Reasons To Be Fit: Guest Star Edition

When you are fit, age is. NOT. A. THING!  You can be nearly sixty and sexy in your white dress AND carry your own luggage easily down the rickety wooden stairs. Yup.

(Note: Receiving this video from my friend Lisa in made my day. One of my passions in my work is bringing together women of all ages to inspire, teach, connect with each other while lifting and moving our bodies. Too often we only make close friendships with women in our own generation and I think this severely limits our potential for growth, understanding and strong community. From 8 - 80, I am so thankful for my friends of all ages. Lisa is one of these incredible women in my life.)

#poetsoul

Morning mind dashes
abruptly headlong
the starting gun still
smoking --

Wait one second!
I did not sign up for this race!

Heart pounding
hurting
cutting over, changing lanes, dodging
others, nearly tripping

I will be disqualified.

I don’t want to be a sprinter.

In the grass I catch my breath.
The urge to become limp, to dissolve
is so strong.
No, I say kindly, but certainly clear.

Some patterns are made for breaking, and
the only truth worth running toward: your body, alive.

Sunbeams stretch, silhouetting
mountains, trees, and
I remember: isn’t it lovely,
morning’s first desire to reach, open for the light?

Hello From Here

We talked about ambivalence, about how the word is commonly used to describe feelings of indifference, dispassion, not caring much one way or the other.

Ambivalence is rooted in the Latin words ambi- ("both") and valentia ("strength"). Ambivalence is not indifference; it is feeling both things with equal strength.

As I grow, I come to understand clearer that there is rarely a single, tidy narrative that can capture the fullness of any experience.

Moving out of my studio has altered time and space, leaving me standing simultaneously on opposite ends of an expansive emotional landscape. Sorrow and exhilaration. Confidence and doubt. Nostalgia and a deep and true enthusiasm for my future.

Since I have acknowledged Sadness, I thought today I would acknowledge its equally potent twin: Happiness.

So here I am in one of my happiest places: amongst barbells and kettlebells and monkey bars. This is Northwest Fitness Project, the place where I will work with my clients beginning next week. It's a collective studio filled with all my favorite toys and group of topnotch trainers. I even get to work alongside a beloved former colleague from my old days at Sound Mind & Body Gym. I'm excited to reconnect with her, to make new friends and be inspired by other great coaches.

When I sent out my most recent newsletter sharing my heartache about closing The Institute of Moves, Muscles & Eternal Optimism, both of the owners of Northwest Fitness Project reached out to me. They had read my words, wanted me to know that they felt for my sadness. They both said, "If there is anything we can do to make your transition easier, let us know." And they both told me that they were looking forward to having me be a part of their team.

Hearing from them both in this way was inspiring. They both demonstrated great leadership. They could have taken my sadness as a personal affront, like why wasn't I jumping for joy to be a part of their kickass gym?

But they didn't. They saw me for what I truly was: Ambivalent. They understood and they were totally cool with it.

Advice From My Younger Self

At my mom's, cleaning the garage, making space to store my studio equipment, and look what I found: An old journal with advice from my 24 year old self.

 "Every day is a matter of giving in a little deeper. Understanding a little more. Seeing clearer. As long as I can continue to this in all areas, I will be alright. Letting my mind go and giving into my instinct. Trying to stop controlling it all. Giving in and relaxing into it. Relaxing down to my core. Down to my bones and then into the marrow. Just letting. The ultimate letting go and taking what has been placed in front of me and embracing it without worry or reservation. Without trying to make it fit my plan. Just trust. That's all."

Strong Body ♥ Strong Heart

Hello there.

I am here.

On summer vacation.

In Transition.

Strange place, Transition. I’ve been here before. Many times. It is never the same twice.

I remember one visit, 15 years ago. I had just broken up with the man who had been my college sweetheart, my partner in my first adult relationship. Parting from him, although sad in many ways, was mostly positive. At that time Transition was like removing a blindfold to reveal myself standing upon a bluff above a turquoise ocean, a lush expanse of rolling hills at my back. Salt air and space. Transition then was possibility.

This time around Transition is like a pair of dusty goggles found on the bottom shelf in the back of an antique shop. Thick air and murk. Today Transition feels futile.

~

I am here.

In between.

Two weeks ago I saw my last clients at my studio, The Institute of Moves, Muscles & Eternal Optimism.

In my final two weeks there, I got sick. My body was in excruciating pain. I was fitful every night. I did not sleep.

“Take time off,” my mother implored.

I did not. I was compelled to push onward, to present a strong face. After all, I am in the business of strength and vitality, not frailty and sickness.

My friend Maura has a saying: The body knows.

It is true.

Our bodies know all, even that which our eyes do not want to see, that which our minds cannot comprehend.

~

I befriend places as much as people. Locations and environments become me. I become them. I care for places; places nourish me. We are beloveds.

Closing my studio has left me grief stricken, a potent reminder of how life and loss are bound. Eventually we say goodbye to absolutely all that we love.

~

“I don’t want to be sad,” I told my mom. “I want to be energetic and positive.”

“Nobody’s energetic all the time,” she said. “And it’s better to be sad when you’re sad. Otherwise you’ll find yourself sitting in a therapist’s office saying, ‘I’m sad that my studio closed.’ The therapist will say, ‘I’m sorry to hear. When did it close?’ and you’ll say, ‘Ten years ago.’ Yep. It’s better to be sad now, to feel what you feel.”

Then she added, “Besides, sometimes being positive means moving forward even when you’re sad.”

~

So here I am on summer vacation on a roadtrip through Transition with Sadness riding shotgun.

I drive onward while Sadness scans the radio, landing eventually on a country song where all the dogs are dead and all the love is lost and there is nothing but blazing sun and remorse. The twang hits my ear, echoes the tone of my heart. We turn a corner and I catch a glimpse of the horizon. For a moment contentment washes me like a welcome rain.

I can see the distance.

Something waits for me there.

As always,

Amanda