Small Steps, Big Moves

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If you’ve ever changed jobs, moved or left a tainted relationship you’ve taken a step.

It doesn’t matter how large the step is, and honestly, how vital it felt to take it. What matters most is that you took it. See, in life these small steps add up to much larger paths. These small twists and turns become much larger branches on the tree that is our life — too deep? Sorry, I’m feeling it. 

As most of you know, I went to school for Art History. I studied the Italian Renaissance and had every painting, sculpture and photo memorized by date, medium and era. And while I studied abroad my junior year of college, I knew upon graduation that continuing along this path wasn’t for me.

You see, I moved to Boston thinking I wanted to work in a gallery or museum. I tirelessly applied to job listings, perfected my resume and even made phone calls to those I thought could help get me in the door. No luck.

I was unemployed for 4 months.

Cruising through my savings all while trying to not get discouraged, part of me knew this wasn’t the right path. Something was telling me to go forth in another direction. So I did.

I found a indoor cycling position (which I had been certified in since college), worked as a receptionist at the gym and was a cocktail waitress. I persevered because I knew that’s what I had to do — I was not about to wallow in self pity over not finding a job that utilized my degree.

A few years later I became a certified personal trainer, began writing this blog and discovered an entire world I had not yet been privy too.

So what am I saying? Talk that step.

It will undoubtedly be hard. You may even second guess yourself. But, at the end of the day, you’re moving forward.

“Tip toe if you must, but take the step.”

-TTT

Twitter Trolls & Ignoring The Comments

e592d35b44bfc74a535d2d3b97ee5c59If I have learned one thing from writing a blog, working for a publication and being a member of social media, it’s that you have to have thick skin.

I am talking skin made out of … Well, I’m not quite sure, but it’s got to be unbreakable.

Why? Because as soon as you dip your big toe into the ocean that is the internet harsh waves in the form of comments and tweets begin to swell around you.

Remember the saying, ‘Sticks and stones can break my bones but words will never hurt me?’

Who the heck said that? Because, I tripped over a Christmas tree (read: a stick) awaiting pick-up this morning and it merely scratched my ankle. No blood and certainly no tears. To me, this is lightyears less impactful than the words that are displayed on Twitter, Facebook and beyond.

So why did I bring this up?

We’ll, if you are friends with me on the ole FB, you know I recently wrote a story about juice cleansing for BostInno. I interviewed two parties. In my opinion they are both experts in their field (read more about their backstory here). The article was a pros vs. cons on the popular method of detoxing … and since I am neither for or against nor am I an expert, I let these two strong women take the reigns.

I asked the questions, they gave me answers.

Mmm. Sounds too good too be true. It was. I immediately began receiving nasty tweets from complete strangers (okay, that’s Twitter for you) who were not giving their opinions on the controversial topic, but instead bashing me as a writer.

It didn’t stop there.

More tweets and comments began flooding in and before I knew it that big toe I had so boldly dipped into the ocean turned into a full body emersion. That small wake, now a crashing wave.

I left work that day feeling pretty defeated. Thick skin or not, you can only get beat down so many times before the comments wear on you and your confidence to produce valuable content.

I plopped on the couch, kicked up my feet and vowed to not check Twitter for the rest of the night. While watching my new favorite show, The Girlfriends Guide to Divorce — thank you Bravo  — I was quickly distracted by the story line which dealt with the main character (who is an author) and her haters/their rude comments.

And then this was said,

“Nobody truly interesting is universally liked.”

Just like that my mood changed.

I started viewing these words as fuel to ignite my inner self. I reminded myself that in some ways this was simply modern day bullying; Someone hiding behind a computer screen was putting me down … and I wasn’t going to let it anymore.

Because I’m truly interesting. Because I work hard for the articles I produce. And if someone wants to chew me out or be mean on a social platform, let them. I am not universally liked … and that’s is fine by me.

-TTT

40 Questions for 2014

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For the past 4 years I have spent a few moments on NYE filling out this questionnaire.

I find it’s a great way to reflect on what has happened over the 12 months and also think about what I want to accomplish in the coming year.

I’ll be really honest here, sometimes the answers are awful … sometimes they make me cry. But always, and I mean always, am happy I completed it.

Because for me looking back at the year that was is more about lessons learned than regrets. It’s more about positives than negatives. And while those slumps and road bumps certainly occurred throughout my 2014, I am choosing to not let them surface.

Way too many amazing things happened this year. What about you?

Fill out this for yourself. Save it on your computer. Always have a piece of 2014 to hold onto. 

1. What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

4. Did anyone close to you die?

5. What countries did you visit?

6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?

7. What date from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory?

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

9. What was your biggest failure?

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

11. What was the best thing you bought?

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

14. Where did most of your money go?

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

16. What song will always remind you of 2014?

17. Compared to this time last year, are you…

i. happier or sadder?

ii. thinner or fatter?

iii. richer or poorer?

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

20. How did you spend Christmas?

21. How will you spend New Year’s Eve?

22. Did you fall in love in 2014?

23. How many one night stands?

24. What was your favorite TV program?

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

26. What was the best book you read?

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

28. What did you want and get?

29. What did you want and not get?

30. What was your favorite film of this year?

31. What did you do on your birthday?

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?

34. What kept you sane?

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

37. Who did you miss?

38. Who was the best new person you met?

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.

40. Quote a song lyric/movie/tv quote that sums up your year:

 

Happy 2014 TTTers, can’t wait to see what 2015 brings :)

xoxo, 
Caroline

Time For a Challenge. Join Me?

Last year around this time, I got introduced to a little ole company called Advocare.

While I am very particular about which products I put into my body, I decided to do some research and reviews about this line. And hot damn, I was impressed.

Not only was it a versatile company, they have products for many varieties of goals. From weight loss to performance and overall well being, I just got a good vibe with them. And let me just say, that takes a lot.

To give you some perspective: I am the type of personal trainer/fitness instructor/blogger who investigates every ingredient on her protein powder before blending it with my frozen banana and carrageenan-free almond milk. Yup, that’s me folks.

And just as I am careful regarding what I put into my body, I also become slightly obsessed with the ones I love.

Enter: Advocare.

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Since January 2014, I have participated in 2 24-Day Challenges and bought countless containers of Spark, OmegaPlex and many more.

Why? Because this 24-DC is a way for me to reset my system after a season filled with cheese plates, cookies and lots of wine. By NO means am I depriving myself or limiting my intake of healthy fats, carbohydrates and natural sugars. In fact, if anything, this month allows me to take a step back and recognize how amazing those foods feel in my body.

And of course, the proof is in the pudding.

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My first challenge last January I lost about 5 lb. and multiple inches. However, most importantly, my digestion and energy levels were through the roof. I’m talking no bloat, no fatigue, no afternoon slump. At all.

So, if you’re interested, let me know if you’d like to join me on January 5 (in the comments below) on a 24-DC worth every single penny. And if you have any questions, send ‘em my way :)

-TTT

The 12 Days of Fitness

Honesty is the best policy, right? Right.

I’ve barely done any Christmas shopping.

I’m talking a few items online, a couple in-store and … well … a lot of ideas still swirling around in my head. But, that’s a start. It’s not like the big day is a week away or anything ;)

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While I get all my Christmas ducklings in a row, I’ve also been doing my fair share of celebrating over here. Engagements and babies — hooray!!  And in the midst of it all I set up a sweet little special over on BostInno to help all y’all get through the holidays the healthiest possible.

Enter: The 12 Days of Fitness.

Each day I’ve been tossing out healthy resolution advice, gift guides and even tips for not derailing your diet at those holiday parties. Here’s what I have so far:

– A Healthy Gift Guide for All the Fitness Junkies in Your Life

– 6 Festive Foods to Avoid at Holiday Parties this Year

– How to Find The Best Gym For You

Enjoy!
-TTT

Stress, Change & Learning How To Breathe Again

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Has it really been 12 days since I last posted? My bad. Clearly things have been hectic on this side of the computer screen.

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Well, other than writing tons of turkey day/holiday-related content, giving this blog a facelift and coming down with a nasty cold/flu (last week — yuck), I’ve been doing a lot of thinking.

Every year around this time I start to evaluate the past 12 months. From weddings to babies, jobs and friendships, as we get older, undoubtedly things change. And while I’m not the biggest fan of this, I’ve learned that it’s all a part of growing up.

This year alone I started a new job as a health and fitness journalist and began teaching at a brand new indoor cycling and TRX studio. Personally and professionally I saw a lot of growth.

In the relationship department — ahem, let me clarify — in the ‘friendship’ department much happened as well.

I was in one of my good friends weddings, traveled to Chicago, California and Charleston. Both my sister and one of my best friends found incredible men and are now in serious relationships. Two other best friends had babies — one of which moved an hour away.

That’s a lot of change. And I’d be lying if I said I coped wonderfully. I didn’t.

I am far from perfect and this summer in particular was a challenge. I was stressed out, run down, busy beyond belief and dare I say it …

Lost.

Sure I slapped on a smile, attempted to date via swipeable iPhone apps and probably drank far too much wine. But in all honesty, these were all just a bandaid for the underlying issues I was dealing with.

Instead of facing my frustrations head on, I masked them by attending more events and social gatherings — all in an effort to limit the time I had completely free. Because it was in that moment where I would begin to feel lost, uncertain and utterly overwhelmed by this change.

In an effort to not turn this into Trendy Trainer, A Memoir, I will keep it short.

About a month or so ago, I had had enough. I called a meeting with myself, or as I like to call it, a personal pow-wow. I needed to start brainstorming more productive ways to deal with this anxiety — and not just be busier.

Enter, meditation.

I decided that with a job as physically demanding as mine, the stress relief had to come from something non-strenuous. While I’m still in the beginning stages of this practice, I can already tell a difference in my behaviors.

I am relearning how to breathe through certain situations, and let me tell you, it’s refreshing.

How do you cope with change? Stress? 

-TTT

First and foremost, thank you ALL for being so incredible supportive not only about my first video blog, but also regarding my insecurity.

Y’all are amazing and inspire me daily.

Okay, moving on.

Last week I had the opportunity to co-host the final Boston New Balance Girls Night Out event with my blog friend, Sherri of Fun Fit Flavor (her recap here). And while you know just how much I love me some New Balance, these events are a seriously the bomb dot com.

The theme was Staying Fit & Healthy While Traveling.

There ended up being about 100 ladies — a sold out event hosted at the Westin Copley in Downtown Boston.

Why did NB host it at the Westin you ask? Great question.

NB and Westin hotels have a partnership that is absolutely amazing. Regardless of which Westin you’re staying at you can partake in their ‘gear lending’ as well as their RunWESTIN programs.

Gear lending program
We’ve all been there. You arrive at your hotel and realize you’ve forgotten your, gulp, sneakers. You had full intentions of being healthy at this work conference but now feel down and out about your lack of kicks.

Ding! Stay at a Westin and your problems are solved.

NB has everything from sports bras to socks, crops and sneakers if you’ve left yours at home. For $5 you can rent whatever you need and return it when you’re done.

Pretty sweet.

RunWESTIN program
If you’re like me, you want to actually see the city you’re visiting — and if you can do so on foot, even better.

Whether you’re on vacation or traveling for work the RunWESTIN program allows you to take a guided run around town. The special Run Concierge team knows just where to go to give you the best views of the city … and a challenging workout.

At the NBGNO event, the girls had a choice between a 4(ish) mile run with me and the RunWestin Concierge team OR an indoor bootcamp with Sherri led by the RunWestin Concierge himself, Chris!

Seeing our city at night with all of these inspirational ladies was pretty incredible.
Back at the ranch (read: Westin), post-snacks and mid-wine, Sherri and I began out chat regarding staying healthy on-the-go.
We even raffled off an adorable NB roll suitcase! I didn’t win …
In all it was SUCH a fun evening. Between the healthy tips on traveling (which I will post separately later), good food and drink and of course the killer workout, NBGNO will definitely be missed this winter.
Until then ladies, let’s meet up, workout and redefine what it means to have a girls night out :)

Images via NB/Fun Fit Flavor

Fitness Adventure 2: Getting Fit at the Barre

Last Wednesday Will and I took our 2nd adventure. We went to a barre class.

That’s right, this tall, blonde endurance athlete and myself unrolled our mat, grabbed our 5lb. weights and found a spot along the ballet barre.

Will getting after it in barre class.

The studio was C2 Pilates in South Boston — a beautiful wood-floored, one-roomed fitness facility filled with light weights, resistance bands and mini stability balls.

I have to admit, barre really isn’t my thing. I love love lifting heavy weights. I get pleasure out of progressing my deadlift and squat, so when it comes to selecting either 2, 3 or 5lb. dumbbells, I’m not amused. Not because I think I can do more, but because I know the high repetitions (and fatigued limbs) that will soon follow will frustrate the heck out of me.

However, I went into this class with an open mind and an even bigger smile. I figured, if Will — who mind you was the only male at this class — could show up eager to workout, so could I.

It didn’t hurt that our instructor, Eliza Nimon, was absolutely incredible. Not only did she make us feel comfortable, but she made sure that we were doing each and every movement correctly.

Pulse, pulse, pulse. 

As my quads were burning from all the minuscule pulsing, I managed to glance at Will … or should I call him ‘Lake Will’. Sweating up a storm, this guy was plié-ing like you wouldn’t believe.

After an hour class filled with squats, crunches and curls, we cooled down and finished up the class. One big high-five with my fitness partner-in-crime and we were on our way.

My takeaways: While I may never be a dancer or choose to participate in weekly barre classes, I found it really beneficial to take Eliza’s class. I found my flexibility could be improved upon as well as my upper body strength.

Looking forward to the next adventure … I wonder where it will take us?

How do you feel about barre? Have you ever taken a class?
-TTT