Strong-Fit-Beautiful Turns 2!

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Today is an exciting day here at Strong-Fit-Beautiful … we are turning 2! I would have never imagined that, when I took my girl Helen’s advice and started writing about what I love, it would have turned into something so incredible. I’ve been blessed that, as a result, I’ve had a lot of great opportunities – and been able to share a lot of great stories and advice – along the way. I’ve “met” some great people from around the world who are here for the same reason I am – because health and fitness are my passion, my love, the one thing that I can always get excited to talk about.

One thing that a lot of people don’t know about me is that I’m not naturally as outgoing and enthusiastic as I am when fitness is involved. While there is no greater feeling than stepping in front of a class, and chatting with those who have, truly, become my friends week in and week out, I can be pretty shy. I have a hard time letting people in a lot of the time. Which is why I think that I love teaching – I have the opportunity to be someone else. To be the me I wish I was. To feel like, even if only for a short time, I’m not being criticized or judged. In a lot of ways, I get the same feeling when I’m sharing my posts and communicating with all of you – it’s incredibly rewarding. Makes me feel as if I’m making a difference. Having an impact. And at the end of the day, that is the one thing I want out of my life – to know that I have made someone’s life better.

When I first started Strong-Fit-Beautiful, I was in kind of a sad place. I’d recently  had my heart broken – again – and I often found myself wondering if I had wasted many of my “good” years, too focused on the things that didn’t mean as much to me, and not enough on the ones that really did. I felt like I’d done a lot of work, lived a lot of life, and maybe didn’t have too much to show for it. But the truth is, I have realized that it’s the lows that make the highs that much sweeter. And there really is something better just around the corner – and if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that when we feel we’ve been given all we can handle, the prize for surviving is within our reach (I can honestly say that in the last six months, I’ve had a lot more highs than lows … and everything kind of all hit at once … and yes, I wasn’t sure I could get any lower before that trend started a rapid climb upward). There have been many ups and downs since then, and though I don’t make a practice of sharing too much personal stuff too often, I’m glad to say that while life isn’t perfect right now, it is looking pretty good. I know that I have a lot of great people around me, supporting me, loving me and standing by me through those ups and downs. And I’m fortunate enough to do what I love part-time … even if it is only a few hours a week, teaching classes is truly the best food my soul could ever hunger for.

But enough of the sappy stuff, right? I’ve had a really great time writing Strong-Fit-Beautiful these last two years, and I’ve had some amazing opportunities come out of it. I’ve been fortunate to connect with some other incredible bloggers, both here in the U.S. and across the world. I’ve met a few of my readers here in the local area, and I’ve even enjoyed my five minutes of fame when one of my classes was featured on the morning local ABC news. I’ve had some great laughs from some of your comments (trust me, it makes me feel much more normal knowing that some of the same weird crap I see in my gym is not exclusive to my area … there are weirdos all over). More than anything, I’ve had FUN doing something I love (writing), and even more fun getting to discuss one of my favorite topics (fitness) on the regular.

So, to all of you who have helped Strong-Fit-Beautiful become what it is today … THANK YOU! You’re the best. As long as you’ll keep reading, I’ll keep sharing. I  know I haven’t been as good as of late about keeping up as I have in the past, but life has been crazy, so I’m trying my best (as my mom says, it’s tiring having a life, isn’t it? It’s something that’s kind of new to me). Here’s to another year of fun and fitness!

 

Happy Birthday, Strong-Fit-Beautiful!

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I can’t believe it has already been a year since my first post here at Strong-Fit-Beautiful. At the time, I had no idea that, one, people would actually read what I was writing, two, the blog community would be so embracing, engaging, and thought-provoking, and three, that I would end up loving this creative outlet as much as I do.

For me, starting a blog should have been something I would have done a long time ago. Blending my love for fitness with my background as a writer and editor really is such a natural fit.  I know I’ve mentioned her a few times here and there, but this little blog wouldn’t have existed without the person who initially pushed me to start writing it: my girl Helen. She’s seen me through a lot of good times – and a lot of bad times – and in the 3+ years we have known each other, she’s become a close friend, a sounding board, and often times, my sanity (you’ll get that when you spend 40+ hours a week sitting quite literally four feet away from someone). So to Helen: THANK YOU! Strong-Fit-Beautiful would have never existed without you.

For those of you who join me in class, I appreciate you taking a little time to check in with me in the blog world as well as in the studio. You were also part of why I’ve continued to write – your questions often inspire me to do a little research, share answers to often asked questions, and give you the opportunity to re-live the torture you endured in a Spinning class through the weekly playlist (you know I love all you badasses for making it through it – and coming back for more week after week). You make me a better instructor and a better communicator. I know I’ve said it a million times, but you are all truly the reason I continue to learn, teach, and wish I had more hours in my week to commit to leading classes for you. If fitness is my heart, you all are what feeds my soul. I truly feel as if the person I am when I step in front of a class is the best version of myself, and it means the world that you allow me to share her with you.

And to you, my readers. We are all in different parts of the world, yet the love of fitness and this incredible blog community brings us together. From many of you, I have gotten ideas I may have never come up with on my own, and I look forward to reading your reactions to my thoughts. You have inspired me, you’ve made me think, helped me look at an exercise or an idea differently, and often – even if you don’t realize it – you’ve cheered me up when I was feeling down.

I’ve covered a lot of topics throughout the last year – some serious, some humorous, some just plain scary or out there (first one that comes to mind? That story about the nasal feeding tube for weight loss). That said, here are a few of my favorites from the last year:

The Best Way to Start Your Week: A Love Letter to My Sunday Morning Spinning Class

Tonight’s 7 Miler: An Internal Monologue (Holy ADD)

Kisses Blown, Songs Sung – Last Night’s Spinning Class Made My Week

All’s Fair in Loving Fitness (a.k.a. Why I Want to Change the World)

Body Image: What You See is What You Become?

How We Can Combat Obesity: Healthy Habits Start in Childhood!

What Your Group X Instructor Wishes You Knew

Never, Ever Give Up: Arthur’s Inspirational Transformation

Hybrid Exercising: Piloxing and Barre Ride (naturally, I have to include my fitness tv debut)

So, what have you had the most to say about? The most comments have come from Who Am I?, Don’t Go to the Gym to Look Good … Do It for the Way It Makes You Feel! and The Upside of Running on a Treadmill. And a quick thanks to Colin at Uberbeastmode … you’ve earned the honor of being my top commenter (keep ‘em coming, I love your insight!)

Now that you’ve seen what I’ve liked throughout the last year, what were some of your other favorite posts? And what do you want to see more of (or perhaps learn about me) as we start the second year of Strong-Fit-Beautiful?

Finally, a big THANK YOU to all of you for your support and comments throughout the last year – you are the best!