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?

A Muse Amused

Recently it came to my attention the term “self care” is millennial in origin. Forgive me, I had no idea. I don’t really identify as millennial although I’m sure many would argue my point. You see, as a child of the mid-80s, growing up with older parents lent me a perspective of drive and self-sufficiency. Also, I was a middle child. It was hard! Millennial, aka Gen Y, alludes to traits of entitlement and laziness. Most certainly I am not. But, to be fair, I can’t change what year I was born or what catchy name it will be given so here we are. Written from the desk of a Millennial. You’re welcome.

I shall anoint an area of stress free zonage

The topic here is self care which can mean something different for everyone. Your idea of self care might be a glass of whiskey and a guitar (here’s looking at you, Dan). My idea shifts between a cup of coffee and a 35,000 word count book. Or a bubble bath. Basic. At one point I was referred to as a close friend’s muse. We must’ve missed the mark because a muse would never be this funny! Or would they? I take relaxation very seriously. So seriously, in fact, I don’t even know when I have time for it so when it does happen, it’s a very real luxury. Parents, please raise your hands and glasses high.

Inspiration for others I may lack – but I do know we don’t take care of ourselves well. I write this from my laptop, with my desktop computer set at full volume so I don’t miss emails, whilst (trying out my English lingo) juggling the phone and making calls, beside an empty refillable water cup. Nailing it, Kel! Essentially, I’m over-multitasked, dehydrated, and potentially deaf. Let’s not forget I’m a perfect candidate for carpal tunnel. Fantastic.

My home coffee station is self care at its finest

Self care is unplugging and self-exploring. But who has time for that?! You best make time, that’s all I can say. The chance of you suffering from a stress-induced ailment is so high. If you won’t take care of yourself, who will? Is this that millennial notion to believe others will always take care of me, my every whim will be catered to, and my protective bubble shall save me from my own mistakes? Good try.

Even the muse must find her own muse. Or else suffer the wrath of becoming amused. Ta-da. An amused muse. In taking this to a fundamental level, I can only hope I bring inspiration to more than who simply find me annoying and long-winded. I come by it honestly, trust me. Looking for your own muse? Well, sorry, I’m already obligated to another. But I can find you a lovely candidate! Kidding, this isn’t a muse delivery service. However, obligations extend beyond providing another inspiration. The obligation should foremost be to yourself. Do as the millennials do: practice self-care. And amuse yourself.

___________________

I ask you –

Do you have a muse? What inspires you about them?

Self care: take it or leave it?

Are you a Millennial?

Magical Motivation

What if I told you there was a magic weight loss pill? Lies. All lies. Imagine if I told you that magic pill lives inside you. Truth be told…

Living for today

The philosopher in me likes to quote Sir Webster – Motivation is defined as “the general desire or willingness of someone to do something.” Unfortunately for us all, motivation is an abstract concept, not a pill or drug to be ingested. Not even an idea to learn and accept. Damn the luck. Life without motivation is a proverbial half squat. You’re literally half-assing your life. Squats, even half, have a place (in life), but you’re not giving it even a good ol’ college try without motivation to complete the full squat. Maybe you have an injury and that’s your reason for being unable to do the full squat. I get it! But does it bode well for you if you’re fully recovered from said hypothetical injury and still only doing half squats? Herein lies the problem.

What does it take to motivate you to begin working on your self? Bribery? Gifts? A new wardrobe? Only you have the answer. I spend the majority of my day eliciting reasons for motivation from members and non-members. Why now? What has changed in your life to bring you here today? Do you have a support system? What results are you looking to obtain? (all actual questions I ask on repeat)

I can tell you I’ve heard it all. From “my wedding is in 3 months” to “my kids are unable to sit on my lap” to “I was recently diagnosed with (insert health condition)”. I share in every reason, every excuse and counter it with the motivational phrase that fits whatever particular puzzle each person is working through. It’s exhausting, let me tell you. But no matter what I say or do, I can only change so much. I can give you the key, the instructions, the time, and the space, but I can’t, as much as it pains me to say, actually MOTIVATE you. I failed the course on miracle-making.

The experts tout a few simple ways to be motivated:

Set a goal.

Get excited!

Commit publicly.

Think about it daily.

Find your WHY!

3 out of 4 isn’t bad! Here’s my advice: find something you love and do it! Think about how whatever it is makes you feel and dive in! It’s perfectly healthy to doubt your ability to complete something; however, don’t let that prevent you from trying. Ask why not instead of telling yourself I can’t. Whether it’s Free By Fifty or going to bed 1 hour earlier than usual, commit with your whole heart!

______________

I ask you –

What goals have you set for yourself?

Did you share those with anyone or keep them to yourself?

How do you self-motivate?

3 Short Stories

If you know anything about me to this point, you realize my ability to tell a truly short story is impossible. My insincerest apologies. You literally signed up for this. Sorry ’bout your bad luck.

First, the story of the 2 young Sailors I met. In Las Colinas, it’s been rare I meet other Naval personnel. Usually I encounter Army and Air Force. We’re all brothers and sisters in one way or another, but meeting fellow Sailors is a good kind of special feeling. In moving to the area, this couple blossomed under my questioning. Not the intrusive questioning. I’m not a monster. Once I shared I, too, am prior military, they became so animated…sharing how it’s been tough to find a small, quiet gym that feels like home. I knew these people were my calling. They needed to hear what makes Anytime Fitness different. By the end of the night, the handshake lingered and the seemingly uncertain couple I had first encountered at the door were all smiles.

Sailor traversing a flight deck

Next, a story of heartache. In the same day as the above, a wonderful woman approached me in the gym. She inquired about personal training, then relayed to me the story of a past incident with a trainer. She quietly shared her utter disappointment and palpable pain from what she’d been told: her working out 3x a week would never be enough to see the results she wanted and to follow this pamphlet of food guidelines though “no one ever does it”. My heart broke. I felt tears welling up. She looked defeated. Apologies flowed from my own lips. I asked would she ever be willing to try again with someone new, someone who would encourage her, make her a priority, share in her triumphs? She didn’t hesitate when she answered yes. You can’t knock down hope and faith. I offered her a few options and made plans to follow up. She left my office with a smile; I could tell a weight had been lifted.

Finally, a brief introduction to Apolo, head coach at Anytime Fitness Las Colinas. I believe his passion is some of the most incredible I will ever witness.

Coach Apolo

Apolo is a Marine Combat veteran which he rarely shares unless a special occasion arises. He holds an Associate’s Degree in Advanced Personal Training from Bryan University. Apolo is CPR certified and is an AF Functional Training Group Coach. But you know what he truly excels at doing? Forming relationships. He is a builder of things personal and tying it into what makes people tick. His clients share their stories of what he’s done for them, but his humbleness prevents me from being anything other than one-sided. He’ll tell you they did all the work; he simply encouraged them and provided the right tools. But really that’s a lot! Not to take away from their progress, but to be fair, Apolo has gone above and beyond in knowing what they need, how to push them, and to do this over and over again. Somehow he finds time to embark on his own fitness journey! Let it be a reminder: he did verbally commit to running the Marine Corps Marathon with me next year.

These connections are what we’re about. Restoring humanity one workout at a time, one conversation a day.

___________________________

I ask you –

Are your stories endless or do they glide to a stop?

Tell me a time you encountered someone who’d had a bad experience and how you tried to turn it around for them.

Will you commit to a marathon with me next year?

Halloween Whodunit / Fall!

Hocus Pocus: one of my most beloved movies

The goal in my house is whoever scares Mommy the most wins. Ugh. I hate this game. You see, I’m not really a likes-to-be-scared type of girl. But my Munchkin takes this game very seriously so I play along. Unwillingly.

Mantle decorations

Who can deny cooler weather and boots and leggings and pumpkin spice everything is awesome?! Basic. Get off me. From a fitness perspective, this is the time people start making their winter goals and trying not to let the holidays impact them too much. For me, it means PRs and an extra cup of coffee to warm up!

I love the change in gym dynamic during this time of year. There’s fun colors and a more relaxed feel, but also some heavy hitters in the weight training area. It’s not lost on me most people use the colder months to lift heavier and do a little less cardio. Even I was trained this way. However, if you want to PR your runs in the spring, it’s important not to neglect the cardio portion of your workout. Insert functional training!

I find functional training combines all my favorite activities: strength building + elevated heart rate. It saves time, too, since I’m not doing 2 separate workouts. Mainly, it holds my interest and keeps me engaged. Pounding away on the dreadmill has all the appeal of going head to head with a mountain lion. No thanks, I’ll pass. I don’t run fast enough for that crisis.

Now I realize I’ve digressed from cooler Fall to colder than snowflakes Winter, but somehow, each year, the transition is less than gradual. You wake up one day to the beautiful leaves changing. Next thing you know it’s an ice warning. What the….

Empty candy bowl = small favors

Typically I end up forgoing a training plan after my final fall race, but I know how important it is to keep up the work and maintain a mileage base for the first glimpses of Spring. So I challenge you each to create a goal for the fall/winter and stick with it. But make sure it’s actually challenging! Try something new: hike in the snow, walking lunges indoors with your kids, try a yoga session! Or come by here and see me and we’ll do a group training session together!

Whatever you decide, enjoy yourself and get through the cold(er) months with your sanity and hoodie intact. If you need some ideas, I’m always listening and will be updating you along the way with the new adventures I partake in!

____________________

I ask you –

Favorite holiday?

Is Halloween your thing or no? Definitely not mine, but as a parent, things change.

Something new you’d like to try when it’s cold out?