Monday, December 28, 2009
As my run progressed I went into "think/dream mode" and came up with the following:
My Top 2 or 3 lessons of 2009.
1) Maintain a Positive Attitude: - Things won't always go according to plan. But you do "bring about what you think about." Expect the 'Best Possible Outcome.' When things go wrong, seek the upside & discover the lesson in the adversity. This is NOT an easy thing to do. But it's a learned skill like anything else of value. We started off 2009 down 30+ clients from 1 year prior. We were hemorrhaging money and morale was at an all-time low (much of this was beyond our control.) I knew that there was no 'quick fix' for these issues, it would take time; but an adjustment in attitude was something WE could control & it's impact could be immediate. It was and it brought us back!
2) Go "All-In" - When things where looking bleakest it was gut check time "Do you REALLY want this?" or "Are you willing to walk away?" The answer was a resounding NO! I believe in our business 100%, so that's what I put in. I re-invested 100% of my 401k savings into Fitness 121. If I didn't believe in my vision & my teams abilities then why should anyone else? I went all in and have no regrets. I didn't TRY to make my business work. I MADE my business work. "Having the STRENGTH to SUCCEED requires the COURAGE to fail."
3) Write it down: - "A person of action will always beat a person of ambition." Everyone wants to win. But a person who formulates a game plan and then takes action on that plan is more likely to win than someone simply "hoping" to win. I've always been a goal setter. I learned early that the act of writing out my goals and referring to them frequently brought me success more often than not. We write down our HIBACHI 10 people and keep it visible for our team to see. This has absolutely made a difference in our awareness and adherence to our plans.
No matter what your goals are, they need to be written down to help bring them to life. "Where attention goes - Energy flows."
**Bonus- Stop trying to be perfect. "Don't let perfection become the enemy of the good." There is never a PERFECT time. Enough MONEY. Right Moment. Etc. (Raising kids, Starting a Business or Training for IRONMAN.) Sometimes, the best plan is READY, FIRE, AIM.
** Be honest with yourself: Do you have the skills to do the best job you can? Do you have the right team to take your business where it needs to go? Are you using a screwdriver when what you need is a hammer? I discovered that last year -I didn't have the right team in place to take our business to where it needs to go. I also discovered that I'm becoming less of a trainer- I'm becoming an Evangelist and 'Fitness' is my Religion.
We had many successes in 09' - We gained 45 NEW Clients since March 1st! Our greatest annual % growth EVER. We were voted "Runner-Up" in the category of 'Best Fitness Center' but named the "Top Personal Training Center." - We GREATLY increased our customer service and overall facility ENERGY; one of the best holiday cards we received was from a client who wrote "Thanks for making it all FUN!!" I loved that. - Our TEAM is the tightest that we have ever been in 15+ years. In 2009, we took a huge step towards my goal of becoming a "world class" Personal Training Facility. The "Mayo Clinic" of Personal Training if you will.. - Our HIBACHI 10 incentive has been AMAZING. We changed our hiring process. - I was selected to join 15 of the Top Fitness Professionals in the Country by Todd Durkin in his Mastermind Group!!
The Top 2 or 3 things (Must Do) for 2010.
1) Pilates Instructor: - The fastest growing thing in our business. Pilates! You'd think it was new? Francesca is an amazing instructor (at least that's what everyone keeps telling me.) Since, I don't do Pilates, I asked Fran "what do you do that's so great?" She replied "I don't stick to such a traditional format (as many instructors do), I don't try to make the client fit the movement, I make the movement fit the client." Sounded good to me and obviously everyone else who tried it. Fran went from 4 to 24 Pilates hrs this year without us advertising PILATES!!!
We also need to start looking for another Personal Trainer (unless we find a Pilates Instructor who does Training also!?)
2) Maintain Team Motivation: - We made great progress this year but we need to maintain that "and then some." We need to continue "Education and Development" programs. I am considering signing my entire team up for the "Gravity Personal Trainer Course" by EFI SportsMedicine. I think this could be the next thing in our business?
3) Promote our Business through more Organic means: - I need to give more talks to groups, schools & companies. I need to Evangelize our philosophy and facility. Our advertising works, our promotion is adequate but we need to spread the word through "Direct means and interaction." This is the essential piece in our marketing: We are LEADERS in our industry (Fitness Education/Programming) and it's essential this year that we make the leap into making these events happen.
*What's the most important thing for us in 2010? We need to take MORE action on all of the IDEAS that ME & EVERYONE else "talks" about!
2010 will be the year of "Making Things Happen."
- Frank Pucher
(Not bad considering it was only a 6mile run!)
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Losing weight and keeping it off is a favorite topic of conversation at this time of year. Weight loss and getting in shape top the list of New Year’s Resolutions! While we rush around enjoying the holiday’s festivities, we are already thinking about the diet we will begin come January 2nd. There’s one big problem – diets don’t work.
Family, friends and the media talk about the new diet that promises success, the pill, tea, or shake that burns fat, or the newest exercise trend that is supposed to burn more calories than any other. It is a topic often charged with emotion, and leaves many feeling confused and frustrated. The thought of trying once again to lose weight is depressing and exhausting. However, once you really make up your mind to focus both your heart and head, the science behind weight loss is really not that complicated. You need to eat less and move more. See if any of these tips can energize you to kick the quick fix approach and finally get real about losing weight.
1. Stop dieting. If you want to lose weight permanently, you need to stop the on, off again, diet roller coaster. Stop searching for the newest, latest and greatest diet fad. Think healthy, not thin. When you begin eating healthy foods, and minimizing junk, not only do you feel better, but also the weight usually takes care of itself.
2. Find the food plan that works for you. No diet or exercise plan works for everyone, and there are no "magic bullets" or quick fixes. When successful weight maintainers are asked which food plans work best, most say they created the plan they could live with. For some that might mean focusing on smaller portions, for others eating six small meals a day, while still others eliminate all refined sugars and white flour. The bottom line is, if you eat less and move more, the weight comes off. Only you can determine the food and exercise plan that keeps you feeling satisfied and healthy, and brings results.
3. Overcome your barriers to exercise. Not only do studies show that exercise increases the likelihood of weight loss, but a critical difference between maintainers and those that regain lost weight, is their commitment to exercise. Experiment with different ways to exercise, and find what is enjoyable for you. If you do not like health clubs, invest in home exercise equipment or videos. If classes are not your thing, try sports clubs such as biking or hiking groups. Rediscover the activities you enjoyed as a kid. Ice skating, dancing, or joining an adult soccer or volleyball league, are all great ways to build exercise into your life.
4. Add more activity to your daily life. Remote controls, on-line shopping, video games, cordless phones, and so much more modern technology allows us to move less and still accomplish what we need to. The result is we burn less calories than our parents and grandparents, and it is going to be even less for our children. Deliberately finding ways to add more activity to your daily life can really make a difference in the total number of calories you can burn every day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park your car further from the entrance, walk to your co-workers office rather than emailing, take a walk after dinner rather than watching TV. The choices are as vast as your imagination.
5. Be good to yourself. You are a wonderful person with many attributes, talents, and gifts to offer the world. You are not the number on the scale. Weight is just one area with which you feel challenged. Do not wait until you lose weight to show the world your beauty, and to nurture yourself. Taking care of yourself makes you feel better emotionally and builds self-esteem. Dress the best you can no matter what weight you are at, get a fashionable hairstyle, treat yourself to a massage for every five pounds you lose.
6. Enlist the help of professionals if you need it. If you know in your heart of hearts, that you are doing everything possible, and you still cannot lose or maintain your weight, see your doctor. Not often, but sometimes there is a medical reason for weight gain. If you are really not sure what constitutes a healthy diet, a few sessions with a registered dietitian or a great nutrition book can give you the information you need. When your exercise program is not getting you the results you want, a consultation with a fitness professional or working with a personal trainer may be the answer. And if it is motivation, self-sabotage, lack of support, or just feeling overwhelmed by the whole process, a wellness coach can guide you to create the vision and plan that will work for you.
So the next time you find yourself amongst friends and the discussion turns to weight loss, surprise them all. Tell them you have decided to never go on another diet, and you have never had such great success!
-Ellen G. Goldman, M.Ed.
Friday, December 18, 2009
That's why it is so important to incorporate movement into your life. Life is about movement and movement brings life. By keeping to your exercise/workout schedule you are doing your body good. What feels better than that? I know that when I'm feeling crummy I go for a run, do some Pilates, or strength train. That little time I allow myself enables me to think clearer and feel better.
Remember, often the stress we feel is the stress we bring upon ourselves.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Although I happen to love Heidi, she gets paid millions to shake her 'butt' down the runway. Most women do not. The segment begins and the anchor men and women (in suits and heels) are getting ready for the Butt Workout (really). Out comes trainer to the stars David Kirsh with his book to plug and 2 exercises "everybody should add to their program to get a butt like Heidi." As he is talking the news people are joking around with him and by time he gets to the exercises 10 wasted minutes have gone by (we timed it). He demonstrates the 2 must do exercises and they are the Platypus squat and then Platypus squat with side kicks. WHAT? These are some of the most impractical exercises I have ever seen. Why not just do a regular squat? (Which is hard enough for most people to do with proper form.)
Although the exercise is creative, my point is that it doesn't help the majority of the people exercising or wanting to start. I deal with clients everyday that have orthopedic issues and I would never have them do that. Would you David? I don't do those exercises and I am pretty fit. The whole segment was a joke. We should be spending more time in the media discussing REAL exercise and wellness. Instead, we show squats in our suits and heels and call it "quality air time." Maybe that is why there is an obesity epidemic and we are totally unfit as a nation. We make fitness out to be a joke and sell a workout that does not work for everybody.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009
Lori getting ready for her Marathon debut in 4 weeks!
Francesca working on balance and strength.
With the run done, Lori finishes with some strength work!
Francesca training with good posture & technique.
"You won't just feel better, you'll BE better."- Fitness 121
Friday, December 4, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
There are many-many families this year that are less fortunate;Please help us to give a child a nice holiday.
New unwrapped toys are needed for children of all ages. Toys may be dropped off at the front desk.
Fitness 121 has joined with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve to collect & distribute these toys to children in our community this season. Please help us!
"We can do so much for those that are expecting so little."
-Frank Pucher & The TEAM at Fitness 121
Friday, November 27, 2009
Answer the following questions (as many/few as you feel). I do this every 3 months and I wouldn't if it didn't work! For added POWER, email me your answers Pucher121@aol.com.
We can review this in 90 days and see what you did.
** This is HIGHLY effective, but only if you write it down keep it visible.
I have chosen to show all what I have done & will do. Will you join me?
1. What have you accomplished in the last 90 Days?
- Added 25 client hrs to our facility.
- Started selling Body Balance Liquid Nutrition.
- Presented at the Essex County In-Biz Expo.
- Named "Runner Up for Best Fitness Facility in Essex County."
- Voted #1 "Personal Training Center."
- Was interviewed by 2 different publications.
- Named "One of the Top Personal Trainers in America" on Sept 19th in Red Bank, NJ.
- Rehabbed and coached several athletes to PR's and Award Winning Performances.
- Finished the Books: "The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari." & "Crush It."
- Coached/Mentored several Fitness Professionals & Students.
- Celebrated my 40th Birthday!!
2. What are your current obstacles, challenges, and issues?
- Finding my next "thing."
- Keeping my focus sharp.
- Motivating/Educating my TEAM.
- Cutting business costs without reducing our exceptional service and atmosphere.
- Time management: Training - Coaching - Speaking - Writing - Learning. Lots of hats, only so much time.
3. What are you going to accomplish in the next 90 Days?
- Add another 20-30 clients hrs to our facility.
- Hire a Pilates Instructor.
- Market our "Golf Fitness Group Program." TBA
- Add another 2 Athletes to my "Run Coach" Program.
- Schedule talk at ESU to Exercise Science Club.
- Get our "In Action" shots on the BLOG.
- Book my trip to San Diego this March!!
- Sign-Up for Long Branch 1/2 Marathon. Train to Win my Age Group.
- Read: "The Greatness Guide" & at least 1 other book. TBD
- Frank Pucher
I'm a problem solver (amongst my many talents) so here are some bullet solutions to life:
- Stop watching so much TV; Read during that time instead.
- Spend more time strength training than performing 'Cardio'; (if you are an endurance athlete this doesn't apply.) People lose their strength faster than they lose their aerobic capacity.
- Drink more water than you do; Eat 2x the vegetables than you do; Sit down when you eat.
- Start to take as much care of you as you do your car. It amazes me that people lease a car for 36 months and are meticulous about the quality of gas and frequency of the oil changes. Their body has to last a lifetime and they feed it garbage and give it little attention. "Checkup? Haven't had one in YEARS!"
- Stare at the walls; Eat at the bar; Turn off the phone, email, and negative self talk for just 10-20 minutes daily. This reaps enormous benefits. "The quality of your life equals the quality of your thoughts" so think great thoughts if you desire a great life.
All of these suggestions may seem a little too simple. GREAT! You should have no problem using one today. Tomorrow, use another. It's your choice; It's your life. Make it GREAT!
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
On Saturday, Francesca was in NYC at SweetiePie Restaurant talking to a FOX News Producer about the 'Falsehoods' being displayed on TV regarding Fitness & Nutrition.
Great excitement and last minute food shopping for the Thanksgiving Holiday coming up.
We will begin our search for a Full-Time Pilates Instructor.
The GIANTS Win! & The JETS Lose...Better hold off on the Hall of Fame Ceremony for Mr. Sanchez.
Sweatshirt sales are insane, we will place the order next Monday!
Clients are still buzzing about the Meatloaf Diaries from last week...very-very funny.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
I just want to share with you what a great and lasting impact you have made on my life. Rarely do you meet someone who is so driven and focused and yet ready to help anyone that comes along. You have made me want to be a better person and I thank you for that! Have a very Happy Birthday and we miss you!
Impulse Personal and Sports Training
7982 Whipple Ave. NW
North Canton, OH 44720
I just want to wish you a very happy 40th BIRTHDAY. A significant milestone my friend. I am so very excited for you Frank. I know you will find true happiness, achievement, fulfillment and success through the next decade. I found the "forties" to be some of the best times in my life - mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually many things "came together" - achieved some HARMONY and viewed life and living from a great perspective.
I know you will take some time and make today a SPECIAL DAY, for you and for all who love you.
Many thanks again Frank for all your contributions to our group, I am grateful and continually blessed by your steadfast support and friendship. I know we have both benefited from having Rick Ivone in our lives, but as Rick often states reciprocal energy and flow back to the source - a resonace is what it's all about in realtionships.
I see many speaking engagements and presentations in your future Frank, you must continue to use this GIFT - you can and WILL impact many people in the industry and perhaps even more "outside" the industry.
INTENTION - BELIEF - TRUST - and ACTION will get it done.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY FRANK - you are one of the "good guys" man..
Fitness Director, Island Fitness
TD MMG Coach
However, my present came earlier this week. I received an email from one of my college teammates 'Gayland Aston.' It was a few "Old Photos" he dug out from 1992 with some of our Friends & Team from ESU.
There is something amazing about old photos and how they bring you back to 'that time' in your life. I smiled as I saw some friends not seen in years and an ex-girlfriend who is now married with 3 children. I looked at myself (now thinking) "if only I knew then......" I guess we all do that? Francesca laughed out loud (looking at the photo) saying "You still look the same!"
Thank you G, for the chance to look back. I don't do that enough and I know that those days where some of the best ever!
It's almost time for me to hit the showers and get to work; but my gift to myself is to not plan my day. I'll simply enjoy what happens. That was the best part of my College Days the 'surprise around the corner.' Somewhere between Graduation and Mortgage Payments that seems to get lost?
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
We have had multiple requests for the new Fitness 121 Sweatshirts and SportTech
T-shirts that our TEAM has been wearing as of late. If you are interested in purchasing a Sweatshirt or a 'Tech T-Shirt' we will place the order on November 30th and receive them around the 2nd week of December.
The Black Full-Zip Hoodie Sweatshirts (Hanes 50/50 Comfort-blend Fleece)
-Stitched with the Fitness 121 Logo! Originally: $45.99 Now: $40
The SportTech Fitness 121 Shirt in Black.
- Screened White Center Logo! Originally: $27.50 Still: $27.50
Stop by the front desk to place your order. These products run true to size and are very durable. Feel free to speak to Gary/Frank if you have product questions. (Sizes Run S-XXL.)
You'll love the Sweatshirts & Tech Shirts too!
Thursday, November 5, 2009
The hoopla comes from Christopher McDougall, author of "Born To Run." He makes an impressive case for barefoot running. He sites his time with the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico’s deadly Copper Canyons who have been barefoot running since childhood. McDougall's book is an impressive piece which blends both scientific and practical case studies to show how running barefoot may help to prevent injuries.
The theory goes that running barefoot strengthens the muscles & tendons of the foot and lower leg. Running in cushioned shoes (running shoes) with stabilizers and support properties weakens the body by failing to encourage these same muscles to get stronger. As a result of poor lower leg strength we are exposed to an array of running injuries: Plantar Faciaitis, Shin Splints, Achilles Tendonitis, Etc. In many regards I agree. The problem is where the rubber meets the road (or lack thereof.) It is my contention that running barefoot as an adult will lead to injury faster than sensibly paced & progressed mileage in any decent running shoe.
Don't believe me? Believe your feet! Go to your local HS track and run barefoot. Try this for a few days and tell me what you think.
There is truth that running shoes act as a crutch/brace to the muscles in your feet. However, they also protect us from sharp objects, slippery surfaces and the impact of the earth beneath us. I blame less the folks at Nike and Adidas and more the overzealous running programs that most people are attempting as the blame for the injury rate in running. More truth is that "all non-traumatic injuries are training related. All “itises” are overuse.If you didn't fall off something or get hit by something, you did something wrong in your training!"
Most endurance athletes develop injuries not due to excessive footwear, but due to an excessive mentality. "If 5 miles is good than 8 miles must be better. I can go faster, I don't need rest, I never take a day off." Thus begins the injury cycle:
Ingestion - Anti-Inflamatories.
Incision-"Let's take a look."
This is followed by Physical Therapy which is like crack to the Endurance Athlete. Physical Therapists love these patients because they know they'll be back. Again & Again.
So what to do? Give up Running? NO. Don't just train - Train Smart. Fix the weak links, Get adequate rest, Eat appropriate nutrition and wear running shoes that are proper for your foot.
Running barefoot is great for the beach and maybe certain Mexican Indians but I can't endorse it as the solution for all that ails my running Amigos & Amigas.
Monday, November 2, 2009
The Airex Pad is becoming one of our favorite 'tools' at Fitness 121.
This simple device is perfect for developing strength and stability in the hip & low back.
We use it daily for Pilates, Core Work and even Shoulder Strengthening.
Check out the FREE exercise menu here: Airex Samples
* Please speak to one of the trainers about the many ways to use the AIREX PAD. This is one of the better devices I have come across over the years. I use it each day with my athletes and those with low back & knee pain. It is a GREAT-GREAT device!
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
A little over a month ago, Francesca & I had dinner with her client Vikki. Over dinner; Vikki & I began a conversation on Life, Spirituality, Fate, Coincidence, Success and how it all comes together to create some sort of meaning. I asked Vikki "What was the book that put you on your path?" Having absorbed many books over the last several years I felt ready to discuss whatever she threw my way. She replied 'The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari.' My curious look revealed the fact that not only had I not read it, I had never heard of it. After a brief description of the premise she suggested that I read it, to which I agreed.
The next morning I received a package from my friend Rick who 3 days earlier asked for my work address as he 'had some things to send to me.' Upon opening the package, I discovered a letter from Rick along with a book 'The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari.' Coincidence? or Do I really need to read this?
Work has been very busy lately. New clients are joining and taking care of themselves. We are collecting awards and being interviewed by magazines and publications. There has been little time for reading lately so a vacation to South Beach was just what was needed to relax, recharge & read.
Francesca & I were in South Beach in April of 08' (another needed recharge trip.) On that trip we encountered a guy (unsure of his name/age) but fixated instead on his craft (weaving fallen palm leaves into art) and his 4-legged Labrador sidekick "Lucas". We discovered that this guy found "Lucas" walking alone on the street without ID. After some food, water and attention "Lucas" was more than happy to sit at the side of the man weaving his palm leaves.
January of 09' brought another trip to South Beach. One night walking to dinner I observed the guy again; sitting this time in the park weaving his palms leaves without "Lucas." I couldn't help but wander over to him and say hello and inquire as to "where is the dog you had a few months back?" I discovered that the police took the dog from him since he (Lucas) was without ID and proper documents. I told the guy (let's call him "Artist") that I was sorry for his friends departure. He responded with a friendly "Thank You" and "God Bless" as I said 'goodnight' and walked to my hotel. Over the coming days I noticed that the Artist not only weaved in the park but he in fact was living in the park. Each morning on my coffee walk or run I would observe him in his chair sleeping, reading or gathering his palm leaves. South Beach has plenty of 'homeless' or 'park guests' but there was something about this guy that I couldn't understand. He was gifted, articulate and seemingly lucid. Was I missing something? Is he 'crazy' and I just hadn't seen it? Here was a guy living in a park and yet he seemed happier than most people I know. Upon my return home, I blogged about this and thought about the "artist" often.
This recent trip to South beach was an opportunity for me to read my new book 'The Monk' and enjoy some sunshine. The book was an easy read and very captivating. It's the story of a successful attorney who despite having all of the material toys and conveniences one could want, discovers that the best things in life are free and that true happiness is never bought, it's given.
On Saturday evening we decided to take a cab to Lincoln Rd for dinner. After dinner we decided to walk back 3 miles to our hotel. Sitting on the sidewalk (mid-way to our hotel) was the "artist." My initial reaction was to walk by him but after passing him I decided to turn back and speak to him. Something inside me just screamed "Go Back!" So I did.
Me: How are you tonight?
Artist: Great Thanks. And you?
Me: Good.....You won't remember me but we've spoken before. You had a dog with you at one point, a few blocks away, then a few months later you were in the park without him.
Artist: Yes, that's right. His name was "Lucas" the police took him because I had no License or ID for him. I think about him a lot. He was a good dog.
Me: Yes, that's what you had said. This may sound strange but I wrote a story about you and the dog and I needed to stop by and say hello.
Artist: (Smiling/Almost Laughing) That's great. Very funny actually. (Still weaving without missing a beat while maintaining eye contact during our conversation.)
Me: I'm Frank.
Artist: Hello Frank, My name is David.
Me: This is my wife Francesca (saying Hello)
David: It's a pleasure to meet you!
Me: David are you from Miami originally?
David: No. My family is from California. I lived in Santa Cruz.
Me: What brought you here?
David: Well. (Slightly pausing in his weaving to look up into my eyes and share his story) I was in the Custom Cabinetry Business back in CA. Years back the building that my business was located in burned to the ground. We collected no money from the Insurance Company and I'm still in Litigation with them. I went to the Keys to just get away for a while but it wasn't for me. I returned to CA and felt that there was nothing there for me anymore. So I gave up my things and I walked here.
Me: Walked here? From CA? How long did that take you??
David: About 4 1/2 months.
Me: (Wondering if to believe this, while attempting to do math in my head) Why here? Why South Beach?
David: Frank. About 80% of the people here are on vacation. Everyone is in a great mood, there relaxed and enjoying themselves. It's a great energy. I get to share in that excitement each day and occasionally meet up with someone as yourself who according to you "wrote a story about me." It's a great gift to me each day to live here and I in return get to make a souvenir for someone to bring home that reminds them of their vacation and the fun that they had. It's a wonderful way to live life.
Me: (Standing, nearly speechless, not sure if perhaps it's not me who may be 'crazy') Do you think you'll go into the Cabinetry Business again?
David: (Shaking his head) No! I've had money Frank & I've had no money. The money never brought great happiness to me, even when I made a lot of it. The more I made, the more pressure I felt to make even more the next year. It never ended, if I made less I wasn't happy and If I made more the pressure to do it again instantly appeared.
Me: (I was really at a loss for words at this point. Who was this guy? Yoda? Socrates? Am I imagining all of this? I'm thinking 'dude your homeless and here you are dispensing the wisdom people pay money to learn.' )
Sensing my disconnect between his apparent lack of means and his apparent depth, coherence & eloquence. Dave began to pick up a palm leaf from the floor.
Dave: (Beginning to slash, bend & fold the leaf) Frank. You can be anything you want in life, if it is of your choosing. No matter what people say or think. Just like the 'leaf from the tree that wanted to be a fish.'
"there was a leaf from tree and that's all that you'll be, so they said. But I'm more you'll see than a leaf from a tree, it's fish I wish, in fact to be. In fact it's so as the story will go, that if it's a fish you wish, than a fish you will be."
And when his rhyme was done like a balloon artist to a child; Dave hands me a palm leaf shaped into a fish! I stood there speechless unaware of what to say.
Dave: Frank. I live my life by committing 3 random acts of kindness each day for strangers and I accept and expect nothing in return other than asking them to do the same for others.
Me: David. Thank You. I will pay it forward. I will be sure to see again before I leave. Have a great evening.
Dave: Thanks. God Bless.
The walk back to my hotel I was still unsure of what I had witnessed or encountered? Why? How? What?
The next morning Francesca & I went for Coffee and saw Dave sleeping in the park. I bought coffee for the woman behind us and a gift card for Dave (Coffee, Food, Water could help a guy in the park!) We went for run and still he was fast asleep unaware of our observation of him.
Later that day I finished 'The Monk' and began to realize that Dave is the 'Living Manifestation of the Monk.' I had earlier entertained thoughts of giving Dave the book but I recognized HE IS THE BOOK!
On Sunday evening (our final evening) we were walking back to the hotel and sitting in his chair doing his thing was Dave.
Me: Hi Dave. How are you tonight?
Dave: Hey Man. I'm great.
Me: I've been committing my Random Acts of Kindness and I wanted to give you a small gift to thank you for the 'Fish' last night. (I present him with the Gift Card.)
Dave: Thank you very much. I'm glad I bumped into you. I have a question of you.
Right here I'm thinking. "OK. This is it. Here is where he's giving me the
proof that he's a nut or something. Like he's going to tell me that he wants to
bring me to his planet 'K-Pax' or something."
Dave: I was wondering if I could read the story your wrote about me?
Me: (Wondering how?) Sure. I guess.
Dave: Would it be alright if I gave you my email address and you could send it to me?
Me: (Email???) Uh. Yea. Fran let me have a pen from your pocket book.
Francesca: I don't have a pen!
Dave: I do! (reaching in his bag.)
Writing on a palm leaf he proceeds to give me his GMAIL Address. Then turning over the leaf to write on the other side he begins to write again.
Dave: I'll give you my Facebook address also!
At this point I recognize that he's not homeless. He chooses to simply live in the park. This is a guy who lives the life he wants, despite the fact that society (and myself) for that matter choose not to walk or sleep in his shoes. Who really knows what road his life has traveled? What's known is that I'm certain he's steering his ship tonight!
Me: David. You & I will cross paths again in this lifetime of that I'm certain. When we do, I'll be sure to say hello.
David: I look forward to it.
Me: Have a great evening. I'll send you the story.
David: Thanks. God bless.
The next morning Francesca & I walked for coffee with Dave sleeping in the park. We passed him going out on our run. On the final trip through the park on the way back to our hotel, he was gone. To where? I have no idea....
I returned home and immediately went to verify his Facebook address "Yep, there he was." I copied his story for him and sent him the email. Who knows what's going on with him? It doesn't really matter. What I'm certain of is that I sensed on an 'Instinctive level' something that those operating on an 'Impression level' never would have. Dave stopped making a living and instead made a life. God Bless.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
We want to take this time to tell you about our newest small group offering Mid-Week Body Sculpt.
This class is initially going to be offered only to our Fitness 121 clients and neighbors on Becker Farm Rd.
Class will begin on Tuesday, November 3rd. If you would like information on how to sign up for classes or specific questions regarding the class format, contact our small group instructor Anthony at 973.535.1177. You may also request information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Body Sculpt(Occupancy Max: 5/Level: Intermediate)-The goal of Body Sculpt is to challenge oneself and enjoy a total body workout in a small group setting. Many types of training will be used to challenge your abilities. The equipment used in this class include: dumbbells, stability balls, mats, and medicine balls. You will laugh, You will sweat, You will feel amazing!
Price: $20 per class Day/Time: Tue & Thur 12:15-1:00
Wed & Fri 1:15-2:00
You will need to sign up for each class on a 1st come 1st serve basis. You may do so at our front desk or via email request Fitness121@aol.com.
We look forward to seeing you in class!
*Sneakers & comforatble exercise attire is required. Fitness 121 has shower & changing facilities.
We provide towels, hair dryers & lockers at no extra cost.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
1) A 1x Fee of $100 entitles you to a Comprehensive Running Evaluation/Assessment & 1 Personal Training Session with one of our Fitness Professionals. You will be taught a strength program designed specifically for you.
2) You have 2 options to choose from: 6 month commitment @ $30/month or 12 month commitment @ $25/month.You may pay the entire amount up-front or by CC Payments (at no extra charge) monthly.
* This membership commitment is Non-Refundable & Non-Transferable.
* Our Run Coach will meet with you every 12 weeks to modify or adjust your personal fitness program as needed. You’ll receive weekly tips & suggestions on your training.
* Studio hours are between 6am - 7pm, Monday-Thursday; 10am-6pm on Friday. These hours do not include Holidays and may be adjusted due to inclement weather.
About "the Run Coach"
- Frank Pucher is a former 2x All-Conference Distance Runner and NCAA XC Qualifier for East Stroudsburg University. A 6x Boston Marathon Qualifier, he owns a Sub-3hr PR in the Marathon and a ½ Marathon best of 1:15. In addition to being the personal coach to many outstanding athletes, Frank is also the owner of Fitness 121 Personal Training in Roseland. He is one of the few Coaches/Trainers to receive certification as an Endurance Performance Specialist from The National Endurance Sports Trainers Association (NESTA). He is also certified by The American Council on Exercise and The Cooper Institute of Aerobic Research in Dallas, TX.
His website: www.Fitness121Online.com
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
As long as the conditions are present (Environment, Attention & Energy) growth is certain. It's really just a matter of science. However, if you remove or neglect one of the conditions required; your growth may be a lack thereof.
In whatever area of life you choose (Family, Personal, Business, Athletic) you must provide the proper conditions to let nature do it's thing. Too often we expect 'overnight' success and give up. Often we provide little attention to something and expect things to change immediately. It doesn't happen. Growth takes time, Growth takes patience, Growth takes faith, even when no sign of growth exists. Or does it?
This weekend Francesca & I bought 2 pots and placed soil and flower seeds in them both. We gave them some water and placed them in our kitchen. Each morning we ask them "How's your growth today?" A little silly I know. But the flower/soil represents growth for all things. It will take several weeks of Water, Attention & Sunlight before we see 'growth' but beneath the surface (as in life) things are happening!
As a couple, as a business, as people Francesca & I have grown tremendously over the last year.
Frank PucherWhile some people find contentment in the 'Status Quo' I would suggest that the 'Status Quo' is the reason most people are unhappy in their lives.
Developing the wisdom & patience to enable real growth is no easy task. So I offer you the flower/soil exercise. Give it a try. Like the flower yet to bloom is a new YOU the world has yet to see.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Increasing use is being made of the foam rollers at Fitness 121.
Foam rollers are commonly used for balance training, self-myofascial release, self massage and stretching. Foam rollers are also used for Golf swing practice, Yoga and Pilates.
All four foam roller variations can be used for balance training. The half round foam roller versions can be used flat side down as a starting point. Progress to the round foam rollers when you've mastered the half round rollers.
A molded foam roller that does not contain cells making them last three times longer than traditional celled white foam rollers.
Unlike traditional celled foam rollers that break down and flatten out, these molded rollers do not have cells and therefore will last much longer.
Available in 4 sizes Benefits/Uses
Use round rollers for stability exercises and myofascial release and alignment and half round rollers for balance and stabilization.
Improves alignment and hip mobility while increasing core flexibility.
Also can be used for Pilates, Yoga, Massage Therapy, and Fitness Training.
Download the Foam Roller Exercise Sheet (FREE!)
Watch the included Foam Roller instructional video Specifications.
3' Long, 6" Round
1' Long, 6" Round
3' Long, 6" Half Round
1' Long, 6" Half Round
Browse the Perform Better site for all of your home equipment needs. Foam rolling feels great and is just the thing for tight & sore muscles!
Monday, October 5, 2009
(Occupancy Max: 5/Level: Intermediate)
-The goal of Body Sculpt is to challenge oneself and enjoy a total body workout in a small group setting. Many types of training will be used to challenge your abilities. The equipment used in this class include: dumbbells, stability balls, mats, and medicine balls. You may be asked to work with a partner every so often so don’t be shy and make new friends at class!
Price: $20 per class (Friends too are welcome!)
Day/Time: Saturday at 9:15-10:00am
Stretch and Tone
(Occupancy Max: 5/Level: Beginner)
-The goal of Stretch and Tone is to return the body back to its instinctual patterns and create functional balance within a small group setting. Different types of training will be used in class to create balance and increase range of motion. Included will be an introduction of myofacial release techniques. The equipment used in this class include: foam rollers, stability balls, and mats/pads. Partner stretching will be part of class so be ready to have your flexibility improved to the max!
Price: $20 per class (Friends too are welcome!)
Day/Time: Saturday at 10:15-11:00am
** You must sign up at the front desk for each of these classes, 1st come 1st serve**
You may email Fitness121@aol.com and we will add you name as space permits. Please include the names of any friends that will be attending.
Each of them were looking to run under 2hrs and then some.
Chris ran an impressive 1:45 (with me fetching his water!)
-Quite a fine performance considering he's only been running for several months now.
Katie ran a very strong race in 1:51, despite some side stitches the last mile..she kept the hammer down and ran strong to the finish.
Gary (all 200lbs of muscle of him) ran 1:55 and felt great the whole way. He is on pace to run sub 4hrs in his Marathon debut this January!
Francesca, Lori & I ran along (for fun) and were very proud of our competitors efforts. Afterwards, we met up for some post race brunch and enjoyed the beautiful weather we were given.
What did you do this weekend?
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
But before we do that; Lori, Gary, Katie G. & Chris A. will be duking it out in Sandy Hook this Sunday at the Jersey Shore 1/2 Marathon...
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Usually men look at someone on a reformer and think "I can’t do that." YES YOU CAN! And you should if you are seeking to live a better life. Remember fitness isn’t about how much weight you can lift, its how effectively we move our body and relax the mind. Pilates does just that.
Now, I am not saying it's easy; but if you ask any of my male clients they will say "it’s hard but the results are rewarding" and that they feel GREAT after their sessions. Do you feel GREAT after your workouts? If not, then give Pilates a try. Inquire with me about our 'group' on Saturday mornings, if you do, I promise you will feel awesome.
Besides, you might improve your life as well.
"Dream, Create & Live a Great Life."
*Body mass index is less than 30. (Check yours out here.)
*Exercise for 3.5 hours or more a week.
*Eat lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and very little red meat.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
She’s a Yellow-Lab who shares my pillow, bed & occasionally my socks. My wife and I named her Corona because of her coloring. I looked at my little pup and said to Francesca “she doesn’t look like a Heineken.”
Like most dogs Corona lies under the table hoping some food will magically 'fall' from someone plate to her perch below. I’ll admit that I found it cute when I threw a 'little' piece of food to her; I always enjoyed watching her enjoy my treat to her. My wife found the same pleasure, as did my in-laws, family and friends who always seem to be around.
One day, years ago, I was told point blank by the Vet “your dog is OBESE and needs to lose weight or else she might die.” I tried to explain that she was “big boned or stocky.“ I reasoned that we feed her only dog food and some 'small' snacks. The vet explained that our 'small snacks' led to Corona weighing in at 98lbs! I inquired as to how much should she weigh? The Vet informed us that 65-70lbs was the proper weight given her breed and size.
I was given simple instructions. “If you love your Dog, you will get her to lose weight" said the Vet. Our instructions where to give her 2 cups of food a day and THAT’S IT! No Biscuits, Treats or Snacks. We could dispense the 2 cups any way we chose. But only 2 cups per day.
Our strategy was 1 cup for Breakfast, ½ cup for Lunch & ½ cup for Dinner. We were also required to bring her back every month for a weigh in. "Sounds easy" (I reasoned). Our whole family was brought in on the task. Operation Slim Dog!
Each month Corona weighed in and each month she lost weight. After 7 months she was a fighting trim 64 lbs.
No fancy exercise program, no low-carb mumbo-jumbo. Less food=Less weight!
Amazing! This is an absolutely true story that I tell people struggling to lose weight. If my Dog can do it, so can you. Francesca &I had the love for her (Corona) to do what it took. So if not for yourself, help someone you love to eat less and lose weight.
By the way; if you need a good diet plan, I recommend 2 cups a day of IAMS Lamb & Rice Formula. Trust me it works!! Woof.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Gymnic Plus Stability Balls: constructed of latex-free vinyl material in four different diameters from 45 to 75cm (18 to 30 inches). These are the only Stability Balls that we allow at Fitness 121. Quite simply they are the best ones on the market.
-Increases muscle strength
-Improves proprioception, balance and stability
-Helps develop the core body muscles by forcing the body to respond to the instability of the ball.
-Can be used in place of a chair to help maintain proper posture as it engages the abdominal and back muscles.
-Develops strength in all planes of motion (frontal, sagittal, and transverse) which helps improve overall functional strength and decreases the chance of injury.
* Each holds up to 600 lbs static weight.
Download a FREE Stability Ball Exercise Sheet
They are available in four sizes. These are suggested sizes: (You should select ball size where you can sit with knees bent at a 90 degree angle)
Up to 5'0" tall use 45cm; 5'1" to 5'7" use 55cm; 5'8" to 6' use 65cm; Over 6' use 75cm
Get on the ball! If you are going to buy anything for your home this is a must. Feel free to browse the Perform Better site for all of your small exercise equipment needs or speak to our TEAM of Fitness Professionals on what equipment is right for you.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Why can't that same prescription card allow people access to some sneakers for $30 thus avoiding the medicine later? Besides, the medicine is only a 30-60 day supply. A good pair of running shoes will last 4-5x longer!
I'll tell you why. "Because there is more money to be made in treatment than in prevention." Put another way, "they don't care about your health, they care about your sickness."
Why am I the only one who mentions this?
Q: (Ryan) How do you inspire the world to fitness?
A: (Frank) I practice what I preach and do so with a healthy balance. It's my contention that Fitness should be a "part of life; not ones life." I encourage exercises that my clients find enjoyable and educate them on the importance of consistency and moderation.
Q: (Ryan) What are your favorite aspects of fitness?
A: (Frank) I really enjoy that Fitness can't be "bought." You earn every bit of it. It's a metaphor for life; you get what you give.
Q: (Ryan) What other activities are you involved in?
A: (Frank) In my free time I volunteer my "expertise" to local athletes & community running programs. I feel it's important to give back to a sport that has taught me so much.
Q: (Ryan) Anything else you’d like to tell us?
A: (Frank) The most satisfying aspect of my job is the "teaching" part. More than a tangible goal achieved; the ability to educate someone on the importance of the "journey" (not just the destination) is the measure of which I view my success.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
I see so many of my fitness colleagues with their Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter, Blogs, U-Tubes; all keeping busy but is it making them money or just simply busy?
I know that the world "needs" to know that I'm drinking coffee in my Mickey Mouse T-Shirt, but despite my satisfying this "need" of theirs, my pocket doesn't reap any reward.
I'm all for technology.I love the calculator! Especially when I'm doing long math and I run out of fingers & toes, but how much is really needed? My clients don't care what I'm doing when I'm not with them. If they do they usually call me. Truth be told, they'd rather not know. (I'm eating Donuts!)
I want them focused on their lives, not living through the cyber world of someone else.
No real point to this entry, but then again. That's my point isn't it?
Friday, August 21, 2009
With a light exercise schedule and more free time, you'd think that I would be full of energy. Sadly, that's not been the case. I have been completely exhausted in the evening and I awake with greater difficulty. My ability to focus on the "important things" has been more complicated than ever. But why? I've got more time. I'm not focused on training. I'm eating well, enjoying my teammates and I've got (despite my lack of energy & focus) GREAT things happening in my career and business.
I mentioned to Francesca that I felt out of balance. Like I'm focusing so much on "important things" that it's not enjoyable. I'm feeling stressed and pressured to prepare another Blog or upgrade our Website. I've got a bunch of "I wills" and "90 Day Wonders" that I'm getting done but aren't flowing easily. Last weekend, I took some much needed "Mellow Yellow" time at my family's beach house. It was great to connect with my family and not have an alarm clock to deal with. I went equipped with some reading material and a plan to regain my balance. However, each time I picked up a book my mind was racing and I couldn't stay in the moment. This was really getting frustrating! What would I say/advise a client/friend who was experiencing this? When will this end? IM was easier!
Monday evening I battled 1hr traffic to drive 5 miles to go see my Friend/Mentor "Todd" speak on the "Power of You." Todd is blend of energy and calm. He can be the right mix at the right time which is partly why he is so successful. After dinner and some great conversation with him and another of my "brotherhood" Rick Ivonne (an amazingly INSPIRED guy who I'm fortunate to have connected) I felt my energy returning. The next morning I awoke and said "alright here we go, let's create something today." My energy just disappeared. What the hell happened? I'm putting my foot on the gas and going nowhere!! I was thinking of Mantras & Affirmations. Thinking Goals & To Be Done lists. Still, no energy or focus!
Perhaps, I was pushing when I needed to pull?
Anytime my energy & focus was present I was just being me. When speaking to Todd on Monday, nothing was forced or a struggle. When I read the Mastermind Threads and respond it comes with ease. Training for IM was easy because it wasn't according to a plan. Perhaps I'm just the kind of person that doesn't respond well to "Plans" maybe I'm just a "Doer" and that's where my energy comes from? I'm not suggesting that Planning is a bad thing; perhaps I'm just focusing my energy too much on the plan and less on the Intention and Action. I've struggled administratively with doing This or That 1st? and of course NEITHER gets done.
So today I declare to not PLAN and simply DO. I'm feeling better already.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Make a commitment. Take time out of your schedule to invest in yourself. There is no use talking about it - unless you decide to take action. Over the last 15 years I have trained some of the busiest and most successful people (Recording Artists, Actresses, Working Moms, and Chiefs of Staff) and they managed to find time for fitness. You can too!
Get a physical. This is particularly important if you haven’t exercised in a while, or is your are over age forty. Exercise is not hazardous, but it’s a good idea to establish a health baseline. Items you may want to have checked are your cardiovascular function, blood cholesterol, and triglycerides. Let your physician know that you are starting an exercise program and would like their input.
Pay attention to injuries. If you have an old injury, or any physical problem that causes pain, speak with your trainer about how to avoid making it worse. Ask your physician to speak with your trainer and vice versa.
Keep your priorities. Things do come up, but there is always time to re-schedule or make it in for your workout. I too have a spouse, business, parents, sibling, friends & extended family, and of course my (4 legged) little girl “Corona”. However, I keep my appointments, pay my bills, make it home each night and live my life around my priorities.
Make Aerobic Fitness a Priority. What is more important than living long and living well? What good is everything else if you don’t have good health?
Start slowly. Don’t be concerned about what others are doing and don’t be too competitive. It takes time to achieve aerobic fitness - in fact, it is a lifelong process! Give yourself a break and ease into your program.
Be consistent. No program will work if you don’t stick with it. Exercise should become a regular part of your life, like eating and sleeping. If you are inconsistent, the results you achieve will be minimal. Fitness is gained slowly.
Dress appropriately. You don’t need anything fancy, but you do need good shoes. I recommend a good pair of running shoes, these combine light weight materials, cushioning and stability. You can dress in whatever is comfortable, but avoid clothing that doesn’t breath. There are all kinds of materials on the market, but the choice is yours.
Ask Questions? If you should have any questions on fitness or your training, feel free to ask me or any member of our Award Winning TEAM.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Science (from the Latin scientia, meaning "knowledge") refers to any systematic knowledge-base or prescriptive practice that is capable of resulting in a prediction or predictable type of outcome. In this sense, science may refer to a highly skilled technique or practice.
Plenty of information is available on the scientific preparation that goes into
both training and completing an IRONMAN Triathlon. However it is that very
information that prevents most people (who have the ability) from ever
contemplating such a task. "I can't do that!" is the response to such scientific
awareness.When signing up for IRONMAN I made commitment to myself that I wouldn't follow some template or protocol but rather would simply train as I wanted and as I could. In a sense I would make my training a work of Art not a Science project.
During my training I consistently did "less" than my contemporaries. I remained committed to my work, social, family and ice-cream consumption obligations. When I felt like a day-off I took it. If I wanted a glass of Wine, I had it. Training was a part of life; NOT my Life!
Upon arriving in Lake Placid, I was immediately taken by the number of athletes that where swimming, biking and running just days before the event. I took a more relaxed approach in the final days and opted to enjoy a walk around the town and save myself for race day. I continued to enjoy my usual eating schedule complete with a visit to the local Ben & Jerry's.
Race day started with a little nervousness as my biggest fear was not getting to the START on time. After getting my wetsuit on and doing a little stretch - the cannon sounded at 7am and 2400 of us where splashing ahead 2.4 miles of swimming to go.
I had never swam that far before, but I felt I could complete the swim in 1:20 (1hr 20min). After 2 loops of the lake I exited the water in 1:18..feeling good despite a very painful hip flexor? Making my way to the bike transition I passed Francesca and gave her my wetsuit. I took my time in the transition area; changing into cycling shorts, shirt, dry socks and applying sun-block for the upcoming 112 mile ride.
The bike course was a series of up & down hills with long stretches of sun-soaked road. I was feeling good and eating/drinking as my body was telling me. I felt a sense of relief when I hit the 95 mile-marker. However, some quick math reminded me that I still had 17 miles to go and the last 6 where going to be uphill. 1 hr later I finished the bike and made my way to the run transition area. Again, taking my time to change into dry running clothes and sock/shoes I felt no sense to rush through the transition as I knew 26.2 miles of running where waiting for me. What I didn't know (upon leaving transition) was that running was not an option. My legs where dead tired and I could only walk; despite my desire to run. I accepted my fate and walked mile after mile until about mile 6 when I was able to muster a little "jog". During this (recovery) time I was drinking Gatorade & Water in an attempt to regain some energy. I saw Francesca at mile 13 and stopped for a quick hello and update "This is really tough, but I'm OK" I informed her before continuing my journey. I began to feel better with each mile, partially aided (perhaps?) by the Cola's I was now consuming on the race course. After 10+ hrs of Gatorade I could no longer stomach the taste of it, so Cola was a welcome change. I hit mile 20 and felt strong enough to switch from Jog to Run mode. The last 6.2 miles was more like what I'm accustomed to.With 1 mile to go I was running like I stole something, I hit the track towards the finish line and out sprinted some guy (just for "good measure") to hear the announcer say "Frank Pucher. You are an IRONMAN!" Final time 13:53 (yes, that's 13 hrs & 53 minutes)
After receiving my finishers medal I immediately found 2 of my friends & clients "Chuck & Sandy" (both of whom made the trip to watch my event.) I was then joined by my parents and Francesca. As if I hadn't done enough exercise already; we walked a 1/2 mile to a little restaurant for some dinner before walking back to my hotel for a long awaited shower and some sleep.
I awoke the next morning with little to no soreness and a little to more than usual hunger. Questions came over breakfast about my interest/potential to do "another?" It's a perfectly legitimate question. I'm a highly competitive individual that is always seeking to better my previous efforts. While you "never say never" I feel confident in proclaiming that I have no interest in completing another IRONMAN. I finished with no pain, no injuries, no issues. I had no crashes, trips to the medical tent or soreness the following day. I did what I wanted to do (Finish an IRONMAN!) If you ask me, I had the perfect race. The fact that I did it on my own terms and to my liking, makes it a masterpiece.
I think I'll turn my attention to my business now. We are adding a new TEAM Member "Anthony Lopez".
He (Anthony) is already an outstanding Fitness Professional and we are fortunate to have him. The rest of the TEAM is equally impressed and we will celebrate our Hibachi 10x2 Dinner with him next Friday.
This will be my final IRONMAN blog so I'll take this opportunity to thank the 3 people that read my blog & all of our clients that have wished me luck & congratulations. The same goes to my family & friends that have supported me with their thoughts. Finally, thank you to Rachel (IM finisher in 16:27) for getting me to the starting line and Francesca for being at the finish line. They say that you can tell a lot about a person based on the company you keep. If that's true than I consider myself fortunate to have them both around me.
On to what's next, whatever that may be?