Dear Friends, Family, and Clients,

Most of you know I recently went away to Hawaii to go visit my friend Gabby who was there for the month of August getting her yoga certification to become an instructor. Upon arriving, I quickly realized Gabby had been in a strict veganism yogi boot camp! A straight up boot camp for yogi's where the instructors held classes for three hours in the morning and 3-4 in the afternoon. Everyone was expected to be there for all classes. No excuses. Did I mention this was ALL hot yoga? Did I mention I hate (hated) yoga?

The course was run by Maui Yoga and there were about 20 yogi's getting certified who had been there for the entire month. I wanted to see what it was all about so I decided to take my first class that Saturday morning. It was an hour and a half. For those of you who know me very well, yoga has never been my forte so an hour and a half was brutal. I got through the class, leaving a pool of sweat and my ego checked at the door. I was astonished. How could it be that I could run 26 miles, squat 155lbs, deadlift over 180, but holding an isometric squat or turning my body to the side and holding a prayer pose completely crushed me? Yes, I had taken yoga before but not in this setting and with these people and instructors. Their flexibility, their strength, their bodies and what they were capable of doing really inspired and amazed me. I had always been too short sided to realize the importance of yoga in my overall workout routine. I could never get past the initial "I hate this" or "I’m not flexible enough." It was then, that Saturday morning in Maui, I realized just how much my body, mind and spirit needed yoga.

The whole experience forced me to start thinking. When it comes to programming, I preach diversity to all my clients. And the one thing I say is to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. I was uncomfortable all right! The initial discomfort in class was quickly forgotten about when I realized my back became less stiff, my hamstrings less tight and probably the most surprising, I was sore and tired in a way I never knew possible! And better yet, a small competitive fire started burning inside me. I wanted to learn as many poses as possible and challenge myself in a new and difficult way. I felt so good after sweating my ass off and leaving that hot muggy room. I realized when taken out of the madness of New York, my mind was forced to slow down and physically I was forced to conform to the unforgiving instructors lead and adapt to the slow yet peaceful energy of the classes. It became very clear to me that my own training was missing a vital and important piece of the overall health and wellness puzzle.

I am writing this newsletter to ask you one question- What is it you hate doing or what do you find most challenging? This can be fitness related or not fitness related. It could be spinning, running, yoga, kick boxing, pilates, giving up something you know is not good for you (e.g wine or sweets) or something not related like learning how to dance, playing the piano, singing, learning Italian, WHATEVER. I want you guys to think about it and challenge yourselves. Pick something and OVERCOME THAT CHALLENGE. Ask yourself, what have you accomplished in 2012 that you are proud of? Personally, for YOU. Not for your husband or wife, your kids or your parents. You and only YOU. September is a month for renewal. We have the holiday season upon us. Summer is over. Let’s make new goals and get ready for the last four months of 2012. It is not too late to make a difference. Overcoming obstacles in life will build confidence and character, which will translate to happiness. Happiness will translate to success in the gym. Success in the gym= success in overall health and wellness. You see how it is all intermixed? The possibilities are endless once you realize you can do anything you put your mind to…

Me? I’m learning more and more about myself everyday. The day I stop learning is the day I die. Have the same motto. Live life to the fullest. Being healthy is a huge spectrum. Yes weight lifting and cardio are physically important key components to staying fit and healthy. It’s easy to lose sight of what is important and all too often we become burnt out doing the same thing day in and day out. Change up your routine. For the month of September, pick a challenge and tackle it. Let me know what it is. Mine is yoga. Think I can do a head-stand within six months?

Let’s get a bet going…I’m up for a challenge…Are YOU?!