If you have a few minutes, allow me to share with you the rest of the story...
I’ve been encouraging people to harness the power of the positive mind and body ever since I can remember. As a 5th grader, I mailed a young boy the book “The Power of Positive Thinking,” by Norman Vincent Peale thinking how its message could really help him. I was obsessed with Herschel Walker, the best college football player in America, who played for the University of Georgia. His outstanding skill and humility made him the only person I could stand up and give a book report about – in front of a 6th grade classroom – without passing out from sheer stage fright.
EARLY FITNESS LOVES
I worked out with Jane Fonda via cassette tapes because it was fun and couldn’t wait to see how Richard Simmons would encourage me on a Saturday morning before I would go to swim practice. I loved ballet and competed in track, basketball and volleyball. I read anything by Dr. George Sheehan, a cardiologist, runner and philosopher – soaking in his ideas of you are only as good as you are willing to work each day – not yesterday, but today – and better yet, right now.
THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED
I never had any interest in following the crowd;
I always took the road less travelled.
I was more concerned with reinventing the crowd, a healthier, happier, more fulfilled crowd and in replaying the Rocky soundtrack for motivation as needed.
AN UNCONVENTIONAL RUNNING START
Surrounded by many close-knit cheering cousins, I would often race my dog for girl scout cookies, an idea that only a big brother, such as mine, could create. I rarely made it to those cookies first, but I’d like to think it gave me the desire to keep on trying, no matter what. I later capitalized on this unconventional training to crush the 800 meter and 1600 meter run in high school, earning a 4-year cross country scholarship at Georgia Southern University, where the football team used to call me Flo Jo.
COLLEGE & FIRST JOBS
At Georgia Southern University I soaked in everything athletics, fitness and exercise physiology and landed my first "real job" as a health and physical education teacher in Savannah. I then worked at the American Red Cross (earning employee of the year) and then at a hospital as an exercise physiologist where I finished my Masters of Public Health degree, got gold standard training as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), was certified as a yoga instructor, created, partnered and launched Goodhearted Kids, a kids physical activity and nutrition program.
All this time, I heard a little voice saying, “More is out there; use your gifts to reach the world through fitness.” So in 2004 I traded in my chromed out Jeep Wrangler for a new Volkswagon beetle and drove from Savannah, Georgia to Los Angeles, the fitness capital of the world – to expand my wings and reach my dream of INSPIRING YOU.
PERSONAL TRAINING in BEVERLY HILLS
In LA, I started working at a high end gym picking up towels on a 4:45 a.m. shift (a humbling and necessary experience) and worked my way up to a full-time professional trainer working with the who’s who of Beverly Hills and eventually independently with Hollywood’s biggest stars (still not allowed to tell you who they are with all those confidentiality agreements I signed!).
HOW I MET MY HUSBAND
Five years later I met my husband. He was working through a small, celebrity-laden private gym, training his clients at the same pre-dawn hours I was. My clients would say to me, “I think that guy likes you.” The truth is, I liked him too. We later married and just like that – I was also gifted a bonus daughter of whom I referred to as my mini me.
WHEN EVERYTHING CHANGED
This was the life I led until I gave birth to our son, Stewart Colton.
He was everything I ever wanted.
And then as “they” say, my whole life changed.
My son was healthy, happy and thriving in every way.
Me? I had post labor complications that left me with a painful surgery and a total of 7 months recovery with limited movement to do anything, much less get back into shape or continue my career as I once did.
In the middle of this, I was losing hope.
The walls were closing in more and more each day as I sat there with my precious boy on my lap.
I wasn’t thinking positively.
I wasn’t taking care of me.
I wasn’t living in the moment.
I was worried about the future of my health.
I wondered if I would ever get better, stronger and EVER be the mother I needed to be for this tiny boy.
THE A-HA MOMENT
Then it hit me. Literally. Like a freight train with a gentle whisper spawned by the help of my husband…
“If I don’t take care of myself, then how I am going to take care of my newborn son?” That's when I knew I had to do things differently.
I needed to eat healthier, slowly get stronger, focus more on what I could do instead of focusing on what I couldn’t do and find a way to use my gifts to inspire others across the globe.
THE BIRTH OF ROAD TO AWESOME
That is when I created an online plan known as the Road to Awesome, the road that I knew personally and professionally, works. It resurrected my soul, my health, my capabilities, my good attitude and ultimately gave my children and husband the very best of me.
MY SCARIEST GOAL
Because of the Road to Awesome, I walk the walk along with you.
I set a big scary goal too and found myself back on the track in over 20 something years in a collegiate meet with girls half my age. At age 41, I ran as a USATF athlete and ended up capturing the title of Southern California’s Masters Division Champion in the 1500 meter, and later that season, ran seconds away from my fastest mile ever from high school.
THE JOURNEY IS EVERYTHING
I wouldn’t take anything for my journey now.
And I am not finished. Not even close.
Because if I haven’t worked with you yet, there is still more to do.
And if I have worked with you already,
then you know my philosophy,
there is no finish line – only waves, peaks and valleys to enjoy and learn from along the way.
I invite you to ride the wave with me on the Road to Awesome. Take a new path and fall in love with the process. I welcome you with open arms and would love to hear your story.
Oh yes you can.
Yours in the triumph and in the struggle,