Story Time with Rishone – A Grateful Man Lives a Full Life

This past October makes it 5 years and almost 2 months since I left my career as a Validation Engineer to pursue my passions of the culinary arts and dance. As I reflect now, December made it more of a reality that I no longer had a job with a decent pay check coming in 2 weeks. The thought of this at that time almost drove me insane. I was scared and scrambling to find other option to fill the financial gap. Did I mention I was scared and scrambling to figure out what was next? Well, if I did, I wanted to make sure you didn’t miss it, because I couldn’t fall asleep at night and when I did, I wanted to wake up with the job that I once had so I didn’t have to worry about how to generate income. That’s right, I was depressed and partially lost. I had no idea what to do next or how to fill that void financially.

I had spent 4 years in a career that no matter how hard I worked, they never recognized my efforts. I spent 4 years in a job that frowned upon my passions, and it started to push me further away from them. So I made that decision partially due to minor infraction but majorly because it was time to move on. The only thing that kept me from completely losing it was that I knew I had the grit and skill to recover through my passions. 

It was the Winter of 2014, and I had no job, but it made me more focused than I had ever been in my life. I knew what I needed to do, but I also knew that I needed to find a temporary job that would allow me to make ends meet while I figured it out. So I applied to NOCO as a part time Administrative Assistant to fill the position of one of their valued workers who went on leave to give birth to her first daughter. That kept me sane for a short while, but it reminded me why I never wanted be in a position where an organization controlled my future or my time. Therefore, I used my 401k from my previous job at Home Depot along with my final pay check from my previous career, that included all of my personal/vacation time, to buy all the necessary tools to start my pursuit as an entrepreneur. I worked at NOCO for about 6 months until it was time for the new mother to return to work. Unfortunately she did not return, but I still decided to move on to pursue what was in front of me. 

It was a huge decision, because unlike everything else in life, most if not everyone told me that it was not the right thing to do. However, I listened to my quivering gut and put everything into my decision, because I believed in my abilities. I transformed the fear I was feeling from taking actions towards the dream I wanted. With each decision I made, I lost the build up of reservations and doubt I held on to for my entire life. 

From that point in my life, I have been making decisions against the grain not to be a rebel but to prove to myself that my happiness is worth it. I have made so many mistakes, and I have failed miserably so many times. However those moments I’ve succeeded knowing I listened to myself has made the difference in where I am today. Then I figured out how to repeat those small victories from continuous self evaluations of my inner thought patterns and motives.   

I am thankful that I listened to myself, because it has enabled me to influence so many others in the process. So many of my friends and family have expressed how much they are inspired by what I have done. Though they are not aware of my mistakes and failures they have shared that they have been watching as well as cheering me from a far. Some have even decided to start their own small businesses because of how far I have come over the years. 

So this winter, I am thankful for so many things. I am thankful for those that watched in support as I grew my business. I am thankful for those that reached out and told me to keep my head high. I am thankful for my best friend/business partner Susie K who believed in me, joined me, and supported all of my crazy ideas. I am thankful for my stepmother who lifted me up countless times when I was down in the dumps. I am thankful for the friends that allowed me to vent my frustrations, who understood where I was coming from because they are also entrepreneurs. Most of all, I am thankful for all the clients who gave me the opportunity to wow them as a chef and share my joy with them as a dance instructor. I am grateful for the support and love you have all shown. This season reminds me to be thankful for everything and everyone that has really been apart of my life. So with my heart and soul, Thank you! 

Story Time with Susie – Don’t sweat the small stuff

My stomach immediately dropped… I knew I was about to be in trouble.

This happened right after I realized that I made a pretty big mistake in my day job. Let me explain…

When I’m not dancing, taking photos, or working out, I work my day job at KeyBank. Part of my duties include being on call for a week, every 8 weeks. Long story short, one day when I was on call last week, I received an alert literally in the middle of the night which I responded to when I woke up 5 hours later. The alerts are for technical incidents at the bank which we need to respond to immediately. Let’s just say, I definitely heard about this from my manager the next day. She was not happy that I responded 5 hours after the alert came through, and this was the first time in my job that I ever felt like I was getting in trouble. (For some context, I was always that “goody two-shoes” in school who never did anything wrong, if you could imagine.) At this point, there have been no repercussions to my mistake, but half of me is still expecting to hear from upper management about this.

After I got off the phone with my manager who informed me of my error, I felt my stomach drop. I felt horrible, frustrated, and disappointed in myself. As my day went on, I realized that I was carrying those same feelings with me throughout the rest of the day. By mid day, I had to check myself. There was no point in bringing that negative energy with me. There was literally nothing I could do to change the error I made. I did ensure that I called my manager again later in the day to apologize for any tone I realized I may have had when speaking to her earlier. But other than that, the damage was done.

But SKKRTT!! Hold up? What damage? I made a mistake that management was not happy about? Whats the big deal? Was it life changing? No. Would it be something I think about next year, next month, or even next week? No. I have too many good things in my life to let something so minuscule hold me down. When I came to this realization, I decided that I was not going to sweat it. Even though if felt like a big deal at the time, it really was no big thing. And I felt a weight lift off me after I made the decision to let it go.

So what can you let go of that might be holding you back today? Do you get easily frustrated by relentless traffic? Did you also have an incident happen at work with your boss or maybe a coworker that you’re not happy about? Did you drop your phone and shatter your screen? Whatever it is, take a second to think, is this worth the anxiety or anger? I saw this 5 by 5 rule online: If it’s not gonna matter in 5 years, don’t spend more than 5 minutes being upset by it. Next time you find yourself responding to a situation with frustration, anger, anxiety, or disappointment, I encourage you to pause and ask yourself why you feel that way and is it worth it. I guarantee you that 9 out of 10 times, you’ll find it’s best if you simply let it go and shift your focus to something positive!

Story Time with Rishone – Life is about the results of many rides not a few pedals.

Ride Class in North Tonawanda

“Why be a spin instructor with everything else that you do?”

I started out 2019 with absolutely no intention of becoming a spin instructor. The 4 things that consumed my thoughts everyday were my family, growing my businesses, visiting LA to take dance classes for the first time, and completing a marathon for the first time in my life. I enjoy taking spin classes as apart of my cross training for the marathon, and I would often imagine how I would lead a class with my own music. After brushing the idea off of being on the lead bike on multiple occasions, I finally started to mentally give in to the idea, because something about it synced with my energy. 

When the owner of Be Moved Fitness presented me with an opportunity to complete a power spin training class for new instructors at the end of August, I officially decided to become a Spin/Ride instructor. I figured it would keep me accountable, and it worked perfectly into my fitness goals for 2019. 
I knew this would be an absolute challenge, but I also know how I am with learning the ins and outs of new endeavors and how to stay connected to the journey rather than the momentary results. So I knew what I needed to do and how I needed to go about it.

First obstacles to over come were Expectations!

I completed the the power training class on August 25th at 12:00PM and immediately while exiting the Rise Fitness Studio in Hamburg, NY I knew the expectations were high to be an amazing instructor. Every interaction with the instructors at Be Moved Fitness were encouraging but also had a level of expectation that I wasn’t sure I could meet immediately. Maybe they were expectations I put on myself, or maybe because I danced on the bike while taking a ride/spin class I was expected to do the same for all my clients. I knew the owner wanted something different like a rhythm based spin class and I wasn’t sure that I was able to produce that without actual experiences leading a class. I also needed time getting familiar with using the music to not only get a great work out but to also make it a fun overall experience.   

My 1st Class: The Tell All. 

September 4th was my first class and it was definitely a treat, because it was completely SOLD OUT. I mean a few of the attendees were instructors at Be Moved Fitness but there were 18 people staring back at me as I settled into my new role as a TemPo Ride instructor. I had planned everything from start to finish, rehearsed it a few times on the bike while no one was in the studio, and now it was time to show what I could do.

The first 20 minutes were flat and to be honest, I literally felt the energy of the class more focused on the workout rather than the awesome playlist I orchestrated to help them through it. Then I reminded myself why I became a spin instructor. I wanted to help people have fun on the bike and experience a ride class through music and movement that transports them to a place of enjoyment. Immediately after I made that adjustment I threw out the workout plan and started having fun on the bike with the music. Everyone’s entire mood changed because my mood changed. I started to see some smiles and the energy in the room wanted something different. My goal that day was to complete 14 miles but we only got to 12.5 miles. I mean that was still not bad but it was 2 miles below my goal. 

Post Class Evaluation: The Things that could have made me quit. 

First of all, I felt how off my Queues were. For 35% of the class I wasn’t even riding to the music. Even my transitions were rough from the saddle (seat position) to the second position (standing straight up on the bike). Most of the people in the back could not hear me and some people in the front struggled to understand what I was communicating as well. Hearing and experiencing this the first class gave my ego quite the hit.  I also received some constructive, educational feedback from the spin/ride instructors that took my class that day on how to improve.  Those actually gave me some internally excitement to prepare for the next class. 

With all the feedback and unplanned first time experiences that took place in my first class, I could have decided to quit while I’m at it but I knew to become better I had to be married to the process not the emotions of not being everything I wanted to be on the first day. Therefore I took all the feedback and paired it with my personal experience and made a plan for the next class which happened to be the next day. 

My 2nd Class: The Compliment and Improvements Moving Forward.

Now, I could have marinated in all the things that didn’t go as planned the first class, but I took everything thing I learned from the first class and applied it to my 2nd class. There was an immediate improvement, and I felt it from the beginning. I was more relaxed, I had a work out plan but I didn’t let it close me off from the music, and I was able to direct the class through every song confidently. 

At the end of the class we completed 14.3 miles. To my surprise one of the clients complimented me on how awesome the class was and how much she enjoyed the playlist I created. That compliment made my day. It also made me realize that I still had a lot to learn, but for the 2nd class I experienced a small victory that I will always remember.    

The take away: Every Bad Experience eventually leads to a better one if you stay Married to the end Goal.  

Like everything else that I do well, I treat everything new as a learning experience.. So far I have taught 10 classes. Some went perfectly as planned and others had some/ many details I could have improved on. Just recently the music stopped working in class and I had to switch to story mode to help the clients through the last 15 minutes of class. In my last class my right leg slipped off the pedal during a moment when tried to dance. However in all those moments I checked my ego and taught from a place where failure or mishaps is a necessity to learn. The beautiful thing is that I get to make people happy through music while riding an indoor cycling bike. So if you are ever hesitant about trying something because you are worried about failing miserably, remember to always check yourself immediately, evaluate what you did well or didn’t do well, get some professional feed back, and get back to it. You may not experience positive feedback on the 2nd opportunity like I did, but always stay connected to the journey and use the momentary results as learning tools to get better.