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Bye, Felicia… I mean New Orleans.

I’m bbaaccckkkkkkkkk!!!!!

It’s been a crazy two weeks with lots of travel….I’ve barely had any time to hop on my blog and chat with you all! July is usually a little nutty since it’s my birthday month, and you all know that I love to celebrate all month long. This year was no exception, but it did include back to back trips to New Orleans and Chicago, plus the addition of a new puppy to my crew…..talk about crazy! I’ll share more about the Chicago trip in a later blog and probably a lot of puppy spam, too, but I wanted to give you guys a recap of Nola!

When it was announced at Summit last year that the 2017 Coach Summit would be in New Orleans, I wasn’t sure how I felt. New Orleans wasn’t one of the cities on my radar when it came to places I wanted to visit, but I was interested to see what the city would be like with 25,000 of my closest coaching pals. It ended up being an interesting and eye-opening  experience, and I wanted to share a little about my time in Louisiana.

                              Lessons from Beachbody’s biggest event of the year

1. Cockroaches are freaking gross. 
Friends…….I am from Ohio, and fortunately for me, the most annoying insect I’ve had to deal with is the wretched stink bug, an insect that only graces us with its presence a few months out of the year. I haven’t had to deal with cockroaches THANK HEAVENS.

My team and I rented out a large house on the outskirts of the city, which was awesome, except for the first night when we returned from dinner and realized we hadn’t left the outside light on. As we approached the door, I saw something move across the pavement that could’ve been a small dog and immediately asked what it was….deep down I was scared it was a toad. I was quickly educated on the fact that it was a cockroach. Shrieks followed, as did some additional shrieks after we found one later on inside the house. I’m thankful one of the girls in the house was from the South and not afraid of the cockroaches, unlike the rest of us.

I’ll take my cold ass winters any day over cockroach city…..you can keep those, Dirty South.

2. I’m basically Oprah.
I am such a nerd…..one thing I love about Summit: the keynote speakers. Last year we got to hear from Gary Vaynerchuk, someone I admire greatly, and this year we had Darren Hardy and Brendon Burchard. Talk about setting off my inner geek flag! Darren Hardy wrote The Compound Effect, a book I read several times each year, and Brendon is someone I basically stalk on Youtube and social media. He is a high performance business coach and author with some big time clients,  one being Oprah Winfrey. Since Brendon taught us some of the things he teaches Oprah, we are pretty much the same now, right?

In all seriousness, I was on Cloud 9 getting to listen to these guys, especially Brendon. I really love that our company encourages GROWTH as human beings. We should all be doing it anyway, but be honest….are you really spending a little time each day reading/listening/watching something that expands your mind? If you arent, start! NOW!

3. Beignets are made of angel wings and rainbows.
I knew going into the trip that I was going to eat EVERYTHING that Nola was known for: beignets, chicken and waffles, po boys….and I was okay with that. Once I actually got to the city and realized I didn’t like it and most likely wouldn’t go back, I wanted to make sure I capitalized in the food category. I’m a foodie, what can I say? Being healthy is about living a life of balance, and even though maybe I was more 20/80 than 80/20, I came home feeling like I truly did enjoy the city from a food perspective.

Everyone told me to go to Cafe du Monde, and we finally did our last night there. Since most of the coaches had already left, we got in and out without a wait, which was awesome. The beignets were tasty, and the cafe au lait was out of this world. I’d like to find a way to get these treats without going to Nola again…maybe we can get this place to open one in Ohio? #goals. We also had beignets at an awesome random place that I couldn’t even tell you the name because they were so good my mind was blown.

I do love my sweets, and macaroons are one of my favorites (a close second behind doughnuts). We visited a place in the French Quarter called Sucre which was Ah-ma-zing! If you visit the city, please go there! We tried several of the sweets that were there besides the macaroons….so worth every calorie.

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My girl Meghan and I with some of our desserts!

Speaking of calories…….a fellow coach, Dan, brought me the mother of all doughnuts from Round Rock Donuts in Texas……how cool was that? I was actually planning a trip to Texas to visit this place because it was at the top of my doughnut bucket list. MY GOSH WAS IT GOOD! I did share a few bites with some of the girls in our house, but I pretty much crushed it. Again, worth every calorie and the million burpees I need to do to burn it off. It also produced one of the greatest pictures ever taken of me and my success partner, Nichole. Dan, thanks for being my doughnut hero.

Some people may ridicule me for my love of food (including the bad ones like those I indulged in while in New Orleans), and that’s okay. I bust my ass every day with grueling workouts and will never feel bad about the food choices I make. I truly believe all things are good in moderation.

4. Uber drivers can be shady AF.
Prior to this trip I had no experience with Uber, so I wasn’t sure what it would be like knowing that I would using it for the majority of my transportation while in New Orleans. It was…..different.

We had many drivers who were incredible….but we had some that were just….not ok. One guy picked us up the morning of the Shaun T 6am workout high as a kite, and I’m pretty sure we all had a contact buzz from him.  Another day we were awaiting a female driver named Lupe, only to have a male driver show up that was a completely different age and race claiming to be Lupe……um, ok dude. It was strange. Needless to say I was happy to get back to my own city where I could drive my own car…because I really don’t want anything to do with Uber again unless I have zero options.

5. You can do anything you put your mind to. 
Earlier in the year I was lucky enough to get to introduce Beachbody’s newest super trainer, Chris Downing, when his program debuted to the entire Beachbody community. I was so honored to have the opportunity and am so thankful he became a part of my life. Since then, I have gotten to know him and his family , have organized events at his gym, and can honestly tell you that this guy has a heart of gold. What you see is the real deal, and the emotion he shares with you as he is motivating you during his workouts….it’s as real as it gets.

When his program officially launched at Summit, it was such a neat moment to see. His emotion….his happiness….and the impact you saw him have on everyone around him….it was beyond infectious. Chris was brought onto stage during the opening ceremony and immediately got choked up. You could see how much that moment meant to him, and it’s the kind of genuine love for helping others that you want to see in someone who has the opportunity to inspire millions.   I was a proud, proud friend.

I have to say this….yes, Chris’ Shift Shop program is killer, but even if you don’t like working out and never try it, his story is beyond proof that you can change the course of your life if you believe in yourself. Check him out on Youtube…listen to him speak…..embrace his motto of “Love. Empower. Inspire.”

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6. You CAN refill your cup at anytime. 
A saying that I hear over and over again is “You can’t pour from an empty cup”, meaning you can’t take care of others if you aren’t taking care of yourself first. Over the past year and a half after losing my father, I have had to remind myself of this more times than I care to admit.

As I mentioned earlier, our company is one that wants you to grow as a person, and it is one thing I have been skimping on. Prior to my loss, I would spend at least 20 minutes a day reading something regarding business development or leadership, but then my reading turned to books on loss and coping. After awhile I stopped reading pretty much altogether.

As I sat there at Summit I realized how important it was to get back into my daily routine of reading. I realized I missed that extra time I would take for myself each day, and I realized that I, as a leader and person, was suffering because I wasn’t taking care of my own mind and working on those areas where I struggle. Since returning from Nola, I’ve been back on my reading game and feel so much better.

Guys, if you are struggling with something, find a book and read about it. There are books, podcasts, Youtube videos, you name it……find a resource on the topic you need to develop within yourself and start incorporating that into your day. Fill your cup up. You deserve it.

7. Likeminded people make you better. 
Just as personal development is important as growing as a person, so are the people you surround yourself with. Know that saying “Iron sharpens Iron?” I feel like I am constantly being sharpened, and that is because of the incredible women I surround myself with, especially those in this community. Many of those women I only get to see a couple of times a year, so when we get together, my brain is going a million miles a minute. They make me want to do better, push myself harder, and establish even bigger goals for myself. If your friends don’t make you want to do the same, find people that will.

8. My team is such an eclectic group of women, and they are proof that anyone can rock this business.
I feel like I am the kind of person that can fit into many categories if someone is trying to describe me, and I like that. I always knew that I’d want my team to be as eclectic as I am…..being like everyone else is boring, and having people around you who are so similar yet so different makes everyone better.

This year we rented a big house so we could all stay together and it further solidified why I love this coaching opportunity so much. The ladies who accompanied me this year are some of the top leaders on my team, and every one of them is so different than the next. I feel so lucky they chose me as their leader and can’t wait until the day comes when ALL of the amazing coaches on my team and in my downline can join us!

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9. Bourbon Street, you’re just gross.
Ok, I only went because everyone said I HAD to since it is an iconic part of New Orleans. Guys……it was so gross, and it’s not because I don’t drink. I honestly can still smell the puke smell that the street reeked of. I HATED IT! Part of me thought I would enjoy seeing some of the bars on the street….I’m a huge BAR RESCUE fan and knew about the ones that had been on the show. Nope….not even into that. Seriously wanted to take about twenty showers after we left.

Overall, I really didn’t like this city. I thought it was dirty, smelled awful, not tourist friendly (surprisingly), and disappointing. I’m glad I can check it off of the list of places I’ve been, but I have zero desire to go back. Fortunately, next year we take over Indianapolis, which is such an awesome place!

I love these events, and I won’t ever stop talking about them! Despite the nastiness of the city, I loved being with my team, reuniting with my friends, learning from the best, working out with Shaun T, and getting to experience new things. It’s still crazy to me that this is my job.

Running a business is cool. Traveling the world with friends is cool. Making a difference is cool.

Thanks Beachbody, for helping me find my cool.

Want to find your cool? Fill this out and we’ll chat!

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