June 16, 2014
I wrote my first book in 3rd grade.
I distinctly remember taking colorful paper from my father’s printer, cutting it in half, folding then stapling it together. I wrote and illustrated twelve pages and sold them for .75 to my classmates. While I sold a few I didn’t get officially published until I reached 6th grade for a poem I wrote about an injured dove and again in 8th grade for another poem about social change. I spent several summers writing juvenile unpublished short stories that included a preface, foreward and even a back cover.
During these early years I also became fascinated by fitness. My mother was sickly and I knew that preventative health – and not her overuse of prescriptions – was the answer to her ailments. I began a small morning workout routine that included 100 jumping jacks and 30 lying leg lifts the summer of my fifth grade year. In high school I volunteered as an aerobics instructor and in college I became a personal trainer. I became immersed in various parts of the fitness industry as a competitor, health writer and project/marketing coordinator for a large gym corporation. However, despite my efforts to be healthy, I battled and overcame personal demons when I dealt with disordered eating, binge episodes and depression.
Nearly three decades after I wrote my original infantile book and fifteen years after I first entered the fitness industry, I will be releasing my first book with a large publishing house. These past few months have been inundated with working, caretaking, cooking, housekeeping – but most of all – writing, whenever I have a quiet moment, nearly every single day. If I didn’t want to write, I still wrote. If I was void of inspiration, I still typed. If I lacked time, I still completed one sentence. The importance of consistency rings true in relationships, business, fitness and even writing.
A few weeks ago I was a guest speaker at a 2nd grade classroom. At their young impressionable age, I told them that my journey to becoming a published writer was around their age. The kids were shocked, after all, they were just learning how to put sentences together. I told them to start dreaming of what they want to become, start learning and applying their talents, but most of all, start practicing patience – for success will happen when preparation meets opportunity.
If you want to become great at something, you have to practice your passion consistently throughout your life. Becoming an expert in your field requires a minimum of ten years, a period what many thinkers call, an incubation phase. According to this thought, wisdom and creativity is only gained through experiencing your field’s patterns, rules and discipline coupled with an incredible amount of time passed.
After twenty years of reading dozens of diet and exercise books, working in the fitness business, competing as a bikini and beauty pageant contestant, overcoming an eating disorder and getting in great shape after three sons, I am blessed with the opportunity to utilize my knowledge and experiences and write a formula I observed works best when achieving both a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
It is often humorously said that it takes someone ten years to become an overnight success. I never knew that quote until it happened to me on a Tuesday afternoon when Good Morning America called to film a segment about my viral No Excuse fitness photo. While it appeared to millions like I came out of nowhere, the truth was, I’ve always been here…designing fitness programs for my nonprofit, writing articles for fitness magazines and operating my free No Excuse Mom workout group.
If you want to succeed at any endeavor be prepared to do the work. While instant results provide immediate satisfaction, it can’t replace time spent mastering and learning your craft.
Wisdom is achieved through consistent reflection.
Reflection is practiced through life experience.
Life experience is gained by trial and error.
Trial and error is realized through taking risks –
…but you can’t take risks without taking action.
Take action…. Remember that Desire will spark it, Passion will push it, but only Purpose will define it.
My days have been really busy. From 6am to midnight I am working! Weekdays are filled
with school, work and practices, while weekends are jam-packed with soccer games,
church, bday parties, events, not to mention cooking, cleaning and midnight laundry sessions.
It’s not slowing down either! My stepchildren are in town, we have a family reunion in Hawaii,
I’m attending the San Jose Fit Expo and flying to New York – all before the end of July!!!
Our regional leader, Jennifer, in Tewksbury, MA rocking our NEM t-shirts!
Find your local No Excuse Mom group HERE.