Entrepreneurs and athletes: Are you a lone wolf or part of a pack?

My wolf pants from Nominou Designs are my favourite pants in the world. I feel good when I wear them and I’ve come to identify with the wolf too…especially when I had one eye me up this afternoon at a wildlife park. The arctic wolf was pacing back and forth in her enclosure (I assumed she was a she) and she came closer when I said she was beautiful. I looked her in the eyes and saw a lot of myself reflected back.

The kids fell asleep so I reflected on the drive home and thought about the wonderful world of fitness and entrepreneurship and how it can sometimes be lonely even in a team setting. A friend yesterday asked if I ever felt alone in a crowded room and I knew exactly what he was talking about.

I can remember telling my mom how lonely it was running one of my first races back in 2014 but now even as a member of a rather large run club, I prefer to run alone. I don’t workout with a partner, because I tune into my playlist and tune out the gym. I am a sole proprietor because my business is my passion and my dreams are mine. I don’t play team sports, but I can be a team player.

wolf

Am I a lone wolf?

Starting and growing a business can be lonely because even though we’re fueled by our passion and area of expertise there’s soooooooooooo much we have to figure out on our own and it’s comforting to find out we’re not the only one! Whenever I have the opportunity to connect with other entrepreneurs, sole proprietors especially, I feel that rush of relief like “Hallelujah! Someone who knows what I’m going through!” (Kind of like when moms get together for girls night.)

I have encountered some truly social runners who chat away the whole route and trod merrily along whereas I identify with the runner who pops the earbuds in and turns up the upbeat playlist and prefers to knock out the miles in solitude. (I’ll meet you at the cooldown and chat at the pub, mmkay?) Neither one is better than other, they are just two ways of doing it.

I am the only one working my business. I am the only logging kilometres.

Does that mean I’m lonely in this fitpreneurship journey?

Not anymore! I think I was when my running journey started and when my business was brand new. I felt like I had to go it alone and figure it all out by myself. Yes, I’m a lone wolf but now I’m also part of a pack! I’m fully aware I’m not really a wolf so it works that I’m both!

I don’t believe we can truly succeed on our own as entrepreneurs even though we as individuals are the ones who drive things forward. Even athletes in solo sports have coaches and don’t win medals all by themselves. You cannot know it all and you cannot do it all by yourself. There’s no way a personal trainer can be an expert at CrossFit and running and barre and nutrition. A health entrepreneur cannot be an expert at medicine and accounting and marketing and the law. Just not possible. Even lone wolves need a pack.

Be a pack leader.

Lead the pack you choose to gather around you! Your vision guides your performance in business and life but you never have to go it alone.

Lone wolf or Pack Leader_

 

 

 

Even as the one in charge, you can’t have it together all the time.

As I’m sitting at the kitchen counter trying to type this out my kids are being animals. This is my circus and those are my monkeys kinda animals. When I’m trying to focus I like calm and it’s not calm in here. At all. The song “Grapevine” by Tiesto is on Spotify right now and “just about to lose my mind” is throbbing in my head right now.

I moonlight as a substitute teacher and we had a province wide conference day yesterday and I attended some wonderful sessions on depression and stress by Dr. Daniel Chorney and one thing he mentioned screamed at me like my 5 year old is right now.

AbnormalState

Being relaxed in a stressful situation is abnormal.

 

Why did this smack me right in the kisser?

Because I feel the need to put on a brave face and project this idea that I’m cool and calm and chill all the flipping time. After all, I chose to leave my marriage and move back to Nova Scotia so who am I to feel a little shook right now?

I need to stop thinking I must have it all together all the time. Guess what? You don’t either!

The reading I’ve been doing and the people I’ve been connecting with this week have reminded me that even I deserve to be cut some slack. Crazy realization, I know but I have a feeling other entrepreneurs and fitness fanatics and goal diggers may be in need of the same advice.

You don’t have to have all the answers.

It’s ok to lose your shit for a moment.

Acknowledge the shit storm going on around you and breathe for a freakin’ minute.

I don’t know what you’re going through but I’m a mom who’s trying to provide a safe and secure environment for my kids in the midst of a divorce. I’m a 40 year old woman who’s trying to leave one chapter behind and step into a new one while the past keeps hunting me down. I’m an entrepreneur with a penchant for perfection, which I know is crazy and unrealistic but my attention to detail makes me good at my job.  I’m a friend trying to maintain connections and strengthen relationships with people all over the country.

I’m a woman entering a new phase of my life and I just want to keep moving forward (I say that a lot, don’t I?) I’m working to be a better runner. A stronger person. A more flexible yogi. And I don’t have it all figured out and neither should you.

We are works in progress and sometimes life takes over. But don’t let it stay in control. Sit in it for a moment. Breathe. Then shake that shit off and move on. You are working towards bigger and better things and it’s ok to not be cool and calm or chill.

When life takes over, sit in for a minute. Breathe. The shake that shit off and move on.

 

 

 

 

12 weeks ago I started something that turned out to be life changing.

It’s over. My 12 week  Everlean program with the Kilted Coaches is over. The last three months have been a few of the hardest yet most fulfilling of my life and I feel like I’ve got control of my health and fitness in a whole new way. This post might be all over the place but I’m kinda overwhelmed by the transformation I’ve experienced since July 30th, so bear with me.

First off, I didn’t really lose weight. In fact I’ve held steady at 150.0lbs for 10 weeks now. It’s kinda funny but the fact that I’ve maintained tells me I’m clued in to the balance between fitness and nutrition that I need to not put any weight back on (when I moved home in May I was 10lbs heavier). So what changed?

Water

I am actually drinking water. As in 2.5 litres of the unflavoured stuff every single freakin’ day. That in itself is a game changer for me. My coffee intake has decreased and I usually stop at one pint when I’m indulging in the good stuff.

Protein

I’m aware of what protein sources I’m consuming throughout the day and I’m making an effort to get more. I don’t think I’m at the goal of 150g a day yet but I’m headed in the right direction.

Carbs

My relationship with carbs probably is my most challenging one. I love cake and bread and all things homemade, but I’ve made the choice to feel better and make better choices so Rab and Stephen have decreed that I shall not indulge in my love affair with carbs until after I’ve sweat my ass off. When a strong dude in a kilt talks, I’m inclined to listen.

Workouts

I’ve been a fan of fitness for years and running has been my main jam. I completed my first half marathon during the last 12 weeks but I’ve also rediscovered my love of strength. I’ve recommitted to getting my pump on and dedicating workouts a week to strength training. I was at the gym yesterday and HELL YES I was admiring my improved muscle tone while doing my bicep curls and shoulder presses. I’m earning that definition with every repetition, baby!

Here’s the really awesome part:

The results YOU can’t see are what matter most to me

The Coaches had us take weekly progress photos and while the changes won’t appear to be dramatic to you, they mean the world to me.

I know my legs are stronger. I powered up every hill on my 9k route this evening without pausing for a second and I am still reveling in the joy of crossing that finish line. I don’t care how sick you may be of hearing about it: I freaking well ran 21.1k with a smile on my face! That’s not nothing.

I know my upper body is stronger. I see it when I face the mirror at the gym and in my bathroom. Yes, I flex for myself because why the hell not? My next workout I know I can increase my weight because I’m stronger than I was two weeks ago.

My clothes feel better. I bought a medium sized tshirt a few years ago and it didn’t fit until now! I don’t rush home to get out of my skinny jeans anymore. I like the way I look in my running tights these days and that leads to another change I’m experiencing:

I like myself more.

That doesn’t rest solely with the influence of the Coaches, but I’ve been doing the work in all aspects of my life to get to this point. I left a situation that was suffocating my soul. I pushed myself to realize new goals. I’m surrounding myself with people who support me and lift me up and encourage me to keep moving forward. I’m acknowledging the areas that need improvement and I’m tackling them head on.

I’m learning to accept compliments without qualifying them or brushing them off. I’m prioritizing my need for time out even when the world disagrees. I’m making better choices in my nutrition because I know it’s worth it to feel healthy and clean. I’m choosing to spend time with people who I believe are truly good people. I’m fearing less and taking on new projects.

The Kilted Coaches sent me a mindset lesson each week and they really helped focus my headspace for the week. I’m a #goaldigger for life so setting goals and getting clear on them is one of my talents, but they taught me the biggest lesson of this whole experience:

I’m a good person with something to offer the world and it’s ok to cut myself some slack. 

I had a bad day and posted about it in the Clan site and within the hour my favourite Scottish lads were on the phone to coach me back to reality. They know about my divorce and my running and could see the tears in my eyes as I tried to explain what was going on. They told me that even I am allowed to have a bad day, and that doesn’t mean I’m unable to get back on track and keep making progress. They told me to dry my eyes and take an evening for myself. Stephen and Rab taught me that slowing down and taking a breath isn’t going off plan: it’s PART of the plan. Just like a runner needs a rest day and your muscles need to recover from a workout, your heart and mind need to take a break to keep growing, too.

 

I feel like I’m getting to know the new me and thanks to two personal trainers from across the Atlantic, I was reminded that when people see something good in you: believe them. 

What got me across the finish line of my first big race

As soon as I crossed the finish line of my very first half marathon I might have fallen over if my run friend, John, hadn’t been there to wrap me in a hug and hold me upright. It wasn’t because I was exhausted or hurting that I was dizzy all of a sudden: it was from the overwhelming shock at having achieved the goal I had set for myself. I swear he was almost as excited for my achievement as I was and there’s magic in that.

Maybe magic isn’t the right word, because there was nothing magical about the sweaty training runs I pushed myself to complete in the months leading up to the Valley Harvest. No magic in the bloody toes and definitely not a drop of magic in the chafing caused by my sports bra. So if not magic, what the hell was it that kept me moving forward since I registered in May?

Strength?

I have certainly noticed a difference in my physical abilities since embarking on my training journey. I can run faster and longer and more efficiently now. I complemented my running with strength training and yoga and I’m fitter than ever.

just run

Focus?

Ignoring the cars that honked without looking to see who was driving because I needed to get through the next kilometre or up the next hill without giving up. Carefully selected playlists. Specifically chosen socks and tanks depending on the weather and distance and even my mood.

Determination?

I set a goal to give me direction through a challenging time in my life and there was no way in hell I was going to stop. I ran through sweltering heat and humidity and even through chilly rain. I ran jet lagged and tired and hungry. I swallowed more flies than I can count and even took a few home stuck to my contact lenses. But I never stopped moving towards my goal.

Support and encouragement?

My run club and fitness friends encouraged me and my friends and family supported me without fully understanding why I was doing it to begin with. I ran with an international army of supporters cheering me on.

I’m still not sure what got me across the finish line except to say I must have had it in me all along. No one followed my training or coached me on the way. My run club gave me the initial push to set the goal but I reached it. There’s nothing magic about what got me there but I think there’s magic in what I discovered along the way.

I realized that making the decision to start on a difficult path is the hardest part of the journey. Every step I took in training prepared me to enjoy every step of that race. Every beat of my heart reminded me that I’m living the life I choose to live and I’m heading in the direction I want to move in. I am stronger than I ever thought I could be.

Running. First, you feel like dying. Then, you feel reborn.

I’ve found friends I didn’t know I needed. I discovered abilities within myself I never knew I existed. I have uncovered thoughts and feelings and ambitions that were hiding for years. I found a happiness and peace on the roads of San Diego and Cape Breton and right here at home that have allowed me to inhale a new life and exhale the past.

Maybe there is magic in that.

 

 

 

What next?

I just typed out a powerful and emotional blog post for you all and something flashed on my screen and it’s gone. All that was left was my working title What’s Next? I could cry in frustration but instead I’ll move forward. Because that’s what we do.

I’m a #goaldigger and that means I’m usually working towards something and I’m a force to be reckoned with when I’ve got my sights set on something. I’m driven and motivated to do better and be better.

I set a goal of running a half marathon. I made a plan and I followed a training schedule and on Sunday morning after 2hours 3minutes and 13seconds I crossed that finish line with a smile. I started a 12 week program with the Kilted Coaches to clean up my nutrition and improve my fitness. It’s week 11 and I feel better than ever. I drink more water and eat more protein than I ever have in my life and I even did 420 lunges one day.

I decided to commemorate my first half marathon with a tattoo of mountains. They remind me of the west coast beauties I left behind when I left my marriage, but they also remind me to keep climbing. I can climb whatever mountain life puts in my path and I’m facing some pretty steep elevations these days, folks. But just like I told myself during those last few kilometres to the finish line: keep moving forward.

finishline

So what next?

I ran the race. I’m done with Coach Rab and Coach Stephen next week. Keep moving forward. I’ll sign up for another race and I’ll set a new strength goal. I’ll keep drinking water, eating tons of protein and fibre and I’ll even work on cutting back on coffee. I will keep climbing.

I’ve heard some folks tell me recently that I’ve inspired them to recommit to their own fitness and that fuels me to keep putting one foot in front of the other even though I can’t see the road in front of me right now. It’s so damn foggy out there with support payments and dividing assets and doing what’s in the best interests of the kids and trusting my gut. Some days I feel like I keep climbing with no peak in sight but I need to keep climbing. I have no other choice because that’s what we do: we keep moving forward.

So, I’m not sure what’s next, but I know that the view from the top of the mountain (whenever I get there) will be worth every single step.

 

If you are struggling to keep moving forward please visit  http://www.crisisservicescanada.ca/ Your life is worth living and you deserve to enjoy the view from the top. 

Why it’s awesome when things don’t go as planned

I’m an event planner and a recovering perfectionist so having things go according to plan is kinda my jam. I’ve done a lot of self-growth work over the last number of years, especially over the last 9 months, and I’m done with jam, (too high in sugar anyway.)

Tomorrow is one of my favourite days of the year: Falmouth TrALE Run day! I work on this event hosted by my bestie, Kathy of Fitness Junkies ,and this is our third year working together on this project and I love it more and more. I love it because the people involved are some of the best people I know, but also because it’s about having fun with friends, supporting local businesses, and getting outside and taking a moment to really enjoy life.

Today the plan was for me to join Kathy for a run of the trails at Castle Frederick Farms and get the safety marking done, and maybe catch up on each other’s lives outside of running our mini-empires. PLOT TWIST! It was piss pouring rain and looks like it’s going to be a seriously wet day so the plan needed to be adjusted. plottwist

You know what? Adjusting the plan is ok…I didn’t even feel that old rush of panic set in so I must be making progress! Kathy will go out later this afternoon or we’ll hit the trail earlier tomorrow. No big deal and that’s why this is a huge deal! I know my mother will read this and will remember back to my days as a student when I’d flip out over anything and everything not going perfectly. I have come a long way and seeing that growth is a great feeling, but it’s also motivation to keep going.

Life rarely goes the way we expect it to and our frustration and disappoint comes from this idea we have of how things should be. I’m learning to stop shoulding myself because it’s a ridiculous notion to hold myself responsible for being able to predict the future. The best things about my life are those that I never imagined would happen: starting a business, becoming a runner, being a single mom, or writing this post on the rainy day before an outdoor event.

 

my entire life can be described in one sentence_

There’s magic in not being able to know what’s going to happen next and being at peace with that because I have confidence that I can handle whatever comes next. So, even if it rains tomorrow on TrALE Run day, I’ll put my rubber boots and raincoat on and my crew of TrALErs will still have a great time!

 

Give me all the triathlons!

Tomorrow is the big day for our girl, Erin, and for so many others taking on the first Keji Multisport Festival and Women’s Only Triathlon and I can feel excitement while sitting at my desk typing this post. I asked Erin for some final thoughts and her texts are full of extra exclamation marks this morning!

A transformation has been taking place since I started working on this project. I have been learning about a new sport, meeting new people, but by far the most amazing thing is to watch my friend set a new goal and work her butt off to reach it.  It probably won’t surprise you to learn that Ms. Bremner already has a goal in mind for after this event…and she hasn’t even left for Kejimkujik yet!!!

I’ve heard rumours that there’s quite the triathlon training group growing in the Hants County area which was born from this event. This transformation is spreading: Erin has gathered a group of other inspiring and motivated women around her.  These ladies embody the spirit of what I believe the Keji Multisport Festival aimed to create.  Women ARE being encouraged and empowered to pursue outdoor endurance sports while enjoying the beauty of our natural surroundings. There’s magic in that idea and there’s magic in these faces.

Triathletes

The women in this picture ARE at the centre of something big and important: they are shining examples of the strength and power women have can awaken in each other. They have supported each other in doing something physically and mentally difficult. They have shown their families and friends that a woman with a goal is a force to be reckoned with.

I am so damned proud of these women and not proud in an ownership way like when you show off that amazing painting you just did while dizzy on wine at PaintNite, but in a way where you are truly excited to witness a fellow human being do something amazing.  I understand the struggle of swimming and I’ve never even been tangled in eel grass so I can imagine Erin’s joy and satisfaction in working her butt off and seeing improvement.

Erin and her girls are packing up the camper and will be headed to Keji this afternoon and I wish them and everyone else participating in the Keji Multisport Festival and Women’s Only Triathlon the best of luck. Erin joked that next year she might even put her face in the water, but her determination this year has been inspiring to watch. Inspiring enough to have me wondering if I might find myself dipping my toes in the water of a new sport…