As 2017 wraps up I wanted to take a second and use this holiday and this platform to thank everyone that has helped me through this year. I hope you treat this post as an open letter to all that helped.
This year has held the wildest up and downs I have ever seen. I lost my best friend, and my grandmother this summer. I quit a job that was poisonous, I bought a new house with my wife, and I outfitted and opened a new gym. When it rains it pours. I have had days that I didn’t think I could get through and it was only with the help of my family, my friends and you clients that I achieved my goals and went around the many obstacles I faced along the journey.
Your understanding and patience with me has been unbelievable. I do not have the words to thank you enough. I hope that our hard work to provide you with a gym that meets all your needs and our undivided attention to you and your goals is thanks enough.
All of this cumulated to one of the happiest moments of my life. The clients I have been working so hard for came to greet me with a present. I wish I could explain how I felt but I bet I can set it up well. I had about five days to get the gym set up. I had just completed moving out an entire gym in two 42’ trucks. I was absolutely wiped, soaked through two shirts and a pair of jeans. On top of it all, my ingrown toe was throbbing against my steel toe boots. We just finished unloading the last truck and getting the floor delivery when clients started pouring in the gym. I was dehydrated, hungry and confused that they didn’t come sooner to help. As soon as I started thinking that a truck pulls up and on top of it is a brand new custom “Strength Feed” deadlift platform. It was not only the nicest platform I have ever seen they built it themselves. New clients and old clients banded together to design, build and stain this beaut. It was one of the best feelings I have ever received. It was their way of thanking me after a summer of grueling work and more days ahead, it completely changed my outlook of the remainder of the workdays and leading into business running full. It finally felt like I accomplished something.
With all this in mind I want to say; be grateful for the things you have and the goals you are working towards. For you will never know when that hard work will pay its dividends. It could be an immediate return or it could be in ten years, but when that day comes and that hard work pays off, there is no better feeling.
Owner and Operator of the Feed
(but only because of you!)
Thanksgiving often signifies not only a change in season toward winter and holiday cheer but often a shift in mindset and behavior as we finish out the year. With just over 5 weeks left in 2017 and 2018 on the horizon, there’s no better time to reflect and crystallize your goals and visions for the New Year.
While the holidays can certainly provide a time of rest and indulgence be mindful that there are 39 days (read as: over 4 weeks of a training cycle or nutrition program!) where you can still make progress towards your goals both inside and outside of the gym. Having a few treats or practicing moderation on Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukah, New Year’s Eve or the Santa Squat party is perfectly acceptable, but maintain the perspective needed to preserve what you have worked so hard for, and what you aim to accomplish in 2018.
Here are some quick tips on how to feed your wolf and stay balanced this Thanksgiving:
As the seasons change one last time in 2017, I can't help but to think of how much has changed for me since this time last year! If 2017 taught me anything, it is to never settle or sell myself short. I went into 2017 knowing that I wanted to travel down a completely different career and fitness path than I was currently on. I remember thinking my 'fed up' mindset seemed broad, impossible, and more of a “wish” than a mission. Yet, I stayed focused, patient, and consistent. Actions turned into habits and within this year I have achieved what I originally set out to do.
This time of the year often signifies personal reflection and change.
What makes you proud of your 2017?
What goals did you meet?
What do you wish you did differently?
How have you grown as an individual this year that will set yourself up for an even more successful 2018?
And last... what will you accomplish in 2018?
Yes, setting goals can be tricky and nerve-wracking! You often find yourself listening to that little devil on your shoulder that you aren't "there" yet or it can wait. But guess what? It can't wait anymore. You are fully capable of being that person you tell yourself you want to be! Whether your goals are fitness, nutrition, lifestyle, or career, related. There is no reason that you are not ready! Time to stop believing anything otherwise. All of us here at The Strength Feed have all gone through our own unique journey and are eager to help you continue to build your wolf.
North Carolina State University, 2015
CALS, Nutrition Science- BS
Well, I did it. I ran 26.2 miles.
26.2 miles doesn't come naturally.
Especially for someone who hasn't been able to run since 2012. The doctors continuously told me, "No, you need xyz operation and injection," after a while I definitely learned to believe them. Because if I ever rebelled and bothered to try to run, I'd end up bedridden for a month with a swollen knee. So, over time, I just kind of let myself forget about running. I guess I just accepted the fact that for the rest of my life I would never run again and I'd always be 'that injured knee girl.' While I say I became comfortable with that identity... I clearly wasn't. Because it was not until I crossed that finish line that I felt like an athlete again.
By not a single physician's advice but a COACH, I spent a solid year (2016) solely focusing on making strength, muscle symmetry, and correct movement patterns a top priority. I stopped thinking about everything I could not do and just focused on the things I could do correctly. I built myself back up- brick by brick. Then to my surprise, there came a point where the days began to add up where the pain in my knee was nonexistent. I was moving in ways I had not done in years. So January of this year, I got that itch to give running another try. Only this time, it resulted in no pain. So I tried it again. And again...no pain. Shortly after realizing that I eradicated my 6-year knee problem, I decided to set myself a goal. A goal of completing a marathon. (*Cue the moment that every doc, physical therapist, and close friends and family scold me with their concern and doubt*)
So, given the massive chip on my shoulder, I wouldn't call my months of training 'easy'... but I definitely had a serious 'I'm doing this' advantage. I was so grateful for every step I took that the demanding hours of training didn't grow too weary on me like they do others.
However, what did become challenging was the nags, pains, and health effects everywhere else that came along with it. I was not used to running being in my regular workout routine! I did everything I could to still get gym workouts and yoga in (the things I enjoy), but as my mileage began to creep up (this conveniently also lined up with a very big stressful job transition), I could feel the negative effects all of this 'activity stress' was having on my body. All ego aside, trying "to do it all" will land you in over-training territory much faster than you think! I did not want to accept it, but I began experiencing symptoms like restless sleeps, mood irritability, out of whack appetite and digestion, lack of recovery, my performance suffered, hormone imbalances...it started getting messy. Before things got out of hand, I made the hard decision of choosing to listen to the signals my body was telling me and I took quite a few weeks before my race really, really easy. Biggest rookie mistake I made was ignoring that cold hard truth-- Sometimes doing LESS is MORE. I was not about to let myself miss out on reaching this goal. I altered my routine by making recovery, wellness and proper diet my #1 priority and put exercise in the back seat. Because again, my goal was just to complete a marathon... not win it. And by this point I had enough of an endurance base and muscle strength that, in theory, "I could do it" it was just a matter of making sure I did not cause more harm than good.
Even though dialing it back was 'the right thing to do'- coming to this point was uncomfortable for me. I definitely was not my happiest self only focusing on what's best in order to be a successful runner. I felt like I was in time-out! And it definitely made me nervous scaling myself back so much from physical activity far out from my race.
However, post race, I can say with certainty that this was the smartest decision I made in all of my training.
My goal going into this was just to complete the race, no time expectations... just finish. I had only been seriously running for under 4 months. But not only on race day did I end up RUNNING from start to finish, but I placed under top 20% overall with a time of 4:24:24. This race had over 600 participants.
I have trouble putting into words how incredibly rewarding this experience has been for me. I do not think in my lifetime I will ever go through something as self gratifying, life changing, and encouraging as the moment crossing that finish line was for me.
Since the day I committed to take on this beast, there was a fire lit inside of me like I had never had before. I knew before I even began my training that completing this race was going to mean SO much more to me than just a distance. I didn't set out to do this just to check it off my bucket list, I set out to do it to prove to myself that I am more than my past says I am.
And It all started with setting a goal. I stopped looking back at my life and chose to only look forward. I did whatever it took. Where there is a will, there is a way.
This is me sharing my story of how I conquered my impossible. I want all of you to never, ever sell yourself short of anything. Build your house brick by brick- just like I built mine. Set your goals. Believe in yourself. And go crush your impossible. I promise you... there is truly no better feeling in the world.