30 Day Writing Challenge – Day 11

When I graduated from University (seemingly decades ago now – but who’s counting? ;-)), I had this horrible pit in my stomach that was telling me that something wasn’t right in the direction that I was heading.

I was so lucky to graduate with a job offer in hand; no endless interviews, applications, networking, schmoozing….nada…..I finished my semester late in August and started work the following Monday. I had to take a vacation day from work to attend my convocation in October!

In the semester leading up to graduation, I had this thought that I couldn’t get out of my head, and on a whim I applied to York University for teacher’s college (senior level – high school). I got the recommendation letters, my transcripts, wrote the essays….the whole deal. I honestly never thought that anything would come of it.

But something did.

I ended up getting selected for an on-campus interview with the York Teaching Faculty; so I went. I can still picture the waiting room that we were all sitting in. I was sitting at the table across from a tall blonde lady with very  curly hair, an older Indian man in a full three piece suit, and a bunch of other folks whose faces have blended into the folds of time.

I felt so out of my league, the people at the table with me all had designations, specialties, some had spent years working in childcare…and then there was me! I was so relieved when they finally called me by name to go for my interview.

It wasn’t a business interview, we didn’t sit across the table from each other. Instead we sat in a comfortably cluttered office with uneven stacks of paper on the shelves at a computer desk side by side and had a conversation. I remember the interviewer to be a short lady, a little plump and also with short blonde curly hair. I wish I could remember more about the interview, but I can’t. I left that day unsure of what outcome I was hoping for.

Several weeks, maybe even months later, I received the telltale “big envelope” from York University; I had been accepted.

By this point, I had the job offer from my current employer in my hands as well, and a decision needed to be made.

What to do, what to do?

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I agonized over the decision, but being the risk-averse person that I am, I went with the safe bet. I turned down the acceptance, accepted the job offer and carried on my merry way.

I don’t really believe in regret (most days….), I tend to subscribe more to the idea that each decision we make contributes to where we are today, and where I am today isn’t a bad place to be by any means.

Sometimes I can’t help but wonder “what-if” though……..

Well, I’m off to teach my BodyAttack class; poor Matt’s come down with an awful stomach bug so it doesn’t look like we’ll be up to much this long weekend, but here’s hoping!!🙂

-Sara xo

 

30 Day Writing Challenge – Day 10

Sunday evenings have been a real punch to the gut for as long as I can remember.

I think most of us (save the select few lucky souls in this world that truly love what they do for a living) experience some level of sadness that the weekend is over and that it’s back to the grind for another week, but for me this has been really exaggerated, especially in the last year.

I started noticing not long ago that the “Sunday evening blues” were extending into the “Sunday all day blues”, and even more horrifying was the day when I realized that the “Sunday evening blues” had stretched into the “Saturday afternoon blues”, and then eventually into the “Saturday all day blues”….leaving really one sacred part of the week left untouched; Friday night.

Today’s 30 Day Writing Challenge asks me to write about something which I feel strongly about; and in really sitting back and considering this, I’ve realized that a) the list is quite short and b) that slowly, I’ve been drifting further and further away from the fired up person that started this blog and completed that IronMan 70.3 back in 2013.

How terribly bittersweet it is that so few of us can see the merit in the person that we are until we are a lesser version of that person sometime into the future.

When I started this blog back in 2012 (seriously, over 4 years ago….how.is.that.possible), I was a plucky, courageous, outspoken 23 year old who truly felt unstoppable.

Case in point: I signed up for a damn IronMan 70.3 without ever having ridden a road bike in my life.

You say stupid; I say courageous😉

I’m not totally sure what it is that’s slowly but surely morphed me into a cautious person, full of crippling self-doubt and self-confidence at an all-time low, rivaling the levels that I operated at when I was being bullied within an inch of my sanity in high school.

So many wonderful things have happened in the last 4 years that I’m really left with no choice but to draw the line back to my career, an area that I’ve been really, really struggling with on the inside more than on the outside.

From the outside, things look very rosy for me in my career.I have a good job. I make a lot of money. I have a lot of vacation time. I’m rewarded with lots of nice perks and benefits.

But I’m unhappy.

I am so, so deeply unhappy, and if that makes me a selfish millenial, then so be it. But it’s the truth.

The ironic thing is that in so many ways the somewhat successful path that my career has taken has created this incredible fear in me. Fear that nobody else will want me. Fear that I won’t succeed at anything else that I try to do. Fear that I will let people down. Fear that I will never, ever have the courage to do anything that means anything to me.

Sounds kind of like one of those twisted, emotionally abusive relationships right? It certainly feels like being in one.

In any case, I sat down to write this post about something that I feel strongly about with the intention to write about Les Mills and the profound love and respect that I have for our culture (surprised? Didn’t think so! ;-)), but my fingers started to type a different post, and so here we are.

I guess I do feel strongly about this topic as well🙂

The silver lining to this post is that I truly don’t feel that it is ever too late to jump. It may hurt a little more with older, more brittle bones, but I truly don’t believe that the moment is ever gone for good.

I’ve slowly been taking some steps to reintroduce myself to a much younger version of myself who was truly enamoured with books and the written word. I’ve been reading again. And god damn it feels good.

I haven’t read for pleasure in so many years. I’ve devoured about 800 pages in books in the last week, and even as I type this post, my mind is wandering back to the characters living between the covers of my most recent find (The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins).

While it’s a far cry from being a solution to the issues I’m having in my career, something feels right about the direction that I’m heading, so I plan to continue down the path with some measurable steps that I’ll tell  you guys more about come September!

For now….it’s off to bed…with a quick stop-off in the fictional world to take the sting off the impending work week!

Have a great evening – fiction or non🙂

-Sara xo

 

 

 

30 Day Writing Challenge – Day 9

Happy Friday Friends – here we are, August 26th!

It’s been a scorcher where we are, but I’ve been loving the summer heat. I can’t believe that it’s already August 26th…will somebody PLEASE find a way to slow down time?

As per usual, it’s been a busy couple of weeks. I’ve been mucho stressed out about lots of different projects and things going on in all different life arenas. Work continues to be a massive source of stress (on a number of fronts), the gym has been as busy (but wonderful) as ever, and lots has been going on with my family and friends as the summer winds to a close and everyone is trying to fit in last plans before September hits.

Also since I last posted, I’ve planted the seed for a novel. I’ve mentioned on here several times now that my fingers have just been itching to create and to write again, but that I’ve been lacking in inspiration. I finally took a little bit of time to sit down the other day and create a little bit of space for my mind to wander, and loe and behold, wander it did! I don’t have a full picture of the outline yet, but I’m slowly chipping away at it, and may look to start writing in the next couple of weeks! Exciting!

There are also some very early plans in the works for a super exciting trip for me, but more details to come on that in the next month or so, depending on how a couple of things work out. Oh the suspense😉

Today’s 30 Day Writing Challenge asks me to post some words of wisdom that have stuck with me. I (as per usual) had lots to choose from! I’m surrounded by lots of people who work in direct marketing businesses and use their social media accounts to promote their products, lifestyles and just themselves in general! This means that I usually see lots of inspirational words every time I logon, which is kind of nice!

I chose the post below posted by one of my Stella & Dot selling friends last year because it really did stick with me, so much so that I posted it on January 1st of this year as my annual call to action to my friends and family who are setting new years resolutions.

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I hate to see people give up on fitness. It really and truly makes me so sad. Time and time again, I’ve watched January 1st come and go, bringing with it a horde of sparkly-eyed, well-intentioned people, most of whom are gone by March. Even sadder to me are the cases of friends and family starting on health and fitness goals mid-year, and getting discouraged and giving up within a couple of weeks.

If you ask me, the biggest problem that people have with sticking to fitness as a way of life is that they start by asking themselves “what exercise will a) get me the fittest or b) make me lose the most weight” and then try to do that, whether they love it or hate it. In reality, it’s the opposite view that really creates lifelong exercise habits.

“Ask yourself what makes you come alive, then go do that” and I promise, promise that you will stick with it. Forever. Yes forever, and that’s a really long time.

These words of wisdom are so true to form in every aspect of life; career, relationships, hobbies, habits….I only wish that I was better at taking my own advice in arenas other than fitness🙂

Happy weekend friends, I hope that you do something that makes you come alive this weekend:)

-Sara xoxo

 

 

 

30 Day Writing Challenge – Day 8

Ah sweet, sweet Friday. We meet again. This week has been a pretty big and stressful one for me in lots of areas. Firstly, this week I filmed my assessment video for CXWORX (three times, but hey, who’s counting?), battled off a nasty sinus infection and have really had to deal with some sucky things at work.

This week at work I think I hit an all-time stress / unhappiness high. It’s a really, really long story that I won’t bore you with on this blog, but there have been some HR shifts recently in our group that have just made for an absolute hellish working environment that’s nearly impossible to exist in. Just yesterday I had to turn and walk away from someone in tears because I felt like I was going to be sick to my stomach if the conversation didn’t stop.

Yesterday’s events got me thinking (oh you know, for the 1,000,000th time) about career satisfaction and purpose in life. I don’t want to be a Millenial. Seriously, I can’t deal with Millenials. Can’t even deal. I understand the concept of working hard and paying your dues (really paying your dues; I don’t subscribe to the Millenial school of thought that says that 1 year is “paying your dues”), I don’t labour under any delusions that “I am special” and I understand that every day isn’t going to be a rainbow of Skittles and sunshine. Really. I get it. No, REALLY. I REALLY DO get it.

I often fantasize about what I would do if fear, uncertainty and self-doubt were no object. Would I own my own business? Would I be back at school learning? Would I change career paths completely and do something completely different than what I do right now?

All of those options, while sounding awesome, all seem completely foreign to me because they all involve some degree of uncertainty, a high degree of change, and they rely on my own ability to get things done.

So….that brings me to today’s topic…

Share something you struggle with. 

You mean you want me to pick just one?! Good Lord, some days I struggle to just get myself dressed in the morning.

I could pick any number of things:

  • Math
  • Eating healthy
  • Holding a hover
  • Confrontation
  • Balancing priorities
  • Math
  • Hypochondria
  • Math
  • Math
  • Math
  • Did I say Math?

Math

But I guess the one that I have been REALLY struggling with in the past couple of years is this crazy, crippling fear of change and uncertainty.

Why do I stay in a job that I hate? Because I know that A) it pays my bills, B) I’m reasonably good at it, and C) nothing has to change if I do. Pretty simple.

This is something that I really hope to be able to overcome one day…but currently is a big struggle.

So, as we head off for the weekend, what do you struggle most with? Any math fans out there?😉

Have a terrific weekend!

 

30 Day Writing Challenge – Day 7

Hi Friends!

I never really knew what people were referring to when they talked about the “lazy days of summer”, because our summers have always seemed to be more hectic and crazy than any other time of the year!

Matt and I have been crazy busy over the last several weeks since returning home from our honeymoon back in early June. We had the trip of a lifetime…I do plan to do a big blog post documenting some of our favorite memories and pictures from the trip, but at the rate that I seem to be getting things done on this blog, that might not happen for a little while!🙂

For our honeymoon we took a 9 night cruise through the Mediterranean; Italy, Greece and one stop in Turkey. We also had a couple of days to spend on either side of the cruise in Italy (Florence before the cruise, Rome after the cruise), and you guys….it was sheer bliss. It’s been a long, long, long time since I took such a nice, long vacation and I couldn’t believe the clarity and the change in my outlook after some significant time away from work. Swoon. Take me back!

Around the house I’ve been just itching with the home renovation / home improvement bug. A couple of projects that I’m eyeing include: cleaning up / majorly refreshing our basement, having our entire house painted, changing out the ugly gold doorknobs throughout the house and potentially cleaning up / refreshing our office. If only there was unlimited time in a week!

In other news, since my last post, I’ve taken another Les Mills training for my fourth discipline! You are looking at a brand new CXWORX instructor in training (or at least the words of one on-screen!). CXWORX is the Les Mills 30 minute functional core training program….and god damn it’s hard. CX has been a real challenge for me, a self-confessed “cardio junkie”, but I’m proud of the progress I’ve made so far in the program. I’m actually filming my second take of my assessment video tonight…here’s hoping that this one is the winner!

SO….after much digress….back to our 30 Day Writing Challenge (which at this stage has turned into the 30 Year Writing Challenge….ha).

Today’s prompt asks me to list 10 songs that I’m loving right now. Okay!

  1. Bird Set Free – Sia
  2. Don’t Let Me Down – The Chainsmokers ft. Daya
  3. Lose Control – Hedley
  4. Just Like Fire – Pink
  5. Secrets – Tiesto
  6. Memories – KSHMR & BassJackers feat Sirah
  7. My House – Flo Rida
  8. Can’t Stop the Feeling – Justin Timberlake
  9. Brother – NEEDTOBREATHE ft. Gavin Degraw
  10. Red Light – Tiesto

Dance party anyone?!

Have a fabulous evening everyone!

-Sara xo

30 Day Writing Challenge – Day 6

Hi Friends,

Happy Sunday Evening….where do the weekends go. Sigh.

It’s been a busy one for Matt and I as we are getting ready to go away on our honeymoon; we leave this Thursday and are gone for 2.5 weeks! Wowza! Still a lot to get done before then, but I’m starting to get really excited to get away for a little bit.

Today’s prompt is: 5 ways to win your heart.

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This one should be fairly easy!

  1. Make me laugh

Since forever I’ve been most drawn to people that make me laugh in my personal and professional life as well. I’m a bit of a goofball myself and have always struggled to connect with people that are overly serious and straight-faced all the time. Life’s just too short people, you’ve gotta laugh!

2. Give me space

Although my absolute passion in life has me on stage in front of 40 people 5 – 7 days a week, mixing and mingling with strangers and people that I don’t know that well on a daily basis and just generally pouring my heart and soul out to large groups of people, I am 150% an introverted personality. People misunderstand the definition of an “introvert” all the time. Being introverted does not mean “anti-social”, “quiet”, “conservative”, “shy” or anything like that. Being introverted simply means that (among many qualities), you get energized from having time alone vs. getting energy from being part of a group of people. One of the (many) things that I love about Matt is that he totally understands that and is fine to give me space to do my own thing, to teach my classes and always seems to know exactly the right moment to insert himself. I can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciate people that understand introverted personalities and the need to have time alone and that are willing to give me that time.

3. Help me out

As I’ve written about on this blog 100 different ways to Sunday, I live my life at mach 10 all the time, and every day is normally packed from sun-up to sun-down. I am so, so grateful to people that offer a helping hand, be it something as simple as Matt emptying the dishwasher for me even though I normally do that in the morning before I leave, or meeting me at the car to help me carry in my bags at the end of the day.

4. Share your food

It’s a special, special person that is willing to share their fries with me. One of the quickest routes to my heart!😉

5. Understand the importance of family

I’ve been lucky that both Matt and I have amazing families that we genuinely enjoy spending time with. I’m always super grateful and appreciative to anyone who understands and appreciates the importance of family in life. I love to hear about traditions and stories from other people’s families, and my heart always feels so full when I’m participating in my family’s activities or someone else’s family activities.

I could also add to this list: “appreciate Les Mills fitness classes and the culture that goes along with it”. Because pretty much anyone that wants to win my heart is going to have to accept that I’m already in a pretty serious relationship with two foxy folks: Matt and Les Mills😉😉

A quick update for today, back soon with Day # 7!

-Sara xo

 

30 Day Writing Challenge – Day 5

Goodness Gracious, this 30 Day Writing Challenge is going to take me into next year at the pace I’m going!

Rather than get down on myself for getting a little behind in  the challenge, I’m just going to stay with it and work through one day at a time. I’m enjoying the prompts and it’s nice to be writing more frequently again. I’ve had this nagging itch at my fingers to write these days, and I’ve been feeling like the inspiration that I need to start crafting another novel is just around the corner.

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I’ve also decided since my last post that I am going to commit to the goal of running a sub 1 hour 10K this Fall. In the last couple of weeks I’ve added a brand new style of group fitness training to my schedule (just for my own personal training, not to teach!), and a big part of the class is high-intensity treadmill training. I’ve just been so thrilled with the quality of the workouts that I’m getting, I can’t believe that my body can actually do the things that they ask us to do!

In any case, if you have any ideas or suggestions for great 10K races in Ontario this Fall, I would love to hear from you!

Today’s prompt in the 30 Day Challenge is to list 5 places that you would like to visit. What a dream post to write!

I’ll start off by saying that I am actually not one of those people with insatiable wanderlust. I’ve traveled more then a lot of people that I know (with my Dad being from Lebanon and his entire family still living there, we grew up traveling to the Middle East every other year and in the process traveled all over Europe), and don’t get me wrong, I still love to see new places, but I am also very much a person that enjoys the security of setting roots and having a home base. It’s very rare that I’m not anxious to get home by the end of a vacation, and sometimes I swear to you that my ideal vacation would be a full week at home!

That being said….like most people, I do have a “bucket list” of places that I would just die to see, and I’ll share that with you all today.

  1. Auckland, New Zealand

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This isn’t a “want” to get there. It’s a “need”. A “must”. I’m ashamed to admit to you all that when I do get to Auckland, New Zealand, I may very well not even get to see very much of the city. Because I’ll be spending 95% of my time inside this building:

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This trip to New Zealand is more of a pilgrimage than a tourist vacation, it’s a trip to New Zealand to participate in the quarterly filming of our Les Mills releases. I can’t even tell you how much it means to me to get there. Every year that I don’t get there, it weighs on me heavily, and I worry that I never will. I really think that one day it will get to the point where I just snap and book it on my own, with or without anyone else to join me!

Auckland, New Zealand absolutely takes number one spot on my list of places I must visit.

2. Vancouver Island, British Columbia

Number 2 on my list is a bit of a cheat because I’ve been there several times. In my last role with my company, I had the opportunity to spend a lot of time in beautiful British Columbia, and I worked all over Vancouver Island, all the way from Campbell River in the North down to Victoria in the South.

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Vancouver Island is one of my favorite places that I’ve ever been to. It’s hard to describe, but there’s something about getting off of that ferry or even off of the plane those couple of times that I actually flew over from the mainland for that matter that just feels like the weight of the world has been lifted off of your shoulders. Life on the island is blissfully slow, genuinely kind and at least in my experience, so deliciously simple and beautiful.

My reason for the Island ranking so high on my list of places I’d like to visit (again) is that in all of the times that I went to the Island, I felt like I never had the time to really drink it all in. It’s a real dream of mine to spend a full week on the island with nothing to do except enjoy it all. Maybe even completely on my own.

3. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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I don’t have a great background story for why I’m so fascinated with Rio, but it certainly has something to do with this statue. And potentially something to do with the Fast and the Furious 6.

Don’t judge me.

I’m not religious in the slightest, but there is something that really intrigues me about this statue, and it’s high on my list of things that I must see in my lifetime.

Aside from the big gold Jesus, I’m totally fascinated by a lot of other aspects of Brazilian culture. Their food, the Samba dancing and Carnival, bright colours and exuberant personalities all make Brazil, and Rio in particular a place that I would just love to get to.

4. The Great Pyramids, Giza, Egypt

Pyramids

It truly, truly hurts my soul that a generation of people are being raised in fear of the Middle East and the people that live there. I’ve been to Egypt twice growing up, to Jordan once and to Syria twice. To think of the devastation in these countries now is almost too much to bear.

The fact that I’ve been to Egypt twice (albeit when I was quite young) and that I haven’t had the chance to experience the Great Pyramids is so sad to me, especially because who knows with all of the uncertainty in that part of the world now when we will ever have the chance to go back to see them.

I can’t imagine what the awe that standing at the base of the pyramids would feel like. I would absolutely love to get here some day….somehow.

5. Kenya, Africa

Safari

There are a couple of reasons for Kenya making my top 5 list of places to visit. One is because Matt has been fascinated with the Kenyans and their superb running for years now, and I guess some of that has started to rub off on me. I know that one of Matt’s dreams is to spend time running and training in Kenya.

The second reason is a bit more glamorous, and that is that I’ve always wanted to go on an authentic African Safari and see these spectacular animals in their natural habitat. I’ve always been an animal lover, and although I like to see them here in Canada, I’m always so conflicted about going to see them because it just breaks my heart to see them in captivity.

Jeez Louise, did I say at the beginning of this post that I wasn’t a person with wanderlust? I sure sound like one don’t I!

Well….I’m off to research how I can get all of these trips done in the next year… see you soon for Day #6!

-Sara xo