2016: A Year of ME.

2016 was the year I learned it's OK to put myself first. We often feel obligations to others, friends, family, work. And yes, there is a certain amount of selflessness necessary to maintain relationships and contribute to your community, but you can't help others if you aren't fully yourself.

You can't pour from an empty cup.

2016 was the year I put myself first. I put my self doubt aside. I put my obligations on the (side) burner. And I chose me. I woke up each morning and made my mental to-do list based on what I wanted and needed. I chose to spend my time with those who meant the most to me, with those that supported and lifted me up and those I could do the same for. I chose to dedicate my (limited) free time to the thing that fueled my soul, teaching.

And you know what that did for me? It turned 2016 into my pivotal year. 2016 kind of rocked for me.

In 2016, I began to seek my true north and never have I felt closer (with still a long ways to go). I began teaching fitness classes with some of the top Boston fitness companies. Building a new fitness family here I'm truly proud of and inspired by everyday. 

One of my very first group fitness classes I ever taught! So happy to still be working with DareUFitness and see my Kensington kids every Tuesday night. 

One of my very first group fitness classes I ever taught! So happy to still be working with DareUFitness and see my Kensington kids every Tuesday night. 

In 2016, I ran the Ragnar Cape Code race, 200 miles in 24 hrs with 12 complete strangers. Living in a van and continuing to be surprised by how far my legs could carry me (with no training). I created bonds with an amazing group of people supporting each other and pushing ourselves for the good of the team. We became fast family ending our adventure with Frosé and the sand between our toes.

My Reebok Ragnar team <3 

My Reebok Ragnar team <3 

In 2016, the company I work for got purchased, and we're fighting through this transition, becoming even closer as teammates and coworkers to love and support each other in our careers and tough decisions. I'm still fighting.

My Withings Marketing team, US and France, celebrating the acquisition on a roof top in Paris.

My Withings Marketing team, US and France, celebrating the acquisition on a roof top in Paris.

In 2016, I made a difficult decision to walk away from a loving and wonderful man to pursue my dreams. I'm lucky that he respected my selfish decision and we remain good friends (with cats!).

Brady &amp; Cleo &lt;3

Brady & Cleo <3

In 2016, I traveled to Europe by myself. I drank beer on the streets of Dublin with charming Irish men. I fell back in love with my favorite city, London reuniting with the people that made it feel like home to begin with. I danced through the streets of Barcelona on those warm summer nights. But ultimately, I had many meals in beautiful restaurants requesting a table for yes, just one. I sat alone with my thoughts, and felt at peace with myself. I felt proud. I felt overwhelmed. I felt alone. But I'd never felt more whole.

In 2016, I wrote a blog post that went viral overnight. I let go of my innate reaction to not push the boundaries, to not say anything too controversial. And it caught fire, my story was heard and hundreds of men and women reached out to share their stories with me as well. In the midst of this isolating digital world, we connected over a common passion, to speak out against street harassment. To change a societal norm.

In 2016, I was approached by Reebok to join them in a fitness photoshoot for their Spring/Summer functional training line. While it wasn't ideal timing for me to take off work for the shoot, I had to jump at the opportunity. And because of it, I'm proud to say I've now signed with an agency, SLU as a fitness model.

In 2016, I made new friends who changed the way I think about the world. Friends who challenged my thoughts, my ambition. Friends who support me endlessly. Friends who sat with me and held my hand when my blog comments section became personal attacks. Friends who donated to my Boston Marathon fund challenging me to endless burpees. Friends for life.

In 2016, I found some incredible mentors. People who have opened up a world I didn't know I could dream of being a part of. People who see greatness and lift it up. People who are so smart and caring, I'm honored to be in their life.

In 2016, I set out to run the 2017 Boston Marathon and am honored to be running it for Horizons For Homeless Children. Fighting through 26.2 miles for them.

And as always, forever grateful for my family who stuck with me through all of it. Who supported each crazy decision I made. Who brought me back down to earth in the midst of the hurricanes. Who immediately booked tickets to Boston to be there at the finish line. Who love me unconditionally. How lucky am I to have these wonderful people be my family. <3

I made a lot of selfish decisions. And each of those decisions opened up opportunities for me to meet new people, to help others in a way I couldn't have before. In a shocking way, being selfish made me more connected to others. It made me more aware of how I can help the world. It made me more compassionate, more honest, more engaged. I've never felt more myself, more excited for each day, and more eager to continue moving forward.

Putting yourself first isn't a bad thing. It's a necessary thing. You can't be everything to all people. Be selfish. Be true to you.

In 2017, I have some pretty lofty goals set. Goals I'm going to be selfish with and not share with you just yet. But good things are coming, big things are coming.

My mantra of 2016:

Shut it down.

And my mantra for 2017:

Chase Joy.

"Discovering more joy does not, I'm sorry to say, save us from the inevitability of hardship and heartbreak. In fact we may cry more easily, but we will laugh more easily too. Perhaps we are just more alive. Yet, as we discover more joy, we can face suffering in a way that ennobles rather than embitters. We have hardship without being hard. We have heartbreak without being broken." - Archbishop Desmond Tutu, The Book of Joy.

VIDEO: Lunch Time = Sweat Time

Week two of video taping our Tuesday Leg Day lunch time workouts, so I'll get right to it! This week I added a few moves in-between just to keep our heart rate up. If we were to be honest with ourselves, none of us do enough cardio (us being the leg day crew). We like to focus on lifting so this Tuesday workout has become a 45 min HIIT workout, lifting and cardio. We all win. 

The lovely Ala agreed to stay and run through the circuit one more time with me for the video, so props to her for the additional round!! and BONUS, we added some abs in this week, so here we go!

Leg Day 10.27.15

15 Step-ups on each leg (elbow to knee for an added ab crunch)
25 Jumping Jacks
10 In-N-Out Jump Squats (narrow to wide stances)
15 Bulgarian Squats (10 sec hold on the last rep)
25 Jumping Jacks in-between sets with each leg
10 Clean&Press (10 lbs on each side of bar)

Bonus Round: Abs

15 Spider Crunches (opposite elbow to same elbow)
10 Side Twists (on each side)
10 Pikes

Now run through this circuit 3-5 times depends on how much time you have and how much you want to challenge yourself. Ready. Set. Go!

Look in the mirror. That's your competition.

About last night ... #NikeBoston

I love Nike. I've always loved Nike. It's a brand I can't get enough of, from their motivational social posts, to sleek gym wear, and now their classes. 

On Monday night at 8:04 PM Nike Town hosts a bootcamp style workout class for free here in Boston. I found out about it because a few of my Boston trainer idols were selected to be Nike Trainers and lead the classes.

Let's also just preface this by saying that's my dream, to be a Nike Trainer.  

If you know me at all, you'll know I'm in bed by 10PM at the latest on week nights, so a class ending at 9 is LATE! (which is why it took me months to go!). I even signed up for one three weeks ago, and ended up locking myself out of my apt and with both my roommates and bf gone I was stranded for a while and thus missed the class. Literally everything was keeping me from trying this class, until last Monday. 

Group huddle to start class

Group huddle to start class

I was tired, but I'd had an indulgent weekend so I thought I could use the second workout on this particular Monday. I headed there a little early knowing that if I sat on the couch any longer I wasn't getting back up. I got there, checked in, and then re-introduced myself to one of the trainers, Dustin, that was leading that night.

Dustin and Christina

Dustin and Christina

He owns the Barry's Bootcamp in Boston and had kicked my ass a little while back (luckily still remembered me!). Then class got started, we began with a group huddle and got ready for an awesome class. It was filled with body weight exercises and plenty to get your heart rate up. I was SWEATING about 15 min in. I love that. 

About half way in we had to get a partner for a few moves, the woman beside me asked me be my partner, her name was Jen and little did she know but she was one of my Boston trainer idols. She's also a Nike Trainer but just came this week to do the workout. She was actually supposed to run the class the week before when I had locked myself out and missed it. She also recognized me because of social media, and was wonderful to chat with as we went through the partner section.

Jen and I doing pistol squats as part of the partner workout.

Jen and I doing pistol squats as part of the partner workout.

At the end of the class I of course had to go re-introduce myself to the other trainer there, Christina, who teaches at FlyWheel. I had taken a class with her a while ago because of a mutual friend Lisa, who was holding a charity event there. We ended the night with me admitting I stalk all three (Jen, Christina and Dustin) on Instagram. 

My Boston trainer idols: Jen, Dustin, Christina

My Boston trainer idols: Jen, Dustin, Christina

I felt so inspired, that even after getting home late yesterday from work, I quickly changed and ran to Nike to make sure I made it in time for class. It's one of those things that sets a great tone for my week, and adds the cardio into my workouts that I neeeeeddddddd but hate doing on my own. 


It's been a while since I posted, I didn't know what was next for me (in terms of fitness) after my bikini show. I had kept up my workouts, but then had a knee injury, then I was invited to run the NYC Marathon with only 8 weeks to prep (decided it wasn't smart). I've been all over the place. I've been flirting with the idea of getting spin certified, and have also started teaching a bootcamp for my coworkers on Tuesdays, and I realized I love it.

Challenge accepted: Get hired to teach group fitness classes. Still figuring out if that's spin or a bootcamp...I don't have all the answers yet :)

"It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting." - Pualo Coelho.