Posts Tagged ‘motivation’

Don’t Wait to Live Your Best Life NOW!

photo © Lovely Valentine

Once upon a time I felt invincible. As if I was cloaked in confidence with a clear purpose that enabled me to be extremely self aware, refusing to accept any limits on what I could achieve. I knew where I was going and there was no question that my dreams would be fulfilled. It’s as if I ate, drank and slept a limitless supply of awesomesauce that that I could see and tap into. I lived. Once upon a time.

It’s been some time since I felt such energy and fulfillment, and I’m not sure I know what it feels like anymore. I can’t pinpoint a specific date, but there came a time when my confidence reserve ran dry. No more confidence. No more purpose. Leaving a vulnerable and unfocused drifter  often scared and fearless. Where was I going? And seemingly overnight, my hopes for success and gratification vanished. What was left was a woman, a woman I couldn’t face in the mirror. I let her down. I let me down. I immediately felt as if success wasn’t attainable – that I was destined to struggle for the rest of my life. That I had no control over what the future had in store and I was merely a passenger in my life.

The combination of balancing serious health issues, single parenthood, a dysfunctional extended family and an evolving relationship took it’s toll. I had enough. Instead of finding a plan B, C or D I did something I’ve never done. I accepted my situation as my life, for life. Instead of viewing my current situation as a setback or hurdle that could be conquered I saw the opposite, resulting in crippling fear of anything new and unfamiliar and a need to be alone all the time. When I looked in the mirror, I had no idea of the girl staring back at me. I refused to face who I’d chosen to become.

I realized too late that “our soul and psyche need breathing space – a respite from leaping from one to-do to the next” and that feeling unhappy was something I refused to accept as normal. I hid in the background and was waiting for someone else to make my life better, as I assumed I didn’t hold the resources necessary to truly change my life and hone in on my passions.

For weeks I’ve been asking myself “Alex, what are you waiting for? What is holding you back from living the life YOU want?” I have a ton of reasons: family commitments, fear of the unknown, lack of confidence, money and most importantly the fear of greatness. The stress and doubt has cumulated and created a nervous and scared girl weary to make any changes in her life. If I couldn’t see the next step, I couldn’t move forward.

While commuting to work this morning I thought about the choices I’ve made (good and bad) and how when I lay my head on my pillow I feel something missing. So I proceeded to call my estranged Mom, my estranged sister, my 94yo grandmother and my Uncle whose son committed suicide just before Christmas. I craved comfort from those who had both challenged and loved me fiercely. To achieve I knew I needed support. Most conversations were full of tears but left me with one crucial takeaway:

DON’T WAIT

Don’t wait to tell the people you love how important they are to you.
Don’t wait to try something new.
Don’t wait to live abundantly.
Don’t wait for opportunities to present themselves.
Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable.
Don’t wait to celebrate you.
Don’t wait to soar.
Don’t wait to LOVE YOU.

I’ve struggled with constant feelings of disappointment and not being good enough or adequate enough for many years. I often feel inferior to my peers and find myself miserable more than happy. I couldn’t see the power I possessed. I couldn’t see the love I had to offer. I couldn’t see my purpose. And now I know that “only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live.”

Whatever obstacles you face, regardless of how fearful you may be – put in the work in first loving YOU. Appreciating YOU.Feeling fully at peace in your soul will open up opportunities you couldn’t ever have imagined. So, DON’T WAIT. Go out, achieve, ask for what you want and don’t stop until you get what you deserve. Because, you are worth it.



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I survived my 1st week at Crossfit Medusa!

I generally tend to think I’m pretty badass. I mean…I birthed a child, what can’t I do?!

But when it comes to exercise and fitness I tend to count myself out before I even start…terrible, I know. I haven’t prioritized my health and wellness and as a result I can’t fit 90% of the clothes I own. I feel heavy, and have become quite insecure. I’ll workout for a day and look down at my stomach expecting to see some chiseled abs after 35 minutes of exercise. I haven’t got time to wait….ain’t nobody got time for that!

I recently had to ask myself, how badly I wanted to change my life. How badly I wanted to prioritize my health and wellness and how hard I was willing to fight for it. First, I signed up to run in the Tufts Health Plan 10K for Women in October, it’ll be my first race and I’m really nervous but I paid for it so I’m running it! And next I needed to commit to a workout routine that would motivate me and help me change my body. I’d been doing TurboJam on and off for a few months, was considering purchasing TurboFire, but then an all women’s Crossfit opened near me.

My inner badass immediately thought, Crossfit? No problem, sign me up! I stopped by Monday morning and met with the awesome owner Liz Mellen who psyched me up and got me all excited, and by Monday afternoon I’d signed up for a month of unlimited workouts. I’ll go every day this month!! I thought! Man oh man I didn’t know what I’d gotten myself into.

Tuesday afternoon I was ready – Day One of Crossfit – I got this! I was the only student in the class at the time so I had the owner Liz and another trainer all to myself. Halfway through the warmup I was panting. I thought, oh shit WTF did I get myself into. The WOD (workout of the day) was 3 rounds of: 200m run, air squats, and lunges. I tried not to let my inner badass run away, so I smiled and said sure no problem, when inside I was freaked. I was crazy slow, cursing while on the run, wondering who puts themselves through such torture. By the time I came in for the last set of air squats and lunges both coaches were cheering me on as I slowly finished up. I walked in a daze home, drenched in sweat, happy I burned 800+ calories, but worried about future classes.

Day One Highlight: Crossfit T-Shirt for showing up & not giving up.

Wednesday I woke up stiff as a board. My whole body hurt. It hurt to walk and bend my knees. My cousin, another Crossfitter, told me to fight through the pain and go to class even though I was hurting. So I went to class, unprepared for the ass whooping about to happen. There were two other girls there and Liz and Alexis Picheny, another trainer, were teaching the class. Once again I was sweating by the end of the warmup – and out of breath. The WOD included 18 minutes of rounds of jumping jacks, burpees, and ab situps. BURPEES? They are about the worst exercise ever. I had to modify them because of my knee. The other two girls were on fire, whipping through it, and then there was me. I felt like a slug, everything hurt, and I was out of breath, and the burpees killed me. But lovely Alexis stayed close by and encouraged me to push through it. I was dripped in sweat at the end…and had to go back to work. I was so pissed that it was so hard for me to get through the workout that I cried. Yup, I cried when we were done and sat talking with Alexis who was amazing and so supportive.

Day Two Highlight: I cried.

Yesterday and today I have been in such pain from back to back workouts – I was clearly too ambitious. I’m also doubting if Crossfit was the right workout for me to get into since I haven’t been working out recently. I’ve paid for my month and will stick it out at least that long. The cost after that more than doubles which plays a huge role. I thought I was so ready to see my body change that I would do anything. But shit Crossfit is crazy intense, and my inner badass needed to sit down!! One thing is for sure – Crossfit yields results. In two workouts I burned over 1600 calories – that’s CRAZY! And based on how my body’s feeling and how on fire my abs are I know that if I were to continue there is no way my body would stay the same.

Week One of Crossfit done. Recovering this weekend so I can mentally prepare for Week Two. GULP!

Fitness motivational quotes1



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I Support the The Dove Movement for Self-Esteem, do you? #DoveInspired

At the tender age of 11, I was ripped from my home, my community, my comfort, into a place dripped in superficiality that was unfamiliar and scary. When I just a pre-teen I looked at delicately balanced African-American and Colombian complexion and didn’t see beauty. It’s something I’ve struggled with my whole life – feeling beautiful. I’m insatiable. I want better, could be better, and have an incredibly difficult time accepting my worth, uncovering my beauty.

I’m so impressed by the work that Dove is doing to inspire girls all over the world, encouraging them to fully understand that their beauty should be a source of confidence, not anxiety. Given my struggle with self-esteem and beauty, it makes raising a daughter in an incredibly materialistic world quite difficult. My relationship with my Mom wasn’t one where she acknowledged my beauty, my Father being absent from my childhood exacerbated my issues of not realizing my beauty. Moms are important, I know this firsthand. More than half of girls globally say their Mother is their number one female role model. Having a simple conversation about beauty with girls, can make a world of a difference, and The Dove Movement for Self-Esteem opens up a world of opportunities for women to make a difference.

We all have a role to play in building up our next generation of strong and confident women. You can visit Vivemejor.com to access free tools to motivate and inspire girls in your life. While you are there be sure to download the “Let’s Talk” toolkit, a discussion guide developed by Dove Global Self-Esteem Ambassador Jess Weiner to help Moms and mentors start a conversation on beauty and self-esteem.

So far Dove has reached over 9 million girls with self-esteem programming!! With your help, we can reach Dove’s goal of 15 million by 2015.

Are you up for the challenge?

 

This post is sponsored in collaboration with Dove and Latina Bloggers Connect. All the opinions expressed here are my own.



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