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October Newsletter-new changes at the gym

The difficulty of owning a business among other things.....

My parents never told me that when I became a parent that life comes in waves. I just assumed that things in our lives were always constant and that if we were responsible enough, they would stay that way. I wish I could go back to my parents now and laugh in their face because its farther from the truth!

Life for me has come in waves, some small and some big. Those waves of change have ultimately improved my lifestyle and as a business owner. Earlier this year the biggest wave came around the last time that I sent out my newest newsletter. So if you were wondering (or even cared lol) about why you have not received a newsletter, you’re about to find out why! And if you are new on the list, you can get a fresh update of what has been happening at The Barn.

Most business owners wouldn’t necessarily be open as to why things change or “fail” but this is my mom life and like think that being open is the better policy. Earlier this year I ran a typical gym. I had classes, members, friendly competitions among the members, had a private group of 161 ladies. I had almost 20 amazing ladies at the gym, four of those ladies were having babies! I offered some personal training but I was really focused on recruiting ladies to my gym. I thought that was stability to me. Then I had one person pause their membership, then another cancel, then attendance dropped, which lead to me dropping a class or two because no one was coming to it. The ladies had their babies which meant they needed to heal, and one thing after another, I had dropped from 20 ladies to four. What was I doing wrong? Was I not the coach that they needed? Was I not providing something? This “stability” crashed on me like a ton of bricks. Im not going to lie but it was a really difficult time for me.

However the universe has a funny way of showing us the path that we are to take. I was just about to go on vacation when one of the last ladies canceled her membership the day we were to leave for Canada. We were to be gone for a whole week and was the first real vacation we had in YEARS. So the blow came at a critical time for me to sit back and really reflect on what direction my business was going to take. We were able to really disconnect, we had no internet where we were. Although it was the hottest and muggiest on record for the area we were staying, it gave me the opportunity to enjoy my time with family. It was a vacation to remember for sure because of what had transpired in the weeks before but with unexpected heat, we got slammed with a tummy bug that first 24 hours, no AC available, and mosquitos the size of poodles. It made me realize how much I enjoyed being with my kid, not that I was working too much but that my relationship with my child had slightly suffered because of the schedule I had.

I had always believed to follow the organic flow of my business. When I first opened, I basically let events happen to help take me in the successful direction. If I got more memberships, great! So naturally this was the organic proof that I needed to change the structure of what I was offering. The great thing about having a business is that you ARE YOUR OWN BOSS and you can do what is best for yourself. It has taken me two years to really let that sink in. I realized that I was not enjoying what I was doing and was neglecting my original goal of helping women with prenatal and postpartum issues. I was sinking. So I decided to change. I dropped all of my classes. I decided to focus on personal training (the 1:1 is what I truly enjoy) and ramping up offering my seminars about postpartum issues. I also decided that I needed to be more involved with the community. So helping with my kids PTSA projects like the Union Pleasant FUN RUN coming up in a couple of days.

Its been an eye opening experience. Now that I have adjusted my business model, I am a whole lot happier. I feel like I can focus on one person at a time and really make a difference. Which of course is what any personal trainer wishes to do, but when it comes to something so intimate as helping women sort out private health concerns, its a whole new level of satisfaction. So now I offer 1:1 personal training, small group newly postpartum exercise groups a few times a year, I just launched my NEW TAKE HOME 8 week program for postpartum moms getting back to the gym, and offer “open gym” memberships at the gym for those moms who need to have some private space to workout. I have more seminars on the books and I refer ladies who want a traditional class setting to other gyms that I know will be supportive and offer that environment of community for those who need it.

So now that you have all the updates, lets get to the fun stuff!! Every month I try to include a recipe that I love eating at home as well as a workout. This time I am going to change it up a bit. This month, I will be linking a recipe that I have tried at home but with my own twist. The workout will be more like trying something “new” instead of a workout.

Vegan Mexican Bowls

My husband and I did a vegan stint a few years ago (long term did not work for us) but we at least got a few good recipes out of it. This takes the idea of a typical Mexican bowl but its vegan! This is great for a meal prep receipe too that you can load into jars or simply make it bulk and load your plate every day. You can also change out the veggies to suit your preferences. But the main ingredients are sweet potato and black beans. Its extremely filling and sticks to your ribs. The bowl base can be switched for brown rice, black rice, quinoa, couscous, or any other favorite grain. The recipe below is what we typically ate. If you have a grain sensitivity, replace grain with your favorite greens like kale or lettuce.

1/3c cook Brown Rice

1/3c Cubed Sweet Potato

1/3c Black beans

Corn- raw or cooked

Fresh Pico de Gallo

Chopped Sweet Peppers


3oz Tofu (optional)

Fire roasted Tomato Dressing*

-For the sweet potato, I just cut into bite size pieces and cooked in the air fryer.

-Black beans would be seasoned with cumin, garlic, salt, pepper, oregano

-You can do store bought guacamole or you can make your own.

-pop the tofu in the air fryer after giving it a quick coating of corn starch and salt to crisp up.

-“Fire” roasted dressing is totally optional and can use hot sauce of your choosing instead but recipe is below.

*Roast clove of garlic, tomato and onion with olive oil on broil in the oven until slightly blackened and cooked. Puree with salt, a splash of apple cider vinegar, touch of sugar or honey, oregano, parsley, and cumin until well blended. Add vinegar and spices to taste until you are satisfied with the flavor. Doesn’t take much vinegar though unless your sinuses need clearing! You can always add spice to your dressing too like jalapenos or seranos.

If I make too much of the dressing, this is a great roasting sauce for say chicken breasts for another meal. It makes a great slow cooker base too or soup base (without the vinegar).

Movement of the Month

The DEADLIFT. What is a deadlift and why do you need to care about it. I tell all of my clients that the deadlift movement is one of the most important full body movements that we do on a daily basis. Lifting grocery bags from the car into the house, carrying our baby carriers, picking up our kids and as simple as picking up toys on the floor! It exercises our core, our posterior chain (basically on the muscles on the backside of our body), shoulders, all of it. It is the quintessential movement! Which is why EVERY person should learn proper deadlift technique. You can use any kind of weight. Typically we use a barbell but those are not always readily available, so a Kettlebell is the next best thing. If you need a mental picture of what the deadlift looks like, the link to the technique is a great video on YouTube that breaks it down to easily understand it.

-Feet should be no more than should width apart.

-Bend over to grab the top of the kettlebell.

-Bend your knees until your elbows and kneecaps are flush with each other. This will ensure that your butt is not too high nor too low and is in the correct position.

-Flatten your back by pushing your shoulders downward and looking straight ahead. This will prevent the rounding of the back. Rounding your back can cause back injuries and create too much pelvic pressure for those who have pelvic floor symptoms.

-Breathe in before picking up your weight, then breathe out while pull the weight up. Your hips should stack over your hips. As we pull up, the strength is coming from out hips, glutes, and hamstrings.

-If your back is getting “tired”, cramping or has any pain, lower the weight. Also I suggest video taping yourself to see what your form looks like.

To watch the video, copy the link into your browswer! Yes it is from an official Crossfit channel but I promise, its very informative.

I hope you found this months newsletter informative and as always, if you have questions, comments or snarky remarks, I am all ears!! Go lift all things heavy,.... Coach L

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