Bikini Series 2018 | Week 2 Re-Cap | #TIU

Hello friends!

Happy Monday!

What a week.

What a week.

I felt a little off all last week… and the pinnacle point was Thursday morning. I woke up to a fire in my shoulder and sharp aches in my lumbar spine.

Why?

I don’t actually know. I’ve been very mindful of warming up my back before attempting any back bend moves… and since doing yoga regularly, I don’t typically have any real back issues. The shoulder is par for the course.. That’s been bothering me for awhile. So, no workout on Thursday.. I spent the morning attached to my heating pad, had ibuprofen, and reminisced Will Ferrell’s scene in Talladega Nights…

We celebrated our anniversary and had a nice, quiet day, but our son is now not feeling well. So, no one is doing that well at the moment.

But, there is always something for which to be grateful… We did manage a yummy yoga flow with Adriene yesterday. It was nice to get on the mat and stretch.

 

I didn’t meet each of my goals this week:

I worked out 2x’s in the morning (goal is 3)

However, I did meet my cardio goal:

I did HIIT on Tuesday and pulled out my Air Climber on Wednesday.
A total of 4 miles toward #100bysummer
Only 90 miles left to go!

So, technically, I missed three days of working out this past week.

I’m a little disappointed, but it happens. That’s life. So this week, I’m going to make a point to get on my Air Climber for cardio as often as I can. I will definitely get it in twice, but ultimately, as long as my body is feeling okay, I will get on it everyday. Other than that, I’m just planning on getting in more Tracy Anderson and Tonique as long as my body allows it.

As far as that shadowban issue goes… I’m reporting it everyday to Instagram. I hope it gets resolved soon.

I’m looking forward to week 3. Next week is measurement time. We’ll see if I’ve made any progress.

Let’s get to work!


-A

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13 Powerful Quotes to Inspire You To Follow Your Dreams

Hello friends!

Happy Sunday!

A short intro this week in honor of taking action and following our dreams! Today I’m sharing my favorite quotes to inspire you to do just that!

Let’s get started!!

Work until you no longer have to introduce yourself.You get in lifewhat you havethe courageto ask for.Release your fearsandyou will unlock your growth.Whatever you can do,or dream you can,begin it.Boldness has genius,power,and magicin it.Whether you think you canor you think you can'tYou're Right.Chase your stars, fool.Life is short.For once you have tasted flightyou will walk the Earthwith your eyes turned skywards,for there you have beenand thereyou will long to return.If you don't go after what you want,you'll never have it.If you don't ask,the answer is always no.If you don't step forward,you're always in the same place.It's a terrible thing,I think,in life to wait until you're ready.I have this feelingthat actuallyno one is ever ready to do anything.There is almost no such thing asready.There is only nAnything's possibleif you've got enough nerve.A dream written down with a datebecomes a goal.A goal broken down into stepsbecomes a plan.A plan backed by actionbecomes reality.All you needistwenty secondsof insane courageandI promise yousomething great will come of it.A lot of peopleare afraid to say what they want.That's why they don't get what they want.

 

Now go get it!


-A

Wedding Anniversary Traditions

Anniversaries are special.

This month, my husband and I will be celebrating six years of marriage, though we’ve been together for over a decade. It’s always fun to take a look back, see how we’ve grown and changed, and appreciate how far we’ve come.

Every year gets better. ❤ Best friends and soul mates, we’re lucky to have each other. ❤

Around the time of our first anniversary, we thought it would be fun to follow the traditional anniversary gift themes. We’ve been loosely following the tradition ever since.

For a handy reference, I made this chart featuring both the Traditional and Modern Themes.

 

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About a month before, we discuss the theme and then try to come up with creative ideas. This year is candy or iron… and there are a few things I want to do.. sometimes the hardest part is deciding on which one! There have been one or two years where I’ve gone all out and made a bunch of things because I couldn’t decide on just one.

We keep the day, and evening, pretty low key. We usually cook a nice dinner at home. This year we’re planning on bacon wrapped chicken — it’s one of my favorites!!

…and we always have cheesecake. Yum!

For us, it’s all about having a nice quiet evening, together. ❤

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For fun and creative anniversary ideas, check out my Pin Board: Anniversary Ideas.

Do you have any special traditions? Share them in the comments!

Bikini Series 2018 | Week 1 Re-Cap | #TIU

Hello friends!

Happy Monday!

We are officially in week 2 of Bikini Series!

I am so proud to share that I met each of my goals this past week!

Workout in the morning (at least) 3x’s per week – ☑️
-Monday, Thursday, Friday

Cardio 2x’s a week for the first two weeks – ☑️
Monday – 20 minutes
Thursday – 30 minutes
Sunday – 10 minutes
Only 94 miles to go to reach 100 by summer!

I also added in extra core work throughout the week. I love a good standing abs video!!

My biggest struggle this week was my mindset. Because I was off for so long, I’m not completely back into “exercise is essential” mode, meaning that I don’t allow negative thoughts and excuses to weigh me down. I managed to overcome it and still get the workout in, but it was tough. I know getting back to my old self is going to be a little challenging and I’m trying to be patient with myself. I did take Saturday off for leisure time.. no true workout, but I was active all day.

Another issue I’m having that’s forcing me to take a step back is simply an issue with technology itself. For the past week, I’ve been shadowbanned on Instagram. My posts aren’t being categorized in hashtag searches. I basically don’t exist to people who don’t follow me. It’s a bit of a bummer since I do so many yoga challenges and I post my daily check-ins there.

It’s a silly problem to have and I hope it’s fixed soon.

Other than that, I’d say it was a successful week! I’m looking forward to week 2!

Let’s do this!!


-A

 

 

9 Powerful Fitness Quotes to Get You Moving

Hello friends!

Happy Sunday!

And Happy Mother’s Day to all of you moms out there! You are all beautiful, hard-working women who do so much for everyone around you, day in and day out. I hope you enjoy a wonderful day of rest and relaxation, surrounded by your favorite people. ❤

As we prepare for a brand new week, I wanted to share some of my favorite powerful fitness quotes to help keep our energy level up and our motivation strong.

Let’s get started!

Excuses are useless.Results are priceless.Energy and persistenceconquer all things.I am a believerthat we shape and createthe life that we chooseand I believethat the tool we have to do thatis our mind.You can have results or excuses.Not both.To give anything less than your best is tosacrifice the gift.Don't think you areKnow you are.Find your comfort zone.Then leave it.Making excuses burns 0 caloriesBlood, Sweat, Respect.First two you give.Last one you earn.

 

 

Need more motivation?

Check out:

7 Motivational Tips to Get You Up and Get You Moving

These are my top tips to help you get your workout in when you’d rather do anything else!

Have an amazing week my friends!!

-A

Bikini Series 2018 | Beginnings, Goals, Fitness | #TIU

Hello everyone!

Happy Monday!

It’s the first day of Bikini Series and I’m so excited!! Before I get started with the workouts this morning, I wanted to share my goals for this challenge.

-Workout in the morning at least 3x’s per week. 

I get up at 4:50am most mornings, but that doesn’t mean I’m ready to start accomplishing things. That’s such an ugly hour. Coffee helps, but I’m usually tired. I also have an issue with working out in the morning, and then feeling extremely drained later in the day. But change requires action. I think aiming for three times a week is doable.

-Cardio 2x’s a week for the first two weeks.

My body does not like cardio. It just doesn’t. But some of the girls are bringing back the 100 by summer challenge — which is where you log 100 miles throughout Bikini Series. You can do any cardio you’d like. 10 minutes is equivalent to 1 mile. Going hard the first week will ultimately lead to me getting injured. So, I’m going to ease in. Two times a week, I will log 10-15 minutes of cardio. (20 if I’m feeling really good.) At the end of week two, I will revisit this goal and see if I can increase my cardio days to three.

-Strengthen my core.

When I got injured back in January, it was related to a move where I really needed to activate my core. I thought was, but it wasn’t enough. I was relying too heavily on my shoulders. Ultimately that lead to my injury. For this challenge, I am going to really focus on strengthening my core so that doesn’t happen again.

-Fit into my clothes.

I mentioned before that my clothes aren’t fitting right. My jeans are tight and the shorts I have don’t actually fit me right now. I refuse to buy a size up. I won’t do it. (Side note: I said this exact thing about pregnancy jeans and I never did buy any pregnancy jeans or maternity pants while I was pregnant.) I’m determined to tone up and trim my body. I took my measurements on Saturday morning. I wasn’t surprised, but I have a lot of work to do.

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Okay. Well, I’ve set my intentions. Now it’s time to put in the work. I’ll be checking in each week on Monday here on the blog. I am going to check in everyday on Instagram.

Have you signed up for the Bikini Series? Let me know so we can hold each other accountable! 🙂

Have an amazing week!


-A

Get Up and Move : 5 (More) Reasons to Workout Today!

Hello friends!

Happy Sunday!

Spring is in full swing and that means we are all busier than ever.

During these times, one of the first things to get pushed back or eliminated is the workout for the day.  This is perfectly fine and normal every once in awhile, but when it starts becoming a daily or weekly occurrence, it becomes a bad habit that is extremely challenging to break.

So this week, I’m giving you 5 more reasons to workout, starting today!

Let’s jump in!

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5. Working out relieves stress and boosts your mood.

The days are longer and we are filling that extra light with more activities… Work obligations, school related functions with the kids, sports, parties, and planning for upcoming holidays. It’s just a busy time. But, working out can help burn off stress and negative feelings. Try a HIIT workout, go for a run, or hit the elliptical for some heart pumping cardio; Yoga is also great for relieving stress. About halfway through the workout, you might notice a shift in your mood. By the time you’re done, you will feel rejuvenated and ready to tackle your to-do list. But you don’t have to push play on a video or visit the gym. Getting outside for a walk is a wonderful way to get moving, connect with nature, enjoy the warmer weather, soak up the sunshine and fresh air, and boost your mood.

 

4. Exercise alleviates allergies.

Stuffy nose. Itchy eyes. Sneezing. Runny nose. Spring can be miserable for those who suffer from seasonal allergies.

Working out consistency boosts your immune system and can help prevent, or lessen the symptoms of the cold and flu. But did you know that exercise can also help alleviate allergies?

As you exercise, your body redirects blood flow from non-essential areas, like swollen blood vessels in your nose causing congestion, to the hardest working areas, which can relieve nasal congestion in as little as five minutes, with effects lasting hours after your workout. Even something as simple as a little stretching or light yoga can help. Aquatic exercise is a wonderful option as well. Being in the humid environment helps open up the nasal passages and clear sinuses. Plus, being in the pool is fun!

Just be sure to not overdo it. Too much physical activity can exacerbate symptoms and make you more miserable. It’s always a good idea to chat with your doctor about what would be best for you.

 

3. Get out of that winter funk.

It has been a crazy winter, especially in the midwest. Temperatures up and down, up and down. One minute snow is on the ground, the next minute it’s sunny and warm. Mother nature just couldn’t make up her mind for what seemed like the longest time. But now, the sun is shining and it’s gradually getting warmer.. and staying there! I’m proud to say that I’ve had the heat turned off for several days.

There’s no time like the present to get out and enjoy it! Think outside the box when it comes to exercise. Instead of going to the gym or pushing play on a DVD or streaming service, go to the park. Walk the trails, climb on the monkey bars, stroll the beach.. take your family, your camera, and make a day of it! You’ll be burning calories and having fun!

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Or.. if it’s raining.. try a new workout. If you frequent the gym, take a new class or try a new piece of equipment. If you workout at home like me, try a new exercise video on YouTube. Maybe visit your local library and browse their selection of exercise DVD’s. Pick out something that looks interesting and fun. Who knows? You might fall in love with a brand new (or old school) workout method to incorporate into your fitness routine.

 

2. Reach your summer fitness goals.

Undoubtedly, you’ve set some sort of fitness goal with summer in mind. Maybe you want to tone up,  maybe you’re looking to lose 5-10 pounds, or maybe you just want to be healthier. Whatever your goal, now is the time to get up and get moving. We have three weeks until the unofficial start of summer (Memorial Day here in the States.) That is plenty of time to jump back in, create the habit of showing up for yourself, and start seeing results. Change requires action and the best way to achieve something is to get started.

 

1. Workout because you can and choose to. 

It’s a simple thing and we all take it for granted: being alive in this moment; being relatively healthy. Everyday is a gift. Instead of approaching exercise as a chore, something you have to do, change your perspective. Try thinking about exercise as something you get to do, something you choose to do. You choose exercise because:

-You care about yourself.
-You love yourself.
-You care about your family.
-You love your family and want to be around for them, able to do fun things with them.
-You want to be healthy.
-You want to keep your body healthy.
-You want to look and feel good. And when you workout, your confidence grows. You start to stand up straighter, your attitude shifts, you might even smile more. And all of this carries over into the rest of your life.

 

There you go. Now log off and go workout!

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Have a wonderful week friends!

 

Need more?

Get Up and Move: 5 Reasons to Workout Today

13 Reasons To Workout Today

 

 

 

Life is a Journey: Check-in and Re-Evaluate — April Edition – New Goals and Bikini Series

Hello friends!

Happy Sunday!

It’s almost May! Which means summer is quite literally, right around the corner. I’m am definitely looking forward to more sunshine, warmer temps, and lazy, care-free days.

Are you?

Now is the perfect time to check-in with yourself.

Think back to the beginning of the year. That sense of a fresh-start, a renewing energy, a renewed sense of vigor, of hope.. the thought that anything was possible… a fresh-start.

There’s no reason you can’t embrace that energy right now. Each month is a fresh-start.. each Sunday is a fresh-start to the week.. each morning is a fresh-start. It’s all about cultivating the right mindset and your perspective.

With that in mind.. think about those resolutions you set at the beginning of the year, the goals you set for yourself.

Think about your performance. Have you been sticking to your plan? Has life intervened? Do you need to adjust?


There’s nothing wrong with abandoning a goal if it no longer serves you.

Now is the time to set a new goal. Maybe something more realistic. Maybe something completely different. 


Fitness is a lifestyle. It’s all about the journey.


Much like life. 


And there’s no time like the present. 

I’ve been on quite the journey this month, myself. I started strong, but cautious, listening to my body, but getting my workout in… until… my shoulder started acting up again. I’m not sure what the issue is, but it is definitely messing with my mind. I’m worried about hurting it worse and not being able to workout, so I get a little discouraged and feel a lack of ambition. I’ve allowed that to take over this past week actually, despite having taken my measurements. — that showcased what I knew to be true and turned it into a reality.

Where my body is right now is not where I want it to be.

In order to fix that I have to overcome the self-sabotaging thoughts, make a plan, and take action.

And that is exactly what I’m going to do.

I’m sharing this with all of you for a few reasons. One, I know that I’m not the only person ever to succumb to my excuses. My hope is that you’ll be inspired to take action with me. Two, sharing this truth, and in turn, my action plan, helps hold me more accountable than just doing it on my own. In a sense, you are all my accountability partners.

So what am I going to be doing?

Three things.

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have noticed my #100daysofTAM. This was started a few years ago by a friend of mine on Facebook. It was to help get back in to consistency and hold us all accountable. TAM is the Tracy Anderson Method. You’ve heard me talk about it before. I love the method. I practiced it faithfully for the year and a half before getting married, and a few months after until I broke my toe and was sidelined. This method helped me drop the extra pounds I had put on due to stress at my job. I was the tiniest I had ever been. I got back into it after recovering, and again, was super fit and toned. I used to love experimenting with new workouts and I would go and try a few things, but I always come back to TAM. Now that I’m older, I’ve found what really works for me and I tend to gravitate only toward those workouts and programs. So.. I started this 100 days of TAM on April 2 to get myself back to me .. working out everyday, showing up for myself.. after hurting my shoulders back in February. I’m continuing that.

I’m also looking into Tonique. This is a workout that many of my friends who do TAM or used to do TAM, love and recommend. Sylwia is the founder and creator.. her workouts are all about finding a balance, living your best life, and being your best self. — pretty much what I’m all about. I got a few recommendations from a good friend and I’m trying to decide which workout I want to purchase and incorporate. I will have this decided really soon and will start it the first or second week of May.

Lastly, I’m going to be participating in my favorite workout challenge — Bikini Series with Tone It Up. This will be my fourth Bikini Series and I’m so excited!! I love the Tone It Up girls and Bikini Series is the perfect challenge to get ready for summer. I would love for you to join me!! To learn more and sign up go to toneitup.com/bikiniseries. If you are doing Bikini Series, please let me know so we can cheer each other on!

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Once a week, I will do a progress post. This is where I will talk about the week, how I’ve done with the workouts, if I’ve shown up, if I had to take a day off, how I’m feeling.. etc.. Doing this really does help with accountability. If you are joining in, I recommend doing a weekly check-in post. You will be amazed at how helpful it is.

So that’s my plan.

I encourage you to take some time to reflect this week. Set up an action plan for May to help you achieve your goals. It can be for anything and everything.. not just fitness related.

Let’s do this!


May is going to be an awesome month! 

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Have a great week friends!

 

April Favorites – 2018 Edition

Hello Friends!

Can you believe we are finally nearing May? I’m so excited for warmer weather, beautiful sunshine, and trips to the Lake!

But first, it’s time to chat about all of my favorite things this past month.

Let’s get started!

A Column of Fire – Ken Follett

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First up is a book that I actually forgot was coming out. I was tagged on Twitter to share a book that changed my life. (A Circle Of Quiet – Madeleine L’Engle) While I was browsing through other tweets, I saw someone had posted a Ken Follett book. I adore his novels.. they are intriguing and amazing. So I left a comment, basically saying that. Haha! A new friend tweeted at me, asking if I had read this one. I hadn’t. The issue with Ken Follett’s phenomenal historical fiction series is how much time has to pass in order for him to write the next book. In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, I had completely forgotten about it. Thankfully this new friend told me about it.. I immediately hopped on my library app and requested it. A month later it was mine. I spent a good week getting lost in this book. It was simply amazing. As usual, I was sad to finish it. I get so involved in the story and with the characters.. and it’s hard to let go. The way it ended though… I’m looking forward to a new edition to this series. (Fingers crossed.)

 

The Great Interior Design Challenge

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What is it about British Television that I find so fascinating? I honestly have no idea.. It might stem from my childhood: I spent most weekends with my grandparents and every Saturday night we would watch the British comedy line-up on PBS. My favorite show was Keeping Up Appearances. Who could forget the incredible Mrs. Bucket (“It’s BOOOOUUUQUUUUETTTTT!”) I digress. A few weeks ago, I decided I wanted to watch something on Netflix while I enjoyed my coffee. This show looked interesting, so I gave it a chance. That was a bad idea. I sat on the couch for three hours, sipping coffee, and learning interior design tips. haha! There were 16 episodes available. It took about two weeks, but I finished the season. I hope they made more because this show was really awesome!

 

Coffee Nut M&M’s

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I love coupons. Who doesn’t enjoy saving money? I had a coupon, buy one bag of M&M’s, get one bag free. I wanted to try one of the new flavors.. I think it was espresso — it was coffee related — but the store we were at didn’t have the cool new flavors. So, I decided I would try the Coffee Nut M&M’s. Several of my friends told me they were delicious and I had been wanting to try them. Here was my chance. Let me just say… I was not disappointed. They were soooo good. I actually want to try making cookies with them. Can you imagine how amazing that would be?

 

Altoids

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Is an explanation even necessary for this one? Altoids are amazing in so many ways. I’ve been all about these lately. They are perfect to curb snacking and when all the mints are gone, you have a cute little tin to upcycle.

 

Black Obsidian Pendant

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I don’t wear much jewelry. Obviously, I always have my wedding band on. I have a few classic pieces that I wear when we go out, but that’s the extent of it. About a month ago, I won a giveaway on Instagram. My prize was a beautiful rose quartz pendant from Sultry Stones. First impression – the packaging.. it was carefully and beautifully packaged. You could tell that she really takes pride in her work.  The rose quartz pendant is beautiful and when I wore it out on our vacation, I received so many compliments! I’ve browsed her Instagram posts and I love all of her pendants, but I was really drawn to the black obsidian. Originally, my plan was to purchase it as a birthday gift for myself in September, and as a reward for reaching my splits goal. Well, I reached out and the price was so good that I decided to go for it. I absolutely love this pendant. It’s my favorite necklace and I’ve been wearing it everywhere!

 

Snuggle Dryer Sheets

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I’m normally a Bounce dryer sheet kinda gal.. but when I went to the store to get more, the shelf was empty. I was about to grab the Gain dryer sheets, when my husband pointed out that Snuggle was a better deal. “Sure,” I shrugged. Well… that ended up being the perfect choice. When we got home and opened the trunk to grab the grocery bags, we were surprised at how amazing the trunk smelled… the scent was coming from the unopened box of dryer sheets. Using them on our laundry has been equally amazing. The scent is phenomenal and they keep static at bay. 200 sheets for $5.97? You can’t beat that!

 

Magnolia Tree Blossoms

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We have the most beautiful tree in our front yard… for about a month in the spring time. Then the flowers fall off and we’re left with green leaves for the rest of the warm season. Last year, the weather was pretty weird and it didn’t bloom at all. This year, however, it decided to start blossoming early. This was worrisome as the weather has been ping-ponging back and forth between winter and spring. But, the tree has prevailed! It is full of beautiful pink, purple, and white flowers. It is so lovely!

 

The Bishop’s Pawn – Steve Berry

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I have been waiting for this novel for a little over a year. This is another Cotton Malone adventure and it was one of the best yet! The story explores a theory surrounding the death of Martin Luther King, Jr., in a twist that I had never heard of before. We learn how Cotton got his start with the Magellan Billet. This is another historical fiction novel (one of my favorite genres) and keeps you hooked until the end. What I love the most about Steve Berry’s novels is he separates fact from fiction at the very end… and in the process you end up learning interesting new facts. Per usual, I devoured this story and I am looking forward to the next Cotton adventure!

 

Well, that’s it for me this month. What were your favorite things? Share them in the comments! Also, feel free to leave a link to your post or video if you made an April Favorites. I’d love to check it out!

 

 

 

 

 

15 Inspiring Quotes from Theodore Roosevelt

Hello friends!

Happy Sunday and Happy Earth Day!

 

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Fun Facts:

-Earth Day was founded by Wisconsin Senator, Gaylord Nelson on April 22, 1970.

-20 million Americans took part in the first Earth Day.

-Although Earth Day was started in the U.S., it became an international phenomenon in 1990. 

-Today, at least 192 countries and an estimated 1 billion people take part in Earth Day.

*Sources:
Earth Day Fun Facts
Fun Facts About Earth Day
10 of the Coolest Earth Day Facts

 

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As we honor our planet by taking conscious action, we are also getting ready to vote in our primary elections.

It’s always nice to reflect on the wise words of the people who came before us… so with all that in mind..

Today I wanted to share some of the most inspiring quotes from our 26th president, Theodore Roosevelt.

Let’s reflect.

Get inspired.

And change the world.

Starting with ourselves.

The best way to enact change is to start in your own home.

Small changes add up to big results.

Everyone has a role and everyone can do their part.

Let’s get started.

 

Do what you canwith what you have,where you are.Keep your eyes on the starsandyour feet on the ground.With self-discipline,most anything is possible.The most importantingredient for successCourage is not having the strength to go on;It is going on when you don't have the strength.Courtesy is as mucha mark of a gentlemanas courage.Nothing in the worldis worth having or worth doingunless it meanseffort, pain, difficulty...I have never in my lifeenvied a human beingwho led an easy life.If you could kick the personin the pantsresponsible for most of your trouble,You wouldn't sit for a month.The worst lessonthat can be taught to a manis to rely upon othersand to whine over his sufferings.When you get to the end of your ropetie a knotandhang on.When you are askedif you can do a job,tell 'em, _certainly I can!_Then get busy and find out how to do it.We must dare to be great;and we must realizethat greatness isthe fruit of toiland sacrificeand high courage.Speak softly,and carry a big stick;you will go far.Never throughout historyhas a manwho lived a life of easeleft a name worth remembering.Life is a great adventure.Accept it in such a spirit.