Monday, December 1, 2014

Life As I Know It...About To Change

          Do you ever wish you could be in two places at one time or that you need to be two people to get everything done? I remember playing Tug of War in gym class, which is when there are several people at each end of a long rope pulling as hard as they can to get the other team to cross the center line over to their own side, ultimately winning the game. It's a test of strength, endurance, and a lot of determination. Many people give up pulling when their arms get tired causing their team to lose while others keep pulling until their hands are raw from the rope. This is survival of the FITTEST!
     I don't recall always being as hyper as I am now, but that probably has more to do with becoming a single mom with three small children, one who was an infant (18 years ago), and trying to DO IT ALL. I went from being a stay-home mom working part-time as a Fitness Instructor and taking some occasional classes at school, to a Full-time student in an x-ray program, training clients at 5:30am, teaching Aerobics classes after dinner, studying after the kids went to bed so I could maintain my "A" average, and then being a server every Friday and Saturday at the Meadowlands Race Track and every Sunday at Giants Stadium (now Metlife Stadium) for the Giants and Jets games.
I've been very fortunate to always have the support of a good family and true friends, but ultimately, the responsibility is mine.
     I've heard people say "That which doesn't conquer you makes you STRONGER" and I am a firm believer in that. I was very driven and determined when I was growing up. Gymnastics was my favorite thing to be doing at all times and I expected immediately to be able to do everything the gymnasts did on TV. This is a sport that requires you to start early so you have no fear of falling and getting hurt.You gain strength, flexibility, grace,  and the ability to fall over and over again and be able to just get right back up and keep going (a skill that has come in very handy as an adult!).  My first heartbreak was when I was about 12 years old and realized that I started too late to ever be good enough to be in the Olympics. My life today is very similar and one of what I call "Mental Gymnastics".

     So now my oldest son is in the U S Air Force full-time, my daughter finished Parisian Beauty Academy and is a makeup artist, and my youngest son just finished high school and is going into the US Air Force Reserves to be a Boom Operator, so maybe things will be calming down for me....yeah right!!! Maybe it's a touch of OCD but it's a good thing I am hyper or I'd never be able to work at the hospital, teach classes or workout, train clients, go to Times Square to be the Naked Cowgirl (in my "spare time"), cook for my son, clean my house, check emails, write an occasional blog....oh yeah, and have a social life! I've just gotten better over the years at "multitasking" and have a tendency to take on more projects than I have time in a day to complete. 

     Some times I really wish there were two of me, someone just like me to help me finish my tasks for the day...but don't we all! I know a cleaning service, a publicist, and personal assistant would definitely help, but until then....keep the coffee coming! It will be interesting to see what the next chapters of my life will bring now that the kids are mostly grown up, both sons out of the house for the most part, and my house being just a female house for the first time with just my daughter, with the exception of my dog Willie who is definitely an Alpha male. I guess this is a good time to reinvent myself, find that peaceful place within, and be open to unlimited possibilities!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Recognizing Addictions And Forming New Habits

I've heard people say that it only takes 21 days to break a habit. Congratulations to all of you who can do that! The fact is, every one's brains are different as well as their personalities which are big contributors to their ability to break these patterns of behavior. Some people have a more "addictive" personality by nature than others which make it more likely to form these habits, as well as making it more difficult to break them. Often a person will stop one bad habit, but then substitute it with another equally unhealthy, such as smokers who quit and then turn to food to compensate and gain a lot of weight. Although weight gain can cause all types of illnesses (diabetes, high blood pressure, etc..), it is still a better choice than getting lung or throat cancer from smoking.
           The reality is, habits are easier to make than they are to break. If you repeat a behavior often enough, those synaptic pathways are going to get worn in. The human brain is a very adaptive piece of machinery. Breaking a habit is a lot more complicated, because while parts of those worn-in pathways can weaken without use, they never go away [source: Rae-Dupree]. They can be reactivated with the slightest provocation [source: Delude] ( Most recovering alcoholics will say that they cannot have JUST ONE DRINK without causing a setback. I know many people who have stopped smoking for YEARS and then for whatever reason smoke one cigarette and are right back to being a smoker.
           Being a person who suffered with Bulimia on and off for 20 years, I've learned that a certain amount of sugar is my trigger which in the past caused me to eat everything in the house and then throw it up to undo the damage. At that point my sugar level was completely thrown off, my self-esteem was shot because I had "lost control" of myself, not to mention I gave myself a hernia and stretched out my abdominal muscles and fascia causing me to need abdominal surgery to repair the damage.
           Although it's been about 7 or 8 years since I stopped being "Bulimic" and had surgery to repair the physical damage, I know I have an "addictive personality" and still have tendencies to eat excessively at times, but I try to avoid my "trigger". Becoming vegan (to help save tortured animals) has actually helped save me from myself since most baked goods/ice cream have eggs or dairy in them and my desire to eat them is completely erased when I picture in my head what the animal went through for those eggs or milk. This is a form of replacing one mental process (wanting the food) with a repulsion for it (imaging tortured animals).      
         Exercise can be an addiction for some people due to the "rush" they get from endorphins (produced in the pituitary gland in the hypothalamus). Endorphins are produced during exercise, excitement, pain, consumption of spicy food, love and orgasm, and they produce analgesia and a feeling of well-being. It consists of two parts: endo- and -orphin; these are short forms of the words endogenous and morphine, intended to mean "a morphine-like substance originating from within the body." The term "endorphin rush" has been adopted in popular speech to refer to feelings of exhilaration brought on by pain, danger, or other forms of stress, supposedly due to the influence of endorphins ( 
          An example of this is the "runner's high" that keep "runners" consistent, or "endorphin rush" which has the same affect for "cardio junkies" like myself that will start getting depressed after missing two days of a good cardio workout (spin class, kickboxing, high-intensity aerobics, etc...). Many "exercise addicts" cannot stop working out, which is a good thing, but sometimes can be the result of underlying issues such a depression, since endorphins are the "happy hormones" and give a temporary elevation in one's mood (replacing anti-depressant drugs).
          Drug, alcohol and food addictions are very common and therefore have many therapy programs available to help overcome the problem and learn to form new habits to replace the old ones. Even "sex addicts" have therapy to help them since their habits make it impossible to keep a relationship and often lose their families. While researching some facts on "addictions" I came across what is referred to as "love addiction" and not something widely spoken about.
          With love addiction, romance and sexuality are typically beset with painful emotional highs and lows rather than any sort of lasting intimacy. Essentially, love addicts long for that special someone, the one person that will make them feel complete, and they constantly worry that they’ll never find that individual or that they’ll find that person but then be deemed unworthy. Sadly, most love addicts repeatedly bypass opportunities for the truly intimate connection that they think they want. This is because they are much more strongly attracted to the intense experience of dating, falling in love, fixing their partner and riding the highs and lows of the problem relationship than to peaceful intimacy (

          Fortunately, this same habit-forming process that occurs in the brain also works in a positive way to form "good habits". The term "practice makes perfect" is true to an extent. It might not make you "perfect" but it's the repeated actions over and over which becomes a learned behavior that will lead to improvement in that particular act you're practicing.  It's like learning to ride a bicycle. Your balance might not be as good if you haven't ridden one in 20 years but you won't have to learn all over again how to ride one.
          With the Holiday Season upon us, it is even more important to start focusing on goals, self-improvement, and changing bad habits because this is a time when most people are feeling, emotional, excitable, and more vulnerable to caving in to temptations. Starting new resolutions does not have to wait until January 1st!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Past, Present, and Future...And The People Who Touch Our Lives

I just attended my 30-year high school reunion and saw some people I haven't seen since the 20- year, 10-year and even longer! I found it interesting that the 10-year reunion was more about everyone's accomplishments, their careers, and of course checking out if people still lived up to their Class Polls titles of "Best Looking", "Most Likely To Succeed", "Class Couple", etc.... I saw people that I was very friendly with
in high school and felt no connection to anymore, and some that I was just friendly with back then and was actually so excited to see!
I was one of the small percentage that already had two kids and was more of a "stay-home mom" (still working in the gym, of course!). Needless to say that when everyone went out afterwards, I had to get right home.

          I found the 20-year reunion to be more shocking since many people had physically changed so much since high school and even since the last reunion that I found myself in that awkward position of not only NOT knowing names, but not recognizing faces of people I was actually pretty friendly with in school. There was no Facebook or social networks that everyone was participating in back then, or at least that I was aware of. Aside from friends who remained close, most of us lost touch with each other over the years.

People were talking more about their families, most who had little kids since they had careers first and started having children later on. By then I was divorced, my kids were 8, 12, and 15 and I was ready to out!

          I had just started a new career at that time (after becoming a single mom) as an x-ray technologist part-time while still expanding my fitness career, Cindy Fox Fitness, LLC ( Ironically, one of our classmates who worked in film production approached me about being part of his company's next workout video, so I choreographed and was featured in The Method Cardio Flexband Workout DVD. Just one of those "coincidences" of being in the right place at the right time!
      Although I knew nothing about video production, I decided I would hire a videographer and produce a fitness video I had wanted to make since I had my first baby called "BE INSPIRED! No Excuses!" workout DVD for stay-home moms using a Snugly to workout with the baby. This was before "Mommy and Me" workout videos were popular and my son was too young to bring to the daycare at the gym. I hired one of my clients who just had a baby, choreographed it, filmed it in the gym I worked at, and was even fortunate enough to have Gail Barringer, Production Manager of "Law and Order" stop by that day with her fiance who did lighting on the set, to help with lighting since I was currently training her and they happened to be off that day because they were picking up Tuxedos for their wedding. Just my luck! Since then I have been in several music videos, documentaries, on a few TV Shows and the news, and even got my picture on the front page of the Wall Street Journal! It's strange how a new change in direction opens up so many other doors (
          The 30-year reunion was much more relaxed, laid back and more fun, in my opinion. Now that most of us are on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and use our "Smart Phones" to check emails, we have been able to catch up with old friends and stay in touch to some degree. It also made it much easier to recognize faces and remember names! As years passed and we've all had to struggle with different issues in our lives, including losing friends or loved ones. I believe we have come to a point in which the people in our lives are the most important things and we learn to cherish the moments.
Although my good friend Frankie Ryan Grace couldn't attend, I was fortunate enough to take my daughter Tiffany with me in her place. I really felt glad to see every person that showed up at this reunion.

     I am a firm believer that "everything happens for a reason" and that life is just a bunch of lessons to learn...if we are fortunate enough to learn from them. People come in and out of our lives in different capacities every day whether it's a client or coworker, a child, a lover, or even a person who rang you up at the checkout counter. Many times for me I am deeply touched by some of the patients I x-ray at the hospital.
Some leave their mark on you whether it's by giving a new insight to the way you think (becoming vegan), a job opportunity, falling in love and learning to open your heart, getting your heart broken and putting up the walls, and sometimes it's even physical marks that are more commonly referred to as scars which never go away. The good and bad experiences make us who we are and if we are just insightful enough to pay attention to the "signs of the universe", stop resisting the changes, and open ourselves up to what lies ahead, we might live happier and more fulfilling lives. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

How Does Music Affect You?

     The topic of this blog was completely different before I turned on Spotify and started listening to my "starred" songs saved in a folder. I got so distracted by what each song meant to me that I couldn't concentrate on the original topic (something health/fitness related). Being an impulsive person with an attention deficit who tries to pay attention to the "signs the universe sends", I felt I should just go with what was moving me at the moment...MUSIC!
     How many times have you heard a song on the radio and can remember exactly where you were or what you were doing (and with whom) the first time you heard it? It's more than just a memory, it's a physiological reaction. Part of the reason that music tends to be so meaningful to us is that it's deeply intertwined with memory. Because the brain is so completely engaged in listening to music, it's one of the parts of a situation that is remembered most clearly later on. Songs and pieces of music can serve as powerful triggers for memories - hence the cliche about couples and "their song." (

     So what causes such an intense reaction? Not all songs have lyrics, such as "Taps" a musical piece sounded at dusk, and at funerals, particularly by the U.S. military. It is sounded during flag ceremonies and funerals, generally on bugle or trumpethappy" music stimulates the reward centers of the brain, causing the production of the chemical dopamine. That's the same chemical produced from eating great food, having sex, and taking drugs. That's why songs that were played the first time you fell in love will always bring back intense emotions (anything by Lionel Richie if you're over 45 years old!), more so than other songs of that era.
but the ones that do draw upon the language centers of the brain. Brain imaging studies have shown that "

      Researchers at Brigham Young University found evidence that infants as young as five months are able to discern when a happy song is playing, and by nine months they've added comprehension of sad music to their repertoire. (
     About 50 percent of people get chills when listening to music. Research shows that’s because music stimulates an ancient reward pathway in the brain, encouraging dopamine to flood the striatum—a part of the forebrain activated by addiction, reward, and motivation. Music, it seems, may affect our brains the same way that sex, gambling, and potato chips do.  (
     So how does music affect you? Does playing musical instruments trigger something inside of you?
I've learned how to play a guitar several years ago and can honestly say I don't get chills or any emotional feeling from it other than a sense of accomplishment to learn something new. Certain songs, however, can completely change my thoughts and mood within seconds! Comment below with 3 songs that trigger emotions for you and tell me what it reminds you of!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Foods That Help Curb Your Appetite

Many of us are looking for that "miracle pill" that will make us eat less and get thin quick. Of course that does exist illegally or with a prescription. Even if you did have that "get skinny quick" pill, eventually you'd either damage your organs and lose your muscle mass (appearing less toned), or you'd stop taking it and gain back all the fat that you lost...and then some! Unless you're blessed with great genetics, obtaining a well-toned, fit body requires dedication, and maintaining it requires consistency and hard work.
     Certain foods will help curb your appetite, while others will cause sugar cravings which may lead to a higher caloric intake at the end of the day. Foods that are high in fiber and water such as fruits,  vegetables (spinach, collards, mustard greens, kale, or chard) add bulk to your meals and fill your stomach. 
Foods containing water, air, or fiber (salad/vegetables) contain less calories than other foods causing the stomach to stretch and empty slower. Researcher Barbara Rolls, PhD, and her colleagues at Pennsylvania State University have done extensive research on the "volumetric" theory of eating more low-calorie, high-volume foods (webMD).
      Eating either rolled oats or steel-cut oats for breakfast (not quick oats) is a great way to suppress your appetite until lunchtime. Oatmeal is low on the glycemic index, (a number associated with a particular type of food that indicates the food's effect on a person's blood glucose or blood sugar level) meaning it doesn't cause a hunger-inducing blood sugar spike. Eating a serving size of oatmeal topped with almond milk and an apple (apples are a good appetite suppressant according to  a is a good way to suppress your appetite (without added sugar).
     Lean proteins (almonds, soy milk, peanut butter, tofu, beans/lentils, whole wheat toast) in the morning will also help curb you appetite throughout the day. When it comes to protein, don't go totally fat-free. Eating healthy fats like olive oil, peanut butter and avocados will keep you full longer than eating fat-free meals because they contain oleic acid which send signals to the brain to curb your appetite. Snacking on a serving of nuts, especially almonds will make you feel less hungry since they contain a filling combination of protein, fiber, and unsaturated fat. 
Having a large salad can give the feeling of being full because it takes time to eat and has a larger volume as opposed to a piece of cake that can be eaten in a few minutes and would probably leave you wanting more (and more..and more...). Even having a small salad or vegetable broth before meals will make you less likely to over eat because you wont feel as hungry when the meal comes. Adding raw flax seeds to your salad, oatmeal, smoothies, etc..will suppress your hunger since they are high in fiber, which keeps your blood sugar from rising too quickly.
Try adding spices such as Cayenne peeper, wasabi, or hot sauce to your foods to awaken your senses giving you the message that you've been eating and have had enough. Of course your first instinct will be to grab a glass of water...good! Although the water probably won't make your tongue feel less on fire, drinking a lot of water is good for your body and helps fill you up between meals.   
     Try adding lemon, lime or cucumber slices to water to flavor it, as well as drinking green tea and other herbal teas to increase your water intake and suppress your appetite. Coffee has been known to curb the appetite due to the caffeine although your hunger may come back full force once the effect has worn off. Sugary food and beverages, including alcoholic beverages should be avoided as they will increase your appetite. Red wine, however has been shown to decrease the appetite by causing a filling affect but limit it to one or two glasses as it does have some sugar and calories.
     These are just some of the small changes you can make it your eating habits that can make a lasting effect on your health without going on a "diet"...again!


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Control Your Thoughts and Appreciate Life Everyday

     There is no human being that does not get negative thoughts from time to time regardless of how spiritual or motivated he or she is, and if you do exist, please comment here with your secret! Some people are more capable of controlling their own mind and their thinking than others and that is just due to awareness. There is a whole industry filled with books, videos, and audio tapes dedicated to teaching "Mind Control" and "How to Think Positively", not to mention conferences held by those same people who produced those materials.
     Anthony Robbins is one of the top Motivational Gurus of our time traveling the world to give seminars to millions of people trying to help them redefine themselves, their lives, and their view of the world around them. You can't always change the people and surroundings you're in but you can change the way you think about them. Anthony Robbins is just one of the many Motivational Speakers who teach step-by-step ways to overcome fears, become more confident, strive for and obtain higher goals, and many other helpful "Mind Control" tips.
     About 10 years ago while I was reading one of Napoleon Hills books, someone bought me a book called "Awaken The Giant Within" by Anthony Robbins which I think is an awesome book! At that time of my life I had overcome so many terrible situations and felt that one of the only things that still had control over me was my irrational fear of snakes. I wasn't even afraid of getting bitten by one but I just couldn't even look at one in a book or on TV without having nightmares about them. After reading the book I felt it was time to TRY to conquer that fear at least a little bit. I started by going into Petco and with the assistance and understanding of the sales girl, I was able to "choose" which snake I would attempt to hold (of course one that barely moved!). Although I was just short of a panic attack and probably stopped breathing for those 30 seconds, I did let her put the snake into the palm of my hand....well, maybe it was only 5 or 6 seconds, but I did it!!! Unfortunately I am still just as afraid of them in an "uncontrolled" environment, such as in the woods where they can just appear at any time, but I can at least look at them without having nightmares. The photo of me in Times Square as the Naked Cowgirl was when someone walked up to me unexpectedly with a snake because someone told him I was afraid of them and that he should let me hold it (which I only touched it). Notice my smile was totally fake!
     I am currently listening to audio CD's called "Power Thoughts - 12 Strategies to Win The Battle of The Mind" by Bible teacher Joyce Meyer. One of her favorite phrases is "where the mind goes, the man will follow" which is why it is so important to recognize our negative thoughts at the moment they are occurring and turn them around into positive thoughts. After reading Joel Osteen's book "Become A Better You", I started watching him preach on TV occasionally for some spiritual reinforcement and a reminder of how fortunate I am for everything and everyone in my life and especially the good health of myself and my family.
     I am also a firm believer of the "Law of Attraction" as explained in the the metaphysical book "The Secret". I know some religious people feel that science and religion are conflicting when it comes to God and a higher power but I believe it is all related and everyone is entitled to their own opinions and beliefs. For any of you intrigued by the metaphysical world, rent the video "What The Bleep Do We Know?" available on Netflix or from a local library.
I had to watch it several times to even start to follow this mystery of life and the universe as explained in this video...very interesting!
     I admit to having mood swings that sometimes bring me down, and although it seems like there's no "light at the end of the tunnel" sometimes, it is my faith in God and all of the positive reinforcements I've brainwashed myself with that gets me through those rough times. Some of my other favorite books are "The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire" and "The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success" by Deepak Chopra, MD,  and "Manifest Your Destiny" by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer. Please comment and let me know what your favorite uplifting or motivating book is.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Challenge Your Trainer...It's YOUR Turn to Motivate!

     I've been a "Group Exercise Instructor" for 30 years putting people on exercise programs before it was even required to be a "Certified Personal Trainer". My first experience with weight training was in a garage at 16 years old with a boyfriend who was using free-weights filled with sand! Being a gymnast and a cheerleader I was already stronger than all of the girls and many of the boys my age, so weight training was a new challenge. Six months later an upscale health club opened in my town called "Club Meadowlands" and I started working there at only 17 years old even though the members had to be 19 to join. That was the start of me overcoming my shyness as well as a lifelong Fitness Career.
     After high school graduation I gained a lot of weight from not being as active so I decided to enter a bodybuilding competition as a goal to get myself back on track.
 Three years later I became pregnant with my first child, which  gave me a new obsession and something to focus on, so I had my first child on my 23rd birthday and a few weeks later I was thinner than I had been in years! It was after my 2nd child that being a "Certified Fitness Instructor" was required so I went from obtaining Primary Aerobics Certification to Step Aerobics, both with AAAI/ISMA, which is the organization the gym brought in to certify all of their instructors.
     I eventually obtained a Kick Box Certification, Spinning, and "Mat Pilates" which is like reading the epilogue to the real "Pilates" certification. My next personal challenge at 29 years old was entering the NJ Championship Fitness Competition, which at that time actually required doing an "Ass-kicking" Routine aside from just looking great and know how to pose.

Considering I had never even gone to watch one, I did ok (3rd from right with orange bikini). Two months later I was pregnant with my thirst child so that was the end of that!
     During this pregnancy I decided that instead of taking another intensive workout certification, I should finally take the Personal Trainer Certification Exam, which I passed because I was a Physical Education Major at Montclair State University and also had the experience of training myself and others for 13 years at that point.
   My next life's challenge was becoming a "single mom" to three young children, trying to support them, go back to school, keep my sanity, and NOT get fat and start "binging" due to stress. I switched to Bergen Community College to become an x-ray tech, bought a condo, and got hired (as a pay-for-hire) to choreograph and be featured in a workout DVD called "The Method Cardio Flexband Workout" produced by Inspired, Corp. which was so exciting and such great experience! When the DVD finally was release and I saw they put a skinny model on the cover I was devastated! I was ready to throw in the towel!
     That's when I decided to produce my own Workout Video and do what I wanted with it. I always remembered how I felt after not being able to workout right away after having my first child because I didn't have a sitter during the day. This was BEFORE all of the "Mommy and Me" workout videos were popular.
     My next certification was the "Urban Rebounder" on the mini-trampoline. I loved Body Attack by Les Mills but stressed out over memorizing routines constantly. The most challenge certification of all was when I went to California for a 5-day intensive Level  Suhaila Salimpour Belly Dance Techniques Certification.
. She is not just your average "shake your ass around" kind of Belly Dancer. Her style is so musculature based that every move she makes is a conscious effort of control each freaking hard but I love it!
     My next challenge was at 39 when I decided to enter the Liberty State Park 1/2 Marathon Race even though I had never entered a race before.
I finished the race in a time that was acceptable to me, and although I pulled a ligament and limped for several months, I felt great to have done it. Although I have entered two Mud Run type races, I will not enter any long distance races since I can feel my injury recurring.
     The last 8 years I have spent a lot of time, money, heart & soul into a venture completely unrelated to anything I knew in my whole life growing up. Stepping into the role of "The Naked Cowgirl of Times Square" was a huge challenge!

Not only did I have to learn to play a guitar,
figure out a way to stay in "bikini shape" all year around (despite my eating disorders), sing in pubic which I NEVER would do, but now also juggle one more career in my life. I have become known worldwide, have a song on iTunes (Ride It Like A Cowgirl)
, have been on major TV Networks, photographed by people from all over the world, and on the Front Page of The Wall Street Journal!  What more can a girl ask for?
     So here I am 47 years old with my last child graduating high school and the first one overseas in his 3rd year of the United States Air Force. Thank God my daughter is still home or I'd have serious "Empty Nest" syndrome! Yes, I think I'm having a "midlife crisis" and am ready for the next "challenge" in my life...and I don't mean the bad kind.
     I'm sure all Trainers, Teachers, Gurus, Motivational Speakers, etc...go through this at one time or another in which they wonder "what is next?".  I know I motivate and inspire people who come take my classes and that I train, and even my friends, co-workers, and acquaintances from Times Square, but sometimes I wonder "How will I Stay motivated to continue inspiring them"?
     This is where all of you come in. I am looking for suggestions from all of YOU who have had the great opportunity of having a trainer, signing up for every NEW Fad that comes along, and constantly being stimulated and challenged by taking new classes to keep your workout fresh and interesting. My new goal is to put myself in YOUR shoes and try the new trend, take new classes, and feel sore as hell every week whether it's from a Crossfit Class, a Les Mills Body Combat, VIP Fitness Bootcamp, etc...I WANT YOUR FEEDBACK!  I expect everyone reading this to not only reply with your suggestions for me, tell me your favorite new workout, but to also subscribe to my blog and "SHARE" it!
Cindy Fox Fitness - BE INSPIRED!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Make Time For Old Friends...And For Making New Ones

If you're lucky, you may have a few "good" friends that you've known for years and no matter how much time passes, it seems like you're picking up right where you left off.
After many years pass and so many changes occur in everyone's lives, getting together makes you really appreciate this friendship that has survived. I am fortunate enough to have kept some"true" friends from my past and have also grown close to some new ones over the years. With all of the classes I have taught, the many gyms I've worked at, and variety of other jobs and activities I've participated in, I am surrounded by many great people I call "Friends".

     My 10-year reunion opened my eyes to see that some people I spent time with in high school were just people to pass the time with while others had a greater impact on me when I saw them whether we stayed in touch or not.
Ten years after high school most people were trying to impress with their accomplishments and careers, while I was (in the minority) showing photos of my children. Although I trained clients, taught Aerobic classes, and I went to school part-time, I was more of a "stay-home mom" at that time.

The 20-year reunion was very different and had less people attend. I felt that most people were truly happy to see each other and weren't trying to "impress with their success". Now "they" were showing photos of their young children and I was already divorced.
My children were 8, 12, and 15 so I was ready to go out afterwards with other friends who either still single, divorced, or had babysitters. Most of my struggling was over and things were staring to get much easier for me.
     My closest friends couldn't attend so we planned our own reunion in South Beach, Florida. Two lived in Florida, one in Arizona, and two of us in New Jersey. It was amazing to see them after 10 or 20 years and still connect immediately!

Most of those four days were spent talking on the beach or while drinking sangria at the condo. We made an agreement that we'd try to get together at least once a year and the next year we did just that, and this time was with our families. My girlfriend Frankie and her husband Joe were gracious enough to let us all come to their beautiful home in Cape May, NJ. It was four of us ladies, two husbands, 3 teens, an 11-yr. old, and four more that still cry a few times a day...definitely eventful!
I occasionally get together with some of my high school friends since I am living back in the town I grew up in.
It's nice to see that my kids are friends with children of people I went to school with, and I've also become friends with some of my kid's parents that I didn't know from school. I love my hometown of Secaucus, NJ...great people here!
After many years pass and so many changes occur in everyone's lives, getting together makes you really appreciate this friendship that has survived. I am fortunate enough to have kept some"true" friends from my past and have also grown close to some new ones over the years. With all of the classes I have taught, the many gyms I've worked at, and variety of other jobs and activities I've participated in, I am surrounded by many great people I call "Friends".
Since working at Hackensack University Medical Center I have met so many good friends that are not from my town. Just like children in school who spend 7 or 8 hours with the kids in school, we as adults form bonds with the people at our jobs that we spend a lot of time with. It is what makes going to work every day something to look forward to...or at least more enjoyable.
Of course being the "Naked Cowgirl" of Times Square has brought a whole new world of people into my life, some just passing by and others who have become meaningful in my life and made life very exciting at times.

Then there are the people in our lives that we spend the most time with when not at work or school, such as family and significant others. They are the ones we complain to about our jobs and school, and the ones we talk to when we are concerned with or upset with our friends. 
Let's be grateful for the important people (and pets) in our lives both near and far and make time for them while we can :)