My StudiOne Story: Full Time Part Timer

Here is the fourth installment on the road to StudiOne.  If you missed the first one or three, you can link back through my journey below:

  1. The race that started it all
  2. The gym that shaped my training philosophy (and rest of my life)
  3. Choosing Tulsa

And now I present to you what I did for the two years in Tulsa while I waited for StudiOne to happen.  I did move here with high hopes of having my own personal training studio.  I wanted a place where I could train people one on one or in group fitness classes.  I also wanted to be able to coach running.  Yoga was nowhere on my radar except that I enjoyed taking classes.

I took a giant leap of faith and moved here with no job lined up.  (This was pre-budgeter Sprenk.)  I know I was spinning my wheels trying to get various training groups together around town.  I coached a small group of three people to their first half marathons in the Route 66 half.  I took over (and still manage) the events at my friends’ coffee shop.  My friend Katie works in the event industry and she helped get me a few leads to at least have some cash flow while I worked on growing my training business.

One of my main gigs at this point was working fancy style events for Skyloft (the top floor of one of the few skyscrapers in Tulsa) – galas, weddings, bar mitzvahs etc.  It wasn’t at all along my career path but it worked well for me initially.  I had a steady though small flow of income while I explored my training options in Tulsa, and was still able to have most of my daytimes free, sacrificing nights and weekends to work these special events.  By the wintertime, this job was wearing me out.  I’m grateful for the small stability this gig gave me when I first moved here, and that it led me to a bride named Leslie, who led me to swiping right on Tinder for a dude named Chap.

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View from SkyLoft

My second home was (still is) Foolish Things Coffee.  I did most of my work there since I didn’t have internet at my house yet.  Luckily for me, Justin and Katie needed some help managing the special events part of the business and I took over a job that I really enjoy and fits easily into my schedule (still does).  I manage inquiries for the use of the cafe for events ranging from birthday parties to book clubs to baby showers, rehearsal dinners and small receptions.  It’s easily manageable and I look forward to getting dressed up on the weekends.  I appreciated the smaller scale of this event management position compared to the one at SkyLoft.

Working the two event jobs gave me time to explore different gyms in Tulsa to see where I might want to train and/or teach.  I tried a lot of different things.  I ran a Groupon promo to have an outdoor bootcamp in my neighborhood.  0 people signed up.  I tried to teach bootcamps at my friends’ kickboxing gym but it was in a tough part of town for me to get to (I have a small radius).  I finally settled on teaching at the YMCA and working the floor.  I washed towels, cleaned machines and gave tours.  For one hour on my shift each day, I was able to teach a Sets and Reps weight lifting class.  I worked a split day 10-2 and then again 3-6:30.  It seemed to be a good fit for a while.

Then, an incredible opportunity fell in my lap while I was searching Demand.com as I did periodically to see what else was out there.  There was a fitness manager position available for a downtown start up called Live Streaming Fitness.  Their goal was to offer live fitness classes on their website all day, and filmed right here in Tulsa.  I applied and made it through the interview.  It seemed really wonderful at first as I interviewed and hired all different kinds of fitness teachers from Tulsa – conditioning coaches, yoga teachers, aerobics teachers, kickboxing etc.  I wrote plans for classes and planned out larger month long programs and challenges for members.

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Behind the scenes at LSF

Soon, the newness wore off and the expectations of most corporate or office jobs wore on me a little bit.  I wanted to be able to run or workout on my lunch break.  I wanted to travel for races and fun more than the number of paid vacation days allowed.  I quickly realized something I probably already knew: I don’t do well being bossed.

Much against Chap’s best advice, I turned in my two weeks’ notice and went back to part time at the YMCA.  I took on more teaching roles this time, added one private client and an outdoor boot camp.  I’m a big believer that nothing is a mistake and two of the trainers I hired at LSF led me to additional paying jobs I still hold today (that’ll be a later post – how to keep StudiOne floating).

Throughout all of this transition and job hunting and leaving, I found a steady yoga practice at Foolish Things.  Katie and Justin had envisioned having yoga on the patio weekend mornings before opening and as it happened, had a teacher inquiring about teaching for us.  I met with Teresa Moyer one afternoon at the cafe and talked to her about what we wanted as a coffee shop, and what she wanted as an instructor.  She was newly certified and wanted a chance to give a donation based class to our customers.  We gave her the green light and Saturday yoga became a thing.  I was stoked to get to have access to yoga every week.

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Yoga on the patio

There clearly isn’t a clean, straight line to living the dream.  I knew this as I walked through each of these transitions, trying to make ends meet (even driving for Uber for a while!) and just tried to promise myself that I would continue to work on and tend to the personal training and coaching dream.  Looking back it all is so clear how one step (and seeming mistakes) all led to a pretty sweet life I have going right now.  Important relationships (personal and professional), connections to future jobs, experience and income were all provided in some capacity from each job I tried and eventually left.  My bottom line for working – don’t be miserable.  No job is worth being unhappy.  I kept my eyes on my end goal and just meandered my way to it.

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My road to the Studio

StudiOne Story: Choosing Tulsa

Hi there!  This post is the third story from an undetermined number of pieces to make up the book that is “running my own little kingdom of StudiOne”.  A friend and reader asked me to talk about what it’s like to run our Studio and I decided to take several posts to show the evolution of this dream come true.  It’s been an interesting road to get here and I wanted to be able to portray that

even if you’re not doing in the immediate moment what you believe is your passion and your end game, you can still be well on your road to getting there.

If you missed either of the first two stories you can read about the race that changed my life, and the gym that made me a personal trainer.  Now I’m going to talk about how I went from being so heartset on returning to Memphis and ended up in Tulsa.

When I left the story last, I had just pulled away from Memphis for a summer at home taking summer school classes that were pre-requisites to my graduate studies at the University of Texas.  Yep, 24 years old and living with my (gracious) parents.  It was a mostly uneventful summer as I prepared for a move to Texas.  I can’t remember what sparked this thought but as I was mapping out my route from Indy to Austin I thought, I should swing through Oklahoma and say hi to my friend Katie.  (I really didn’t want to go to Austin and honestly think I was just postponing my arrival there).

 

Katie and I grew up as best friends and basically sisters in our small town WASPish childhood home.  We played basketball together, dated the same boys and I think she spent the night at my house more than her own.  We went our separate ways for college, she to Wheaton in Chicago and me to Rhodes in Memphis.  For a taste of how different our experiences were : when she called me to tell me she was engaged, I was buying tequila for the jello shots at my 21st birthday party.  I went to her wedding in January of 2010 to watch my beautiful friend marry this jockey football player I’d met only once and just remember thinking why would they quit college early?

Flash forward to 2012.  I planned a quick two night stay in Tulsa on my way southwest.  Katie and Justin were living with his folks while they did the buildout for their cafe.  We went to Fat Guys and Andolini’s, Old School Bagel and Brookside.  I got a tour of the under construction Foolish Things which was just the greatest and most inspiring thing that could probably have happened on this trip.  We had a great time catching up and I promised I would come back to see the finished cafe before I graduated.

I don’t write much about Austin because it just wasn’t a place I connected with.  This surprised me as much as it surprised anyone.  A warm, active city with beautiful parks, live music and plenty of options for running trails?  Sounds like my heaven.  I might have needed a massive attitude adjustment my first semester (I was on academic probation for bad grades and didn’t even know it until they told me I was removed from the list…..).  I think it was a combination of feeling like I left something great in Memphis, being massively disappointed in this “high ranking graduate program” I had chosen and generally annoyed at the ever present traffic.  I survived, I made some great friends, some poor decisions and adopted a sweet little puppy.  Now that I’m on the other side of the period of life that is 24-26 I would like to say to those approaching it, watch out!  There will be times of massive self-doubt, depression, confusion and carelessness.  Obviously this will not be the case for everyone but I certainly (and I have friends who agree) would have appreciated a little warning that this hurricane of a two years was even a possibility.

I made good on my promise and returned to Tulsa, Katie and Justin in November of 2015 to run the Route 66 Half Marathon.  I drove up on a Saturday, stayed that night, ran Sunday and left Monday morning.  They had moved into their own house and opened the cafe, all while I was floundering about in my Austin hurricane.  I don’t know if it was the nice toll booth lady who paid for my toll when I had absolutely no change coming into OK, or the majestic deco-inspired Tulsa skyline but as I drove into downtown Tulsa that night, coming north on 75 across the river, I just thought, I could move here.  As soon as I uttered those words to my hosts it was over.  If the coffee and floral business don’t work out for these two, they can be professional Tulsa recruiters.

We didn’t have much time that weekend to keep exploring Tulsa but I’m pretty sure we went back to Andolini’s and went over all the great things about Tulsa over and over on their couch.  Katie had started her own business since I was gone and the cafe was so cool to see finally open.  Another inspiring moment and I just thought, I want to be where people are living out their dreams.  And I drove off, making no promises this time but also kind of knowing what was going to happen.

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Majestic skyline

I had devised a plan that in March or April of my second year, I would visit Memphis and visit Tulsa while maybe still considering the possibility of staying in Austin, to really pick where I wanted to go next.  But first, I had a trip to New Orleans with Sharon (my friend and fellow blogger who inspired this series), and Erin my then-roommate.  We were running a race but the part of New Orleans that is relevant to this story is: I decided to have my fortune read in Jackson Square.  The lady I picked was a card reader and after talking for a while she said she would place three cards in front of me and then interpret their meaning to my life.  She laid three cards face down on her table.  In my head I assigned a city to each card: Austin, Tulsa and Memphis.  Here is how she talked about the cards and the cities they matched in my head.  Austin:  this card is chaos.  It represents an unsettled and difficult time.  Tulsa: this card is all rainbows and unicorns and new beginnings.  Memphis:  this card represents being inside out and upside down.  It’s really good and it’s really bad.  You’ll have a good ride but you better hang on.

Spot on.  But also kind of tossed aside, because come on.

I returned to Tulsa mid-spring of my graduating year.  It followed a trip to Memphis and my intention was to really think about each place and what my life would look like with each as a backdrop.  In my mind I really just had two choices: Memphis (familiar and home sweet home), Tulsa (fun and full of new opportunities).  The details of each trip are a little hazy but I remember sitting at Foolish Things with Justin and Katie, helping to host an event (sitting where I am this second actually) and I just decided.  It was a peaceful and exhilarating feeling.  I still had a few months until I would make my move but I just knew this would be it.  I told Katie and Justin that night and the next day Katie took me out to look at houses.  We looked at one over by TU, and two in Owen Park.  The third one we looked at in Owen Park is now my home!

I called my parents to tell them I was thinking about moving to Tulsa and that it was probably a good time to buy a house.  They agreed.  But I think also thought I jumped the gun a little bit on picking a house.  My mom joined me on yet another trip to T-town to see the house, and I think try to (unsuccessfully) talk me out of it.  But I know me.  And I know that when I find something I like, I’m not going to keep looking for something that could maybe be better.  I’m sure it doesn’t make sense to a lot of people from the outside that the third house I ever considered buying was the one but it doesn’t surprise me at all 😉

And that is how I got to Tulsa.  A deeply rooted friendship, the lure of a fun and growing city and a chance to try something I’ve never tried before.  I still love and will always miss Memphis, my first home away from home but I also knew what life looked like there.  I was ready for a new adventure and creating a life on my terms.  Stay tuned for the next installment which will be the story of the two years spent in Tulsa working while I dreamt of the studio.

 

2016 at a Glance

Normally I would have written this before the first half of the first month of 2016 was gone.  But I didn’t, and that’s part of my thing.  I’m definitely not a perfect blogger.  Or runner. Or eater.  Sometimes I get behind.  Sometimes I skip runs.  Sometimes I eat cookie dough in excess.  But then I always come back to what I know is “right”.

When I talk about being right, I mean right for me.  I love to write and blog and share my stories and make living healthy easy and fun for all of you.  So, to feed that love it would be right for me to write.  But sometimes life is just busy.  And other more important things take front and center.  Finances.  Relationships.  New Business Ventures.  Holidays.  As those things settle down and I reflect, I know I want to have a blog, just for the purpose of sitting down with the intention to tell stories.  It’s not wrong to take a break.  I’m not failing by skipping a run (or two or three).  And I won’t be damned to hell for eating a whole sheet of Tollhouse Cookie Dough.  But I know those things aren’t right for my bigger purpose in life.  So I have to leave them alone sometimes.  And I’m generally very happy to return to my norm.

So here I am, ready to tell you about how I want 2016 to go.

Racing the States

I am still very committed to running a half marathon in every state.  Last year I added New York, Colorado and Minnesota to my map.

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I’d like to get to three more and already have 2 booked in the early spring!

Speedwork

(Spoiler alert).  I never got my half marathon PR (many of you know that because you know me.  But those who just follow along here, that Route 66 story is coming soon).  I would like to continue to work on my speed starting with the 5k distance.  If a half PR comes my way because of it, I’ll certainly take it.  But I’m going to experiment with fast training for 5ks and race one a month to see my time hopefully go down and down.IMG_9474

The first 5k is tomorrow!  I’ll be running in the Go Short, Go Long, Go Very Long series.  Obviously choosing the Go Short 5k distance.  I’m excited to have some time and focus this year on more local Tulsa races since many are still new to me.

Yoga Training

I’m very excited to have invested in an RYT 200 hour yoga teacher training course this year in Tulsa.  We meet one weekend a month for 10 months with a goal of being a Registered Yoga Instructor by the end of it.  I am thrilled to be learning the history, anatomy, proper alignment and breathing techniques of all kinds of yoga for my personal use.  I’m even more excited that I can incorporate it into training packages for clients – another big gun in the arsenal.

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Studio Opening

I’m going to stay fairly hush about this because it deserves its own BIG post.  But 2016 is looking to be a very promising year for owning studio in downtown Tulsa.

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I can’t believe all the excitement and joy that 2016 promises to bring.  When I reflect on the past two years, I see a direct trail leading up to completely enjoying this year.  2014 was my transition out of Austin and really the start of me making some leap-of-faith-decisions that felt right to my heart and the life I wanted to create.  Moving to Tulsa made no sense but it felt so right.  Continuing to work three and four different part time jobs to make room for personal training and stay committed to my true calling of teaching isn’t always easy or comfortable but it’s worth it.  I’m feeling grateful for love and support and guidance from people near and far – let’s make this the best year yet!

 

 

Teaching Schedule

There are lots of opportunities and ways to workout and find your fitness – all over Tulsa!  Come take a class with me and see what it’s like to get #sprenkeled!

Mondays

6:00 am (starting July 6) Runnin’ Fools Group Run – $20 per month

12:50pm – 1:30pm Sets and Reps: Downtown YMCA – Membership required or $10 drop in

5:30 – 6:30 pm Boot Camp: Downtown YMCA –  Membership required or $10 drop in

7:30 – 8:15 pm  Yoga-Flo: Thunderkick Fitness – Membership required or $10 drop in

Tuesdays

5:30-6:30 pm Boot Camp: Guthrie Green – FREE

6:30 pm (starting July 7) Runnin’ Fools Group Run – $20 per month

Wednesdays

6am (starting July 8) Runnin’ Fools Group Run – $20 per month

12:50 – 1:30pm Sets and Reps: Downtown YMCA – Membership required or $10 drop in

7:30-8:15pm Yoga-Flo: Thunderkick Fitness – Membership require or $10 drop in

Thursdays

5:30-6:30pm Boot Camp: Guthrie Green – FREE

6:30 pm (Starting July 9) Runnin’ Fools Group Run – $20 per month

Fridays

12:50-1:30 pm Sets and Reps: Downtown YMCA – Membership required or $10 drop in

Saturday

7 am (starts July 4) Runnin’ Fools Long Run – $20 per month

8 am Yoga at Foolish Things Coffee – Donation based

10 am PiYo at Thunderkick Fitness – Membership required or $10 drop in

Reassurance

I’ve started teaching a beginner’s yoga class out of Foolish Things Coffee Shop on Tuesday mornings.  Right now we meet at 7 am every Tuesday.  It’s very much a come-as-you-are (fresh out of bed), pay-what-you-can (gratitude and effort) beautiful way to start the day.

I find most of my exercise choices to be spiritual experiences.  My favorite sport – running – is very much that way.  Whether I’m out in the morning with the sunrise welcoming new opportunities for the day or in the evening as the sun sets, reflecting on the accomplishments and setbacks of the day, it’s a mindful time for me.  Yoga though, in my personal experience reigns queen as a spiritual fitness experience.

I very much believe in the practice of setting intentions.  In yoga class, other forms of exercise, and daily life  What do you want out of your efforts today?  What do you hope to accomplish with your time today?  Why are you putting energy into this?  What do you need?  I think we get so rushed and settled into routines that most of the time we aren’t intentional about our actions.

My intention this week is reassurance.  I wrote last week about the uncertainty of change.  Transition periods often lasting longer than the actual act of transformation.  I’ve had a week to meditate on the changes in physical place, mental state and consciousness and I’m ready to embrace the start of the new season.  The next step is reassurance.

To restore confidence to; to remove doubt or hesitation from; to relieve from fear

What in your life needs some confidence?  How can you work towards that?  Talk to someone.  Make a plan.  Set a budget and track your spending.  Write things down.  See the progress.

What doubts can you let go of?  How would you proceed forward if there was no fear?

How can you support yourself?  Who else can you draw on for support?  Reach out for assurance from others.  Ask for an accountability partner.

How can you support someone else?  What can you give to help reassure others?

Often times the best way to get what you need is to give it to the universe.  Give someone a big hug today.  Give someone words of confidence.  Give someone some reassurance and you may find yourself believing it too.

It’s going to be ok, I promise.