1. The weather
The first couple days I was in Florida, the Floridians kept apologizing to me for it being 'so cold'.
Guys, it was like 15-19 degrees.
I politely explained that I had left -31 windchill temps and was thankful to have left my parka back in Canada!! It was wonderful to be walking around in flip flops and I even squeezed in a trip to Clearwater beach before my flight on Monday morning when it was around 25 degrees. My body was thankful for the vitamin D and I was grateful to have a few days where I didn't look like Kenny from South Park with my epic parka hood.
|White sand beach, yes please|
2. An incredible host
While I was in Tampa I stayed with my sweet friend, Kali which was awesome! She showed me around her lovely neighbourhood, took me to some tasty restaurants, introduced me to her awesome group of friends, obliged my desire to visit Target and even worked out with me on Friday night after some delicious risotto and a glass of wine. I also got to spend some quality time with Kali's dog, Ollie who snuggled with me each night / tried to hog the bed. You know when you just 'click' with someone? That's how I felt about Kali and it was a treat to spend time with her during my visit.
|Selfie with Kali, with a quality photobomb by Ollie!|
3. Tasty eats
So I haven't made a Tampa spreadsheet of restaurants, but we did have some pretty delicious meals while I was visiting! I asked for recommentations on Twitter and Kali made some suggestions as well. We went to Boca upon my arrival and I really loved the vibe and the focus on fresh, local, sustainable food. The service left a little something to be desired, but it definitely provided us with some giggles. We managed to score a table at Daily Eats on Friday for brunch and it was quite yummy! Lots of great bowls and very clear options for gluten free folks.
|Delicious salad at Boca|
My very favourite meal of the trip was at the Wat Mongkolratanaram Temple on Sunday morning. A friend of Kali's recommended that we go and it truly did not disappoint! Not only were the grounds and temple beautiful, but there was an awesome market full of delicious, inexpensive thai food that they have every Sunday morning.
I had some delicious vegetarian curry with rice along with a dessert that was made with cassava, coconut milk and coconut. Visiting the temple was a unique experience and it was a perfect way to enjoy the sunshine with friends.
|Inside the temple|
4. Super Saturday
Super Saturday was the reason I went down to Florida when I did. I knew that it was going to be a game changer for me, but I didn't know that I would have so many moments where I just felt overwhelmed with gratitude and inspiration.
Beachbody hosts Super Saturday events each quarter in cities all over North America. The event that I attended was hosted by a group of coaches I greatly admire including Lindsay Matway (the #2 coach in all of Beachbody for 2014), Brittany Legette (my coach's coach, and the #8 coach in all of Beachbody for 2014), Kati Heifner and Lindsay Stay (an Elite coach who I just adore).
I helped to register the 950 coaches and guests who attended the event which was a blast. It was an opportunity for me to finally meet my team in real life, as well as a ton of other coaches who I've connected with online.
|Kati, Lindsay, Lindsay & I - photo by Kenzie Shores|
|Brittany Legette and I - what a sweetheart|
|My wonderful teammates - photo by Kenzie Shores|
|Photo by Kenzie Shores|
I watched the event from the second row, which included the announcement of Beachbody's new On Demand service (where programs like P90X and Insanity will be available on laptops, tablets and mobile for Beachbody Club members); some incredible success stories including Adriene who talked about her journey and losing 100 lbs with Beachbody programs; CEO Carl Daikeler's inspiring speech and Autumn Calabrese's talk about the launch of 21 Day Fix Extreme.
(Video is coming!!)
We also got the chance to work out with Autumn, complete with neon attire and glowsticks. I was at the back of the room for that, but still got a decent burn happening thanks to a large quantity of squats and lunges.
|Ready for my workout, complete with a #sweatforkyan ribbon|
I went in with the mindset of "I'm here all the way from Canada" and made sure that I met the people I wanted to connect with. And that was awesome. I was proud of myself for being bold and making the most of the evening.
I went home after the event and had a big cry. I'm so excited to have the opportunity to be a coach, to be helping others change their lives and reach their goals, to be connecting with incredible like-minded individuals and be living the life of my dreams. The event was a reflection of all of these feelings and I'm so grateful to have attended.
5. Connecting with my Coach, Marissa
Oh, my heart.
|Sparkly & ready for Super Saturday with a mirror selfie|
Marissa has been going through a very difficult time with her family, with one of her kids being diagnosed with Stewart Johnson Syndrome. They've endured a huge challenge over the last few weeks and I continue to be inspired by her strength, tenacity and positive attitude.
I'm incredibly grateful that we had as much time together as we did during my trip. She is an amazing friend and we had a wonderful time connecting, chatting, laughing and sharing. (I also have her to thank for the sparkly green dress!!) They say that people come into your life for a reason and that is absolutely the case with Marissa.
The whole trip was wonderful and I came back feeling inspired, rejuvenated and excited! I was less excited to put the parka and boots back on (because clearly it was -29 with the windchill the evening I got back) but the trip was definitely a game changer for me. 2015, let's do this!
|Marissa & I|
Thanks to Kenzie Shores Photography for the great photos from Super Saturday!!