My dad always has had a way with words, a way of saying things that you grow to understand. It's really quite remarkable. Anyway, the five most important words: Surround yourself with good people.
When I used to hear this years ago, it had a different meaning from the one it has now. "Good people" used to be the kids not getting into trouble in school, then it was the adults not getting into trouble in college. Now "good people" are people who genuinely strive to make me a better human.
When I think of "good people," I think of challenging, effective, progressive and focused people. People who take the time to appreciate my lifestyle and with whom positive contributions are exchanged. I have found myself lost in toxic environments that are extremely detrimental to happiness. Bottom line, if you are not happy with yourself, you will not have any excess happiness to rub off onto others. Keep the positive people on your side; it is a must.
My entire family has always taken an active interest in such endeavors as my blog and column, which I am immensely grateful for. The stylists at my mother's salon, Salon di Capelli, are all involved in Cross Fit Merced and have seen some impressive results. I even took a weekend class with my mom, and had a great workout. I see how they are all so strong.
My dad has his degree in physical education and has been a baseball coach for many years. Never a dull moment with him -- he'll have you practicing your golf putt or out swimming in the pool. My uncle and aunt have Salmeri Shotokan Karate, which offers karate classes as well as women's and men's self-defense classes. This is an opportunity to get educated as well as improve physical fitness, a wonderful combination.
My cousin Ashlee and Aunt Lisa are always at the gym first thing in the morning, without fail (I see the Facebook check-ins). I love to eat amazing dinners with their family when I am home visiting.
Even my grandma is practicing yoga and has noticed a difference in her energy level and mobility.
Not all of them are in the fitness/health industry, but for my lifestyle and career choice, it seems as if positive energy is always flowing in that direction. Find people who make being you feel effortless and worthwhile. Find people who find value in you.
It helps so much when you have a support system of family, friends, co-workers, neighbors in whatever you may do in life. One thing is for certain, we all have something to be fit for. So why not hold each other accountable and have each others' backs when it comes to making healthy, positive and beneficial suggestions? If you are going to put your life and energy into something, don't you want people around you who are going to think what you are doing is cool and who encourage you to take action?
When you accomplish something that you have been working hard for, whether it be a job promotion, doing your first nonassisted pull-up, buying your first house or car, graduating from school or writing your first column, here's a guilt-free sundae recipe you can celebrate with:
Crumble up one plain graham cracker and put it in the bottom of a small bowl. Scoop one cup of Dryer's Light Slow Churned Rich & Creamy Vanilla Bean ice cream on top, then add fresh berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries) on top of the ice cream. This is the perfect way to treat yourself after you put your mind to something and rock it! I'll put the recipe on my blog, www.LundenMichelle.tumblr.com.
Lunden Souza can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.