Thursday, July 7, 2011


Friday afternoon was blissful. It could have gone horribly wrong, but it didn't, and I can't help but think it was in part because of the girls knowing you have to make lemonade out of lemons!

Friday was Makenzie's last day of Hidden Cove Summer Camp for the week. By Fridays all of us are a bit tired, ready to play but also ready to chill in the same.  Emerson and I rode the bike trailer to the beach to pick up Makenzie and had a planned beach-playdate with her dear friend, C, and her wonderful Mom, J.  Makenzie and C changed into their swimsuits, grabbed the buckets and ran right into the water.  E was sleeping in the trailer, which was perfect and necessary since she needed her naps by Friday.  J and I actually had some time to talk and debrief over life's events.  We watched the girls play in the sand, dive in the Bay, chase each other and honestly just have fun being kids.  It was easy and perfect.  E woke up a bit groggy and gradually made her way to the sand.  She jumped right in too, excitedly wearing her new turquoise 2-piece and shaked her boomer all the way to the sand.

While my toes were nestling in the sand, the sunshine warming my chest and conversation flowing between J and I, my thoughts were of "this is a perfect Friday afternoon in Summer!".  After 90 minutes it was time to pack up and ride home.  I wanted enough time to get ready for that night, as part of my Happiness Project is to spend more time with my own girl friends and I had a playdate at Rock Wall's Champagne tasting I didn't want to miss.  All were buckled, ready to ride home and feeling the Friday fatigue of a good week. The girls and I were singing loudly and then I heard a "bang-bang-bang".  I continued on, but the sound did too. I stopped, checked the trailer and the tires.  TWO flat tires. Oh man, we were only at the Windsurf Shack which means another 3 miles until our house.  My initial thoughts were this can be fine, and let's hope E and M don't have meltdowns.

While checking both tires looking for any objects in them, a nice man who was running, stopped too. He kindly went over the tires sharing he was sorry he didn't have a spare with him.  So nice- he was running and worried he didn't have a bike trailer spare wheel!  We said good bye and I said to the girls, "Guess what- we get to walk home now! Yeah for a beautiful sunshine day!".  3 miles, this could be tricky...

Or the opposite!  Makenzie looked at me, looked at Emerson and said "Hey guys, let's race!". She started running and Emerson followed. Before I knew it we were at Grand Ave.- half mile done! We continued on with Emerson in the bike trailer and Makenzie pushing the back. No complaints- we played Eye Spy, 20 questions, sang songs, and contemplated where we should have our next adventure.  Makenzie was asking questions about different times when I was growing up with my brother and sister while E was playing with her baby, Rachel.  I told the girls to get to the South Shore stop sign and we could get ice cream. There would be only 1.3 miles to walk after.  Wahoo- almost there. My Mom ears were so proud- they were truly making lemons to lemonade without any tears.

At Lords Ice Cream the girls got to pick what ice cream they wanted with M&M toppings.  The ice cream melted everywhere and the three of us laughed. Makenzie observed that the runner who helped us said maybe Pagano's may have bike tires and we could go there after the ice cream. I didn't even register that piece of information, and confirmed we were ok to keep walking. After we finished the melting messes, the girls took turns with "riding" my bike and me helping them balance.  We ran into a few people and had a few friend's honk their horns and wave.  The girls excitedly waved back, and then asked how much further.  With only half mile left, we realized we'd make it for me to get a shower and get to the Champagne tasting. Emerson said while sitting in the bike trailer, "It's good Mom, we'll be there!  Let's go faster!!!!". Makenzie did just that while she pushed the back of the trailer and I balanced the bike.

Phew, once we made it home the girls went into song and dance.  They made it home without any whining, crying, or complaining!  They worked as a TEAM, having played all afternoon, but pushed themselves knowing I had a little event planned to make it to.  Makenzie and Emerson didn't wince and Makenzie was so proud of the fact she walked 3 miles after a full day of playing at camp and swimming.  This coming from my 7 year old daughter who I had to re-teach how to walk in October, had surgeries in November and December, and only started PE again in April 2011!

Yet I hear from some clients and those who want to lose weight give me excuses all the time such as; "There is no time to exercise". "Push ups are to hard so I don't want to do them". "I can't do this because it hurts and I am tired". "My kids made me gain wait and I have no energy to work harder anymore". "Please don't push me, I had a rough day".  We all have rough days, moments, weeks, years. It is how we DEAL with them that counts.   It is how we make a situation into an adventure and allow our body to cope with the adventure.  It is how we take what could be a tricky time and turn it into a sporty event with positive memories.

After we made it home, I took a 10 minute shower-change-wrap up, got the girls changed and everyone in the car.  While I digested the afternoon, I was overcome with a sense of complete pride for who my daughters are.  I am always proud of them; love Makenzie and Emerson more than the world and will jump as high as they ask me to any day.  But this instance, I felt so very proud and toasted them with my glass of bubbly as I shared the afternoon's story with my friends.  Cheers to many more Lemonade days!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Pretty Cool....

Last week I found out I was voted  2011 Most Motivational Personal Trainer by Alameda Magazine.  It may seem small on some accounts in a city of about 80,000, but it has made me proud and blissed in so many ways.  Take a read at the "Thank You" I wrote to the Power Fitness PDX peeps.  It really does mean a lot, and thank you for the love.  I know this blog is about embracing my life's challenges, and starting over, having a hospitalized child, and re-building my life in the Bay Area have been some of them...tiny little events that have evolved and made me stronger.  With love-Erin 

Thank you Thank you Thank you!  

You voted, the city voted and guess what....I was just named the  
To say it is an honor is an understatement.  To say that it had me smiling and filled with pride, joy and gratefulness is an understatement as well.  Many reasons but a significantly huge one is I should award all of YOU Most Motivational Clients/Friends/Business Owners/Family.  I am motivated by YOU every day to not only try hard to do the best with my fitness business and as a Personal Trainer, but to challenge my own self to go beyond my comfort zone and live the best life possible.  YOU motivate me to be as healthy, active, educated, joyful, present and live in the moment daily.  Thank you so very much for being the stars of motivation in many aspects that shape me to do what I do.   

The reasons I feel so appreciative for this honor and recognition are:

1. We moved back to Alameda, the city I was born and raised in, New Years 2010.  It was a big move that was fast and during a zany time of year, the holidays.  After having lived and loved Portland, Oregon, for 6 years, after the economy shifted and a big job layoff, we realized it was time for our family to be back by family and lifelong friends.  We were nervous and sad about leaving Portland, our girls only "known" home.  But we felt the New Year was a great time to start a new adventure and to go for it.  One of the reasons I was nervous stemmed from owning my own, relationship based business.  Starting over meant starting with all new clients, laying out my credibility, creating a new environment and building a new network as a business owner in a city that knew me as kid on my bicycle. Fresh start = Fresh NEW adventure and challenges. 

Jump for Joy POwer Fitness PDX

 2. YOU, without realizing it, helped me be my child's BEST advocate when she was in the hospital September-December 2010.  I fell to my knees daily when Makenzie  couldn't see and made a point to get up and be strong for her without question.  When I was able to teach Power Fitness PDX in the mornings, I would, and returned to the hospital regenerated and inspired to keep putting one foot in front of the other on her endless and exhausting marathon of a race back to health.  YOU supported my family with love, kindness, meals, day-to-day support, and words that meant more to us than we can ever share with you.  When I wasn't able to support you 110% like I strive to, YOU shared with me to use that energy for Makenzie and Emerson. To support her without question and YOU would train and workout together the days I couldn't come to teach. The days turned to weeks and yet YOU continued on.  That motivation you had to train as a TEAM supporting each other as YOU supported my family will forever be a gift.  Together. Empower.Achieve.Motivate. Thank YOU.  

3. I have the gift of seeing you in action, working hard, in the mornings and afternoons daily. I get to laugh with you when training to lose the chicken legs in your front yard, while saying "Good Morning" to each passing neighbor. Or training in class at Power Fitness PDX with goals ranging from learning to not just wear workout pants because of the elastic waist effect, to doing a proper push up and increase speed and intensity with running. And I get to watch you leave your desk for an hour at work to challenge yourselves to get strong and lean doing burpees and caterpillars in the Alameda Business Park courtyard... while losing the Lucy 10.  I am the lucky one who witnesses the sweat induced hard work...but all of your friends and family are paying attention!  You are motivating THEM to be healthier, more active, try new sports, enjoy a PFPDX date night boot camp, put on their running shoes to race, do push ups during TV commercials, go for an evening bike ride as a family, walk the stairs instead of ride the elevator, and grow a vegetable garden together instead of growing bigger bellies together! YOU motivate all around you by living, eating, sleeping and LIVING the day to day lifestyle of being ACTIVE and HEALTHY!!!  Congrats to YOU!    

Cheers to an award that means the world.  And Cheers to YOU for making me  more inspired, motivated, determined and energized to live up to the title and continue to be the Most Motivational Personal Trainer of 2011!  
Remember to always .... Challenge the POWER of YOU! 
Lucy upright

----Erin Kreitz Shirey
Owner & Lead Trainer of
Power Fitness PDX LLC 
Voted Alameda Magazine  
2011 Most Motivational Personal Trainer