Here we go….. again

New day, same shit…

I do not want this blog to go left and be negative but I am honestly frustrated in both myself and the people who I allow to affect my life. The complainers. 

It seems that some people love to complain, criticize, blame and deflect. When you work in service (which I have written about before) you, unfortunately, get a lot of other peoples shit thrown at you. Most of the time it isn’t about you. But sometimes it is.

I am the first one to admit that I am not perfect. I have my good and bad days, just like you. I get sick, just like you. I get tired, just like you. I feel insecure, annoyed, uneasy and anxious, just like you.

The difference is… I own it. I will admit when I am wrong and am happy to apologize when appropriate. I fuck up sometimes, but so do you.

Why is it that because I choose the role to teach, inspire, and motivate somehow that gives people more ammunition to come for me? Have you ever tried teaching a spin, yoga, weight training or seniors class? If you do or have, I bet you have never once complained about the instructor. If you have an issue, you have the professional courtesy to speak directly TO that instructor. See, that is how it is supposed to be. And why complain at all??? What do you think will get resolved by bringing your negative energy into a situation that may or may not been based solely on your interpretation?? Are you a mind reader? Is that instructor really out to GET you? No, get over yourself.

We currently live in a society that makes it okay to be disrespectful. Rules no longer exist and its every self-entitled asshole for themselves. When did this happen? Why????

A person like me can bust my ass to please people who will never actually be happy with anything. Then they use their voices to create drama that can affect my job, my life because whatever I did or didn’t do wasn’t what they wanted. “I just want to be left alone” nope, sorry you came into my class where I am not only responsible for your safety but it’s my job to guide your workout (and kick your ass).  “I don’t need/want your help” THEN WHY DID YOU COME TO CLASS???? It’s not mandatory, there is no law that states you must participate in group exercise classes 3x a week. So why are you here? I ask that question in my classes all the time. Not for me, I am not looking for an answer but for my students. Why did you get out of bed this morning, put on your workout clothes, and come to class? To complain about me??? girl BYE!

Exhausting huh? Now add- the ability to instruct and motivate while actually working out to the equation… Do you wonder why the turnover in fitness instructors is so high?

It’s a tough job, one that I used to LOVE. Now, as you can tell, it’s starting to weigh on me. It takes me to a place that I don’t want to go. It scares me because I am one of the good ones. One of the few that actually still care… What will happen if  I stop showing up?

“Just get ready for work, work, work, work, work. You see me I be work, work, work, work, work. You never see me do dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt, dirt. When you gonna learn, learn, learn, learn, learn. I don’t even care if I’m tired, tired, tired, tired, tired”-Rihanna

But I do show up. Every day I show up. Not just because it’s my job and I actually have a work ethic. But because not everyone sucks and the good does outweigh the bad. Unfortunately, all I ever hear is the negative stuff. So maybe, just maybe, this week we will all have more compassion for each other. For ourselves. Compliments and or a “thank you” goes a long way. I will try harder. I hope you will too.

Until the next episode…. A.K.

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The Carters

“I can’t believe we made it (this is what we made made made). This is what were are thankful for. I can’t believe we made it. This is what were are thankful for (this is what we thank thank thank). I can’t believe we made it….Have you ever seen a crowd going Apeshit!?”

So, as I have mentioned  I bought tickets to the Carters OTR2 concert months ago. One minute after the pre-sale opened in March, I had my computer and credit card out ready to go. I have been looking forward to this day ever since. Two of my favorite people and I sat at the gym and quickly picked out our seats which seemed like a decent seat for an indecent price.. but that was okay because we were going. I was FINALLY going to see Beyonce’ in the flesh. My idol, my inspiration, my motivation. The woman who shared the same type of pain that I had and wrote about it. Sang about it. (Made money off it). And survived it. Making a choice; to save her family, her empire, and her marriage. I am sure it was not an easy decision, and although Sean Carter (Jay z) seems like a pretty strong dude, I am positive he pays the price for his infidelity just about every day.

The concert day arrives and I am wearing the pony to shame all ponies, (it really deserves its own blog but maybe another time.).. ripped jeans and my slay shirt (middle fingers up). I’m ready to go… The girls and I jump in the car and take the long journey to the Rose Bowl. We get there early and walk around checking out the merch and people watching. I notice a lot of women wearing blue lipstick which I thought was strange and felt the need to post a video on my snap chat story, But aside from that and the hundreds of girls dressed like Bee’s (The Beehive), everything was perfect.

We migrate towards the entrance and pass security no problem BECAUSE WE READ THE RULES, anxious to find our seats.

Did I mention we were at the Rose Bowl? So when I say seats, I really mean a two-foot space on a steel bench but that’s okay…

We find our section, and start to climb the stairs to our row. Row 77. When we were picking out our seats row 77 didn’t seem too bad. I figured each section had 100 rows give or take. The map didn’t indicate breaks in the sections but I’ve been to enough concerts to know that most sections are broken up into 25 or 50 rows. What we did see was at least our section was closer to the middle of the stage than either side.

So we start climbing…. Ok remember now I AM A FITNESS INSTRUCTOR, my friends are also students… we are in good shape… But these stairs…. They were deep and high and kept going on and on. I was huffing and puffing like I had never seen the inside of a gym let alone spend half my life there.

And we climbed and climbed until we reached the top… ROW 77! We were in the LAST row of the stadium… I immediately start complaining “there has to be some mistake… these cant be our seats” (bench). Sure enough row 77 was the last row….

Ok, Ok judge me all you want… But I was disappointed. The only positive of our seating situation is the cement wall was behind us so at least we were able to sit back and relax.

Once the show began, I forgot that we were in the very last row (except for the fact that we couldn’t even see the tiny little figures on the stage that were apparently Jay and B). Fortunately, the screens were working and the sound system was perfect. And even though I couldn’t really see her…. I could feel her. I got to watch their story unfold. A story of love, life ,and forgiveness. The Carters did an amazing job of being transparent and honest with their audience. The good and the bad… we got it all; mixed in with some Big Pimpin and Feeling Myself.  And even though most everyone has heard the rumors and the lyrics of the songs…. They put it all together and made sure their message was sent “THIS IS REAL LOVE”.

The next morning I woke up with a new sense of purpose. Love.. maybe to find it, or maybe to give more away, but I feel lighter. Freer. Inspired to re-write my own love story. Or maybe it’s just time to add on to it. Queen B has done it again….

Love always wins- A.K.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It takes one to know one

“What about your friends, will they stand their ground, will they let you down, again? What about your friends, are they gonna be lowdown, will they ever be around, or will they turn their backs on you?”TLC

When we’re kids and into our teens our friends were EVERYTHING. We made them top priority, above our parents, siblings, and sometimes even relationships.  When the going gets tough, or you get hurt, your friends were ALWAYS there to help pick up the pieces.  Male and females alike banding around one of their own after a disappointment, break up or bad day: A family of friends to laugh, cry, and binge eat with. Sometimes those friends end up being your prom date, a bridesmaid in your wedding, or even your future spouse.

Growing up I had that kind of friend group. From grammar school through high school, a group of boys and girls who literally grew up together. A few fell in love and got married,  and are married to this day. I ended up moving away but still am in contact with them from time to time. Watching as their children grow up, and am reminded of the trouble we’d get into. Because of that, our children being raised by much stricter parents than we had. We were bad and got away with it. Our kids try but don’t.

As we grow older our road narrows, life takes up time which leaves less time to cultivate new friendships.  Soon, we realize that most of our friends are people we work with or the half of the other couples that we socialize with. We might not even have much in common with these “friends” but that kinda how adulting goes. And then if the relationship goes south so do many of the friends…

I don’t have many friends. Over the years I have had people weave in and out of my life who have definitely been someone I could consider a friend. But since we meet most of our friends at work,  and I work at a gym, most of my friends are my students. And they tend to float in my life and right back out depending on what’s going on in their “real life”. The dynamic of that friendship can get tricky too sometimes because boundaries must be set. And often feelings get hurt (usually mine).

Funny thing is, I have a lot of room in my life for friends. I’d like to have more friends. But I don’t actively seek them just like I am not actively seeking a man. So, I have only a handful. I try to cultivate the friendships I do have because I understand that if you want to have friends you must BE a friend. So I reach out. I text first. I call. I “check in”. I do my best to make sure that my friends know that I care about them and am here for them. Here is the sad part. I rarely get the same attention from them. To be fair most of my friends are married and they all definately have lives to live, but with the exception of 2 maybe 3 people, I am always the first one to reach out.  Sometimes I feel like I am a burden or too needy. Or that maybe I value our friendship more than they do.

Over the years I have had best friends that I’ve been thick as thieves with. Being there for each other no matter what. Ride or die. Vacationing together. Raising our kids together. Spending Holidays and birthdays together. Then slowly one by one they have all chosen to remove themselves from my life. Now, thats a mind fuck. Undertstanding why a man breaks up with you is one thing, but being dumped by your bestie? It really sucks.

And its happened more that once, so I’d be a fool not to think that I had something to do with it…. Wait, this is turning into a pity party…. lets change lanes. This is getting a little too raw for a Thursday night.

What I do want to do is honor the friendships that I do have in these few women. One in particular who ALWAYS checks in on me. Always answeres the phone when I call, and always has my back. We might not spend our weekends shopping together or having lunch but this woman is a true true friend. And I appreciate that. I know I don’t say it enough, no one does, but to my friends, I do love and value you.

So now I’d like to encourage you to be the first one to text your friend. Call to make sure they are ok, and always support and love unconditionally. Love is infinite. You can’t give it all away; so love freely. I bet you will put a smile on someone’s face and make them feel as special as you know they are. Even if it’s for just a minute. Open yourself up and be a friend…. the return is always worth it.

Friends forever…A.K.

The Bitch is back

Anxiety: an emotion characterized by an unpleasant state of inner turmoil, often accompanied by nervous behavior such as pacing back and forth, stomach pains, and constant worrying.

No, I’m not the bitch, (in this particular situation anyway) my anxiety is. I haven’t blogged for a week and I have no real reason why… that gives me anxiety. My daughter is with her father and his family this weekend… that gives me anxiety. And in less than a week I get to FINALLY see my all time favorite hip-hop musicians and performers The Carters (Beyonce’ and Jay-Z) and that gives me massive anxiety.

Why? it’s hard to explain if you don’t experience it yourself. And if you don’t, be grateful, I wouldn’t wish this feeling on my worst enemy.

I can’t remember when it even started for me. Somedays nothing bothers me, others I literally feel like crawling out of my skin…. wanting to be anyone else. Anywhere else.

Ironically, my job requires me to open up a part of me to hundreds of people every week. Sometimes I could give a shit about what they think of me. Others, I am so in my head about what they do think I can barely breathe.

I started having panic attacks when my daughter was young. Being addicted to cocaine certainly didn’t help, but the feeling of a panic attack is real. I felt like I was truly going to die. In addition to the mental aspect of it, your body follows suit. Your heart starts racing, your adrenaline goes into overdrive and which causes nausea and hyperventilation. Chemicals are released into your bloodstream that can have long-term effects. They are a blast. What sucks the most is they are impossible to predict and unfortunately you just have to ride them out. Once you have one,  they often come frequently. But I am happy to say it has been a while since I’ve been hit with one.

Then there is social anxiety…… that’s the real bitch. This type of anxiety is debilitating. Some people suffer from it so intensely that they are unable to leave their homes,  preventing them from truly living their life. Home is comfortable. Safe.

I just read that singer Kehlani suffers from agoraphobia. She reached out on Twitter that she had finally left her house after 3 weeks. The outpour of support and encouragement touched me. It also made me realize that so many people feel the same way only they are ashamed to admit it.

“Its okay not to be okay. To dive into your pain. And its alright not to be alright. To search for your light. And its all good not be all good. To feel like you shouldn’t have to feel any better”

“I have my days when I am upside-down, Topsy-turvey. I have my days when I am not myself, and I’m not worried. I have my nights when I am not anxious to wake up and feel any better”

“I don’t know nobody who thinks they’re somebody 24/7. I don’t know nobody who smiles at everyone 24/7. You gotta lose you just a little. Lose your cool just a little. I won’t judge you even a little, I know your sick of it”-Kehlani 24/7

My advice: Live in your truth, talk about your fears. Find someone who understands you and reach out to them when you are struggling. It’s okay, YOU are okay.

As for me….. I am going to live it up and have the time of my life at the Carters. I will not allow this condition to stop me from laughing and dancing and acting a fool. I know I will be okay because I have my girls by my side and I have nothing to be afraid of… and I get to see BEYONCE!!!!

Stay tuned for the post-concert blog…… I’m sure it will be a good one.

In truth and freedom…. A.K.

Karmastition

Let me preface this by saying that I have been teaching Group Exercise classes for over 26 years (don’t do the math. I’m old). Teaching at least 15-20 classes a week for that many years and over 17 locations, I’ve met a lot of people… and rarely do I forget a face…….

A few nights ago I was teaching at a local gym and a man was in my class who I recognized from years ago. Different gym, 45 miles away but this guys faced was buried in my memory. Why? because I had a crush on him for it seems like forever. So did most of my friends and I don’t think he even looked twice at me. Ever. After class, I approached him thinking for sure I’d jog his memory and said: “Hi, I remember you from the Glendora club”. His face drew a blank, I told him my name… still nothing. I walked away from the conversation disappointed but then laughed to myself as I remembered a similar situation a few years back……..

“What goes around comes around, what goes up must come down. Now, who’s crying desiring to come back to me”

Three years ago I was in the middle of teaching a cycle class. A middle-aged gentleman with grey hair accompanied by a young girl who was maybe 20 came into my class late and sat to my left (the room was set up horseshoe style so they were looking right at me). As the class progressed I felt his eyes on me every time I turned to look at him. He has this shit eating grin on his face and the look in his eye like he had seen me naked. Clearly, I was uncomfortable and gave him one of my “WHAT?!” looks but I could still feel his eyes burning through my body.

After class, the couple approached me. He spoke to me as if we were old friends telling me how he had been looking for me over the past few years and was so happy to see me. (I still have NO CLUE who this guy is). Then the girl started in, “he has told me so much about you, I am so happy to finally meet you, you are as beautiful as he described blah blah blah”. Now I’m totally lost and am absolutely sure they have me confused with someone else.

So I say, “I’m sorry, I must have forgotten your name” thinking it will spark some type of memory of this guy.”He replies it, ME Joe! Still nothing, So I say, “Ya, I still don’t follow”…. and he looks at me with surprise…..”We dated for over a year!!!”

Oh.

Ok, in my defense, “dating” is putting it loosely, but still, there is NO way this old man with grey hair is the Joe that I recall having a mostly sexual relationship in my 20’s. So I turn to the girl and say, oh, are you his daughter? Fair question considering he LOOKS like he is in his mid 40’s and why else would he want me to meet her? “No, I’m his girlfriend she says with a giggle”.

Seriously??????

So lets back up a little, Joe and I went to high school together and reconnected in our mid-twenties. The Joe I “dated” had long dark curly hair (mid-90’s… it was hot). Was in a rock band and we had chemistry that was off the charts. I was single AND worked at a gym all through my twenties so no harm no foul and there were quite a few “Joe’s” over the years. I’m not even sure how things ended but apparently, our relationship meant a lot more to him than it did to me.

Fast forward 20 years and in my mind, I still am in my mid-20’s, and honestly have aged well due to a healthy lifestyle and botox/ fillers (just being real). Joe on the other hand had cut off the sexy mane and let his hair go completely grey. I stood dumbfounded that this was the same guy.

Luckily, I had another class to go teach so I excused myself and got the hell out of there. I left Joe with his bruised ego and infant girlfriend and never looked back.

To be honest, I was slightly traumatized (for like 10min) after our one and only meeting. But can you imagine poor Joe? A whole year of booty calls and I honestly didn’t remember, guess we didn’t have that great of chemistry after all.

Word of wisdom: Yea I’ve got nothing. This was just one of my many stories that are true, sometimes sad, and always a little funny.

“What goes around comes around, what goes up must come down. Its called Karma, baby and it goes around”-Karmastition-A Keys

Keepin’ it real…A.K.

 

 

The wait

“N-now th- that don’t kill me, Can only make me stronger. I need you to hurry up now ’cause I can’t wait much longer. I know I got to be right now.  Cause I can’t get much wronger. Man, I’ve been waiting all night now. That’s how long I’ve been on ya..I need you right now. Harder, better, faster, stronger….”

“But I know God put YOU in front of me, so how the hell could you front On me. There are thousands of you’s there’s only one of me. I’m Trippin I’m caught up in a moment, right.  We will do everything that Kan like and won’t do anything until the time is right.”- Stronger- Kanye West

I recently heard Devon Franklin interviewed on Ryan Seacrest’s show. I was immediately drawn to him and his philosophies.  He spoke about preparing ourselves for what we want in life. And that the only things we could control was how ready we were for those situations, and then how we dealt with them once they came into fruition.  He used his wife actress Meagan Good as an example.  She wanted to be cast as a superhero in a movie but her body type doesn’t scream badass. Devon suggested that she start to workout prior to ever auditioning for superhero roles, so when that call came and she walked into an audition for a badass bitch… she looked like one (my words not his).

I came home and told my mom about the interview.  She went to our local library and brought home the book that Devon and Meagan wrote together called The Wait. Its a book on how they as a couple waited to sleep together before getting married and a breakdown on why it is such an effective tool.

I am very transparent about my social life (we all know I don’t have one) which includes a sex life. So although this book is amazing and full of great information, waiting to have sex with my imaginary boyfriend isn’t exactly haunting me on a daily basis.

Most of the time I am ok with it. You get busy, I’m active. One year turns to two and now we are at……. well let’s say it’s been awhile. And like I said most days I don’t even think about it, but there are those days when Ill see a couple at the mall holding hands and kissing and think hmmmmmm, a man in my life would be nice.

One particular morning I was already in a sad, why me, I’m hideous and no one will ever love me mood. It was early and I was standing in line for coffee (this time at the coffee bean). The lady in front of me was dressed as if she were going out for cocktails and clearly hadn’t checked her hair before she left the house.  When she went to order to the hard of hearing barista and said loudly ” I just want a coffee to go. Can you believe this, I spent the night with a guy I met last night and I woke up to discover he did not own a coffee pot?!”  No, no, no, not today, I thought. The deaf bartisa then asks her if she wants something to eat. “No, I just want my morning cup of coffee because the guy didn’t even own a coffee pot”. Please shut up….I was thinking… at least you got some last night. “I had to get off the freeway on my way home just to get a cup of coffee”. Bitch shut up... I almost said as I grown out loud….and roll my eyes. Finally, the old deaf barista brings the loud mouth her coffee, she turns around and I am face to face with…. A MUSTACHE!!. Not a man dressed as a woman, but a woman that clearly had no regard for facial grooming. A  mustache!! I’m speechless, the mustache lady had no problem getting some action while here I am too many years celibate.

When I got to the gym and told the story with vocal inflections and all, my members and I  laughed and laughed….So there is always a positive in any situation. And in case you are wondering…. I’m still waiting. But Ladies please….. handle your facial hair!!

To one of my dearest friends who doesn’t have a mustache, but always makes me laugh, Lori Williams ! Love, A.K.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

​​Okay okay okay okay OKAY​

Friday I was having a day, everything made me cry. I would’ve won the academy award in Extra if they had such a category. So I took the evening off work and sat down to write.

I wrote the best blog to date. I was to the point, insightful​, spot on. As I was writing, I was truly understanding where all these emotions were coming from. It was like a therapy session and blog entry combined. Three hours and many edits later I complete the masterpiece…. I am one second from posting and I accidentally​ swiped right on my mouse. I look at my screen, the blog is GONE. I panicked​, of course,​ and tried to figure out what the hell happened.
Long story short… I have NO IDEA and I haven’t been able to recover the data.

Just Breathe. Let it go. It wasn’t meant to be. Fuck that, I was devastated​.

Two days later, I’m​ back on my computer ready to open myself up and look at why I lost my shit. The truth is I don’t handle disappointment well, and I was disappointed.

My daughter feels that I place unrealistic expectations on other people and am disappointed when they don’t live up to them. She is right, but here is the real: I place unrealistic expectations on MYSELF and then project them onto others. It’s not a good look. But it explains a lot. Once I realized that​ I have been working very hard on modifying​ my behavior and changing the way I think about others and mostly about myself.

Being honest with your self is hard. At a young age, ​we create ideas of WHO we should be instead of embracing who we ARE. Maybe its the influence of another person, a living situation, the media… everyone is different. But Mask off, who do you see?

Personally, I had convinced​ myself that If I wanted to be a badass bitch, a strong woman, that I had to control my emotions. I never cried, never showed weakness. In crisis, I was a beast, nothing could break me. Once the crisis was over, then I fell apart. See, we can’t be strong all the time. Who says we have to be? Being vulnerable and transparent​ are scary things to be but are also freeing. And who doesn’t want to feel free?

You’d ​be surprised… change is hard and if you have lived your life a certain way for any period of time it is going to be uncomfortable to rewire yourself and be any different than you were.

But what’s the alternative? Continuing​ to be unhappy? Maybe you aren’t​, maybe you are content in the way your life is going. But as we grow older​​ and wiser we realize that our old ways are no​ longer working. As we continually​ evolve as people shouldn’t we also let go of the things that are holding us down? The fear that is preventing us from moving forward? Honestly, what could be so bad with tearing down those walls, letting yourself feel, even if hurts? At least now you are​ able to live in your truth.

Sounds pretty good to me.

“We gotta make a change. Its time for us as a people to start making some changes. Let’s change the way we eat, let’s​ change the way we live, and let’s change the way we treat each other. You see the old way wasn’t working so it on us to do what we gotta do, to survive”

“That’s just the way it is. Things will never be the same. That’s just the way it is. Aww yeah” 2Pac- changes

Be You​ even if people don’t understand or like it, that’s their problem… this is YOUR life.

Carry on…. A.K.