Saturday, August 30, 2008

Meet my trainer

So, you can't get into the best shape of your life by yourself. You need someone to be there with you, pushing you to your limit, making sure you aren't slacking. A little encouragement and even love can help too.

I do a lot of working out at home. I started about 5 years ago doing some home exercise videos and I have gotten increasingly more serious with these workouts. I know what you are thinking..."at home exercise videos? how hard of a workout can that be?" Let me tell you, you'd be shocked. I am currently using my videos more for weight workouts than cardio. And these weight workouts can really kick my butt. I love that. I love that I wake up at 5 am and walk across the hall to our "workout room" - turn on the TV and I am ready to go. Well, I don't really LOVE the waking up at 5 am, but I love the short commute to the gym at that hour!

When I get to the workout room, I get my weight bench and/or high step all ready to go...usually about 10 or 15 minutes into my workout, my trainer shows up. Sometimes he'll sleep in a little or he'll eat breakfast before he joins me, but he ALWAYS joins me. He has a unique style of training. If I am laying down doing chest exercises (bench press, chest flys), he climbs up and sits on my stomach and watches me. If I am sitting on the stability ball doing shoulder exercises (overhead press), he'll jump up on the ball behind me and sometimes crawl around and sit on my lap. This has resulted in at least one popped stability ball. When I am doing pushups - he sits between my hands and is sure that my face gets all the way to the ground - he rubs my nose with his face to keep count.

His favorite part of the workout is the stretch - I am on the floor for an extended amount of time. This provides an opportunity for a full body review - he'll check me up one side and down the other, just to be sure that I am doing okay.

I know you are probably thinking that Trevor is my trainer...close...but not right. Its my cat Gus and he is the best trainer/workout partner I could ever have.

Here is a picture of him checking to be sure that I am pushing down with my heel while I do squats against the stability ball. (yes, the room is a mess....Gus needs to hire someone to clean the gym)

Next, he is checking to be sure that the high step is stable for me. He figures if it can hold him, it will hold me just fine.
This is how Gus relaxes after a hard day of training. He thinks that stretching is really beneficial and is constantly demonstrating.
I just love this picture, so I had to put it here - you probably can't read it - but there is a tag on the mouse that says "cat toy". For some reason, that's funny to me.
Trevor came to Gus' gym last week to do an ab workout with me. It was during this workout that Gus realized that his gym was at capacity and he couldn't take on any new clients. He sat between us while we were on the floor doing our workout and just looked back and forth between us. He didn't know who's face to rub first. He suggested that in the future we do our workouts individually, that way he could give us each his full attention.

I've said it before. I love this cat. Without him, who knows what kind of shape I'd be in!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

How bad do you want it?

We are open for business. After 10 months of investigating, planning, thinking, working, thinking more, crunching numbers, sleepless nights, excitement, fear and anticipation. The day is finally here. Trevor got to the store around 7:30. I stopped by for about half an hour before I headed off to work. I felt like a mother, saying good-bye to her child on the first day of school. So uncertain about what the day will hold...will he make friends? will he get through the day without me? where will this first day lead?. So many questions, so many thoughts and worries. As I left my husband alone with our child...I wanted to cry.

As the day went on, I didn't hear from Trevor...what could this mean? The store was set to open at 10:30, our manager Casey, Brad - a corporate guy from the east coast, and Greg - our regional developer, were all set to be at the store all day. I sent a text message to Trevor around noon and got no response. I finally called him around 3 and he said there had been people in the store all day long. They were busy! Our child was making friends. On the first day.

I went to the store after work and we were busy until we closed at 8. I went home. Trevor got home around 9:30. We had a fabulous day. 25 customer purchased goods and our sales exceeded our hopes for the day. This is good news. Very good news. We are looking forward to each day now. Planning and dreaming of all the things this new venture will bring into our lives. We just can't wait.

Here is our crew: me, Trevor, Regional Developer Greg and our manager Casey.

We are so fortunate to have Casey on our team. He is the perfect addition. The three of us are a very well rounded MACHINE! Each of us has a different strong point. We provide balance and this will be our greatest strength.

Here are a few more pictures of the store.



There will be plenty more to come.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Feel the fear and do it anyway...

This is our current motto. It seems like I need to repeat it to myself about 100 times a day. There is so much going on right now of which I am afraid....terrified...scared to death. I have to remind myself that being scared is not a reason to quit.

The store opens tomorrow. We have spent the last two days stocking shelves, I'm heading over there soon to spend the third day stocking shelves. A mind-numbing, back aching process. I look forward to being done with this part of things. I haven't really been scared about this business venture (I was scared about the loan closing, but not scared about the business). I'm scared now. Tomorrow, we find out what will be. We've done a lot of leg work leading up to tomorrow - I believe we are prepared - we've done advertising, community events, told the world what we are doing...now we see who was listening. Obviously it doesn't end tomorrow - it actually all begins. And while that is exciting, it is also so very scary.

We have our second triathlon coming up on Sept 6th - I'm scared of that too. Maybe more so than of the first because I know what's in store. I've been sticking to my training. We did a swim in the lake where the event will be held and I think my nerves will be a little more at ease in the swim - I don't expect the swim to be any easier, I just hope not to be so scared.

There is so much going on at my job right now. They announced a huge buyout on Friday. It will be interesting to see where the cards land on that one - I am not eligible for the buyout - so I'll be left behind to pick up the pieces. That is scary because I expect my job to be transformed, I expect the company to be transformed. We've been through a lot of that in the last few years and I wonder how much more we can do before we stop actually being a newspaper. Will I tell my great nieces and nephews someday "there used to be these things called newspapers....and I worked there!" This kind of puts some extra pressure on our business. I used to think that newspapers would be around forever....now it seems like newspapers are doing whatever they can to kill themselves. I'm not ready to give up on them yet, because I love them, but I worry about the future.

I could go on and on about the things that occupy my mind. And you would probably say "worrying won't make them better" and you would be right. If you could give me advice on how not to worry about them...I'd give you a year's subscription to the newspaper.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

2 years and counting...

"Who knows where the road will lead us, only a fool would say. But if you let me love you, its for sure I'm going to love you....all the way..." - Frank Sinatra - our first dance song.

This was us....two years ago today.

This was us Saturday night - celebrating our anniversary at our favorite restaurant - Oba!


We made it another year. Trevor's toast - "to more action and less talk". Ever since I have known Trevor, he always has had big dreams. He was always talking about all the things he wanted to do, all the things we should do. And we never did any of them, when I reminded him of this, he would tell me not to stomp on his dreams. He's the dreamer, I'm the planner. I told him multiple times that I wanted less talk and more action. They say, "be careful what you wish for". In the last two years, since we got married, it seems like we are all action - no talk. We have done all of the things he talked about doing...and more. We bought a rental house, completely remodeled it. He's training for a fight in September, we bought a business, he left his full time job, we have traveled to places I could never have imagined we would go. Our lives have been a whirlwind of activity. It is all more than I expected. We are very different people than we were just two years ago. We have grown together and keep pushing each other to want more and to be more. I am more because of Trevor. I live more, I love more, I work more, I dream more. Because of Trevor. Because I have the honor of being his wife....that is so much to live up to. I spend every day trying.

Like Frank said..."who knows where the road will take us. Only a fool would say". Only a fool would say. Happy Anniversary Trevor. Thank you for our life.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The loves of my life...

"You can't help that. We're all mad here." -
Cheshire Cat quote by The Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland


This is Gus...the $10,000 cat.




Gus and I met each other at the Humane Society shelter in Bridgewater, New Jersey in 1999. For about a year, it was just the two of us. We moved from NJ to Portland, Oregon together - 1o hour days in the car, stopping at hotels at night. He was the best company - he was quiet most of the time and agreed with everything I had to say. About a year after I moved to Portland, Gus' medical bills started to add up - this cat has every health issue you can imagine...he has had a blood disease that almost killed him, a heart problem (he takes medicine every day for that), an auto-immune issue on his nose (he takes medicine once a week), a nose bleed problem solved by pulling teeth and most recently - a cancerous tumor on his tail...resulting in the removal of his tail. See the big fluffy tail in the picture...its gone...now he just has a stub and he doesn't seem to mind at all.
I love him. I love him more than anything or anyone ever. Trevor knows this and understands, which is why I love him so much. Gus sleeps on Trevor's head every night and he has for 8 years now. Another reason why I love Trevor so much. I could tell you a million things about this cat...but I won't....I have to move on....



To Wookie.....





Wookie was Trevor's dog when we met. Wookie is smart. Really smart. He never had any training and he knows all the basic commands. He knows what we are talking about and we often talk to him like he is a person. The best thing about Wookie is that he'll let you do just about anything to him...see above...he's wearing a safety vest...not happy about it...but wearing it because it made us happy.
Wookie's weakness is food. He turns into a real jackass around food. As I said, he totally speaks English...until there is a hamburger on the counter and as he is grabbing it off the counter and gobbling it down. We yell at him and he says, "no habla ingl├ęs".
I love Wookie too - I hug him often. And when I say "I love you" - he understands.



Opal....Girl Dog...

here she is with her best friend - GT (Green Toy) - GT goes everywhere with her, except when she wants to have RB (Red Ball). She is obsessed with GT and RB. Opal and Wookie are best friends - they were both with Trevor when we met. The only thing Opal loves more than GT and RB is Trevor. She is a total daddy's girl. She follows him everywhere. I think I come in 4th (Trevor is first, Wookie is second, GT and RB are third, then me). She'll follow me when he isn't home. She likes to sit on the couch with me - mostly because she thinks its her seat and I am sitting in it - so I guess I sit on the couch with her. Opal is a cattle dog and will herd us any chance she gets, which makes walking her tough - she keeps circling us and we end up tied up in the leash. Opal is slowing down in her old age. She used to be our head of security. She's retired now and spends most of her time in the house, on the couch or on the floor in Trevor's office. Probably dreaming about.....



DAISY!!!


Daisy joined our family in Jan of 2006. She was a shelter cat that we saw at PetCo. She was 9 years old and on sale. We felt sad because we didn't think anyone would take her home. She is the sweetest cat ever. The first night at our house, she slept in bed with us. She loves Wookie and this green chair. She spends 90% of her time in the green chair. Wookie is her best friend because he loves to eat as much as she does. Since we've had Daisy, she's gone from 9 pounds to 14 pounds. She's on the sumo diet - she eats and then she sleeps. She is beautiful. She screams when you touch her - we aren't sure why. She loves to be petted, she just meows loudly. She is our alarm clock - she gets up before us and sits in the hallway waiting for food - if we take too long getting up - she sounds the call with a timid little "meow" - Opal hears hear and starts barking like crazy - which makes Wookie cry - which upsets Gus....and so our day begins...

I never thought I would meet a man who loved animals the way that I did. Then I met Trevor. Sometimes I hear him talking to one or more of the pets when I am in the other room and I'll just stop and listen. This is my family.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Elvis has left the building


Our 2nd wedding anniversary is coming up on August 19th. I was looking through our honeymoon and wedding pictures and found this picture.....


Pay close attention to the difference in Trevor from that picture to this recent picture...



I think I look about the same, Trevor has lost 45 pounds in the last two years. He was really at his heaviest around our wedding. Trevor has been doing mixed martial arts (MMA) for about 4 years now. We've been running for about 6. Four months before our wedding, we were gearing up for some weight loss, so we could be at our best on the big day. Three months before the wedding, during a routine Saturday MMA class, Trevor broke his leg and tore all the ligaments in his ankle. It was 14 weeks before the wedding when the dr told us that Trevor would need surgery and pins put in his ankle. The dr said, "you will be unable to put weight on your leg for 12 weeks". I cried. We had just starting taking dance classes....this was no my plan.

Trevor spent 6 weeks in a hard cast and 6 weeks in a soft cast. As you can imagine, the inactivity and stress resulted in some weight gain. He had bought a suit that was a little big and we figured that he'd lose weight and it would be taken in to fit. Instead, three weeks before the wedding, the suit had to be let out as much as it could possibly be let out to fit him for the wedding. I wasn't even sure he'd be able to stand up during the wedding, much less dance with me. I spent a lot of time on the phone with the travel agent making sure that our travel insurance covered us if we needed to cancel the trip.

In the end, it all worked out just fine....it always does. It was a beautiful day - Trevor looked great in his suit. He stood and married me and then twirled me around the dance floor like a pro. An amazing trip to Tahiti followed and our life together got its official start....after 6 years of living in sin.

I was shocked when I looked at the pictures from this time - I don't remember Trevor being that big and I don't realize how much weight he has lost. He is training for his first amateur MMA fight -probably in Sept - and has taken his fitness to a whole new level. I am amazed constantly how strong he is - both physically and cardio - wise. He is a rock star. He was always a rock star - for a while he just looked more like Elvis in his fat days.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

What is your worth?

In a quite absolute final way, what you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination, will affect everything.
It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in love,
stay in love,
and it will decide everything.



What are you in love with? What are you addicted to? We are all addicted to something. We are addicted to work, food, spending money, the opinion of others, exercise, drugs, alcohol, smoking. These addictions determine everything about our lives....they are the reason we get out of bed, they decide with whom we associate. They determine our worth or help to keep us from feeling unworthy.

Like all of us, I have been addicted to many things in my life - food, work, cigarettes, exercise, dieting. For many years, the number on the scale determined my worth. I'd get up in the morning and the number on the scale determined how I felt for the rest of the day. For many of us, our accomplishments at work determine our worth. Do you determine your worth by the clothes in your closest, the amount of your paycheck, the size of your waist...do you let others determine your worth by these things?

In no way am I an expert on feeling worthy. God knows I spend lots of my time looking for ways to feel good enough. Every once in a while there is a glimmer in my mind when I realize that just by being alive I am good enough. I am worthy of all the things I have and all the things I dream of having.

Our store will be opening in two weeks. One of the things I am most excited about will be the number of lives we will be able to touch. With our products, our knowledge and our service, we will be able to help people in their quest for worthiness. We'll help them achieve more from their body than they ever thought possible. We'll show people the path to dreams and aspirations. Whatever you want, you can achieve. I cannot wait to talk to people and find out what THEY really want out of life and work with them to develop a plan to get there.

Everyone has an excuse for why they can't have what they want. I have them, Trevor has them...confronting those excuses, those fears and moving through them is the only way to get what you really want out of life. What you are willing to confront to reach a goal determines how important that goal is to you.

Over the last few years I've realized that some of my addictions were not helping me reach my goals. Being so tied to the number on the scale was not going to help me run a half marathon on the Great Wall or complete a triathlon. Once I decided what my goals really were (being fit, healthy and getting the most out of this body), I was able to put my focus in the right place. My addiction shifted away from the number on the scale. I now look at eating as fuel for my body to perform and get stronger, instead of as a way to get to a number. The craziest thing about that is that the number on the scale is lower than it ever was when I was trying to get it lower! Addiction can cloud your mind, make you lose track of the truth and feel unworthy.

To what are you addicted? From what do you draw your worth? Is it time for a shift? Remember, what you are in love with, what you are addicted to...it decides everything .

Sunday, August 3, 2008

I chose the road less traveled...and that has made all the difference.

Over the past few months, I have found myself saying "what the hell are we thinking" more than during any other time in my life. When we were in China - first getting on the Great Wall for the 13.1 mile run, I said outloud..."what the hell are we thinking"...with starting the business, I have woken up several nights and thought to myself "what the hell are we thinking"...today, we did our first Triathlon and I thought to myself for more minutes than I would have liked "what the HELL ARE WE THINKING!!!!!!!"

Here's Trevor unloading our very amateur bikes....give us a break people....its our first tri....

I was scared before we even started. We got out to Blue Lake just before 7 am - our wave was to start at 8. I was worried about our start because we were first and that meant that 5 minutes after we started, another group would start, 5 minutes later, a third group - this would go on for about half an hour. I knew I would be towards the back of the pack in the water, if not THE back of the pack. The thought of faster swimmers catching up to me and passing me had me concerned.

We got our bike and gear set up and walked down to look at the Lake. I saw the 3 buoys we would have to swim around and I really started to feel sick and scared. Trevor said he wasn't so I asked him to make me feel better. He said some things like, we've swam this distance before, it will be easier in the lake because we won't have to stop our momentum at the wall every 25 meters. Keep in mind this was our first open water swim and I only started swimming in the pool two months ago (and two lengths damn near killed me). To be honest - typing about the swim right now makes me feel a little sick still.

I wrestled my wet suit and finally got it on...that might have been the hardest part of the day. We got into the water and waited for the start. We got to the back of the pack and stood with a guy who said it was his first time too and was going to go really slow - we'll call him DNF guy.

They counted it down and the horn went off. I started with the crawl stroke (freestyle, is that what they call it?). I did that for a few strokes and just felt kind of freaked out. I looked up and realized that everyone was ahead of me, except DNF guy. The first buoy seemed so far away. I did a mix of side stroke, breast stroke and crawl and decided I needed to really just calm down and swim. After a few minutes, I heard them count down the next group and then the horn for their start went off - I looked back and saw a wall of swimmers, not that far behind me. At the same time, I saw a boat over by DNF guy and I think he was getting into it....DNF stands for Did Not Finish. Great. Now I'm last. I was so scared about what would happen when that wall of people caught up to me that I could hardly move forward - I signaled for one of the boats, he came over and threw me something to hold on to and asked if I was okay. In my mind I thought "I can't do this. I need to quit now". That thought went through my head probably two times fast. Then I realized that I needed to just do it, I could do it, I would do it....I could not quit. That would suck. Trevor told me after we finished that he looked back and saw me holding on to the boat and was worried that I had quit.

The group caught up to me while I was holding on to the boat and I realized that I wasn't getting closer to the finish of the swim by hanging on to the boat. I said goodbye to the nice boat man who said it would be okay and started to move again.

The first 2/3 of the swim I was cursing in my mind...scared to death...then I thought of the songs I run to during training and got one of those in my head..the one that stuck was Bon Jovi - Its my Life....he says "its now or never...I ain't going to live forever"...in fact, I might die today....that positive-ness in my mind helped ALOT. I just kept moving, mostly side stroke - others around were doing the same, just getting through it.

I made it to the beach and climbed out of the lake - 24 minutes. The 24 most scary minutes of my entire life. seriously. scared. Then I got excited.....THAT'S over. I know how to bike and I know how to run.

I got to the bike corral and stripped out of my wet suit, put on my shoes, helmet, number and headed off to the bike start. It took 7 minutes from the time I got out of the water to where I started the bike. Slow, but steady....just like a turtle.

I got on the bike and my heart rate was 169....WAY TOO HIGH. I like to keep it under 157 during the bike and first part of the run. I spent the first 15 minutes trying to get it down under that. I finally did and settled into a really good pace. I passed some people and just kept steady. The course was a flat out and back, so you had to really pedal the entire time, no easy downhills, also no tough uphills. I was alone most of the time, which allowed for a lot of reflection on this crazy event. When I would think back to the swim, my body still felt that fear and I wondered if I was going to finish - even though I felt great on the bike.

I saw Trevor on his way back and I could tell from his face that he was so relieved to see me...glad that I hadn't given up during the swim. I could have cried when I saw him...."look at what we are doing..." The bike was really uneventful. I started looking at my watch. I knew that if I wanted to finish in under 2 hours, I needed to be on the run by 1:25. I was going to have to really be fast in the transition.

I came around the corner back into the park around 1:20. I was ready to make quick work of the transition. I took off my helmet, racked my bike, put on my visor and hit the road. The run felt great - I saw Trevor again and he looked great. I made the turn around and got to the mile 2 marker. My race plan was to kick it up for the last two miles. I did that, passed a few people and finished strong. I crossed the line at 1:56. Trevor had finished 20 minutes earlier..bastard....1:36.

I could not wait to talk to him....the first thing he said to me was, "that swim....Holy F-ing S%#^"....took the words right out of my mouth. Even he got scared during the swim!! We shared our experiences and basked in the accomplishment. This is my favorite part of the event...sharing it with Trevor. Knowing that he is as proud of me as I am of him....knowing that we trained for this and did it together...knowing that he understands it all too. Its really my favorite part of being married to him. He just gets it. There's nothing scary about that.

I cannot wait to do it again. I was scared before, during and after and I did it anyway. I pushed through and saw it to the end. That hasn't always been my style, so that feels good to me because I know there is an easier way....and I chose not to take it....

Here's a great picture of Trevor's back side....and his markings...
Trevor finished with enough time to get the camera and catch me finishing...I guess you can do alot in 20 minutes!
YAY....the first of many I suspect.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

A life where there once was none...



There she is....the shell of the place that will become our home...starting August 25th. This is it. We are making progress - in fact, we are ahead of schedule, which is unheard of when it comes to construction. The floor has been stained and treated. The dressing room is built. Painters started work on Friday and will be back at the beginning of the week to finish up. We will recieve our POS system (point of sale) - including our register and software - early next week. We have to wait about two weeks for Max Muscle to send up the shelving and store build out. Inventory is set to arrive on August 21st. That weekend will be spent stocking shelves and pricing. The doors open on Monday the 25th.

I have spent the last two weeks working on advertising and Grand Opening event planning. Our first print ad ran on Thursday in The Oregonian. That made it all seem REAL. Our Grand Opening will be sometime in October and we are looking for the main portion of that event - the "celebrity" appearances. We have a few exciting options that we are making progress on...we'll see how that pans out for us.

Everywhere we go and everyone we talk to has such positive feedback about our business. I feel like we have some great momentum going in to August 25th. We plan to hit the ground running and never look back. It is so hard to believe that we are three weeks away from Opening.

Last night we were sitting on the couch talking while we ate dinner and I told Trevor that we needed to really enjoy this time, because it is all about to end. Relaxation and Rest will be non-existent in our lives for a while. That sounded a little scary - I then thought of all the possibilities that are about to open up for us. I know we will look back on this time and remember how it was...I just don't know where we'll be when we look back...to me, that is the most exciting part.

On a different note...tomorrow is the big day - the first triathlon of our lives. Its been cool out the last few days and tomorrow should be sunny and warmer. Trevor is putting the bikes in the car (he just aired up the tires), I've got all my gear layed out. We'll be up early and off to the race!!! A full report will surely follow.