Wednesday, December 10, 2014

5 Life Lessons from Ice Skating

It is holiday season time and in Florida it is really hard to feel that season when it is in the 80’s and there is no snow anywhere to be found! But the skating rink? Well, there is the solution. As we drive past the palm trees in our tanks and flip flops on the way to the rink, we get to our little piece of winter and then get dressed up for the ice. You see people dressing up in warm socks, gloves, scarves, hats and coats. Seeing everyone dressed for the cold brings back that nostalgia of home (my home being Oklahoma) in the winter time. . .

I went ice-skating for the first time in years a few days ago and I had a blast feeling like a kid. And afterwards I felt alive as one should when doing something different than is usually done on a day to day basis. Then my nerdy self got to thinking of how symbolic of life ice skating can be. I think this way because I am an English nerd with the curse of the need to always analyze and find deeper meaning in everything!

I came up with 5 lessons on life that ice skating taught me:

Bumpers – What you think protects you can actually hinder you

You won’t get any progress in anything unless you jump in and just do it. Why have the bumpers? Is it because you are afraid to fall? Is it because you want to go fast and because you aren’t ready to go fast yet, the bumper helps you to do it without falling? You have to just do what it is you want to do without any “cheating” and you can’t make yourself be at a certain level of something without having earned it, worked for it, learned from the journey of attaining it.

Falling – Fall ten times and get back up eleven.

Every time I have ice-skated in the past it probably took me over an hour to get the hang of it and then I would be on my way. This was because I was so scared of falling and I refused to fall. I would see others fall and think how silly they looked. I don’t want anyone to see me look that silly falling! But this time, I fell! I fell quite a few times and I even fell with a bumper! LOL! I realized that while it hurt or that my clothes got all wet from the ice all over me that I actually had FUN falling! It was fun to not care. It was fun to not be afraid because I’d just get back up and start again. I wasn’t going to leave the rink! Who cares what I look like, everyone is looking like that. The ones who are falling are actually doing. The ones who aren’t are stuck not getting any better because of being hindered by fear.

Crashing – Accepting what is out of our control will just happen

There are so many people everywhere and kids with no direction at all, it is inevitable that there are going to be crashes with people into people. I was on a bumper going fast and a kid got all wobbly near me and then got way too close that I moved to avoid running into the kid, but just as I did that I plowed my bumper into this lady like I was in a bumper car trying to get to first place! I felt so bad and embarrassed but then realized that it is the nature of the beast when you go to a rink with skaters of all levels. We all had to be aware that someone might crash into us. We take that risk going in. Things in life are just a part of the process and we have to accept that they will happen. We can do our best but when something that is out of our control is to happen, we have to embrace it as a learning experience.

Going Slow - No need to rush to the finish line when you have so much to learn from the process.

When I skate, I go slow until I can get my confidence to go a bit faster. It may take me all day. I remember skating for 3 hours in the past and right when everyone was ready to go, that was when I finally had the hang of it and wanted to keep going. I didn’t have 3 hours this time, but I had more fun when I let go of the bumper and just skated. Maybe I wasn’t twirling and turning but I was moving forward. I know with time and direction that I too could be moving smoothly but it was nice to let go and know I didn’t have to be a pro. I only needed to have fun. Just like with life. The joy is in the journey and it may be a slow process but that only teaches you to slow down and enjoy your life. It will pass by anyway. Make the decision in your mind that you KNOW you will get to where you want to be, so go at the pace that you have peace with and are comfortable with moving at and go enjoy the journey!

Let it Go - Forget about what brings you down and just take in the moment

We are on the ice and it is cold and that Frozen song came on and all of a sudden there was a different air in the room. The kids where singing, the skaters in the middle of the rink were “performing” . . I felt like I was surrounded by joyous little Disney princesses! How simple life can be in moments like that. And the message of the song to let it go is a powerful one indeed. Let it go and be unapologetically YOU! 

So there is my mini-essay and now I want to know which of these lessons you feel most drawn to on how it applies to your life? 

Comment below or leave a comment on The STRONG Life Facebook Page!


Friday, December 5, 2014

Pep Talk Friday: It Don't Matter

Past is past. Let it go.

Guess what?
I’m not crying over what you didn’t do. I’m going to guess you aren’t crying about what I didn’t do either. . .

Do you find yourself looking at your to-do list and dwelling on what wasn’t done? What about what you had done?

I had two days in a row off from working out and I skipped on Wednesday’s post, but I ran everyday, I joined a Yoga studio (another bucket list item down!) I met a new friend and joined a month long group that really made me feel good after just the first meeting.
Plus, I still have tomorrow! Every day is a new chance to start again.

My week wasn’t 100% but I am proud of what I did accomplish this week.

Besides, doesn’t it just get old beating yourself up over something you didn’t get around to? What does that accomplish anyway?

One step back, two steps forward. That means you keep moving forward even with the set backs. Ain’t that good news!?

What kinds of things did you want to accomplish this week but didn’t? Pick one, then think of two things you did accomplish. 

Tell us in the comments below or LIKE The STRONG Life on Facebook and leave a comment there about your two steps forward victory this week!

Therefore . . you win.


Monday, December 1, 2014

How to Overcome Commitment-phobia

I have a confession. . . I am a commitment-phobe.

If you were to talk to the people closest to me they would probably tell you that it is virtually impossible to get my word on showing up somewhere or to start something and finish it to completion.

Even in the workplace I would be known as the employee with ADD. I might start a workout program and stop a couple weeks in. I have even tried a couple comebacks at this blog only to stop again.

I didn’t used to always be this way and old posts will show you that I haven’t but life isn’t black and white. Things change. People change. I have definitely changed. I have turned into a person who can’t commit. For this month for my Bucket List Challenge I have to join a gym or fitness program somewhere. I have to actually put money into something! As I search for memberships at different places I find myself asking for month-to-month or for free trials because I absolutely will not sign for a year to anything at this point!

But what about when enough is enough and you want to change your life? You have to commit. You have to commit to yourself.

The problem is that when I make a list of people I don’t want to let down, I don’t put myself at the top at all. If we don’t put ourselves first and love ourselves the most, how can we be any good for anyone else that we care about?

I don’t have the answer for you. Sorry. I am struggling with this at this stage in my life but maybe if you are in the same place as me, maybe we can ask these questions to ourselves together. . .

What makes you happy?
Whether you get paid or not, pretend whatever it is you love will be your purpose.

What can you do today to bring you closer to that happiness?
Well today I went for a run and I have published another post! What about you?

What small commitment can you start today?
Start a workout plan. . . daunting. Blog everyday, how about 3 times a week to start? Wake up an hour early for a 10 minute meditation every morning? How about one minute every morning?
Baby steps will help train your mind.

I was considering joining this gym or that gym. But every morning I struggle with the thought of strapping on my sneakers and going out my door for a run! (Frickin’ snoozebutton!) I shall start there and commit to morning runs before throwing my money away. Your journey is your own. You have the steps you want to accomplish but you need to accept that you are allowed to accomplish them on your time.

Share your answers to the above questions in the comments below or LIKE The STRONG Life on Facebook and share over there!


Friday, November 28, 2014

Pep Talk Friday: The Snooze Button

Life is dynamic. Life is linear. Life goes on and waits for no one. Once a moment is passed, you can’t go back to live it. 

Do you find yourself constantly hitting the snooze button in the mornings? Telling yourself that you can put something off until tomorrow, until next week, until next month? 

Let’s look at the definition of what Snooze is and then talk about why we should avoid the snooze button

Snooze – a short, light sleep, especially during the day. 

You are sleepy, you have a couple hours before the appointment so you take a snooze for 30 minutes, feel refreshed and go on about your day feeling like a million bucks. Nothing wrong with that! 

How about when you hit the snooze button in the morning? You hit it once, maybe three times, rush out of bed, feel bad that you didn’t wake up early like you had planned to make your breakfast, you go to work hungry and rushed, you are in a bad mood, you snap at your boss and they fire you. . .  Maybe that doesn’t happen, but you get the idea I hope! 

Here is another thought. . . if “day” is Life and “snooze” is taking a break from your day, then how many moments of your day are you missing? Add them all together and what could you have accomplished that would have brought you closer to your goal? 

3 Reasons Why You Should Avoid the Snooze Button 
1)    It is annoying – just get the full sleep and stop torturing yourself! 
2)    It sets a bad Tone 
3)    The answer for the question when you ask, "Does this bring me closer to my goals?" 

It really is a struggle. To just get up. To do what you had planned. To just do it. For some of us, it can be the hardest thing we have to do even though it would bring us closer to what we want most to 




It makes no logical sense but it is just the way it is. Old habits die hard and we have to fight everyday to wake up, get up, and live up our day, each day.  

I skipped my workout yesterday morning convincing myself that I’d do it last night. It was Thanksgiving! I really believed that? No. I knew I wouldn’t. I made the choice by hitting my snooze button that morning. That is just the way it is. If you have to bargain or convince yourself out of doing something that will bring you closer to your goal, the decision is already made.  

No one else will fight for your life but you. So knock it off. Recognize when you are doing it and let that little burning flame in your heart grow. Let it win the fight because it will eventually consume you and you will win! Then instead of snoozing in the mornings, you will be jumping out of bed excited to live your day! 

I needed this! I thought maybe someone else did too. 

Do you have a daily battle with your snooze button? If you were disciplined on a daily basis what would you like to do each morning to start your day off right?

Share in the comments below or let me know on the Facebook page. LIKE The STRONG Life on Facebook!

Have a great weekend y’all!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Bucket List Challenge: Living Life Before 30

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They say change is good. And it is when you got it all figured out and all the pieces have finally fallen into place. Change, like constructing a new house, begins with a mess, a lack of vision of the final product when you look at it on the surface. But below that change is the blueprint. The plans that actually reveals that the mess is indeed organized because it is meant to create something beautiful.

I have reached a new stage in my life after my 29th birthday last month that had me freaking out a little. All of a sudden I am aware that my youth isn’t going to last forever...

(you mean I wasn’t always just going to be in my twenties with plenty of time to figure out what to do with my life?)

Starting over in my life, AGAIN, financially, emotionally, physically is hard. But I am alive! God is not finished with me yet if I still woke up this morning and am here to type this post!

I’m a mess right now. I really am. But I am ready to make changes. I have a new challenge for myself to be STRONG again. This last year in my twenties will be my year and to do that I am going to do a fun challenge that I will document about on the blog each month as I get closer to my next birthday.

I have a Twenties Bucket List that I have to complete before I am 30!

Things on this list are to help me stay focused on me, to be positive and to challenge me to really live my life rather than going through the motions. Each month will be a new bucket list item I have to complete.

This month of November’s challenge was to start my blogging again. So here I am!

I’m a writer so I must write. And I thought it would be fun to use my favorite platform to tell my story as I go through this journey of my monthly bucket list items.

I haven't planned out every month yet but here is what I have planned so far:

  • November – Return to blogging for real this time ...CHECK!
  • December – Join a gym and commit to a workout program
  • January - 
  • February - 
  • March - 
  • April – Take the Health Coach Certification Exam
  • May - 
  • June -
  • July – Paddleboard/Snorkel & Swim with Dolphins in Key West
  • August - Get a Tattoo
  • September – Run a 5k... or a 10k
  • October – New Wardrobe for my Vegas trip to celebrate my 30th and see Britney Spears' show.

I need your help with ideas for the other 5 months that I don't have anything for! What are some things that I should do before I turn 30? What are some things you have always wanted to do?

Give me some ideas in the comments below or LIKE The STRONG Life on Facebook and share your ideas for a Bucket List!

See you Friday!


Monday, November 24, 2014

Feel the FEAR. . . the story of a comeback

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If you were to look back at my archive of posts for this blog you will see a lot of different phases that I was in for my life for the last 3 years. I have been up and I have been down and back up again.  
Then this past year, I struggled with writing, blogging and journaling as I struggled with my spiritual journey.  

I fell back into faithless habits of wanting to take control and allowing various temptations to take over me by fooling myself into thinking that..well...that I had control.  

But I didn't. 

And life had a way of showing me that I really didn't have any control because I didn't give it to God anymore. For that I have paid the consequences... 

I am lost. I gained a lot of weight. I am in over my head in debt. I got selfish in my behaviors and I even ended my relationship. But the worst of it all was that I turned my back on God.  
Why would anyone know the formula to happiness, have it, and then throw it all away?  


I would tell myself things like, "Who am I to be saying this, or giving this advice or offering this tip?" 

Ummm. That is so stupid! 

I'm not the only one in the place that I am at in life! By not doing it, how on Earth could I potentially reach out to someone who can also do it and contribute their little bit of light into the world? Call me selfish with a capital "S". . . 

We all want to be successful. So why the heck would I not want to be successful?! I sabotage anything I do by not finishing what I started. I taught for a year, but I don't want to be compared to better teachers. . . I tried to be the perfect housewife when I was married and maybe even in my relationship with my boyfriend after but if I set a bar and didn't reach it, my partner would not love me. . . I became a trainer, but I didn't have a six pack like that other trainer did so why would anyone want to hire me? So I settled for fitness sales. . . but if I wasn't the top sales person, then I must suck. Forgetting the lives I impacted by just selling what I sold! 

See the trend? Many of us fall of into that trap.

I'd work for what I want, maybe see within my grasp a chance for what I really wanted and then sabotage it so that I couldn't reach that point of failure and start something else only to begin that cycle all over again.  
If I were to reach that goal that I have deemed my point of success then I'd open the doors for more criticism, for more chances to lose what I have. Instead of using my fears to fuel me to succeed, I used them to hold back. 

Wow this all sounds silly!

Which brings me to the next fear... 

What are my peers, friends and family going to think of me? 

They might think, "Oh here we go again, she's done this before,"

"So typical, she'll start and stop this thing..yet again..." 

Is this really what people are thinking of me? Does it really matter? Am I really that self-centered to think that other people who have their own issues and problems in life really care if I go at it again to do something positive in my life? 

In actuality, it doesn't matter. 

To those that want to judge, they aren't the ones I'm doing this for. 

To those who aren't judging and support me, that fuels me. 

To those who are indifferent and might stand to benefit from even one sentence I might type. . . 

So here I am. Starting back at the blogging thing. Trying to inspire the world when I barely have my life together, but there is no point to waiting until I have the "perfect" life to share my story because it will never be perfect. It is all on how we handle life and how we grow from it. I am terrified of my fears. 

And today will be the hardest day for me in a long time as I start my new journey but I will FEEL THE FEAR AND DO IT ANYWAY! 

Do any of these fears paralyze you?
What dreams have you been wanting to pursue? 
How have you been making yourself your biggest obstacle?

Feel free to share in the comments, share on the facebook page or answer those questions in a journal.

Follow my journey, learn little bits of inspiration and motivation as I learn them, and hopefully I might inspire you to share your journey with others with your God given platform!

LIKE The STRONG Life on Facebook and we can grow STRONG together!

~ Melina 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Be a CHAMPION of your Mind Games

In this Fitness Resolution Series, I have been sharing tips to get you to stick to your goals and actually do it! I first had your state your general goal, then last week we talked about goal planning and now this week we will battle the biggest obstacle. Your MIND! How many times do we hear that we become our biggest enemy by discouraging ourselves, talking about ourselves . . . or being the most important person who doesn't believe in our dream?

I most certainly am guilty of that. Lately I have allowed myself to be consumed in negative thinking that I have discredited what I'm worth even when others encourage me. I know it is because I have been slacking in my relationship with the Lord, and even that has only slacked because of the devil filling my head with negative thoughts.

So one day I sat down with my BF and we brainstormed inspirational thinking and put together this acronym to help you on your way to positive thinking when it comes to looking at yourself in the mirror or how you approach each rep, each second of your workout!

Oh and as a side note, those of you who don't know, I used to be an English teacher and using acronyms to teach a concept is a fave among us teacher nerds! lol! So here it is:

C-onquer your minis
You already set up your mini-goals when you did the S.M.A.R.T Plan. What this does is prevent you from feeling defeated. For each mini step you complete you set your mind into a position of knowing that you are moving forward. Focus on the idea that it isn't about how far you have to go, but rather how far you have come!

H-old yourself up to a higher standard
Don't beat yourself up over things you shouldn't do or eat, but also hold yourself to a higher standard. Make the right choices but if you make a mistake, let it go. You must believe in yourself enough to know that a minor set back, a missed workout, eating 3 pizza slices, isn't the end! The next meal is the next chance to make it right. It ain't about winning every battle, it is about believing in yourself that you WILL win the war!

A-mple positivity
You must be present to your negative thoughts. Be active in your feelings throughout the day. If a negative thought comes in your mind, take a mental stop and fixate on the opposite of that thought. Keep a mini-notepad around and write the positive opposite down. When a down time come, as it will in any journey, you can pull out those thoughts and read them to lift yourself back up. Get on Pinterest and read inspirational quotes. I even have a whole board devoted to quotes I'll read often to motivate myself. You can check out my board HERE.

Encourage others. Get on Facebook and share quotes that you love. Get a partner, a buddy, someone you text or Facebook often to hold each other accountable. Get on MyFitnessPal and take part in a community of people wanting to make good food decisions. When you try to help others who want the same goals as you, you feel empowered. You will feel accountable. (I guess that is why I do this blog!)

P-ump yourself up 
Pick your own theme song. When you are feeling down or negative, play that song. Heck even football teams have a song that pumps them up when they run out on the field! Listen to it on the way to work, the gym, to your next social gathering, own yourself! My two songs are Britney Spears' (no surprise there) Work B**ch and Katy Perry's Roar.

AND because Pug Fest is tomorrow, I must share a pic of my beloved pug!

I need you to share with me any profiles you have: MyFitnessPal, Pinterest, Instagram. . . if you are on those sites, let's motivate each other! Also, what is your theme song? Maybe we can build a motivational playlist!

Comment below or comment on The STRONG Life Facebook Page. We got this!

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