Thursday, January 24, 2013

Embraceable You

Yeah, you.  Change, that is.

Here's the thing about change.  It happens whether you're looking for it or not.  Most people I know feel very strongly about it, one way or the other.  They either HATE it, or embrace it fully.  Funny thing though, even the ones who hate it, the folks who fight it all the way (you know who you are), realize (once they're through it) that it's not such a bad thing, after all.  Good things can come from change.

Take my brother, for example, the die-hard PC guy.  He scoffed at my Apple loving until one day, out of the blue, he was given a MacBook Air to use for work.  Now? He's got an iPhone 5 and an iPad mini.  Yeah, he changed.  And he loves it!

Or my mom, who finally - FINALLY - got herself wireless internet service (yeah, I know...) and can not fathom how she lived without it (or that MacBook Air she inherited from the aforementioned brother).

I've watched several friends go through tough times over the past few years, not wanting to deal with the change that fate was handing them.  And now they can't imagine life any other way.  They're actually grateful for the changes.

I am an embracer of change.  There are things that I'm tied to - my workouts for example - but I also am always open to trying new things.  It's not so much that I must have boot camp, I just must have exercise, I must stay fit and feel healthy and strong.  Any way I can make that happen makes me happy (okay, so Shark Fitness boot camp is still my favorite, sue me).

This year, I'm embracing more change.  I'm working on a revamp of my freelance business... a new name, new logo and (finally) a website ( to showcase my work.  I'm also working on a few feature articles for larger market magazines.

The excitement of what's around the next bend keeps me going.  Kids seem to embrace change more easily than adults.  But maybe that's because they are constantly changing - it's part of their growth.

To wit: The other night, I opened up my middle son's backpack and found a mess.  About twenty crumpled sheets of looseleaf were stuffed inside, around folders with dog-earred corners, empty candy wrappers, broken pencils, and pens with the caps missing.  I smoothed out each page and had him go through them with me to make sure he didn't still need any of them for school.  I guarantee there were a few missing assignments in there (like that homework page he swore the teacher never gave him).

Last night, my oldest was pulling out a folder from his backpack to work on some homework.  I couldn't help but notice all the looseleaf pages inside were perfectly straight and organized.  I looked at him and said, "Remember a few years ago, when you were in 7th grade? Your backpack looked exactly like your brother's."  He just smiled.  See? There's hope for Jack yet!

Change is good.  Stepping out of your comfort zone is good, too, as it invites change.  The aforementioned lovable, yet disorganized Jack put a band together a few weeks ago to try out for his school's talent show.  Four 13 year-old boys played "Dream On" for four judges.  Thirty three acts tried out.  His was one of the 15 that made it.  I'm so proud of his fearlessness, his desire to try new things.

I took a page from his book, and sent in my first fiction story to a short story competition.  It may get cut in the first round, but at least I gave it a shot.  It felt good to stretch my creative muscles and try something different.  You never know what doors will open when you give yourself over to change.

Like Sam Cooke sang so beautifully, A Change is Gonna Come.  I can feel it in the brisk, cold air, the blustery wind.  It's invigorating.

 What about you? Are you adverse to change? Or do you embrace it?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Top 10 Ways to Tell You're a Shark

It's that time of year again.  The gyms are overflowing with resolution-makers clad in matching outfits with cute logos, perfect ponytails and just the right touch of lipstick and mascara.  They're simultaneously jogging on the treadmill while they watch tv, read a magazine and carry on a conversation with their friend on the next machine without breaking stride.  Some work out.  Ever told your kids that they'll get out of school what they put into it? The same rule applies to your exercise.  

I've been attending Shark Fitness Boot Camp for four years now.  And in honor of the NEW YEAR and the beginning of my 5th year as a Shark, I thought I'd share the 

Top 10 Ways to Tell You're A Shark:

10. You can't wait to begin class because it's too damn cold to stand around any longer.
9. You park in the first available parking space, rather than wait for the ones closest to the door.
8. You no longer drink Margaritas.  Not even on Cinco de Mayo (thanks Keath).
7. At the end of every workout your shirt is drenched and you're exhausted.  And happy.
6. You've heard Beth say a few, choice 4-letter words.
5. You know bananas taste the same coming up.
4. You've heard George say "Best. Set. of Pushups. Ever!"
3. You know the value of being on time.  
2. You know what a 6 year old order of french fries looks like (no different than a 6-second old order of french fries).
And #1. You've invited all your friends and family members to attend a class because "It's so much fun!"

Maybe you can tell that I've been missing my boot camp - and can't WAIT until 0600 on Thursday to get started again! It is my exercise, my stress relief, my "me" time.  I couldn't be more proud to be part of such a fantastic group of people.  We're strong, inside and out.  We never quit.  We have an amazing work ethic that carries over into our personal and professional lives.  And we know what it means to give 100%.  
If any of this sounds intriguing to you, check it out.  I promise that not only will it be worth your while, it may very well change your life.

Happy New Year!