A Sweaty & Trendy Fitness Adventure

A while back I attended an event in Boston after one of my good friends urged me to come.

The event was Boston Social Athletes, a community where area fitness lovers get together once a month at a nearby bar and gather, meet and mingle over cocktails.

Meet the organizer of this group, Will Allen. He and I immediately hit it off and quickly realized that while we’re very different individuals our passion for health could not be more radiant.

Not too long after Will and I were emailing back and forth about starting something really unique and fun regarding fitness in Boston.

Enter: Will & Caroline’s Fitness Adventure.

While I am a fitness instructor, trainer and all around wellness geek, Will is a pure athlete. He has rowed competitively for years and recently traveled to Great Britain to compete in the Henley Regatta.

Holy wow. 

Will & Caroline’s Fitness Adventure was born over drinks and a discussion. We knew that taking on the Boston fitness scene together would be pretty amazing … For a few reasons.

1. We could not be more different when it comes to fitness. I have tried every trend under the sun, Will, well he has not. 

2. We both have a decent sense of humor. Or I like to think so. (Hint: Videos will happen.)

3. Why not?

So what does this Fitness Adventure entail?

Well, each week Will and I will take a fitness class together in Boston. From CrossFit to hot yoga and indoor cycling, we will experience it together. There will be Instagrams, tweets and blog posts galore from each of us telling our side of the story.

The best part is we start tomorrow.

Turnstyle Cycle in Cambridge is our first spot. Be ready to see two sides of the fitness spectrum … and most importantly, enjoy a little laugh.


Why I Believe Everyone Should Fail

“Failure should be your teacher, not your attacker. Failure is a lesson, not a loss. It is a temporary, necessary detour, not a dead end.”

I recently saw this quote on one of my favorite websites. Instead of passing it by — as I do many — this particular post spoke to me.

No, I didn’t have this revolutionary ah-ha moment, but I did however take a step back and think about all the moments in my life that I have “failed”.

And trust me, there have been plenty.

From quizzes and texts in high school to missing my AFAA Group Fitness Certification exam by one, yes ONE, point.

I was in college — my senior fall — and I had decided to go after this certification in hopes of one day in the distant future becoming an indoor cycling instructor. Mind you, I graduated with my BFA in art history — a far cry from the field I now work in.

After busting my ass for months studying for an exam based around exercise science, kinesiology and music phrases (all of which I knew nothing about), I spent one very long afternoon in our campus rec center taking this 9-hour certification course.

While I passed the practical with flying colors — I’ve always been more of a presenter than test taker — it was time to get comfortable, grab our #2 pencils and complete the written portion of the exam.

Even though this was 6 years ago, it honestly feels like yesterday.

About an hour later I finished my composition book of an exam and turned it into the proctor. 4 long weeks passed before I was mailed my results.

Fail. 22 points to pass, I received 21. Fuck.

I vividly remember calling my mom as I was holding back tears and walking to my dorm room. She did what all caring, compassionate people do and listened. And then she gave me sound advice, a quote that I will always remember from one of my favorite books:

The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.”

― Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

And she was right.

Instead of sulking in my own sadness, I picked myself up, studied harder and went back to retake the exam. I passed, and of course, the next 6 years building my career in the fitness industry has proven successful.

The point is this: If I had let that moment of failure detour me from becoming an instructor, I would never be where I am today. The people I’ve met, trained, chatted and worked out with are exceptional.

I genuinely believe I needed that failure to prove to myself how badly I really wanted to work in this industry.

Because, after all, a detour just takes you on a different path. It’s structurally set up to reroute you, not derail you. And while this uncharted path may get confusing along the way — the end result is worth the journey.

You just have to be willing to drive on a new road.

What kind of failures have you experienced? 

The Shining Activity Device That’s Keeping Me On Track

A few months ago I was asked to review an up and coming activity tracker. Why have I waited so long to review it? Well, just like any device, I wanted to see how much I used it in my day-to-day life. 
Hint: Every Damn Day. 

The Shine, a sleek tracker made by Misfit, is just about as classy as they come. Attachable to your clothing, sneaker or worn as a bracelet, the Shine discretely measures the steps you’ve taken, calories burned and also illuminates as a clock. 

The disk-like device is activated by a slight tap on its exterior. The first illumination shows how many steps you’ve taken while the second two lights shine like hands of a clock displaying the time.
Back clasp …. oh heyy Flash Tat 🙂
Wirelessly syncing to your phone throughout the Shine App, all of your data is available at your disposal to evaluate. 

Personally, I use this as a ‘check-in’ for myself. Now that I am desk-bound twice a week, I find I’m much less mobile on those days. I set a goal of 10,000 steps and strap on my Shine. Once the day is done and I’m climbing into bed I pull up my Shine app and see just how far I walked, ran and just plain moved.

So what does this mean to you? 
Well, if you’re looking for something that will hold you accountable to workout, stay fit, get fit or just move more — this is it. It’s simple to use and stylish design will have everyone asking what you’re wearing. 
And while my style is sporty by nature, I have to say I wear this gadget wherever I go. Out to dinner, to the gym or walking Baxter. I really enjoy the simplicity while (in my opinion) being comparable to a Nike Fuel Band or FitBit. 
Did I mention they come in an array of colors? 
Yup. Shine on my friends, shine on. 

Disclaimer: Misfit Wearables sent me a Shine to review. As always, all of my opinions and commentary are my own.