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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 😉

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You Need theSkimm

Upon jumping into the real world I’ve realized how important it is to be informed. But who has time to read three news outlets every morning to get your different highlights?! I’ve struggled even fitting in one every morning! Twitter is great, but its also become apparent that in order to contribute to current events discussions in the office I need to know more than the six words included in the headline.

About six months ago my roommate introduced me to theSkimm, a work-week daily newsletter on current events. It’s perfect. Do you know what’s going on with the immigration crisis? or the World Cup? or Ryan Gosling? Because I do. Thank you Skimm. “We read. You Skimm.”skimm

I don’t promote many products but this one I found genuinely helpful, specifically for the modern day, professional woman.

Sign up to receive your daily dose of theSkimm here!

skimmm

*photo credit to the lovely Katelyn Milam.

My one complaint….I wish I had thought of it first.

“Welcome to theSkimm Life. Mornings just got better.”

– wannabeskimmbassador

Me, myself and I.

How many times have you thought about yourself today? About what you want? About what people might think about you? Because I literally can’t count them all. I was at dinner last week and asked my friend Ben what his worst trait was. Almost without missing a beat he stated ‘selfish,’ it quite honestly hit me like a ton of bricks.

“Exactly, of course it is. It’s everyone’s worst trait. But why hadn’t I immediately thought that was my own?”

He said it so casually, and explained that it was something he tried to be more purposeful about, something he was continuously working on.

It was only the first time this theme would smack me in the face this week. A good friend of mine is a teacher for Teach for America in Miami. He and two other teachers brought a group of 12 students to Boston this past weekend to tour colleges and experience the (best) city. The students, all minority, were chosen for one of the following reasons:

  • They had dedicated the allotted time to the 10th grade math club these teachers had created.
  • They were incredibly bright yet didn’t show the motivation or effort needed to go to college.
  • They were incredibly bright and wanted to go to college.

This trip was geared to inspire these students to pursue college. For their last night in town I met them for a comedy show at the famous Boston comedy club, Improv Asylum. The show was hysterical and even included one of the students, Chris, getting pulled up on stage…the kid is a natural. After the show we ventured to Mike’s Pastries (I know, not the best but iconic all the same),  and spent the rest of the night gallivanting around the city on a perfect warm, clear night. I walked away from the evening so impressed by the passion of these kids, the spark that this trip ignited in some of them was simply impressive, all they needed was a little inspiration.

But it got me thinking, how great is my life and what I’ve got going on? What have I done today or this week to help anyone else?

Lately I’ve been somewhat obsessed with the theme of being a “lost twentysomething.” It’s addicting. It’s a common thread I’ve found with many friends and strangers, an easy conversation topic, discussing likes and dislikes, struggles and mini victories. But a little perspective from this weekend made me find fault in these consuming thoughts. Do I focus too much time on myself and not enough on anyone else?

Yes. Absolutely.

Is that bad?

I’m not sure.

Maybe yes and maybe no. We attract what we are. The more we better ourselves the more we surround ourselves with those that are better as well. Like minded even. I’ve struggled with this concept though. Is it OK for me to be focusing this much time and energy on myself and my own life? I walked away from this weekend feeling almost guilty. I grew up in a household that placed a strong importance on community involvement and volunteering. Not only through my parents professions but some of my fondest childhood memories included my dad’s “little brother” as part of the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization. Volunteering was ingrained in me. So when did I begin to find my own self discovery more important that helping someone else on their journey?

I believe that in these years of being a twentysomething self discovery is more important than ever. It begins with self-awareness, and this is where I struggle. It’s important to reflect on our own lives, and focus on bettering ourselves yet I leave you with this question:

Where is the line drawn between self discovery and selfishness?

“Practice being selfless. You end up getting more than you anticipate when your soul is giving.”

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Funemployment

Since joining the working world I’ve realized how important time off is, or better yet how rare it is. No longer do we get spring breaks, or three month long vacations, or (sorry Mom) get to skip that 8am class because you still have three absences to use before the end of the semester. Oh what I would give to have my school schedule back again! And then your new job gives you 12 days off a year which at first doesn’t sound too bad…until you realize 10 of them are dedicated to your family to travel home for the holidays and other family events. So…vacation? What’s that?

I decided to take matters into my own hands and build in a week of planned unemployment in between jobs, a friend coined the term “funemployment” and it totally stuck. No big plans, just days filled with nothing but exactly what I want to do. Didn’t realize how rare that is too!

Kicked off the funemployment with a champagne toast with my roommate and one of my best friends from home before we headed to the celtics game with the rest of the group (we have a group now!).

Don’t ask me who they played…nose bleed seats is generous, we couldn’t see anything.

Then I headed home to see my family for a few days which was fabulous. Filled with running afternoons with dad, too much shopping, and frequent ultimate ice cream visits. It was just nice being able to relax at home, see some of my best friends, and watch Friends with my Ma.

The rest of the week back in Boston just flew by! It’s been gorgeous here, sunny days in the high 50’s meant lots of outdoor runs and laying in the grass with a book. I snuck in several workouts and even lounged on the roof. What a peaceful week it was…I think every other month we should all get a week off. The world would be a much more productive place.

Now come Monday I jump back in the working world. I’m excited to share that I’ve accepted an office management/client relations position at Balter Capital Management. Another field I have little (or no) experience in but I’m always up for a challenge. I’m excited to work in an office and one that I can walk to! How great is that?!

Here’s to my last weekend of funemployment. Wish me luck for next week!

 

Man (or Woman) Up!

Remember about 8 years ago when “U-scan it” got really popular? They were all over large grocery stores and for whatever reason were so cool to use. Who knew we would get so excited about scanning our own groceries?! My Dad never liked using one though, he was more old fashioned wanted to talk to an actual human opposed to replacing one with a machine. The same went for banks with my Mom, never wanting to use the outside lane to get cash or deposit a check but to speak with a banker directly. Again, engaging a person rather than a machine. I never knew what the big deal was. It was faster, more efficient to get a machine to do what a person could do in, but in half the time.

Is it too late to retract that statement now? Because now my friends will gush about their date for Wednesday night, it’s a new guy…

Me – “Oh great! How’d you meet him?”

Them – “Tinder”

Them – “Hinge!”

Them – “Match.com”

Them – “OkCupid”

Dating apps… and the list goes on.

And then I feel out. Like yeah, it is really hard to meet single, tall, attractive guys in a new city when I see more snow than sunshine. Maybe I will get Tinder, I mean no harm done it’s not like I have to talk to them if I don’t want to. If I get Tinder I might as well try Hinge too. OkCupid also seems easy enough.

Pretty soon my inbox is full of “SoandSo3948 looked at your profile, like him back!” Like who?! The messages always end up with some false sense of witty banter that doesn’t translate well from a stranger over the internet. Or I find myself only swiping left because “he wasn’t cute enough” or “I’d never actually meet him in person” or “yeah he’s cute, but then his personality is probably terrible.”

Is this what dating in a modern day has become?! Am I so old fashioned that I want a guy to come up and introduce himself on the T, or the bar or the coffee shop? When did I become “so bold” because I wasn’t afraid to introduce myself to the cute guy dancing next to me? When did I have to use my phone to download 8 dating apps to have a guy take me to dinner?! And most of the time it’s not even dinner! It’s drinks! Not even apps and drinks?! But then again I don’t know him at all so if it’s terrible I’d be stuck at dinner…yeah better make it just drinks. Being a modern day single girl is tough.

So enough for the vent, but here’s my call to action. GO TALK TO HIM/HER!! So what if they turn you down?! Maybe they’re in a relationship already, maybe they don’t want one, maybe you had bad breath, or the girl/guy behind you was who they were actually winking at. But does it really matter that much? Does the stranger that says “no thank you” to your date request at the T kill your ego that much? Put yourself out there. Try. Because if we settle for these dating apps, does that mean we’re settling for our soul mate too?

My true love is out there and if I have to explain to my future kids we met because I chose to swipe right to his picture with the cute Labrador puppy…that will be one sad story to tell.

Apps deleted. Just say hi.

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.
 
 
 

21 days.

I will be the first to admit I, like many others, have commitment issues. I’m one of those people that often just can’t decide, and I’m hesitant to make a decision fearful that something better might be just around the corner. It takes me twice as long to order my food, 6 times the trying on to choose an outfit, and with boys…let’s just say the amount of boys that have gotten the official title is very few.

I’ve always been active. I played at least two sports all through high school, continued to play recreationally in college and truly enjoy going to the gym. But then I hit ruts and won’t go for a week or two? I enjoy running,  but have never stuck with it enough to consider myself a true “runner.” I usually eat really well, but somehow can’t control myself once I walk unto Ultimate Ice Cream or open up a pint of Ben and Jerry’s. 

I have commitment issues. I don’t go to the gym daily because I get lazy. I don’t eat completely “clean” because I have the biggest sweet tooth. I don’t call myself a runner, because then I would have an expectation to uphold. So yesterday my roommate and I were reflecting on our perfect, indulgent weekend. My sister came to visit and we had the greatest time eating. Eating delectable Italian meals with bottles of wine, homemade biscuits soaked in butter and rolled in cinnamon and sugar, drinking beer at Harpoon brewery with bacon ranch pretzels, lobster rolls, and a large, infamous Regina’s pepperoni pizza. I didn’t hate a second of it. After she left, I peeled myself off the couch, and I went for a run. I’m not sure where it came from but I returned home 7 miles later, and I actually felt great. My roommate felt inspired and killed her own 4 miles, and when she got back she challenged me to four days of running. Well Katelyn, I see your 4 days, and I raise you 17. 

They say it takes 21 days to create a new habit, so here is my commitment to running/working out. I won’t limit it to just running simply because tonight it was 36 degrees on my run, if it becomes 25 degrees outside I’m not sure if I’m leaving this apartment. So the trade off is at least 30 minutes of non-stop exercise: gym, workout video, or polymetrics. 30 minutes.

This enlightening “ah-ha” moment hit me as I went out for a run after work today. It seems as if the brisk, chilly Bostonian air has inspired me. Four miles later and this blog post was written in my head, and now here for you. I encourage you to try it with me, 21 days. You don’t have to run but do something. Pick something you’ve always wanted to do, wanted to be, and join me for 21 days of commitment. 

We’ll start officially tomorrow.

“Great changes may not happen right away, but with effort even the difficult may become easy.”

…because i’m a twentysomething

everything I’d like to say but never had the words to write myself.
“say goodbye to all of the things that have kept you stagnant and vow to keep moving forward.”

today was meaningful

when i was thirteen, i couldn’t wait to be eighteen.  i thought i’d know it all by then- have all the answers and that prized freedom. and when i was sixteen, i planned to be married by age twenty-three with two kids. i’ll always smile to myself when i think about how time changes things. and when i turned twenty four i made a list of as many goals as i had in years. by my 25th birthday, i’d accomplished them all.

and a funny thing happens about the time you turn twenty.five. people start asking about marriage and kids and houses. and you begin to worry about savings, retirement, and health insurance.  you start spending your money on plates.pots.new tires. short term sacrifices for long term gains, right? and sometimes you start to compare your 25 years with everyone else’s. you wonder if you’re on the right track because…

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seth godin

Three years ago (has it been that long?!) I took Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) with Dr. Persuit, who is a huge inspiration to me. I immediately enjoyed the fact that she didn’t use text books but instead required us to read blogs, and books from notable marketing and communication icons. One of our texts was Linchpin by Seth Godin, which in turn inspired me to sign up for his daily blog posts.

Three years later and I still start each day with Seth’s words. Some seem extraneous while others I can’t seem to stop contemplating. Yesterday afternoon’s post highlighted his most recent book (at the top of my must-read list) titled, The Dip, and knowing when to quit. We live in a society where quitting is seen as a disgrace, tactless, an escape. Yet according to Seth, winners quit everyday – they just quit the right thing at the right time.

So maybe we shouldn’t be afraid of what we can’t do, but instead embrace what we can. Don’t quit to accept mediocrity, quit to instead excel in something else, to push yourself in the right thing.  Resistance is what drives us to quit, and sometimes that’s OK. Sometimes it’s alright to quit things that just aren’t working to simply make way for what you will overcome resistance for.

Winners quit everyday. Seth Godin said so.

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“Someone is going to come out the other side, someone is going to be brave enough and focused enough to be the best available option. Might as well be you.”

My Dad.

There are a lot of great dads out there, but mine’s the best. While many dads spent Saturday mornings on the sidelines of the soccer game watching their daughters play, my dad watched front row as my coach never missing a game or practice.

While many dads were busy at work, mine would invite my sister, Megan, and I down to his office as we got to be the bosses for the day. My dad spent his Sundays taking Megan and I hiking, biking, canoeing but never anywhere without snacks. We all squeezed together on the couch to watch basketball games. Or headed to the Civic Center because my dad got to drop the puck at the Asheville Smoke hockey games.

My dad never told me the answers, but challenged me to figure them out myself. My dad proofread my homework and sat up late nights to edit and help me grow as a student. My dad would wake up Sunday mornings early enough to make waffles to coax my sister and I out of bed before church. My dad proudly stood beside me on the football field during my high school homecoming. My dad didn’t just help me with my senior project, but took krav maga with me, as we both learned to defend ourselves. My dad is a “star” in Asheville, as we spent my senior year learning to shag dance, placing 3rd (isn) against our fellow Asheville competitors.

My dad runs half marathons. Cooks dinner daily. Works diligently. Gardens often. And adores my mom. So yes, there are many great dads out there, by my dad, he’s the best.

ImageI love you Dad. Thank you.