Month: August 2014

5 Days of Gratitude: Day #3

Wow, 3 days into the 5-Day Gratitude Challenge and I’m feeling SO GREAT!  On Day 3 of my challenge, I find myself most grateful for the little things — life’s small pleasures. 

These days it’s:

warm summer days

giving/receiving an unsolicited compliment

iced coffees

mid-day naps

hearing your favorite song on the radio

singing in the car

making a new friend

being able to have quality “me” time

nice, long showers

seeing old friends

On the last point, I find myself also incredibly grateful to be able to connect with three old friends from FreeWheel — Max, Filip and Dustin — in town on business, visiting from New York and San Francisco.  Having lunch, laughing, connecting, sharing stories, it was as if no time had passed.  I walked away from our time together with my face hurting from smiling so much.  Such a great feeling — again, right up there with one of the simple pleasures in life.  Face muscle strain.

Ahhh… happiness abounds.  I might have to extend this challenge past just 5 days.  I mean, why stop at 5?

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5 Days of Gratitude: Day #2

Today is Day 2 of my 5-Day Gratitude Challenge and in looking back on the day, I find myself most thankful for having a sense of humor in what could otherwise be construed as a terribly embarrassing predicament.

Here’s the back story:

I was asked to sub the 6:30pm Flywheel Bellevue class for my friend, Dana, and while en route to the studio, I noticed that I had the makings of a dime-sized hole near the crotch of my relatively new Fabletics tights.  Great.  I figured it couldn’t get much bigger and so I proceeded to prepare for class like I normally would.

Though in taking to the stage a few minutes before class began, I looked down to see that my once dime-sized hole had expanded to the size of, oh, I don’t know… my fist.  Mind you, this was now a fist-sized hole INCHES from my crotch and I had to teach a class of roughly a dozen people in less than 10mins.  I immediately switched into a different top that had a longer torso, thinking I could let it drape over my ladyparts while I taught, or that I could improvise during class and strategically let my towel hang over my leg to cover up my ever-expanding hole.  Nobigdeal.

Class began, so of course I made sure that the instructor spotlight was good and dimmed.  No one seemed to notice my upper inner-thigh hole.  “Phew, I might just be able to make this work!” I remember thinking to myself, my thigh now feeling a bit raw from rubbing up against the bike saddle minutes into the ride.  Though once class ended and it came time to dismount from our bikes and begin our stretching routine, I increasingly became more nervous that my hole had expanded to the size of a small Frisbee and that I would be exposed, pun very much intended.

At this point I figured, “Alright, Katie — time to come clean” and like a good Catholic school girl at confession, I informed my class that I had “a secret that I’ve been wrestling with telling them all through class” and proceeded to reveal my crotch hole predicament.  Laughs ensued and in that moment I realized that something like this could happen to anyone.  For my students, my hope in telling them of my issue was that it would make me more real in their eyes — more human and more authentic.  An aspect of my classes that I always try to incorporate is my lighthearted personality, so sharing my crotch hole story in a light, poke-fun-at-myself manner fell perfectly in line with any other joke I would tell in one of my regular classes.

Yes, it was embarrassing, I’m not going to lie and say it wasn’t.  But I walk away from this experience feeling happy and grateful that I could laugh off something that would for most other people be incredibly mortifying.  Maybe I didn’t need to share my crotch hole story.  Maybe I could’ve just let it go and pretended that my wardrobe malfunction was actually an intentional Ke$ha-inspired look?  But I decided to err on the side of authenticity and have no regrets about it.

5 Days of Gratitude: Day #1

Perusing my Facebook news feed tonight, I stumbled upon a friend’s post, proclaiming that today was “Day 1” of a “5-Day Gratitude Challenge”. He then went off to list the things he is most grateful for today, committing to posting new items as his status update each day over the next 5 days.

How inspiring! So what am I going to do? Well of course I’m going to pirate this idea for myself, obviously.

In all seriousness, I find that in times of difficulty, identifying the elements in your life that you’re most appreciative of can do amazing, uplifting things for the soul. Then again, even if you’re not suffering from a particularly challenging time, connecting with the blessings in your life is an activity that each of us should do with enough frequency that we don’t forget all the riches we benefit from. Embracing an attitude of gratitude brings joy and can heighten our consciousness, making us better friends, partners and stewards of bliss on this earth.

And so, today, I hereby commit to acknowledging the blessings that I’m most appreciative of in my life each day over the next 5 days in the hopes that this will broaden my perspective and serve to remind me of what’s really important in life.

Here it goes….

Today, I find myself most thankful for my body’s physical abilities. Often times we take for granted our health and mobility until we’re suddenly stricken by illness or injury and are limited to what we could once physically accomplish without issue. I am grateful that my body enables me to move with relative ease, allowing me to teach my Flywheel classes this weekend without experiencing any physical pain. Millions of people live each day with chronic pain, which is linked to higher rates of depression, anxiety, stress, self-esteem issues, and substance abuse. I count myself so incredibly fortunate that my body gives me the freedom to move with minimal disruption, allowing me to participate in the things that I love with vigor and grace. In return for my body’s abundance, I must respect her, listen to her, and give her rest and proper nourishment when she needs it. This translates directly to getting enough sleep, seeking massage, and fueling my body with the nutrients that will replenish me. Body, I am thankful for you, girl!

Secondly and earning equal praise, I am thankful for having so many positive, uplifting, wonderful people in my life. This extends to my boyfriend and partner in crime, our mutual friends, my colleagues, fellow instructors and students at Flywheel, my SF and Seattle friends, along with each new person I am fortunate enough to cross paths and connect with each day. I’m grateful that I don’t have any one particular person dragging me down, making me feel less than, or that I’m not good enough. I’m fortunate to be able to surround myself around like-minded, positive, glass-is-MORE-THAN-half-full people who make each day rewarding and inspiring. I try not to take this for granted, for this is certainly not the case for some people who are engulfed by individuals who only bring other people down into their own world of hurt and misery. Not me, my friends. If you’re reading this, know that I’m grateful for YOU!

Okay. Day 1, done. Phew. That felt good. I’m looking forward to identifying tomorrow’s list of blessings and sharing them with you. Life is good and is full of abundance