I love trying new things, visiting new places and meeting new people, but there’s something to be said about the things that you are familiar with, the places you know and love and your closet friends and family.
I have the tendency to make things more complicated than they need to be. Most of the time, it’s because I am trying to do too much, to be too much and to please too many people at once.
It can be hard not to get caught up in the midst of everything going on and lose your focus (over and over) again. It’s never too late to reset your intention and get back on track. Whether it’s something that could be quickly attained in the near future or something that you will have to work towards over days, weeks or even years.
Every time I take a lapse from writing, I always feel guilty that it’s taken me so long to make the time to do it. There’s been a number of times lately where I’ve sat down, opened up my computer and just stared at the screen. In the hustle and bustle of things, I’d have all sorts of ideas and thoughts that I wanted to put down, but then when I finally sat down to do it… Nothing.
Over the past three months, I’ve spent time trying to slow down a bit and be more present. Despite that, I’ve found myself in Phoenix, Hawaii, Denver, Toronto, Charlotte… and of course Rhode Island and Massachusetts. I’ve worked a lot, became a godmother, celebrated my 31st birthday, got a new car, went to a couple of concerts, taught a lot of Pure Barre and spent time with family and friends.
I’m starting to get better at finding a “work-life balance”, but definitely still have room to improve. I’ve tried to focus more on the positive in every situation, but still fall off track and slip to the dark side more often than I would like…but I’m getting better.
Now, let’s switch gears slightly and begin with my ramblings…
Think about your favorite restaurant. Let me try again. Think about one of your favorite restaurants – if you’re anything like me, how can you just pick ONE?! When you go, do you get the same thing every time, because it’s that good? Or do you venture out and know that anything that you get there will be great? When I was in Charlotte earlier this week, my Mom and I ate at Luna’s Living Kitchen. I’ve been eating here for years – obviously not as frequently since I moved to Rhode Island, but no matter how much time goes on I still think about their manicotti (thin slices of zucchini pasta stuffed with ricotta cashew cheese and topped with a tomato basil marinara). The 100% plant based dish is simple… and it is perfect. As much as I branched out trying other things on their menu, more times than not, I always find myself coming back to my favorite dish.
Moving around quite a bit and traveling a lot, especially over the past 12 years, I’ve had the chance to try all sorts of amazing restaurants. Yet, there’s certain staples that always remain special for one reason or another. Some places… for their consistency, others for their simplicity, those that bring back memories. There’s the new places that we try to continue to be adventurous and then are only left disappointed, wishing that we had stuck to what we know and love.
As you probably know, I grew up dancing competitively. I also ran indoor and outdoor track all four years of High School. After high school, I definitely fell off track (pun intended) a bit as I moved onto college. I remember going to the gym sporadically during my freshman and sophomore year. From what I recall, somewhere around my junior year, I started to get back on track a bit more at the gym and getting more involved with group fitness. Fast forward to finding Pure Barre in 2010, becoming a teacher in 2011 and turning it into my full time job in 2015. Back story a bit to preface my next rambling session. For my non-Pure Barre peeps, don’t worry, I’m not going to go 1000% Pure Barre on ya… well, I’ll try not to.
People often get bored with exercise. Yet, exercise IS redundant. For my runners, you are “moving the legs more rapidly than a walk and in such a manner that for an instant in each step all or both feet are off the ground”. You may add variety by changing your course, listening to different music or adjusting the length and / or time of the run. You may enjoy running the exact same course or the same distance to be able to compare your times between the same course (or distance). Like with any form of exercise, there’s so many factors that will factor your performance – what you’ve eaten, hydration, sleep, indoors vs. outdoors, mental state, injuries, how long it’s been since you last ran… the list goes on and on. For my cyclists, you hop on your bike and are moving your legs in the same direction… again and again. Similar to running, variety can be added through resistance, coming up out of the saddle, the music that you may be listening to, the scenery (if you are outdoors).
If you’ve fallen in love with running or cycling, you may find simplicity in this form of exercising. Simplicity does not mean that you can’t still have variety and it most definitely does not limit the challenges. You can always grow.
I tried quite a few variations of group exercise classes – kickboxing, cardio dance, boot camp, pilates, yoga, spin… There were certain aspects of each of them that I thoroughly enjoyed. Of course, with group fitness, you are than considering the other people in attendance and the person leading the group. I like to think that I’m a pretty motivated individual regardless of the people around me or leading me, but throw me in a room with people and a kick@$$ teacher and I’m bound to get a little more competitive and work just a little harder!
One of the things that I loved about Pure Barre from the beginning was the fact that each class would follow a similar flow each time. While you wouldn’t do the exact same class each time you came, you would start to get accustomed to the various positions. With any of the positions that you are in, your body needs a few times (some more than others) to get familiar with it. The more that you take your body through each position the better that you get at it. Better does not mean that it gets easier. Better means that you find proper form and are able to challenge yourself even more. The majority of the class, you are going through small ranges of motion in each of the positions that you are in, in order to get a total body workout. Ultimately, if you held each position, without any of the small movements, class would still be very hard. The small movements throughout and subtle differences in the various positions give you just enough variety. Variety also comes through each teacher’s personality and the music. After taking classes for over six years, neither my mind or body has become bored. Both are still challenged each and every class. For me, while variety is important, simplicity is even more important in order to maintain the true essence of the purpose of this class and it’s effectiveness.
Maybe you have a coworker or a friend that always needs MORE. Nothing is ever good enough. The glass is always half empty – it is never half full. As soon as one “issue” is resolved, they can immediately find the next problem to complain about rather than taking the time to enjoy what they just got. Those that don’t even give things a chance before they jump to conclusions or turn on the negative vibes. There’s always a BUT. “I met this guy, but…” “It was good, but…” As soon as they throw in the but, anything positive that they’ve said before it basically goes out the window.
“If you’re not helping to make it right, stop complaining about it being wrong.”
Don’t get me wrong, I have my go to people that I pick up the phone and b*tch to, but then before long we are enjoying ourselves and laughing (usually about how much I just overreacted). I mean, c’mon, I don’t trust people that are 100% happy and positive 24/7.
Anyways, as I get older, I’ve found myself truly cherishing my long term relationships. By long term, I guess we can call that those that have been around for 10 or more years. Hey, all of you that entered my life after 2007 are great too… just give me a second.
All of my family and quite a few friends fall into the 10+ years group, but there’s one person in particular that impacted my life tremendously over the past twelve years since I met him.
I’ve share this quote before, but it’s good not to share it again:
“Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colours seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.” ― Bob Marley
Every time I read this quote, my heart melts. It makes it all sound so simple. Relationships are not always easy. Love is not always simple. If we can stop doing the wrong things – putting our time and energy into the wrong things – then life and love can become simpler. There are so many distractions and lots of ups and downs, but hopefully when you find the right one, it’s all worth it and neither one of you give up if it truly was meant to be.
You’ve probably stopped reading at this point or at least had to grab a snack or take a bathroom break.
I’ll leave you with this…
“For most of life, nothing wonderful happens. If you don’t enjoy getting up and working and finishing your work and sitting down to a meal with family or friends, then the chances are you’re not going to be very happy. If someone bases his happiness or unhappiness on major events like a great new job, huge amounts of money, a flawlessly happy marriage or a trip to Paris, that person isn’t going to be happy much of the time. If, on the other hand, happiness depends on a good breakfast, flowers in the yard, a drink or a nap, then we are more likely to live with quite a bit of happiness.” – Andy Rooney