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:: Our Best Day ::

I had the best day that I’ve ever had with my stepdaughter in the 12 years I’ve been in her life 🌟

I had some familiar, hot feelings that were super deep this morning. I felt them out. I processed them. I had a wonderful conversation with my dearest sister friend that totally set me up for the release ✨💗✨

First, I visited Madeline in her room. I got her water and opened up the curtains a little and talked to her like a plant 🌱 She died laughing 1.

Then I invited her to come talk about her feelings with us (totally straight faced) – that we were watching Inside Out and learning about our feelings 🎭 Again, she died laughing 2.

After the movie, I spent my entire afternoon struggling through a craft project for Madeline’s mom’s birthday today. Things weren’t working, but we were laughing and joking and so present with each other ✨

My favorite part was when she was sarcastically melting down and I looked at her, dead, straight in the eyes and said, “You do realize I’m doing this for my husbands ex-wife, right?”

She died laughing 3. “Mic drop, that was amazing,” she said.

We laughed. “I kid, I kid. I’m doing this for you, M.”

How do you find acceptance? You feel the feels and create the magic. You remain honest. You do exactly what my Nahko Bear has always told me to do…

“Don’t waste your hate

Rather gather and create

Be of service, be a sensible person

Use your words and don’t be nervous

You can do this, you’ve got purpose

Find your medicine and use it”

And that’s what I did ✨I helped Madeline create gifts for a woman who I let control my life for 12 years 🎉🎁🖤

On her 40th birthday, I wish Amy love. I hope she goes to sleep feeling loved and that she wakes up happy to face another day. I hope she savors this sweet/bitter/magical world we live in. That she finds the strength to deal with her karma and continues to search for her center.

These are things I hope for all of us 💖

I just can’t hate anymore. It’s too consuming.

😊🚪💫

:: Rach vs Her Higher Self ::

I was just thinking to myself yesterday about how I feel pretty comfortable going to the gym by myself now. No Ashley my super gym buddy and without any other physical gym angel or shepherd being specifically assigned to me. It has taken over 30 classes and about a month and a half to finally be able to say that.

I scheduled a Sunday class with Katie and sat on the waitlist until yesterday afternoon when I got the email that a spot opened up for me. I texted Ashley and told her I’m not sure if my body is ready for it and she let me know she’s deep on the waitlist. Then I realized I was going alone to a new class. Different people. It would be a surprise 😳 I sat with the fact that I’d know Katie and that’s all that mattered.

I was super nervous before Katie’s 9 am class today.

I wore my favorite leggings but I was pretty uncomfortable. They fit weird. My fat suit is uncomfortable in certain clothing 🤷🏻‍♀️

I couldn’t figure out what I needed to listen to, so my feelings weren’t in their boxes or even sorted through. I walked into the gym with a messy mind.

But Katie was there in her calm light 🌟😌🌟

I told her I was nervous. It’s daylight in Hartland – not the buttcrack of dawn when I normally go. My #gymsquad wasn’t there. She smiled and reminded me of something she heard – that I’m not here to be comfortable and she reassured me that no one will hurt me, lol. I reminded myself that I’m never freaking alone wherever I go. I learned that lesson moons ago 💖

So yeah, it was Rach vs her higher self this morning. True church. Facing your best you on a Sunday morning is a beautiful experience ✨✨✨

My fiercest, yet kindest competitor is my higher self – she’s pure strength, pure love, pure light. She’s the contrast to every demon anyone can face. I’ve challenged her too many times just to be taught another lesson. I continue to challenge her daily. And she’ll always win. When she wins, I grow mentally, physically and spiritually stronger as long as I’m listening 🌟💥💪🏼🧡

So, my girl Katie guides me on my form, challenges me with the movements and supports me with kind, fierce energy. I wouldn’t be in that class without her today. I’m so grateful she draws me in.

Higher Rach supports my thoughts. I really have to quiet my mind to hear her. She’s so freaking loving and empowering 🥰 She pushed me through sliding mountain climbers that required strategic breaks to rest and quickly reenergize. She tells me when to drink and when to close my eyes to reset. Higher Rach paints a picture of a better life and shows me its totally attainable. I just have to listen to her.

Always. Listen. To. Your. Higher. Self.

While smiling through it all 😊🚪💫

:: 21 Day Challenge :: Why I Did It

I believe that people come into our life for a reason. For us, them and all the connected people. I believe each and every one of us has a purpose.

I met Ashley over 6 years ago, but we never totally connected until I left corporate America and started searching for my purpose in 2016.

I’ve always been in awe of her chosen profession and the pressure associated with it. The sacrifices she makes serving our community are tough on her and her family. She was superhero strong to me before she even started at the gym. I have a tremendous amount of respect for our first responders. All of them. Huge. Thank you all 🙏🏼

Ash has watched me suffer over the past couple years. She’s always talked about the gym, but never shoved it down my throat. I went to watch her for a bit at her Endeavor challenge last year because I was so proud of her hard work.

This year has been tough on me. Mid thirties are tough. Husband, kids, dogs, money, family, people, places, things… the struggle is so real. I’ve been sad for awhile. Out of alignment. Big time.

On May 8, my emotions pinned me to the floor and struggled to get back up. I texted Ash and told her I wasn’t comfortable with my thoughts anymore. She called me and we talked. She gave me straightforward answers to my emergency medical help questions. She did not fluffy sugarcoat anything. That’s what I needed.

Ashley committed to helping me however she could. She mentioned the gym. I told her I’m willing to do anything to help myself, but that I was very scared.

Somewhere between May 8 and May 20, Ashley tagged me in the 21 day challenge post and sent me a text about maybe signing me up for something. Sneaky sneaky. But I had to do the work to sign up. She didn’t force me. It all unfolded and I committed.

Ashley told me what class to schedule. She picked me up in my woods. She introduced me to her people. She literally shepherded me around for 3 weeks. She really is the ultimate gym buddy. If she couldn’t help me, she left me in someone’s hands. I am her little lamb 😂 I trusted her every move. I knew I wasn’t going to die because she’s a professional at saving lives and I just needed to do the things.

So yeah. I cried for help. Metaphorically I called 911. Ashley came, scooped me up and gave me a taste of her chosen medicine. It’s working on me right now. It’s so good on so many levels.

I learned that the gym is not just the building where you workout, it’s where community is built. It’s like a church or temple – where you all go for a common purpose, regardless of your struggles, you go to become a better version of yourself. Sometimes you pray to the high heavens that the timer buzzes soon. It’s where egos are both killed and tickled. Where energy is shared and people sweat. A lot.

I signed up for a membership after my 21 day challenge. I can’t stop because of the momentum and I won’t stop because of my drive 💥👊🏼💥 Stepping out of your comfort zone is the hardest thing ever. It’s been a ride and I’m going to keep stepping.

The first step in changing your life is to change your environment. I had to be removed from the comfort of my woods to make the changes I needed to help better myself.

It wouldn’t have happened without Ashley and I’m forever grateful. Thank you, girl 🙏🏼 You know I got you. In all the ways.

People come into our lives for a reason. I only hope I can pay it forward and help someone like Ashley has helped me. I’ve got goals 💖☠️💜

:: 21 Day Challenge :: THE RESULTS

Three weeks ago I joined a challenge at Ashley’s gym, 100% free of charge. I committed to going to a minimum of 3 classes a week, following the nutrition guidelines and tracking my food using the MyFitnessPal app.

Day 1, I stood on a robot that I named Rosie (from the Jetson’s). Rosie is smart. She’s the gym robot who is there to tell us the numbers – lean muscle mass, fatness, hydration – the “inside your skin sack” measurements. Lots of numbers.

Rosie read me on day 1 before my first class. I remember it like yesterday. For real.

Then I gymmed for 21 days.

It happened like this:
4 days on / 2 days off / 5 on / 1 off / 2 on / 1 off / 3 on / 2 off / on the last day

I’ve walked an average of 5 miles a day for the past couple of years. I started jogging the last week. I had very few poor-nutrition days – my will power was pretty killer. I committed to changing my life 21 days ago.

I wiped my feet and stepped onto Rosie this morning. I held her “hands” while she sang a little ditty and scanned this hot bod 🔥😉

She spit out results that my #gymsquad assures me are very good. I lost 4% body fat and gained 2 lbs of muscle 🤷🏻‍♀️🔥💪🏼

Sounds good, right?! But want to know what’s better than the way it sounds? Dun dun dun…

⭐️THE WAY IT FEELS⭐️

I’m starting to love living in *this* body. Like, I kind of like being my own skin again 😍 I don’t really mind looking at myself in the mirror. However, I’m very frustrated because my current wardrobe is too big. But I get to buy smaller clothes that are just my style! I’ve shrunk out of my old Rachel clothes. All of them. It feels amazing.

It feels so good to have my husband actually notice me 🥰 He’s always loved me, he has just always really super sucked at telling me how great I am 🤷🏻‍♀️ He loves seeing me feel so good. He FEELS how much happier I am. He’s happier. He’s pretty proud of the commitment I’ve made. I am too.

I lost a few pounds, but I lost so much more than physical weight. I gained strength, but I gained so much more than physical strength. So much more. My heart is so full ❤️

I’m so grateful for Bonnie Barrows-Kussmaul and Rachelle Seguin at TRV|FIT in Highland and Hartland for hosting this challenge. You and your community have spent 21 days helping me change my life. I *WOULD NOT* have done this without Ashley Marie, but I *COULD NOT* have done this without all of you – Bonnie, Rachelle, Ashley, KatieBillHollyLindseyChrisBret and Carlos – I’m forever grateful for the energy you’ve provided along the way. This whole gym thing was a really big step for me. Thank you so much for all of your help 🙏🏼

Another big thank you goes out to everyone that I share gym space with while I’m there – I appreciate all the energy you provide. I feel your struggles and your success. We’re all in this together 💛

And for anyone following… I’m so thankful that my words have resonated with you! It helps me knowing that the vulnerability (courage) of documenting my journey actually inspires others. Thank you for reading my guts 😊

I’m proud of the MIND work I’ve done to get my BODY working as hard as it has been these past 3 weeks. I’m guided by my SOUL (and my gym angels and shepherds ☺️).

Mind. Body. Soul. It’s all balance 💖

And it’s only just begun 😉

:: 21 Day Challenge :: Day 21

Day 21 :: The Final Day ::

I immediately questioned myself why I was waking up when my alarm went off. I woke up slow, floated out of bed and did the things I needed to do to leave at 4:15 am.

I kept questioning myself the whole way there. Is this the new life I really want? Leaving my amazing bed so early in the morning?! Putting myself through another gym time? The people-ing? The sweating? The thinking about numbers and movement and form?

Day 21 came thick. Not heavy, just thick. Like my thoughts were swimming through Vaseline. Not bad thoughts, just a lot of thinking and feeling. So early though 😳

I don’t like arriving earlier than Ashley. I go back into lamb mode, just waiting for my gym shepard to push me along. She arrived and I felt better. It’s still a thing. It’s been 21 days but I still prefer her presence around me. Especially in Hartland. I don’t know if it’s the time, the building, or everyone’s spirit still waking (some slower than others), but 4:45 am in Hartland is very tough on me.

I love it at the end though 🤷🏻‍♀️

I think maybe today was a sweat record 😳 I was dripping gross. So gross. Wet. All wet. It was amazing and horrible and I wanted more but I couldn’t move any more 😂

Thank you for your energy today, Rachelle ⭐️ I’ve been looking forward to today all weekend! I appreciate the patience you have with me so much 💗And thank you for the extra push the whole time. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you 🙏🏼

But, ummm, my lunge muscles are still toast 😳 My squats are unstable and weak and my lunges are almost unbearable. I need to make the time to visit Great Lakes Chiropractic & Movement Center. I’m overdue for a head-to-toe adjustment and a movement consultation. Probably a massage too. All the things up there. All the good stuff 

This balance of self care and life seems a bit impossible at times. Taking care of yourself is mind, body and soul. Taking care of your body isn’t just going to the gym. It’s paying attention to your body and caring for it during its growth. Staying aligned. Stretching properly and rest and recovery. Breathing. Eating the good fuel and staying hydrated.

Loving yourself is a lot of work ☺️

Monday came with a lot of thoughts, understandable feelings and good energy 😌 I love that full moon 🌝 I’m going to make today the greatest day of this challenge yet! Lotsa water, housework, happy time with my boys and a little work-work. Starting out my birthday week right 😉

Smiling through it all 😊🚪💫

:: 21 Day Challenge :: Day 20

Challenge day 20 out of 21.

Mr. Briggs was busting out the overtime this morning, so I was on my own to gym at home.

I started out strong with a mile driveway jog in shoes, then a mile barefoot walk in the woods. I felt good. Lots of fresh air. That oxygen is so nice 

I cleaned my gym space and started a different YouTube video than yesterday.

I struggled HARD and got a half-ass workout in. I just didn’t have it in me. I tried to channel my inner Rachelle, but she just wasn’t coming in 😐 I need your energy, girl! 💛💪🏼💥

Every cell in my body is swollen and crappy feeling from my lack of self-control, eating at the open houses yesterday. I spent time talking with Adam about these feelings of total failure so late in the challenge. Like, I just killed all my hard work 😫 He reassured me that I have not killed my progress. It’s progress. I just need to keep moving forward regardless of the day I had before. Forward. Pick up and go. Progress not perfection.

So, yeah. Today. I got the miles in, cleaned my gym, moved through my workout and called it good. I showered and started to get ready for the day. But instead of getting dressed in clothes, I put my new swimsuit on and worked on my waist hooping for awhile ☺️ It’s been a long time since I’ve stepped into that big circle. We took it slow. It felt good. It made me happier than body weight training in the basement ❤️⭕️

My nutrition has been better today. I just have to stay busy and stay away from food. I don’t like feeling like crap. Ugh 🤢 This was the reminder I needed I suppose 🤷🏻‍♀️

Today is my last day before my InBody (that measures the insides of me to get the “results” of my 21 day challenge). My expectations are not high. But I can tell you that I’ve been winning this challenge all along, guys. It’s between me and the gym and no one else. There isn’t a number that could tell me otherwise ⭐️

:: 21 Day Challenge :: Day 19

Challenge day 19 – gym day at Chateau Briggs!

I needed to gym today. My body wanted it. Well, it didn’t want lunges or burpees, but it wanted everything else that the gym offers!

It wasn’t an option to leave the house because Adam was working and M was back at her moms. I put on my shoes, found a HIIT circuit video on YouTube, channelled my inner gym goddess and started moving to the best of my ability without a live trainer or my #gymsquad. But everyone was with me in spirit ☺️

I sweated at home and it was great! I needed it. I prefer to drive to the gym at the buttcrack of dawn to sweat, no doubt. But I’m proud that I did the gym stuff at my house. I actually made myself do it. That’s huge progress for me!

As I was plugging my phone into the stereo in the basement, I dropped it face first onto the concrete. The screen shattered into a million pieces. That’s super unfortunate 🤷🏻‍♀️ I’ll be heading to get that fixed tomorrow 🤦🏻‍♀️

Good and bad. Yin and yang. They come together 😐

We cleaned up nicely and headed to graduation parties when Adam got out of work. I got a lot of warm hugs, peeped a couple beautiful babies, played with a tiny beast and ate way, way, way too much sugar. My body feels super swollen. Like, every cell feels bloated 😣

Today was great, aside from my nutrition. You can’t win them all, right?! The highs were so good that they outweigh the lows. Balance. It’s all balance.

:: 21 Day Challenge :: The End of Day 18

So, today…

1. It was the first time I wore my ropes down in weeks. My shoulders and arms have hurt too bad to hold them above my head to palm roll the kinks out of my dreadlocks 🐙💪🏼🔥

2. I walked a lot. I even ran. But then I took my shoes off and picked up sticks with my toes on our trails. It was challenging and fun!

3. I bought a new swimsuit and wore it with my leggings all afternoon 😎

4. I put my hair back up on top of my head. That was fun while it lasted 🤣

I got some work done without any difficulties. I got an approval on a big print job. I did some laundry. I ran errands. I fed myself. I fed my people. I get to sleep in tomorrow. I’m good. So good 😌

:: 21 Day Challenge :: Day 18

Challenge day 18/21 😊

That 4 am alarm rings early. Especially after forcing creativity while pushing pixels at your squat desk all night 🖥🎨 My brain, eyes and legs are very tired.

5:15 am class in Highland with Katie, Bill, Holly, Chris, Darrick, Rachelle, Bret and Ashley was comfortable. Like, #gymsquad comfortable 💛💪🏼 So good 😌

However, Katie’s warmups were tough on me 😳 I had a hard time starting my body this morning. I was not properly fueled (yummy potluck at the scout roundtable I attended last night) and little sleep (work). But I followed the board, worked on my form and stopped lunging when my lungers told me to stop. They were/are toast 🔥

Cheering for the challengers over in the corner got super intense at one point 😅👏🏼⚡️ I was envisioning myself on a mountain, skiing hard (getting my 10 cal cardio in on the ski machine contraption). The cheering took me out of my mountain headspace and put me in someone else’s. Everyone was watching them 👀 That challenger was trying their freaking hardest at that very second. They were giving it their all, regardless of whatever was going on in their world. Their community was throwing so much energy at them to keep pushing. I hope the challenger harnessed that energy and hit record numbers 💥👊🏼💥 That was magic 

I got a sweaty hug from my warmest gym angel, Chris 🤗 Today was my first class with Chris in a couple of days! She pushes me in the kindest, most amazing way in every class I take, whether she’s physically present or not. I’m so grateful for your spirit, Chris 🙏🏼💛 You are so special 💖

At the end, I stole a sweaty selfie while Ash was owning that bar 💪🏼 She touches it at the end of class every day. Pull-ups and, well, bar-work in general intimidates me. Ashley has strength goals. I love it 💥👊🏼💖

I took your reminders to move at my own pace to heart and into the gym today. Thank you for helping me through this 💛

I experienced discomfort in a comfortable setting. Balance. I pushed and rested. Balance. I physically tried to balance on one leg while holding a kettlebell 🤷🏻‍♀️ Not great balance, but it’s about PROGRESS and not PERFECTION. All the positive reminders ☺️

Busy Friday, busy weekend, busy mind. Making a list and doing the things. Stretching my lunge-rebelling muscles and the rest of this body. Working. Drinking water. Creating. Getting sun. Lots of driving. People-ing. Family time. Smiling through it all 💛

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