The Power Of My Own Vulnerability

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You know the expression, smack your mama good when referring to something that is really really good? Well that is the way I felt when I first watched the Brene’ Brown TED Talk, The Power of Vulnerability.

But before getting into my thoughts of this outstanding TED Talk, let me talk a little bit about my journal and the notes I intentionally and deliberating scribbled down the day before I knew anything about this talk and before I knew much at all about Brene’ Brown.

Sunday morning I came across Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday live Facebook feed where she featured Dr. Shefali, clinical psychologist and child expert. I am not a parent, but I was a child once and many things in the live feed spoke to me. Words like standards, expectations, and vulnerability rang out and rang true in my heart and mind. The words spoke so loudly to me that I began writing. I wrote this.

“Not parents, not partners, not a friend, not a boss. The only one who should be setting expectations on ourselves, is ourselves…and even that should be handled with caution.” 

From the comfort of my bed, under the covers, two pages in my journal quickly were full of words and ah-ha’s. As the day went on, I found myself adding notes to myself and jotting down further developed thoughts on my iphone notepad. By brain went in to full on writer mode.

As Sunday drew to a close, I kicked off the winter running season with a party filled with members of my runner fam. One of those family members approached me not knowing about my journaling experience from earlier that morning and recommended a link for me to watch. I tucked that link away and by Monday morning, a completely different friend not knowing about the recommended link…sent it to me again! The was the moment where I said “Ok Universe…I Hear You.” The link was to a Ted Talk from Brene’ Brown. My midday Monday I found myself standing in my kitchen watching that video and about 10 others by her. I could not get enough. It was like someone was finally interpreting my feelings. This foreign language in my soul had been translated and related back to me so eloquently.

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I encourage you to watch this TED Talk yourself. Find your own interpretation and take your own nuggets from it. As she mentions, I dare you to be great. I dare you to be vulnerable and take an emotional risk of your own. She mentions that vulnerability is the birthplace of so much and let me tell you, my purpose was born long ago…but through this process it is becoming abundantly clear. The masks are off. The komono is open. I can’t wait for what will be revealed!

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What I Learned In 2016

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As mentioned in earlier posts, it has been an exhausting year for me. It has been a learning year. I have talked about some of the challenges here on this blog and with many of you in person. It seems that 2016 was a rough one for many of us. It was a tough one for the country, the community, my tribe. Over the past week it became abundantly clear how much I have learned from the trials I have faced and I am sure it will become more clear as the days roll on.

During this process, one of the things I learned was how much I have neglected myself, especially the past few months. It wasn’t intentionally or as a martyr for a cause, in a sense I went into survival mode… somehow it just happened. I seemed to be doing it all, but not doing it all well. Physically and emotionally there was nothing left to give to myself. I was spread to thin elsewhere. I was left with no desire to move, in the fitness sense. My once beloved high intensity workouts or runs seemed unattractive. Slow and steady is what my body called for.  I found myself craving more yoga. Taking to my mat was a way to find peace and literally get grounded. The yin and restorative poses have been a constant during the past few months. If no other fitness for the week, I rarely missed my Monday evening Yin class at Studio Bamboo. It has come to be a weekly staple, an intention, a necessity. As I look back now, I think my soul was trying to heal itself from the inside out.

Last week after ordering take out from practically every place in VB, it was clear I needed others to take care of me and I was too tired to argue. I opted for a massage, a mani/pedi, and cocktails from a friend.  I enjoyed a restful Thanksgiving with the family, taking time to acknowledge all I am thankful for and looking forward to a couple weeks of downtime later this month. As 2016 wraps up, I take inventory of the past 12 months.

How have I grown? How have I stalled? What do I want?  Where should I speak up? Where should I be silent?

The questions will not end, but the answers may change.

As I answer those questions, I am taking notice to areas of growth and areas of improvement.

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I am vowing to consciously make myself more of a priority in 2017. A priority in health, in fitness, in finances, in relationships, and in business. I’m ending  8lbs heavier than last year. I also end with my same smile, surrounded by those same friends, my same amazing family, and even more opportunity knocking at the door.

I don’t have to do it all. The house does not have to be styled perfectly, I don’t have to physically be the most fit. I do not need to be the best friend, the best trainer, the best volunteer all of the time. I simply just need to do my best. Part of my best moving forward is  negotiating for what is right at the time.

I don’t have to do it all by myself. As a single women, I find myself trying to juggle. My career, my finances, my adult responsibilities, my fitness goals, etc. I am vowing to let others help me: my family, my friends, yoga teachers, and my running coach. When it comes to job responsibilities I will speak up when I am stretched too thin or when others need to pitch in more. My own obligations and expectations of myself will be realistic.  Keeping that same theme for my own health and fitness needs as well. I signed up without hesitation for the J&A Shamrock Training Team. I have not and will not sign up for one of the Shamrock races until I see what other obligations 2017 will bring.  One mile at a time, one day at a time keeping the training on my terms!

Everything in moderation, including moderation. I will think less about the consequences of a late night out, an extra cocktail or dessert and think more about the moment I am in and who I am spending it with.

Power off instead of powering through. A strong work ethic is impressive, but doing more for less or missing out on life is nothing to be admired. Planning for time off or travel breaks through the year is now part of the plan.

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Sweat and Shop Local This Season

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It is the time of year to give thanks for family, friends, opportunities… I am also thankful to a list of local businesses that help keep me going all year long.

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One of the perks of being involved in the small business community, is getting to know about things happening in businesses before others. An awesome thing happening this weekend in the 757 and all around the country is Small Business Saturday. It is a day dedicated to promoting your favorite small businesses you frequent all year round, just in time for the holidays. I spent some time earlier this week chatting and visiting with some of my favorite small business owners. During my time, I learned of some good holiday deals and great gifts perfect for anyone on your list!

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I heard that the deals are gonna be so good, they couldn’t even share them with me! Visit their locations in Norfolk or VB.

If you choose to go for the #OptOutside philosophy this weekend, there are plenty of vendors that can help you by ordering online.

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Drops of Bliss
My friend Rachel Kemp is knowledgable in the oil business. Check out her Facebook page for tips and tricks to better use your oils and consider ordering some new ones. I have been using them for a couple of years.  They are handy for sore muscles after a run to stress relief during my meditation practice. I use my diffuser every night with lavender as I drift off to dreamland. A must!

 

 

 

 

 

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Crafted by my friend Sheena Jeffers who is a lover of all things health, wellness, and uplifting women, be sure to check out this networking group for you as a girl on the grind. Better yet, invite another woman you know who needs to be inspired and you both come! I am carving out time each month to attend these workshops. I have yet to be disappointed.
Women supporting women! A group of go-getter females who desire to be successful in their professional and personal lives. “We strive for healthy balance and nourishment from our fellow female warriors. Invite your lady friends doing big things! We meet monthly to connect, plan, dream, assess our present and visualize our futures.”

 

More awesome products from members of my own impressive tribe.

Sirens Salon

I would not trust anyone else to touch my hair. Holly, my friend and owner of Sirens Salon is my go to girl no matter what shade of blonde I am going for. Check out the Facebook page and book an appointment for your fresh style just in time for the holidays. Be sure to check out the selection of local gifts, handmade jewelry, and candles in the lobby while you wait.

Stella & Dot

Everyone needs the perfect pair of sunnies! These aviators from Stella & Dot are on my list!

Everyone needs the perfect pair of sunnies! These aviators from Stella & Dot are on my list!

Scentsy

Keeping my house, car, and laundry fresh even after the sweatiest of workouts!

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Scentsy is a safe, flameless, wickless alternative to scented candles AND so much more!! My favorite sent is Breathe with a soothing eucalyptus, zesty lemon, and a medley of mints comfort and rejuvenate. It is a clean and fresh scent for winter mornings. I keep these in my master bathroom warmer.
Try also the the Washer Whiffs in your laundry to keep even the most funky fitness clothes fresh for the next use. Car fresheners are the perfect stocking stuffer for guys and gals.

Traveling Vineyard

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Yea, yea…I am on to you gals!

After you sweat, you deserve to sip! No need to spend time in the wine section of TJ or Target. Order it straight to your door for your own stock or to gift.

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Wine seems to be on everyone’s list this season whether you are giving or receiving it. Try adding a pair of these silicone coated glasses with it for the ultimate unwined experience. Cheers to you!

Fancy Fonts

I trust all my hand lettered gift and business needs to this boss babe. She’s got you covered! Get your holiday orders in, deadline is fast approaching!

If you are a local business and have a deal worth sharing email Jess at thefitpetite@gmail.com

Other Favorites To Watch

Real Flexi VB

J&A Racing

Studio Bamboo

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My Fall Running Wrap Up: White House To Wolfpack

This fall, running was in full effect! Two teams, two races, and hundreds of miles shared my heart and time. I spent my Saturday mornings with my J&A WolfPack Family and weekday evenings were spent planning for the second annual WH2WH. Both commitments wrapped up this past week and there is lots to celebrate and be proud of.

I needed a few days to let the dust settle, physically and emotionally, put myself back together, eat all the food and rest. It is now Saturday and as I sit in the pedicure chair, for the second time this year, at last I am finding the space, the energy, and the words to put together this post.

Mission complete! For the past few months my FB status read something similar to this: 200 miles, 12 runners, 1 mission of homelessness awareness. On Monday afternoon we did just that. After 30+ hours of running, one flat tire, and lots of Hershey’s miniatures we arrived at the White House fence. Over $27k raised as a group and over $2700 brought in from my clients, friends, and family before we ever left the parking lot on our 200 mile journey. I could not feel more proud.

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Janet, Todd, Julie, Natasha, Jeff, Markus, Jess, Anne
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While many of my J&A teammates tackled Richmond, I settled into an RV with runners who knew little about each other…other than their shared interest of running and raising funds for charity. By lunch time on Sunday and one mannequin challenge, we knew we all would be connected forever. This group organically came together as a collective unit. They divided up mileage evenly and without hesitation. We ran at night, in the dark, but we were never alone. We shared snacks, words of encouragement, and even beds. Within this group of 6 runners and 2 drivers, were my dad and my dear friend Janet. Without either one of their help the past few months, I couldn’t have pulled off this task. Support from all angles from them, allowed all of us to accomplish this goal.

Sunday, I awoke early and excited for the day. Still weary, I was reunited with my team before the sun on the course of Norfolk Harbor Half, not as a runner but as a spectator. The wind blew and their legs turned. 13.1 miles for a few first timers, some veterans, and among them some PR’s were set. Another united group, guiding, pacing, and chasing each other home to the finish line along the water. A milestone and an equally impressively mission had been accomplished. Once again proud to be a part of such a tremendous group. These next few days I have peace in the fact my running shoes are hung up.

What is next for in my world for both running and charity? The future is empty by design. Easily, I am tempted with the need to take on and tackle the world, instead, I am stepping back from my current volunteer responsibilities. I am allowing some time in December to make some decisions about my 2017 time commitments. As far as running, I of course will be a member of the J&A Shamrock Training Team. While it may not be clear as to what distance or goal…it is clear who I will spend the miles with.

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Find Your Greatness

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This fall has been a season of heartbreak, of growth, of unraveling, and of unveiling pieces of myself in regards to my own ever evolving relationship with fitness. Up until recently I measured my greatness in regards to fitness by the times on the clock. Thankfully, with some guidance from some folks much wiser than I, I have realized how insignificant and defeating doing that to myself can be. I do have a gift with fitness, but my gift isn’t in being the best at fitness. My greatest asset in this industry is helping others with their journey. I do it daily with my clients and I do it often in my words on this site. I enjoy it. My greatest gift this season has been putting together a charity relay run. This weekend that run will happen. The planning, the attention to detail, and the little bit of training I was able to squeeze in will play itself out. It will be great.

Just days before the big event, I surprisingly found myself full of emotion. I ended the day Thursday with a boardwalk run with training team friends.  Thoughts of every running memory from this fall came flooding through my mind. I began thinking of all my runner friends and all the things that make them great. Some set great records on tough courses, some lead teams or groups of people across finish lines from 5k’s to fulls. Some faced their greatest fears and some even fought the greatest battle of their life with a terminal disease. They are great mothers, great friends, great professionals, great cheerleaders, great people.

As I left my group run, this song came blaring through my stereo and tears fell…a release of all the feels. This will be my theme song for the weekend. I share this song with you in hopes that you too will discover your greatness too. There is something beautiful in discovering your own greatness. Something magical happens when you choose to let it out and share that greatness with others.

Sia- The Greatest

Uh-oh, running out of breath, but I
Oh, I, I got stamina
Uh-oh, running now, I close my eyes
Well, oh, I got stamina
And uh-oh, I see another mountain to climb
But I, I, I got stamina
Uh-oh, I need another lover, be mine
Cause I, I, I got stamina

Don’t give up, I won’t give up
Don’t give up, no no no
Don’t give up, I won’t give up
Don’t give up, no no no

I’m free to be the greatest, I’m alive
I’m free to be the greatest here tonight, the greatest
The greatest, the greatest alive
The greatest, the greatest alive

Well, uh-oh, running out of breath, but I
Oh, I, I got stamina
Uh-oh, running now, I close my eyes
But, oh, I got stamina
And oh yeah, running to the waves below
But I, I got stamina
And oh yeah, I’m running and I’ve just enough
And uh-oh, I got stamina

Don’t give up, I won’t give up
Don’t give up, no no no
Don’t give up, I won’t give up
Don’t give up, no no no

I’m free to be the greatest, I’m alive
I’m free to be the greatest here tonight, the greatest
The greatest, the greatest alive
The greatest, the greatest alive

Oh-oh, I got stamina
Oh-oh, I got stamina
Oh-oh, I got stamina
Oh-oh, I got stamina

Hey, I am the truth
Hey, I am the wisdom of the fallen – I’m the youth
Hey, I am the greatest
Hey, this is the proof
Hey, I work hard, pray hard, pay dues, hey
I transform with pressure – I’m hands-on with effort
I fell twice before my bounce back was special
Letdowns will get you, and the critics will test you
But the strong will survive, another scar may bless you, ah

Don’t give up (no no), I won’t give up (no no)
Don’t give up, no no no (nah)
Don’t give up, I won’t give up
Don’t give up, no no no

I’m free to be the greatest, I’m alive
I’m free to be the greatest here tonight, the greatest
The greatest, the greatest alive
(Don’t give up, don’t give up, don’t give up, no no no)
The greatest, the greatest alive
(Don’t give up, don’t give up, don’t give up, no no no)

The greatest, the greatest alive
(Don’t give up, don’t give up, don’t give up; I got stamina)
The greatest, the greatest alive
(Don’t give up, don’t give up, don’t give up; I got stamina)
The greatest, the greatest alive
(Don’t give up, don’t give up, don’t give up; I got stamina)
The greatest, the greatest alive
(Don’t give up, don’t give up, don’t give up; I got stamina)
The greatest, the greatest alive
(Don’t give up, don’t give up, don’t give up; I got stamina)
The greatest, the greatest alive
(Don’t give up, don’t give up, don’t give up; I got stamina)
The greatest, the greatest alive
(Don’t give up, don’t give up, don’t give up; I got stamina)
The greatest, the greatest alive
(Don’t give up, don’t give up, don’t give up; I got stamina)

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