May has become the busiest month of the year for me. I’ve always believed there are two busy seasons for fitness professionals. The first of course is January. New Year’s resolutions bring in a flurry of new clients with a renewed desire to live fit and healthy. The second is when the weather gets warm, sometime in May for the Ozarks. The shorts and tank tops come out and women get very self-conscious about their bodies. Sometimes it is because last year’s clothes don’t fit. Sometimes it’s because they realize that their bodies aren’t prepared for the active outdoor season to come. Regardless of the reason, I get a big uptick in new clients in May.

Add to that the flurry of BetterU. This is my fourth year to proudly serve as the health coach for the Go Red BetterU Makeover Challenge. May starts with the selection process. We had 81 (wow!) applications this year to read, rank and wrangle over to pick a team of 10. They are then notified and the fun begins! I get 10 new clients at once that need to be assessed plus prepare the schedule for special group workouts and workshops based on The 4 Keys to Real Fitness. All this has to be done before the first session of the 12-week program on June 6. (If you want to follow their journey this summer look for the hashtag #GoRedSGF on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.)

This year May seems to be moving even faster than usual because my 40th birthday is just weeks away. Milestones like anniversaries and birthdays are important for me. This is kind of big one. Turning 30 was no problem. At the time I had no idea how many ups and downs the next decade would bring. My 100 Dreams List is helping me to see how the next decade will shape up. At 30, I was taking tentative steps to building my grown up life. At 40, I know who I am. I know what I want. I am ready, willing and able to go after it.

Which brings me to what I am loving this month. Besides loving life itself, I am building my skills, building my body and finding my tribe.

Rosetta Stone

My desire to learn Mandarin started late last year when I decided I wanted to go to Shanghai and Hangzhou to celebrate turning 40. I know this will not be my only trip to China (especially since I was approved for a 10 year visa!) and I want to be able to communicate, even if I sound like a 5 year old. I signed up for Rosetta Stone online for 6 months to see if I liked it and for the flexibility of being able to practice on the go. I started by subscription on April 15 and I haven’t missed a day of practice since. It may only be 10 minutes a day, but I am still doing something every day. It’s hard, but fun. If I can ask where the bathroom is, order tea and master the pleasantries like hello and thank you by the time we leave I will feel successful.

STRONG Magazine

I let my subscription to a women’s fitness magazine I have read for a VERY long time drop recently. When I started reading this particular magazine a very long time ago, they had great workout plans along with reasonable nutrition and supplement information. Over the last year or so I’ve noticed a distinct shift in their content. WWE stars on the cover, uninspired recipes and exercises that intimidate even me caused me to say NO THANK YOU when my renewal notice came. As luck would have it, I found the March/April STRONG magazine at my local Target shortly after. Their no-nonsense approach strenght training spoke to me. The recipes are fresh (Hello Strawberry Chai-Spiced Oatmeal) and the exercises sparked my creativity.

WYCWYC (The Book)

First it was a hashtag – #wycwyc. Then came the podcast. Now the book! This perfectly portioned handbook for healthy living on your terms is by Carla Birnberg and Roni Noone. Their philosophy of doing “what you can, when you can” has evolved over time with their own fitness journeys. When I started my journey, I beat myself up all the time over missed workouts and overdoing it on the Free Day. Today I have learned to be, as Carla and Roni say, “determined but not obsessed”. I love the social share prompts at the end of each chapter. Connection is something missing from my life right now and I am working to correct that. Instead of being the “lurker” I plan on joining the #wycwyc conversation and getting REAL about the things I still struggle with. If you’re struggling with trying to do things perfectly on your fitness journey read this book. If you’re having a problem finding joy in the process read this book. If you’re not even sure where to begin READ THIS BOOK.What’s on your reading list right now? I need books for the many hours I’ll be spending on planes next month.

What new skill are you working on?

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