You Always Had the Power My Dear

9 10 2013

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The email usually starts the same “Hi my name is…” Then the person goes on to tell me that they are interested in hiring a personal trainer because they need to lose weight, never worked out, need to be pushed, motivated and accountable to someone, getting married, etc.  But a year ago I got an e-mail that included this:

After successfully losing more than 160 pounds over 6+ years, working a crazy desk job and being lax about working out, the pounds have started to creep back.  I’m getting married in December (and have already ordered my dress) so I’m looking to get stronger and healthier.

Can you  possibly get any stronger than the strength and dedication it took to lose 160 lbs this gal already had?  The answer is yes, yes and YES!!!!!

One of the best things about this new client that came to me in September of 2012 and was getting married in December is she wasn’t my typical bride to be. She didn’t say the things I usually hear from brides. The I’m wearing a strapless dress and I want to lose 40 pounds have sculpted arms, accentuated collar bones,  and my legs are fine cause the dress is covering them.”  Christine told me I don’t expect miracles in the next few months I just want to look good in my dress. Did I actually have a bride that I didn’t have to give my I’m not a magician speech and that these requests come with hard work and SWEAT?   Christine lost weight in the few months and  look absolutely gorgeous in her dress.  But this story isn’t about brides and training and looking great in a wedding dress. The real story begins the 6 years before I met Christine and continues with the year we have spent together once a week, burpee after burpee after burpee.  See un like most brides after their big day Christine didn’t turn down her exercise regime, or take time off.   This married lady turned it up and the pounds went down and down each week. Putting us at this very moment I am typing to 50 pounds in a little over one year.

Like most girls who are not comfortable in a gym atmosphere, finding somewhere to workout  that is not in everyone’s view is where they either request to train or somehow manage to move me. Can we go over there they say.   Listen gals let’s get this straight. Nobody is looking at you. The guys and gals in front of the mirrors are so vain they don’t have time to look at you!

So what prompts most over weight people to make a change? Sometimes it’s  a trip to the doctor, blood test results or maybe heart disease.   Christine had no alarming medical diagnosis she just was sick and tired of being over weight.   No more talking about it,  waiting for the right time, New Years Day or a Monday.  She pressed go and got up and went and put her plan into action with cleaning up her diet and exercising.  A year ago I was told by Christine that she doesn’t run. She does now. Did her first 5K this year.  “I can’t do a push-up” has been replaced with “how many and do I clap or burpee in between ?”  In 12 months I never heard Christine say  “I can’t do that.” She ALWAYS says to me the words, “I’ll try.”  One pound losses were never a bummer for Christine. No losses we never upsetting, but just more motivation for her to tighten up her diet and exercise a little harder.   This past year I witnessed the decline of jean sizes this year and saw how exciting it was for Christine to get rid of the old clothes and go shopping for new ones. My favorite texts said “Hi!!! I just bought a pair of 27, yes 27, True Religion jeans. I don’t have muffin top. I’m in shock!” and “I can’t believe the ass in the mirror is mine!”  That ass has done a million squats, of every version I can think of in the last 12 months, it better look good or my ass is grass! My business card is stamped on that ass of hers.

Whether Christine’s goal was looking good in her wedding dress, or recently zipping up a dress she wanted to wear to a friend’s wedding, she always set realistic goals and then worked, not wished towards that goal.  When she said to me in her initial e-mail she wanted to get stronger, she didn’t realize that she already had an over abundance of strength and dedication that even i I could not give her.  That type of strength has to come from inside. That strength is what is needed to succeed and never give up.  No personal trainer is going to give that to you. Trainers  might push you, pull you, and tug some things out of you give you muscular strength, endurance and cardio but  dedication and the POWER to succeed is internal and has to come from you.

Gone are the pink baby weights and hiding in the corner.  Christine is pressing steel in double digits, running, spinning, squatting, and standing in front of the mirror. Why? Because I tell her to. Look at your muscles. Check out your form. That’s what the mirrors are for. That’s why we gym rats hog the mirrors. Watching your body’s muscles is like sculpting a piece of art.

When someone loses weight they also lose some inhibitions. Confidence is often gained. Strength surfaces and is used in multiple ways. Yes there will be the haters. “You’re too skinny”, “You’re obsessed”.  Your real friends will let you know if they see a problem or in Christine’s case I told her recently  “I’ll tell you if you’re getting too skinny.”

There is a great saying from Glinda the Good Witch from The Wizard of Oz: “You always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it yourself.”

Christine you are an inspiration to the many people who have to lose weight and to get healthy. Being your bad bitch, oops, I mean bad witch this year was rewarding to me, and your constant smile and positive attitude is so refreshing. I thank you and I’ll get you my pretty at this weeks training.


Christine and a friends dog


Christine & Tom December 2012



Personal Training – 610-608-6087

Hope Nagy – Certified Personal Trainer

Voted Philadelphia’s Top Trainer on Philly’s Hot List

2011, 2012 and 2013

Hope Nagy Certified Personal Trainer

Hope Nagy Certified Personal Trainer

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My Dad, My Hero.

16 06 2013


There are three stages in my life I recall.  “My dad is stronger than your dad.”   “Dad, you know nothing” and  “ My father says…….”  This Fathers Day I told my dad to go to his door and check if he received a package from me.  I live in Philadelphia and my parents live in Florida. Hoping he wouldn’t have a heart attack my daughters and I said “f”.  A little shakin’ and confused my daddy shed some tears.  “Better than a card?” I said to the “Worlds Greatest Dad”. With a hug he said “Of course” but why did you spend the money. That’s my dad.

Growing up I had the type of dad that always put his kids first. If it meant three jobs, he had three jobs. My favorite was as a Good Humor Ice Cream Man. If something broke he’d fixed it with duct tape. If mom said no he said yes. We didn’t grow up rich in money but boy did dad make sure we enjoyed life. While our modest row home in Philly seemed huge to me at the time I never really thought it was odd nor understood expenses such as going skiing on the weekends or taking a trip to Spain in 7th grade. Fancy cars and a big house were less important… we need to find snow on the east coast on the weekends and if it meant driving 6 hours to Vermont for the day we did. Laced up ski boots, wooden poles, hand me down ski pants and mismatched gloves awesome. Driving to Florida with no iPod or video fighting with my sister was divine.   Running to the bowling alley to tell my dad  it’s dinner time seemed normal.  Driving in a golf cart was cool. When people ask me do you play golf I say yes and kickball, handball, half-ball and shuffle board. Mt dad has made sure I learned everything.   I truly was blessed to grow up with the best dad. You know the one who knows everything and if he didn’t he was the best at pretending he did. Still does. lol

As a single mom today I know this day is hard for some. We take on the role of both mom and dad. I kill the bugs when the girls scream. I fix the closet door that falls off the hinges. I check the air in tires and the oil in my kids car. I sing at birthday’s extra loud and clap extra hard at graduations. In a perfect world it would be nice if all kids could grow up with two loving parents. But we do not live in a perfect world and parents are not perfect. I have made my mistakes and I myself am still learning from them. My daughter often ask’s “Who is going to walk me down the aisle one day?”  I tell her that I will hold her hand that day and everyday for life.

As a little girl I wanted to mary a man like my father. Unfortunately that didn’t happen.  I know this is said often  “Any fool can make a baby but it takes a man to raise a child”  No it should say  “Anyone” can make a baby but it takes a great person or people to raise a child.   Your either willing to take hold of that little hand forever or you’re not. This is a full-time job and anyone who thinks it’s not should be fired.

My entire life one thing I heard constantly…..”You’re Morty’s daughter? Your father is the best. I love your father.” I honestly thought every woman who said this to me was having an affair with my dad.  Why not? He looked like a cross between Hal Linden from Barney Miller and Tom Selleck in his leisure suits.  My father talked to everyone.  I inherited this from him. The gift of gab.  Thanks dad for being the one loyal listener I had when I was an overnight DJ on a New Jersey radio station in the 80’s. “ I like that Egyptian song you play.”  My mom “He keeps that radio on all night so he knows you’re at work.”  I still laugh out loud when I hear “Walk like an Egyptian from the Bangles”  I would sometimes announce “ This is Hope of WPST sending this next one out to my dad who I know is up listening.

I don’t remember the last time I woke up in the same house on Father’s Day with my dad.  I do know with his recent heart issues and the doctor saying it’s significantly much weaker,  that I needed to fly to Florida to hold my dads hand on this Father’s Day.  The man who taught me how to ride a bike, the man who stayed up and yelled at 3‘o’clock in the morning when I came home “Hope, is that you?” “ The man who tells me the same stories over and over and  still thinks I like tomatoes, which I hate.  “You like ketchup, what do you mean you don’t like tomatoes?” The grey hair man who still brags about me, who still worries about me and who still holds my hand.  I will never understand any parent who let’s go of that hand. I’m sorry I just can’t. My girls hands I will hold forever like my father will always hold mine in my heart no mater how many miles apart we are.   I might be one person but I learned how to be the best dad (parent) from the best teacher… dad.

Happy Father’s Day Daddy,

Love always,

Your little girl, Hope



                                         Morty The Good Humor Man


Voted #1 on Philly’s Hot List for Vest Personal Trainer

Hope Nagy – 

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When I grow up …. I want to be a Professional Mountain Biker.

25 02 2013

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I am a believer that everyone is born with a special gift.  Some spend their entire lives never discovering their own special talent. For some it shines through and they find it themselves, or someone else might assist in this discovery like a coach, teacher, instructor or parent. With hard work, dedication and discipline sometimes these people even excel.  As I finish up the last year in my 40’s I can tell you I am still searching for my own special talent. Maybe it lays in the second half of my century race I’m competing in daily.  I was 39 when I experienced my first mountain bike ride. Prodded by the guys who rode at my gym, I paid a guy who rode named Anthony, $20 to take me out for a ride.I borrowed a bike and a helmet, wore sneakers and didn’t bring a water bottle. What for? Peddling up the first dirt path I can remember thinking “someone needs to move these rocks.” I was serious! I eventually grew to love this thing called mountain biking and I even did some local racing for a couple of years,  often wondering if I had started sooner in life could I have found my special something? This all brings me to my latest…

“When I grow up I want to be a professional Mountain Biker”

and who better to speak with than one of the world’s top woman mountain bikers,

Rebecca Rusch.

Rebecca is a 4 time winner of the Leadville Trail 100 mile Mountain Bike Race, held each year in Colorado. Along with victories in three, 24 hour Solo Mountain Bike World Championships, she has won numerous titles in the mountain biking world. Before mainly concentrating on mountain biking, she also participated in Adventure Racing at the highest international level, including the well-known Eco Challenge series.  A skier, biker and adventure racer, Rebecca has dominated endurance sports and is known as “The Queen of Pain”!

Rebecca, Confucius says “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”   You’ve worked hard to get where you are today. When did you realize that you would not be lying in bed Sunday night, dreading going to work Monday morning? 

Contrary to this saying, I have always chosen jobs I am passionate about and love doing, but I’ve also worked my butt off in each and every one.  I was owner/manager of a Rock climbing gym, a climbing guide, Limo driver, aerobics instructor, adventure athlete, firefighter, bike racer, public speaker, sports marketing consultant, coffee barista, ski instructor, event director and more.  It’s been a varied path, but all driven by passion.   My job is absolutely a ton of hard work, but it’s a path I’ve chosen so the work is what I want to be doing and pushing me toward a goal I’ve chosen.

Ever lie on the ground after a spill and say to yourself, “I could be sitting behind a desk”? 

Nope.  A desk job might be physically easier and pay more, but it would not take me around the world, challenge me every day, introduce me to inspiring people, keep me healthy and provide the sense of achievement, reward and adventure that I crave.

What are the advantages and disadvantages between riding solo to adventure racing.   Do you prepare differently for let’s say the Eco Challenge or a 100 mile bike race? 

Everyone should experience both solo and team missions.  Racing is such a great microcosm of life and I’ve learned some of my most important lessons on the race course.  With a team, acceptance, give and take, motivation and learning to read yourself and others is so key.  The reward is that when you make it through a really tough event, you have someone to hug at the end who really knows what you went through to get there because they did it with you.  Successes and failures are shared, which can be the ultimate reward or the ultimate disappointment.  I’ve had many disappointing team races where I was not the weak link physically and had to swallow a less than stellar outcome.  I’ve also had team events where I was physically carried and propped up when I needed it and the success would not have been won without my team support.  I love the dynamics and true sportsmanship that is required in a team event.  Everyone must give and also be able to receive help and the group is stronger as a whole than as individuals. A solo event is also rewarding in that it’s a brutal mirror and the success or failure is your own.  There is no one else to lend a helping hand or to blame or to offer you a shoulder to lean on.  Sometimes I like the purity and simplicity of this format, but I also feel like being a great teammate is often harder than being a great solo competitor.

Road biking or Mountain biking? Getting hit by a car or hitting a tree? I live in Philadelphia so I personally prefer a tree!  You?  

I feel mountain biking is a safer environment because you choose your challenge.  There is nothing in mountain biking that compares to the danger of an inattentive or aggressive motorist.  Personally, where I live, there are more trails than roads, so I spend more time riding my mountain bike.  However road riding is amazing and I want to feel like I belong on the road too.  If you want to make road riding safer, join Bikes Belong and speak up for bike trails and bike advocacy at

What’s in your water bottle?

For most of my racing and training it’s GU Roctane, lemon lime flavor.

I would not race without this.

For the final push when I am really running on fumes, I reach for Red Bull and water mixed together.

Five person dream team for an adventure race? List me 4, who’s on your team and why did you chose them?

John Jacoby, John Howard, Keith Murray, Robyn Benincasa.  Adventure racing old school legends, all of them.

When you know you’re going to crash what part of your body (teeth, face, shoulder) do you most want to protect? For some reason I think teeth, not my head or my face, but my teeth.  You?

All of it!  I want to protect all of it!  Tuck and roll!

What eye protection do you wear when riding?  Whatever brand I wear I find that the rubber ear grip always pulls my hair out when I remove them. Do you have this issue?  

I always ride/race in the Smith Pivlock V2.  They are frameless for great visibility, super light, super vented and have interchangeable lenses.  They have an adjustable nose piece for wider or narrower faces and the arms are new and improve to slide onto your head without pulling hair.  This was precisely a bit of feedback I gave them because it was a pet peeve.

Looking back to when your first started competing in mountain bike racing, how has the sport grown for women?  Are you satisfied with the growth or do you think it still has far to go?

Women’s sport participation is growing in a big way and it’s all about having great role models, opportunities and structure to support more women and girls getting involved.  The manufacturers are answering with better bikes for women, and you are seeing more female sports heroes out there, more girls who grow up with multiple sports to choose from.  This is progress and there’s still more to go.  The SRAM Gold Rusch Tour that I host is all about that, providing connections, opportunity and building the women’s cycling community.

Talk to me about fear.  Do you get nervous before a race? What do you do to calm yourself down? Or do you use this as fuel? 

Fear is mitigated by preparation.  If you have truly prepared for a race, then what’s to fear?  There is excitement of the unknown, anticipation of the day and the performance, but hopefully not too much fear.   A little adrenaline is healthy and means you are in the moment and alive.  Too much fear and you’re burning calories and affecting your ability to ride well.  It’s a control game that every athlete deals with and tries to master, including me.  The times I’m most afraid, like on really technical sections, are the places where I’m the least prepared.  Sometimes, jumping off the deep end and just trying works great.  Other times, it’s OK to walk around and save it for another day.

You’re a volunteer Firefighter. Obvious adrenaline junkie.  Did you play with Barbies growing up or GI Joe?  Do you ever find that guys think because you don’t mind getting all dirty and playing hard that you’re not a girlie girl? 

Hopefully, I’m a good combination of both.  I did play with Barbie’s, but also built forts and dirt castles in our back yard.  I wear Carhartts and dresses.  No one is one-dimensional, so it is fun to surprise people who only see me in athletic clothes by wearing heels or a dress.

Do you keep your friends close and your enemies closer? 

I try really hard not to make enemies and really, most people I interact with are amazingly friendly and passionate about cycling.  I’m intense when I race, but really, it’s just bike racing.  At the start of Leadville 2012, I had a big target on my back as the defending 3x winner.  The field was stronger than ever and the win was anybody’s.  I made a point of racing myself that day and targeting my own record time instead of targeting an individual person.  I can only control how I ride and race, so what’s the point of spending energy and focus on someone else.  I rode my own race and broke my own record again.  That happened to place me first and I was ecstatic.  If I’d had that same time and had not won, I still would have been pleased with my effort.

Do you like mountain bike skirts?  Would you wear one? Years ago I said to my best friend at the start of a race, “if that girl over there in the skirt beats you, I will never let you live it down.”  The skirt kicked her ass!

I like skirts but not for athletic activities: especially cycling. They just are not practical and get caught on things.  If that’s what it takes to get a woman riding, then that’s great, but you would never catch me riding in a skirt!

When will  you start training for Leadville 2013?

I’m always training.  Obviously there are different focuses at different times, but I’m the type of person who needs a schedule and to stay active all the time.  Work I’m doing now is definitely part of the building blocks for events in the summer.

26 1/2 or 29er?   I have an old Cannondale Scalpel. My 16-year-old almost killed it when she backed into it in my garage, but it gets me up and down the trails in Philadelphia’s beautiful Wissahickon Park.

I’m riding a Specialized Fate 29 and love it.  I would never go back to a 26. For my type of riding, there’s no question that a 29er is the right bike.  For endurance events, it’s the way to go.  I can ride better technically on a 29 and it’s more efficient on the less technical sections too.

I‘ve ridden Moab. Tell me where my boyfriend and I should go next for a great mountain biking trip in the United States? 

No question:  Sun Valley Idaho!  My hometown.  We have hundreds (literally) miles of single track right outside the door and the most beautiful mountain backcountry you’ve ever seen.  The single track goes on and on and on.  I’ve traveled all around the world and this is by far my favorite place to ride.  Need a race adventure?  We are hosting the USAC Marathon Nationals and Ride Sun Valley Bike Festival in July.  And I am launching a new event called Rebecca’s Private Idaho, a 100 mile gravel Fondo on September 1.  Check my website for more details a little later.

Both events are a great excuse to make the journey to Idaho to see what it’s all about.

Years ago when I first got separated I fell going slow on a flat and my friend said “go home and don’t come back until you’re back to being the sarcastic bitch you usually are.” I couldn’t ride. I couldn’t clear my head. 

You’re known as “The Queen of Pain”, what’s the one thing that hurts you mentally or physically? Was there a time in your career that you just couldn’t shake something that was clouding  your head and affecting your riding? 

See the attached Wend Magazine article I wrote.  That should explain it pretty well!

In 2004 Primal Quest expedition 38-year-old adventure racer Nigel Aylott lost his life to a terrible accident. Rebecca shares her story of that sad day in an article she wrote for Wend Magazine. 

Rock, Clock and Taking Stock

I posted on my Facebook Page MotivateHopeStrength to message me a question for Rebecca. I picked one.

Liz Finch From Overland Park, Kansas asks

What tips do you have for someone who is just starting out her fitness journey but wants to be like you and do crazy awesome stuff?

Congratulations on the start of your journey/adventure.

Advice:  treat fitness like an adventure!  Take part in things that inspire you and seem fun.  Say yes more than you say no.  Be prepared for your adventures, but don’t be afraid to jump into something without really knowing what you’re doing.  Risk is often very rewarding.
Spend your time at home getting strong and honing your skills so that you can say yes to adventures and be ready for them.  Take classes, educate yourself, join groups, find a posse of like-minded people to share your journey.  Most of all, just keep trying and moving forward.
It’s an answer like above that makes Rebecca not only an amazing athlete but a truly  amazing woman who motivates me and inspires me.  I want to thank Rebecca for taking time out her busy schedule to answer my questions. I hope one day to travel to Sun Valley Idaho and ride the beautiful trails there and meet Rebecca or maybe give her a head nod as I’m climbing and she is soaring down the downhill.   I will continue to search for my special talent as I hope everyone does no matter how old you are.  Heck I have another 50 years to keep exploring and searching for this gift I know I have.
“It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.” 
― Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez
Please checkout a special cause Rebecca is part of. World Bicycle Relief.  Check out this video and learn more about this program

Have the courage to follow your dreams. It’s the first step towards

attaining your destiny.

– Nikita Koloff
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Happy New You, New Attitude, New Beginning.

1 01 2013



A number of mixed emotions fill us all as we say goodbye to one year and move into a new one. We are not only saying goodbye to both good and bad memories, but we are also another year older. I will turn 50 this year. Yes, I said it. The big 50.  New Years reminds us all how quickly time passes. Were we not all here this time last year?  Reflecting  on things and making a list of what we hope this new year brings?

As I reflect back on 2012 I am happy to say I remain healthy, my family remains healthy, and the closest people in my life are all doing well. There were things that I wish didn’t occur, but with every obstacle I have faced or watch others face, I have also witnessed an unbelievable amount of strength from within.

I don’t believe in New Years Resolutions but I would be a liar if I didn’t admit I make one each year. To finally stop biting my nails took me about 18 years and a video of seeing myself doing it to finally stop.  Talk about a gross and disgusting habit! Did I really do that?  Each NYD the resolution made by most people is to lose weight or to start working out. I certainly never want to be Debbie Downer and hope that if  this special wish at midnight works for you ,then I am sincerely happy.

My clients, who always touch me in different ways, were absolutely amazing this year. I had no quitters. Not one person said to me this exercise stuff is for the birds. In years past I had people who opted for knee replacement surgery rather than just losing weight like the doctor suggested.  I saw in past years Type 2 Diabetes affect people, they start to exercise and eat better only to decide to take medicine because it’s easier than eating healthy and exercising.   I can rattle on here with a list of reasons why people quit exercising, but I am so happy to report that this did not occur this past year.  My biggest obstacle, or should I say client, was one girl who came to me over a year ago with this attitude. “I’m fat. I will always be fat. I do not have that kind of body. I have succumbed to this fact that will always be fat.” This pissed me off.  Week after week, weigh in after weigh in I heard this come out of her mouth.  As hard as I tried to convince her to stop thinking this way and have confidence I was failing.  I don’t like to fail and my biggest problem in being a trainer is that sometimes I want for someone to succeed more than they do.   Now, I am not a matchmaker, but on one hand I had someone who needed a little “umph”  and another client who was boiling over in “umph”. I know now they both thought I was insane when I suggested I wanted them to be each others workout buddies.  They each had qualities that would benefit the other.  I knew one of them needed the workout dates, the commitment, the positive energy that came  from the other one.  I love seeing these gals at the gym now. Most of the time together gabbing, but still working hard.  Together they lost weight.   As for the one who would tell me repeatedly that “I’m fat and will alway’s be fat“, well let just say she doesn’t say that anymore!  She has been successful in losing weight, getting under a certain number and continuing to set new, small goals.   This client made my year. Not because she lost the most weight, because she didn’t. She wins because she lost that horrible attitude and low self-esteem that I dislike so much.  She now comes in with a smile on that gorgeous face, and she might mumble to me to go easy on her, and mention some lame excuse as to why she is going to be dragging but she knows all I hear is “blah blah blah”, and she usually says “why do I even bother to tell you?”  She really made my year and made me proud to be her trainer. Sorry, cold exterior, soft heart.  But it all comes down to one thing, ATTITUDE. You have to start with a good one.  Remember, when you make a resolution or goal for this year you have to start things off with a positive attitude.

I’d like to conclude by letting you know last years New Years Resolution I made… to not go to Starbucks as much!  It was a way for me to be more practical with my expenses.   I started out doing pretty well, skipping every other day, only to end the year of 2012 with my Starbucks cup in my hand as I write this!

As another year passes us by, I relish in the fact that I am another year wiser and owe most of that wisdom to the mistakes I’ve made, the chances I have taken, and the valuable lessons I  learned from friends, family, clients and strangers.  I had another year of watching my two beautiful daughters grow, developing  into maturing young women.  I took my older daughter  to college and drove away numb and crying thinking, “stop the clocks please, I don’t want her to grow up!”  I also saw my youngest daughter  drive away in the mom taxi and tear the apron strings from my heart. I ended  2012 with my supermom cape on a hook nearby, available to grab when needed, and also officially being the shortest girl in the house, if you don’t count Marley my crazy boxer!

2013 New Years resolution I will tell you next year.  Thank you to all the amazing people who read my blogs, and follow MotivateHopeStrength on Facebook, TWITER, Tumblr, Pinterest and wherever else I have managed to post motivation.  Here’s to the New Year,  may your goodbyes be quick and your hello’s quicker and may you stay safe, healthy and happy.

Here’s to a great 2013,


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9 12 2012

When I asked people to tell me what was on their fitness gift wish list I expected people to post or send me a lot of new fitness gizmo’s that they hoped to receive this holiday. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw that people wanted basic fitness things. With the exception of the TRX suspension bands which a lot of people said they wanted, most of the items  are the tried and true. The basics.  In no order here are your top 10.

1. Heart Rate Monitor – Polar being most mentioned

2. TRX Suspension bands –

3. Resistance Rubber Bands and Free Weights

4. Gym Bag

5. Workout Clothes (Lots of Lulu Lemon  requests from the ladies)

6- Ipod

7- Gym membership

8 – Personal Training & Fitness Class Gift Certificate

9 – Treadmills

10 – Workout DVD’d (P90X(2), Insanity and Zumba topped the request list)

Here are some fitness related items that you might be interested in. They are on my fitness wish list or things I just really like. 


Oakley – Women’s Specific Sunglasses . I hate wearing men’s glasses. They fall off my face and annoy me.

Image  Interval timer.


WORDLOCK – Great for people like myself who forget the number combo.


This is a inexpensive cute gift $8 (keychain) and comes in 13.1


Love this Brave the Cold cap by LUCY.  It has a hole for my ponytail.,default,pd.html?cgid=Accessories&dwvar_110834_color=ASPHALT/POSEIDON


Vinyasa Scarf by LuLu Lemon. Love this.


This is great. It has a big zipper pocket in the back for my key and emergency 5$ bill. lol


FITMARK bag.  Tough strong bag which is great for gym, travel etc.  Different sizes and styles.


SOCKS SOCKS SOCKS – I have my favorites. But spending 10-14.99$ on a pair of socks kills me since I always lose one. So socks to me are a great gift. I’m showing my newest favorite pair which were a gift – Experia Socks by  Therlo. Low like I like them and not too thick and not too thin. Cool colors too and my favorite black. Right now I saw there is a sale buy 3 get one free.

Lastly, I also think the best gift is a heart rate monitor and hope to get one with GPS this year. My always love is UGG moccasins after a hard workout, rainbow flip flops after a hard workout and with the iPod this gal’s butt would never budge and inch. (Music make’s me move)

As I always mention the best gift comes from the heart and showing someone you care is what means the most. It is the season for giving and that doesn’t mean it has to come in the form of a wrapped gift. Take a walk or a run with a friend. Get someone you love to make a doctors appointment for a long due physical and offer to go with them. Make ammends with someone because stress wreaks havoc not only on your mind but on your body.  I can go on and on but be mostly be kind to everyone because we all are fighting some kind of battle.

Happy, safe and always a healthy holiday season. Now go workout!


What to buy and not to buy a fitness fanatic for the holiday’s

30 11 2012

Have a hardcore fitness devotee in your life and aren’t sure what to buy them? Well here are some simple guidelines you can follow.

1. Never ever buy a fitness related gift …. gym membership, training sessions, dvd’s, or enroll someone in a weight loss program  who “YOU” think needs to lose weight.  Bad idea. It’s like giving your wife a vacuum cleaner.

2. Most fitness people  have specific things they use, wear, or want.  Try to find the EXACT item for them.

3. Always a safe bet is a gift certificate for a favorite website or store that you know they frequently shop at.  Trust me, they will like this better than another water bottle, yoga mat or towel!

4. Don’t buy vitamins, supplements, protein powders, or goo. Once again gift card to their favorite store for this  type of thing.
5. Exercise equipment is great but goes back to rule number 1. Tread lightly on this and be certain that the person wants this as a gift. Be specific, and find out a model number if needed, or you will be shlepping a 300lb treadmill back to Sears.

Some gift suggestions:
1. Renew a gym membership, or pay for a few months. Just make sure they plan on staying at that particular gym!

2.Gift certificates are not very personal, but having been a gym rat for a long time, I can assure that every year there are hardcore workout people laughing, and crying, about gifts they received from friends and family that meant well.  No hello kitty earbuds please!

3. Heart rate monitors  are a great way to say “I love this muscle, keep it pumping strong”. There are so many great APPS that can be used today with monitors.  This is a great gift.  Look  for one compatible with their particular phone.  Blue tooth capability, GPS ability, and Hart rate monitors can be combined with programs you can upload to record every aspect of a workout. This is on my list, hint hint! (Polar Wearlink Transmitter with blue tooth)

4. Custom Quilt with their race shirts that are an overabundance. Lot’s of sites do this. Just google race t-shirts quilts.

5. More of their favorite socks that they wear when exercising. Good socks can be pricey so if they have a favorite pair, chances are they would love another set.

6. Massage  – this one usually scores high on the great gift list for a workout fanatic.

7. Personal Training Sessions are a often asked for, but keep in mind that not everyone would be thrilled by this gift.  So you shouldn’t buy someone training sessions just because you want them to exercise or to be healthier. This can however, be a great gift if your loved one has expressed an interest in training but is reluctant to spend the money, or is too intimidated to try it on their own.

8. But the best gift you can give someone is the one that comes from the heart. So if your budget is tight this year make a coupon.   A walk, run, bike ride, and then coffee for a friend.  Supersets and sex for your lover. lol  Be creative!

Whats your favorite fitness gift you ever received? What is on your fitness wish list this year?  E-mail me at, post it on the MotivateHopeStrength Facebook page, or tweet me at @motivatehope and I will pick one lucky winner to win a gift from me.  You got it. It’s another gym t-shirt with a saying like “I TRAIN LIKE A GIRL try to keep up”, or “STRONG is the new SEXY”, or “STRONG WOMEN only intimidate weak men”,  or a tank.

Got a question? Got a personal training question? Interested in personal training? Got a great gift idea.  I would love to pass it on.  E-mail me at

If you or someone special live in the Philadelphia/Montgomery County PA area and are interested in a Gift certificate for Personal Trainings please check out my Special that is going on now till December 31, 2012 3 Training Sessions for $150.00 Go to or  for more info or e-mail me at








Dieting During The Holidays

28 11 2012

You can survive the Holidays without gaining weight.  Difficult for most myself included but doable.  There are temptations everywhere you turn. Holiday parties, cookie trays at work and junk in your own home that you normally wouldn’t have a round. Like peppermint bark. Who invented this?

My best friend is a RD- registered dietitian.  Her motto is throw it out. Don’t temp yourself. In the trash NOW! Having a best friend who is an RD  around definitely kills the tis the season to eat and be merry but she moved to Atlanta so this Holiday season I need to follow some basic rules.  Don’t think of it as a diet during the Holidays but rather eating smarter.

1. First off, exercise more. Adding calories? Than burn more calories.  Wax on, wax off.

2. Eat something healthy before you head out. You will eat less.

3. Alternate alcohol with a glass of water. Remember liquid calories add up and don’t fill you up.

4. Eat slow

5. Pick your “sin” before you get to a party. Drink, dessert, some chips.  Only one. They the rest is good old veggies.

What to buy a Fitness Fanatic for the Holidays.

28 11 2012

Wear What?

Have a hardcore fitness devotee in your life and aren’t sure what to buy them? Well there are some simple guidelines one can follow.

1. RULE#1  Never ever buy a fitness related gift …. gym membership, training sessions, dvd’s or enroll someone in a weight loss program  “YOU” think should be working out. Bad idea. It’s like giving your wife a vacuum cleaner.

2. Most Fitness lunatics have specific things they want.  Try to find this EXACT thing out.
3. Your safest bet is a gift certificate for a website or store that you know they like to shop at. REI, Nike, Dicks, LuLuLemon, Sports Authority, a local running store. Trust me they will love this better than another water bottle or yoga mat.
4. Don’t buy any vitamins, supplements, protein powders etc. Once again gift card to their favorite store for this stuff.
5. Exercise equipment is great but goes back to rule number 1. Tread lightly on this and be certain the person wants this and exactly what model number or you will be shlepping a 300lb treadmill back to Sears.

Some gift suggestions:
1. Renew someones gym membership or pay for a few months. Make sure they plan on staying at that gym.
2.Gift certificates are not very personal, but having been a gym rat for a long time I can assure that every year there are hardcore workout people laughing and crying about gifts they received from friends and family that meant well but had no concept of what working out is about.
3. Heart rate monitors – Great way to say “I love this muscle” keep it pumping strong. So many great APS that can be used today with monitors.  This is a great gift.  Look  for one compatible with their phone.  Blue tooth capability. GPS ability. Heart rate monitors combined with programs you can upload record everything. This is on my list. hint hint (Polar Wearlink Transmitter with blue tooth)

4. Custom Quilt with their race shirts that are in overabundance. Lot’s of sites do this. Just google race t-shirts quilts.

5. More of their favorite socks that they wear when exercising. Good socks can be pricey so if they have a favorite pair chances are they would love another set.

6. Massage  – this one usually scores high on the great gift list for a workout fanatic.
7. Personal Training Sessions. Keep in mind that not everyone would be thrilled to get personal training sessions. So you shouldn’t get someone sessions just because you want them to exercise or be healthy. However, this can be a great gift if your loved one has expressed interest in training but is reluctant to spend the money or intimidated to try it.

8. But the best gift you can give someone is the one that comes from the heart. So if your budget is tight this year make a coupon.   A walk, run, bike ride and then coffee,  Be creative.

If you or someone special live in the Philadelphia/Montgomery County PA area and are interested in a Gift certificate for Personal Trainings please check out my Special that is going on now till December 31, 2012 3 Training Sessions for $150.00 Go to or  for more info or e-mail me at

I’VE GOT 99 EXCUSES BUT SNEAKERS ISN’T ONE – PART 2 Broad Street “You didn’t bully me.”

8 05 2012

I did it. I finished the Broad Street Run. Somebody pass me a plate of crow, cause I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT!  Now I get why people love this race, and let me tell you why I loved this race…. because to me there’s no place like home and Philadelphia is my home.

The morning of the run I was my normal nervous self. I get this way whenever I’m about to step out of my comfort zone. I’m the best at encouraging others to push themselves, but sometimes inside my tough exterior lies a girl with the same doubts and fears as everybody else.  With 46,000 people at the start, I was sure I would have plenty of time standing in the coral I was assigned to while waiting for the start to make myself crazy with fear, but things didn’t turn out that way. Thanks to a pre-race bathroom run in a beautiful old church on Broad Street, I didn’t even have time to think about getting scared. You see, my friend clogged up the toilet, which left us running to the start as they were counting backwards from 10, there wasn’t even a chance to get myself upset. I was too busy  laughing. It was like a sin was committed, and we were escaping the scene of the crime. No time to get to my coral, I just hopped the metal barriers and started running.  I went thru the starting gate, gave a high-five to Mayor Nutter and was off with a big smile on my face. I could see Philadelphia’s City Hall off in the distance, knowing that was my halfway point.

Imagine being in a parade. That’s what it felt like. City streets, lined with tons of people ringing cow bells, yelling, waving. Perfect setting for me cause ……… I LOVE A PARADE.  I knew instantly I was going to be fine. Kids holding signs that said “Let’s go Mom!” I imagined they were there for me even though my own teenage daughters were home asleep. But who cares, I had new kids all along the 10 mile route cheering, waving, and calling my name, mommy.

                  “I’d rather be in Philadelphia

W.C Fields was known for his standing jokes about our city and made this quote famous in a 1925 article in Vanity Fair magazine. When referring to one day being in a grave, he made the statement above, his last dig at the city he was born in… Philadelphia.  I differ from his opinion when I say I’d rather be in Philadelphia.  Running down Broad Street thru different sections of Philly you got that feeling of brotherly love.  I can’t explain how cool it was to run around city hall at mile 5.  I loved the whole feel of the run, the history of this great city is everywhere in it’s buildings, murals, the city streets with open fire hydrants, spraying the hot runners, but mostly the people..the Philadelphians. The fans that have always gotten a bad rap. These people were awesome. The runners were awesome.  The run was awesome.  There was no Ipod blasting the Rocky theme as my two ton legs went thru the finish gate. My iPod died with a 1/2 mile to go.  And while most people will have pictures to purchase  with hands up in the air crossing the finish line, my picture will show me playing with my iPod. But who cares? Bib 9607 finished!

In order to grow, you must step out of your comfort zone. I finished with a time of 134.37. Could I have run faster? I don’t know. Should I have trained? Probably. Am I sore today? Hell yeah! Did I wear my race t-shirt today? Of course! Will I do it again next year?  You bet!  So, take a chance on yourself and you might be surprised how strong you really are. To my friends and clients who all did amazing, thanks for the laughs and for motivating me to give this great event a try. To Diane, someone up above is waiting for you with a golden plunger.

Since 1980 people have been lining up Broad Street in Philadelphia for the Broad Street run. This run benefits the American Cancer Society. 


Personal Trainer

MotivateHopeStrength on Facebook at


5 05 2012

I must have fallen and hit my head. What was I thinking when I took a bib from an injured client to run the Broad Street Run? Me, run Broad Street? The largest 10 miler run in the country. 40,000 participants, down one street, in good old Philadelphia! I know this street well. I grew up in Philadelphia but never, ever did I run on it, or imagine I would ever actually do the Broad Street Run. It never appealed to me in the past and honestly still doesn’t cause I am not a runner.  I make fun of the Broad Street runners who wear their T-shirts the day after the race. I have many clients who run this race, and many first timers this year who will be lacing up. I tell them “you’ll be fine, its’ all downhill”  But now as the run is approaching this Sunday, I’m beginning to have a panic attack.  I have never run 10 miles straight, and to be honest, I’m nervous as hell. I read somewhere to bring toilet paper, and this upsets me even more!  Maybe if I have to go potty before the race I can go into Einstein Hospital, where the run starts. I was born there 48 years ago, they have to let me in, right?

People train for this run. You see them, upping their miles each week, talking about it. “I ran 6 this week, upping to 6.25 next week.” And “I ‘m running a 7 1/2 min mile, whats your pace?”  Runner’s love to tell people what they ran. Posting it on Facebook, telling you when you see them out “Doing a 10K this weekend, training for a half marathon, just got done a 100 mile run, barefoot, all uphill, in 100 degrees.  News alert….nobody cares. I don’t walk around saying ” I just did 12 shoulder presses.”

Why is it that if I mention to anyone who knows me well that I am running Broad Street this year, the response is….. “YOU’RE running Broad Street?”Repeat that same line but this time say it in your head like  you would say….”ewww this smells.” That’s what it sounds like when people respond to my statement about running Broad Street.

This is part of the reason I wasn’t telling anyone.  Because what if I back out, quit or totally suck?  Well, it’s now Saturday and the run is on tomorrow, Sunday.  I will tell you I am not backing out, I am not a quitter and yes, I WILL SUCK. But please god, let me suck it up and get through 10 miles of what surely will be hell for me, the gal who hates to run.

When I run, I never enter this “Zone” thing runners talk about. I spend every second thinking about when will this be over?  How many more miles? This is horrible, boring, I feel like I’m not moving, is this ever going to end?  Thank you Steve Jobs for the iPod, and thank you to all the DJ’s out there who can make a great mix for every song. I have  a playlist for the run. It’s full  of songs that allow my lead based legs to pound the cement for 10 miles. I have 2 hours of music ready, so I better tie this thing up in less than 2. I will place Welcome to the Jungle followed by the Rocky theme near my approximate end time. I will run, and someone will toss me an apple and say “good job champ!”  Ok, nobody is tossing an apple to me, maybe at me, lol, but let me dream.

Here it is. My bib number 9607 for Sunday. How weird is it that my phone number growing up in NE Philly was (215)677-9607.  Runner 9607 will run, walk, or crawl over that finish line on Sunday. It will be horrible, it will be ugly but I am determined to finish.  Wish me luck as I wish all the runners good luck, and mainly to have fun.

To my client Katie who injured herself at CrossFit and can’t run, and gave me her bib, I say: “I told you so.” To my other clients who trained their ass’s off for the Broad Street Run  I say to you again “you’ll be fine, it’s all downhill”  Now, someone quick tell me that!

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