ThoughtsCard

12/30
Today is the type of day I’m sure most people have experienced.

Today would be my aunt’s birthday, and it’s the first one since she left us in September.
When the first holiday, birthday, or family tradition rolls around and they aren’t there it’s the strangest feeling…. And I know I’m not an expert but I have found some things that help me cope.

I think it’s important to keep traditions alive and to do things they would have loved to do on their birthdays.

I am not a religious person, but I do believe there’s a stellar place in the sky for the good people to go and I know all the people I have lost are up there. I would also like to think that when they can they are taking a break from their party in the sky to look at us and keep us on track.
Keep your senses peeled for signs. They may be simple but open your eyes wider and listen a little more closely.
Right before my aunt passed away, my cousin had shared with me that my aunt really liked the song “ blurred lines”. I SHIT YOU NOT after she passed…it was on in the car EVERY SINGLE TIME we got into it.

Along with that, I believe it’s important to live our lives with them in mind on a daily basis. Not just on those specific days.
Imagining what they would say or do when we are torn between choices…and then acting on that choice.

When we miss them, cry for them and be connected to that emotion. Get it out but then get brave for them and live your damn life to the best of your ability. My moms used to say, “ save your tears for something important. Your tear ducts will run out of tears”
I will forever miss my aunt. There is no denying that. She could light up any room and got so much joy out of seeing us girls happy… so we will do just that. Be happy.

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ThoughtsCard

This is about acknowledging every achievement and throwing yourself a mini dance party… if you want :)
When I first got my Nike Running watch it was just to track my treadmill runs but it eventually inspired me to randomly run a marathon and as you have (hopefully) read a half marathon as well.

The other day I plugged in my watch and saw on the screen that I had run over 400 miles…. (see attached image)
Now, that’s a lot of miles!I am completely aware and even typing it is crazy. Also someone said, “ you could have fun from La to phoenix” and dammit, they were right.

When I got the watch I didn’t say, “ When I hit 400 miles I am going to celebrate”. But when that number came up I thought, “ now that’s a fucking accomplishment”. Because it is! But what did that accomplishment make me want to do… run more. Get to 500,600, and 700. Even though I don’t run everyday and it may take me years to get there I know that from now on, each landmark needs to be celebrated.

Think about what that means. CELEBEBRATE EVERY ACHIEVEMENT. Don’t get so lost focusing on all of your huge dreams that you don’t cheer yourself on each step of the way. And sometimes look in the mirror and go, “Congratu-fucking-lations” to yourself.

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FitnessCard
Category: Fitness
Class type: Spin- The ride
Location: Clementine- Fair Haven, NJ
Instructor: Effie
Class Duration: 45 min
Amount Paid: $15 single ride
Website: http://www.clementinecycling.com

During my holiday trip to Jersey and all the studio sampling I did I found so many good hidden gems. Clementine Spin Studio being one of them. Let’s start with the name being Clementine and the symbol is a piece of fruit. COULD IT GET ANY MORE DARLING??

It shares the space with another ballroom that I believe is used for fitness classes. Then right through the back door it opens up into it’s citrus world.

This studio was also a class I made my sister attend with me and at the end we were both glad we did. Effie’s playlist consisted of some Gaga mixed with some Seal. One for each of us. She also didn’t hop of her bike, so she was committed to the class like the rest of us.

The bikes weren’t uncomfortably close, AMEN. Also the distance to the ceiling is no far so when the fans come on…you can feel the wind in your hair. For people who don’t like being too hot, that’s great news.

Although Effie doesn’t have shoes to rent, she was kind enough to let me borrow her spare pair. So bring sneakers or your own spin shoes. Of course my dumbass didn’t even think about it and showed up in my gothic boots.

So if you are in Fair Haven, NJ and craving some spin… be good fruit and go to Clementine!

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ThoughtsCard

Nueva Esperanza Charter Academy

When you have something that you have worked hard for you should never keep it to yourself. This has nothing to do with holiday spirit but simply about doing the right thing.

I was asked by my friend Jessica to go and teach dance for one day at a school called Nueva Esperanza Charter Academy.
So I did so. Not asking for anything in return. And I left with so much.

The kids wanted some Gaga, so they got a modified version. But honestly, these kids opened up my eyes.

They were all different. Some of them having special needs and learning disabilities but their hearts were all so full of gratitude. And in turn, I gave them my all.

They were focused, hard working, and determined to get the steps. So we did that.
We got it.

The feeling was free. There was no exchange of anything but love.
These kids who go home to some, not so lovely setting, were BLISSFUL with me…..
We all shared our love of dance on the cold concrete of their school’s courtyard.
It was MAGIC.

I am better because of them and that hour.
Not for the holiday’s but because I could. It is now my goal to do something WHENEVER I can to provide that feeling to others. Whether it people or pets.

You should do the same.
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FitnessCard
Location: UFC Gym- Shrewsbury
Teacher: Glenn
Class Type: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Class Duration: 1 hour
Price: $20
Website: http://www.ufcgym.com/shrewsbury/

UFC totally describes me.

That was a joke.

And seeing a room with an actual ring and a bunch of giant bags hanging from the ceiling is something that makes me comfortable.
That, too, was a joke.

When I called that afternoon to find out about the class the gentleman on the phone told me it would be wise to show up at least 15 minutes early to get “wrapped” and to go over some punching techniques.

Yup.

I, due to my NJ schedule, was late. Off to an amazing start with that one.

He quickly wrapped my hands and while I was shaking with nerves I said “ I’m a dancer, I can pick up choreography”. What I meant to say was I could pick up a punching pattern.

My coach could care less about my choreography retaining ability. He was the real deal.

Glenn was quick to make me feel like I was ready to vomit. With a ten minute BEYOND intense warm up, I thought I had a made a mistake for coming. But after those ten minutes we focused on kicking, punching, and creating combinations of the two. Then once I was comfortable I began having the best time. Glenn would come by and give me great feedback, make sure I had it right, and then let me tire myself out. I’m sure there were times he wanted to laugh, but he didn’t. We finished the class with some wall sits, abs, and finally stretching.
I was successful in obtaining FATIGUE.

The class structure was very well written out. And as always a great teacher motivates me. Glenn could kick the bag so hard it would go SWINGING SO HIGH! When I would kick it…it would barely move.

Guess I’m not the “ultimate fighting champ” but I had such an amazing time. Even though I was scared to enter, I left wanting to come back right away.

My muscles didn’t want to but my mind did.

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#giversgain
ThoughtsCard

With the holidays spirit still here for one more week, I thought it would only be right for me to tell you all about something special me and my family do and would like to spread the word to maybe make some more magic happen around the world.

We created our own “ street version” of Christmas angels.

We normally take a little bit of cash out of the bank. Anywhere between $50-$100 and when we feel inspired or compelled to hand it to a stranger or purchase a gift out of no where ,we do so.

Last year I ran around Walmart with envelopes that said “ you’ve been hit by an angel” and inside I put anywhere between $10-$40. I would see a family struggling to purchase a gift due to the cost and I would run up and literally CHUCK the envelope at them and run away screaming “ happy holidays”
This year (so far) my sister chose two men pumping her gas in NJ. It was FREEZING cold outside and their working conditions were less than stellar. She rolled down her window and with $100 bill in her hand said “ I would like to be your Christmas angle this year. This is for the two of you to split”. Then we drove off.
I was an angel for this sweet woman who I saw as I was leaving the Target parking lot on an extremely busy Saturday afternoon. She was PATIENTLY walking this old man across the street. Dressed in a nurse outfit I knew she was his caretaker. Even while the people in their cars were rolling there eyes and clearly NOT feeling the Christmas spirit and/or being considerate of what she was actually doing, she kept looking at the old man, who was EVER so slow, with the most loving and caring eyes.
That’s when I knew.

I quickly turned my car around, reparked, and ran back inside. I walked up and explained what my family and me do and also told her “ you are a part of a MUCH needed community and what you do for this man… can never be honored enough. Have an amazing holiday on me.” I stuffed the $100 in her pocket and saw her eyes water, then knew my job was done. So I flew away (haha I wish)

My cousin’s this year was something so simple but about something so much bigger. All that happened was that she had amazing service at CPK. Something no one would think twice about. My cousin was so drawn to her waitress’s charismatic personality and said,“ it’s her”. She tipped her $100 dollars with a message saying “ happy holiday’s”. The girl came back nearly in tears and said “ you have no idea how much I needed this”. Soon after the manager of the restaurant came over and thanked my cousin saying “ she’s having a tough time right now….and she’s one of the best I got”. Who would have known? That this spunky thing was going through so much.
The moral of this is that EVERYONE deserves to be a part of holiday magic. Even if you can’t give any money, go donate a jacket from your closet you never wear. Volunteer at a charity you are passionate about. And don’t put it off…the holiday’s are here NOW.
ACT.

#GIVERSGAIN

FitnessCard

Location: Pure Barre- Redbank, NJ
Teacher: Ashley
Class duration: 55 min
Price: $23 dollars for a single class ( Tons of package deals)
Website: http://purebarre.com

That little red circle got me…it got me good. CURSE YOU PURE BARRE and all the amazingness that is you!

I’ve taken Bar Method (only one time a while ago) and I used to do Cardio Barre when I first moved to LA. (Which I will be trying again for the sake of staying current with my posts and teachers in the area), but just as every studio has it’s “xfactor”, I would say that Pure Barre’s was the stretching aspect. They incorporate a mini stretch after what they like to refer to as a ________ <- (insert specific body part here) BLAST. There is no denying how creative that term is. A+ to the creator for choosing to use that word. It was a lot of small movements and repeatedly incorporating the concept of “ tucking” which when you do it a lot over the course of an hour is INCREDIBLY challenging. Again…. You guys get an A+ for that tiny burning sensation that engulfed my body. Katie was very thorough in her explanation as to what I would be expecting in class. There were quite a few first timers in there so I found her helpful and I definitely didn’t feel unprepared. She was also always in the right spot of the room so that everyone could see her. Unlike some of the classes I’ve taken I was not playing “ where’s Waldo” or “Marco polo” with the instructor. I would look up and POOF, Ashley the “pure” angel was there. Get it? Once in the carpeted room we were told to get certain pieces of equipment. That’s when we got out those little workout balls. And it was game over for these thunder thighs and me. For some reason just when I say, “ my legs are my strong point” they crumble. That they did. Today I woke up feeling like, what we like to say is, a “ new born pony”. I looked at my legs like “ whose are these?” Good job Pure Barre for making me wake up like Bambi on ice. unnamed

FitnessCard

Category: Fitness
Type: Circuit Training
Location: The Power Center- Redbank NJ
Teacher: Greg
Class Duration: 60 minutes
Class Price: $15
Website: http://www.njpowercenter.com//

I’ve never been to a studio like “ The Power Center”. It’s an open space … similar to the one I walked into for Amenzone in Arizona but as I walked in Greg was setting up “stations”.

He said, “ Just follow the others for the warm-up”. I may have seemed confident in that moment but when we started running laps around the room and then he changed it to high knees and I didn’t hear it…. You can imagine the embarrassment. That’s when I tried to play it cool.

Greg then went around the room describing what we would be doing at all twelve stations…yeah that’s right I said twelve.
We would do each station for what I would guess was about 60-90 seconds. Then after completing the station, as a group we would do things such as twenty pushups and 20 jump squats. Just to fuck with us some more.

Greg had a solid teaching voice and was great at encouraging us to keep going. 60-90 seconds does NOT seem long…and I realize that. So I’m not trying to sound like a pansy but it was an amazing workout in a non-heated room. With that being said the fact that I was POURING sweat so much he had to mop it up, should say how great of a workout it was.

What I also loved about this is that, with the purchase of only a few pieces of equipment, we could recreate a workout similar to this at home. Which is always AWESOME! So for those that say they “ can’t afford” to workout, I officially DO NOT believe you. Everyone can do it. Just depends on how much research you want to do. Get up and GET OUT!!!! Seriously….now.

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