Hate to say it, but this blog is kind of different from my previous ones. Most of my articles here on Ironman Magazine are about training, workouts, nutrition, fat loss, mental training, and things of that nature. I rarely go into what I’m personally doing and my life as it unfolds, but today, I felt it necessary to share with you all a bit about what’s been going on in my life this past year and what is to come, as I know I haven’t uploaded a blog in a few weeks.
Since January, my fiancé and I have been getting ready for a week that just passed by. I was chosen and elected as the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) 2016 Honor Graduate and was presented with the award at the 90th Annual DEAC Conference in Washington, DC. I didn’t know the magnitude of this award until I was informed about some of the numbers: the ISSA has over 250,000 students within their organization and the DEAC accredits over 1.5 million students within the 50+ schools that are within their accrediting guidelines. The ISSA paid for all of my travel expenses and I gave my speech in front of 200 executives, presidents, and CEOs of the various schools, colleges, and organizations that the Distance Education Accrediting Commission overlooks. I actually had my speech recorded and it will be uploaded onto my YouTube channel soon, if you would like to check it out!
The awards conference was on a Tuesday and we flew back to LA Wednesday morning. We then had a photo shoot with Sam Lathrop on Thursday at Metroflex Gym in Long Beach and then had a shoot with Jason Ellis at his studio on Friday. To finish out our week, we participated in the Tough Mudder LA on Saturday. Due to the perfectionist mindset Bev and I both have, we took 4 hours the day before our flight to DC to cook and prep all of our meals, for Monday through Friday. We packed and labeled every meal into Ziploc bags, bought two backpack coolers, vacuum sealed everything, and started traveling the next day. We ate cold food out of Ziploc bags for 5 days straight (remember, this lifestyle isn’t for everyone). However, all of that hard work paid off, as I believe Bev and I looked the best we have ever looked, and it is all due to the proper planning and preparation we initiated. Along with the final week of traveling, we had to ensure that we got all of our final cardio sessions and workouts in. We’d wake up in the morning, pound out an hour of cardio, go about our busy days, workout in the evening, and then do our final cardio session before bed. Yes, we were functioning like zombies, however, true progress happens outside of the comfort zone.
In September, I’ll be marrying my best friend, and anyone who is married knows how much of a stress it can be to plan a wedding. We started planning ours last year, but still have much left to do. Obviously for one of the biggest days of your life you want everything to be perfect and because of our crazy traveling schedule, we can’t make appointments with florists, cake makers, dress shops, and everything else, since we won’t be back in IA until early June, which puts us just a few months away from our wedding day. Regardless of the stress, Bev and I are thoroughly enjoying this process and can’t wait for September to finally be here!
I’m also back in school, completing three prerequisite courses I need to have done before starting the accelerated BSN program I’ll be participating in at Utica College in Florida in January of 2017. I’m very excited about this, even though it is a lot on my plate at the moment. I’ve learned to never shy away from obstacles or challenges. We need to understand that although planning is great, there are things in life we cannot control. When these roadblocks occur, we need to remain flexible in our approach and learn to “go with the flow” of life. God doesn’t make mistakes, so even though things may not happen on YOUR time, they’ll happen if you keep your Faith and continue working hard. Worry about the things you can control, not the things you can’t control.
I can literally go on and on about all the other things that are taking up time and effort: redesigning our website – Hov Hustle Fitness.com, writing articles for the ISSA, constantly traveling and moving to different states, prepping and dieting for photo shoots and events, writing books and working on e-products, and the list goes on. Although this is simply hard work, I remind myself that I CHOSE to do these things. I hate being comfortable and strongly dislike feeling like I’m not “busy enough”. I believe that you must always have something to strive for, to work for, to accomplish. Whether it is one thing, or several things. Anything that can be described as “easy” and “comfortable” is not worth one second of your time. That thing will not help you grow, will not mold you into a stronger person, will not help you develop new mental strength and focus, and will not force you to become better. Never stay stagnant and in the same place, because contrary to popular belief, if you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.