Blog Takeover: Jeff S.
As I went through high school it became clear that college was not the right path for me. I enlisted in the Coast Guard delayed entry program the summer before my senior year of high school. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I was going to spend the next 22 years of my life serving. I still remember pulling into boot camp on the bus the first day and wondering why I signed up for this. The responsibilities I was given and the places I got to see were life changing. I was really into weightlifting throughout high school, but do not think I ever ran over a mile at a time. The amount of running and calisthenics in boot camp was a shock to say the least. While I was in I continued to lift and would do the PT test every six months to keep up my certifications. I never did really anything that was above and beyond. I would always scrape by on the PT tests, never blowing them out of the water. It was not until about four years, at the age of 38, that I started taking exercising seriously. I now work out six days a week and have even participated in some competitions. I probably have worked out more the past couple of years than I have my entire life. It is now routine for me and I have never felt better both physically and mentally. I wish I would have started on this journey sooner. I retired from the Coast Guard Reserves about two years ago and am loving semi-retired life.
Blog Takeover: Rick B., Fairport
I joined the military in part to honor my Dad’s legacy and also to be able to say that ‘I, too, did my part’. The Army was one way I learned the importance of fitness. At an impressionable age I remember one of my drill sergeants saying if I don’t take time for my fitness, my body will force me to make time for my illness.
Having twins and working in emergency services severely challenged my ability to balance my time. I let fitness slide and as a result, I suffered a back injury that I’m still recovering from.
Thankfully, with some coaching assistance, I’m back to working out and making progress in the fitness department. It’s a daily battle and I’m thankful I can again pick up my children for an ‘upstairs hug’ and hold them tight.
No matter your stage in life or injury setbacks, anyone can make progress and improve their fitness.
I did. And I’m still doing.
Blog Takeover: Petty Officer Buck, Scottsville, NY
I graduated high school in 1989. My intention was to go to college following high school graduation, but I didn't know how to make that happen. No one in my family had gone to college so this was uncharted territory for me with little support to make it happen. After working 3 jobs for a year, I knew I had to do something to better my life. That's when I looked into joining the military. I entered the United States Navy on September 11th, 1990. I had no idea just how instrumental this journey would be in forming the person I am today.
Not only did the Navy provide the financial means for me to go to college, it allowed me to believe in myself. I was a very average student in high school. My home life was, well, not good, and I didn't have the support to be successful. Through my military training, I learned that I could accomplish most anything that I put my mind to and worked hard for it. This includes acing exams in my trade school and passing physical fitness tests. I was not an athletic kid and was actually quite overweight. It was the military that sparked my love for physical fitness.
I was on active duty until September 1994, then stayed on as a reservist for an additional 10 years. I went on to earn my degree in Veterinary Medicine and have been practicing for 17 years. I would never have accomplished this without the Navy. To this day, I still say that joining the military was the best choice I have ever made in my life.
If you are one of my many newsletter recipients then you know that EVERY Month has a theme. Not a recipient? We can change that.. click here and scroll to the bottom. March was National Nutrition Month, April was Stress Awareness Month, you get the idea, and May is Military Appreciation Month. I have never been so excited for a month. As I sat down to begin planning my marketing and social media campaign it quickly morphed into a mini hall of fame. Being an Air Force Wife AND **NEW ANNOUNCEMENT** Space Force Mom, I had to make sure to spread the wealth and reach out to various clients and friends that served in other branches. I am so fortunate to know so many amazing service men & women that I thought.. what a fabulous opportunity to highlight some of them and their achievements. I am SO excited to share some stories and pictures with you.. make sure to check back each week! ..and feel free to share!
As I not so subtly alluded to in my April newsletter, in an attempt to just write the intro this article was born.
The last two years have gifted us an opportunity to prioritize our lives, both personally and professionally. My idea of stress and success is very different now than it was two years ago or even 12 years ago when I first started my business.
There was a time when my definition of success was starting my day before sunrise, often with back-to-back clients, and not finishing until after sunset. I made myself available on nights, weekends, and even some holidays! My success, my goal, was to be EVERYONE’s go-to coach and trainer. Once I achieved that goal, the bouquet of emotions that grew were not ones of gratitude or pride. They were burn out and exhaustion. I had made myself so available to everyone except my friends, my family, and most importantly, myself, that I had nothing left to give. I still didn’t feel fulfilled. I still wanted more. But - more of what? More clients? More work?
No. This is where I learned that my previous definition of success was actually one of stress.
After the onset of the pandemic, I did the unthinkable. I raised my rates and lowered my availability. I created healthy boundaries. I learned how to click the do not disturb button, schedule messages, and turn my notifications off.
As we grow into who we are supposed to be and become pet parents, homeowners, competitors, business owners, then wives, and then moms, (as in my case!) we add responsibilities to our plate. As we grow and add those responsibilities, the greatest responsibility becomes to ourselves.
My first priority is myself. As a matriarch, my emotional health is imperative to keep this family together. I create space for myself by scheduling that space. Anyone that knows me knows I live off of google calendar and Trello lists. By creating space for myself I can keep my emotional health healthy and can be the best version of myself for my family, friends, and clients.
My second priority is my family. My family includes my USAF & LEO Husband, Matt, our McQuaid Senior, and soon-to-be USAF Son, Matty, our horse, Kane, and our dogs, Piper & Ella. Between classes, work, unexpected bomb call-outs, and upcoming military obligations, our time together is precious. I create my space and schedule my clients around important things; Family-No-Phone-Dinners, Matt’s days off, and Matty’s choir concerts or football games. While the two-legged family members are a hair busier than the four-legged ones, naps, rolling in the dirt and other organic matter, and trying to snack on mice are also quite time-consuming, so I also make quality time with Kane and Piper, and Ella.
My third priority is my friends. As I have grown older, my circle has grown smaller. I no longer associate with people that are dramatic, insecure, or make me question their morals. I have a circle of empowered individuals that seek their own definition of success and that are genuinely proud of each other’s success. COVID Is still a thing, and we are busy, so calls and virtual dinners have kept us connected. It is a wonderful circle to be a part of.
I would argue that my top three priorities are the pillars of a person’s foundation. You need a strong foundation to be a successful business owner. Not vice versa. Shifting my mindset has allowed me to be the best coach to my clients and ensure they have the proper support along the way for their own journeys.