Thoughts on Life & Wellness

Expect the Best!

Yesterday I did a lunchtime yoga class for a local company, and ended with a reading from one of my favorite books given to me by my mentor Todd Durkin, “The Power of Attitude”, by Mac Anderson.  The reading was titled Expect The Best.  “It’s a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best.  You very often get it.” ~ W. Somerset Maughn

In the story the little boy asked his grandfather about the world situation, in which the grandfather replied his heart was conflicted.  The grandson asked who would win the fight; hate and anger, or peace, love, and forgiveness?  He simply replied, “the one I feed”.

We are all busy, we all deal with world events, local events, and everything else going on around us and in our lives.  There are ups, downs, and sometimes sideways type days.  How we choose to think about everything going on around us can shape our life.  In his book, Anderson calls it “a life-changing law of the universe…You become what you think about.”  What have you been thinking about?  Are your thoughts guiding your life?  What if you took this summer to try this?

Make Lemonade!

When life throws you lemons… make lemonade.  Not an original thought, but it puts mindset in perspective.  Why did this thought pop into view?  It was a conversation I had with a client last week who consistently trains each week, barring deep sickness or pain.  Life has dealt them what many might call a bucket of lemons, but they show up, and work as hard as they can.  They said that having someone who’s willing to work with them, and not just assume they can’t do something because they might have some limitations, makes them very thankful.  

This not only led me to this lemons quote, but reaffirmed what Positive LifeForce is about.  It’s not just a job, it’s not just a business.  It is about helping people, ALL people feel good, be healthier, and just believing in each other.  It goes both ways.  We believe in our clients, but I know they believe in us to be there, motivate, not give up on them, and find ways to get them moving.  Just because you might be in a wheelchair, not able to stand for long periods of time, have a prosthetic arm, knee replacements, or any other “limitation”. So what!  

There’s a place for you, and I’m personally proud to have been involved in creating that, along with an amazing team throughout the years.  Tomorrow I dare you to go out and motivate or help someone.  Show them that lemons make amazing lemonade (beet lemonade is my favorite).

Looking Back & Looking Forward

This  greeting  is a throwback from 3 years ago.  This one really grabbed me and reminded me how scary, invigorating, and empowering sharing your story is.  I love reading others stories… We truly believe sharing stories can help motivate and encourage others, and doesn’t it feel good to help someone else?   

I’m forced to reflect on a time when I was unhappy, sad, depressed, and overweight.  Have you been there, or are perhaps working on moving past this place right now?  We all have a story, the place we’ve come from.  We actually have many stories, some related to how we overcame obstacles, some with adventure, and others filled with fun times.  When you step back and look at your fitness journey, where did you come from?  What’s your motivation, your story? 

(Kelsey’s story) -- My fitness journey started back with a father as a wrestling coach (he’d go on to coach many other sports over the years), and a mother who was overweight most of her life.  Around my 4th birthday, she lost a lot of weight at this little hometown gym, and felt great.  That gym ended up going bankrupt and she decided if she didn’t buy it and keep it going, she’d gain it all back.  So from the ripe age of 4, my mother owned a gym (which was more like her hobby), and my father was a coach (his full time job was a teacher).  I was the son my father never had, because I was the only child they would have.  

At age 4, I began swimming competitively, then soccer, basketball, track (for one quick year, many of you know I’m not a runner), and tennis.  I decided not to play sports in college and focus on my academics (International Business/Finance).

When I was 19, my mother convinced me to become a certified group fitness instructor.  She said I’d always stay in shape and not have to pay for a gym membership.  She knew what she was talking about… until I graduated and became a Bank Examiner for FDIC.  I was traveling around NYS, living in hotels, felling alone, and far from being happy or fulfilled. Even though most of the hotels had gyms, I struggled to muster up the motivation to use them.  

Most nights I’d just get a pizza and stay in my room.  When I got a new job in Binghamton I’d already put on weight and was depressed. The new job didn’t help.  I’d go to work, sit at a desk all day, go home, and go to bed.  It was suggested that I start taking an anti-depressant, but my mother would have nothing to do with it.  

She told me to get myself over to a gym, start working out and teaching again.  If I didn’t feel better in a month, then fine, start taking medication.  Again, she was right (as mothers normally are).  After a year of teaching at a few local gyms as a side job, I’d never felt better.  However, this feeing went away when I was at my “office” job.  I knew this was what I needed to be doing.  Fitness, feeling positive, healthy, and helping others this, I knew was my destiny.  So, I quit my “office” job and started Red’s Real Fitness in April 2006. 

Change is an ever occurring presence

Change is an ever-occurring presence in our life.  There’s no stopping it.  Sometimes it’s big and sometimes it’s just the small day to day.  Many times, we don’t even notice it daily as we race through our busy lives, unless we take the time to be present and aware.  

This month we kicked off a virtual 21-Day Yoga Retreat Challenge, that helps us be more present, make slowing down, meditation and yoga a daily occurrence (even if it’s only for 30 minutes).  Doing this challenge, having my daughter Quinn (17 months old and doing something new every day), as well as being in beautiful Costa Rica with my family is really helping me slow down and notice everything going on.  

This first month is a great time to take a step back, notice where you were last year and where you are today.  Where do you want to be next year?  What changes must happen to get you there?  There will be change that you make happen and that which will happen no matter what.

Change can be scary if you let it, but we can’t live in fear.  Embrace it and if you don’t like it, take action!  Get out there and do something about it.  Don’t complain, find the positive and take control.  I urge you to take some time this month and think, write, manifest what it is you want.  What actions you can take.  

Then let’s all get out there and grab on to our ever-evolving world and make it the best we can.