“I’m DYING!” was the phrase I heard most often when I had my personal training studio. Inevitably, when the class or a workout became really hard, the client would yell out these two words. Repeatedly.

My response?

“This is what living feels like!”

Just before my grand opening (with my husband) in 2006!

Just before my grand opening (with my husband) in 2006! Little did I know that web site would become this blog!

Most of them were either unconditioned, overweight or a joyful combination of both, which is why they were in my studio. Sometimes, during Boot Camp, they would literally crawl from one station to the next. The sweat would pour, the cheeks would flush and the air would seem to thin out.

What they had been doing up to this point was dying.

Taking classes, pushing though hard workouts and each day becoming a healthier person then the last? That was living. That was adding years to their life. And I was so happy to be a part of it.

Some of my favorite clients after a race they trained for months to finish. Nothing but smiles. This is LIVING!

Some of my favorite clients after a race they trained for months to finish. Nothing but smiles. This is LIVING!

It’s all in the name VITA – Train for LIFE. No need to train for a lofty goal, a huge weight loss, or an epic race. Isn’t training for daily life enough?

It should be.

What prompted this post is an article I read from Paria aka momontherunsanity. She recently volunteered for the Malibu Half Marathon, at the finish line, placing medals around the necks of finishers. She describes the experience so beautifully, talking more about those who finished over the two (or three) hour mark, then the elites or top 10 men and women. One group in particular stood out to me:

“I saw the dozen women who traveled from Texas and ran in matching “Jo Jo’s Brave Girls” shirts in honor of their late friend Jo Anne Franzenburg.  Jo ran the Malibu half in 2012 and 2013, and passed from cancer this past July.  They were simultaneously happy and sad as they ran their collective miles for her, celebrating her life.”

Celebrating her life.

This is how we celebrate life. This is living.

Do not take for granted that you are living here and now.

Forget that it’s going to be a new year.

Forget that exercise is hard.

Forget that you have too much to do.

Remember you are here.

Remember this is your one life.

Remember there is no better way to honor yourself, and those around you, then by being healthy.

The other prompt for this post, as with most of my writing here, is my mom. The holidays are always a really bright and shining reminder of who is not here. Because my mother died struggling with her weight, and from ovarian cancer at the age of 43, the holidays also remind me that my health, and that of my family, is the most important thing.

Do not take it for granted.

In our holiday best (me, Mom and my brother) visiting my dad's family in Florida.

In our holiday best (me, my Mom and my brother) visiting my dad’s family in Florida around 1986. #WeLoveBigHair

Do you want to know the single best gift you can give to people you love? Yourself. Many years of being on this earth to love, laugh and simply just be with them.

These are my ideas for THE BEST gifts to “give:”

  1. A gym membership for yourself. Give it to your husband, daughter, son, partner, brother – whoever – but it’s for you. Just think of how insulted they will be until they realize it’s really for you. #HolidayBonus
  2. Register for a class you can attend religiously and then sign up … name of person who needs to add years to their life here… then go and do it!
  3. Make a promise to yourself to change one small thing, one step at a time, to be healthier.

This is your life. Are you training for it?

[Tweet “This is living!…and the best gift you can “give” this year. #Train4Life”]

How are you living?

How do you train for life?