Goals

Certified.

I need to go ahead and write this while it’s still such a thrill! Watch out fitness world, this girl is certified to personally train you! Woo! Six months in the making, and man did I forget what it is like to be in school “study” mode, which is even harder with a full time job and (semi) social life. But I took the exam this morning and passed! Couldn’t be happier.

I passed!

I’ve always enjoyed health and fitness on a personal level. I always played multiple sports in school, became somewhat of a gym rat post-grad, and now have branched into testing out gluten free and paleo recipes weekly. It’s become more than something I just do, and into something I love. I decided to get my certification to be a personal trainer simply to learn more about my own training. There are many different organizations that offer a certification but I chose the National Academy of Sport Medicine (NASM-CPT) because it’s one of the most reputable and widely accepted. Being someone who goes to the gym frequently, I thought the course and exam would be easier for me. It’s heavily focused on exercise science, which I have no background in. So honestly, maybe I was more excited than necessary but I nailed a science exam…maybe the first time ever.

Arms day

The best part is I have more updates…

I am officially a Brand Ambassador for Equinox! Equinox is a luxury gym in a few major US cities, one of the locations being conveniently located a block over from my office. I help out the membership team for that location and represent an awesome brand…how lucky is that?!

yogi

Today is a celebration and another step in my fitness journey. Just looking forward to learning more and maybe getting to pick up a client or two 🙂

E-mail me at ebaileyfitness@gmail.com for info on how I can help you!

@ebailey_fitness

A HUGE thank you to my family, boyfriend, roommate and wonderful friends up here who have been so supportive and understanding of my study-hibernation status lately…you all are the best! ❤

Love,

Erin K. Bailey, CPT 😉

Reset.

Its felt a lot like I’m starting over lately. Very obviously in many ways, new city, new job, new friends. But more than anything it feels like a reoccurring pattern. The past few months have certainly been challenging and I’ve realized, almost too obviously, that’s it’s because I once again hit the reset button. I worked four years long and hard to create a reputation, build credibility, and expand my network all just to graduate, hitting the reset button and sending myself back to the bottom on the totem pole. Realizing that as exciting as being in your early twenties is, the career path I’ve chosen, like many of my peers, is one of dedication, long hours, and an impeccable attention to detail. I’m learning from the bottom up. It’s the way it most always works, right?
 
 
I spent this past weekend in Houston with one of my best friends from college, Lauren. It was one of the first times people would ask how we knew each other and we became “old friends from college” rather than that simply being assumed. We poured over old school pop music, cheesy 90’s movies, and ongoing conversations about life and love. All too cliche for a girls weekend right?
 
 
Sunday we ventured down to Galveston to spend time with my Aunt Pam and Uncle Craig who welcomed us with homemade crab cakes, cheesy grits and red wine. I’ve always valued my relationship with them, but this time I felt like there was a shift. We shared stories of reunions, and family updates. But we also talked about work, and my Aunt Pam, a very successful business owner, even asked for my advice on PR and marketing for her company, it was the first time she saw me as a professional and a young adult. It was also a conversation about love, time, and a reoccurring theme in my life….the importance of relationships.
 
 
Since my post about the challenges of finding true girlfriends, I have been overwhelmed by the support of friends, family and mostly strangers that have reached out with similar stories. I didn’t realize I had tapped into a common thread many of us share, the struggles we face when we hit the reset button. Even my Aunt Pam, who has never met a stranger, shared her recent connection to the struggle trying to find friends in a new city while her husband, my Uncle Craig, was so often away. She so honestly stated “We seek those that share our same values, we seek the ones we can call in the middle of the night and they come running. That bond takes time, takes patience,” and she’s right.
 
 
This weekend was my mini vacation, it was my reminder of priorities, it was a my chance to sit back and reflect. This weekend was my reset button. Lauren and I shared our individual challenges we’ve faced with these new lives we’ve attempted to create for ourselves over coffee on the front porch overlooking the bay. We stayed in Aunt Pam and Uncle Craig’s getaway home perfectly named, “Exhale.” It was a perspective I needed to find. We all face our own battles everyday, no ones’ anymore more or less challenging than our own. We need those around us to often remind us to keep our head above water and push through. We seek change, to challenge us and to experience more. We seek these situations. We press the reset button everyday, we start over with every new chapter in our lives, and more importantly with each day we face. It’s a chance to excel, to embrace what is next. So often we fear change, we fear having to face the world on our own, but this weekend gave me much needed perspective.
 
 
In the midst of change we hit setbacks that often lead us to seek a way out. You will never know how great you can truly be unless you instead face your fears, face your setbacks, head on. No matter how big or small the change is, the challenge is, sometimes in the midst of defeat all we need is to simply reset.
 
 
 

obligation into opportunity

I never considered whether I would go to school or not, it simply wasn’t a choice. While other students faked sick, or left school early to finish a paper, I never had that option, my parents made sure I was in school 100% of the time. It was just part of the routine, and often felt like a chore. Some days it didn’t feel fair that I had to be there, forced to try and absorb information that didn’t always feel relevant to me. Forced to follow strict bathroom policies, and consume lukewarm cafeteria pizza. Even after high school the next logical step was college, not a choice but an obligation.

It’s easy to complain about the overwhelming amounts of school work that never cease. It’s easy to make excuses and look for a way out of going to that 8 am class. But what if class wasn’t seen as an obligation but an opportunity? What if you didn’t have the convenience to read deeply, discuss freely, and write intellectually? What if as a female you were banned from obtaining an education? What if you had an opportunity to write and learn in spite of the law; to express what it was like as an oppressed female, seeking education. Knowing you had a story to tell, awareness to enforce, but if you were caught you would be killed. What would you do?

In 2009 at just 11, Malala, partnered with the BBC and wrote under a pseudonym, about her experiences living under Taliban rule. It started as she was banned from acting as a part of the school thus stripping her of her privilege to wear a school uniform, to being banned from attending school at all as many were closed down and destroyed. But she continued to write, continued to show courage and share her stories. She continued to live with hope, learn with desire, and lead with strength.
Due to a growing popularity, she was approached by the New York Times to film a documentary, to better tell her story. At 12 years old she became a known activist for female education. She was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize, and soon after awarded Pakistan’s first National Children’s Peace Prize.Yet despite her success, the looming fear of being found by the Taliban continued:

“I think of it often and imagine the scene clearly. Even if they come to kill me, I will tell them what they are trying to do is wrong, that education is our basic right.”

Last month her nightmares came true, the Taliban attacked a van carrying her and friends home from school. Shooting several, Malala was left with life threatening wounds being struck in the neck and head. But she lives; walking, reading, singing, laughing, she lives. In a time of desperation it appears Malala received a miracle.

I can’t help but feel ashamed. Ashamed for taking the easy way out at times, for not adding value and appreciation to my education each and everyday. For not taking advantage of every opportunity given. I’ve taken freedom for granted. Education for granted. Malala stood up for a right she deserves. She encourages others to stand up for that same right. And she encourages me to optimize today, this project, this class, this degree.

I write because I can, she wrote because she had to.

“Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.”

– Anthony J. D’Angelo.

love is patient, love is kind

I was blessed to have witnessed the marriage of Chris and Dora Barton this past weekend. A love story in its truest form. Chris grew up as childhood friends with my boyfriend, Brandon, which allowed me to join for the celebration as Brandon stood as the best man. Arriving in Maryland the night before, Brandon and I joined the festivities at the Barton’s family home, allowing us to meet Dora and enjoy their final night before the wedding.

It was the first evening I had met them both. Chris warmly greeted us at the door and led us to the group as he slipped an arm around Dora, joining his fiance. The couple met during the summer of 2011 in Ocean City, Maryland while Chris was a beach life guard and Dora, visiting from Romania, was working as a beach stand attendant. It was a friendship that lasted merely days as their love grew fast and strong. As the summer neared an end, their relationship became long distance putting the Atlantic ocean and 4742 miles between them. The next time they would see each other would be Chris’s visit to her home town of Cluj-Napoca, Romania, to meet her family and ask for her hand in marriage. At the age of 22, the couple no longer remained individuals, but were united as one. Their “I” became an “us”, and Dora found a new home here in the states.

I’ve noticed that recently when I get on Facebook, a new engagement or marriage has been announced. Another high school classmate or college friend is embarking on the next adventure, finding their “one” to share their lives together. My own childhood best friend, Meredith, shared the news of her engagement, to fiance Mike, with me just 8 months ago with a wedding to follow this summer. I can’t help but feel as if they are rushing into things, hurrying to get to the next step, maybe even making a mistake. But the second I saw Chris and Dora together, just as I saw Meredith and Mike, there is no mistake in trusting in love. Marriage is having faith in love, and acting on that feeling. A feeling so powerful all you have to do is see it to know, to experience it. A feeling that washed away any judgement or doubt in my mind, and left me with hope. Hope that Chris and Dora’s future will be filled with joy, faith, passion, and adventure, each and everyday.

Their story became a true life fairytale, without the distractions of Disney, but the simple pleasures of love.

“The most beautiful things in life are not seen, but felt with the heart.”

I wish you two the best.

❤ Erin.

this year.

I’ve been stuck, stuck in this feeling of limbo. I created this blog to share my dreams and goals of traveling abroad, my stories and adventures of travels and new friends. This was an outlet to express what I was going through and connect to friends and family back home. I had my year planned out my destinations set, and I loved and learned from every minute of it. Once it was over I wasn’t sure where my next chapter began. I wasn’t sure what to write about next.

I’ve since returned to school at UNCW for a final year, a transition year, a year I hadn’t thought about yet, a year I hadn’t planned. It will be a year that will end one chapter and begin the next. But more than anything it’s a year to enjoy, reflect and move forward. I’ve realized that I don’t know what I’m going to do come graduation in May. I don’t know what I should be looking for. I don’t know where I will end up. And honestly, all of these thoughts scare me. All I keep hearing is about how this is “the most exciting time in your life”, “you can do anything, go anywhere”, “don’t stress about a job, you’ll find something”. Thanks for the kind words and advice, but none of it seems to be helping.

So I’ve begun to turn for help, to career counselors, professors, friends and my parents.  Although they have all told me the same advice as above, they also included a few more insightful words of wisdom, and this is what I have taken away:

– Make connections everywhere. You never know who you will meet and who they might know and where they might be able to take you.

– Be indispensable. Sophomore year I read a book called Linchpin by Seth Godin talking about this exact idea for an IMC class and it’s stuck with me ever since, a good thing too because it’s a skill to value. It doesn’t matter what your job is and what responsibilities it holds, do them so well that the company you’re working for can’t afford to not have you. Magic Johnson told me that.

– Be open. In this job market, you don’t know what you might find or what opportunities might fall in your lap. Don’t be so stuck on an idea that you can’t take a chance and veer from the plan.

– Internships are great, but once you graduate don’t ever take an unpaid internship for more than three months. Unpaid internships are tricky, and under much debate about whether they are ethical or not…. I suggest you read this and then form your own opinion: http://blog.muckrack.com/post/29334070653/whats-the-ethical-use-of-interns-in-journalism-and-pr

– Don’t be so set on your goals that you can’t see an opportunity when it falls into your lap. Yes, it’s important to be driven and have goals but it’s not so important that you give up on other chances. Life happens, life will steer you in so many directions you won’t know which way your facing. But if you try to stay on the straight and narrow then, life is what you’ll be missing out on.

– Dream big. I recently asked one of my professors if it was possible to dream too big, he shot that down real fast. Training doesn’t matter, schooling doesn’t matter, resumes don’t actually matter,(this is a big statement I know, and I know they will absolutely get you a foot in the door but hear me out). What matters is product. You can go to the best schools in the wold but if you can’t perform when called upon then what good are you? So what if you go to a medium sized, southern, public school. Represent it well and prove that you are more than capable, prove that you didn’t need an ivy league to teach you how to perform, prove them wrong.

I want to say it’s a start, but I’ve been preparing for this since I started dreaming about “what I wanted to be when I grow up”. I’m just taking one more step, that’s how I have to remember it. I will be fine, I know I will.

“In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.”
– Bill Cosby.
Erin.