Search This Blog

Saturday, November 03, 2012


"The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." ~Winston Churchill

"...Pandora curiously opened her box, and she let out all evils...and yet, something remained inside....Hope.

At the mercy of all evils that she had set free, the world lived in darkness. Evil felt in every corner and seen in everyone's eyes. Trust and faith were lost.

One day, with a heavy heart, Pandora revisited the box, with faith that she might make a change that would fix her mistakes. She slowly opened it, and Hope quickly fluttered out. Rays of light spread amongst all of humanity.

To the Greeks, Hope became more powerful than all the evils combined. Hope trumped any atrocity, bringing balance to otherwise unexplainable situations.

Hope is light, anticipation and optimism. Hope is aspiration and dreams and vision...but true hope can only be magical when it's based in trust. More than trust of another person~we must be able to trust in ourselves~our ability to set a goal and follow through."

Today I am faithful that the reality of making human mistakes will triumph over the black and white rules of the world. At the end of the day we are all human and we all make mistakes. I am thankful for a God who humbles me and keeps me from getting too outside of myself. I am thankful for the opportuntiy to be reminded to avoid taking too many things for granted. This weekend I will cling to the people that are closest to my heart, stay hopeful, and will find a sense of joy and peace with whatever the future may bring. I will allow the optimist in me to quite the pessimistic and negative thoughts that are yelling so loudly I am not able to think straight. I will move forward on my journey ensuring a continuation of my mission to continue of inspiring individuals to obtain a healthier lifestyle moves forward regardless of the location, avenue, or room. Inspiration happens in every corner every day. It does not need a title or desk to sit behind. It needs a captive crowd that is willing to step up to the challenge.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Seasons of change

"Change is growth. Growth is life." ~willPower Team

I love this time of year. I prefer the colder days to the warmer ones for obvious reasons, but it's not about cold or warm weather. It's about the opportunity to embrace change.  Yes, I said it...embrace change. It is during this season that all of the planning for January programming really ramps up. Its the oppportunity to take a look at the past 10 months and try to find nuggets of beauty and identify false gold. As the wellness department at my Y enters the budget season, I see bright lights that lead the way for change to actually occur. It is this time of the year when I am afforded the chance to put my visions of where I think we should be into play. Its also the season for change to occur within me. Year after year I find that I turn my thoughts internally and begin to identify areas in my life that need change.

I believe that we are all change agents. The power lies within to change or challenge a situation that may be taking up too much space. That is the most amazing thing about change. It really has less to do with our environment and  more about our mindfullness of the direction we want our lives to take. I often find it funny when I hear people say that they "hate change". Sometimes I want to say, "Sorry friend, change is part of life. Maybe you should find a way to deal with it". As I use an enormous amount of will power to keep my mouth shut I can't help but to also think, "Does this person or group of people not look in the mirror? Change is always looking right back at them." I have found more so in the last couple of years that the changes in my life are most evident in my face. I am finding that as I grow a tad bit older each year I am graced with beautiful rites of passage under my eyes, and my the emphasis of my smile is more apparent even when I am not smiling. You may ask, "Is there ever a time when you are not smiling?" Yes, there is. Fortunately those times are rare. Change is an empowering opportunity to take the circumstances of your life and divert the current path to a healthier one.

When one begins a journey of change she will find resistance in every direction. It becomes difficult to stay the course and walk the rocky path of uncertainty. The uncertainty often comes from a place of insecurity. We become insecure about the outcomes of the directional change we have started. Our self confidence begins to slip and before we know it we have given up and are resolved in the fact that the new direction would have never worked anyway. You should stop to consider all that you learned on the journey before it got too tough and you began to give into the resistance. Valueable lessons can be learned from a failed attempt to change.

My challenge for you is to look for opportunities to create positive changes in your life or see the changes taking place as a wonderful part of life. If you try something and it doesn't really work consider yourself lucky that you can always change directions again.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

"How people treat us is their karma, how we react is ours." ~Wayne Dyer

When you are happy and content with your own life, you act in kind, happy and loving ways toward everyone around you. As within, so without, and no matter how mean people might act toward you at times, you will stay perfectly serene and peaceful, responding in loving to their behavior -- for that is who you are, and you give out that which is within.

I have been asked and it has been brought to my attention more times than I can count that my happiness is evident in every aspect of my life. In my 5 and half years at the Benbrook Community Center YMCA I have experienced ups and downs. In this organizational movement the pressure to stand out and stay ahead is high. We may be the Y and seen as the all loving organization where you can donate (yes, we are a charity), add years to your life by changing your unhealthy habits, learn to swim, take your children while you work, and you name it. Members of YMCA's are very passionate about their branch. We like to call it their "home branch". It is like home in many ways. For Y employees, we feel like we live here. For our members, you feel like you have a place to just be as you are, and belong. That is important to it should be. When there is this level of support, call to action, close relationships, and passion flowing through each building we discover many things about ourselves as Y members and Y employees. Just like in every family we will have disagreements. We may not see eye to eye on various aspects of our second home. All of this to say, that from time to time we experience heated moments when each side is squeezed. An example:

I had the opportunity to sit with a long time member and cancer survivor a few weeks ago. I will not reveal his name, but he and I have a long relationship. I first met this gentleman while sitting in on a heated discussion about space allocation in our facilty as it pertained to the the Active Older Adult programs. At the time I was 8 1/2 months pregnant. The member was very upset, and from where he was sitting I was the perfect target to unload everything from why his complimentary coffee was cold to why the Active Older Adult program could not have their own room or facility. Unbenounced to him, my blood pressure was sky rocketing. I excused myself in enough time to get to my prenatal appointment. I was only aloud to the leave the hospital for one day under the watchful care of my mother, who is a Labor Nurse after that interaction. Little did this member know, but I delivered my son a week after this interaction, but it did not matter.  I assured him that we were not disrespecting this group of individuals and that we must serve a large population of community members and promised I'd deliver his message loud and clear to my supervisor at the time.

Fast forward 4 son is now a healthy 4 1/2 year old and the joy of my life. I never told this man that I was sure he sent me straight to delivery after his intense pressure and hostile conversation. I simply let it go. I have had subsequent interactions with this man since our first encounter so I felt okay that our next conversation would proceed in a very pleasant manner. And it did. He asked me to sit down and he proceeded to tell me that in the last 2 or 3 years I have been a completely different person. I have lost 60 or so pounds. I walk around like I don't have a care in the world. I am confident and no longer show signs of "wear and tear" if you will. (This is very common for Y employees.) He wanted to know what was it that was driving me to this obvious state of happiness.

I laughed, and said it's possible the neon colored Zumba clothes I insist upon wearing every day could have something to do with it. He laughed and said, I think I remember you mostly wearing very conservative clothes and now you don't care if your clothes even match. I told him I thought that was a matter of oppinion. I proceeded to share with him my calling, or personal mission and goal in life. I shared with him that I have had a change in perspective since entering mommyhood. My goal, or mission if you will, is to stand up for what is right. To see people for who they are, not what they look like or what circumstances they come from. To make a positive impact on anyone and everyone who may be open to that. I will live my mission so that my son can see it and learn from it. I want to work hard and play hard. If I am lucky I won't be able to tell the difference between the two. There's no way to measure this type of success. He said, how do you know if you are impacting people in the way you want? I said I don't, and that is the glory of it. You get what you juice.

"When you squeeze an orange, orange juice comes out--because that is what is inside. When you are squeezed, what comes out is what's inside." ~Wayne Dyer

I can't tell you exactly what it was that changed my perspective. All I know is that I am a better person for it. There are things I hope will happen in my life, but if they dont' happen...I'm okay with that too.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Not feeling so lucky

It's about that time of year for me to begin really experiencing my symptoms. I have been feeling a little beaten down for the last week or so. I have to say that it is getting increasingly frustrating to feel like I am embarking the best condition I have been in since moving back to Fort Worth yet still feel breathless between Zumba and Combat songs. Now for the last 3-4 weeks I have felt the weakness start in my arms and move to my feet eventually causing me to stop hit pause and delay the next song bluffing and talking about random ways to get and stay involved at the Y until I have gained enough air and confidence to try again and push play.

Before moving here, I ran and trained for marathons with two friends and over the course of 2 years managed to run myself to the fittest condition I have ever been in. I moved here to begin my journey at the BCC YMCA and found myself really happy and suddenly pregnant. God works in amazing ways and I am truly blessed to have the small family he has given me. After our lil' man was born I found myself overweight and uncomfortable in my skin. I was encouraged by a sudden interruption in my vision to see a new nuerologist and soon discovered I had an infection/parasite in my brain that was attacking my optical nerves and causing me to lose my eye sight. In my own persistant way, we were able to make the parasite dormant and I was able regain my vision again. I also wanted and still deperately want to be able to handle my core temperature going up like a normal person. A year or so later I was given a detrimental blow to my endurance junkie ways. It was scientifically proven that I will not ever be able to do the things I used to do. I was told, unless I move to a colder region of the US or invent some weird device/shirt cooling system to keep me cold I would have to give up on bucket list goals like attempting to qualify for the Boston Marathon or anything of that nature. It is unlikely that I will even be able to tolerate the beating our great state of Texas provides during the summer months long enough to get from the parking lot to my office, a few hundred yards away. It can be mentally defeating.

So that sort of brings me to this week. Normally, I don't write much about my symptoms because I don't want to seem as though I am a complainer. I have been given this body and my talents for a reason. At the end of my AMAZING life I will stand before the Almighty and have to answer for the life I have led. I refuse to stand in front of him and tell that I gave up because of the adversity that has been so boldly placed in front of me. I have been put on this earth to inspire, encourage, teach, and motivate. There is no doubt in my mind, I am doing what I was meant to do.

So today, I am not feeling so lucky. I am feeling tired, hot, hotter, and not nearly as strong as I look. If you were to look at me, you would see that I am fit. I do workout. I do work very hard...but my insides sing another song. It is like my brain and my body are at war. My brain says, "Push play and dance". My body says, "Slow down sister. I will make you slow down whether you want to or not, and should you not listen to me, I will force you to hear me and I will cause you to verbally stutter, feel as though you are floating on air, and if that is not loud enough to make you stop I will make it so you have a hard time raising your hands over your head. I will cause you to have mental fog so dense you can't see straight."

My reaction to this war is usually defeat, anger, and then stubborness. When I tell people about my condition, they always ask why do you keep doing this if it is that hard? I don't have an answer. I would not be me if I did not try to persist through it, move around it, or try to find ways to beat it. It's like a game to me. How hard can I go before I am forced to step back? How close can I get to the line before I cross over?

So, since I have taught more than I should have this week I find myself at home, trying to sleep but somehow continuing to think about Body Pump, Body Combat, and Zumba; my three new favorite classes to teach. I am laying there thinking, how am I going to be able to teach Combat in a couple weeks and still function the rest of the day? It is a very real question I began to entertain last night. I am not sure. I could hardly make it through 30 minutes of Zumba lastnight before feeling completely defeated and motivated to run for the hills. I did not and thank goodness I had some good friends to bail me out for few songs while I regained a tiny bit of feeling and caught my breath. I am wondering appropriate would it be to teach in as few clothes as possible at the Y? Ha, another strategy to attempt to dodge the inevitable.

Eventually I will have to succumb to Ross Syndrome and drastically change my life in lieu of being able feel my feet consistantly but not today. Today, I am going shopping for skorts that fly through the air when I dance. I am looking for one in hot pink, black and lime green. I will look at shoes that allow my feet to be cooler and move freely.

Perhaps after shopping I will feel a bit more lucky!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Last weekend I was able to spend some time with by BFF from my TCU days and discovered the power of sisterhood. I have sisters, two of them in fact. I am very close to each of them, but what I found at this celebration was different from traditional sisterhood. Hotty Hubby, Lil Man, the blonde dog, and I all got in the car a little too late on Friday night and made our way to Cedar Park where we were staying with my brother in law. We were about two miles from his exit when we hear from the back a very groggy Lil man say "mommy my head hurts and I think I am going to throw up". Now, with him being 3, we hear this sort of thing all of them time. Especially when he doesn't agree with the activity we are doing or want him to do. We were not in a place where we could just pull off the highway. We needed an exit, but the exit did not come fast enough. Sure as Hotty Hubby put the blinker on, projectile vomit begins to spew, the really stinky kind. Ugh, gross. Chaos ensued with a quick change of clothes, and a mommy sort of wipe down but we eventually made it to Uncle's house where I immediately put little guy in the tub. Hotty Hubby and Uncle both make a quick run to the car wash to anti-stink the car and sleep shortly followed. I had to tell that part of the story because I was freaking out inside that this event would set the tone of this super quick trip to Austin. We all rested well and got up the next day feeling and smelling much better. Once we all had breakfast, I realized I had to get a gift. It seems my "Y" life gets in the way of extra stuff like shopping for a baby gift. I had the perfect gift in mind, but no time to go get it. I figured Cedar Park had a Baby's R Us somewhere and they do. I never found it or my perfect gift. I was able to settle for the second best perfect gift . I got her a scrapbook. It is funny because I love to scrapbook and until our Lil man came along I spent almost all of my time scrapbooking. It is my contribution to further educating future family members of their past in a very colorful and creative way. Once I found my way to South Austin for a Baby Shower I walked in thinking, I am only going to know one or two people and for the most part that was true. It didn't matter though. I was there for my friend who was embarking on the most amazing journey. One I did not fully understand until I joined the club myself. I walked and a different friend from college walked up to me. Robin and Manda had been friends for almost as long and Manda and I have been friends but Robin and I had never really hung out. Outside of being Thetas, we didn't really have anything in common. I was an athlete and gym rat, who dated this dude from Denton and spent more weekends there than on campus. She was a theater girl, RTF major, and a good kind of different from me. We were joined by Theta and that connection would reunite us. Manda and Robin kept in touch and the three of us would sometimes cross paths when Manda would visit FW. We immediately picked up on wherever it was we left off and enjoyed each other's company. I discovered that she still lives in FW and being so close we should hang out. We talked and tag teamed the gift opening/notetaking job. She is probably way better at that sort of thing than me, I get so involved in gifts and cards to write down what gift is from who. The really cool part of my story did not really happen until after the party was over. By 4 o'clock or so several people had left. Manda's co-workers and future in-laws had all said their goodbyes and moved on to the rest of their weekend. The shower was thrown by Manda's mom and several of her friends. This was a collection of women who have chosen to stick together through life's ups and downs. We all gathered around Manda to talk about mommyhood and friendship. Robin has not officially joined the mommy club, but she is such an amazing friend we embraced her into our group. She will get there in her own time, we all do. It hit me like a ton of bricks when one of the ladies said she remembered Judy's, Manda's mom, shower for Manda. They talked about the gifts they gave her and how the celebrated the momentous occasion. As I was sitting there listening, I realized quickly though our small group of three did not equal mass of her mom's group, the meaning and relationship was the same. I was sitting there thinking oh my goodness, Manda has been in my life longer than my husband and child. She knows things about me that perhaps he doesn't, although I am not sure I could say what if put on the spot, but you get what I am saying. She remembers the Sigma Nu party we went to before driving to Dallas to the club I met my hubby. It warms my heart and makes me smile to think I have friends like this in my life. We are sisters in many ways. We have chosen, like Judy's friends, to stick together through it all. I have spent a significant amount of time in the last year or so thinking I need more girlfriends in my life. My time is spent building relationships and sharing myself with others. I do it everyday and have no problem doing it, but how well do we really know the people that are building those relationships with? We like to think they are solid relationships and friends we could call on at a moment's notice to bail us out of what ever situation has arrived. We call on those friends when we need support, encouragement, and accountablility. I guess, I am thinking about how deep those roots go. I believe that true friends like Robin and Manda only come around once in a while. Manda and I spent about a year or so not talking to each other because life just got in the way. That time apart somehow changed us, maybe for the better...who knows. People snicker about Facebook adictions and the level of false intimacy it provides, but it was through Facebook that we reconnected. I could not be happier we did!! We have hung out more in the last 3 months than we have in the 3 years!! We do what sisters do...pick up where you left off and keep going. I get emotional thinking about what those friendships really mean to me and how they have made me the woman I am today. I left Manda, Robin, and Judy that day thinking I am glad to have friends like this. It is rare and I am so LUCKY to have them in my life. To my new friends, I only hope that we can create roots just as deep and impactful!! The future only knows which of my new friends will stay in my life through thick and thin and all of the ups and downs life will bring. I am really thinking....I am so incredibly LUCKY!!

Saturday, August 14, 2010


"Have you ever looked fear in the face and said, I just don't care?"

I have. I hate Ross!! It scares the shit out of me!! No one knows anything about it, including the most brilliant docs in Dallas!! I feel like I never know what kind of body I will wake up with each day. Which one will it be? Will I float in the air on stubs and feel weak and beaten down or will I get the be the Rockstar I know I am? I look fear in the face everyday!! This week I have taught 10 classes this week with every format under the sun from Water to Yoga to Cycle to Zumba. Monday was the most disasterous when I was teaching Aqua Zumba for a friend. My feet were gone right from the get go. I have very little recolection of the class, meaning I know what my playlist was because I just took my Wednesday music and modified the moves, but as far as smiling, connecting, having a great time??? Who knows??? I hear it was a great class!! I just wish I could have remembered it!!!

I know, I know...not certified yet, but what does a Fitness Director do with 40 people expecting to dance underwater?? Wait, did that just sound weird, well guess is, but people are coming like drones because they are addicted to it!! Can you imagine a lady or man who weighs more than 400 pounds saying "F you fear, I am going to shake it like nothing else underwater and I don't care who is watching" and then actually doing it? It is crazy inspirational!! I have people tell me everytime I teach that I have such positive light and spirit that I am motivational and inspirational but the truth is, I am no different than you guys!! I gather as much strength as I can every morning no matter what my body is telling me and I come to work and get inspiration and motivation from the members in my classes!! Fear has no place in my life or yours.

I decide everyday that I will live a healthy and active life because someday when Ross actually does destroy my body I can look back and know that I have lived an extremely blessed life!! And if Ross just leaves me alone with the limitations (I hate actually admitting that I have any after the endurance training I have put in over the years) I currently have, well then I know I will continue to get to do what I absolutely love to do!!!

Decide to face fear today and take steps to live a healthier life......and.....

Dance like you mean it!!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

History is so fun to look at!!

A really really long time ago my best friends name was Melissa Donaldson. I can't remember how we met, but I remember her being my fave person to hang out with. Our families hung out a lot too, which meant our parents were good friends and we got to hang with each other even more! Our families camped, participated in girl scouts together, and traveled together. I remember feeling completely crushed when her family moved back to Cali.

I recently discovered the magic of facebook. She reached out to me and I gotta be honest it kinda freaked me out! I mean, I look different and I am married now so my name is different. So I was skeptical when she started asking me questions about how my life is. I politely asked if she ever lived in Oklahoma. She was a little shocked that it seemed as though I did not remember her. I did, but was kinda weirded out by the fact that she actually found me. I don't have anything public about where I am from or my maiden name listed anywhere. anyway she asked if she could post some pics from way back and I thought okay...if this is really her she is going to post some potentially embarrasing photos but it would show me if it was really her. Look it was!!
These are absolutely histerical!! Look at my glasses!! What is she doing???? I have no recolection of this photo but it presents the opportunity to get a really good chuckle in!!
On to Zumba, for the 2nd time today!!
~Dance like you mean it~