Blog Takeover: Chief Master Sergeant Matthew C. Clancy
I knew at an early age that I wanted to serve. I grew up looking at and playing with my father's old Air Force uniforms as a child. My father served four years during the Vietnam War. As I grew up and started asking questions about his time in the AF, he didn’t really give me much information but he never spoke negatively about his experience. I did get out of him that he was stationed in Japan for a few years. My father's older brother did a stint in the US Army and played on the Army’s baseball team. I also had an Uncle in the Army who was on Active Duty and retired while I was in Junior High. Another influential person in my decision to join was my brother Chuck who was on Active Duty in the Air Force for as long as I could remember and who would end up staying in 25 plus years and retiring as Lt. Colonel. I grew up with a lot of family that I looked up to that happened to be in the Military and I can’t deny that that probably had a large influence on my joining. Another influence was the Gulf War and my brother being deployed overseas during it. Following him during that time just pushed me more toward Military life and seeing the world.
Also, from a young age, I knew that I wanted to be in some kind of Law Enforcement career.
So that being said, you can’t be a cop at the age of 18 in the Civilian world but you sure can be one in the Military. So after plenty of research and a trip to two Air Force Bases and one Army Fort, I decided to join the United States Air Force. So in March of 1995, I convinced my parents to sign my seventeen-year-old self up for enlistment in the Air Force as a Combat Arms Instructor, which fell under the Security Forces Squadrons.
I shipped out to BMT in July of 1995 just one month after graduating from High School. I knew I wanted to serve and as a kid, you think you might do twenty but I had no idea at that time. I’ll spare you and not list everything here. But I ended up staying on Active Duty for eleven years. During those eleven years, I served as Combat Arms Instructor (Weapons Instructor), Military Working Dog Handler (K-9), and Technical School Instructor at Lackland AFB Texas. Along the way, I was stationed at several bases, deployed overseas, and completed a one-year remote tour to Honduras.
I decided to leave active duty to move back home and become a Monroe County Sheriff’s Deputy like my brother. I still wanted to serve my Country so I transferred to the Air Force Reserves, out of Niagara Falls ARS. While in the reserves I fulfilled both of my passions. I was now a police officer and still able to serve my Country. I wore several different hats during my reserve time. I went back to my original job of being a CATM Instructor. I then moved up the ranks to leadership roles which included being in charge of Range operations during drill, being the Superintendent of the Range and Security Forces Supply sections and then the culmination was being promoted to E9/Chief Master Sergeant where I had the privilege and honor of serving as the Security Forces Manager. And finally, 27 years later in June of 2022, I will be retiring from the United States Air Force. Still wanting to serve but knowing that it’s time to step away and focus on family and my last remaining years at the Sheriff’s office.
I’ve always wanted to serve and follow in the footsteps of the Clancy’s before me. I always have had a calling and desire to serve my country through Military service. I believe that I have served honorably and made my family and Country proud.
I am even more proud to say that my son will not only be following in my footsteps but rather surpassing them, as he has been accepted into the Space Force, a spot reserved for only 400 applicants a year.
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.