Where was Mary?
My single life has been filled with plenty of ups and downs, twists and turns. Now that I have embarked on parenthood, it is no different. In fact, it’s abundantly worse…oh yeah, it’s got the normal ups and downs, twists and turns. Parenting is filled with adventures, complete with backs and fourths, side steps, zigs, zags, abrupt stops and starts, all when I am least prepared.
When I find myself floundering to find the right words in a hard situation, my mind often goes to Mary, the mother of the son of God. I often wonder if she ever wrestled with finding the right words. I find myself thinking about the unspoken years of raising Jesus and wonder if she stumbled through conversations, was misunderstood, or botched some messages while talking to him. Did Jesus ask her questions that stopped her in HER tracks? I am curious if she ever was just busy doing her day-to-day tasks when Jesus came in and asked her, “Mom…where do babies come from?” Or did he just know.
Of course, the bible spotlights her son, which as it very well should. But I do find myself thinking about the parents who were involved in raising only the most flawless of people to walk this earth. Were they ever stressed? Did they think about his safety? Did they attempt to lay out expectations for him to do his homework, take out the garbage or make his bed? Did he ever miss curfew? Did he even have one?
Did Mary wake up in the middle of the night with fleeting thoughts, worries and, well, hot flashes? Did she internally feel so out of control at times that she couldn’t face people? Did she have nights where she sat alone in the garage, trying to find the courage to gather her composure before walking into the house? I wonder if she ever felt like things were coming in too fast for her to process. Or was she…ah-hem…better than me?
The answer is yes. Yes, Mary struggled. She struggled because she was…a mom.
I know she had some sleepless nights. I am certain her heart broke a few times over the years. No parent is exempt from that. God gave us emotions to feel, so I am sure she did just that…she felt. Just like I feel. And as my wandering mind reminds me, even God feels – both the good and the worst of the worst.
I have spent a lot of time trying to find parenting secrets in the bible…specifically, regarding Mary and Joseph. To my obvious expectation, there isn’t a ton. There is a lot about personal behavior advice, but the only “real” parent story I could relate to is the story of Jesus in the temple. In Luke 2:41-52, Mary and Joseph go to Jerusalem for Passover and bring little Jesus. After the days long celebration, they packed up and went home. Now, I love my kids. I love them more than words could describe. But I too, have left without one of them only to discover she was missing miles down the road. It comforts me to know that Mary and Joseph did the same. To include this in the bible reassures me that none of us are perfect. Just like this story in the bible, it is an amusing story after the fact. God probably knows it happens more often than any one of us could admit.
I probably read this temple story as a younger, childless Merianne Colletti and thought nothing of it. But now that I am a mom, I read this scripture and all I can do is think…this poor mom.
If Mary is like me, I bet Mary was beyond hysterical. If she is anything like me, the stage from discovery of the missing child would go from the careless feeling of misplacing my coffee mug, to the sudden, time-stopping, vomit-inducing, hands-shaking, panic of the loss of the very baby she has been blessed…no CHOSEN…to raise. Now, don’t get me wrong, every soul is an important soul. But she misplaced the SAVIOR OF THE WORLD! Yeah, that’s pressure of unimaginable proportion.
OH! How the painful horror must have set in, slowing time so that minutes must have ticked by like years. The fleeting thoughts whether Jesus was safe or in danger consumed her. If you have ever lost your kid, you know this ache. Or how about the pure passion at the thought of this sweet, big-eyed, chubby cheeked boy being innocently terrified at the thought of being left alone while his security - his parents left him behind. If you have ever been the kid left behind, you know this ache. I have been privileged to be both. What I can be certain of is that Joseph didn’t move fast enough for her. I can only imagine the words exchanged between them as they ran back to Jerusalem.
We all have been here. Whether under the same circumstances or some other frustrating event, our kids have left us a pile of panic. I must believe Mary was no different than any of us. This is probably why they didn’t give Mary her own chapter in the bible. Can you imagine what she would have written? I am pretty sure humanity would have stopped there.
But I digress…
I am sure she was angry; at herself and, at Jesus. The bible reads that Mary and Joseph ask Jesus in Luke 2:48. “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been terribly worried trying to find you.” It’s times like these when I am reminded that emotions are downplayed in text form, but I can only imagine that exchange was not as calm as I so hastily read today. After all, she was…a mom.
But when we are angry at situations like these, does it mean that our child has done wrong? Jesus made a decision. Jesus made a decision that was best for HIM at the time. Isn’t that what we are trying to raise? Kids that become adults that can make decisions, good decisions, that will bring them closer to the goal of being good people? I have to keep reminding myself, there is no on/off switch. These growth moments are a stretch of our comfort; letting go and stepping back. I can assure you, looking back on all of the growth moments my kids have had, my hand has been forced by their agenda and certainly not mine in EVERY SINGLE ONE. I think I can admit, if I followed my agenda, they would stay snuggly, small, and needing my wisdom and love all the days of my life.
After Mary and Joseph see Jesus is safe, they took that well-earned deep sigh of relief, knowing Jesus was fine, three days later. THREE DAYS LATER! Jesus was where we all should find ourselves at some point of our lives…in our father’s house. But this does not discredit the absolute darkness that engulfed Mary and Joseph for THREE days…until they found him. I find myself asking, are the words that would have come from my mouth AT THIS MOMENT going to help or hinder the situation? In moments like these, am I speaking anxiety out of my own trauma I lived for THREE days, or are the words from the pure love of God the father that Jesus was safe? Jesus made a decision! While I wouldn’t agree with how he went about it, he certainly didn’t make the poorer decision to hang back to smoke pot under the bleachers at a high school football game…like I probably would have.
I guess it begs the question, do parents have the right to be mad at their son [or daughter] when what he or she decides on their own turns out to be the very act that would help them navigate life? I don’t know about you, but I would want this boy to feel a hint of the heartache I felt wondering if he was okay. I would plot and plan the proper punishment to “teach a lesson.” But is the lesson I want to teach more important than the celebration of the decision he made to SEEK Jewish teachers, listening to them, and asking them questions? I mean “all who heard him were amazed at his intelligent answers.” [Luke 2: 47] Any parent would be proud.
In today’s day and age, Jesus would have been sent to his room without dinner and grounded for eternity. After that, he would have to write 100 times how he would promise to tell his parents where he was at all times. There would be an apology note written to the local police department for getting them involved in the search. I am sure if Mary was a parent of today, she would be on the phone, drinking her Starbucks [or better yet, a justifiable heavy pour of wine], telling her bestie, “Can you even believe…?” Ouch. Personal check point here.
I am comforted to know that parenting was hard then too. Not that I wish any of these gut-wrenching ups and downs on anyone else, but it is nice to know that emotions, even parenting emotions, are REAL.
Yes, I am an overthinker.
I have let this line of thinking take me down the dark rabbit hole of thought, complete with many surprise twists and turns of the underground maze thanks to my overthinking. What I can say from reading about this very stressful parenting event is that the desire to overthink about this and other parenting situations I have found myself in is NORMAL. As I read more about Mary in the bible, I see she had feelings like mine as a mom of today. Yeah, Mary overthought.
In Luke 2:16-19, after Jesus was born and the angels appeared to the Shepherds, they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph to tell them what the angel said about their sweet boy. All who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said. Mary remembered all these things and thought deeply about them.
Mary remembered. She thought DEEPLY about them.
In Luke 2:51, after they found Jesus in the temple from THREE days of agony, (I still can’t EVEN…) his mother treasured all these things in her heart. I am not going to lie, I have looked at all translations of this verse in hopes to find the version where is says, “Mary made him eat soap until he told her he would NEVER do this again for all the days of her life.” The closest I could find was the Message translation where she “held these things dearly, deep within her…” Girl, I KNOW you did.
I find myself thinking DEEPLY about what it will all mean when it comes to my kids’ lives. But is this the healthiest activity for the life God gave ME to live? What good comes from me wasting thought on this? Can you imagine that night, when Mary went to bed after Jesus was finally found; after wandering THREE days trying to find her lost son, the torment her heart felt, the arguments she had with her husband, the worry, anxiety, and emptiness she felt? What a waste of her headspace if she would have focused on the would’ve…could’ve…should’ve. At the end of this day, the savior is safe. The crisis is over! The SAVIOR HAS BEEN FOUND! Isn’t that enough? Or does she need to add the punishment layer on top of it…you know, to make her feel better.
I need to remind myself daily that Mary overthinking about things through Jesus’ life didn’t save him from the eventual torture and death he would experience. Her continued thinking didn’t prevent others questioning her true miracle pregnancy. Her endless thoughts did not prevent the world from thinking the worst of her kid. It’s why the bible doesn’t focus on it. It is fruitless. But it does comfort me to read. I am sure it robbed her of some restful nights, like this consistent parent mind exercise does to me.
In reality, my overthinking isn’t going to change the outcome. The fact is I am not the ultimate planner for my children’s lives. Fighting my own need for control of them in hopes to ease my parent ache is MY daily challenge. How do I handle challenges? I put on my armor.
I need to remember that, like me, Mary suffered through parenting. As it says in Luke 2:35, “and you Mary, will suffer as though you had been stabbed by a dagger.” Yeah, I get that too. I will not pretend to know the pain you ultimately did watching your son die the most horrific death imaginable, but I do get the parent “hurt.”
I have concluded that the bible doesn’t speak of the details about raising Jesus because, as painful as this is to say, it was insignificant. In today’s day and age, there are so many resources to parenting – books, support groups, counseling. But the truth is, it all doesn’t matter. My job as a parent, from what I am gathering from the little that is discussed in the bible, is that God’s got them. I have to trust that.
If we truly believe that God made us in our mother’s womb, (Job 31: 15), and that God’s timing rules all [Romans 8:18], then I also need to believe that God made all parts of us…and our children – the physical and the mental. God knows my kids. He knows their journey. The only thing God asks us to do is love them; keep them moving forward on this righteous road for His purpose during their life. It’s not so much about each side-step they take, just like we did when we were their age.
This world is EVIL. And some could even argue that it is more evil than previous generations. I will save that debate for another time. No doubt, Evil pulses all around us every day. But evil is distant when it doesn’t touch us, and extremely real when it does, no matter the decade. We need to talk about it. We need to serve God so that we can thwart it, in Jesus’ name. But for all the other things – what if I could…dare I say this…just lighten up on the small things?
My kids will ultimately make decisions for themselves, just like I did, which led me to having them in the first place. That decision has brought me the most unspeakable joy and pain I could ever imagine. I wouldn’t change it for ANYTHING.
I AM a mom, just like Mary. And being a mom is stressful and, at times, painful, even unfair. I would like to believe in the natural order of things where I can rest easy knowing each generation will live full lives and die at a ripe old age, in our sleep. Unfortunately, the evil on this earth, or its free-thinking sinners, don’t promise this. Nor did God, not even to Mary. The only thing I can rest my tired heart on is the comfort in knowing God’s got me. God’s got you. God’s got our babies. After 3,000 years, it’s the one thing that has truly remained true, and it will be the one and only truth for 3,000 more.
-Written With Much Love,
March 15, 2023
Eve of Senior Year.
Hey Y'all. I am praying for us.
If you think things feel weird now, it’s only going to feel even more strange as this year goes by at warped speed. Just wrapping up one senior year and strengthening myself to dive right into another, I just wanted to share a couple of lessons I learned the hard way, after too many tears and arguments at home in hopes to save the money you will spend on Kleenex. So, here goes this momma heart:
-Every Parent is in the Same Boat. You are no more collected than the next person. We all are going to face the ups and downs no matter what demographic you come from. No amount of spiritual training, monetary security or endless parental love is going to exempt you from the feels of a senior year. Let’s just be here for one another. We all are in the same boat.
-Don’t Overthink Anything. Treat each day like you would a day in the younger grades. Your kids are not going to appreciate the last “firsts” like us parents do. If you want to celebrate it, go for it. But don’t expect them to appreciate it like you do.
-Be Available. But expect nothing. There is no established quota for how many times your kids will need you. I have concluded, the less my laser-focused first born needed me, the better I did my job instilling independence. Vomit a little then celebrate it!
-Don’t stalk them. At least obviously. Parent game on folks. Be present but let them try this independence on for size while they still must report home every day. You will be entitled to ABSOLUTELY NO INFO when they move to college. (barf, barf, barf)
-They are NOT going to seek you out to spend time with you. It’s totally natural. But I sure adore you all. Call me instead! When you are feeling lonely or just need some company – I’m your huckleberry. By the way, I love to walk. And…
-They won’t sit with you at sporting events. Come sit with us parents instead! But you really should go to anything you can. My kids are horrified when I tell them I am still going to go after they graduate. “That’s creepy mom!” Oh! Which reminds me about this…
-They will judge you on EVERYTHING! You may have been cool, but they are now horrified by every…single…thing you do. Seriously, I was suddenly where I wasn’t supposed to be; not where I WAS supposed to be, and always said the most uncool things. I couldn’t do anything right. I was embarrassed for a while. Now I realize why old people don’t care anymore. It starts when their kids are seniors in high school. Thick skin my friends. Thick skin and CON-FI-DENCE!
-Randomly Bake. You are going to talk too much for their ears this year. Every parent does. Hush your mouth and just bake something. Then let it play out by itself. I am not even kidding about this. My kids know I scrub things when I am stressed. So, they would avoid me. But baking??!?! Yeah, no one is angry when they smell yummy, gooey chocolate chip cookies. Shut up and just bake.
-Worry only about YOUR KID. Every single one of us is struggling with the same emotions, decisions, tiredness, homework, etc. at different times throughout the year. Focus ONLY on your own kid. Your tribe may be on a mountain today while another tribe will be in a valley. At any given mill-a-second, that could change. Take care of your own.
-Do Not Fear Being Left Out. There is only so much time in a senior year. Your kids can’t be at everything or monetarily afford to do everything. Calm down! They all play different sports and have different activities. There WILL be scheduling conflicts. Do what you and your family can or are willing to do. IT IS OKAY TO MISS SOME THINGS.
And most importantly…
-DON’T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY.
Remember, our babies have worked their WHOLE LIVES for this year; to be Top Dogs. Their WHOLE LIVES. Even the best ones can have moments of arrogance & selfishness. It’s okay. We have prayed over them to have confidence and courage. They are now going to give that a try. Just walk next to them while they do. Offer corrections on the ugly, compliment the good actions. They will start to calm down again after the second half of the year when their worlds begin to get shaky again at the thought of what happens after high school.
I hope this helps. By all means, I don’t know much, but I do know that start of senior year looks way different than the moment you drop them at college. My heart at the beginning had a much different beat then what it is 4 days before I drop my kid at college. I will pray for all of us. And please know my prayers are for you.
If you ever need to talk, PLEASE call. I am here. If there is anything I can ever do, I will do it.
Merianne (Mer) Colletti
Confessions of a Mother...Of a Senior!
Like a Surprise Party you find out someone is throwing for you that you don’t want to attend – so is parenting a senior in high school.
Here we are, clicking along our day-to-day, watching our babies grow out of their pjs we swear were too big for them the night before when we put them to bed. We prep and plan, make 18 years of food, invent outfits for trick or treating, spirit week and band concerts. We attend events, build relationships and smile while talking to people we would otherwise have nothing in common with. We wipe tears, have hard conversations, celebrate the wins, cry ourselves to sleep, take the high road after dreaming of slashing someone’s tires. (Okay, maybe that’s just me.) We do all of this on a daily pot of coffee, praying its power gives us energy enough to run tirelessly through it all with a smile on our face.
Then, SURPRISE! Off they go.
Well, I guess it’s not as sudden as that. Or, maybe it will be. We have a year. A year, when they are seniors, when time seems to function at warped speed when all we want to do is nap because we are so DANG tired. We continue to plan the eventual end – again, with a big ole juicy smile on that face. Because, after all, we are better than “that mom over there” who is losing their crap in a full-on mental meltdown through this undefinable 12 months of unrealistic expectations where we struggle to figure out where we fit in.
Instead of being transparent and supporting each other through this horrible transition period of feeling like a person with 108 personalities, laughing one minute and crying the next; we hide it and pretend like everything is okay. We keep our struggles as close to our hearts as possible, because “no one else feels the way I do.” Or, maybe, our perfect young adult that we raised is acting a fool. We are excited for the change one minute, but then struggle choking down the thought of the “missing piece” in the next. We fly off the handle at the dumbest of things, but then feel completely in control of all things a moment later. We quietly smile at small wins of survival, and then beat ourselves up over the spontaneous mistakes that feel like a dreadful loss of sanity. I don’t know about you, but I once was a confident, strong, snappy (and slightly snarky) decision maker; I now find myself doubting and questioning myself through every turn.
I bet if we were to ask these kids that have now become adults overnight how they see us, we would be pretty surprised by their answers. Because after all, we are living this falsehood that we can fool others into thinking we are okay. Why? Because we have practiced doing this for years. Yes, we may be able to fool our spouses, extended family members, bosses or coworkers and other moms that we got it all under control. But after all these years of spending every minute together, our kids have witnessed many moments when we weren’t fine, just as we pride ourselves in knowing when they are struggling. I am realizing they are smart enough to know when we are not okay, but justifiably selfish enough to not care. After all, they have worked just as hard to get here to independent land where they can start making their confident, strong and snappy decisions for themselves.
I write all of this because I am making a commitment to all the parents out there to live a life of transparency. I am not okay. But I am okay. Wait, maybe I’m not. This roller coaster of a Senior Year is hard. It’s much harder than I would have ever imagined in ways no one could have ever prepared me. No scholar, no counselor, no pastor, no friend. Why? Because they too are going through this unwritten, unscripted journey just like me. This experience is one we just have to stumble in to and, I confidently say, WILL emerge from. Like a much-needed root canal, there is no ignoring it in hopes it just goes away. We have to take a deep breath, and willingly show up for it. We must trust the process, be patient, remain calm through the painful parts, recover in the peaceful times, and PRAY THROUGH IT ALL.
One thing is for certain, we cannot ignore it or it will become more complicated.
Can we be real? THIS…IS…HARD. And my heart hurts a lot. I’m tired. And I kind of just want to eat ice cream for lunch today.
So here is my gift to all who are melting down, or doing great, or faking it through it all – SURPRISE!
We all are winners! We all are going to make it! We all are going to grow from this crazy chapter. Embrace. It. All.
Praying for You,
Published with Care By:
October 22, 2021
45 Minute Spin Playlist (Family!)
We are Family
Start light, with each section of song, level up.
8, 9, 10-11
RPM: 55 TURN TO WORKING RESISTANCE
Inhabit By: Leeland
Drive seated 55 rpms at 10-11. During build, speed to RUN (80-100rpm), STAND on Chorus.
Sit Down and level up 1each music frame.
RPM: 64-128 ADD SPEED TO RESISTANCE
Turn Me On By: David Guetta
Lower Level to 7-10
Start 70 rpms, Go to 100 rpms during build, Full Sprint at 128 rpms for Chorus
REPEAT, leveling up each music frame.
RPM: 70 CADENCE
All You Need To Know By: Gryffin & Slander (feat. Calle Lehmann)
50% Resistence (Level 10-14)
STAND on Chorus driving 70rpm. Keep Rpms at 70 entire song, leveling up as you can.
RPM: 64-128 CLIMB + SPEED INTERVALS
Hey Brother By: Avicii
Leave resistance you had for end of previous song. Start STANDING at 64 rpms, @ Build, SIT DOWN & push a run DO NOT LOWER YOUR LEVEL. It's going to be hard!
RPM: 60-120 SPEED + MED RESISTANCE
Take Me Home By: Phil Collins
Lower resistance to about 40% (Level about 10-11) SEATED RUN @ 70-90 RPMs. On Chorus, RUN OUT OF SADDLE.
RPM: 68-132 SPRINT!
Get Ready To Bounce By: Brooklyn Bounce
Lighten up level, hold higher rpms (100-130). Push super fast for 30 sec chorus, 3 times through song
It’s okay to bounce on seat because level is light if you can keep your fast going! Train those fast twitch muscles!
RPM: 44 CLIMB
Together By: for King & Country
Catch breath first.
HEAVY UP Resistance. You are only riding at 44RPM all song. Drive this climb with as much resistance as you can stand at this speed.
RPM: 64-128 SPRINT!
Hit the Flow By: Landis
Have a seat and lighten resistance. Sprint to 128, if even just for 1 second!
RPM: 38-76 CLIMB
Brother By: Need to Breathe
CLIMB out of saddle, Drive the chorus! Resistance enough to have clean circles on pedal rotation always! PULL UP don't push down all the time. Find power from muscles that work when you pull up pedals. Takes some thinking.
RPM: 56-112 SPEED + MED RESISTANCE
Forever on Your Side By: Need To Breathe
Start seated around 80-100 rpms with medium resistance (about 10-11). On chorus, keep running speed, stay low and come out of saddle! BURN BABY!
Family By: TobyMac
Cool it down. Take the time to do so. Hearts like gentle cool downs. Make sure to stretch with opening movements. You have been hunched over on a bike for 45 minutes!
The Headlines Are Making Us Lazy.
"Hate Going To The Gym? Then Just Do These 10 Moves."
"Lose 10 Pounds in Your First 10 Days."
"8 Minute Abs."
"15 Minute Cardio Workout That Will Get You Results!"
Fitness Articles. Chances are, we all have either seen one of these headlines or read an article that reads similar to these. But what is this really doing to our wellness culture? We need to talk about this because it is articles like these that have made us soft in more ways then the obvious.
So what do we really think when we read these articles?
I believe articles like these are beginning to break down the very foundation of our health and wellness. When headlines like these are promoted, we begin to believe that there is maximum success in doing the minimum, creating a lazier approach to moving, feeding and caring for our bodies. But should we really be surprised when we adopt such articles and not see the results we were hoping for? Did we really think we only needed to do abs for 8 minutes to transform our entire bodies from overweight and sluggish to slender and speedy?
The catch is this. All of this information is wonderful and in most cases, partially truthful. However, unlike today's expedited shipping, instant news feeds, and immediate communication, wellness takes time, patience and continued repetition.
My dear friends, listen. If these articles motivate you to move towards a better, more energetic lifestyle, then by all means, read them. Talk about them to friends and even adopt them in your life. However, if it promises too easy to be true, chances are...well, you know the rest.
We need to eat cleaner, exercise daily, reduce the toxins around us and in us, and we need to dedicate time to regular sleep today, tomorrow, and the next day, and...
The good news is there are many ways to make this easy-"ER." Dare I even say, "enjoyable?"
As a fitness professional, I never want to convince you that maintaining a healthy, well-balanced, stress-free life was easy. If it were, I would be unemployed. I realize there are days that make this work more difficult. We all have them. But isn't it great to know you have resources to make the more difficult days a little more bearable?
But being our best, most well trained selves is oh so worth it!
Everyone has a desire to feel better, to have more energy and maintain a reasonable weight. Everyone would love to save the money they are spending on medications and therapy to spend it on more enjoyable things. Everyone wants to live life to their fullest, make positive memories, and have plenty of energy to do so. Being real about the effort it takes to be on this journey makes it much more obtainable, and kind of fun!
Published wth Care By:
Merianne C. Colletti, ACSM CPT, GFI, NS
Exercise Through the Ages.
Fitness is all the rage these days - music to my ears! Through education, support and encouragement, people are taking their health more seriously. Since the evolution of technology making our lives easier, more desk jobs and less labor work, there was a depleting effect on activity. But thankfully, we all are realizing we need to find our exercise in other ways; doing things we enjoy rather than doing things we have to do to survive.
Your steps towards healthier living is a long term commitment. We begin to train our bodies from the moment we are born with sitting up, rolling over, crawling and eventually walking. We continue to develop our bodies until the age of about 18-20 years of age. Then we get to reap the benefits of our hard work.
About the age of 30, our bodies begin to break down slightly faster than it rebuilds. So exercise and training is of critical need to preserve what we worked so hard to build throughout our adolescent years. When people decide to kick their fitness habits to the curb, we rob ourselves of the opportunity to coast - and rather put ourselves at risk to rebuild.
At age 40 - 50, our bodies begin to break down even faster. Women and men can lose approximately 1% of our bone mass each year. Menopause puts women at a higher risk of bone loss. At the completion of menopause, women can lose up to 5% of bone mass per year for the next 8 to 10 years! Training through these life changes are critical to ensure our independence in later years. Men are not exempt from this decline, as 1/3 of all men will develop osteoporosis in their lifetime, now that we do not have the labor intensive lifestyles we once lived.
As we get older, our rate of breakdown occurs faster and faster. Our bones, muscles and supportive tissues become brittle and weak without movement. If there was ever a need to keep training going, it would be now. Currently 70% of people over the age of 70 cannot raise 5 lbs over their heads. In activities of daily living, this can inhibit people from reaching high shelves, or carrying groceries.
All of these changes as we age can be controlled and maintained if we just take the time to do a little exercise everyday. A small investment in movement, can result in great investment in the later years. No one wants to be dependent on others. Everyone loves his or her ability to freely move through life. This is an investment that is surely to have a great rate of return. Just keep showing up.
Learn To Despise Your Excuses.
Let’s face it. If we don’t want to do something, we won’t. Whether it’s not fun, costs money, or it’s too hard; we are the first to find a way to get out of something we are just not looking forward to doing. But why do we use excuses to avoid something that is potentially good for us? When do excuses become the more important part of a positive outcome?
I can’t tell you how much effort I have seen people use to convince me that they are unable to adopt healthier habits. Really, it’s quite impressive. (No, this is not where I publish all of the excuses and the people who used that, although that does sound like fun!) Listen. Everyone has limitations. Everyone. Some may have physical reasons. Others may have time constraints. But at the end of the day, if the excuses you are using become the focal point and are robbing you from enjoying life, it becomes a problem.
When you are faced with something that you must do that doesn’t sound fun, costs some money you would rather spend on something different, or is just plain hard, instead of trying to avoid it, what if we just ran at it? What would it look like once we charged over the challenging hill and saw what life looked like from the other side? What if we actually felt better about ourselves?
Trust me, taking new steps towards the unknown can be really intimidating. All of us are uncomfortable at times when we are faced with changing what is comfortable. All of us. But the only way to make uncomfortable become comfortable, is by doing it – over and over again.
Learn to despise your excuses that rob you of changing what comes easy to you. No one ever promised this journey was going to be easy. Instead, take a deep breath; take some time to wrap your thoughts around your challenge; grab someone you trust to be your guide; but then walk…no RUN towards it! Charge into it! No matter what the outcome, you will be bigger, better, and stronger for it.
At the end of this journey, no one will want to celebrate your excuses – they will want to celebrate your strengths!
Merianne Colletti, ACSM CPT, GFI, NS
It's All In A Word.
I give credit to my sister for integrating our one word practice each year. On the first of the year, we share our word for which will be our foundation for the upcoming 365 days with each other. We have been practicing this for the last 8 years and it truly is life changing.
Living by one word each year has, for me, kept me grounded and rooted to my goals for that year. When I feel like I am at a cross roads, I remember my word. Most times that word is enough to help me make the choice between different possibilities that can lead me astray from what I hope for my life.
Picking a word for the year is a thoughtful action. Look at your goals and try and group them in one word or phrase. While this shouldn’t be overwhelming, it should take some thought and reflection. The word needs to mean something to you. Remember, this is your word, not anyone else’s word. You will fight for this word. It will be the word that gives you strength to stay focused. Try to prevent picking a word that directly influences others. This word is your word, and therefore forces you to take care of you.
Once you pick a word -
Having a word for a whole year can either take the front seat or get forgotten about at times. Don’t ever give up on your word. If you drift away from it, forgive yourself, dust off and move on. Then refocus on that word. Remember, this word needs to work its way into your life for a year. It’s not something that will come naturally or it wouldn’t be your word you picked, right?
May your word take you places you never thought possible. Happy 2016!
Written By Merianne C. Colletti, ACSM CPT
Published in January 2016 Newsletter
Written By: Merianne C. Colletti, ACSM CPT
Published in January 2016 Monthly Newsletter
Merianne's Favorite Things - 2015
It’s that time of the year again! Merianne’s Favorite Fitness Things 2015! Tried and true, here is my list of favorites for 2015 if you are looking for that something special for your loved ones!
Personal Training, Group Fitness or Nutrition Counseling by Yours Truly! Available in Any $ Amount.
My favorite of the favorites you know! Every dollar spent with me can be used for Group Fitness like TRX and Weight Classes, Personal Training, Life Coaching or Nutrition Counseling. Gift certificates are available and can be applied to any services offered. Grab a friend and get yours today!
Powerhouse Clarkston Gym Membership - $25-$40/month
Okay, yes I may be a little biased, but I am also very thrifty and know a good deal when I see one. This is a newer gym in the area. It’s larger then the strip mall gyms, but not so large that you have to pay for a huge building. It has 24-hour access and all GroupEx classes are FREE! Oh, and one of the Group Ex instructors there is a true sweetheart! J While you have your occasional “gym rat” there, all in all, it’s a place where everyone knows your name! It’s the gym for the neighborhood, by the neighborhood. Tell them Merianne sent you!
Spin Shoes - $60-$200, and styles are even more diverse.
I love me a spin class, but clip shoes MAKE the class a totally different workout then you would normally get with your regular athletic shoes. SPD type shoes fit on most (if not all) spin bikes. Don’t forget to ask for the clips that attach to the bottom. They are a couple extra bucks – but money well spent!
The Fitbit Surge – $199.99
This bad boy has been bragged about by many people I see in the fitness setting. It tracks just about anything you are doing – except for that piece of pumpkin pie you sneak (Yes!). And you can even receive text messages on it! It tracks your work in a spin class (where other fitbits that you wear on your wrist don’t.). Tracking your workouts is a great way to stay focused!
The Fitbit Zip –$40-60
This little guy is perfect to keep that nagging voice in your head to “Just Keep Moving!” It tracks your steps for the day and, when synced with the smartphone app, you can use it for so much more. Not quite as fancy as the Surge, but this too, tracks your indoor exercises very well. And you can team up with other Fitbit users for that hint of competition.
A Fancy Water Bottle - $15 - $25.
I am serious. Drink…water. But you have to like what you are drinking it out of. I have become a water bottle snob. I don’t mess around with cheap, yucky ones. Also, I need a straw so when I am on the treadmill, spin bike or driving, I can just sip and go! This cool one featured is the Aqua Zinger. You can actually put fruit in the bottom, grind it up and infuse your water all day with natural flavor instead of drinking sugary drinks. And it has a straw! Cool!
Yep, A Fanny Pack –$17-$35.
Hey! Don’t knock it until you try it. We all have our phone, money, etc to carry. Why not carry it in a fanny pack! They are so much cooler than the big bags once sported at Disney World in 1980. They are now referred to as “running belts.” They hold things snug to your body so they don’t bounce around as you sprint through your races. Lots of different styles to choose from, but Stashbandz and SportifyMe are two brands that I have seen. No judging.
Brooks Joyride Running Mittens –$30-$40.
From the fine days of putting socks on my hands for warmth, I have finally found running mittens that do just as good of a job! I have never understood gloves. They separate your fingers and your fingers can’t stay warm. So then you buy a econo size box of those hand warmer things on top of the gloves that should keep your hands warm. Mittens are so much better. This brand by Brooks have a mesh palm to vent any extra warmth after you get moving. Love them!
Adventure Park Tickets – $39 per person.
Go do something fun that scares you a little – or if you are like me, A lot! Look, if you buy the tickets now, you will be more inclined to going when the season opens. They may even have some deals on the off-season! Grab a friend!
Wireless Headphones – $50-$200.
I dreamt of the day where I my run didn’t end in a wrestling match between me and the wire of my headphones. It’s here! While a little pricey, totally worth it! This is one of those splurges that I would never buy myself, but would really appreciate if Mr. Colletti bought for me.
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