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Saturday, 6 July 2013

Sign off time!

A shorty today, guys. It's weekend...not just for you, for me as well. No piece of me today, so go have some fun in the real world! Just a huge thanks today to my 44,800 readers all around the world. You can do better than that, guys! I have no clue who you all are, but I love reading your emails....especially when you don't hide behind nicknames or false identities. Out in the open, guys; no need for lies! Like that guy who says he lives in Ireland when he is actually...still in Sunnyvale US. I told you I am a computer geek! Please drop it; I wouldn't have coffee with you Europe somewhere, but thanks anyway! You're cool as a cucumber, but it's just not for me!

Anyway, keep emailing me, guys, (not you, Sunnyvale!) if you feel like it, and I will make sure you all get your replies. I said it clearly so many times that advices are free. I will try to help you all with your training, comps, sports conditioning...but I cannot do you more than that. I am not a psychologist or a relationship adviser. I suck in that area myself!

Thanks to New Zealand, UK, US (lots of love Chicago readers!), Ireland, Australia, Canada, France, Italy, Spain, Hong Kong, Slovenia, Romania, Russia (still lots of you there reading my blogs!), Denmark, Switzerland , Bulgaria, South Korea, Germany, Indonesia, Brazil (thanks, Rita, for bringing all your buddies live!), Netherlands, South Africa (hi, guys, I have many friends there!), Bangladesh, Namibia (I am planning a holiday there, so hope to see you soon, who ever you are!), Nigeria (where have you been hiding, guys?) and Japan for reading my blogs last week. And thanks again for your emails. A pleasure discovering who you are! And I'd just end with a sentence from my fav blog, one  that I read myself every morning, one written by Miriam, a blondie as well "I don't know if we could all become ascetic and go sit under a tree like Buddha did and make our problems go away, and achieve nirvana, finally conquering ourselves , but I am sure there is a way, one which fits with our lifestyle". Go find your ways, guys! Have a great weekend you all! Make it sound remarkable! See you around right after! :)

Friday, 5 July 2013

The universe working for me

Yesterday I needed a song for a routine. Not for me, no…for a client I am working for at the moment. I knew that it had to be smooth, (the song, not the guy, but nice try!)  and I kind of felt that it had to be a lady’s voice. So, I got stuck... It’s not for the first time though. I haven’t slept a night before thinking about all sorts of songs. I have a deadline, people, so I have to make it happen. By midday, I realized that I needed help. So I asked all my buddies on Facebook, and there are so many there!, to come up with ideas. I even offered a free session for the one who gets it right. Most of my guys posted songs on my wall, but none of them was what I wanted. So in the evening I started freaking out…for the first time I wouldn’t be able to do my job well. And you know what that means? No pay cheque, of course. But then, I had an idea…a brilliant one by the way, one of those ones that can change around a blondie’s day! What if I take the first word of every song my friends on Facebook posted and I mix the words until I may remember a song myself. And I did. I had my song, the guy got his routine, I got paid. Win-win situation! How weird the universe works sometimes; most of the times really! 

Two years ago, I got so booked that I haven’t been able to fit in not even a casual half hour client...nor my lunch break actually. I rushed on adrenaline for months and I had people on my waiting list that I couldn't  book six months in advance. So I started shutting down the world...until and decided that I had to be honest and tell my potential clients that there was no way I would be in the situation to train them. I even came up with a name of another trainer I could recommend. But then, one of my dear clients, a lady I appreciate a lot, asked me to take over Audrey. When she explained in details what I had to do for Audrey, I knew that I would never be able to resist the challenge. I love challenges, so bring them all on! So I found myself an hour off (in the middle of the night for sure, because the days have only that many  hours!) and I redone all my bookings, one by one. Next morning, I phoned every client  (of course I woke them all up!) and asked to agree with my rescheduled diary. They all did. After mixing everything around, very similar to my song search story, I got an hour a week for Audrey. I never told her how hard it was for me to offer her that slot. Anyway, I started training her and, from the first session, I knew she is gonna make it. Strong lady Audrey! I tortured her really for two years, every session harder and harder! No regrets though, because my girlie lost 60kgs…so far. She looks like a gazelle now, lean and beautiful and extremely funny. You don’t even imagine how proud I am of her; she’s my champ: best kiddies' teacher this area has ever had, best client to work with. She never said no to any of my workouts, no matter how hard it was for her, never missed an appointment, and never came late to any of them. She was that kind of client who understood that I was in charge, the whole stuff was on my shoulders and all she had to do is... listen and follow. And she did. Now to be perfectly honest, this lady should be every woman's inspiration and role model.  She surely is mine! I helped her out with her weight loss goal, she taught me the world really, because I learnt a lot from my dear Audrey. Win-win situation again! Audrey, sweets, this is for you! :)

Thursday, 4 July 2013

I'm the wild card

I am not adventurous…in a normal way. If I were, I wouldn’t match the image. I don’t jump from airplanes, don’t like heights and I wouldn’t go out fishing or hunting. The truth is that I have my own adventures. At the time when girls got dolls, my dad bought me a rifle. I was 10…and that’s a secret I’m telling you, guys. I got so good at shooting that I had no contenders. Now, a gun wouldn’t match my profile, would it? So if we are ever out to one of those silly shows, please don’t try to get the Teddy bear for the blondie. I can win it for myself!

Dean was my first bodybuilder client. If I look back, I think that he hired me, without meeting me before, as a favour for one of his friends. It has to be right, because I remember the face he made when he saw me for the first time. It's also true that, on that particular day, I turned up wearing pink boots and a pink headband….and yes,  I almost forgot, a pink mini dress. He looked at me and he probably thought that I was a lost cause. Three months later, he got the title. All his buddies he recommended me to won as well…just because I would hate loosing. Andy is one of them. He stills hires me…from the States. So we train on Skype, midnight here, midday there. He’ll win as well because he knows that I am the wild card!

To be perfectly honest, only one of those big guys  lost somehow and I believe that it wasn’t professional to bring him to the second place...because I done it on purpose. Here is the story. Mark and John were both into bodybuilding…both my clients…both in love with Dana, another client of mine. They knew each other for years and they were best friends. So I trained the guys individually and I made sure they got the best advice. I didn’t know which one would come first because they both competed for Dana rather than the title, but I knew which I wanted to win...Dana. That day, Dana was watching them; Mark went smoother, John lost it completely in the middle of his routine. But that was exactly  what I was counted on, because I knew that his innocent look would win the judges. And it did! John was exactly like me...he didn't match his image and, in most cases, that's a winning point!  John won the title, Mark won Dana….and they are not so good friends anymore, but that’s fine. They both got what they wanted. I'm still their friend  and I now see that I made the right choice. John is still competing, still winning. Mark and Dana have 3 kids together and they seem happy. :)

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Stop before is too late

I don’t lie. I made a promise once to always say the truth…no matter what. I kept my promise so far, but I know that my decision may have hurt some people. I sometimes wonder if a little lie wouldn’t have been beneficial. A promise is a promise though. But I don’t live someone else’s life. That’s another promise I made, this time to myself. Thanks, Steve Jobs! 

Eight years ago I was asked by one of my girlie friends to check up on her daughter. Actually she wanted me to watch her daughter playing tennis and tell her my honest opinion. My friend was willing, at that time, to sell everything she owned and move to another country where her daughter would have had better opportunities to make it to the top in tennis. I tried and tried and tried again to avoid assessing the girlie’s game, but my friend was very pushy. I knew her for so many years and she was always pushy…in a good way, of course. She was a tennis player herself, one of those who couldn't make it further. So she dreamed that her daughter would reach what she, the mother, couldn’t. 

So, here I was, one of the many spectators watching kids playing the sport. The girlie was 11, very pretty, very lean. She caught everybody’s eyes. Mine as well….but that was all. So, after the game I was trying again to make my statement sound not too harsh. I even wore my stupid smile that day! In the end, I went for the truth. So I said “She may be in the top 200 one day, but I personally doubt that she will make it to number one. She knows all the tricks, but there is no natural talent, no fast reaction and definitely no mojo for the game. I don’t believe that this is her dream, I mostly believe that is yours”.

I haven’t heard back from my friend for more than two years, but I knew that she moved to that country where her daughter was accepted to a high-level tennis academy. Then she emailed me and asked for my advice…again. She said that her daughter’s game didn’t go so well and the couches (now she had more than one!) were not happy with the girl’s evolution. I was just about to catch a plain and have a holiday in my friend’s new country so I thought to myself why not? So here I was again watching the girl playing tennis. Now she was 13, even more beautiful than I remembered her, stunning really. Same laziness for the game though. On top of that, being older now, she knew that she was watched by all sorts of boys. So once again, I put on a stupid smile (that may have appeared sarcastic, but I swear it was not!) and delivered the bad news to my friend. This time I was even harsher and I said that her daughter’s career would stop in the second she gets in love….because then she would discover her real passion. And once again I haven’t heard back from her for three more years. By then, my friend spent a bucket of dollars on training and coaching. Then she emailed again; this time to let me know that her daughter got in love with a swimmer and stopped playing. She told her mom that she never liked the game, never been in the zone, never wanted to do it for a career. She’s just done it for her mom. 

Now, it’s not that I am always right as much as I would like to believe that. It is about the game really and I’ve done it for too long so I have an eye for it. So I was fair and told the truth…because I made a promise long time ago. But on top of everything I knew that no kid has to live the parents’ dreams. It is just not fair! Bottomline? What I’ve actually seen in that little girl wasn’t just her game, nor her hesitation in playing creative. It was so much more than that. She hasn’t had any desire to be there and I am sure that her mind was way away from the court. Otherwise, she would have heard when I told her, just between the sets, “Remember that you can stop anytime”. :)

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

I'm everywhere

I love social networks….mostly Facebook. I absolutely and completely adore the fact that I know everything my friends are up to…and the friends of their friends…and their other friends of friends. I actually know everybody, or at least that’s how it seems. Post after post the whole day! Like that guy I never met, but he should be a friend of somebody’s as long as he is on my news fed wall. He makes smart and pertinent statements…like “I wanna drink coffee, but there is no coffee left in my house”. Cool stuff. The guy is tired, wants a coffee, what's wrong with that? But then the whole neighborhood jumps in to help. 23 comments on nothing, probably all posted by guys who know the chap as much as I do. Helpful, by the way, giving the lad ideas where is the closest coffee shop (even if nobody knows were the guy lives), which coffee is the best and what’s the cheapest brand. It’s good to know in case I run out of coffee as well. I love Facebook mostly because of the speed things happen in the network! Mary appears single today, tomorrow she is in a relationship with Mark (nice pic by the way!), a day later her status “is complicated“ and four days later she is single again. But don’t worry just yet, because the day after she is in another relationship with John who just got single after being complicated as well. I preferred Mark, even of I don’t know him. At least he has a symbolic profile photo...but it's Mary's choice I'm talking about!

I am sure I told you already that I have two Facebook pages: a business one, that I keep clean and simple, and a funky personal one. I love it when my girlies mix things and post on my business page comments like “Cosmos tonight?”. Thanks, chicks. Great statement, role model one! But they don’t stop here! The next post is “We can even watch a movie with a hottie”. Even better really. Thanks again, girls, the whole world would now know what our plans are! I even get posts on the same business page like “Who’s the hottie in the photo, sweets?” Now, he is nobody on this page, but he may be somebody on my personal one. But he’s not. The guy is on my friends of some friends page and I have no clue who he is. A shame really!

Then there is Twtter. I’m on that as well. I call it Haiku network...short and clear! Fair enough, don’t you think? You have to be sylabic as on Twitter. The coffee guy on Facebook would have to post on Twitter something like “I wanna drink coffee…link” and go back with another post “There is no coffee left…link”. I am sure that he would have many followers. You actually know none of them; they don’t know you either. I love followers. As many as better…at least that’s what my friends of friends on Facebook say! By the way, I just got a notification that Kiwi Tax follows me on Twitter. Why would they do that? I paid my tax, thank you very much. Probably that’s the reason they find me interesting...and unique!

And then there is Linkedin. Of course I have an account. Apparently it’s good for the business. I don’t know about that, but I am there as well.  Last week I got a message from a guy from overseas who had a business proposition for me. So I emailed the guy back just because I am a curious blondie. His reply came a second after I sent the email. Apparently the guy is in love with me and wants me to hop on Skype (of course I am there as well) to know each other better. Seriously? I don’t know who you are, mister, so let’s keep the distance, not just because you say you are somebody you are not. It’s mostly because I don’t want to meet you…never ever ever as graciously Taylor Swift says!

How can I forget about Pinterest? I'm on it as well….with a huge wall of pictures that now are called pins. My style? Versace…pin…pin…pin; Marilyn Monroe…pin…pin…pin, Burberry…other pins. 

I am on Google+ as well. Why should I miss it? Everybody is there. I still haven’t figured out how that works, but I am there and I will be on it as long as others are. So do you want me to cancel my account? You first!

I don’t understand why I try, quite hard by the way, to express myself when my accounts on all sorts of social networks say more about me than I could personally tell in the years I have left.  What I know is that if you want to take me out, you have to dress accordingly. You never know when our photo will end up on one of the social networks and I couldn’t cope with an ugly pic (remember I've said I am a Versace girl?). And if you want to know where I am today, who is with me and what we will be doing together, hop on one of my accounts. I am sure that one of my friends or their friends, or friends of their friends will be posting the goss at some stage. And while you read the story, please scroll the wall and help that poor guy who has no coffee left in his home! :)

Monday, 1 July 2013

The choices we make

I choose to live by choice. I choose what I like doing, who to be close to and who to ignore. I’ve chosen my future long time ago and I stick to my plans because I have the choice to choose. My strength didn’t come from lifting weights. It came from the choices I made…and I know that I would be remembered for most of them. Good memories, I hope. ..But, at the end of the day, what are memories other than choices? We choose to remember good or bad things and we have the power of changing an awfull experience into an amazing memory. 

Craig was a client I used to train three years ago. We spent a whole year training together, Craig and I. Craig was a bad, bad boy! Full of tattoos, head to toes, super tall and powerful. ..atrocious really! Was, because when I met him the accident already changed him. Craig was a motor biker and had a horrible accident a year before we met. He lost completely his short-term memory. His partner was a lady in a wheelchair: he had the body, she had the brain! It’s quite interesting how our brains work. Craig remembered the years when he served in a gang, his first love when he was just a teenager, but couldn’t remember what he eat five minutes before the training. He  couldn’t memorize names either, so the social worker advised me to repeat my name every few minutes. I told mine only once and he never forgot it. He also remembered my kids’ names, and what color roses I like. For Craig, his training sessions were the peak of his weeks and the chats we had in between the sets were proofs that he was still alive and somebody acknowledged his existence. He was so grateful that I used to drive him home after training  because we were able to talk more. I’ve done it really because I knew that he lost his driver license forever, he had to walk everywhere and he used to get lost. I signed a year contract with ACC to train Craig. That’s all. I’ve done my job and I thought that this was it. But no, two years later, I still receive birthdays cards from Craig. Not just that he remembered my name…he hasn’t forgotten my address either. Huge philosophy about the human brain! The subconscious should keep hidden all the bad memories, helping us live in the seventh heaven. This… in a perfect world with perfect people and perfect brains. From a medical point of view, Craig is a guy with no hypothalamus function, with short time complete memory loss, with all sorts of other consequences of an unfortunate accident. A mess? Not really, because Craig’s mind, as twisted as it is, has the ability to block the conscious, allowing his subconscious to take over. He remembers only what he wants to and what has meaning to him! In a perfect world, he would have been a worshiped leader…in this one.... he is just a case! :)

Sunday, 30 June 2013

My dad

I am a pure breed…mongrel....100% Babylon and I have no clue what’s my first language. I speak five and never been able to figure out which one is my number one. I don’t even bother anymore! I am German and French and Austrian and Polish on my mother's side….and Hungarian and Romanian and probably a little bit of Jew…thanks, dad!  Because I am a mixture, I love mixed things. I don’t add sugar or milk to my coffee…I top it up with cinnamon; I like cardamom in my tea. I have mixed feelings; also my mixed style and I don’t care what others wear. Never did.  I have cross breed dogs, I surround myself with an amalgam of skin colours and I love the sound of all sorts of languages. You would never be able to put a finger on what I’d do next…because I don’t know either. I told you I am a hybrid and I take a little bit from every nation I represent! Mostly the weird things….

My dad always knew that I’d get very far in my sweet weirdness. At the end of the day, I got this from him.  Dad and I used to eat breakfast at midnight and dinner instead of lunch. We started our meals with desert. Actually, we used to make the weirdest things together. We both hated rollercoasters, so one day we decided to buy 10 tickets each maybe, maybe we would start liking the ride. We didn’t and we were so sick that day! My dad and I invented a brand new language using words from all sorts of dead and alive languages. We understood very well each other. We used to wear white when black was in fashion. We had the strangest dog ever and we used to walk him at weird hours. We celebrated Christmas way before others just because we felt like it. We put up Christmas trees in spring and had Easters in the middle of winter. My dad and I made Wednesdays second Sundays, so we had fun weeks with two weekends. We mixed things so badly and we couldn’t care less what others thought about us. We had no rule, dad and I. That’s not quite true: we had our own weird rules and we added all sorts of upside down things to our lives. We had a silent day once a month and that was a torture for both of us. We decided that we needed a day with no talk only to clear our thoughts, so that day we didn’t even answered the phone. There’s a shame really that we couldn’t spend more time together, my dad and I. Today it would have been my dad’s birthday. I remember how we decided years back that a day was not enough so I still have a birthday week. Happy birthday, dad! I hope you teach the angels and demons how to exist as weird entities! And don’t worry about me. I keep the legacy going. I am still different and I’m not gonna change. :)