After my amazing experience in Canada I saddled up and headed for New York and New Jersey, each of which gave me a unique experience. I had the pleasure of staying with the Pensari family in New Jersey for the week. They adopted me as part of their family and when I wasn’t exploring we spent time together and watched a little football. They were incredibly generous to me and Melissa is a saint amongst women! You’ll be hearing more about Melissa in a future blog!
One thing common to both New York and New Jersey is the outrageously aggressive driving! I’d take driving in LA any day! I believe one morning I may have even forgotten to breathe on the entire drive from New Jersey to Long Island. White knuckled, I arrived at my destination and opted to take the train when I needed to go to Manhattan later in the evening. John Annillo accompanied me on this trip to the city. We discussed our viewpoints of city life. Those who know me know that I am a country girl. Big cities are not really my cup of tea. It’s crowded, the pace is fast and erratic, and there is more stimuli than I know what to do with! John, on the other hand, finds the city fascinating, and once he explained it, I understood his point. As I mentioned, it’s crowded. Yes, there are a lot of people, but that’s part of what makes the city so interesting. All of these people are different and may have amazing things going on in their lives. Some of these people may be coming up with brilliant ideas as we speak. Possibilities in a city are endless. There are so many buildings and cool places contained within a city; hidden treasures. We walked by little tucked away restaurants that no one would even know about, unless you just went out to explore.
While in the city, John and I went to Galway Hooker Pub to meet up with 2x author and the creator of The Personal Trainer Development Center ( www.theptcd.com ) and Viralnomics (www.viralnomics.com), Jonathan Goodman. If you haven’t met Jon, it’s fair to say that he’s nothing short of a social media mastermind. Jon’s story is similar to the one that I am trying to create for myself. He quit his personal training job despite being successful and actually loving the job to work remotely in Hawaii. Though faced with criticism he followed his intuition and found success in a different way. Regardless of others’ conceived notion that his new plan wasn’t smart, Jon trusted himself and it paid off! If you want to see how Jon’s “stupid” decision ended up being a fantastic decision check out www.viralnomics.com/today-you-should-do-something-stupid/ because he could tell his story better than I ever could.
I think that the takeaway here is to follow your intuition. Live your dreams with passion and conviction and success will follow. Don’t let others impose their fears and doubts on you. Trust yourself.
“Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear.” – Thomas Jefferson
From the nightlife in Manhattan I switched gears and spent my Sunday in Holmdel, NJ for the 36th Annual Slovak Festival. I am very close to my Slovak heritage. I miss being around other Slovaks, so anytime I get the chance I take it. There was amazing food including kolachi, palacinky, halupki, and kielbasa. There were great dancers and fantastic vendors. I had a chance to buy some Slovak chocolate and meet Andrew Poncic Jr., Slovak music producer. A highlight of the festival was the arrival of Slovak President Ivan Gašparovič and Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico. Whether you love them or hate them, or even if you don’t know who they are, it’s undeniable that the presence of the President was kind of a big deal!
I am a first generation American. You may know that from my first blog. If not…THEN GET ON IT PEOPLE! Anyways… my mother came to the United States from the Slovak region of then Czechoslovakia for a better life. Why is this important? Why is our heritage important? Why is keeping any of our cultural traditions alive important? For me, I feel that you need to know where you’ve come from in order to know where you are going. I find the story of my mother and grandmother (Baba) incredibly inspiring. My mother and Baba literally were so poor during communist oppression that they lived in a ditch. My uncle stole them bread to eat. I just recently found out that my Baba outlived not 2, not 4, but 5 of her 6 children! If I’m ever having a bad day, I know that things could always be worse. The matters of my day to day life are really trivial in comparison. The strength of my mother and Baba are now in me so I know I can handle anything that comes my way. Our history is also a roadmap. Our ancestors paved the way and made mistakes so we wouldn’t have to. They’ve struggled, learned, invented, created and helped bring us to where we are today. It wouldn’t hurt to show them a little respect by upholding traditions. The people in Holmdel, NJ really put together a beautiful festival.
While in New York and New Jersey, I was able to go to eight different gyms and meet some really motivated people! Follow me as I go see Bulldog Bootcamp & Nutrition, TFW Long Island, DeFranco’s Gym, Body Space Fitness, Parisi Speed School, Beautiful Bodies Bootcamp, TFW Ropestone and TFW Mahopac and learn some of the stories behind them.