A Friday Wrap

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It’s Friday, the week has been busy, but it’s great to be alive.

After pulling my first all-nighter since college, which I finished a year ago this weekend, I realized that something has to give when it comes to my daily schedule. I’m grateful for the opportunity I have, to work from home as I study for my personal training certification, but working from home forces you to actually develop a schedule that needs to be maintained and improved upon daily.

Since it’s Friday, I won’t bore you with how to create a schedule for yourself, or even how to help jumpstart your motivation to get everything done, but what I will give you is this:

You always have more time than you think you do, you just have to find it.

I look for blog topics every morning, since October I’ve been contributing to the Third Wave Fashion Blog and monthly Fashion Tech Report, Paige and I average six runs a week, and I have to study to get certified. Without some type of order, like I lost this week, you’ll end up with the dreaded all-nighter, which shouldn’t happen once you’ve graduated.

You can make it through this Friday, use the weekend to get that big breath of fresh air you need, and don’t worry about anything until Monday. Like the photo below, it doesn’t matter how you have fun, but make sure you do!

7fd2d5e65aa211e382810ee93d32a936_8Courtesy: Paige

Instagram: A Forgotten Friend

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One of the first apps I got after getting my iPhone was Instagram. I thought filters were fun, I thought it was a brilliant way to connect photographers, all was good.

But if you look at my profile, I have a pretty minor 125 photos in the two years that I’ve been on the platform. Maybe it was an attempt to break the habit that everyone else has of violating the Three Fs (Food, Feet, and Flowers), or it was just a matter that I didn’t think my photos were engaging.

Over the weekend though, I realized that avoiding Instagram isn’t the solution to my problem with the platform, rather, creating better content instead of documenting an average life story is what engages the community.

There are also the Instagram elite. I followed them as inspiration, but low and behold, I just got mad at myself for not having the eye that they seem to have.

Who are sitting in my list of elites?

In no particular order:

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kylesteed

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cacahuete_sr

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thiswildidea

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flashesofstyle

And of course PaigeWilhog
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As you can see, there’s a lot to live up to; though while we were in Japan I may have channeled a bit of Cacahuete_sr…

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So with these folks in mind, and a new focus on sharing the beautiful things that I see, I welcome back my old friend Instagram. A friend that’s always been there, but was too quickly abandoned in my struggle to not take boring photos.

Hopefully you like what you see, but even more important, push your own content to be engaging. Don’t use the platform only as a chronicle of your life, but really show off the beautiful things coming in and out of it.

In recognition of the person that pushes me to enhance my own Instagram, here she is in the beautiful light that we found this weekend.

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Chris Powell: My Training Inspiration

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Chris Powell is known around the world as a weight loss guru, transforming not only body image, but the way people feel about themselves as well. Every summer, ABC’s hit show Extreme Weight Loss comes back, and I find myself inspired, not that I could lose more weight or eat healthier, but that I could help others, and even if I was half as good as Powell, lives would be changed for the better.

I’ve talked about my inspiration before, needing to get fit for races, preparation for miles that I haven’t even thought of in six or seven months, but when it comes to Chris Powell, the inspiration comes from a different place.

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I know that the picture is blurry, but that is an 11 or 12 year old version of me, at a solid 150 lbs, give or take. At my heaviest I weighed in right around the 180-190 range, and stood a whopping 5’2″, and that is why I find comfort in watching Chris Powell, knowing that he is able to help those people that continually live in the discomfort and agony that I at one time knew.

In relation to the show, I’d sit, summer after summer, telling my family that I could do that if I just had the education for it, but Public Relations isn’t a job at a gym. After putting in so much time to get an education that you think you need, or want, it’s easy to trap yourself into the mentality of searching for the perfect job at the perfect startup or firm, but every time you see your source of inspiration, you think about how you could be doing that if you hadn’t invested so much into your formal education.

But that’s when Paige came through for me again, deciding to invest in me and pushing me to further myself.

One day on a Randall’s Island run, what we consider our long runs mainly because they’re outside, she turned to me and told me to take some of our leftover wedding money, find the right certification process and get personal trainer certified.

Because of how fast I can write, she wasn’t concerned about me picking up freelance writing jobs, but knows that I exceed when it comes to working hands-on and with other people; for me to work at a desk all day would wear on me, and she recognizes that. Instead of letting another year go by, full of me saying what I could probably do, she’s called me on it, telling me to go for it, and instead of talking about it, to prove that I can make it happen.

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So that’s what I’m doing. Thanks to Chris Powell’s inspiration, and a firm push from Paige, I am now plowing through functional anatomy and biomechanics in pursuit of becoming a certified personal trainer.

Using Equinox as my gauge, I came across the National Council on Strength & Fitness, NCSF, and ordered my study materials to knock it out.

As I said at the beginning, Chris Powell is an inspiration to people around the globe to pursue a healthier version of themselves, and maybe it’s the combination of Paige’s encouragement and my inner fat kid, but I’m taking his attitude to heart and making this happen.

Whether it’s “thinspiration” or “body confidence” there’s no excuse to not be healthy, and there’s no excuse to not be better. For that, I’ll thank Chris Powell for encouraging so many to be better versions of themselves.

No Excuse November: Marathon Monday

Yesterday was the 2013 ING New York Marathon, making today Marathon Monday.

A race dedicated to the runners and spectators of Boston, as well as the Sandy victims that are still recovering along the east coast, the marathon served as inspiration for where my life should be going.

If you ask any distance runner, there are moments of doubt, moments when you just don’t want to get up and workout, but there is something about racing that keeps them going. I like to call it marathon fever. Considering that the wedding and honeymoon basically translated to a month out of the gym, the hype around this marathon has been the catalyst to pushing us toward a more active lifestyle, but with a new twist.

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Photo Courtesy of Paige

On our run Saturday, I chose not to run with music, none of the greats do, so I why shouldn’t I give it a try. The run though provided an unexpected moment, when Paige’s phone stopped working and she was left without music as well.

As a person that doesn’t talk a whole lot during physical activities, even in team sports, it caught me off guard when we began a conversation and maintained our pace rather than zoning in on the tempo of a song and staying in our own little worlds.

Then it happened.

Paige looked over, and between breaths said that it was time for me to get personal trainer certified. To take the money we received from our wedding gifts and put it toward my certification.

First of all, who does that? Yeah, we’ve talked about it before, but she believes in me so much that she would rather invest that money in me, in yet another small round of education, than put it into savings.

Which brings me to my second point: This is now “No Excuse November.”

With the challenge to get certified before the new year, our workouts will intensify, we’ll push each other, and we’re going to blow through the holidays.

The month is focused on no excuses for not finding work, no excuses for not studying, and no excuses for not getting out and active.

I had talked about pushing myself to get to January’s race, but Paige is pushing me to rise beyond the occasion. Mediocrity will no longer be the standard, and from here on it’s all or nothing.

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Photo Courtesy of Paige

It’ll be tough, it’ll be interesting, but I want you guys to join me in the effort to make this an excuse-free month.

If those marathoners that I saw yesterday can elevate themselves to a higher standard, then we can too.