Progress Is Perfection

A blog to inspire, motivate, and unleash the awesome in everyone


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Transformation

It’s been a long time since Nicole or I used this space to write an actual blog. Instead of pummeling my Facebook with an extraordinarily long post, I decided to leave it here, with you all. So…here are my thoughts:

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Few things feel so intrinsically rewarding as that of becoming who you were meant to be. Its an overused and perhaps tired analogy, but one that’s so fitting: the metamorphosis of the caterpillar.

At one end the caterpillar, at the other the butterfly. The same entity at its core, but in other ways almost entirely different creatures.

The change and growth that occurs for a caterpillar to become a butterfly is a process that takes time. Its one that doesn’t have a set timeline, and for some caterpillars it takes longer than others. Its painful. Its bloody. Its exhausting. It takes strength and it also BUILDS strength. You see, the butterfly needs to struggle to get out of its cocoon; to push the fluid from its body and into its little wings in order to make them strong enough to carry her/him. Without this struggle the butterfly’s wings never properly develop, they are unable to fly, and ultimately perish.

Just like butterflies, we go through these kinds of life-altering changes. Not all will make it through to the other side. But those that do…that successfully shed their skin and reveal their true form, wind up with some of the most beautiful souls.

I’ve felt this sort of change as of late.

With my recent separation from my husband there have been many changes, both inwardly and outwardly. I was unhappy for some time before the split, and had started to become a shell of the person that I was. Now looking back…this had been happening for longer than I would care to admit.

It’s been a roller coaster of a ride the last few months, and I’m well aware that it will continue to be. However…I finally feel as if I’ve hit an upswing, and I’m finally starting to feel like myself…only…better.

I feel as if some parts of me that became dormant for some time have been reawakened. I feel like I’m smiling bigger, loving harder, breathing in deeper. Slowly but surely, I’m tiptoeing my way back to not only who I was, but who I will be. Some sort of amalgamation of old and new. For the first time in a long time, I feel like me. I’m not even entirely sure what that means, but I know that I am becoming comfortable in my skin, and forging myself into a person that for the first in a long time…is happy.

– V

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Surviving Breast Cancer: Laurie’s Story & Update

To mark the last day of Breast Cancer Awareness month, here is a guest blog post from our close friend Laurie. We mentioned her story and her battle with breast cancer in a previous blog. We are proud to announce that as of yesterday her doctors have declared her cancer-free! Here are some tips she would love to share with anyone else fighting this tough battle:

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Today is the last day of October, Breast Cancer awareness month. This also marks the beginning of the end to my breast cancer battle. From here on I will be recovering from surgery and starting my reconstruction. From this point on I will only get stronger, and I can so proudly say that I will continue on to be a Breast Cancer Survivor!

Cancer is a scary word, with scary connotations. Many experiences of cancer are riddled with tragedy, defeat, and loss. Early detection, plenty of experience and research has led to our odds of surviving cancer becoming higher than ever before. There have been countless researchers and doctors, who have gone and done several years of study on cancer alone, that the list of specialists in all types of cancers surpasses the need.

With the confidence I had in modern medicine and its advances in treating my very common breast cancer, it was easy for me latch on to the idea that I was going to survive breast cancer.

I would love to share with everyone the tips and tools I used, sort of as a survivors guide to cancer, that got me through these past 6 months.

Acceptance:

Accept breast cancer as an obstacle, not as your personal “Everest”. Know that it is evil, but that evil will not prevail. To think like a survivor you must think like a winner. If you are having difficulty stepping forward into the battle of your life, and if you are a visual learner, try “drawing” your sword! Be creative! Draw cancer as an evil nemesis, depict the epic battle where cancer is annihilated by streams of lasers or huge machete knives. Here is my depiction:

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Losing my hair:

Coming to terms with this was difficult. For me, I was growing my hair long for my wedding, I had long black hair, the way my fiance loved it. I did not want to lose the one thing I identified beauty with. What I learned made me grow stronger as a woman.

I have always been interested in nature, in wildlife and their primal behavior. I believe each animal has a lesson to teach if you look at their movements and ways of life. Take the majestic moose in this case. I think they are fantastic, mystical beautiful creatures. They have large velvety antlers that can span upwards to 1.8 feet across! In the winter, like their other antlered counterparts, they shed their huge horns in preparation for harsher winters. This allows them to have enough energy to survive the winter. Once again I took the pencil to the paper and depicted this amazing creature in winter. In all its glory without the large horns, the moose was still beautiful and majestic. If a creature so dependent on their horns for their beauty goes for months without their awe inspiring horns, it is only for it to be grown back stronger and more majestic than the spring before. Here is my drawing:

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I also did an amazing photo shoot, with my very talented friend Nicole. In my bald glory I felt like a high-end fashion model. Purposely and fiercely bald, allowing my true facial features to shine. It was, after all, my freckles that my fiancé loved most about my looks. He made me feel beautiful, even when I lost all my hair. He encouraged me to wear the baldness proud. I continued to do my make up and had a great time experimenting with hats and scarves. When would I ever have the opportunity to see myself bald. Being stripped of what some woman see as their womanliness did not bother me. I embraced the look and wore it proud as my solidarity to the fight, much like a soldier shaves his or her head.

Empowering myself, making myself a survivor:

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I had little confidence and was filled with fear when I first found out that I had breast cancer. I’ve explained it before as seeing myself at the end of a the highest diving board. I had to jump into this, knowing I should be safe but scared shitless about the height. It is however the anticipation that is always the worst. I needed to have faith in my doctors and in modern medicine that they would help me fight breast cancer. I turned to music for some lyrical encouragement. The following is my soundtrack to survival:

Katy Perry- Part of Me

Survivor- Eye of the Tiger

Destiny Child- Survivor

Mariah Carey- Hero

Hedley- Invincible

Good Charlotte- Hold On

Katy Perry- firework

Katy Perry- Eye of the Tiger

Switchfoot- Meant to Live

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Nicole and I would like to thank everyone for their support this month, and for all of you that joined in the fundraising efforts for breast cancer research. We also want to let Laurie know how incredibly proud we are of her, and couldn’t be happier with the news that she’s kicked cancer’s butt. We love you girl, we knew you could do it. And for anyone else out there reading this and fighting, know that you too can beat it. Stay strong and know there are a ton of people supporting you, loving you, and rooting for you. You got this.

– Veronica, Nicole & Laurie


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Burpees | The Exercise We Love to Hate

I remember first being introduced to burpees 2 years ago on my 27th birthday at the lovely 30 Minute Hit gym. The rule was if you came in on your birthday you were subject to “birthday burpees” – one for every year you have been on the planet. I didn’t know what a burpee was, but judging from the disgusting sounding name, I didn’t have high hopes for it. It took me many-a bootcamps, workout routines, and time to develop a newfound love for burpees; now I can almost say I enjoy them! Keyword here being almost.

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Named after the physiologist who developed the exercise move, burpees are phenomenal full body exercises that should be incorporated into everyone’s routine. What the heck is this ridiculous sounding yet hellish exercise you ask?

Burpees are a combination of a squat, thrust, push-up and vertical jump. They workout almost all the large muscle groups in the body, testing strength while at the same time challenging and developing your aerobic capabilities. Burpees target your quads, hamstrings, buttocks, abs, deltoids, triceps, pecs, traps, and more. Like I said, it truly is a FULL body workout! By the time you are done a set your body should be screaming and your legs will feel like a ton of bricks.

Because burpees are so intense and get your heartbeat up quickly, they also ramp up your metabolism which has a lasting effect even when you are done working out; you still continue to burn calories for the rest of the day.

For all these reasons burpees should be everyone’s new favorite exercise!

So how do you perform a burpee?

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and lower yourself into a squat position. Lower your hands on the floor in front of you
  2. Kick your legs back behind you until you are in a push-up position, arms straight
  3. Perform a push-up
  4. Quickly pull your legs back behind you into a squatted position, stand up and jump vertically with your hands above your head

If you are a beginner, feel free to omit the push-up at the bottom and/or the jump at the top until you feel comfortable pushing yourself a bit farther. There are also a number of variations to burpees to change it up or increase the difficulty. Check out this link  for 10 Badass Burpee Variations.

Also if you are up for a masochistic butt-kicking, take a look at the video below for a fun 100 Burpee challenge.

Have fun all 😉 All this burpee talk has made me want to go workout!

–  Veronica