Life, most recently, has been a complete cycle of organized chaos, even more than usual. While I crave hours to do ‘nothing,’ I can’t really complain because I love all of my different projects, and the amazing people and opportunities that have emerged from each turn.
Depending on how you venture over to visit me here, you may or may not have noticed, but I’ve been playing around a bit with the design and layout of this site. This is in part to give it a little facelift that is more relevant to my life right now, and in part out of sheer boredom with the simple template that I had been using to keep things simple.
Right now you’ll see this temporary header which does the job — the ‘for now’ job — of keeping things together, but rest assured, it will change.
I don’t know exactly what it is going to ultimately look like, but you can definitely expect more evolutions over the next month or so, and hopefully a final unveiling of what it will ultimately be.
In addition to, and much more importantly than the appearance of this website, there have been lots of updates and announcements, with still more to come.
First and foremost, I recently joined the awesome corporate team for Fight Gone MAD Inc. as the Director of Social Strategy and Community Development, which could not blend more perfectly with my role as the CMO for our MADass Partnership group and our soon-to-be-opening Fight Gone MAD franchises in Charlottesville and Richmond.
We sent out this update on the FGM corporate blog, and added my bio to the website:
I love the brand (obviously), and could not be happier with all of the people that are a part of the extended family, team, and community. It’s a very exciting time for us all, and the fact that I get to do exactly what I love doing – social media, branding, and community development (read: interacting with all different people + building relationships) is awesome.
Recently I’ve spent a ton of time in Charlotte working on a number of different projects, but right now I’m back in Charlottesville getting ready for the August opening of our FIRST Fight Gone MAD franchise location. This place is going to be amazing, and I’m beyond thrilled that I will finally be able to work out how I want to when I’m at my home base. Richmond is not far behind and I’ll be sure to post updates on it’s progress as we get closer to it’s completion.
While this was all going on I got a little sparse with my blog updates on Fuel Sweat Grow, but there are some up there (some long ones) so head over and check it out if you haven’t visited recently. I also became a #sweatpink Ambassador which is awesome, and an honor to be added to such a great group of active female fitness professionals and addicts.
I’m excited to get more involved in the community and the great opportunities that it presents to connect more nationally as we grow Fight Gone MAD and more focused fitness concepts in general.
And last but not least, I got a little love from my friends over at Cville Niche during the ‘Checking in with the Locals’ feature which is a really fun way to connect with the community and highlight all the different ‘favorites’ people have. You can find that piece here, and get all of the Cville niche updates here.
That’s the quick and dirty on what’s been happening in my world – the details and exciting upcoming announcements will be coming very soon. As will some new outfits for the blog, and hopefully a final style choice. Until then, stay cool my friends.
There are the things we do in our lives that are resume builders, that are ‘obligatory responsibilities,’ and that we do to live up to other people’s expectations. And then, hopefully not in this order, there are the things we do for ourselves. It’s in the things we do for ourselves, they way build our legacies through our passions that we build our lives. Last week I was reminded of this, again, when I grabbed coffee with a friend in Charlotte.
The first time I met for coffee with this friend was for a pseudo job interview a few years ago – an interview that quickly transformed into a passionate conversation about goals, the nonprofit world, community development, and the most frequent theme of our shared goals – strong women in business. Over the next 6 months we continued to meet for these caffeine sponsored existential refuels, creating a space for honest conversation outside of our everyday schedules and job(s), focusing on where we were going – in life. We would discuss our lines of passion, rather than the typical ‘lines of work,’ and these musings became the foundation of our friendship.
We talked about piecemeal resumes and employing what I like to call the ‘project strategy’ method of resume building; utilizing every opportunity to gain the experience necessary to eventually be qualified for the position that we have created in our heads. We overflowed with excited words and emphatic hand gestures when talking about the projects we were owning on our own time. We connected the small ways they inched us closer to our goals and mapped out our re-evaluated paths. The most substantial thing we did, however, was simply that we listened to each other.
By listening we created support, alliance, and most of all accountability as we shared aloud some of the goals that had only ever existed in the back of our own heads. It was apparent that slowly, but surely, we were evolving from building our visions to actually living them. At the time, we were both working for lululemon, trying to keep our eyes up to see what was really beyond the great wall of black yoga pants.
There were many take-aways from my time working with lululemon, but the most impactful was the concept of creating your own role. Look at your strengths, connect with what you love, create your ideal life, and do it now. Don’t wait for anyone to create it for you, just go out there and start doing it – Build YOURSELF. Embracing this part of the lululemon culture, for me, was a confirmation of possibility and an encouraging thought that maybe there was a method to my madness (‘madness’ as a seemingly ironic and choice word now that I too live in what was then my ‘future’ life). I had been doing it for years in my own way; selecting jobs for the learning curve, the skill set, and the opportunities that connected broadly with other groups and people; doing my best to maintain a trajectory that would land me where I wanted to be.
Had I never met this friend or ever ruminated over coffee I’m confident that we still would have been working towards these goals on our own. We would still be creating, dreaming, connecting, and pushing ourselves forward because that’s what makes us feel whole. We would be doing all of those things, but it might not have been the same; we may have hesitated longer before taking leaps, felt more obligated to prioritize work over life, or wondered if we were just out of our freaking minds.
As we caught up last week the conversation was much of the same, except for one big difference: it was no longer a conversation about the distant future. We finally reached the ‘future,’ and are on the brink of realizing some of our most substantial goals. We spent the last two years navigating through our own ‘project strategies’ to have reached the point where the passion collides with drive, where the future and LIFE begins. The only thing left to do is start.
It’s here. After a year of planning, waiting, developing and pretty much chomping at the bit, it is here: announcement day.
This announcement has been a long time in coming, and is the culmination of longstanding respect, collaboration, and relationship development both in the fitness community in Charlotte, as well as in our relationships as an expanding Fight Gone MAD family. We began this process with a solid foundation of mutual respect for all, personally and professionally, which has only grown over the last year.
Each member of our group has personal strengths and credentials that are diverse and strengthen the whole. Every person has been wholly engaged and active in this process, and is vital to our future success. I could not be more excited to join this group, both propelling my love of fitness to a larger stage and utilizing my background in brand development and marketing strategy. The Fight Gone MAD branding has been expertly created by Brandon and Kirk, and brought to life by Carrie Barker of Pink Toast Ink, which makes my job even more exciting.
While this is a big day for us all, this is just the beginning. We have so many amazing updates, announcements, and developments currently in the works that will be announced over the next few months, preparing for a very impactful opening at each location.
If you want to get a head start on following our flagship locations in Virginia, follow us on Facebook ( Fight Gone MAD – Cville ; Fight Gone MAD – RVA) or on Twitter ( @FGMad_Cville ; @FGMas_RVA) — Instagram is in the coming soon stage of development.
This generation is different. We’ve grown up in a world of instant gratification, in a world where no information or opportunity is more than a click away from your awareness, and being a 25 year old entrepreneur is almost commonplace.
We’re driven by the idea that we’re able to create change, and while we can follow the path of our parents generation and climb the corporate ladder, we can also create something of our own. We leave jobs that promise security to do the things we love, to create new niche markets, and to develop possibilities that have only ever existed in our imaginations. There is a power in our startup generation, in our drive to create something of our own, and something that connects us all on a broader scale. It is a power that can be inspiring on a level that is almost overwhelming.
I relate to this generation – it is my generation. I’ve always had that pull and the desire to believe in the ideas that I have. The challenge is in allowing myself to be confident enough in my abilities that I don’t get lost in hesitation, or don’t fall into the trap of the status quo. While it’s easy to quote Steve Jobs and give him enormous (and seemingly deserved) credit for helping to inspire and unofficially mentor my generation, my real inspiration comes from those around me. I have amazing friends who support my ideas, who are eager to collaborate, and are rich with their own passions and tremendous capabilities. More importantly, they are doers. They dream it, and then, they do it. They inspire me to live my passions, to create my ideal life, and to surround myself with everything that makes me come alive, and makes me better.
This week has been the culmination of a number of things that have long been in the works. Next week will be full of announcements, excitement, and the start of amazing possibilities across more fronts than I can even articulate. Some of them are extensions of other peoples visions, their creations, and their passions. Others are the fully realized versions of the ideas I have had jotted down in my jumbled book of random brainstorms for months and even years. All are tremendously exciting, and involve not only passion and hard work, but also collaboration, connection and community — all of which are vital to any worthwhile pursuit (in my humble opinion).
I’m so incredibly grateful for these moments, these opportunities, and all of the people that have been a part of the experience whether as collaborators or supporters. The best part about it is that it’s just the beginning. The visions have been built, the plans set out, but now is the fun part – actually getting to live it all out. It’s in continuing to grow these ideas until one day we realize that they’ve become so much more than the visions themselves because they have ignited the passions in other people, they have grown out of themselves, and they have left legacies that go beyond these first announcements and what we thought we were all building.
Sharing everything next week will be exhilarating, yes. But it’s the next five years that I’m excited about, and the five years after that. I figure that as long as I’m excited, and as long as I’m being pulled by it I’m living my best life. I’m stepping into my purpose.
There are days when your world is dictated by others. Your time, your priorities, your freedom, and sometimes when you get too deep in, even your thoughts. Every one of us has been there. Every one of us knows that feeling – the feeling that you are smaller than the whole, craving even the smallest glimpses of freedom.
And then there are days when you own your time. Or, you can make the decision to own it. Direct your life, choose your life, and carpe the hell out of your diem.
I started writing this post this morning, a number of hours prior to the explosions at the Boston Marathon. I had a number of thoughts and emotions surrounding the news, all rooted in disbelief and sadness, and for a second thought about postponing this post, but I think it’s more important to post. In moments of tragedy and loss we are so harshly reminded of how unpredictable and precious life is. So, today I scream it out with passion, seize the day. Own it. Do what you want, live your passion, and most importantly, be kind to one another. Life is too short, and your opportunity in it is too big to waste your time.
This was sent to me by a friend with a little note telling me it would make my day. A pep talk from a Kid President. And it’s brilliant.
It’s guaranteed to bring a smile to your face, and ignite whatever flame you have inside you.
Enjoy, and pass it along to those that encourage you (or maybe could use your encouragement).