A time to reflect

I’m two hours early at my gate as I get ready to depart for Orlando.  Well, first Seattle, then Detroit, and then Orlando.  Its the perfect time to think, and to share what’s happening in my life.
For the past two years, I have traveled to Orlando twice a year- once in the spring and once in the fall.  Each time I go, I have a chance to reflect on the past six months.
Since the beginning of 2012, I have been a part of a coaching/networking community of fitness business leaders from North America and the world.  Conveniently, it’s based in Orlando- hence the trip to the sunny state of Florida twice a year.  And on this trip, I’m one of five finalists for the Member of the Year Award.
When I started to think about my Member of the Year application, I thought of the accomplishments in my life that I was really proud of.
The first was the summer of 2004 when I road my bicycle from Tofino, BC (west coast) to St. John’s Newfoundland (east coast). It took us 70 days to make the 7000 Km journey from coast to coast.  There were many amazing days, and there were some struggles. I remember the  morning when we woke up to 2 degrees, rain and head wind just outside Calgary (seriously…. Alberta has got to work on its weather!), and the day were we got 5 flat tires in one day (and downpour) in the Maritimes.  There was the week of knee pain when I really wasn’t sure I was going to be able to continue, and the great idea to ride 340 kilometers in 24 hours.  But after 70 days, we made it to Signal Hill in St. Johns, Newfoundland.
The second was late 2009 after the birth of my son, Jacob.  We got pregnant after three years of trying, and four rounds of IVF.  Having a difficult time getting to the baby-in-the-belly stage, I was blessed with a very, very pleasant pregnancy.  Learning how to breastfeed, however, was one of the most frustrating and challenging times in my life.   It was excruciating, and in the early weeks, would take upwards of an hour or trying before Jacob would get a proper latch.  The helplessness of not being able to meet the needs of another human being who depended on me was an absolute struggle.  I would ‘get it’ for a feed or two, and then hit another barrier.  The choice to breastfeed or bottle-feed can be a sensitive issue to some people and I am fully supportive of either choice.  Personally, I had preconceived the notion that I would be breastfeeding, and it was something I really wanted to experience.  Perhaps it had to do with all the interventions necessary to get this far.  Sharing a bottle of wine at home alone would have been way more fun!  Either way, I wasn’t ready to switch to formula.  Maybe I’m just stubborn.  It took 6 weeks before breastfeeding was easy, and another 2 weeks before it was painless.   Once I got it, it was worth it.
I realize that in order to be really proud of something in life, there are three criteria that need to be met:
1. It needs to be something I really want; something that I was passionate about.
2. There has to be a challenge.  If it’s really easy, there would be no sense of accomplishment.
3. I have to have some level of control over the outcome.  Otherwise, it would be enduring a difficult process rather than accomplishing something.
Where I have come in with Ascend Fitness, and now being a finalist for Member of the Year is a third accomplishment I am very proud of.  And here’s why.  Two years ago I was an independent personal trainer- traveling from house to house, gym to gym, training clients, and then coming home to answer emails, make phone calls, and do administrative work, then getting up at 4:30 the next morning to do it all over again.  And I like it- because I love working with clients and being a part of their success.  When I made the decision to grow and change, I knew that it wouldn’t be easy, but I had a vision.  I wanted to help more people, I wanted to create more of a community, offer more services, and not shut down because I wanted to take some time off.  I also wanted to be able to spend more time with the other people who are important to me- my family.  Last year I wrote a ‘letter from my heart‘ which describes my motivation for change.
The past two years have also been tremendously challenging.  There were many nights where I was awake at 2am or earlier because I was worrying about something.  There were many days (and there still are) when I’m at work for 14 hours.  There were times when my relationships wore thin, and I would ask myself if its worth it.  But each time I overcame a struggle, I became a stronger person.  My business is a catalyst for personal growth.
Finally, I can control the outcome.  I can choose.
When I look at the three accomplishments- cycling across Canada, learning to feed Jacob, and growing a business, I see that there is one more thing in common: I never did any of it on my own.  On my bike trip I had my bikemates.  When learning to feed Jacob, I had Keith with me through tears of pain and frustration.  I had the support of the nurses a the health unit.  And during the growth of my business, Keith supported me, encouraged me, and believed that I could do it, the entire way.  My parents,were ALWAYS there to help me.  When it came time to open my own studio, I had friends, my neighbours, my family and my clients, to help.  I have an absolutely incredible team: Tanya, Gord, Jane, Carleen, Sharon and Spencer.   I also have the constant support of the coaching program in Orlando, and an amazing group of other fitness business owners.
Now… you have to know that I’m going to relate this to fitness somehow 🙂
Here it is:  My journey in with Ascend Fitness, and your journey in fitness are very alike.  I know that being healthy and fit is something that is important to you.  If it wasn’t, you wouldn’t be reading this far!  I also know that the journey will have challenges to overcome.  There may be injuries, days when you really feel like sleeping in and missing your workout.  There will be times where you have to push yourself to do more than you thought you could- because Gord, Spencer or Jane know that you can.  I also know that you and that you are in control over your results.  You choose to get up for your workouts; to plan your meals.  And finally, you have support.  You, just like me, can accomplish so much more with the support of a team than you could ever do on our own.  I am honoured that we are able to support and coach you as you accomplish something you should be very proud of.
Thank you for taking the time to ‘listen’.  Be proud of what you have accomplished.  I look forward to the weeks, months, and years to come.
P.S. And, if you’re not a part of our team right now, click here to get started! 

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