The 10 Worst Things About Going to the Gym

I’ve made a conscious effort to get back in the gym, and I’ve been going for quite some time now (the past 2 days). Most blogs and websites seem to talk about how great the gym is and all of the wonderful things you can do there. They have you believing that you are going to see sunshine and rainbows as soon as you step foot inside. Now listen, this post is not to discourage you from joining a gym or exercising. I am merely here to inform you of all the awful things you might encounter, so that when you arrive you will be prepared and it won’t seem so bad. You’re welcome.

  1. It’s New Year’s Resolution Time. Everyone and their cousin has signed up for a gym membership as a New Year’s Resolution. Last night I went around 5pm (take my word for it… don’t do that). The place was absolutely packed! It’s like they put up a sign saying “Free Food Inside.” Not to mention, there was NO parking, so I had to park my car waaaay far away at the other side of the lot. And who likes walking 50 yards into the place that they are going to work out in? Nobody. I am reassured of that each night by the people who wait in their car for a front row spot to open up.
  2. Mirror, Mirror on the Wall. Who’s the sweatiest of them all? Okay, seriously? Why do gyms think its okay to line the walls with mirrors? I get it, it’s so you can check yourself out while you’re getting all swole and what not (I personally feel awkward watching myself work out. You do you though). All that ends up happening is accidentally locking awkward eyes with someone across the room while I’m about to die on some sort of cardio contraption.
  3. The Dreaded Treadmill. I love to run. I’ve done a couple of half marathons in my day, and it’s generally my go-to exercise. But the treadmill? It’s the worst. For those of you who are outdoor runners, you know what I’m talking about. Two miles on the treadmill seems like an eternity and a half. And now they put these little TV’s attached to each one? Oh sure, let me watch this little screen that is a foot in front of my face while I’m jogging. Every time I get dizzy and have to look away for fear of falling off and dying.
  4. Beef Cakes. There are so many jacked people at the gym who disgust you and make you feel bad about yourself at the same time. What do they do, spend 18 hours a day lifting weights? And boy do they love the mirrors. You always seem them standing right in front of the wall doing curls as if they were in front of an audience at body-building competition. It’s just you in the mirror brah, just you. Take it down a notch or ten.
  5. Rated R Locker Rooms. I don’t get why everyone thinks it’s okay to just stand around buck naked in the locker room chatting with all your retirement home friends. It’s always the umm, how should I say this… “aged ladies.” Sure, they are comfortable with their bodies, as they’ve lived with them for many decades. But I’m not. Use a towel!
  6. Really Attractive. Good thing I’m not going to the gym to find a love connection. Why is it that guys can pull off the sweaty, just-worked-out look? When I get done at the gym, I look like a hot disheveled mess! My face at the end of it is some weird, blotchy, flushed combination of looking like I just got sunburned and then immediately turned really pale. I don’t get why the boys aren’t flocking towards me when I get done.
  7. Chatty Kathy’s. Don’t talk to me when I’m working out. Especially if I don’t know you. End of story. I barely have enough breath to get through the stairmaster let alone talk to you about your pet cat and all those newspapers you collect.
  8. Music Selection. I find it absolutely necessary to have music on when I’m working out. Don’t get me started on getting to the gym and realizing you forgot your headphones. You might as well just turn around and leave. The worst is when your iPod is on shuffle. You are at the peak of your workout, super into it, when all of a sudden the song changes from Eminem to Adele or something. Not okay.
  9. Not Knowing How to Use the Weights. I am fairly familiar with most weight machines and their functions. Most of them are pretty self explanatory as there is only one possible way to contort your body to make it work. But I won’t lie when I say I’ve gotten a little over-confident before and walked up to a complex looking machine, thinking oh I can figure out how to use this. Wrong. I usually just stand by it for a minute, taking sips of my water, adjusting my iPod, while secretly scanning the machine for some sort of picture of how to use it. With no luck, I just do some awkward stretch and then walk away like I never intended to use it in the first place.
  10. False Expectations. Advertisements or pictures (like the one below) make the gym seem like a very happy place. No one smiles like that when they are working out! If these two were on the elliptical next to me I think I would be seriously creeped out. Just saying.

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These are just a few of the terrible things in relation to the gym. There are a ton more where that came from, but I don’t want to discourage you from working out. If all else fails, just steal all the treadmils and do this:

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“Fear is what stops you… courages is what keeps you going.” -Unknown

Why Hello There…

Okay so I know I have thousands of followers who have been desperately waiting for my next post (AKA my Grandma). I haven’t written in quite some time and I don’t know why. I think about posting all the time so that has to count for something right? Naturally, I was just waiting for the beginning of the year to start my resolution of writing every day. That’s just a lame excuse. I suck, I know. However, I really am going to make a valiant effort in writing every week. Even if they are just little motivational tips I pick up along the way.

So what’s new with me? Well, I moved back to Reno from sunny Southern California just recently. I had written before about scoring a dream job right out of college. I worked hard to get where I was, working for an ESPN College Basketball tournament. I learned more than I could ever imagine, and met some incredible people (See Me with Mike Brown below… I still respect the guy even though he didn’t quite get my Lakers a lot of tallies in the ‘W’ column).

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I also learned that sometimes companies really, really suck. I went from working at a place that cared so much about me, to working for people who put me in the worst of situations and couldn’t even pay me on time (or at all for that matter). It opened my eyes to the brutal reality of the business world. I questioned every aspect of what I was doing. Sure, I had a really cool job which from the outside seemed glamorous. In reality, I was working two other jobs to make ends meet and running myself into the ground. I talked about it like I loved it, and I worked my ass off so that only those closest to me knew how I really felt. Then my job ended, the tournament was over. My choices were to stay with the company and go to another event, find another opportunity in LA (or elsewhere) , or just go back to Reno. Well, I decided that I would rather live in the fiery core of the earth than live in LA. Seriously. At the same time, I didn’t like the thought of “going back” to Reno. I felt like I was giving up, like I was failing. What would I tell people when I got there? I had just been doing my dream job and now I’m going home to do who knows what. And honestly it took me this long to even find the courage to write it down for the fear that people might judge my actions or make me feel like I was giving up. But it came to the point where I just had to decide what to do.

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So I did it. I came back to Reno. Sure, it was a decision I had to make financially (that whole not being paid thing really threw a wrench into living the So Cal life), but in reality it was something I wanted to do for me. I realized that I need to stop doing things for other people and start doing things for myself. I need to find out what I want in life, and then go for it. All I’ve ever wanted is to do something remarkable, and I will, but I’m going to do it on my terms now. The only person I have to prove anything to is myself.

So here it is. I’m on a new journey in life and I’m sure I’ll be posting way more often. Make sure to describe and follow me on twitter @NelsonKati for all my latest updates.

“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”  ~ Dr. Seuss

What I Learned In College

Two weeks ago I put on my very fashionable cap and gown, and I walked across the stage at the University of Nevada (The TRUE University of Nevada). In an attempt to get the some-odd 2000 graduates through the ceremony, we were herded through the line, our names called via a small slip of paper we held, with not even a breath in-between. I couldn’t believe that my four years of college (five if you count my victory lap) we’re finalized within seconds.

I still vividly remember my high school graduation. At the time, I believed that single event was (seriously) the high point of my life. I cracked my shell in high school. No more shy girl who didn’t speak to anyone. I mean, just check out the video of my keynote speech. I literally had sunshine and rainbows coming out my you-know-what.

Looking back on this speech and seeing what I’ve become over the past five years is truly amazing. I have taken my life in a direction I never thought was possible. I’ve worked hard, made important life decisions, gained amazing new friends and connections, all while having a grand ol’ time. In the 2.5 seconds I walked swiftly across that university stage, I tried to think (quickly, I didn’t have much time) about what I had learned in my college career that will help me in the future. Just as I won’t remember what I learned in my high school trigonometry class, I probably won’t remember what I learned in the majority of my college courses. With the exception of the following:

  • Social Business – The single most important class I’ve taken. Social media is the key to success in new age business. Thanks to Bret Simmons who was a great teacher and got me started with this blog (and much more).
  • Accounting – I hate it. I’ll always hate it. It gives me a headache just trying to remember anything other than debits and credits.
  • International Management – Learning a second language is a must. I better get to work on my goal of becoming fluent in Spanish.
  • Economics – I figured out that I can successfully fall asleep in class with my eyes open. I don’t recommend it. It makes learning that material really difficult.
  • Astronomy – The world may end at any time. Seriously. Asteroid sneak attack? That totally could happen with mere days’ notice.

What I legitimately learned in college is that it’s not about the classes you take and the grades you get (unless you want to go to medical school/law school then good luck and study up). I learned more about myself and what I want to do from the experiences I had. I got involved by joining the business fraternity Delta Sigma Pi. I joined clubs, did community service, put on events, and more. If I had one recommendation for anyone going to college, it would be to get involved in any way you can. Network as much as possible.

I recently was offered a position with ESPN and PMI in California working for the Anaheim Classic. This would have never happened if I hadn’t put myself out there not only in person, but in the social media world as well. Who you know will get you in the door, and how hard you work will keep you there. If things aren’t going your way, if you can’t find a job… push harder, work harder, and do whatever you can to make you stand out in a crowd. You won’t regret it.

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own.
And you know what you know. You are the guy who’ll decide where to go.” – Dr. Seuss

He Puts the Zach in “Zaching”

Zach Lederer had just come out of surgery to remove a brain tumor, when he struck the now famous “Zaching” pose. He wanted to let his friends and family know that the cancer hadn’t beaten him, and they didn’t need to worry. Little did he know it would turn into a worldwide phenomenon.

Zach, an 18 year-old University of Maryland student (big shout out to the Terps!) was first diagnosed with having a brain tumor in 2004 when he was only 11 years old. The battle, which was thought to be over, returned to his life last December. The doctors found a new brain tumor, which meant for Zach it was time to start fighting again. This photo, originally taken by Zach’s Dad to show his friends and family that he was doing okay, went viral in a matter of weeks. It has been seen on news channels nationwide, and he was even featured on ESPN’s College Game Day (Check the video out here).

I had the opportunity to ask Zach himself a couple of questions, and let me tell you, this guy is nothing short of an inspiration. When asked what he wants to come from Zaching, he said “my message would be to not only fight the battle and be strong, but to support everyone else who is going through a similar situation. Everyone is affected by cancer in some way or another and they all need your support.” His goal is to spread awareness for all different types of cancer. As much as we see support for certain types of this disease, there are many patients who aren’t getting the support they need.

Zaching has caught on by celebrities (even Lil’ Wayne is doing it), athletes, coaches, and more. Zach’s favorites, however, are the ones of patients in the hospital because it means they received the support, and are passing it on to others as they battle cancer. I think we all need to take a lesson from Zach and anyone else battling cancer or a life-threatening illness. We complain about our day-to-day activities like work and school, yet these people are sitting in hospitals, going through treatments, and just trying to survive on a daily basis. On top of dealing with all of that, Zach has become an inspirational icon with this “Zaching against Cancer” sensation.

Having just finished his third round of chemo, Zach amazes doctors with his ability to work out every day, maintain an appetite, and overall just try to live a normal life. In three weeks he will start radiation, and from there he will continue with another round or two of chemo. This 18-year-old wonder has been through more than most people go through in a lifetime, and he still finds the time and energy to hang out with friends, stay active, and inspire others.

“I am motivated by the kids my age and younger who show so much courage and strength as they fight this disease. These kids are the strongest people that I have ever seen. I strive every day to fight as hard as they do,” Zach said. Everyone needs to find their inspiration and motivation, but it really takes a true hero to be able to donate it forward. Every day he tells himself “get busy living or get busy dying.” If that’s not tough love motivation, I don’t know what is.

I have submitted my Zaching photo, have you?

One of Zach’s favorite quotes:  “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” ~Jackie Robinson

Follow Zaching Against Cancer on Twitter @ZachingVsCancer as well as their tumblr and Facebook. Don’t forget to submit your Zaching picture to show your support for cancer fighters everywhere!

Aspire Up, Inspire Down

I’ve spent the past few days in Washington D.C. attending the SEME 2012 conference. Throughout the conference I was able to hear an incredible array of guest speakers from the sports industry, including the Director of Professional Sports at Under Armour, Ryan Kuehl. This former long-time NFL snapper has accomplished a lot both as an athlete and a business professional, and so it’s easy to have instant respect for him and what he has to say. One phrase he said during his keynote presentation that really stood out to me was “Aspire Up, Inspire Down.”

Catchy, right? Once he said this I wrote it down on my little notepad and went on to listen to the rest of his talk. But I just kept thinking about this one phrase. Kuehl had used it mainly in the context of business and what Under Armour does as a company (which is amazing by the way). I started to think of how this quote resonated with me.

I’m a huge believer in dreams and goals, and also inspiring others. Hearing this just made everything I stand for come together. I see it as a cycle. To get to the point you want to be at, you must have aspirations. You have to want to be moving toward your goal. You can’t get from point A (aka the I don’t know what I want to do with my life point) to point B (aka the I have my dream life, job, family, etc point) without walking the path. And that path isn’t always a straight shot, in fact it often looks a lot like this:

It is important to not forget the grassroots of your life, the basic ingredients if you will. Often times these ingredients are people. I cannot stand people who don’t seem to get the concept of treating others equally.  It does not matter if you are the CEO of a company or the janitor, every job is there for a reason. There is nothing inspirational about being a jerk. I know that, at least for me, someone who has aspirations is an inspiration for that reason alone. When you have goals and aspirations and your work towards them, you can turn around and inspire others with what you are doing.

“I aspire to inspire before I expire.” -Unkown

Finish Strong

Okay, so I didn’t get to meet Tim Tebow as I had wished for in my previous blog. I considered the option of rushing the stage, but I thought that might be inappropriate in a church.

Anywho, something Tebow talked about really got me thinking, and I thought I would share with you all what insight he gave. In 2008, the University of Florida had a heartbreaking loss to Mississippi, stealing away their so-far undefeated season. When Tebow came out of the locker room, this is the speech he gave:

I just want to say one thing.

To the fans and everybody in Gator Nation, I’m sorry, extremely sorry.

I promise you one thing, a lot of good will come out of this.

You will never see any player in the entire country play as hard as I will play the rest of the season, and you will never see someone push the rest of the team as hard as I will push everybody the rest of the season, and you will never see a team play harder that we will the rest of the season.

The Florida Gators went on to win the championship that year, they finished strong. These are words that Tebow lives by. Everyone always says “finish strong,” but I never took the time to process what that means. I’ll use a running example. For anyone who has ever ran a race, you have probably heard someone tell you to run hard through the finish line, to not slow down until you’re past it.

This can be applied to goal setting, work, school, or even everyday activities. The mindset that we all need to have involves working through something in its entirety. What it all comes down to is the end result, and do you want to be seen at the end barely trying? No. We want to give our all, every second of the way, especially at the end. That’s where it really counts. Even when obstacles get in our way, we have to overcome them and finish strong. If it’s a project, finish strong to get an A. If it’s work, finish strong to get a promotion. If it’s a game, finish strong to win it.

“All endeavor calls for the ability to tramp the last mile, shape the last plan, endure the last hours toil. The fight to the finish spirit is the one… characteristic we must posses if we are to face the future as finishers.” – Henry David Thoreau

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