Performance, Reconditioning), FMS (The Functional Movement Screen) and TRX (Total Body Resistance Exercise). Also, in September, I started nutrition school at the Integrative Institute for Nutrition to become a holistic health counselor. The degree will finish in September of 2012, at which point I will be ready to take on nutrition clients (yes, you can refer your friends). J

In 2011, I worked a lot, sometimes not taking a day off for four weeks. Yes, I was successful, but this year, I want to explore some of my personal goals and really focus on being happy, while still maintaining my success at 'the office.'

INTENTIONS FOR 2012

•       Love

•       Take a long vacation

•       Go on a weekend yoga retreat

•       Get monthly massages

•       Sleep more

•       Spend more time with friends and family

•       Paint

•       Read

•       Save money

10 Tips for Health in 2012

2012 is here and with it brings us a clean slate. Ah. I’m sure there are a number of changes we want to make in our life this year, but sometimes it’s better to make gradual changes. Here’s a list of 10 things to try this year! Happy New Year! 1. Put Yourself First! I know we always talk about putting other people first, but sometimes it’s all about you! Your boss, your kids and your significant other can wait. Put your mobile device in a place you can’t see it and give yourself some TLC. Take a yoga class, read a book, see a movie, walk through the park, go to the gym, cook a meal; whatever it is, do it for you. Sometimes we all need a little break to restart our engines. You deserve it.

2. Build and Maintain Healthy Relationships! A healthy lifestyle starts first with loving and respecting yourself and second, by loving those around you. Studies have shown that people who have close relationships and are involved in social gatherings (temple, church, book club) lead happier lives, so whether it’s a coworker, a significant other or a family member, enhance those relationships! For example, if you haven’t spoken to an older relative in a while, call them (yes, I know…the dreaded phone) – they love hearing about your life and you will mutually benefit from this experience.

3. Take in Fresh Air! Fresh air provides you with a steady supply of oxygen, which is needed by your brain and every single cell of your body. If you stay in a closed in area for a long period of time, you will end up breathing in the same air over and over again. The oxygen content of the air will go down continually as you (and whoever else happens to be in the room with you) breathe out carbon dioxide and other wastes. I know it’s cold for us east coasters, but a little fresh air will do your body good, so next time you finish work, think about walking home; if you don’t have time, just open a door or window at least once a day.

4. Create Positive Thoughts! We all have bad days, rough situations and annoyances in our lives, and of course we’ve all had “bad childhoods,” but we don’t need to bring these experiences into our social situations. You know why? It’s no fun to spend time with someone who is always complaining and brings a negative energy to the room. So, the next time you feel that urge to burst out with something negative, try channeling your energy toward something you healthy, e.g., taking a yoga class, reading a book or listening to your favorite song.

5. Try Something New! Whether it’s a class at the gym or rock climbing, with the plethora of fitness facilities, yoga studios and everything in between, it’s the perfect time to try something new! And you never know, you may even make a new friend. In December, I tried Strengthen, Lengthen and Tone (SLT), a Megaformer class where you do just that, in only 50 minutes. It’s only $20 for your first class and you’ll be hooked.

6. Find a Workout Buddy! I remember back in 2004 when I had just moved to NYC by myself and didn’t know anyone, I had to make friends the way little kids do; at the sandbox. ;-) I took coreSati™ and intenSati™ at Equinox every Tuesday night and on occasion, I would take willPower & grace© on Saturdays. I started to see a girl every week and eventually we introduced ourselves and finally, we became ‘gym’ friends; we then made plans to take these classes together and it was so motivating! And we are still friends (outside of the gym, 7 years later).

7. Make a Mitzvah! Do something nice for someone else this year. This can be as small as holding a door for a mother with a giant stroller, or as large as donating your time to an organization which helps people. Sometimes giving money is the easy way out, so use the skills you have to make a difference. For New Yorkers, NYCares offers a variety of events to help others, from planting gardens to building houses to packing backpacks for children starting school.

8. See a Personal Trainer! They’re expensive, I know, but when you just aren’t able to make changes to your body, sometimes insight from a professional will give you that extra kick in the pants. It’s always nice to have something holding you accountable for that slice of pizza you had yesterday or that cardio session that you skipped. Yes, it’s like having a second mother / therapist….and it just feels better to have someone tell you what to do, right?

9. Get some Greens! We could all use a little more green in our lives. Take a look at what you’re eating for one day and see if you have greens as part of your diet, and I hate to break it to you, but a French fry isn’t a green. Sad, I know. What I’m talking about is spinach, kale, broccoli, collard greens, chards, etc. If you’re lazy, you can grab a green juice from a number of different places in Manhattan (Organic Avenue, Whole Foods (BluePrint), Juice Generation, to name a few), and you’re all set!

10. Drink Water! Your muscles that move your body are 75 percent water; your blood that transport nutrients is 82 percent water; your lungs that provide your oxygen are 90 percent water; your brain that is the control center of your body is 76 percent water; even your bones are 25 percent water. Lack of water can lead to dehydration, a condition that occurs when you don’t have enough water in your body to carry out normal functions. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired. Drink up!

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Food for Thought: The Breakfast Experiment

For one of my homework assignments in IIN (more details about my enrollment in The Institute for Integrative Nutrition in my bio), I was asked to evaluate what I eat for breakfast and see how my energy is affected. Now, remember, we are all different, so what works for me, may be the exact opposite for you. :) NOTE: I sometimes have other items for breakfast, e.g., an almond milk based smoothie, Kashi cereal with almond milk, or even a bagel with regular cream cheese (rarely), and I definitely go out for breakfast or brunch once or twice a week, but the following are my usual suspects during the "school week."

Option 1: Heart Happy: Oatmeal with 1 T honey, ½ T cinnamon, 1 chopped banana, 1 chopped fresh kiwi (fruit depends on the season)

Option 2: A Twist on the American Breakfast: 2 pieces of Men’s Bread filled with an omelet of 3 egg whites and spinach (or 2 fried eggs), ½ avocado

Option 3: Liquid Energy: Green Juice from Organic Avenue (I choose one with at least 10 grams of protein)

Option 5: Silky Smooth: FAGE yogurt (0%), with blueberries, strawberries, 1 T agave nectar, ½ T cinnamon; or Siggi’s Icelandic yogurt (either a fruit variety or plain with agave)

As a personal trainer, I sometimes have back-to-back clients from 6:30am to 1pm. Since each of my sessions is 60 minutes, I usually have about 2 minutes in between sessions to shove a snack down my face and go to the bathroom, not necessarily in that order. I will usually bring a snack of nuts, fruit, Larabar or green juice, but the most important factor for me is getting full enough to last throughout the morning. Another piece to the puzzle is being full, but not sluggish, so I need to choose wisely.

And the winner goes to Options 2 and 3; protein is key for my long mornings. The eggs are great if I have a little extra time to make them, and juice if I’m in a rush—I’m full, yet energized and don’t need to have a snack until about 11am! When my days aren’t as packed, I can have some of the other options, and also indulge in some reading time at one of my favorite places: Snack Taverna. J

I urge you to try your own version of this breakfast experiment, See you YOU feel! And if you want to share your findings with me, I would be interested to hear how it goes.

When life gives you lemons, sip away!

Thanks to my friend, and successful holistic health counselor, Alexi, I have learned a lot about lemons. In the past, I've used them to begin my morning when doing a juice cleanse or detox, but more recently I've been incorporating warm lemon water into my everyday routine! From stomach problems to weight loss, these little guys are amazing for you and easy on the wallet. So, next time you reach for OTC remedies, think twice, and pick up a juicy lemon. For more nutritional tips and homeopathic remedies, contact Alexi.

  1. Good for stomach Lemon can help relieve many digestion problems when mixed with hot water. These include nausea, heartburn and parasites. Due to the digestive qualities of lemon juice, symptoms of indigestion such as heartburn, bloating and belching are relieved. By drinking lemon juice regularly, the bowels are aided in eliminating waste more efficiently. Lemon acts as a blood purifier and as a cleansing agent. The intake of lemon juice can cure constipation. It is even known to help relieve hiccups when consumed as a juice. Lemon juice acts as a liver tonic and helps you digest your food by helping your liver produce more bile. It decreases the amount of phlegm produced by your body. It is also thought to help dissolve gallstones.
  2. Excellent for Skin Care Lemon, being a natural antiseptic medicine, can participate to cure problems related to skin. Lemon is a vitamin C rich citrus fruit that enhances your beauty, by rejuvenating skin from within and thus bringing a glow on your face. Daily consumption of lemon water can make a huge difference in the appearance of your skin. It acts as an anti-aging remedy and can remove wrinkles and blackheads. Lemon water if applied on the areas of burns can fade the scars. As lemon is a cooling agent, it reduces the burning sensation on the skin.
  3. Aids in Dental Care Lemon water is used in dental care also. If fresh lemon juice is applied on the areas of toothache, it can assist in getting rid of the pain. The massages of lemon juice on gums can stop gum bleeding. It gives relief from bad smell and other problems related to gums.
  4. Cures Throat Infections Lemon is an excellent fruit that aids in fighting problems related to throat infections, sore throat and tonsillitis as it has an antibacterial property. For sore throat, dilute one-half lemon juice with one-half water and gargle frequently.
  5. Good for Weight Loss One of the major health benefits of drinking lemon water is that it paves way for losing weight faster, thus acting as a great weight loss remedy. If a person takes lemon juice mixed with lukewarm water and honey, it can reduce the body weight as well.
  6. Controls High Blood Pressure Lemon water works wonders for people having heart problem, owing to its high potassium content. It controls high blood pressure, dizziness, nausea as well as provides relaxation to mind and body. It also reduces mental stress and depression.
  7. Assist in curing Respiratory Disorders Lemon water assists in curing respiratory problems, along with breathing problems and revives a person suffering from asthma.
  8. Good for treating Rheumatism Lemon is also a diuretic and hence lemon water can treat rheumatism and arthritis. It helps to flush out bacteria and toxins out of the body.
  9. Reduces Fever Lemon water can treat a person who is suffering from cold, flu or fever. It helps to break fever by increasing perspiration.
  10. Acts as a blood purifier The diseases like cholera or malaria can be treated with lemon water as it can act as a blood purifier.

I'm a Personal Trainer at Equinox!

My fitness goals are all coming together! Professionally, that is. I moved to NYC in January (yes, I seriously have failed at keeping up this blog) and six days later, I got a job at Equinox (The old Printing House on Leroy and Hudson) as a Personal Trainer. Yay! The only company I wanted to work for hired me, which means that I didn't have to job hunt and the best part is my commute to work is 8 minutes! I am a lucky girl.

Funny part about getting a job at this Equinox location is that, two years ago, when I was a member of Printing House, I was actually kicked out of the gym for training someone. Of course I wasn't actually training someone, I was just working out with a friend...but, I was asked to leave the gym. Luckily, it all worked out for the best.

From day one at the gym, it has been insane; for two months at three times a week, I was taking classes at EFTI (Equinox Fitness Training Institute), doing Equifits (the two free sessions given to members upon joining the Club), working floor shifts (putting away weights and flapping my gums with the members) and managing my clients. For many days straight, I was working over 11 hours. My sleeping patterns weren't so good and it was hard to make time to eat...and if I don't eat, I get extremely grumpy (many of you know this).

As a trainer, my lifestyle is a bit different from my leisurely year in San Diego. My days consist of waking up at 5:30 or 6:30am, training my clients, going to EFTI and somehow finding time to workout, which has been a challenge with the weather. I miss being able to run around Miramar Lake in San Diego and doing my six-mile hikes at Torrey Pines, but I can't complain because I have the Westside Highway and Central Park. Somehow these options aren't as appealing, especially when I jog past the helipad and get a free rock facial.

One of the major hurdles in getting clients is that the gym currently has no showers because the top two floors are being renovated. Thankfully, I have only lost two clients from this inconvenience and they will return once the upstairs opens. After Equinox purchased Printing House (in December of 2010), they did a complete remodel—the ground floor is now open and the top two floors, which include a rooftop pool and outdoor space, will reopen in September once they are up to Equinox standards.

That's my update for now. I will do my best to post some new workouts and some new eats! And remember, it's not fitness, it's life. :)

Resolutions for Life!

It's that time of year again when you're supposed to make New Year's resolutions and set goals that will make your life better for next year. My problem with this concept is that each day presents a possibility to make tomorrow better, so we do we always wait until January 1st to make these life changes? If we make gradual adjustments to our day-to-day life, instead of at the beginning of each year, we be toasting to a great year past! Now doesn't that make the champagne go down easier?

Do you remember when you were growing up (not to say that I'm a grown up now) and your parents, family and friends used to ask you what do you wanted to be? Do you remember that question like it was yesterday? I do. I think I wanted to be a dancer or an interior designer or a teacher and I'm sure it changed every time I found some new interest. Why is it that now, at age 29 (almost 30!), I still feel vexed by that same question?

The New Year is a perfect example of this age-old question. With the overabundance of career paths available these days, it has become harder to know how to channel your interests into a meaningful and successful career. In addition, with the economy the way it is, people are more apt to jump into a disappointing position just to pay the bills. This is fine, but use this job as a stepping-stone while you really explore your true interests. I'm not ignoring those people who love their jobs, but many of my friends are perplexed when it comes to "what they want to be" and how to get there.

I was in the "I don't know what to do" category. I was in the marketing and publishing industries for five years and realized that I was not happy, but for some reason, I couldn't change my situation. So, how did I change? I put my mind to the test and set goals for myself, both proximal and long term. For starters, I made a list of my interests and activities that describe who I am, and my friends helped me fill in the blanks. I already had this blog about health and fitness and I was bored with my job—I needed to make some changes to get out of the rut.

If you feel like you're not 100 percent satisfied with your current situation, try making a list or asking your close friends/family their thoughts on what you would be good—it sounds silly, but sometimes we need someone to tell us what to do. It was clear to me that I was destined begin a career in fitness and health and multiple people confirmed my decision. I constantly have friends and family telling me I made the correct decision and it feels good to hear!

I started taking the steps to fulfill my passion and I am a Certified Personal Trainer through NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine). I started with the proximal goal of passing the test, and the long-term goal of getting a job as a trainer. I studied my butt off, loved everything I was reading and I passed the test; the most important factor in my success was a positive attitude and motivation. Your mind is a powerful tool, my friends.

Remember, you are accountable for your tomorrow. Put your brain to the test and make each day a better day for you and only you. I wish you all a happy and prosperous end of 2010 and cheers to 2011—make each day your best day ever!

Slap Your Negative Thoughts with an Om

Yoga is my way to take a break from life's stressors. For one hour, I turn off my brain and choose an affirmation for my practice—whether it's eating healthy for the day, working out consistently or having a positive attitude toward the people around me—whatever it is, I get to make it happen. If I'm having a rough day or if I'm anxious about something, yoga is the perfect way to escape. I was talking to my friend today, who was griping about how she had to pay a fee to change her plane ticket, and she was ANGRY. Later in the day, I was shopping at Trader Joe's and some woman yelled at me in the parking lot for and almost drove her car into my car because I apparently cut her off. This made me ANNOYED. These situations happen almost every day; some people yell, some cry, some complain, and some even try to run you over. Believe me, I'm not one to stay calm and deal with every situation in the most mature way all the time, but when something doesn't go your way, it's important to find a way to channel your negative energy into something positive. If you get mad or upset, who are you helping?

How do you release tension and rid yourself of unhealthy thoughts?

With my personal training test coming up, I've been studying intensely over the last few weeks to get those last few chapters finished, and yoga has been my good friend. When I want to turn off my brain and relax, I head over to Sol Yoga, my favorite hot yoga studio in San Diego's La Jolla area. I have taken a couple different classes, but I love Power1 because it's a combination of Vinyasa flow (different poses each class) with Bikram (the same 26 poses every class). The class is 60 minutes and the room is heated to 95 degrees, whereas traditional Bikram is 90 minutes and heated to around 105.

If you love regular yoga, you will really love hot yoga; once you get accustomed to the intensity and sweat dripping out of your pores onto your towel and the floor (literally). I do a lot of weight lifting outside of yoga, so I love coming to class a day after a tough workout at the gym because I get to really stretch my body and relax the tight muscles. Also, a lot of people don't realize that yoga is a full body, conditioning workout, so if you don't believe me, try it and let me know!

One of the most important parts of yoga is breathing. In our respiration process, we breathe in oxygen, which goes through our systems in a form of energy to charge our different body parts; we then exhale carbon dioxide and all toxic wastes from our body. Through the practice of yoga breathing, the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide is attained, so with your breath as your guide, poses become easier and more fluid. I have always had issues with breathing (I'm a chest breather, rather than a stomach breather), and yoga has been instrumental in improving my technique and reducing anxiety. Other benefits of yoga are listed below (from Sol's website).

Sol is great because most of the teachers will adjust your form to make sure your body is in ideal alignment. You want to make sure each posture is correct to reduce the chance of an injury, and when you leave class, you will be more aware of how you move in other situations. One of my favorite instructors is Chaise, because she makes a point to correct and help students achieve the best postures. In addition, she makes yoga approachable.

One of my favorite poses is Ardha-Kurmasana (half tortoise pose). Half tortoise is great for tense necks and shoulders, increases blood flow to the brain, which enhances memory and mental clarity, and this posture also stretches the lower part of the lungs, which is therapeutic for asthma, and counter indigestion, flatulence, constipation and irritable bowel syndrome. If you type all day on a computer, you will love this pose, too! I'm sorry about the picture; it's the best I could find.

Tortoise Pose

BENEFITS OF YOGA Physiological Weight control Increase strength and flexibility Strengthen and tone the body Increase energy Improve circulation and complexion Posture and alignment improvement

Psychological Relieve mild depression, anxiety, and fatigue Improve sense of well being Improved sleep Personal growth and self awareness Promotes peace and relaxation Better mental function and focus

Biochemical Detoxify and stimulate organs and glands Improve metabolism Stimulate central nervous system Improved immune response

Inspirational Musings: Becoming a Personal Trainer

Inspiration comes in many forms: what is inspiring to one person (their kids or significant other) can be completely different from someone else (their career or even their pet), and so on. A while ago, I was complaining to my girlfriend about what I want to do long term and she said, “Let’s start with what inspires you.” She made it sound like such an easy question.

About seven months ago (for those of you who don’t know), I moved to San Diego to pursue an EMBA (Executive MBA) from San Diego State in global entrepreneurship, where I would be traveling to Hong Kong, Abu Dhabi and India for one year. One day prior to orientation, I received a call that the program was cancelled. WHAT? I quit my job, rented out my apartment in NYC and moved across the country for this program. How could this happen? This EMBA was my Plan A; there was no Plan B.

I was already in California, so I took this time to visit family and friends, travel overseas and enjoy the time off from the real working life (hey, I may never get this opportunity again). I took things day by day. I suppose I could have gone back to the city and resumed my "normal" life, but I looked at this tragedy as an opportunity because I wanted to remain positive (or try). I knew that a negative attitude would not bring my program back and would not be advantageous to my future. But, yes, it sucked and there was no one to blame, so I moved on.

As I got settled in San Diego, I never took the time to think about the big picture and ask myself some key questions. What will I do for work? What do I WANT as a career? Which city do I want to live in? Do I want to find another graduate program? Do I want to move back to NYC? People would ask me what my plans were and I didn't have a definitive answer—I was still figuring it out. I think I needed my friends and family to help me learn what, in fact, inspires me.

For most of my life, I have been an active person who is interested in health in fitness; I even started a blog to share my knowledge and tips with others. On a day-to-day basis, I'm genuinely interested in fitness and health and I can spend hours creating tasty and nutritious meals, more hours talking about food, and even more hours eating the food. All this eating means that fitness plays a major role in my everyday routine, and I’m always finding new ways to stay in shape (I think I do a pretty good job of this most of the time).

After some thought and hints from my friends and family, I made the decision to become a personal trainer. FINALLY, I figured out the answer to the question (for now). I am inspired by the idea of helping people obtain a healthy lifestyle. The next question clearly was: How do I do I get started?

I talked to a bunch of friends (and friends of friends) who are personal trainers, and they all LOVE their jobs and feel their careers are rewarding. This was incredibly motivating to hear. I inquired about which program to take and they suggested I get a certification through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). One of the most recognized CPT (Certified Personal Trainer) certification, the NASM course is an at-home curriculum, which posed a whole new set of problems for me.

I have been out of regular school for a long time and without a professor to tell you what to do, it’s just me! I remember when I had full-time job in NYC and somehow found time to study before and after work for the GMATs (test for EMBA), take Spanish classes at lunch and copyediting classes at night. I stayed up late, found time for friends and family and didn't feel stressed out, but now I do. WHY? Without a full-time job, I have all the time in the world, yet, without a set schedule, studying is much harder to tackle and time management has a whole new meaning to me, but I’m getting there…slowly.

I have to tell myself when it’s time to study and I actually really enjoy what I’m learning. This is not work; it’s fun! I’m a quarter of the way through my NASM textbook and I plan to take the test mid-October. This means I will be a real CPT—this is exciting...and really scary at the same time! Yes, I love fitness and have the right mindset, but when doing something new, it's always a challenge, but I know that I’m on the right track, which feels wonderful.

The most important point is that I’m taking the steps in the right direction and working toward something that inspires me: becoming a personal trainer. What comes next? You’ll just have to wait and see.