Monday, December 31, 2012

{Dreams with Deadlines: 2012 Overview}

Hello Everyone!!!!!

Happy New Year to you! :) I hope you are all out enjoying yourselves. I chose to stay in tonight so I can get to bed early and start 2013 with a bang!

Looking back, I am so thankful for all of the opportunities 2012 has given me.

January 2012: Gold's Gym Midwest advertisement

Gold's Gym Midwest advertisement
I started off my year with a surprise. I received a phone call from a friend and they told me I was in the new's paper. As soon as I got my hands on one I was so excited. I couldn't believe it. It was exactly what I needed to kick-start my year. Last year around this time I was kind of in a fitness slump, so seeing myself in an advertisement for the gym that I worked out in was a huge honor!

As the month went on, I saw the picture on several news papers, on website banners, and even on some Gold's Gym facebook pages from clubs in MN.

February 2012: Oppermacher athletic apparel

I was contacted by an apparel company located in WI and they made clothes to represent WI sports teams. They asked me to model for them. It was very cool receive workout clothes that I could wear and represent with honor.

Sweet clothes from Oppermacher :)

(Little did I know....they would make me my own clothing line!!! Stay tuned in 2012!!!!)

Sara Jean Fitness: INSPIRE  (Stay tuned!)

March 2012: Mizz Limbo

I had the opportunity to continue my practicum placement when I began student teaching in January. I absolutely loved everything about that experience. The students were simply amazing, and I made a true friend from my cooperating teacher Mrs. S. That school will always have a special place in my heart because I learned and grew as an educator. I can't help but smile each time I think of my 22 second graders.

My friend, mentor, and cooperating teacher, Mrs. S

To this day, some of my second graders, who are now in third grade still call me up and write me letters to see how I am doing. It makes me so happy to know that I made a difference for them.

April 2012: Showdown

I was excited for to compete in the showdown because it is always nice to see all of my friends again. A year ago I met 3 amazing women who are now very close to me. Every show I have competed in, I have taken something away from the experience. The Fox Cities Showdown always holds a special place because it is here in 2010 where I saw my brother, Josh compete for the first time, and I was motivated to change my life and pursue a passion for fitness.

1 Year Anniversary :)
 Even though I did the worse at this competition, I will never forget what it taught me, and the fire it ignited for what was to come.

Bikini Barbies <3

Post Showdown Sushi with my favorite girls!!!! :)))

May 2012: UWSP Graduation

May 2012 UWSP college graduate!!
  Woot! Woot! It took 5 years, but I did it :) I was so proud to graduate from college. I loved everything about being in Stevens Point. It was an amazing place to grow into the woman I am today. I learned so much about myself, and have come a long ways in every aspect of my life.

June 2012: MN State Championships: BIKINI B Winner!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bikini B Winner! Goal; Accomplished

This will always be one of my most memorable events from 2012. Ever since I started competing in the NPC, it was always a goal of mine to win my class. I was very unhappy with how I looked at the Showdown, so I knew I had to make a change. I called a good friend, Laura Gutilla, after the Showdown, and she talked to me and agreed to coach me for MN State. I was never more determined in my whole life. I worked so incredibly hard and put countless hours in, striving for perfection. My friend Lori Schopf was also an amazing support during this time. She helped me with the most important details to ensure I was ready to rock the day of the show.

Lori and Baby biggest fans and supporters

I love the feeling of being on stage. I can feel myself beaming. It is like I have finally found where I belong and what I am truly good at. That moment when I was on stage, as the announcer called out the 5 top winners, and gave out trophies one by one...I could not believe when it was down to the final two. When they said "Minnesota State Champion Bikini B Winner Sara Jean" tears filled my eyes and so many emotions ran through my body. I did it! I did it! I was so incredibly proud.

Even though I did not win the overall, it was still an amazing experience to be on that stage. That will be a goal for next year! This show was unforgettable. I am so thankful for the friends I was able to share the day with, and all of the new ones I made that special day.

July 2012: Summer

My first classroom!

I really enjoyed my summer and made the most of it. I had the opportunity to teach summer school in an amazing school district. I was so first official classroom...even if I was going to be teaching math to 5 different grade (for those of you that know we well...math is not my strong point!)

Ready for another adventure

I also took every opportunity I had to go back to Point, and visit Mrs. S. We some good miles on the kayaks. I will never forget the stories she told me, and the lessons I learned from her. She is an amazing woman, and I am so thankful to have her in my life. She will always be one of my closest friends.

Barlean's Organic Oils

I also was offered my first sponsorship, Barlean's Organic Oils chose me to be a brand ambassador for their amazing company. It is such an honor to be working with them. I love their products, and they are truly helping me on my fitness journey!

August: FitPro Milk Sponsorship

FitPro Milk
 I was so honored to accept a sponsorship with a new and growing company, FitPro. I love love love FitPro. It is gluten free and lactose free and made with all natural ingredients. I have the opportunity to do demos at the gyms in WI. It is a lot of fun promoting this amazing product. It is a phenomenal company, and big things are sure to come in 2013! Stay tuned!

September:My Little Princesses

I was not hired full time for my own classroom for fall, but that is okay. I was very thankful for all of the extra time I had to spend with my sister and nieces. I am very close with my family, and after being away at college for so many years, it was nice to have the opportunity to make an impact on their lives again.

I love my little princesses :)
I had the opportunity to volunteer in my nieces classroom, and attend one of her field trips. It was a lot of fun. I love spending time with my little princesses.

October: Mizz Limbo is back!

Halloween in 2nd Grade: Clay and Mini Clay :)

I received a phone call from Mrs. S, and she asked me to take over her classroom immediately because she had to take a leave of absence. She told me she believes in me, and if anyone can do it, its me. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to go back into that classroom were so many memories were made. My former second graders were thrilled to have me back in the school, and some of my former students had siblings in my current class. It was so nice to see so many familiar faces.

{My Team}

 This was a very challenging assignment, but I am very, very proud of what I accomplished while I was with those 23 second graders.I had students that would not even open a book or stay at their seat when it was time to work, and at the end of my 6 week placement, they were writing and illustrating stories, reading chapter books, and participating in discussions. It was an amazing transformation.

<3 I'll never forget the memories that happened through those doors <3
I never thought I could become so attached to not only a classroom of students, but an entire school. Tears filled my eyes on my last day of this subbing assignment. These students will forever be in my heart.

This was a very special time for me in other aspects as well. Mrs. S and her husband invited me to live them while I taught in her class. It was so nice to have more time together to laugh and make memories. Their home will always be like a second home for me.

Home Sweet Home
For those of you that know me, you will also know the relationship I have with my college gym, and everything that makes it special. That gym built me into the strong, independent woman I am today. The people in there are some of my closest friends, and it made me so happy to see them again. Thank you for making a difference :) {You meat heads all know who you are ;) }

November: Building the Future with Miss Amelia

If you knew this little girl, you would dedicate a month to her too. She is one of my former second graders. She is the most amazing, sweetest, most down to earth little girl I have ever met. When I moved back to Point, she was so happy. She contacted me all summer long when I was back home, and asked me every week if I got a job.

Every weekend while I worked as a long term sub in my classroom, we would go on little adventures. I introduced her to sushi, and we would go hiking in the woods, and she even came to my favorite gym with me once. We can all learn a lot from little Amelia. 1. Appreciate the Little Things. 2. Smile Everyday 3. Everywhere you go, SHINE

December: Never Ending Opportunities

My new classroom for the next 16 weeks :))
I started my 16 week long term sub job in a second grade class in the same district I taught summer school in. I am so thankful for this opportunity, and I am loving every minute of it. I have never worked in such a supportive, kind, encouraging work environment. It is simply amazing. I cannot wait to see where this journey takes me. I am looking forward to working with my 25 second graders these next upcoming months!

I never thought so many amazing things could happen in one year, but I truly believe 2013 is my year to shine. Many have asked what my "resolution" is for 2013. I do not believe in resolutions because they give you an option to give up, and that my friends is not an option for me. I do not have resolutions, I have dreams with deadlines, and I cannot wait to see what is in store for me next!!

Thank you everyone for your never ending support!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
<3 SJ xo

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

{Inner Strength}

Hello Everyone!!

It has been a long time since I have written, and I apologize. Life has been a bit crazy, and I am finally overcoming my struggles. The last time I wrote, it was the end of summer, and I did not get hired for the school year to have my own classroom. Even though that was unfortunate, I am really enjoying all of the opportunities I have experienced while subbing. It was really great to go back to Point for a while, and teach in the second grade room I completed my student teaching assignment in. I was given responsibility of 23 second graders for 6 weeks. Those kids were great, and I really miss them. It was amazing where they started, and how far they came in the time I was their teacher. It was one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had. That school will always have a special place in my heart, because it is where I was able to learn and grow as an educator. Being in Point will always have a sentimental value to me as well. There is just something about that town, the gym, and the people there that always make me happy. It is, and always will be a second home for me.

I am back home now, and I have been subbing in a great district here. I am going to begin another long term assignment any day now. I am going to start any day now...just waiting for the teacher to have her baby. I have met the students a few times, and I am so excited to have 12 weeks with this group of 28 second graders. I am sure I will have lots of stories to share :) In the mean time, I have had the opportunity to sub in a wide range of grades in a few other schools in the district. My fingers are crossed that it turns into a full time job for fall :))) Please keep your fingers crossed as well!!! Thanks!!

The reason I have been MIA for a while is due to some obstacles I  have overcome. Now I am not trying to be the Taylor Swift of my blog, but I was seriously in the worse relationship of my life. I have never met anyone so controlling, manipulative, and emotionally abusive. I am not saying this to bash that specific person, or to ask for sympathy, but I am really blown away knowing how many women are in relationships like these, and suffer the same wrath. It is really unfortunate. No one should be telling you how to live your life. It is YOUR life. You only get one...make it amazing.If you are in a relationship like this, walk away, and never look back. It is seriously the biggest weight off your shoulders, and it feels amazing to be able to breath again. I was literally forced to do everything under his command...and if I did not was not good. I was controlled in every aspect of my life from who I talked to, to if I was allowed to do cardio after my workout, to the food I ate. It was absolutely ridiculous. I cannot believe I put up with it for as long as did, but I honestly felt trapt. It was the worse feeling ever. Never let someone control you. Never let someone abuse you in any form. It is completely 100% unacceptable for anyone to treat another person that way. Most people see me as being positive and happy every day for for the first time in a long time, I walked around with a giant cloud over my head and could not get past it.

I am still trying to rebuild myself. Every day gets better, and I am feeling better about life. Now that I don't have someone holding me back, I am giving 110% in the gym, and leaving satisfied every time. I really focus every movement and isolate my muscles. I feel like I have really taken my training to a whole new level ever since I competed at MN State. I feel so much more connected to everything I am doing. I feel like when I first started training, I loved it regardless, but I didn't really take full advantage of what could be accomplished during a workout. I am really proud of how far I have come, and looking forward to the changes I can make for the 2013 season.

 I started doing cardio post workout back in October to help keep my "off season" under control. I was doing incline on the treadmill or intervals on the stairs. I decided (perfect timing now that its freezing and there is ice and snow ha) but I decided to start running outside again. It feels so amazing to do it. I forgot how much I love that free feeling I get when I am out there. I throw on my hoodie and head out in the dark. At first it is hard to breath because the cold air chokes you, but then I just get use to it by the time the first mile passes.  It is the second best feeling to being in the gym. I love being alone with the pavement in the dark. The snow reflects light and guides me every step of the way. I decided every day I am going to go outside and run, and if it snows, and the sidewalks and roads are covered, well then I will just shovel my heart out :) I owe this to myself. I deserve to be healthy and to take every opportunity I get to capitalize on it.
I am really looking forward to the opportunities 2013 has for me. Every year on my journey, life gets better and better. I cannot wait to see what in store for me next :)

Thanks again for all of the support, and remember, you deserve the BEST.

Have a great night-
SJ xo

Monday, August 27, 2012

Never Give Up

Hello Everyone-

It has been a while since I have written, and I apologize for that. Life has been pretty hectic with summer coming to an end, along with the job search for a teaching position.  I applied to over 100 districts from here to MN, and I have not had luck-yet.

Last week I was very excited to have a phone call to come to Point and interview for a second grade opening. Happy tears filled my eyes when this opportunity came along, and I truly believed this was it. After spending my entire practicum and student teacher assignment in second grade in that very district, I thought for sure my time had finally come. One of my second graders had been in contact with me all summer, calling me and asking about training and my job search. She was so excited I had an interview in Point she said she would transfer schools and redo second grade again just to spend another year with me. I went to the interview confident, and prepared. There was a lot of competition within the candidates, and the job was given to someone with more experience. I had great feedback, and was told I had nothing to improve on. Those very words were not as difficult to hear as it was when I called my second grader, and had to break the news to her. We both cried on the phone, and she assured me something better was to come.

I look at my life, and the obstacles I have overcome. My dad walking out on my family when I was in high school, the struggles I faced in college, hitting rock bottom and living out of my car, and the pain I felt when I did not place where I wanted to at 2012 Fox Cities Showdown. I think about how I felt...and then what I did to overcome the pain. For example, after Fox, I sacrificed all I had, and worked harder than I ever did in my entire life to reach my goal and winning at MN State. Not everything in life is easy...not everything in life will be handed to you.

I will watch my friends and peers filled with excitement as they share stories about their very own classroom...and their first year teaching. I am truly happy for all of them, but it hurts knowing I have to sit this one out. I am going to work harder than ever before, and gain as much experience as I can subbing in districts. It is going to be a challenging year, but I truly believe if I give it my all {like I always do}, when the right moment comes, I will be rewarded.

I believe God has a plan...and everything happens for a reason. Maybe something great is just around the corner. In the meantime, I am going  to take advantage of not having the stress of the full time job, and focus my energy into what I love. When I am not subbing or volunteering in the schools, I will work towards my fitness goals. I can look as this as an opportunity to excel in that area. I can put time and dedication into my physique, so when nationals comes along, I am prepared and ready to go. I can also put time into my wonderful sponsor, FitPro Milk, and grow within the company.

Check out FitPro at

As far as the competing side of my life goes...I always struggle with post-contest depression. Every show I do...I know its coming, and I am never prepared to handle what this does to my physically and emotionally. After MN State, I continued to deprive myself from the nutrients I need in order to progress and grow, and I made poor decisions. I cut carbs out of my diet completely, and when I did eat them, I made poor food choices and my physique suffered. I got my head together, and figured out what my body really needs during this time. I feel a lot better. Many of you continue to ask if I will be competing this fall, and the answer is "No". I cannot go through the emotional and psychological changes dieting for a show does to me. I need to find a weight that I can be happy with, that is healthy, and maintain there. I am already qualified for nationals, so I need to focus on the bigger picture instead of short term goals. It is important to take care of your body, and love it at every stage it is at.

Stay tuned...and remember to make it COUNT!!!!!

<3 SJ xo

Sunday, July 22, 2012

::Sword Countdown::

Good Morning Everyone :)

I hope you are all doing well. This summer is flying by, and I cannot believe it is almost August. I am officially done teaching summer school math. I am so thankful for the experiences I gained during those four weeks. It was very rewarding, and I was able to learn and grow as an educator. Math was always my most challenging subject, so after not only teaching it for 4 weeks, but teaching it to multiple grades with a wide range of abilities, I am now ready for anything. I also made a great friend and mentor out of the experience, my supervisor and principal, Kristin.  (Thank you for your never ending support and for believing in me!!) During summer school, I was observed by a district administrator a couple of times, and I did a great job so I get to move onto the next round: the interview round. Please keep your fingers crossed and say a prayer for me. A full time teaching job for the fall would be a dream come true for me. You can cross your toes that it ends up being a second grade job ;) {wishful thinking}

Summer has been great so far. I am really happy that my brother and I both moved home for the summer. We are able to spend a lot of time bonding in the gym, and in the kitchen. My younger brother, Josh, got me started two short years ago, and I will forever be thankful. He is one of my best friends, and his support means the world to me.

I had a wonderful opportunity come my way, and I am now a brand ambassador for Barlean's Organic Oils. I am very thankful, and I am proud to represent a wonderful company that aligns with my fitness goals and beliefs. Stay tuned!!!!

This past month I have taken sometime to recharge and live my life a little bit. I took a break from being completely restricted, and allowed my body to heal. I had the opportunity to spend  week bonding with Mrs S back in Point, and covering some serious miles on the WI River kayaking. I took time off from two a days, and allowed myself to eat the foods I have been depriving myself from for the past 6 months.

However...I function off of high level of activity and structure, and I need a goal to work towards, so it is time to kick it back into high gear, and get ready for the next item on the list.

Ever since I started competing, I made a goal to win overall in an NPC show. I want to be the best...and I also think it would be extremely bad ass to win a sword :) After I reach that goal, I will feel ready to hit the national stage.  I had the opportunity to compete in the overall bikini at MN State Championships, but ended up in second place. One goal at a time though...that show was my accomplishment to win my class, and I am still very proud.

After recharging this month, I know that I want to go back into  ::bikini beastmode:: and meet some new goals. My mind, body, and soul are geared up, and ready to meet any obstacles that come in my way. I will work harder than ever before, making new sacrifices, and breaking through the impossible. I want to make changes from MN State, and bring my best package yet to this show.

I went to bed last night knowing that today was the day. I woke up, did my morning cardio, ate my egg whites, and know that from here on out, once again, every decision I make will impact my goal. I'm ready!!! :)

Shout Out-----I'd like to say Good Luck to my Coach, LAURA GUTILLA who is competing in USA'S this weekend!!! She is amazing in every way possible, and I am so proud of her accomplishments. Watch out world....after next weekend....she's going to be IFBB Physique Pro Laura Gutilla ;)  GO GET IT!!! IT'S YOURS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Coach rockin' it at CO State where she won overall and best poser :) GO LAURA!!!!

Make every day COUNT!!!!!!!!!!!!!
<3 SJ xo

Thursday, July 12, 2012

::10 Traits of THE Perfect Man::

Finding the one who makes your heart race…makes you feel special...and gives you the strength you need to get through your day can be a never ending search. Just two short years ago I found him. I’d like you to meet the one who has my whole heart. His name is Gym. He continues to provide each day in ways that you couldn’t even dream of.

Confidence- He will make you feel on top of the world even within just an hour’s time.

Dependable- He will always be there for you. Gym will never let you down, and will override even your worst days.

Integrity-Gym does not lie to you. He is honest, and does not sugar coat the truth.

Earning Potential- He will give you the ingredients you need to be successful. He will allow you to continually better yourself.

Faithfulness- Gym will be dedicated to you. Each day, you will be able to trust with your whole heart what he has to offer.

Generosity- He is a giver. He will devote time to you each day, supporting your goals, and making your every dream come true.

Passion- The feelings you experience in the presence of Gym are unexplainable. He will make your heart race and a sense of warmth will overcome your body.

Endurance- Gym will push you, and not give you an option to give up. He will break down walls and you will accomplish what you once thought was impossible.

Satisfaction- Nothing can compare to the way Gym will fulfill your needs. You will leave him feeling gratified. The smile you depart with will carry on throughout your day.

Everlasting- Gym will always be there for you. His relationship with you is eternal, and as long as you keep him in your life, he will devote his unconditional love to you.

All of these desired traits can be achieved if you take the initiative…make that one committed decision. Go ahead, take a risk. Let Gym into your life. Allow him to change your mind, body, and soul forever

5 Steps to Success

What makes up your day? Is each step an essential part of your desired success? Is it planned out accordingly so no time is wasted? Follow these 5 steps each day to bring you closer to your goals. Each of these steps are necessary to stay on track, and in a positive mindset to continue on the journey.

Step 1: Reflection Run-Every morning, wake up for your first round of cardio. This thirty minute run is more than workout, but it is a crucial part of the day. This time is used to reflect, organize your thoughts for the day, and plan for the future.  You will feel strong and invincible. By the time you get back into your house, you will be in a positive mind set and ready to move forward with your day.

For some, a morning run may conclude their efforts for being healthy, but this next step is valuable component of  success which brings us to the next step.

Step 2: Love your Lifestyle- You cannot consider the way you eat a "diet", but as an essential ingredient in achieving your fitness goals, and you should wear it like a badge of honor. The food that you put into your body has a purpose. You should use food to fuel your body and supply the energy you need to complete the tasks that make up your day and create a desired physique.

At this point, you will be ready to move forward with your day with the goal of helping others and inspiring people to change their life.

Step 3: Make a Difference-  It is good function on high level of activity, and to constantly be on the go. The work that you do should allow you to focus your positive energy on helping others. Each day should be special, rewarding, and exciting. You will create a positive role model for the world to be inspired by. They will look up to you as a strong, successful, determined individual.

After you have put in hours of satisfied work, there is still  one of the most important factors remaining.

Step 4:Bikini Beastmode- At this time, you will head over to the most rewarding place, the gym.  The emotions experienced in the gym are unexplainable. There is nothing else that can make you feel this way. The gym is the one thing you know you can always depend on. It is always going to be there for you. It is constant.  It does not judge you or put negativity into your life. It cannot walk out on you, or give up on you.

Along with staying positive for yourself, remember to shine that passion onto others.

Step 5:Scatter Joy Around You-Make time each day to seek out others that need a boost. If you can make ten people smile each day, you will feel rewarded. You will love knowing, and have great satisfaction for making a difference. The last thing anyone wants to do is to see someone struggle. Never be afraid to help. Wherever you go-you can shine.

These 5 steps make each day a success,you will gain focus, strength, and motivation from these essential ingredients.  Live each day one at a time, overcome any and all obstacles that come your way, and capitalize on your accomplishments. Remember- have of doing is believing that YOU CAN!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

I Love My Life :)

Hello Everyone!!!!

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I hope you are all enjoying your ::Fourth of July::. Summer has been flying by...and I have been staying very productive. Student teaching ended, and I started my nanny job, and teaching summer school in Appleton. A typical day now consists of waking up at 4:30 a.m. for my morning run, spending 7am-11:30am in the classroom, nannying noon-6pm and then heading to the gym after that to lift and do more cardio. Every day is structured and meaningful. I make each day count :)

View from my dest :)

It is very exciting to have my very own classroom. I am teaching math and each hour is a different group of students. I am teaching 3rd-4th, 5th-7th, and I end my morning with my favorite grade...2nd :) I am learning a lot in this experience, and I am growing in my educational practices and methods. For those of you that know me...math was always my biggest challenge, so I was a little nervous to be teaching it...especially to such a wide range of grade levels. I absolutely love it, and I am so thankful for this opportunity. It is so rewarding to watch my students learn and grow. My first week I had two students that did not understand multiplication. I blocked off some time and worked with them, showing different methods and approaches to solving the problems. By the end of the week one of them won our class game of  "Around the World". It made my week. I love being a teacher :)
Ahnika, Vacey, and SJ

Every day after teaching, I drive over to my nanny job with a smile on my face. I LOVE my body building family nanny job. I am so blessed to work with such a wonderful family. It is a lot of fun. We have fun going to the beach, playing outside, making projects, playing games, and of course...having fun in the gym in the basement. Each week we do fitness goal tests (i.e. push ups, pull ups, hanging leg raises etc) and test abilities, and track our progress. It is fun setting goals, and watching us improve each week. I love working with children and making a difference. I wish I could be a professional nanny :) I am looking forward to making more memories and spending the rest of the summer with these two rockstars ;)
After an afternoon chalking the driveway

I am really proud of how well I am maintaining right now with it being my "off season". I am still doing two a days of cardio. Every morning I run for about 30 minutes, and then at night when I am done lifting I do at least 20 minutes on thes stairmaster. Training is going great as well. It is not the same without the Strength Center, but I enjoy seeing some familar faces at the gym back home and making more friends there. My friend Kristine Hietpas and I train together every Thursday. She is helping me create some better shoulders so I can be a beast like herself ;) Thanks girl!!!! I love our Thursday Gym<3 dates and I REALLY appreciate the help!!!!!

I am also staying strict with my diet. I am very thankful to have support of my body building nanny family. The dad, Scott, also competes with me and he has been helping me and holding me accountable each day which really helps. It is always nice to have that kind of support. I am continuing to learn a lot about my body, and what I can to do continue to improve. TEAM BB D!!!! :)

Enjoying the simple things :)

I have been fortunate enough to have the past week off from both jobs, so for the first time since January, I was able to take a step back and breathe and enjoy life a little more. I went back to Point and decided to spend my vacation with Mrs. S. We have had....and are still having a wonderful time. Every morning I wake up and I go for a run, and when I get back we load up the kayaks and head to the river for an adventure. We have gone every day since Saturday for at least 2.5-3.5 hours each time. It is an amazing experience and I'll cherish the memories that were made. Aside from kayaking, we watched some live music by the water, spent time outside, worked on the classroom, and enjoyed eachothers company.

Our favorite kind of cardio :)

Mrs. S is amazing....and I am so thankful I worked with her this year for both my practicum and my student teacher assignment. She continues to support me and my dreams, and enjoy the journey with me.  I love coming to her house. Mrs. S and her husband are so welcoming and give me a nice place to destress and rejuvinate. My morning runs here are the best because the scenery is so beautiful, and everything is so much more peaceful here. I couldn't ask for a better vacation.

I also love coming here because I get to workout at my favorite gym, the UWSP Strength Center. On Saturday I entered the gym, and I was the only on in there. Emotionals immediately took over my body, and nothing else in the world mattered....I was "home". I loaded up the bar weights, secured them, and got ready. A deep breath was taken, I alligned myself with the bar, and I exploded.The power of my legs ignited as I hit each rep. My heart pounded,  my quads screamed, but I was hungry for more...and this was just the beginning. I had one of the best leg workouts ever on Satruday. Time was not a factor, nothing held me back. I pushed it until I could barely walk straight.

My favorite place on earth <3

When I went to the gym during the week, a lot of my buddies were in there, and some familiar faces of the athletes from school. It felt so good to be in there, and I had some phenomenal workouts. I love walking in to the sound of weights smashing, and music blaring. I love putting chalk on my hands and feeling my callouses rip open. I absolutely love it in there. I even enjoyed my post stair master cardio. I love looking down at everyone working out while I hit the steps. This place is my home, and no one can ever take away the emotions I experience when I am there. It refuels my fire, and gives me an extra push to go even harder.

I couldn't ask for a better summer. Everything is going great, and I am thankful for each day. I am going to continue working hard, and look forward to the opportunites that come my way. Enjoy the rest of your holiday, and remember to MAKE EACH DAY COUNT :)))

<3 SJ XO

Friday, June 15, 2012

Coach of the Year Award: Laura Gutilla

I wanted to dedicate this post the one...the only...
Coach of the Year...Laura Gutilla :)
This is my Coach....she's AMAZING!!!!!
I competed in four NPC shows in the bikini class without a coach. I had the guidance of my brother, and a few close competitor friends, but for the most part, I was on my own. I went to the gym on my own and I constructed my diet on my own. I taught myself how to pose, and all of the other stage aesthetics for competing. I did pretty good, always making top 3 when I would compete...but that was not good enough for me. It wasn't fun always taking second place. Not when I was putting in the heart, passion, and making the sacrifices I was.

In April I competed in the 2012 Fox Cities Showdown. I was very, very upset with how I did in this show. I was use to taking top 3, so after taking 5th place I took a step back and re-evaluated what needed to be done. I looked at the beautiful, talented women who beat me...they all had a coach...they all had amazing physiques and top-notch posing. I knew it was time to take on the help of someone with more knowledge and experience than I had myself.

April 28, 2012....before Laura's help

April 28th, 2012...before Laura's help

I thought about my options. My hero, my inspiration, Laura Gutilla came to mind. I was in contact with her right away after the show, and shared my goals with her. I told her I wanted to compete in the 2012 MN State Championships, but this time, I just wanted to beat myself. I wanted to improve my physique and posing, and I had less than 5 weeks to do it.

She created my diet and stayed in close contact with me. She answered any questions I had, and was constantly checking in on me, and supporting me along the way. Even if I was having a bad day, and needed help or a boost about something besides competing, she was there. She is truly an amazing woman, with a heart of Gold.

Even with in different states, she was able to help me with posing. She gave me suggestions to follow, and minor things to tweak. She gave me the tools I needed to make it to the top.

Every week got a bit more challenging, but I did not give up. She pushed me through walls that were once there, and helped me achieve the impossible.

1 day out (before tn) I am so incredibly proud of the progress I made in such a short period of time. I am SO thankful I had an amazing coach to help me achieve my dreams <3
1 day out
1 day out

The week of the show, she was so excited about the progress I had made in the short period of time we worked together. Peak Week is very crucial, and this was a science I had yet to figure out for myself. It was so much less stressful knowing that every decision that was made, I had her full support and guidance. She taught me how to carb deplete, successfully cut water, and the final week workouts that should take place. She also worked as a team with my girl, Lori Schopf to make sure my hair and make up was perfect. Ladies...we make a great team :)

Thank you again, Lori and Baby Zach for being a part of the team!!!

Laura Gutilla made my dreams come true. In under 5 weeks, she helped me beat myself. She dropped me 10 lbs. from the Showdown, and she helped create my perfected posing routine. Not only that, but she helped me achieve a long term goal of winning my class in bikini. When my name was called on stage, and I walked out to receive my first place bikini b trophy in a class of 10 amazing women, tears filled my eyes. It was my proudest moment ever....and no one can ever take that away from me.

June 9th, 2012 with Coach Laura
June 9th, 2012 with Coach Laura

After the show, I called Laura right away and I was crying with happiness, and she shared the moment with me. I am so thankful for having such an amazing coach, and I truly believe she will help bring me to the top. My goal is to earn my IFBB Bikini Pro Card by age 25....I know it is going to happen....I believe it.

She made me into a WINNER Yes...I am crying...those are tears of happiness)

Now that the show is over, my contact with Laura continues. She wants me to be my best, and has helped me create an off season plan to keep me where I want to maintain my body fat, and also add the muscle development in the areas needed.

Goal: Win my class in Bikini......ACCOMPLISHED :)

You are an amazing coach, friend, and athlete, Laura Gutilla. I am so proud of your own accomplishments, and I know you are going to do great things in this industry. You will always be my inspiration, my coach, and my hero<3 Good luck with your upcoming show!!!!!! It's yours girl!!

<3 SJ XO