Refuse to live a life of expectation

As I sit here with a big mug of green tea listening to the rain pound relentlessly at my window, I cannot seem to wipe the smile off my face.

Today was a great day, an incredible day even, and in all truthfulness nothing ‘happened’ to me.. it was what happened around me.

It started off like most Mondays.. trudging to the gym in the rain at 6am to get my morning cardio in, and even with a sore lower back (don’t worry, it’s only a small strain – my fault for pushing too much weight overhead and not bracing my core properly – do not do this!), it always feels great to get a sweat on to kick off my day.

Work began like any other Monday: immediate chaos upon walking through the door. It’s to be expected, and we plan for days like this, but it’s always a kicker trying to manage so many issues at once without warning.

Crisis is always exhilarating, but here’s where the day actually gets exciting:

When you work so closely with and to (legitimately within arms reach) coworkers, you truly get to know them and their abilities at a pretty high level. You work together to get tasks done, celebrate the wins and pick each other up when outcomes aren’t ideal… but the very best part about working so closely with others is watching them grow and succeed. Today, one of my coworkers overcame a huge obstacle and handled it like a pro. I felt proud and inspired to have been there to witness the situation unfold, confidence set in and a new realization that she could now always conquer issues as challenging as these the next time one comes her way.

As the day progressed I was thinking a lot about my time, how valuable it is and how I’m fortunate enough get to chose how I spend it. Too often we get caught up in the ‘what’s next‘ and ‘how am I going to get there‘ – and we forget how valuable this very moment and the people around us are. Worse, we often never realize how valuable those things are until they’re gone.

I choose to spend my time and effort on people and things that matter. I want to know that what I’ve done has helped someone – be it mentally, physically, or emotionally – be a better version of themselves and gain greater self-awareness, respect or love than they previously had. I think this explains a lot about why relationship building is at the core of my beliefs – both for business and personal relationships. And it shows, trust me.

I realize however, I am just as guilty for sometimes forgetting what truly matters. People, relationships, community – those are what matter. It’s the people who make the difference – not money, numbers, reports, words, websites, targets or otherwise… none of these ‘things’ matter if there aren’t people who see value in it.

So, I challenged my friends and followers to pay it forward today. Give unselfishly without the expectation of return. As expected, many took the challenge with open arms – sharing their stories and inspiring others to take a moment to do something to help make another person’s day better, easier, happier or even brighter.

Something as simple as a hello, holding the door for someone, giving them a hand or offering to drive them home in the rain has little to no impact on your life, but yet because of the lack of reciprocity these days, it causes people to simply do nothing. And this is sad.

Today, I walked into a Starbucks, ordered a tea and gave the barista money to buy the beverages of next five customers who came in behind me. I didn’t wait around long enough to watch anyone come in, but I truly hope that random act of kindness brought a smile to someone’s face, lifted their sprit and gave them hope that others do actually care for strangers.

I refuse to live a life of expectation. I do not expect reciprocity from others because no one ‘owes’ me anything – but kindness and being present in the moment for another does go an incredibly long way.

This brings us to the gym. I cannot say enough about the incredible members I’m fortunate enough to lead, push and watch grow on the daily. I’m amazed and inspired every time I lead a session and see someone achieve a goal they had been working on for months, or even years…some of which they never dreamt possible.

Just like other areas of life, it’s easy to get stuck in a comfort zone. If it feels good and seems normal why change it, right? WRONG. When you stop learning and changing, you stop growing. Change is essential for growth and if you want different results you have to make changes.

Today, I was put on the spot when the class size became the biggest we’ve seen at the gym yet – a max of 20 ballooned into 25 people staring at me looking for direction. At that moment, three things popped into my head:
1. Shit.
2. How are we going to be able to fit everyone in this space and they all get a great workout?
3. They need to be energized or this could go south, real quick.

My solution? Make them work, push and challenge each-other to distract them from being able to even think about the crowded space. And goddam did it ever work! Never underestimate the power of camaraderie. The members took direction, kicked their asses and pushed their friends to have a great workout and a lot of fun.

As they cleared out, the buzz continued into the next class where I then witnessed one of our members deadlift a crazy 400lbs, one strict-press a personal record 24kg bell and another a 48kg bell! The only words to describe my sentiment after being present in those moments are again, proud and inspired.

IMG_0023.JPG

I personally didn’t ‘get’ anything out of today. But I did get to help, witness and celebrate the achievements of many others, who, without knowing it, ‘gave’ me more than they will ever know.

How do you choose to spend your precious time? Life’s short. Don’t waste it. Grab it, push it, appreciate it and make it meaningful.

Leave a comment

Filed under Personal Records, Positive Reinforcement

Gettin’ uncomfortable left, right and centre

Even though I haven’t been blogging a lot, I’ve been getting pretty uncomfortable these past two months and I thought it was due time to share a few uncomfortable situations.

Uncomfortable situation #1: The big move

Faith and I like to plan and are pretty organized – but there are times when we choose to let some decisions happen spontaneously… and moving around Vancouver just so happens to be one of those decisions. In typical fashion, we decided with 13 days left in the month of February to move to a new apartment March 1.

Decision = best ever.

IMG_3599
Our new place is in a heritage building right downtown Vancouver, within a few minutes walk from both of our work places and two blocks from the harbour/seawall. It has hardwood floors, high ceilings, exposed brick wall and huge picture windows: in other words, gorgeous.

IMG_3621
My living space is very important to me and this has hands down been one of the best moves we’ve ever made :)

Uncomfortable situation #2: A new man

Without going through the extensive details… I’ve finally found myself a good-hearted man with many similar interests in the city of Vancouver! It’s very new, but it’s been a long time since I’ve been a situation where I’m sharing my life with someone… and I like it, a lot. When someone can make you laugh more in a month than you have in the past year.. you know you have a good thing going! :)

Uncomfortable situation #3: My first kettlebell competition

A few weeks ago I competed in the Vancouver Open Kettlebell Competition. I signed up after being encouraged by one of my fellow Element Athletic-ers who asked if I’d enter with her, and because I love a good challenge, I of course said yes.

After agreeing, I had to choose my element. Since my snatch isn’t perfect (I can snatch a good amount of weight, but I still don’t jump properly and tear my hands up) – I decided to do the long cycle. For females, you only need to do one side at once (males need to do double hehe) – so I said, hey why not?

Long cycle consists of a clean and jerk, locking out at the top, for each rep. The craziest part? I’ve never trained the jerk. Ever. until three weeks before the competition.. so the fact that I got the technique down and powered through the five minute set was actually crazy.

IMG_3895
So how’d I do? I placed FIRST in my element and weight class! According to the club’s ranking tables, I got to second rank – not bad for my first competition!

IMG_3893 IMG_3894
It was a great day filled with some amazing people. I can’t wait until the next competition!

IMG_3882

Uncomfortable situation #4: Bungee jumping

Shawn came up to Vancouver for a week and his only stipulation was that we needed to go bungee jumping. Instead of being nervous and freaking out.. I decided not to think about it. Mentally blocking out what was about to happen worked right until actually getting to the bungee spot in Whistler. Shockingly.. not thinking about it up until that point helped! I wasn’t scared.. but I wasn’t overly excited either haha.

Let’s DO THIS!

IMG_3926

For some reason, they suited me up first so without question I continued to not think about it and got ready to launch myself off a bridge.

See, I was happy:

IMG_3928

Once I got to the edge, they truly know how to keep your mind from freaking out because they talk to you the entire time. Before you know it, you are on the edge and they are counting down… five… four… three…. two…one…. JUMP!

So what else could I do, but jump? That’s me wayyyyyyyy down there at the bottom!

IMG_3937

We all did it! Post jump, surging adrenaline, group photo:

IMG_3954

After all of these crazy things in the past few months, I also turned twenty-six this past week… that means I’m OVER a quarter century now!
I’m no longer in my “early twenties.”

terrified
My birthday was spent with the people and in the places I love – and I couldn’t have asked for anything more.

IMG_4010 IMG_4012 IMG_4006

Needless to say, the experiences (albeit many terrifying as hell) have been incredible. I feel like a different person and more prepared than ever to tackle the next items on the list.

The morning after my birthday, the new man in my life was walking me to work (I know, cute, right?) and he looked at me and said “you know, you have some pretty amazing people in your life right? You are one very fortunate girl.”

This I know well and having someone new in my life recognize that, made me smile.

Leave a comment

Filed under Personal Records