WHY DO I RIDE? (Careful, this may be deep) This digs deep into the lyrics, song titles and meaning behind the playlist I recently created for a class at Urban BODY Fusion.   Why do you Ride? 

ADRENALINE: Isn’t Life Such a Thrill

"BECAUSE…. In Life, we all face obstacles both big and small, but it can seem impossible to master them all. We strive for “Some Happy Nights”, but our “Demons” come out and challenge us to these fights. We are faced with a challenge from within. “Survival” mode activates and we let the fight begin. It may seem we are chasing “A Light That Never Comes”, as these days fly by and bring us “Closer To The Edge”. We “Hold On” and brace the constant “Chop and Change”, for this “Summertime Sadness” just adds power to the already digging dredge. Life is but a “Beautiful War” and if we “Slow It Down” enough to notice, we’re merely rising like “The Phoenix” through each day full of all kinds of critics. We awaken each day, ready and armed for our fight searching for something from within.... maybe it's the Light. We are Alive, and I say, It’s “Time To Get Ill”, after all, Isn’t Life Such a Thrill." – Dana Urban

Time To Get Ill Beastie Boys
Escape 30 Seconds To Mars
Beautiful War Kings Of Leon
Summertime Sadness Lana Del Rey 
Demons Imagine Dragons
Some Happy Nights (Fun. vs. C2C) Mighty Mike
Closer To The Edge 30 Seconds To Mars
Hold On Alabama Shakes
Chop And Change (Soundtrack Version) The Black Keys
My Songs Know What You Did In the Dark (Light Em Up) Fall Out Boy
Survival Muse
Adrenaline Shinedown
The Phoenix Fall Out Boy
Slow It Down Goo Goo 

We Ride to "ESCAPE", we ride to feel ALIVE, we ride so that we may continue to THRIVE!  We Ride to Listen and we Ride to Feel, but sometimes we ride with hopes that our minds will just be still!
Commit: to bind or obligate, as by pledge or assurance; pledge: to commit oneself to a promise; to be committed to a course of action

Omit:  to forbear or fail to do; disregard

"Commitment unlocks doors of imagination, allows vision, and gives us the 'right stuff' to turn our dreams into reality." - James Womack

To Omit or to Commit, that is the question.  When we have a dream we would like to pursue or a goal we would like to achieve, it requires a decision to omit or to commit.  If we view our goals as a commitment, we must make the decision to succeed.  This requires a strong desire, determination and focus on our path to achieve success.  We can only achieve greatness when we fully commit, release our fears, stop making excuses and persevere.  If we are willing to make the commitment, we must be willing to put forth the effort.  Careful though, this may require work.  Are you willing to Commit?

"Nothing worth having was ever achieved without effort." - Theodore Roosevelt  

Do you have a goal or dream you wish to pursue?  Do you wish to exercise more, lose weight, or just become healthier overall?  I'm sure you are aware that this will require hard work and most importantly, commitment.  What is the difference between you and the person who is already achieving their fitness goals?  The answer is not more time on their hands or even their genetics.  The answer is pure commitment and focused, consistent, effort.  

If you are already trying to lose weight or achieve a fitness goal and not seeing the results you would prefer, evaluate your effort.  Are you working  hard to be consistent and really giving it your all or are you just going through the motions, hoping results will magically appear one day?  Are you procrastinating with the idea that you don't necessarily need to do it now?  Maybe you're inconsistent and work hard one day but continue to make excuses along the way which means you are omitting your desired goal.  Sometimes, we tell ourselves we are working as hard as we can when in fact, we are hardly working at all.  Going through the motions and never seeing results is a waste of time and will ultimately hurt one person - YOU.  

When a commitment has been made, we must change our minds and remain focused on our goals.  Excuses are not an option if we ever want to see results!  Know what you want and understand why you want it.  Dedicate every breath in your body to achieving your goal and make up your mind that you will succeed.  Bind yourself to the course or action required for your goal and start to take action.  Desire alone is just not enough, we must follow up with action, release our fears of failure, and move forward with our goal.  When this decision has been made, our minds will change and a habit will develop, creating a spirit and drive that will ultimately lead us to success.  The choice to succeed is just that, a choice!  Decide, Commit, Achieve!  Exhaust the following steps for a healthier you in mind, body and spirit:

Steps to Success

Make a Decision and Set Your Goal
View Your Goal as a Commitment
Release All Fear of Failure
Develop a Strong Desire in Your Mind
Broadcast Your Goal and Be Held Accountable
Do Not Allow Distractions to Get in the Way
Embrace the Obstacles and Overcome Them
Learn From Past Mistakes and Move On
Refuse to Omit Your Decision to Succeed
Proceed With Your Greatest Effort

If you are struggling with what it takes to be successful in achieving your goals with your health and fitness or with other dreams you may have for your life, these are just a few guidelines to help motivate you and keep you on your path.  It is important that you make the choice that is right for you and hold yourself accountable. So, to answer the question to omit or to commit, the answer for success, regardless of how hard the work and how tough the obstacles are along the way, is aways - Commit, Commit, Commit!!


"There are people who make things happen, there are people who
watch things happen, and there are people who wonder what
happened. To be successful, you need to be a person who makes
things happen."
- Jim Lovell

Are you trying to reach your desired goal(s)?  Are you waiting to be empowered?  Why wait?  Empower yourself today!

Only you are responsible for carrying out discretionary actions to achieve your goal(s).  To empower yourself simply means you are giving yourself the opportunity and the responsibility to go for it.   If you're mind is set, you can literally transform your life by changing the way you think and feel about yourself.  When your thinking changes, you have more control over your actions, and in the process, become a better being - accomplishing more than you ever imagined.

We as humans have extraordinary potential; potential that is often left untapped.  As we thrive in our daily lives to just survive, we often fail to tap into our true strength an power.  When we become empowered, we begin to tap into hidden talents, more creativity, a happier mindset, and ultimately more fulfilled and satisfied lives.

What does one do to obtain empowerment?  We must first believe there is potential - then set out to actually SEE it!  Seeing is believing, but believing is achieving!  You may not see the air you breathe, but you know it's there, so what do you do - you breathe.  You may not 'see' success either, but that doesn't mean it is not at your reach.  The possibilities in life are limitless and there is enough success for all of us - so why limit yourself?  As long as you believe in what you are doing, you are right!

Maybe we should just start believing what we see, because whatever we choose to believe, that is what we will see.  When we choose to believe, even for just a moment, we start to feel an overwhelming sense of self-empowerment, changing our approach to daily life and pushing us closer to pursuing our beliefs, desires and long-term goals.

Our mind's eye often forgets what we actually 'feel' because our minds are often ruled by the moment; and what we see, hear, smell and say in that moment.  Instincts? - maybe, but our heart is our sixth sense and the most important one as well.  Normal people may avoid or become indifferent to their deepest potential because they simply can not see it, but the empowered will see beyond, as they rely heavily on the 'sixth sense'.

Act on your heart!  Believe it!  Feel It!  See beyond!  And become what you see.  You're in the driver's seat and your time is now!  Ask yourself this...What do you want to achieve?  Really Listen until you hear the reply from deep within.  What is stopping you from getting it?  Doubt? Willpower? Confidence?  Close your eyes and internally visualize yourself achieving this goal - remember, the possibilities are limitless.  See, hear, feel, and taste what it would be like to achieve this goal.  Don't bite off more than you can chew, but do take that bite and start to see yourself moving forward with your goal.  Be prepared to step out of your comfort zone.  If it was completely comfortable, you would never change.  As you invest your energy and time into your goal, you will find that it will quickly start to change your general outlook, sense of self, your schedule, and even your relationships with others - many you may consider very close friends.

Last, but certainly not least, expect your goal to change along the way.  As you go after your goal, it will change as well.  This is natural and only means you are continuing to move forward with your new creative mind.  There is a system of life that consist of many parts.  Naturally, as you start to actively change one part of the system, the others with start to change as well.  This will eventually cause you to re-evaluate your goal.  If you stay calm and just persevere as these changes start to unfold, you will eventually reach your goal.  Seeing is believing and believing is achieving!  Set your goal; Set your Mind; And Just Go For It!  What are you waiting for?  Your new life awaits!
After creating my Inspiration Dose today,  titled "Through the Darkness, There is Light", I remembered this piece I wrote a while back for a special event Spin Class I taught with Pink Floyd's album, "Dark Side of the Moon".  I will admit, I am a fan of a lot of Pink Floyd's work, but this album is very special to me.  If I am finding it difficult to relax, meditate, or just calm down, I often will turn to "The Dark Side of the Moon" for inspiration to turn toward the light.  The album is a continuous flow of amazing music, sound effects, and inspiring vocals.  People of all ages have many different opinions about the meaning of this incredible album since the lead singer was, indeed, known as a lunatic, and was usually under the influence of some kind.  I find "Dark Side of the Moon" utterly inspiring and believe there is a message for us to hear.  Read my take on the album and I would love to hear what you think too.

The Beginning:  Speak to Me - Breathe (Breath in the Air)

Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon takes us on a journey through ourselves.  Give yourself the proper mindset to become transfixed in the music.  As the music surrounds you, notice the way the sounds move side to side in your head and the way the amplitude of beats change, slowly, yet deliberately.  Also notice the background sounds stay constant while the foregrounds absolutely simmer with activity.  The experience is both relaxing and exhilarating, casting a sort of trance over you, creating a very therapeutic experience.

BREATHE, breathe in the air of life.  Look around…choose your own ground.  What you make of your life, and this ride, is your choice, this is your ride through life.  Stop and take in the beauty of this adventure we call life and make the most of it.  Smile, open yourself up to feel, cry, see and touch everything you can and experience the best life has to offer.

We all want to run at some point in our lives to escape our pressures, our fears, and our heartaches.  The mood of this album, and its ingenious music, represent the spectrum of our emotions, which we tend to bury at times, leading us to thoughts of giving up.  Totally release, let go, and hear the upbeat message telling us to act as if the whole world is at our fingertips and giving up is NOT an option.

Our lives CAN work in harmony if we keep our pressures in check.  Fight the urge to run, take nothing for granted because even the POWERFUL sun can be darkened in and instant by the moon.

Dark Side of the Moon is about life and it’s challenging waves.  It’s about choice – our choice to keep riding on the glory of the sun.

Reattach yourself to your adolescence and the dreams of your youth.  Open your mind and surround yourself with the music, noticing the symbols used in the album, the heart beat, the sun, the moon, and the tides.  They’re all cyclic, representing life with its constant change, enormous challenges, great beauty and importance.

Reach out and pursue a full life with the “Time” you have on this earth.  Appreciate all the good things in your life and don’t dwell on the bad.  The moon is actually lit up on both sides and depends on the position relative to the sun and earth – so there is LIGHT to find in the darkness, we just have to create the balance.

Everything under the sun is in tune when existence is true and beautiful.  Don’t let the moon eclipse it all out with the waves of pressures that make us blind to that beauty.  Embrace life and let everything under your sun fall in tune …… leaving The Dark Side Of The Moon.

The End:  Eclipse

The loss of a loved one, young or old, is still a great loss.  We all deal with loss in our own individual ways.  Some cry, some laugh, and some may even get angry, but we all must find a way to deal and a way to help us heal.

New posts, material and motivation have been delayed on Fusion this week, due to a great loss in my family.  Whether young or old, expected or not, I am still finding it hard to deal with the pain that comes with missing such a great influence in my life.  I have spent several days with family members crying, laughing and reminiscing.  We are all coping with the loss individually, but together as a family as well.

I have come to realize now, as the dust is starting to settle, that this great loss has not only brought our family closer together, but has awakened my spirit.  My Grandfather of 81 years old lived a long and prosperous life.  He was kind, caring and loved by many.  He has left a legacy behind that is our family and we will strive to make him proud.

I believe a loss of a loved one brings about a lot of pain, but can also be a great gain.  There is an opportunity to awaken the spirit within you to be a better person, to thrive.  We are prompted with loss to express our gratitude for the privilege of knowing such a great human being, acknowledging many traits he may have left behind in us.  Celebrating their life also gives us the chance to spend time with many loved ones and share our laughs, pains and promises.  I am truly thankful for my Grandfather and find his life and his death a true blessing to our family.  

If you are experiencing loss, take a moment from the grief and the pain to acknowledge the beauty.  Yes, we must grieve, as it is a necessary process in life, but we must also be thankful for the gift we were given with their life.

I will miss my Grandaddy more than words will ever express, but I know in my heart that it was his time and that we will meet again. His legend will live on in our family, and we will continue to grow in strength and spirit for knowing such an awesome man.  Rest in Peace Grandaddy and may your spirit live strong within me.

Amazing Grace - Jeff Beck


To Big Daddy From Strawface

July 29, 1929 - April 21, 2011

I remember your smile, and the look on your handsome face; 
The strength in your hug, and the warmth from your embrace;

Your wise cracks so keen, and your legs so lean;
A head full of hair, so full and white, it seemed to sparkle even more in the light;

The sound of your loud voice, so big and strong;
Your nighttime prayers so very, very long;

A caring and kind heart you did have, which has made our loss so very sad;
You loved your family with all your heart, and that love can never be torn apart;

That twinkle in your eye was like a star in the sky, 
and now you will share it with the by and by;

You always gave all you could give, and worked to teach us a respectful way to live;

We are truly grateful for your life, and so is your lovely wife;
With respect and love, you were always true, and without you, she will always be a little blue, but we will love and cherish her through and through;

This is not goodbye, as I believe we will meet again;
You're walking with God now and that will never end;

Your life and your death will make me a better person as I try to live with dignity and grace - and I can't wait to once again, see that smile on your face.  
I love you Grandaddy!

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in RISING UP every time we fail." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

PERSEVERANCE:  to persist in anything undertaken; maintain a purpose inspite of difficulty, obstacles, or discouragement; continue steadfastly.

I started this post a couple days ago with the idea to write about perseverance, thoughts of failure and never giving up.  I often touch on this subject in my Spin® classes and even have rides directly themed around the topic that include inspiration from songs like "Uprising", "Awake and Alive", "Kings & Queens", "Man in the Mirror", etc.  When I coach my riders in such a ride, I tend to use phrases such as "Tap into Your Power", "Rise Up", "Don't Back Down", "You Can Make it to the Top", and "Never Surrender".  Today, I found this amazing video on YouTube and immediately was inspired to share.  I have seen this a time or two in the past, but not in a long time.  I will now remind myself to watch this video every time I feel the urge to give up.  I encourage you to take the five minutes and nineteen seconds out of your day to give this a view.  This video, and the inspiration behind it, could instantly change your mindset.  We are all truly blessed with certain abilities, individual talents, and the initial will to fight.  Use your talents, your abilities, and your will to fight and just PERSEVERE.

Throughout the many journeys in our lives, we often come to a point where we feel like giving up. We may give up before we've really even begun, or just before we're about to make a huge break-through.  We always have a choice to at least "try" to succeed and if we are alive, anything is possible, as long as we're willing to put forth a little extra effort.  We are bound to make mistakes along the way.  The lessons we learn from these mistakes and our experiences is what makes us stronger, getting us closer to our dream.

Discovering your strength is the key to perseverance.  You are stronger than you think, and a couple of setbacks along the way are not enough to stop you from achieving your goals.  Unlock the door to your dreams and set out to make it happen.  Prove yourself to the world, but mostly to yourself.  You CAN and WILL achieve.  The only failure is in giving up without a fight.

Believe in yourself when nobody else will.  Don't sell yourself short.  People will come along in your life that either build you up or bring you down.  Spend more time with the ones that tend to build you up.  Life is too short for downers.  When you're told what you want to achieve is not possible, PERSEVERE, and keep moving forward.  Don't let anyone destroy your dreams of achievement. Surround yourself with family and friends that will support you on your journey and support them
on their journey as well.

Perseverance is a day by day decision, but it is still a choice.  It is our choice, in fact, and we all deserve success.  Maintaining this mind set can be a challenge, but no one ever said it would be easy. Take notice and nurture your small successes along the way.  Realizing the small differences you've already made will help rebuild your confidence so you can continue to move forward.  Remember that success is a journey and not a destination.  If you maintain an attitude of 'Fight till the Finish', then 'Fight till the Finish' you will.

“Everyday, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life,  I am not going to waste it.   I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings.   I am going to have kind thoughts towards others,  I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.” – Dalai Lama

I had the opportunity to drive across one of our beautiful bridges last week and couldn't help but notice the sun sparkling on the glassy, still waters.  The Gulf was as calm as the sky was blue.  This is a beauty we often take for granted in our everyday lives, but if we stop for moment and notice our surroundings, we become more aware of just how blessed we truly are and how beautiful the world can be.  As I gazed out onto the water, I noticed a ripple in the perfectly smooth water.  As I looked closer to notice the imperfection in the water which had just appeared to be a sheet of glass, I saw two dolphins playing and chasing one another- another beautiful sight.  Our lives are going to ripple from time to time, for this is life, but if we focus more on the good, our attitudes change and our minds start to calm.  We should all awake daily with gratitude, expressing our thanks for all the good we have in our life.  It's simple, easy to do, will change our outlook and our livelihood.  Start your day by giving thanks and watch yourself grow into a more positive, happier person.  Achieve things you never thought possible.  Tap into your true purpose in life and spread the joy, infecting others with your positive outlook, and start to notice the change in how you feel.

Clear your mind of the things that challenge, worry and annoy you.  Shift your focus to the blessings in your life and express thanks.  Our blessings can be simple things like electricity, food on the table, water, or a roof over our head, or more complex like children, a loving spouse, family and friends.  What about you personally?  Do you have a working, able body?  Then you are blessed.  Exercise that able body and be thankful for your health each day.  Yes, some of us may have hiccups or ripples with our health and fitness, but if you're able, you must at least give it your all.  

View the 7 Steps to Effective Gratitude 

Feed that thought of gratefulness and watch your spirits rise.  Notice the beauty around you everyday and lend a helping hand when you can.  If you're quick to judge someone else, stop for a moment and realize you don't know their situation and have no business judging anyone but yourself.  A change in your attitude with a more positive outlook will change the way you view other people, giving them the fair chance we all deserve.  

Start by taking a minute of your morning each day to think of at least 5 things you are thankful for that day.  This could be shelter, people who have done something nice for you, your job, a hot morning shower, or just the fact that you're able to get out of bed and start another blessed day.  Try to fit in an exercise routine into your schedule.  You will boost your mood, energy and sense of gratefulness.  Exercise is proven to be good for your mood.

As you go through your day, you are bound to hit a ripple or two.  For each ripple, choose a blessing, again shifting your
focus to something good in your life and allow it to outweigh the bad.  We have many things to be thankful for if we just take a moment to reflect.  If you tend to anger easily, slow down, take a deep breath and be thankful for something else.  You will notice your attitude start to change and your mind start to calm.

View a challenge as an opportunity.  Be grateful for the challenge and hit it head on, with passion and confidence.  We often are quick to complain about our challenges which just waste time and energy.  By taking the challenge, we are one step closer to fulfilling our purpose with a positive attitude and continue to move forward.

We all experience loss and heartache and this is one of the hardest things to overcome in this thing we call life.  Count the many blessings you've experienced because of the person you've lost and be thankful for the role they played in your life.  If it's heartache you've experienced, your challenge is to overcome the pain with time and maintain a positive outlook.  You will realize over time that the experience has only helped you to grow stronger and closer to your true purpose in life.  This is a great time to pay closer attention to the other important people in your life and express your love and appreciation for them as they are here for you now.

Last, but certainly not least,
concentrate on the things you DO have and not what you don't.  You do have control over your thoughts and how to direct them.  A positive attitude of gratitude brings on a certain kind of energy that will quickly change the way you look at your life and the world around you.  When you focus on gratitude, you shift your energy mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually, so  infuse the mind, body and spirit and experience the Power of Gratitude.

How is your flame burning today?  It's been a very long week for me so far and I've been working long hours as well so I am feeling exhausted.  I took notice to this exhaustion mid week, feeling drained of ideas, emotions and energy.  You've felt this way before, we all have.  My Dad would say to me, "You're burning the candle at both ends and you know what that means".  This is so true, when you don't stop for a moment to notice the other things around you and take a break, you start to burn your energy from both ends - eventually burning out all together. 

When we burn out, we become emotionally, mentally and physically drained.  
(The Symptoms of Burnout) It occurs when we start to feel overwhelmed and find it difficult to meet constant demands.  It saps our energy, leaving us feeling hopeless, cynical and sometimes even resentful.  Eventually, you start to feel as if you have nothing left to give.

We all have days when we are pulled in many different directions, feeling unappreciated and unproductive with little concentration on the things we really want to be doing.  Does this cause the burnout or do we bring some of it on ourselves?  (Do I have adult ADD?) Well, if I had to answer the first question for myself, I would say I do bring some of it on myself.  I tend to take on too many task at once.  When you add that to my tendency for perfection and impatience, you get a completely overwhelmed, over-tired version of the typical happy-go-lucky me.  Do I have adult ADD?  Well, the verdict is still out on that, but my father would probably say yes to that question.

During my career in sales, I often worked long hours, traveled to different time zones, other countries, and entertained clients into the late hours of the night.  I am always passionate about my work and this was no different in the sales world.  If I was trying to win a new client, sell a product or start a marketing campaign for a product in place, I would put in my all and then some.  This often led to burnout mode for me in my career and my personal life.  It would usually lead to pure exhaustion, lack of energy and often attack my immune system, physically making me sick.  What I learned from that experience over the years is to notice the signs of burn out as they start and hit them head on to prevent burning that candle from the other end.  After all, your light is only "on" if the candle is actually burning.  I am still very passionate about my work and I do tend to work long hours and often late at night, but now, when the signs of burn out start to appear, I try to handle things a little differently.  Below are a few things you might want to consider if you are starting to experience your flame burning out.

Stretch and Breathe.  When we stretch our body or practice Yoga, while paying attention to our breath, our blood starts to flow more freely and our body and mind start to relax.
 (The Benefits of Yoga) If you're stressed from sitting in the same position for a long period of time, like a desk or car, take a moment to take some deep breaths and stretch your muscles.  You will instantly feel a release.

 (Relaxation and Wellness) Whether it's an earlier bedtime, a later wake up or just some down time on the sofa, take time to unplug and rest your mind.  Our best ideas often come while we are in a more relaxed state of mind.

Exercise.  Go out for a brisk walk and take the dog if you have one.  Absorb the sunlight and admire the beauty of the great outdoors.  The fresh air opens your mind, and allows you to peacefully reflect on your day, or your week, so you can prioritize your ideas and tasks at hand.  Hit the gym or take a ride on your bike.  When you physically engage the body, your mind will start to clear and you will have more energy and resilience to deal with the hassle of life and its many demands.
(Combat Stress with Movement)

Make Time for a Friend.  These days, we are all so busy, we often lose touch with good friends or rarely, actually spend time with them.  A friend that makes you laugh and is generally fun to hang out with will lift your spirits.  For us ladies, a little venting often releases a lot of stress as well, and a good friend will let you vent.  Just make sure it isn't always about the venting and more about just hanging out and enjoying each other's time.  
(Friendship is good for the body and the soul)

Pray or Meditate.
(The Benefits of Meditation) This is a spiritual release and a time for you to be completely alone with your thoughts and your faith.  Allow yourself this time to fill your mind with gratitude and rejuvenate your spirit. (The Benefits of Prayer on our spirit)

Eat Healthy Foods and Hydrate:  Dehydration is often overlooked and can bring on a feeling of pure exhaustion.  Now, when I say hydrate, I don't mean grab a can of soda or a glass of sweet tea.  Drink water and plenty of it
(and not the flavored water made with Splenda or Sucralose).  When dehydration sets in, we first start to feel tired, lose concentration and maybe even develop a headache.  It's one of the easiest and healthiest things we can do for our bodies so drink your water.  (The Importance of Hydration)  Eat your colors and grab a snack.  A healthy diet of fruits and vegetables increase our energy.  Light, healthy snacking throughout the day curves our appetite and keeps us on our toes, helping us get through our busy days.

So, Dad, if you're reading my blog today, you'll be happy to know that I will be taking my own advice.  I decided to unplug last night and relax on the sofa with my husband, drink a tall glass of water and go to bed rather early (for me anyway).  Today, I feel rejuvenated, full of new ideas and got a great workout with my Spinners in an Irish Jig ride this morning.  I have been stretching a lot today to get my blood flowing and the difference in my mobility is amazing.  I have also taken the time to pray and express my gratitude for the warnings of burnout.  Tonight, I will make the time for friends as I have plans to spend the evening with the girls for a St. Patrick's Day celebration.  If you are experiencing the signs of burnout and feel you don't have the time in your day to practice the tips I've offered above, I suggest you imagine the outcome if you don't.  Remember, a burning candle, if only from one end, is better than no flame at all.

It was a wet morning in the Tampa Bay are today so the crowd was down a bit at the Y.  We still had a great turn out in the spin room this morning and got a great workout with awesome new music.  We road an all terrain ride in the Interval Energy Zone today titled "How We Roll" and burned more than 500 calories.  If you were in class today or you're just interested in the playlist, you can now find it right here on Fusion.  Go to the Tune In to Tunes page and click on the Playlist Archive link for today's "How We Roll".

I announced the newly published website to my Spinners this week and hope they'll find it to be a valuable tool.  I am venturing a little out of my comfort zone with this, but catching on quick.  This is actually my second website to design, but first to carry a blog, downloads and links.  I designed my first website on my Mac and it was primarily a portfolio of my arts n' crafts work for a home business I ran for a few years called Urban Sass.  Many who have just met me in the past couple of years may not know I have a love for art and use to create and sell my work.   I've drifted away from the arts n' crafts business now as my focus has completely shifted to fitness.  I still dabble in arts n' crafts from time to time and will make things for people if prompted, but decided to close the business a couple of years ago when the economy crashed.  My products consisted of jewelry, purses, custom floral arrangements and home decor.

Another reason for closing the business was the lack of time I had to keep up with the fit lifestyle I preferred and spend time with my family.  You would still find me at the gym a few times a week, but often my focus was on my work and not my work out.  When you are in the arts n' crafts business, you are constantly dealing with new ideas, shopping for supplies and unfinished projects, not to mention a very large mess.  Needless to say, I was consumed with it 24/7 and decided to give it a rest.

My passion for Spinning and cycling in general has brought me to where I am today and hope I will be able to make Fusion a one stop shop for fitness motivation, support, music, healthy tips and product links.  My head is spinning with ideas and I can't wait to share them with you here on Fusion.

This has been an exciting, yet exhausting week so far.  With daily changes and adjustments to keep up with on the new website and several classes to design for the week, I have been a very busy girl.

I finally posted a playlist and ride profile on the "Tune in to Tunes" page and plan to post more before the nights end.  You will also find great links to new album releases, the music from the Grammy's this year and some of my personal faves.  I will continue to update this page on a regular basis.  Definitely check in this weekend for Thursday's ride playlist title "How We Roll" with lots of new tracks you won't want to miss.

My hard work officially started on Saturday when I took on the challenge of a group ride on the open road.  I have always been a biker, but always preferred a mountain bike and loved to ride off road.  Last year, my husband surprised me with my first road bike.  I have taken it out from time to time, but have to admit, I was terrified of traffic and thought I was way too inexperienced to ride with a group.  Well, something came over me and after turning down many invites to ride with different groups, I finally decided it was time to kick it up a notch and take on the challenge....and so I did.  I signed up for the MS Training ride with Trek and went out of Clearwater on Saturday for what was suppose to be a 40 mile ride.  We got a little turned around on the course somewhere in Pasco county which tacked on another 5 miles or so.  A challenge, yes, but impossible, absolutely not.  I loved every minute of it and can't wait to do it again.  I found that by taking on the new challenge of riding with a group, I have met new, exciting people, will now be informed of cool and interesting ride opportunities which will only enhance my riding skills and my experience as a road biker.  I do still love to ride off road, but will be able to use the road biking experience for coaching and visualization in the spin room.  I have found a new passion....just add it to the list!

We've have worked hard this week in the spin room with an Interval Energy Zone ride titled "Push & Pull" on Monday consisting of jumps, runs, short climbs and fast flats burning more than 530 calories.

Tuesday, we worked out our frustrations on the resistance in the Strength Energy Zone.  We got our "Retro Groove" on with sounds from the 80's and great mixes from Depeche Mode and a few a made myself.  We were able to maintain a steady heart rate between 75 - 85%, but that became a bigger challenge toward the end as we pushed it up that last big climb.  It was a challenge indeed.

We will kick it up a notch in "How We Roll" tomorrow with an all terrain, high energy challenge in the Interval Energy Zone.  If you're riding tomorrow, get your rest, eat your breakfast, and get ready for a great challenge and a lot of fun, for it's time we kick it up!

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