Getting Back in the Saddle

Do you ever have one of those moments?

Those situations that seem somehow orchestrated? That you are simply being carried along by the situation? I’ve had a few of those, adopting our dogs definitely had that “preordained” vibe. Today was much the same.

Last week, no one showed up to teach spin class. I am certified, and I had the job application from the gym in my car all week. I even whipped up a playlist, you know, just in case. I knew in the back of my mind, I would probably not need it, but had it on the back burner. I’ve been listening to music and unconsciously determining if it would be a good sprint, jump or a recovery song. My wheels have been, ahem, spinning.

The thing is, the last time I tried this – it lasted 6 weeks and the class got cancelled. It was a huge blow to my confidence, so much so that I’ve only recently wrote about it. Should I be doing this? What if I suck? What if it happens again? What if….what if….what if…. There are also the minions to consider. They will be out of school during the summer. How will logistics work, etc. Not a deal breaker of course, but definitely some planning would be necessary.

Basically – this is all my mental bullshit. It’s real, but the bottom line? The bottom line is I’m afraid. Afraid of not doing well, not having anyone who wants to come to class and essentially getting kicked in the gut again. Rejection is HARD for everyone. I take it REALLY, REALLY hard. Having “kids/hubby’s schedules” to consider is a convenient out. I kept telling myself, perhaps in the fall. I’ll practice all summer and then be ready to really hit the ground running. (Procrastinating is another one of my favorite defense mechanisms against doing things that scare me.)

Heading off to spin this this morning, I was really hoping there would be a good instructor. I just needed to get in a good workout. I did a fantastic DB4L leg and shoulder workout before class time so I was already kicking a great endorphin high! 10 minutes after the class was supposed to start, there was still no instructor.

My stomach doing flip flops, I spoke up. “I have a spin playlist ready to go, if everyone is game…” My friend piped up, “She’s certified!!!” No one objected so I plugged in my phone, said a little prayer and got back in the saddle. After the first track, I looked around and people were grinning! (And killing it!) YAY!!

Half way through, a gym employee walked in. I hopped off the bike, expecting to be chastised and asked to leave since I am not an employee, the gym could be sued, etc. He put his hands up and said, “Not interrupting, continue!” A few moments later, the other spin instructor (whom I love!) popped in and slapped down an application. “Fill this out when you are done! We NEED someone for Saturdays!”

Class over, participants sweaty and happy, I walked down to fill out the paperwork and possibly talk to someone about getting hired. The gentleman that had walked through class earlier sat down and coincidentally happened to be the manager of the personal trainers. (Gulp.) He then introduced me to the other hiring manager and the 3 of us had a wonderful conversation about goals, what I wanted to do, a brief history, etc. and set up an interview for Monday. While freaking out that someone was going to boot me out because I jumped up and led a class, these guys thought it was fantastic! YAHOO! My feet never felt the pavement as I glided into the parking lot.

I did not know how bad I needed this confidence boost. I was shaking and in tears as I got into my car. Even if I don’t get hired, while it would be sad, I shoved my foot in fear’s face today and got up there and did it. My good friend, and fellow spin instructor, always says, “Get comfortable being uncomfortable.”

Bring on the uncomfortable – because it’s time!

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When One Door Closes…

I’ve been meaning to write this for some time, but just haven’t because it feels “icky”. I don’t like icky. I like fun and upbeat and positive. But sometimes icky happens.

Back in October I was asked to come in and interview for a Spin Instructor position at a local gym. Excited, I got the job and started my class – 5:30am Wednesday mornings. I crafted playlists, practiced each on my own bike in my garage. I remembered all the classes I had been in and what I loved about various instructors and strived to incorporate those characteristics into my own profiles. It went well and I even had a few regulars!

Two days before Christmas, I got an email from the gym owner asking if I had any thoughts on why the attendance was so low in my class. (I am literally nauseous as I type this. I hate sucking at stuff.) I mentioned that the last couple of classes had double the previous attendance, that we were in the middle of the holidays, etc. I got an email the next day that I was “moved to the sub list”.  That’s the gym’s way of saying, “Don’t call us, we’ll call you.” The gym just wasn’t into me.

Ouch.

Have I mentioned I detest sucking at stuff? Oy. It stung. Not even gonna lie. My fellow spin instructor friend told me that it was a sucky time slot and did her best to make me feel better, but it still didn’t change the fact that I wasn’t a big enough “draw”.

When a door closes, a window opens….or something like that. For the past 2 years, I’ve been working out bootcamp-style in my driveway with my mom, sister, neighbors, and who ever else wanted to join us. After a bit of a break through the holidays, it was time to get back to work!

These ladies that I work out with are fellow neighborhood spouses, some bring their kiddos, and we meet in our navy housing community center gym. It’s open, warm, and not being used, so why not? We’ve been adding to our numbers and steadily growing as one friend tells another, and another and so on. What I love about this group is the fact they they are all willing to be my guinea pigs! They let me practice teaching, finding my voice as an instructor, and I learn and grow with them. We all get accountability to stay active (which we all need!) and we meet others in our military housing communities.

Too often, especially here in the northwest where the weather in the winter months is oppressively grey and depressing, it’s easy to just stay inside and wait until the weather improves to get out and be active. Staying inside leads to isolation – and if you’ve ever been through a deployment, isolation is rough. When the only adult conversation (or momversation) you have is the grocery checkout lady, it’s time to get out and get moving!

All of this to say, while it didn’t feel good to get canned, I know I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be: working out with my friends (sometimes hollering at them!) staying active, and learning as much as I can as I study for my next certification.

The breeze from that open window feels so good.

 

Have you ever been let go from a job you loved? What got you through it?

Gratitude

Ah, gratitude.

It’s hard at times to cultivate a posture of gratefulness. There are days when it’s just not easy.

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Today is not that day. It’s Thanksgiving. And instead of blowing up the Facebook newsfeed with daily gratitude thoughts (which are nice), I decided to post my gratitude days in one giant post. Here are 20 things (in no particular order) that I am grateful for right now:

1. My Family

I’m missing my sister and her family, who moved a state away at the end of summer. But I’m so happy for them being able to live where they want, how they want. I can’t wait to see their place when we come to visit. I look forward to Christmas when they will be back to celebrate with us. I love the family Eric and I have created. Despite the normal parenting beat-your-head-against-the-wall days, I am still so very grateful for the minions, and the lessons they are teaching me everyday. Today we will have a feast with my parents and get to watch my kids climb all over them! I am thankful for family.

2. Health

You don’t appreciate it until you don’t have it, or so the saying goes. I am thankful for my family’s health. I’m thankful for learning about healthy living and eating well to nourish our bodies, and putting physical fitness into action. I’m beyond grateful that I’ve had the opportunity, and the energy, to model this for my kids. I’m glad I’m active and healthy enough to keep up with them!

3. Laughter

I love to laugh. Growing up, making my parents belly laugh was immense fun. I would go to great lengths to make them laugh, even lying in wait behind a door to startle my dad, who would freak out, but then chuckle and call me names! Even today, I like the sound of a big guffaw from my dad, or the silent-can’t-breath-convulsion-near-hyperventilation laugh of my mom. My husband, by nature, is not a laugh-out-loud kind of person. It takes something VERY funny to bring that out. I love being the one who can. My kids’ laughter is like music in soul. I love the uncontrollable giggles at whatever randomness they find amusing – like when I tickle them, or threaten to pinch their cute little butts all the way up the stairs as they scramble up as fast as they can to avoid mom’s “crabby hands that go pinch, pinch, pinch!” Laughter is my favorite medicine.

4. The Sun

I’m thankful that even on cold days, the sun has been out. I love the sun. The more places we live, the more I realize that I am a fair-weather girl. I need sunlight on my skin, the warmth reaching through to chase out the cold-to-the-bone raw iciness of winter. I need the vitamin D that chases away the winter grays and blues. The bonus is that these sunny days have provided cold-but-doable days at the play park to get the kids out of the house.

5. Friends

Old and new, near and far – I’m so very thankful for great friends. Real, authentic, see-me-in-my-p.j.s-and-morning-hair-and-still-wanna-hang-out friends. Friends who call from around the world for the 7 minutes we have to spare before going to bed/starting our day. Friends who while we may not talk daily, can pick up a conversation as if we do. Friends who are never far from our thoughts, those we bounce ideas off of, vent to, cry with, and smile for. Real friends are treasures for which I am extremely thankful.

6. Spin

I love spin. I don’t know if I love it more than running, but it may be a tie. Spin, especially in the winter here, is my current favorite way to get my much-needed endorphins, sweat out life’s frustrations and listen to some great music. It’ll cure what ails you.

7. Writing

Doing it for me, doing it for others – either way, I get to be creative, research, and learn. I love it and I’m thankful for the opportunity!

8. Vacation

The hubs has been on leave from work for almost 2 weeks. He’s taken over dish duty, early morning minion patrol, as well as preschool taxi service so I could get some vacation from the norm, too! I even got a few days to sleep in past 5am. There is no doubt I am thankful for the gift of sleep!

9. Grown-up playdates

Coffee and dinner dates with friends are one of my favorites. Over the past couple of months, I’ve been excited to have multiple dates over great food, coffee, and manicures – which result in wonderful conversation. Adult conversation is a gift beyond measure for someone who primarily converses with 3 and 5 year olds.

10.  Coffee.

If I have to explain this, you are not a coffee drinker and will probably not get it.

11. Anticipation

The holiday season is here and with it comes all the palpable energy of anticipation. I love watching the kids getting excited for the festivities to come. Often the anticipation and excitement are better than the actual events. Viewing holiday traditions and get togethers through the lens of my kids’ eyes is magic.

12. Food

Yum. I love Thanksgiving and all the trimmings. I also love starting new traditions and rethinking old favorites into healthier versions. I’m making scratch stuffing for the first time today. I can’t wait!

13. Funny inside jokes

I love those moments between Eric and I when we are sharing an inside joke, or spelling out things in front of the kids that we don’t want them to hear. It’s just fun.

14. Books, blogs, and magazines

Having a voracious appetite for reading, I love all kinds of books. I’m thankful for the many mediums to learn and read. Blogs, magazines, websites, and books to dig into, ask questions, get curious, escape into adventure and grow from are limitless.

15. Time

Grateful for time spent with my family, our kids, just the two of us, friends, or even just time to be alone. Deployments put time into steep perspective. “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” -Mae West.

16. The Ocean

Simple words from my keyboard will never do it justice, but there is something about the ocean that I love and am grateful for. When I stand at the edge of the sea, I am reminded of the vastness of God, the universe and our planet. I am once again reminded that I am so very small. But, like the tiny peoples and grains of sands under my feet, I’m also reminded that small things, when grouped together, can do great things. I am grateful for the metaphors of nature.

17. Lessons Learned by Being a Military Spouse

The list is too long to count here, but there are some valuable lessons I’ve learned by being a military spouse. The community of spouses from all walks of life that come together over the thread of common experience is astounding to me. It proves in a small way that all kinds of people with differing viewpoints and backgrounds can get along – and thrive – despite hardships, heartbreaks, and distance. I am proud and thankful to be among the ranks of some of the strongest people I know.

18. Preschool

Yes, I am thankful for preschool. Not only for the mommy breaks it provides for 2 and half hours three days a week, but for the chance for the minions to play with other kids, to learn, and gain the foundation they will use for the rest of their lives:

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19. The Basics.

Food, shelter, clothing, transportation, running water, etc. We live a very comfortable life. I am grateful for it and hope to never take it for granted. Life is so good.

20. Gratitude

Yes, it’s kind of circular, but I’m thankful for the opportunity to be thankful. I hope to cultivate a spirit of gratitude in my kids, that they always look for things for which to be grateful. Hard times are made that much easier by taking the time to look to the positive, and to have a posture of gratitude.

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What are you thankful for today?

The First Class

(The WordPress daily prompt was to discuss beginnings. How perfect!)

Well, I did it! I didn’t puke, faint or fall off the bike!

There was however a problem with the equipment. My phone (where my music is) was not compatible with the dock at the gym. Can’t very well have a spin class without music. (You could, but it wouldn’t be very fun.) As much as I loathe WalMart, I have to say I was very thankful that they are open 24 hours! This tiny little piece of plastic stood between me and my first class:

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Good thing I am an early birdy and got there 45 minutes early. I zipped to WalMart, grabbed the converter and I was off and running. Back to class with 10 minutes to spare.

I was pretty nervous, which was to be expected. The playlist was good, although it ran a bit long so I opted out of the last sprint track. All in all, it was a success. I’m glad to have the first class under my belt and to keep improving from here. The class was gracious, thanked me, and were easy on me, but more importantly – they were all wiping off the sweat and had a great workout!

And now I can come down off my adrenaline high/nausea and work on a new set list!

Here’s to next week!