Monday, November 22, 2010

At a Loss for Words

It seems like forever since I've dropped a blog on y'all. I guess it's because I'm at a loss for words these days. Can you believe it? Cara ... speechless? It happens. So why is my mouth open and nothing coming out? Maybe because I can't believe some of the opportunities coming my way. I now have more chances to team teach with yet another Get Ripped instructor besides the creator, Jari Love. So cool! And it's getting better and better every time.

I guess I shouldn't really be totally surprised because I actually created this opportunity. In fact, I created it by talking ... which is why being at a loss for words is kind of ironic. It was as simple as sharing my dream/passion with the right person ... at the right time. I wasn't always conscious of what I was doing and how it would turn out but it's all coming together. Let me explain.

Rewind a few years ago. I interviewed Jari Love for a story I was doing at work about sticking to your new year's resolutions. At that time I mentioned to her I had an interest in dipping into the fitness industry but I didn't really know what I wanted to do. That's when I first found out about the Get Ripped certification course. Unfortunately, I wasn't available to take it then. Fast forward to this past August. I was ready for the course! I contacted Jari for more information and talk about good timing ... I got the opportunity to be in two of her workout DVDs ... plus I'm currently getting certified to teach Ripped ... plus I'm getting lots of opportunities to teach parts of her classes. All of this because I shared my dream/passion with her.

Then there was last week when I had my first article in the Calgary Herald's Real Life section. It was about Brandi Miskow, a very inspirational woman who didn't let brain surgery stop her from pursuing her own fitness dreams. Since I started competing and taking control of my health I've met so many people, like Brandi, who have inspired me along the way. I wanted to share those stories. And I just happened to tell a former Calgary Herald reporter about this and she suggested I pitch the idea to the Real Life editor. Well, the editor liked the idea and the rest is history. Stay tuned for more stories of people who have made an impact through living and promoting healthy lifestyles ... body, mind, and spirit.

So where will this take me? I don't know yet. But you can bet I'll be talking a lot more to help make my dreams come true!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Butterflies in my stomach!

It was sort of like a first date with that someone special. Every time I thought about it, I got butterflies in my stomach. Today I had my "first date" with teaching a Get RIPPED class! Some of you may know that I am in the process of getting certified to teach these classes. But I never thought I'd be in front of a room full of people taking them through a leg workout so soon! Jari Love herself ... the creator of the Get RIPPED workouts ... was the one who basically said let's get you teaching sooner, rather than later! So we had a very short practice on Tuesday and she invited me to teach a portion of the class Thursday. Of course I'm not going to say no. If she offered this opportunity, she must think I can do it. I can't tell you how much it meant to me to have Jari take me under her wing, so to speak, and encourage me to just go for it. She believes in my abilities and knows I'm passionate about spreading the gospel of fitness and a healthy lifestyle. Talk about a major confidence boost for me! So Thursday came and so did the butterflies.The butterflies were accompanied by internal smiles and feelings of excitement. Yes, I was totally nervous ... nervous because I wanted to do a great job. Yes, I was extremely excited ... excited because I knew I would rock it! Despite being very nervous, I knew deep down inside I was going to do well. And Jari was right beside me just in case I needed her help. A couple times I forgot what count I was on, but she got me back on track. I forgot to switch feet on another exercise, but I realized half way through and was able to joke about it and continue on. I felt natural up there doing my thing. And with more practice I know I'll develop my OWN style. The best part of the whole thing (besides wearing the Janet Jackson microphone!) I was smiling most of the way through. I was having FUN! And I really hope the rest of the class was too. Big THANKS to the people who came up to me after the class to say I did a good job. And the BIGGEST thanks goes to Jari for believing in me ... and inviting me back on another "date" in her Get RIPPED classes this weekend! Looks like Cara the caterpillar is slowly, but surely evolving into a beautiful butterfly.

Monday, November 8, 2010


I kind of feel like I let myself go this past weekend. I feel like I lost focus. Blurry. But it was so worth it. And like typical Cara, I'm sure I'm being too hard on myself. Let me explain. The plan was to get right back on track after filming the Get RIPPED workout videos. After all, Superwoman has some super fitness goals to fulfill. Superwoman thinks long breaks are for wimps! Like my trainer says ... there's no such thing as an off-season. I took last Monday off of my clean eating plan and ate whatever I wanted. Tuesday I cooked and prepped my meals as I had been doing for months before. I planned where/when I'd be training that week. I was ready to go. So why was I "cheating" ... snacking ... eating more than usual? I have goals damn it! That's what always keeps me motivated ... right?

Fast forward to the weekend: dinner out with dessert on Friday night, big brunch on Saturday morning, red wine on Saturday night. And I loved every minute of it! (By the way, even though I had a few indulgences ... I still worked out!) Yes there was (is) guilt but the indulging came with connections. I was connecting with friends I hadn't seen in a long time. We were talking, laughing, sharing the ups and downs of our lives from the past several months. It's something that, unfortunately, I CHOSE to put on the back burner as I trained for the workout videos. (Notice I used the word CHOSE.) So that makes me question my priorities ... my choices ... my sacrifices. Extreme healthy lifestyle VS. Socializing with friends, food, and drink. Can I do it all or do I have to choose one or the other? It seems like a constant struggle for balance. But I'm determined to figure out what works for me so that I CAN do it all. My relationships are too precious to me. My healthy lifestyle makes me feel awesome. Reaching my fitness goals brings me joy ... pure joy. So I'm just going to make it work. My connections/relationships are just too good to put on hold. So it's time to look at my goals ... make some adjustments ... and get focused ... again.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I admit I'm a gym snob

When I workout out, especially after a stressful day, I need to get IN THE ZONE. So I need to be sweating it out in a gym that gets me going. But not all gyms are created equally. I admit, I'm a gym snob. And by gym snob I mean, I'm very particular about where I workout. That's probably why I have 4 memberships ... two full and two partial. But I have an explanation for every one of them.

One of my full memberships is for Good Life. The location I was going to just didn't do it for me. Maybe it wasn't hardcore enough for me. I think it was the incline benches that weren't adjustable that put me off. That's so annoying. I moved and started going to another location which was women's only. Yeah well here's where another confession comes in: I like to see MEN (aka eye candy) in the gym. It helps to motivate me ... for obvious reasons. Do I really need to explain this one? Hahaha! Not only was it just for chicks ... it was in a Superstore above the cooked food section and I could smell the grease while I trained. I'm not dissing Good Life ... it's just that the locations I went to didn't get me all fired up.

So that brings me to my second full membership. I decided to go back to one of my favorite Calgary gyms, World Health Club. I love working out there! They have great equipment, lots of locations, newly renovated change rooms, and there were a lot of people there who trained hard. So I bought another membership and started working out at the Edgemont location. I didn't care that I was paying for two memberships and only going to one gym. Then I moved again and I'm lucky enough to live walking distance to a World Health Club. It was meant to be!

I know what you're thinking. "So if this was a match made in heaven, why the other two partial memberships?" I also train at the Athlete Factory on Blackfoot Trail because that's where my trainer kicks my butt. It's an awesome gym and is true to its name. It pumps out athletes. I highly recommend you check it out ( I also got a partial membership at Fitness Plus where they teach Get RIPPED classes. I'm in the process of getting certified to teach the Get RIPPED classes so it's a good way to practice.

So having all these memberships is keeping me interested because I get bored easily. And they're keeping my body guessing because I need new physical challenges to reach my fitness goals. It's all good ... and it's fun!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Why am I doing this?

In the throes of the Hour of Honour I often ask myself "Why am I doing this? Why am I sprinting until I can barely breathe, squatting until my quads feel like they're on fire, doing burpees until I want to puke, cleaning and pressing until my whole body shakes. Why?! WHY??!!" I'll tell you why. As many of you know I was fortunate enough to be chosen to be in a couple of Get RIPPED workout videos with Jari Love ( We just filmed this weekend and it was an awesome, amazing experience. It took a lot of preparation for me to not only keep up with the other Get RIPPED crew members, but to look fit and lean like them as well. That's where the strict dieting and hard training from the Hour of Honour came in. Then there were the other sacrifices like not going out for dinner and drinks, spending Sundays cooking for the week, passing on all the treats brought into the office at work ... I could go on. Many would say that I'm not "living" or I'm not having fun. I'd say it's quite the opposite. Even though the 2-hour Get RIPPED practices would end an hour before my bedtime and I would still have to drive home and eat ... I loved every minute of it. Even though at Hour of Honour I'd have to dig in because I already did an hour of cardio earlier that day ... I wouldn't have changed a thing. It all contributed to some great results. My weight went down ... my body fat went down ... I was looking lean and mean for Get RIPPED filming day! My trainer even said "Good job" and gave me a high five after doing my BF% test and compliments don't come easy from him. But what was most important, I had the energy and stamina to keep my energy levels UP for the entire day of filming ... with a smile on my face! I loved being a part of the Get RIPPED crew this year and being on set seemed like such a natural fit for me. Driving home after the long day, i was overcome with emotion ... fighting tears of joy. So when I go to Hour of Honour today and start to ask myself "Why?!" ... all I have to do is think about the joy I felt accomplishing a goal and getting an opportunity I'll never forget.