R is for #resilience- guest blogger Amanda Gilbreath-Hawkins

I was never the fittest, the most popular, or the best cheerleader in my high school years…attributes, that as a teenager, I thought mattered more than being on the honor roll.

I mentally struggled then and even into my adult years because of insignificant physical standards that did not define me as a person.

Today, I am THANKFUL I wasn’t the best…

that I wasn’t voted ‘best figure’ for the year book…

that I fell on my butt on national tv during a cheerleading competition.

You see, I always wanted to be the best but everything I did was to impress others…I was trying to live up to what was socially preferred.

I let my surroundings define me and I had no idea who I was.

image3I gave up my academic scholarship and went into the Navy immediately after high school.

I wasn’t a runner…I had tree-trunk legs and was use to throwing girls in the air at ballgames.

I struggled.

I failed.

I was set back a week in boot camp because I missed my run by seven seconds.

I have seriously never told a soul about that. Ever.

Seven seconds meant seven more days away from freedom.

I was ashamed.

I was embarrassed.

I was officially labeled a failure on paper.

image1From high school to boot camp, I wasn’t meeting the ‘standard’ and for seven long days when the lights went out at 10pm, I cried into my pillow.

I didn’t have a plan ‘B.’

For the first time in my 18 years on this planet, I was individually accountable for my success…err failure.

I had to dig deep in an emotionally-straining environment to find the ‘want’ to try harder…to run faster…to lift heavier…to be stronger…to be better.

“Failure is an honest endeavor”

When Jeidi asked if I wanted to be a guest blogger, I thought, “Whoa! Me? What could someone as mediocre as me in fitness possibly have to offer others.

But the more I thought about it, RESILIENCE is why I wake up at 4am 4-5 times a week to workout and why at the end of those seven days, I knocked well over a minute off my run time.

I am SOLELY responsible

for transitioning

my weaknesses into strengths.

I am a work in progress…

I haven’t conquered my weakness in the gym.

In fact, I now realize I’m not here to reach that “final destination.”

Working out at Sweat has taught me that although it’s a group environment, you compete with yourself.

I’m there for me.

And if I don’t meet my goal this week, it’s not a permanent failure…it’s where I am at the time.

Tomorrow or next week may be different…or it may not… but I SET THE STANDARD, not anyone else.

“Fall seven times, stand up eight.”~ Japanese Proverb

At War and Craving Peace

If time, money, experience, knowledge, health, education, and the expectations of others were no obstacle, what EXACTLY would your ideal relationship with food, exercise, and body look like?

In Sweat Unfiltered, I asked that exact “dream big” question because  Diet Rebellion kicks off in September and I’m ready to really and truly put all this positive mindset training into action!

Vision planning and goal setting is something we encourage for our personal and career goals.  We know EXACTLY how powerful it is and how it helps us accomplish the things that truly make us happy.

So why not put this practice into our fitness journey????

So often we package our “big fitness dreams” in terms of lifts, scale weight, measurements, or a dress size.

And while there is nothing wrong with having those goals… the VISION… where you ULTIMATELY want to be, in actuality, has very, very little to do with those numbers.  So often numbers still leave us feeling like it’s still not good enough.

Continue reading “At War and Craving Peace”

How do I cut up my shoulders?

Bolder, Boulder Shoulders!

I know… we like being strong… but, if we’re being honest, we also want for that hard work to become obvious.

We look for those lines on our arms and our legs as proof that we are moving things in the right direction.

Nothing wrong with that!

Fitness can be about health and wellness but no need to apologize if there’s a little vanity mixed in there too!!!  I mean we didn’t name a class Vain by accident people!!

This post is not going to be about food or diet but suffice to say that what you drink and eat plays a big part in hypertrophy (muscle gain) and fat gain and even on the daily look of “crispness” in the muscles you’re presenting.  If you want to know more about this or be coached through this then Diet Rebellion is where you want to go.

For now, let’s just focus on shoulders b/c for sure this is one area that is of main interest to men and women alike.

To do that… I’ve written out for you a Vain style workout served up 3 different ways- beginner, intermediate, and advanced.

So just like at Sweat in Vain you might see just ONE workout, focused on ONE muscle group, we’re not going to prescribe it as THE ONE AND ONLY way to get the job done.

You’ve got to meet yourself where you are and push that boundary slightly every time you workout so that you end up with results not scheduled surgeries.

I’ve provided video tutorials to each level so you are well guided!

Continue reading “How do I cut up my shoulders?”