Snow Day! (but not for all of us) + Other News

Lake effect

As you can guess by now, the drive impacts many portions of my life, including work. So with personal things going on plus the chance for copious amounts of snow and ice, the decision was made for me to work from home. Good thing, too, because the Texas weather dictated a few hours of ice before the snow which makes driving obviously treacherous. As I stared out the kitchen window from the safe and warm confines of today’s workplace, i.e. my kitchen table, I hear children playing while the snow pelts the lake behind my house. It’s definitely beautiful, but I’m lucky to not have to be out in it.

Unfortunately for my co-workers, the snow in my part of Texas did not share its presence with them. A mere 2 hours away, all they’ve received is rain and above-freezing temperatures. Sucks for them. Sort of. This precarious balance of weather, work, and life brings me to my other news.

Do they make seat warmers for outdoor furniture?

I have resigned from my position within Anytime Fitness. The drive and the toll it has taken on my mental well-being came to a point I can no longer handle. I’m fairly certain if not for the car accident a few weeks ago, I would still be making the commute. To be clear, I love my career in fitness, especially with Anytime Fitness. The opportunities I have been presented overwhelm my heart and soul. The stories I’ve been blessed to hear, the incredible people I’ve met, and the generous work of my owners and their family will not be forgotten. This journey in fitness will continue for me and them but in separate capacities. These past 9 months have been incredible.

Do people still use pencils?

So what will I do now? I’m not fully certain at this point. Not drive? There are some other career passions on the horizon for me, I’m sure. I will regain the confidence necessary to drive in all weather conditions. And I will never take for granted the relatively simple task of traversing the roadways with other drivers. Also, I will continue blogging, right here, same time as always. These posts have become a sort of therapy for me – many emotions have splayed across these pages. I try to share the obvious, the not so obvious, and the deeper parts of myself in hopes I can reach others who may be struggling, too.

Thanks to each one of you, I believe life is a series of stepping stones. Some are slippery and covered in mud; others are a brilliant square of marbled beauty.

________________

I ask you –

Do you play in the snow or stay inside?

How much hot cocoa is enough?

Tell me your career passions. Entrepreneurs?

Season of Sickness

Seems I had it coming. It was bound to happen. Your body can only stand being coughed on so many times before it becomes overwhelmed and can’t fight all the germs it comes into contact with. Everyone in our family has had whatever this is on an alternating basis for weeks. From yucky, runny noses to the open-mouthed, deep in the chest cough my mini human shares so willingly with me. Ewwww. It’s just no wonder!

Needy child, not pictured

But being the stubborn woman I am, I fought it tooth and nail. And with a minuscule amount of DayQuil because I fall asleep after taking anything. There was a full 24 hours where my voice toggled between a pubescent boy and a frog’s croak. I think everyone around me enjoyed this immensely. Blessed silence! And I had the most insane dreams – that’s for another day.

It seems we’ve all survived. The parents are cured, the husband isn’t milking it for all it’s worth anymore, and the munchkin only wants medicine if it includes honey. Me? Oh, I’m fine. A mother’s work is never done. All I got was a poor pitiful look and the request for more snacks. I swear I could be on my death bed and someone would still find me to ask for a da*n snack! I continued to tip-toe around the house careful not to disturb anyone’s slumber (because…sick), go to work, and field a litany of phone calls (sans voice). Where’s my celebratory snack?!?!

For the love of all that’s holy, please just wash your hands

With this world succumbing to the flu, coronavirus, and everything else, the simplest task does the most to prevent illness. Wanna guess what it is? Wash your hands. That’s all there is to it. Wash your hands. Every time I shake someone’s hand or touch a piece of equipment, the amount of grossness I encounter disgusts me. Surprisingly your skin doesn’t wash off. So if that’s your excuse not to wash your hands, consider this myth debunked. Wash your hands, please! Use soap and scrub under your fingernails and between your fingers. Sing happy birthday to yourself. Just do it!

End of this PSA. Lastly, don’t drink bleach, you idiots. Why are we still having to tell people not to do this? Morons.

______________________

I ask you –

Do you skip washing your hands? – please don’t tell me if you do; I’m already appalled

Did you know hand sanitizer does not double as hand washing? – wash your da*n hands!

Tell me the other stupid things you’ve seen/heard suggested to prevent illness.

20/20

I can’t stop laughing at the jokes about people wishing Barbara Walters would host the New Year’s Eve ball drop in Times Square because then she’d say “And this is 2020” or something to that effect. Puns are my favorite.

*giggle*

Since the fitness industry can feel like it revolves around capitalizing on the human population’s desire to commit to resolutions and those resolutions typically happen on New Years Day and most, if not all, Mondays, it would be wrong of me to tell you this isn’t really my favorite time of year. But it’s really not. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. I believe each and every person who walks into the gym January 1st has the very best intention to get their health in order, to make the steps it takes to change their life, and to reach all the goals they’ve set. I truly believe it. But if I could change one thing, it would be to inspire them to change their life before it gets to this point. Before another Monday sneaks up on us. Before another decade arrives. Before they’re at the point of no return. As I am a realist yet also a dreamer, this is conflicting.

However, before you discount my ramblings as sheer cynicism, please remember I believe in you. I believe you can do this without me, but if you need help, I’m with you on your journey. My faith is unwavering. My words are upbeat and kind. I will cry and laugh with you. Occasionally, I’ll even be stern with you. Because I believe you can do this.

“This” doesn’t always refer to joining a gym. I believe you can do anything. Read it again and yell it out loud for those talking in the back. I BELIEVE YOU CAN DO ANYTHING! Anything! You want to be a master sculptor? Do it! You want to complete an Ironman? Go for it! Time for a job change? (Are you a personal trainer? Call me!) 2020 is a time for celebration because it just is. Because why not?! And 2020 looks really cool when you write it so I think the reason speaks for itself.

Told ya!

My goals: peak performance, write, and do hard things. Not necessarily in any order. More like circular goals. Nonetheless, the old ways aren’t working – time to try something new.

______________

I ask you –

What are your resolutions?

If you don’t believe in resolutions, tell me something you plan to do this year.

What year was your best? (physical best, most accomplishments, etc.)

Mood(y)

Sometimes I refuse to allow myself to cry because eye cream is expensive and I already have forehead wrinkles. Considering trying collagen to alleviate the roadmap that is my skin. According to modern research, women should look at their mothers to determine how they will age. This isn’t going to end well, if that’s the case.

Roadmap to the stars

Also, as I have a large forehead (a fivehead, if you will) I expect to pay more over the lifetime of face lotion and sunscreen because I will use more. This is crap. And over the weekend, my naturally long eye lashes scratched my eyeball. If that’s not a first world problem, I don’t know what is!

In all seriousness, the holidays are emotionally draining to many – myself included. Frankly, I’m tired of holding people together. I once said “I’m so busy helping others when they fall apart, but when I fall apart, there’s no one there to catch me. When is my day?”. Guess that’s the trouble with being a rescuer, a fixer, an empath. Reaching out takes a toll on my sanity and my mental health.

So I’m stopping. There’s a handful of people I contact every single morning. I’m not anymore. If you want me in your life, you know where to find me. A million other people can reach out to me when they’re ready to have a two-sided conversation. I’m done trying to be everything to everyone. I owe it to myself.

But so this post doesn’t come across as selfish and (too) moody, being seen and acknowledged is most important. I see you. I acknowledge your struggles and that you may need to do things for yourself only. Totally get it. However, the doormat days are over and the door is slowly closing. In terms of fitness and physical health, the flip side of the coin is finding things you love to do and will sustain long term well-being. Running and exercise in general does that for most people. Keep it in mind as you traverse the holiday season.

Struggling

Lastly, a few members shared their thoughts about me and the words ‘customer service guru’ were thrown out there. I’ll take that as a win. Double lastly, I have a fear of dumpsters. Just leaving that here.

_____________

I ask you –

How long do you think this mood will last? – copious amounts of Midol isn’t helping

Any suggestions on these wrinkles (nothing involving needles, please)?

Tell me a time when your personal resolution to yourself was successful.

33% – Odds are Not in My Favor

Need a blank card? I have drawers full

Should be no secret cards are my love language. I enjoy the process of writing a message inside a blank card, addressing it, placing the correct postage on the front of the envelope, and raising the small red flag on my mailbox to indicate I have something important to be delivered.

Recently I mailed 3 cards within a few days of each other, for various reasons. Usually cards are a ‘just because’. Remember opening the mailbox when you were a child and receiving a colorful envelope with your very own name on it? Did you feel excited? Even as adults that same feeling still exists. And it’s amazing. My grandmothers and great aunt instilled in me a sense of thankfulness. It was required as a child to send thank you cards after holidays and birthdays and any other time you received a gift. Some may say this is an antiquated practice now – who has time to send a thank you card. I do. You do.

Truth be told, I felt a little disappointed when I didn’t receive a response from the cards I sent. Only 1 of the 3 recipients said thank you for thinking of them. A real thank you. One didn’t reply at all. Tis better to give than to receive. However, acknowledgment goes a long way. My feelings may have been a little hurt at the lack of thanks…but I think the real culprit was the level of appreciation, i.e. I’m not sure if it was there.

Practice thankfulness

Do you appreciate what your body does for you? How often do you consider all the work your fingers, hands, and feet complete in a day? It may seem silly. We often take for granted what others do for us and, in that, we’re taking for granted what we do for ourselves. We treat our bodies like garbage cans, feeding it junk and expecting it to give a peak performance. Trash in, trash out.

The symbolism between writing cards to express your feelings for someone and showing your body gratitude is not lost on me. No, I don’t see anyone writing letters to themselves, though maybe we should, but your soul’s love language may be equal if not greater than the love you show yourself by treating your body well. Massage. Healthy foods. Strength training. Conditioning. Working on balance. All ways to treat your body right. I know we get busy and we forget to say thank you. But you should thank yourself every day in some small way.

Written with love

__________________

I ask you –

What’s your love language?

How does the above indicate how you treat yourself?

Do you know how to mail a letter and address it properly?

Will You Accept My Challenge?

There’s power in the hands that hold you up

A few days ago, I found myself in a situation needing advice and wondering who to turn to. Over the course of a conversation with someone whose experience and wisdom inspire me, she shared how brave and strong she believed me to be. At the time, I was very puzzled by her words and thoughts perhaps she was saying this just to make me feel better. However, her opinion matters deeply to me – she speaks her truth.

But isn’t that how it goes? Being our own critics and negative cheerleader, we can’t find the good in ourselves. We feel weak, deem ourselves unworthy of love, and place unrealistic expectations on our lives. P.S this is where social media fails us as humans.

Why is it so hard to see how amazing we truly are? In my case, it was a family values flaw, most likely. Having confidence was considered vain and talking about what mattered to you was shunned. I could go on forever how terrifically awful my childhood lessons were but we don’t have time. Nevertheless, I have a daily goal to uplift one person. One! In a day, I probably meet/see over a hundred people so my goal is a miniscule 1%.

There’s one lesson so large I can only hope to instill in my mini human: be kind. Like Ellen always says. It seems so small, just be kind, but apparently it’s the toughest in practice. Elements of kindness exist in each part of our day; the opportunities are forthcoming every minute to share kindness but for some reason we choose not to. Perhaps we don’t know how? Well, I know how and I’ll be d*mned if I sit around waiting for anyone else to show the person I created inside my own body how to be kind. She will know it very well.

A smile is worth a thousand words

At this point, I think it’s appropriate to challenge you, my lovely readers and friends, all 3 of you, to also establish a goal to share with someone how valuable they are in your life. It could be anyone. It could even be your pet – I’m not picky! But please share your feelings and emotions. Your words could have the impact of a lifetime to those needing to hear they’re not alone. We are all worthy.

_______________

I ask you –

Have you ever had an experience of being on the receiving end of someone’s truth?

How many people will your kind words impact?

Smile at a stranger. It may be the difference between living and living.

“When did this happen?” and other things we wonder

Juggling life feels exactly like this

Let me set the scene:

PRT (physical readiness test for all you non-Navy people) next week so I should probably start running today. Right? Ummm no.

Swimsuit season begins tomorrow so Monday should be a good time to have the body I want to achieve. Right? Again, no.

Are you getting the drift or do I need to input more examples of how this never works? Honestly, I don’t get it. In our society of instant potatoes (that’s what I call our propensity to have everything we want immediately) why do we wait so long to make changes to ourselves? Why do we wait until the doctor says we have heart disease to realize our weight, lifestyle, and choices are out of control?

I think it’s because we don’t notice the small changes day to day. For example, you mowed the grass last weekend. Each day it’s been slowly growing back to its prior form. But you won’t notice until next Friday when you drive by. The grass didn’t grow overnight. It gradually made its way to shin-length. Same with our health. But the more you “let it go”, the more it goes. I’m a free agent – I cannot be controlled!

So when did this happen? Today. Yesterday. It keeps happening! But we’re busy people and we don’t realize it until it is too late. Except it’s never too late!

What is wrong with starting today? NOTHING! I post regularly about making changes immediately. We both know if you say tomorrow then something will come up and tomorrow will be pushed further into the future. Today looks like the only choice to me. Do it.

“candy wrapper dreams”

A very lovely lady in my life likes to use the phrase “I’m in good shape for the shape I’m in!” Her advanced age brings about a certain wisdom and truth that can only come from living as healthily and happily as possible. Do you wonder what you’ll be like as you age? All the time! Will I be an angry old lady because I didn’t live the life meant for me or will I be teaching the millenial alternative to step aerobics at age 95? Time will tell. Days progress and march forward like tiny ants on their way to the candy wrapper dreams are made of.

What else do we commonly wonder?

_______________________

I ask you –

What have you been putting off getting started?

What instant expectations do you subscribe to?

Do you believe in the power of today?

Passion + A Calling

Indeed, it did

At a recent informal event attended by women of varying ages, the discussion centered on finding your passion. Apparently it’s the rule, not the exception, to set your passions aside for numerous reasons.

Ha! And only a few weeks ago, I think we had a conversation about committing publicly to a goal (or quest, as I’ve seen it written these days). Side bar – on the topic of quests, I’m beginning to come around to this terminology because a quest can be lifelong. A goal, on the other hand, tends to lead the belief we must conquer and create anew.

Back to our regularly scheduled programming – Excuses. That’s what I took away from the women’s group discussion. Whether of our own design or otherwise, reasons for being unable to follow our passion are never-ending. Something always keeps us away for a period of time. Money, life, parenthood, time itself, the list goes on. So what does it take to find your passion and hold it at the forefront of your quest? Beats me, I just write this blog. I’m obviously kidding. Did you really expect there not be jokes on even a serious subject like passion? I joked about death before. See post: https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/running-on-fumes.blog/273. Let’s move on quickly before my boss notices.

In discovering our passion, or quest, as it may be, (I’ve written other posts on a similar aspect), there is a lot of back and forth on how to begin. Do you want to know the best way to get started? Just Do It! By overthinking, you lose the momentum you’ve built up in your mind. Passion can be lifelong; it can also be fleeting. Strike while the iron is hot – and all that jazz.

Often I wake up with these fantastically great ideas – an urge to DO something! Not like eat cereal at 1am (though if you’re called to do so, I have no complaints), but an idea of greatness. This being said, I’ve needed close friends and family to talk me off the proverbial ledge when my ideas and reality don’t quite meet. This Pisces blood is strong. I’m a dreamer. And let me express as vividly as possible: my dreams are incredible! I’m called to be an author, to be a trainer, to be a legend (if only in my own mind).

________________

I ask you –

Are you called to do something?

Activism is also used a term for calling. Do you know any activists?

What are you most passionate about? It can be anything!

What’s New?

Much like spring cleaning, join me on this exploration of old and new stuff I’ve located in my house (aka mind and body) in no particular order

Pixel-y and beautiful

Book writing: let’s add some more stuff to my fully-loaded proverbial plate and take on the project-in-progress of many years. I began writing a book the year between my undergrad and grad school. As life got more hectic, I put it away and haven’t revisited it since. No better time than the present! In developing myself as a person, a woman, a mom, I decided to begin writing again. There’s no EDC (estimated date of completion), but I plan to maximize effort after December’s training cycle comes to a close. Which brings me to another topic…

Training: is going well! Committing to a plan to run 4 days per week is definitely less stressful than the previous 5-6 days a week. Even knowing I have to run both days of a weekend is somehow easier to accept than I originally thought possible. On other plans, I would dread the weekends. I was a super b-word until I got my one long run in and I would feel like a complete failure if Monday came and it hadn’t been done. Now? I run Saturday and Sunday. It’s a normal part of conversation. The schedule pretty much runs itself (puns for life). I aim for outdoor running – occasionally I can’t make it happen, but usually I’m successful. The only pitfall was the length of the runs. With some slight adjustments, I’m back on the track to success.

First double digit run went smoothly!

Motherhood: Some days I amaze myself at what I’m able to show her – my patience knows no bounds. Other days we each need a time out and I consider adding wine to my coffee cup. Your shaming has no place here. As a smaller version of myself, mini-me can push every button I have and create ones I didn’t even know were there. And then she smiles. If she wasn’t so cute… Being her mom is the greatest blessing of my life. Nothing compares. At times I don’t know who I was before her, then I feel a tingle in my heart and I know she and I were created to meet.

We drink coffee together. It’s half caff. Shut it.

Lastly, work: busy is an understatement. Building a brand, a vision, and melding the minds of multiple people is a job not for the faint of heart. It’s time consuming. But creating connections between people with the same goals is awe-inspiring. Daily (seriously, not a day goes by) I encounter people who share their stories with me, a stranger. Some are wilder than others; many settle heavily in my soul. It could be a story of perseverance or a synopsis of loss – collectively, it makes an impact. My goal is to bring out the best in these warriors who have come to me looking for someone to help make a difference in themselves. Every task brings us closer. Anytime Fitness fulfilled a passion within me; I can’t imagine not being the face of another’s desire to do so. Also, I got a green light to begin training. Training others, specifically. It’s a natural progression in my line of work while also adding a few tons to my already heavy plate. However, I’m stoked to begin this path again.

Stay tuned for another episode of Kel’s Crazy Life. I look forward to sharing this journey with you.

Always,

Kel

Seen it on the ‘gram’ + Are we missing the mark?

“Those damn millennials – all they know is Facebook and Instagram and Snapchat!”

I’m all about perspective

Social media (SM) maybe isn’t the bad guy we make it out to be. SM is a tool to share our successes. We post about our passions. We share the things we love to post. If ‘celebrate your success’ is a phrase literally celebrated, then why is it so wrong to do so? Personally, I enjoy taking a sideline view of another’s dreams. Not for judgment or criticism, but to watch them grow as humans. I follow many people on social media. Newsflash > if I don’t like what they’re about or what they post, guess what I do? I tap the small box that says ‘unfollow’. You won’t find me being a rude, hateful, opinionated asshat on their posts. It’s not worth that much time.

Disclaimer: Many aspects of our lives should not be shared. Situations are private and details are not necessary. Validating our beliefs and choices via SM indicates a lack of decision making and autonomy. SM is absolutely not the place to air your dirty laundry…and trust me, we all have some. End rant.

Have you looked back at your previous posts from years prior and wondered what in the world was I thinking then? Ugh. Cringe. The things I thought were cute or kitsche or would somehow help me blend in with whatever crowd I was trying to be in…who was I? Huge possibility the same thing will happen to me in 10 years. However, I hope I remember what it FELT like to write, post, blog, talk about were things my passionate inner self loved. Running, baking, reading, learning something new, exploring! Legacies are built on the stones of passion.

Social media is this crazy outlet in our world today. If you didn’t write a lengthy post about overcoming adversity or about how much you think you know on a subject – did it even happen? Perhaps some understanding, or even forgiveness, sheds light onto what we see on our feeds. People are being conversational; they’re sharing what’s important to them. Applying fundamental understanding would do a body good. Again, I shall reiterate, if you don’t like it, then don’t follow them. Writing angry remarks is uncalled for and can also lead you down a dangerous legal path if deemed racist, homophobic, etc. Be nice, people!

To show my age: I joined Facebook when it was exclusively available for college students. Seriously. That’s how it started. The registration requirement was a valid college email address. I still remember mine. kelly.atwell.0313@mwsu.edu. Don’t ask how I remember the stupidest stuff, but can’t tell you if I applied deodorant this morning. Somewhere during college, Facebook blew up and now it’s an insult if you don’t provide every living, breathing person you know with a friend request within 3.9 seconds of meeting them. Oh, I did apply deodorant because I have the stain on my black shirt. In case you were wondering. Big shocker here – please make sure you’re sitting. I don’t have a Facebook account. Wait a minute, Kel. You just said you did. Not anymore. Before munchkin was born, I deleted my account because my privacy was invaded by an angry person hellbent on “making right the wrongs others had committed” or some paraphrased version of such. It’s not a pretty story. I was always careful about not sharing too much on SM. I followed all the rules of being a military member who had SM accounts. Unfortunately, family and friends had public accounts and shared every part of their daily lives so it was only a matter of time before I was connected to them. I had it coming. So in order to keep my life and the life of my munchkin private, I hit delete and haven’t looked back.

These days I’m expected to maintain an active SM presence within the Anytime Fitness community. This has come at a bit of a cost. Namely, my comfort levels at what I can access. There’s been a few occasions of searching for people and getting more than I bargained for. This reinforced the belief I am absolutely not ready to have my own account again because if I didn’t have a career I adore, I might have said not nice things and caused the walls to come crashing down. Human, here.

So is SM good or bad? I don’t know. It is probably not as bad as its reputation provided it’s used correctly and not as a platform for hatred or blasphemy. Teenagers and young people should still be monitored, in my opinion. Even some adults should be monitored! But if you’re using it as a gateway to share what you love to do, then you’re not hurting anyone. Be safe, be smart, and be kind.

so many options

Shameless tag:

Find us here:

Facebook: @anytimefitnessroanoketx and @anytimelascolinas

Instagram: @roanoke_anytimefitness and @anytimefitnesslascolinas

Twitter: @TxAnytime

_______________________

I ask you –

How many SM accounts or platforms do you actively participate in?

Are you one of our followers?

Advice on staying out of trouble on SM?