The taste of success.

Blackberry season always reminds me of the years I was a single mom, living on welfare in Sedro-Woolley.
One day in August, there was about $10 in my checking account and I’d already run out of food stamps for the month. So the kids and I walked down the river road and picked pails of blackberries.

We smashed them into a pretend jam for sandwiches and put them on pancakes (using that oh-so-processed Bisquick mix). We survived.

It’s hard to be poor, hard to be unhealthy, hard to be a single parent. It’s also hard to work 3 jobs and go to school full time. You just have to choose your “hard,” I guess. (I wish there’d been this amazing internet back then!)

It took me years to get out of poverty — and it was only with the support of other women that I made it. That’s why I’m passionate about helping other women be strong, healthy and financially independent. I’m paying it forward by helping others start an online business like mine.

It’s funny … to some people, blackberries are the taste of summer. To me, they’re the taste of success.

No more boring meetings

If I wasn’t a fitness coach, I’d most likely be sitting in a boring meeting right now, listening to someone go on and on about something that isn’t my passion.

Instead, I’m working online, in the peace and quiet of my home, connecting with people who want to change their life, not waste it.

Does online coaching work? Yes.
Can anyone do it? Yes.
Is it easy to get started? You bet!

I love fitness and the way it’s changed my life. I went from being shy and awkward to someone that others look up to, just because I was crazy enough to start working out. Exercise gives you strength – mental as well as physical. It makes you stand up taller and feel confident in your own skin. It’s funny — some people think it’s great because of the weight you can lose. I happen to think it’s amazing for what you gain.

My passion has become sharing that message with other women, hoping to inspire them to start a more active, fulfilling lifestyle. I can offer them support and encouragement, and make recommendations for fitness and nutrition solutions.

I partnered with Beachbody several years ago, because I realized I can only reach a small number of people in my zip code with my message. I want to help women everywhere, not just in my home town. Being a Beachbody coach allows me to recommend the highest quality fitness and nutrition programs. I get a ton of support from other coaches and from the company. And I share that support and those resources online with my clients. Win. Win. Win.

No more boring meetings for me. I’ve turned my life into something much more meaningful and rewarding. You can, too. I’d be happy to help you.

Oops. Hit the fence.

I’ve traveled more than usual recently – two fitness conferences in the same month, one in LA, the other in Nashville – lots of fun but crazy busy times. So I may have been a little sleep-deprived and unfocused when I got back home. That’s the only way I can explain how I might have driven into our fence.

It’s just a minor scrape, but costly to fix — cars seem to be made out of aluminum foil these days.

When I got the estimate for more than $1300 to fix the car (not counting the fence), I could’ve whined and cried and been super mad at myself. Instead, I decided to look at this as a lesson in time management: Slow down and watch what you’re doing at all times, even when you’re just driving out of the garage.

The fence you save may be your own.

Purple Is Not An Old Color

I’ve always loved purple. I’m not one of those, “When I am old, I shall wear purple” kind of people. If my mother were here, she could tell you about a purple dress from Sears and Roebuck that I wore so many times in the second grade she finally had to throw it out.

It doesn’t matter to me that it’s the color of royalty, although I do like that it’s associated with nobility, power, and ambition!
I don’t believe it means I “hate responsibility,” as one website claims, but I agree it’s a sign of being a free spirit.

Loving purple has its downside: Given the choice, I’ll always buy the purple shirt that’s too big instead of the pink one that fits better. And if I get bored with my hair, I’ll turn it purple.

But it’s not an age thing. It’s a state of mind — I’m okay with that.

Motivated to Move

I hate to lose a contest, don’t you? That’s why I usually always jump into the latest FitBit challenge with my friends. When I see I’m losing, it makes me more motivated to move.

Don’t get me wrong, I exercise almost every single day. But there’s a difference between a 30 minute workout and consistently moving my legs throughout the day. One is great for cardio endurance, the other is good for my heart and brain. I need both!

In this new day and age where so many of our normal movements have been replaced by technology or automation (think email versus going to the post office or mailbox; blenders versus hand-mixing; drive-up or digital tellers versus going to the bank) we need to be conscious of our daily activity level.

Are you getting 10,000 steps every day? I guarantee you’ll feel better, sleep better and get more done when your brain gets more oxygen and your leg muscles get stronger. Try it!

Gotta Have Variety

I’m an early adopter of technology and fitness gadgets – you can usually bet I have the latest iphone or i-whatever. (hold on, my watch is talking to me)

When the first TRX system came out, I had to have it. Not ever really seeing one in action (why wait?), I envisioned swinging gracefully across my workout room, al a Lara Croft in Tomb Raider. Little did I know this isn’t a bungee cord thing — it’s an industrial-strength strap that works with your body weight to give you a killer workout.

Why do I like having so much fitness equipment? I love exercising but can get bored quickly, especially if I’ve already done something more than a few times.

That’s why you’ll find all kinds of fitness DVD programs in my workout library, everything from TurboFire and P90X to Tabata Bootcamp and various yoga programs.

I think one of the secrets to long-term fitness is to mix it up — add some variety. I applaud anyone who says they’ve been running for 20 years, but come on, the same route every time?!

And I love it when I hear someone say they love dance fitness, but really? Is that the only form of exercise they’ll consider doing? What about those arms muscles that aren’t getting used much?

Our bodies weren’t made for repetitive motion (ask anyone with osteoarthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome), and our minds aren’t stimulated when we do the same things the same way, day in and day out.

So in my home workout room, which I’m happy to say is about three times the size of my kitchen (I’m not a cook), you’ll find all sorts of exercise odds and ends. Toys, gadgets, flash-in-the-pan fitness fads that I just “had to have!”

Like a long padded thing that sits on the floor and you walk across with bare feet to improve your balance! Or the various balls and bars and bands to use for resistance, in all colors, sizes and renditions.

I’m not saying you need all this by any means! What I’m suggesting is find some small portable fitness tools that keep you interested and keep working your muscles in a variety of ways. (need ideas? let me know)

Set up a little circuit: go from one exercise to another, spending 1 minute at each. Use some fun music but mix that up, too.

Life is just way too short to do the same thing all the time — build in some variety! Be your own version of Lara Croft.

What’s your focus?

I just found the strangest thing stuck in the back of a drawer: a “personal mission statement” I’d written in 2001.

It says, “Bring women together to have fun, get stronger and embrace their power.” This was way back when I worked in the field of domestic violence advocacy — and had also just opened my first fitness studio and was teaching 20 exercise classes every week. (I was younger and crazier.)

What we focus on is what we make happen!

Thanks for embracing your power, getting stronger and having fun with me,Kris Johnson, Misty Macagba Corne, Carole Dillon Straathof, Helen Ovenelll,Colette Stewart, Becki Hooverr, Debbie Temple, Melissa Fann McAdam,Brenda Blanchette, Rohanna Mercer, Megan Kost, Melissa Hockettt, Kathleen Hurn, Kathy Howelll, Elise Hemenway, Darlene Olmstead, Marie, (and others) at our Country Heat Kickoff this week at Encore Fitness.

Don’t Wait to Live

Some of you may know that my husband used to own a yacht brokerage. Every month or so he’d tell me about an older couple who just bought their first sailboat and how happy they were — it was something they’d wanted to do for years but kept putting off.
Then, sadly, one of them would get sick or injured and could no longer sail (it takes strength, stamina and balance!). Or even worse, one died and the other was left with a boat that had lost all its joy.
Why do we wait so long to live, when we know life is so short? Travel while you can!
What are you waiting for??

Surround yourself with fun people

Did you know? We are the sum of the five people we spend the most time with. Think about it — if you’re surrounded by friends and family members who tend to be negative, pessimistic and unhappy, that rubs off on you. I’m not suggesting we have to remove those people from our life, but maybe we should limit our time with them, and choose to surround ourselves with fun people who are optimistic, happy and upbeat.

I’ve noticed that the happiest people are those who:
• Don’t take themselves too seriously
• Are grateful for their life
• Value their health
• Enjoy physical activity
• Tend to look on the bright side

I’m fortunate to have found a lot of those kind of people working out at Encore Fitness. It’s hard to be “down in the mouth” when you’re shaking your hips to some wild Zumba song, or working out hard with weights.

If you want to meet some great, fun people, and if you’re lucky enough to live near Concrete, please feel free to drop into any of our Encore Fitness workouts.

Someone said the other day, “But where are you located?! I didn’t see any signs!” That’s funny, I’ve never really thought about that. I guess most local people know we’re at the historic Concrete Theatre, 45920 Main Street.  See the theatre website.

We have workouts throughout the week, please check the schedule. Each month I create a new rotation of classes, focusing on cardio, strength and dance-flavored styles.

Need more details? I’d be happy to talk with you. Call or text: (360) 466-8754.
Email Me.

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