It’s time to get brutally honest

Many of you know I won a spot in the The Kilted Coaches‘ 12 week everLEaN program which starts TOMORROW! Hell yeah! I was so excited to find out I won a spot I did a little dance (yes, I friggin’ well danced a jig in my kitchen!)  I’ve been looking forward to the program because even though I’m working towards a half marathon in October, I’m not as strong as I would like and my eating isn’t as tidy as I would like, either. So,  Woo hoo! Bring it on! right? Then today Coach Stephen sent me a message reminding me to take my before photos and record my measurements. Am I the only person who shivers at the thought of putting yourself out there like this? Especially putting your before photos AND measurements out there to two uber-handsome kilted muscle men?!?!?

Also, part of the deal is to participate in their weekly Facebook Lives and discuss my progress and issues with fitness, nutrition, and mindset. That means my face and body and weight and my struggles and challenges will be broadcast around the world to every kilt fan.

How come I’m NOT freaking out and quietly hiding under a kilted rock instead of participating?

I’m a pretty positive person, so I haven’t forgotten that my achievements and successes over the next 12 weeks will also be broadcast and celebrated. If you’ve scrolled through my Instagram gallery, you’ll see that I spend a lot of time encouraging others to #loveyourselffirst so it’s time for me to buck up and walk the walk!

What does that mean exactly?

I will be posting my progress photos and measurements to The Kilted Coaches app as required by the program, but I will also post them here for all of you to see. I will be posting all of my progress photos and body measurements for all of you to see. I need to put myself out there if I expect anyone else to do the same. I’m ready to get honest with where I am in my fitness and nutrition and I want to be honest with my audience.

Stephen and Rab have asked us to set goals for the program and aside from my obvious goal of crossing the finish line of my first half-marathon, here a few goals I need support in achieving:

  1. drink 2700mL water EVERY SINGLE DAY
  2. consume a serving of protein at every meal
  3. consume 5 servings of vegetables (no substituting fruit for a veggie, either!)

I will include other goals as the program progresses, but I think this is a good challenge for week 1 especially since I find water so freaking boring to drink, I forget about protein all.the.time, and I don’t always find veggies fun. Deep breath…here goes nothing!

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Swim.Bike.Run.

I’m all about taking on new challenges as an event planner like working on a triathlon. I’m in a committed relationship with running and I’ve been on a (spin) bike, and I’ve splashed around in a pool and at the beach but combining swimming with biking and topping it all off with a run is frankly, intimidating AF.

I’m new to the world of triathlons, but being hired to work on the Keji Multisport Festival and Women’s Triathlon has encouraged me to volunteer with the Aylesford Lake event and the upcoming 14 Wing Triathlon happening in Greenwood this Sunday. I’m enjoying experiencing a new sport and of course meeting new folks and being around the energy for an exciting event.

I’m not quite at the point where I’m ready to sign myself up but a friend of mine is and I’m so excited for her! The lovely Erin Bremner did a thing and registered for the Keji Women’s Triathlon happening September 22nd! I’ve asked her if I could follow her experience as she enters this new sport and she enthusiastically agreed, which is not a surprise if you know this gal.

 

I’ll be updating you on her progress as she trains for the September event and we’ll be posting videos and pictures so you can follow her journey into the wonderful world of triathlons!

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Erin is in the green cap and everyone’s biggest cheerleader, Kathy Johnston-Isenor is in yellow.

 

What is your fitness worth?

Why does your race cost so much?

As you know, I’m an event planner, so I’ve seen the ins and outs of all kinds of events from weddings to community festivals to local races. One issue that comes up with every single event is the budget, which makes sense because if you’ve ever planned a kid’s birthday party, you know everything costs money.

How much did your wedding cost? How much was your son’s last birthday party? What about New Year’s Eve out on the town? What do all of these have in common? They’re more than just events: they’re experiences that become valued memories.

Some races cost less and some cost more. I won’t go into a budget breakdown but consider there is the venue, insurance, porta potties, race bibs, safety, swag, food, promotion…When people ask me why such-and-such an event costs so much, I’ve started asking this question back:

What is your fitness worth?

 

 

I raised this issue with a fellow race director recently and he reminded me that most Tough Mudder events start around $70. Ever considered a Spartan Sprint? That’s gonna run you over $140. I just checked out the Ironman Mont-Tremblant website and general entry is currently at over $700! It would appear that to many folks, their fitness experience is worth that much, so I ask again: What is YOUR fitness worth?

I’ve often heard that when money is tight, fitness is the first thing in the budget to go. I really hope we can shift that mindset because your health and fitness should be a priority. Yes, I’m telling you what should be a priority in your life. Without your physical and mental health, what kind of life do you even have?

Make fitness your FIRST priority

Can you put a price on your health and fitness? Not sure? Look to our neighbours south of the border and they can let you in on the price of illness. I remember when a student at the school I worked at near Atlanta, Georgia was admitted to a hospital and she was charged $200 for the use of a pillowcase! Illness is expensive, bro! That $50 race registration fee doesn’t sound so unreasonable now, does it?

I’m not trying to give you a hard time for budgeting your money or for being careful about how you spend your hard-earned dollars. I’m not even really asking you to look at what goes into the event from a planner/host’s perspective.

I’m asking you to look at what YOU put into that event.

Do you set a goal?

Do you train and work towards reaching it?

Do you challenge yourself and reach new limits?

Do you get outside and enjoy nature?

Do you spend time with friends and family?

Do you create a new habit that contributed to your overall health and well-being?

Do you have an experience that will become a valued memory?

 

Change your mindset about your fitness spending. Your personal growth and well-being IS a priority. Your fitness IS worth the investment.

Here’s the permission you’re looking for: Go ahead and register!

 

 

 

 

This is not your practice life

I’m 40, I married my husband 10 years ago and we have two children together. I thought I knew who I was then I became a mother-freaking unicorn. That’s right: I transformed into a magical creature, and sometimes it feels like I have a horn in the centre of my forehead. I also shit rainbows, okay.

What the hell am I talking about?

I’m talking about the woman I’ve decided to become. A person who decided happiness and purpose and passion are important enough to turn my family’s life upside down.

I’m not sure I can pinpoint when my metamorphosis began: maybe when I had a miscarriage in 2012 or maybe my first boxing boot camp class or maybe when I decided to start my business or no, it might’ve been when I applied to speak at a women’s empowerment event. I’m not sure it even matters when it happened because it happened.

I did a scary thing and walked away from a marriage that no longer aligned with my values and goals. I wanted to set a better example for my daughter and son, and although I bear no ill will towards my former life partner, it was time for me to acknowledge my own worth and the worthiness of my goals for myself and for our children.

I am worthy.

I am worthy of pursuing and achieving goals. I am worthy of happiness and joy. My kids deserve to have a mom who feels fulfilled and purposeful. I deserve to find real love even if it is for myself.

I feel optimistic and positive about what lies ahead. I know there are good people in the world and amazing and inspiring things happens every single day. I want to be part of that positive energy and wake up with a full heart ready to do some good.

I made a life-changing choice and I’m still kicking. (Unicorns kick, you know.) People think I should be curled up at home with a glass of red wine watching Sex and The City reruns, bawling my eyes out. I’m judged for not “sticking it out” or for making a “selfish choice”. Folks expect me to be a bitter man-hater bent on taking everything from the man I shared a decade with. But I’m not. See…I’m a unicorn. unicorn mom

 How would your life change if you did a scary thing, too? What would it feel like if you started to ignore what people say about your choices? Would you wake up ready to take on the new world? Would you start shitting rainbows, too?

I’m taking on new challenges and embracing new adventures. I’m content with my choices and I feel alive and energized and ready to take on the world! I’m moving forward with a desire to inspire and create a more fulfilling life. This is NOT a practice life so I’m looking forward and moving forward.

 

We only get one chance to live this life and I intend to make it a magical one.

Rainbow shit and all.

 

 

You look like you need a challenge

I am currently participating in Coach Jenny Hadfield’s Challenge 2018 National Parks Challenge and I completed a Whole Life Challenge this spring. Starting July 30th, I’m embarking on a 12-week journey with the Kilted Coaches (yay!) which will address my nutrition and fitness. I’ve done Adriene Mishler’s Yoga Camp and I’ve done 30-day ab or pushup or squat challenges, too.

What is my obsession with challenges anyway?

I love fitness challenges like those listed above for the same reason I went back to get my Bachelor of Education or signed up for a half-marathon or decided to have two kids instead of one. I feel compelled to do more, to push myself to my limits and to achieve (recovering perfectionist and overachiever here, folks.). What better way to do this than to have a pre-determined program with a deadline and oftentimes a ready-made supportive community to help you get there?

Why you should start your own challenge

 

online Challenge

Who doesn’t want to reach new clients and grow their business? I LOVE 10-day and 30-day challenges and I’m not the only one. Not sure where to start? Here are a few ideas to get you going:

-nutritionist/dietitians: 30 day clean eating challenge, 10 days to more veggies

-run clubs: 30 days of stretching, 3 weeks to an improved form

-psychologists: 20 day mindset challenge, 7 days to a better sleep

trainers: 30 days to better posture, 21 day goal setting

yoga: 30 days of yoga foundation, 3 weeks to your crow pose

The possibilities are only limited by your area of expertise, and even then you can collaborate with other experts.

Get creative and challenge yourself and your clients!

Why you should never go to sleep angry

Always Kiss Me Goodnight…except for tonight

I had just turned 40 and I said out loud before bed one night, “I’m going to be in better shape in my forties than I’ve ever been in my life.” My significant other innocently cautioned that I needed to remember I was not as young as I once was and therefore  shouldn’t expect too much of my body from here on out. I’m sure I huffed or something and immediately rolled over and tried to go to sleep…but I didn’t go to sleep did, I?

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Hell No I Didn’t Go To Sleep!

I thought about what he said and tossed the words around in my obviously aging mind for a while. I considered a woman I know who, in her forties, is faster with every finish line she crosses. And all of those news stories about 80 and 90 year olds running marathons. I thought about watching my kids (now 8 and 5) completing fun runs and that’s when my inner bad ass smacked some sense into me. Seriously, WTF? I know he wasn’t trying to be hurtful, but it felt like a slap across my wrinkled face! I turned 40 not 140! And even if I had turned 140, who the hell is he to put limits on what I should push myself to achieve? Why shouldn’t I expect my body to reach new limits and experience new strengths and speeds? Would I ever tell my children not to bother pursuing a goal because of someone else’s limiting beliefs? HELL TO THE NO!

When I finally closed my eyes and fell asleep it was with the determination of a woman hell-bent on living her best life when her feet hit the floor in the morning. And when I got up the next morning, that determination set me on the path I’m following at this very moment. (I will write more about this new direction in the future but that’s not the specific focus of this post.)  I woke up fueled to work towards new goals, not motivated by the idea of proving someone wrong, but motivated by a deeply rooted knowledge that I AM capable of running faster and lifting heavier and reaching further.

You see, the whole point of this post and the lesson of this experience is this:

 

It doesn’t matter if he doesn’t think I can do it when I know I can do it.

 

 

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Yes, My Fangirling Moment Can help kick your business up a notch!

Insomnia anyone?

Have you ever had trouble quieting your mind enough to be able to get to sleep? That was me over the spring of 2017. We were preparing to move across the country again which meant we had to sell our house and pack up and start over, and my mind was racing 24/7. I turned to podcasts to listen to at night to give me something to focus on and that’s when I discovered the Fitness Business PodcastI’m not saying it put me to sleep…it just helped to clear my head so I could eventually fall asleep.

The show is hosted by a gal with the loveliest Australian accent which makes it even more appealing! As a fitness business owner, I learned a lot and I started following the host on social media and added her too my tribe of inspiring people (you don’t have to actually know your inspiration in person to benefit from their wisdom and experience!) I decided that somehow I was going to meet her and reached out on social media. I had a fitness-nerd moment of excitement when she followed me back and added me on Facebook. Does anyone else get a little jazzed when a mentor or inspiring person out there in the world comments or tweets you? I did and once I knew I was going to be attending BlogFest I sent her a postcard to remind her I was looking forward to her presentation.

The Big Day Arrives

Friday afternoon at about 2pm I had just gone to the ladies’ room to make sure I was presentable and I walked back into the ballroom and headed for the stage. I’ve always been a little outgoing but not as outgoing and true extroverts are, so I had to push myself to keep going. After all, I had connected on social media and sent the girl a post card so I would look foolish if I didn’t reach out and introduce myself. There she was…this fabulously fit woman in a gorgeous blue dress, beautiful blonde hair and a warm smile. Time to make my move!

I climbed up on stage and walked right up to her, held out my hand and told her I was so pleased to be meeting her in person. And honestly, I felt like I was on the most awkward first date of my life, but that feeling disappeared as soon as she whispered“I’m so glad to finally meet you!” and immediately introduced me to her friend.  (She whispered because she had lost her voice the day before and her friend was there to serve as her voice for the presentation.) We chatted briefly about the conference and fitness events and we took a few pictures together. I took my seat and soaked up the advice from her presentation and felt a little giddy at having met her in the flesh. Can we say fitness fangirl?ChantalandShannon

I will say I’m a bigger fan of hers now because she seems like a genuinely fabulous human being, but also because she traveled halfway across the world and delivered several presentations without a voice. She follows her love of fitness to different countries and conferences and puts herself out there to help other fitness entrepreneurs reach the next level of their careers. You can tell Chantal has invested in strengthening her stage and media presence which people can’t help but be drawn to. (I realize this when I look at the photo of us and her pose is absolute perfection! Which reminds me that I should sign up for media training pronto.) This fit pro is a true professional, and I’m glad I didn’t let my inner introvert talk me out of saying hello.

You’re probably thinking “Ok, great little story Shannon but what does this have to do with me?” Social media, as much as people like to shit on it, has allowed us to reach out and connect with our mentors and gurus and role models DIRECTLY! You can message Todd Durkin or Joe De Sena or Adriene Mishler or Jillian Michaels or Heidi & Chris Powell DIRECTLY! Hop on their Facebook lives and comment (I giggled to myself when Todd Durkin shouted out to me during a FB Live.) Follow their Instagram accounts and leave a comment. Tweet them. As social media users we are able to connect with those who can teach us and inspire us and there’s no reason why you can’t connect and have your own fangirl moment!