Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Paralyzed in Terror

It's that time again... Mama Kat's Weekly Writing Prompts. Writers pick one of the five prompts, with sometimes an option for a vlog instead, write their stories, and link up together on Thursdays. This week I chose number 5:

Tell us about one of the scariest moments of your life.

I never had any kind of near-death experience or anything like that. My scary moment may even seem a little silly to some of you, but if you've ever experienced it, you'll know why it's frightening.

It's called Sleep Paralysis, and it's happened to me three times.

Basically, what happens is that while you are sleeping, you have a feeling of being awake, but you can't move. You feel that your mind is alert, and you can think, but your body has no sensation, and physically you cannot speak or move at all, not even your eyelids.

It's terrifying.

The first time it happened, I had no idea what was going on, and I had an overwhelming feeling of complete terror. I remember it vividly. I was lying in my bed, on my back, desperately trying to move my limbs or open my eyes. Staring into the darkness of the inside of my eyelids, I felt awake, alert, and aware, but was absolutely clueless as to why I could not move. Was something wrong with me? Did I have some unknown hidden condition that decided to surface? All I knew was that no matter how hard I tried, I could not make any muscle move, even a flinch.

After I regained control over my body, I described to my best friend, Roger, what happened and how frightening it was. To my surprise, he knew exactly what it was, and explained Sleep Paralysis to me. After that first circumstance, it occurred twice more thus far. The first two times happened as I was waking up in the middle of the night, and the last time occurred as I was falling asleep. The two different types are described in the link above.

Apparently, it's pretty common, as up to four out of ten people may have sleep paralysis. Many factors may be involved, but I think the ones that pertained to me were lack of sleep, and a changing sleep schedule. I used to suffer from insomnia, and would go days without sleeping, or sleeping only minutes at a time, and that's when it occurred the first time. The last time, I was teaching 45 minutes away from where I live, plus house sitting for my uncle, waking up at 5:00 in the morning on weekdays and trying to "catch up" on weekends (you really can't).

It's difficult to illustrate the fear that overcomes you during this situation. The only way to truly know is to experience it, and I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

Have you ever experienced sleep paralysis? 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Freeky Friday: Music to My Ears

Freeky Friday

As per usual, head over to Concrete Jane to see how you can participate every Friday during the summer and win some yummy treats!

This week, on Freeky Friday:
What's your favorite summer tradition of all time? It could be something from your past or something you still do to this day!

Unfortunately, I don't have a cool, silent, ASL summer tradition like Amanda at Concrete Jane up there. Mine is pretty common, I think.

Summer usually means much more free time. My favorite summer tradition is attending tons of concerts. Uproar Festival, Mayhem Festival, Warped Tour (though, in my opinion, Warped isn't the same anymore)...

I've seen Linkin Park three times:

I've also met them, and got to interview them:

Blink 182:

Travis is suspended in the air on a rotating drum set
Many people don't seem to know about them, but they are becoming more and more popular and they are one of my favorites, Dive:

And twice I've seen Disturbed:

Plus, Saving Abel, Sevendust, Hail the Villain, Metallica, Godsmack, The Vincent Black Shadow, Bullet for My Valentine, Avenged Sevenfold, A Day to Remember, and many more. I have a blast every single time.

But besides watching a great show, what really makes it fun is spending the day with awesome people:

The guy who is in each of these pictures is Rich, a good friend who has been my concert buddy for years. I've gone to shows with other people, including Danny, but my pictures usually consist of the people on stage.

What's your favorite summer tradition?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

What Happens in Vegas...

Stays in Vegas? I'm telling everyone!

Last weekend, I went to Las Vegas for Beachbody's Coach Summit 2012. That's right, we get to go to Vegas once a year to celebrate. Celebrate successes of our customers, coaches, ourselves, and how far the company has come in achieving its mission to end the trend of obesity. Plus, we get exclusive looks into upcoming products, special training workshops, and meet and greets with the trainers, like Tony Horton of P90X, Shaun T of Insanity, Chalene Johnson of Turbo Fire, and Leandro Carvalho of Brazil Butt Lift. And we can't forget about the huge parties!

We stayed at The Signature at the MGM Grand.
We also had a great view of the Vegas skyline with the mountains in the background.

Summit was kicked off with a Birthday Bash on Thursday night. Team Beachbody is now 5 years old (Beachbody itself is much older, but the concept of customers becoming coaches and getting paid to help others is where Team Beachbody comes in). The Birthday Bash was poolside with everyone looking fantastic. I wish I took a picture that night, but of course my absent-minded self didn't think of it. At the end of the night, Beachbody surprised us with an awesome fireworks show!

Friday was filled with live trainer workouts (Hello, Shaun T and Chalene!), training workshops, and trainer signings and pictures.
Workshop with Tommy Mygrant and Barbie Decker

Me and Shaun T! The Man of Hip Hop Abs, Rockin' Body, Insanity, Asylum, and soon to be Asylum Volume 2.
Me and Leandro Carvalho of Brazil Butt Lift

Friday night was the Diamond Reception, which I could not attend -- but will be at next year! -- and the Beachbody's Got Talent show, which was pretty awesome. 

Dancing, singing, guitar playing, rapping, a jump roping gym teacher, a ventriloquist, and even people from the audience showed off their skills:

A fellow coach on my team and friend, Audrey, belting it like nobody's business!

Saturday was the most eventful. First, at 6:30am at the Tropicana parking lot across from the MGM Grand, was the Super Workout. What exactly is that, you ask? It's, well, a SUPER Workout. A 90 minute block of working out with all the coaches who attended Summit, plus the trainers. Each trainer gets 10-15 minutes on the stage, in succession. Nearly 5,000 coaches gathered in the hot early morning sun to get their sweat on.
Super Workout to my left, waiting to start
Super Workout in front of me, facing the stage, waiting to start. Look how many people!

When it was over and we were walking back to the MGM Grand to shower and change, I saw this guy in front of me:

How freaking cool is that?! This guy doesn't let anything limit him, and neither should the rest of us. He still does P90X and did the Super Workout with all of us in his wheelchair. What the heck was your excuse again? ;-)

The day was again filled with training workshops, pictures and signings, and a closing general session. Then, at night, the real party started.

The celebration began on the main stage and included awarding the Beachbody Challenge winners with their giant checks of $100,000, -- Congratulations Kathy and Richard! -- crowning Mr. Wayne Wyatt as Top Coach of the Year with his Top Coach Belt, and even our CEO, Carl Daikeler, serenaded Wayne decked out in Elvis gear with a song written just for him.

Then, it was time for the After Party.

Me in front of the Beachbody Challenge van

Some of our team dancing the night away at the party

Almost all of Team Allegiance who were able to attend Summit.

I love this picture, even though Jason, our team leader and co-founder, is the only one looking away! It shows on all of our faces how connected we are and how much fun we had at this event. 

We share a common passion not only for fitness and health, but for helping others achieve their health and financial goals as well. We are in this together, on the mission to end the trend of obesity, one person at a time. At this event, not only did we learn about upcoming products and announcements and gain knowledge on how to be better coaches to our own coaches and customers, we met our second families, deepened friendships, and had an absolute blast while doing it. Beachbody goes all out for these events, and I am so grateful to be a part of this movement. I can't wait until next year!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Freeky Friday: Oy, with the Poodles Already!

Freeky Friday

Who is your pop culture alter-ego?

This question was so hard to answer!

My first response was Rory Gilmore

I'm slightly obsessed with Gilmore Girls. I do, in fact, have the entire series on DVD. I love the quick-witted clever writing, the personalities, even the wardrobes. Stars Hollow was always a town in which I wish I lived, where I could get to know the quirky people and the crazy traditions. Rory Gilmore was my first response, and my only, as she's the only character I can think of who I actually relate to.

Rory loves reading. 

Her room is filled with books. On shelves, inside drawers, under her bed. I love reading. My room is filled with books. On my tiny shelf, inside my trunk, under my TV and behind my DVDs, and in my closet. I'll read anything I can get my hands on.

Rory loves junk food. 
Rory and her mom, Lorelai, anxiously waiting for her Dean to arrive to begin his and Rory's "first date."
Cheese puffs, ice cream, chips, Twizzlers, marshmallows, s'mores, pizza. I also love junk food, ice cream being my weakness. Of course, I'm keeping myself healthy and I don't eat these things nearly as much as I used to. The only difference between us here is that Rory has the fastest metabolism I've ever seen and can stay stick-thin, while if I ever ate anywhere near close to what she eats, I'd blow up Veruca Salt style. 

Rory has an absent father, and is very close to her mother. Her father was never very involved with her life, so her mother raised her alone, working extremely hard with no outside help. My mother raised my brother and I alone, with virtually no help from anyone else, while my father might as well have been a ghost.

However, aside from those things, plus a love of music and movies, and a tendency to stick with the very small group of tight friends rather than a large crowd of acquaintances, that is where our similarities end. Nothing truly fundamental links us. Rory is super smart, an amazing writer, a Yale graduate, and by the end of the series, found a decent job not long after completion of school. She also had some pretty great boyfriends, which, up until now, I was lacking bigtime in that department. She has no athletic ability, and she has no natural-born love for animals or a desire to be a pet-owner, while I could not imagine my life without my dogs.

So is Rory Gilmore really my pop culture alter-ego? Who really fills that role? What do you think?

Don't forget to check out Concrete Jane to see how you can participate each week!

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