2 Simple Things to Make Life Better

Lately I have had to really focus on making my mind less hectic.  I have a doctorate in procrastination and found I need to write things down in order to get some things done.  I have also discovered that I still put off doing things on my list sometimes.  Well, a lot of the time.

A to do list is a great tool to get you started, but I found that scheduling things in my calendar was a huge step in getting more important things done.  Your phone comes equipped with a calendar, use it.  Once I started scheduling my time at the gym, time to work on my business, my meditation practice and other important matters in life, I became much more efficient with my time.  Time is the one commodity we can not acquire more.  Be stingy with your time.  Everything I do is scheduled on a calendar. This is a tough habit to stick with, but when you commit 30 days to the process, you will be surprised about how much more efficient you become.

Meditation is the second practice I have started that was so difficult in the beginning, but is an important part of my daily routine. How do you start meditating?  Youtube has great beginner videos that will walk you through, 10, 15 or 30 minute sessions.   Just push play and follow the instructions.  I highly recommend starting off in the 5-10 minute range.  Spotify is another great resource for meditation.  Just start.  set aside 10 minutes a day where you won’t be disturbed.  Meditation benefits include reduced stress, improved concentration, information processing, fosters creativity an a host of other amazing things.

 

With great change comes great patience.  Try these practices in your life for the next 30 days and I guarantee you will see dramatic improvements in you life.  So many people I talk to live unfulfilled lives.  They are over 40, and feel like the American dream is really not a dream at all.  We are at a point were we realize this ride is at best half way over.  Perspectives and things change dramatically as life chugs along.  Thank you for joining me as I document my journey to build a newline after 40.

 

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My First Superhuman- War Machine’s Story

It's been almost four years now since I started my first gig working as a group fitness instructor at a local karate studio. I answered a Craigslist ad looking for a kickboxing instructor. The studio owner offered me 3 classes a week as well as the freedom to lead class however I wanted. This was a tremendous bonus in that it allowed me to design my own style of workouts. It also led me to shit bricks because now I have to put my education into action. Design workouts, lead class, market the class. Uh oh. Fear was screaming in my ear. “You're gonna fail!” I was terrified.



My first class I had three clients show up. (These same three individuals still train with me to this very day) I don't remember much detail from those early years. Plenty of trial and error, soul crushing failures, terrible workouts, missed opportunities are some of the things that stand out. However, it was also an amazing experience. I met some incredible people and forged some lifelong friendships.

It is said you can't get anywhere in life without help from others. This is certainly true for me, because many people helped me build my confidence as a trainer, in business, and life the past few years. As I perfected my craft as a group fitness trainer, I was fortunate to have an individual in my classes who was always willing (maybe willing is pushing it) to help me.

Melissa K was always in class, on time and grasped the form on all exercises almost immediately. I was blown away by her commitment to the class which became a powerful motivator to help others in class become better. As classes grew I began to have Melissa demo the exercises as I explained the form to the class. This was a tremendous help to my success. It allowed me to show proper form on exercises, without having to be the person doing it. Teamwork.

Early days me torturing Melissa in class


Melissa quickly became the girl who paced the class, she never quit, her form was always spot on, her strength was growing by leaps and bounds, she was becoming a leader wether she knew it or not.

Over the past few years I asked her to help me develop classes, experiment with different routines (some which were utter failures, and I'd like to forget) and various other fitness related business. She was always willing to help me become better. She became a War Machine, always ready to take on a new challenge. How do we increase intensity on these exercises? Experiment on Melissa and find out. I put her through a lot of torture in those early classes, but she rarely complained, and came back for more. She is the backbone of Team Superhuman.

The past few years I have come to value her opinion and advice in my classes and business. Without a doubt, I wouldn't be sitting here writing this today if it wasn't for her loyalty.

So I asked War Machine to give me a reflection of her side of this story that started with me so long ago. And of course, she said yes.


Tractor pull at Spartan Sprint


Melissa's side….

I can barely remember a time before Kirk and Team Superhuman. It is almost hard to imagine those first few classes, when my body weight alone felt impossible to lift, when 3 lb weights felt like boulders, when my cardio skills were just beginning to improve. I almost don't recognize that person I was in the beginning, physically and otherwise. That girl was afraid. Afraid of running any race, DEFINITELY afraid of running an obstacle race, and if I am being honest, that girl was afraid of a lot of things in life. But that girl only existed before Kirk and Team Superhuman. I have evolved, and it is just the beginning.


I could go on for ages about how much I love the workouts, how they are never boring, never routine, addicting despite being absolutely brutal, but that's only a small part of what makes Team Superhuman so wonderful. It's the support from the team, the faith that everyone has in you, the confidence that you can't help but gain by being a part of the team that really makes the difference. During the toughest of workouts, when you're feeling beat down, telling yourself you want to stop, that you can't go on, that's when the team steps in and keeps you going. Someone is there to say “one more!” Someone is there to cheer you on, remind you that “you got this!” And you carry on. You get through it. You try. After a while, you begin to see in yourself the strength that others see. You begin to tell yourself “one more!” You begin yelling at yourself that “you got this!” And you believe it. You know that it is true. That even if you fail that last rep, even if you don't beat your last time, you have it in you to try anything. You are not afraid.


That is the best thing Team Superhuman has given me.
I am not afraid to try my hardest and I am not afraid to fail.

I had never run a race before. To those seasoned runners out there, it may seem silly, but despite several team runs with the superhuman crew, I was still afraid of attempting an actual race with an actual time. After being persuaded to run a local 5k, the Towamencin Turkey Trot, and successfully finishing it, I was pumped. Next thing I knew, I was signed up for the Broad Street Run in Philadelphia, a ten miler. At the time, I was secretly hoping I wouldn't get picked- due to the popularity of the race there was a lottery system in order to select the runners. But when I found out I would actually be racing, Kirk and Team Superhuman had my back. On race day, they were there to cheer me on. They knew I could do it, and though I had never made it through the whole ten miles in my training runs, I ended up conquering each mile and beating my cheerleaders to the finish line! With the support of Team Superhuman, I made it through.


Philadelphia 10 miler

Then there was the Spartan Race. Kirk had tried to convince me to sign up the year before, but I had not yet conquered my fear. This time, I was ready. Still slightly apprehensive, I committed to give the Spartan Sprint a try, and began mentally preparing myself for the worst. Not just running, but running + mountains + obstacles + burpees if you fail an obstacle? Ughhh. Thankfully, I would not be running this race alone. More and more members of Team Superhuman signed up, and by the time race day came, I was nothing but excited. I knew I could depend on the team to get me through any obstacle. We were going to crush this race.


Team Superhuman Spartan Sprint 2013


That first Spartan Race was inspiring in so many ways. I watched my teammates push through the pain, never quit, keep going despite the seemingly never-ending onslaught of spartan torture. Kirk had prepared us well- each and every one of us made it across the fiery finish line. It was an amazing experience, and I knew that was the first of many Spartan Races to come.

Spartan Beast South Carolina 2013


Somehow, by the end of the year, I managed to earn my Trifecta by completing the Spartan Sprint, Super, and Beast. I failed obstacles. I did plenty of penalty burpees. I fell from near the top of the rope climb in front of spectators. But through it all, I wasn't afraid. I gave it my all. I knew that Team Superhuman had faith in me, and I had learned to have faith in myself.
In one racing season, the girl who had never ran a single race ever had defeated the Broad Street Run AND the Spartan Trifecta- all thanks to Team Superhuman. With my new-found confidence, this year I will attempt a double Trifecta. I know that Team Superhuman believes in me, and thanks to them, I believe in myself.

General bad-assery


I still workout with Kirk and Team Superhuman, and rarely miss a workout. It's what I love to do, and where I love to be. Some days are tough, and I might get down on myself a bit for not being fast enough or not being strong enough, but the team is always there to help me forget the negative thoughts, and to inspire me with their own greatness. I love watching others set personal records, master new skills, build their strength. And of course I can't complain about my own gains.
So here is my big shout out to Team Superhuman- thank you for all you have done for me, and I look forward to whatever challenges are in store! (*cough* Team Superhuman Hunger Games part 2 *cough*)


Vera and Her Inspirational Transformation

I had the great pleasure of meeting Vera about 9 months ago after expanding the Superhuman Empire to another location. She presented a unique opportunity for me, in that I had never coached anyone over 50 years old.

 

Vera was already in great condition when we started together and I immediately recognized her potential to take her fitness to the next level. She was intense, confident and easily coachable. She had a desire to learn and become better, great qualities that coaches love to see in people.

 

It has been my pleasure to get to know Vera better over the past nine months and was floored when I saw her before picture. She has an amazing comeback story and has proven to all of us at Team Superhuman that age is just a number.

 

Meet Vera….

 

My Unexpected transformation

On my 50th birthday, I was happy but very stressed. Lots of family things going on, and being Italian, we are raised to take care of everyone else first and you last. So that is what I was doing, making sure my kids, mom,brothers and sister were all taken care of and that they were happy, but losing myself in the process.

August 2011

 

Meanwhile, I was dealing with stress by, what else, eating, afterall, I am Italian! I didn’t even realize that I was slowly putting on the pounds and not feeling welldue to the weight.

Then I experienced a break-up and I went into a deep depression. I felt lost. I didn’t know how to handle the unexpected break-up. I felt lonely and sad. It is hard when you think your life was all planned out for a happy future to one that just went topsy turvey on you overnight.

Fat Me

Thanks to my best friend who helped me snap out of it. She talked me into joining a gym and to channelmy saddness with exercise. We went everyday, seven days a week, I slowly saw the transformation happening as my clothes were now falling off me. I went out and was able to refresh my warddrobe, how exciting that is to see your clothes size go down!

My friend encouraged (more like bugged me) that the treadmill was not enough, that I needed to build muscle, since at my age we start losing muscle tone. To avoid boredomwe signed up for various classes, like belly dancing, zumba and then kickboxing which led me to meet Kirk while attending a kickboxing class.

Since I started to work out with Kirk and the fantastic group of people, I have seen the transformation, I see the staring signs of muscles that I didn’t think I would see. AlthoughI lost weight, I am now getting more toned due to the routines that I do in Kirk’s classes. Not only am I having fun with this team, I have made new friends. Being with Kirk and this team, I continue to get the support and encouragement to push myself.

Weighlifting2.1.2014B

Vera setting a PR of 120# dead lift

I participated in events (i.e timed runs, Color Run, signed up to do the Dirty Girl Mud Run, and finally my goal to do a Spartan Race, plus more future races! Once you start, you can’t stop!) that I would not have thought that I wanted to do or would be able to complete any of these races.Working with Kirk has given me the confidence that I so needed, that confidence where I can do anything, giving me that push and guidance to reach my goals.

I am in better health now then before I was 50 and loving the challenge that working out brings.
Looking forward to bigger and more challenging things in 2014.

 Color Run2014 Vera 2014

 

 

Vera is an amazing person and the entire Team at Superhuman HQ love having her with us. She’s always smiling, never complaining and certainly pushing herself to the limit. We are looking forward to more amazing things from Vera in 2014!

 

 

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How To Overcome Fear and Conquer Life

Fear…

Today I watched the movie After Earth. The beginning started off with the movie's star Will Smith describing fear. I found the quote to be the most accurate description of fear I have ever heard.

 

Being Crippled By Fear

Over three years ago I decided to take the plunge into being a personal trainer and struck out on my own. To say I was gripped with fear is an understatement. I was paralyzed at the thought of speaking in front of a group of others. Fear had begun to wrap its tentacles around me.

Doubts crept in and I began to question myself. Can I do this? What what will people think? Was my training sufficient? The fear monster was looming.

 

 

I began applying at various fitness facilities in my area. I didn't expect an overwhelming response from employers, but would certainly entertain any interview.

I was open to personal training but really had my heart set on group instruction, so that is where I focused my efforts.

Thankfully, after only a few days of searching I had my first interview as a kickboxing instructor. Confession. I was straight out of school with my cert, I was as green as they get. Kickboxing was certainly not my strong set. But, I interviewed, and the owner of the facility was looking for someone who could possibly lead classes that were more bodyweight oriented, and not kickboxing. He offered me the chance. It was exactly what I wanted.

 

However, at that moment, fear yelled in my ear, “You'll Fail!” All the reasons and excuses imaginable why I shouldn't/couldn't make the offer work flooded my mind. How did I kill fear that day. I accepted the offer.

How Do Yo Overcome Fear?

By taking it head on, and punching it in the face. That is how you overcome fear. You just slay it. I know, I know easier said than done. But, it truly is easy. And gets easier when you realize just how irrational fear really is. Life is meant to be conquered, I truly believe that with all my heart. Don't let fear ruin your life.

 

 

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