Psst… I’ll Tell You A Secret

Psst… I’ll Tell You A Secret

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When Deb and I sat down on Tuesday, November 8, 2016, to begin our most recent round of coaching, she immediately tasked me with re-creating my “bucket list.”  This was a list of 30 things that I wanted to do, be, or have in my life.  The list could consist of ANYTHING – from huge, Level 1 goals like solving the healthcare crisis in America to super-simple Level 3 goals like getting a new pair of sunglasses.  I had the entire world of options at my disposal.  I came back to session #2 with my list of 30 things and proudly read it to Deb. Like most of our clients, I quickly discovered, much to my dismay, that my list was, in fact, composed of a bunch of very rhetorical statements that I had absolutely no emotional attachment to. Damn!

So, I went back to the drawing board. I started asking myself the hard questions:

  • What do I really want?
  • How do I want to send my days?
  • What feeds my soul?
  • What things/people/events/opportunities will help me live a joyous and fulfilled life?
  • What is my PURPOSE?

So, at session #3 I present Bucket List 2.0, and although I didn’t know “HOW” a lot of that list would ever transpire, I just knew that I wanted them.

Last week, without any warning whatsoever, TWO of my Top 5 Bucket List items fell into my lap.

Anyone who has read more than 3 of my blog posts knows that I have a great affection and respect for my friend, one of the people who inspired me to start training for triathlon, Meredith Atwood.  One of my top 5 bucket list items was to collaborate with her on a program.  I didn’t know what kind of program or what the topic would be. We had kicked the tires on some concepts before, but she is always going Mach 5 with her hair on fire and the timing just wasn’t right; however, it continued to be a goal, albeit a longer-term goal.

Another of my Top 5 bucket list items was to spend my days “playing” on social media and actually get paid to do it!

So, imagine my surprise and delight when I received an email from Meredith last week that started off, “Hey lady! So. I have been marinating on a new program, and I wanted to see if you and Deb might want to be involved with.”



And guess what?  The platform of the program is Facebook-based, so I will indeed be spending my days “playing” on social media!

So, this brings me to the distinction between “allowing” and “forcing.” We have to ALLOW the things we want to come to us and know that if they are based in love and are in alignment with our values and our purpose, they WILL come – they might just not come on our timetable or exactly in the way we first envision them.  When we try to FORCE an outcome and exert our will, the outcome is generally not what we hoped it would be.

Now, what is this new program?  It’s called “Your Brave Mind” and you can read more about it here and here. And it’s going to be amazing!

In a nutshell, Your Brave Mind will be a series of online events (hosted on Facebook) that will each cover a different topic in the area of mental toughness.  The first event is on the bully in your brain! Cool huh?

The bully is that little voice that speaks to you whenever you try to step outside of ​the box​, tackle new challenges,​ ​or​ make a ​significant ​change in your life. Everyone has​ tha​t voice, it’s just that some bullies are much louder and meaner than others. In only 5 days you will gain the awareness​ (and tools)​ you need to tame the bully in your brain​. You will discover:

  • What​ (or who?)​ the bully is
  • Why listening to the bully is the absolute worst thing we can do if we want to change an area of our life
  • How the bully got its voice
  • Why the bully is so mean
  • Why making the decision to change will never be enough
  • How to actually change the conversation with the bully in your brain

If you have ever struggled with the mean girl/guy in your head who tells you that you are terrible or that you can’t do something, etc., then this program is for you! Come join us!

  • Cost:  $24.97
  • Forum: Online group coaching via a closed Facebook Group
  • Duration:  5 Days
  • Starts:  Monday, May 8th

Register Now!


I can’t wait to get started!  🙂

Everyone Needs a Coach – I Sure Do

Everyone Needs a Coach – I Sure Do

Last Tuesday was the final day of my 10-week coaching program with Deb (Cheslow) and, honestly, all I can say is “WOW”! When I had the bright idea in the pool last October to ask Deb to coach me for real again after Ironman Florida, I was really just grasping at straws – trying to ward off the post-Ironman crash what would inevitably consume me without some sort of intervention.

I didn’t know if working with Deb again would/could do that or not.  I didn’t know if we had grown too close to be able to separate all of our different life roles for the sessions to be productive (we have always been very good at compartmentalizing “roles” because Deb was my coach first, then my karate instructor, then my business partner, and THEN my life partner, but it’s been a long time since there was intensive one-on-one coaching between us).  I wasn’t sure that I wasn’t too close to the material to make the process anything more than a rhetorical exercise, and whether I would get as much out of it as someone with less “experience”.  We started the program on Tuesday, November 8th.  I was still riding the high after the IMFL race only 3 days before and I was excited about figuring out my next big obsession.

But then I felt like all my fears were coming to fruition when, just days before Thanksgiving, the Ironman high wore off and I was left wondering what on earth I could ever do to top that day?  The cascade came and even as I felt it coming and was very aware of what was happening, I was powerless to stop it.  It was as if I had leaped off a cliff and gravity was pulling me to the ground regardless of how hard I flapped my arms and tried to fly.

I won’t kid you… I was scared… and worried… What if I couldn’t get my mojo back – for work, for triathlon, for my family, for ME?  My coaching sessions took a more somber turn.  I remember saying, “I just don’t know who to BE…” more than once.  But Deb never wavered.  She shook the program up and did unexpected things to catch me (and my logic) off guard – and there was no small measure of tough love thrown in there too.  There was plenty of her telling me what I NEEDED to hear, rather than what I might have WANTED to hear.  It took several weeks, but suddenly just before Christmas, I had a fire lit under my ass that suddenly had me doing at 90 mph!

Our company had decided it was time to put out a new book in the Spring of 2017.  The way we create new book manuscripts is for me to take Deb’s outline and create a rough draft of content from it. Then Deb takes my draft and completely decimates it – changing almost everything about it in the process.  In the end, the finished product looks NOTHING like my draft, but without that draft the book would never get written.  It’s a process and it works for us.  Anyhow, I was completely unenthusiastic about  starting the manuscript draft of the content sections, and yet it HAD to be written – and SOON!

As November turned into December, and our coaching program continued, I was still trying to identify my “what’s next”.  What was I going to focus on in 2017?  Business? Triathlon? I still felt so lost, and I didn’t want to do much of anything – business, triathlon, or even life in general. Then, during my session on 12/20, Deb said something to me that turned everything around.  I was once again saying that I didn’t know what I wanted and that I was so lost after Ironman, and blah, blah, blah… when she got up in my face and said, “Angie!  You are living in the past trying to train for a race that’s already been run!  You HAVE to redefine the race you’re training for NOW!”

16730679_1259150464168736_8567247102317113881_nSomething about that resonated so strongly with me. And she was right!  It was time to let Ironman go and move forward.  I snipped off my Ironman wristband later that day and asked Deb for a meeting on the new book so I could get very clear on what and how I was supposed to be writing.  I woke up the next morning at 3am and started writing.  I took the week off between Christmas and New Years like I always do, and jumped back into  the book on January 2nd. In only 12 DAYS I created the draft manuscript for the new book’s content – it became an obsession.  I was back! Now we’re finishing up the final edits and the book goes to the publisher early next month.

I had no clue how this coaching program with Deb would go when I initially got the idea in the pool.  But I was desperate!  Not as desperate as I was back in 2009, but still I knew I could not afford a prolonged crash after Ironman was over.  Now that the initial coaching program is over and I look back, I am thrilled with the results!  Was there a crash?  Yes – of course – they can’t be prevented, only mitigated, but I think I did a great job – with Deb’s help – of shortening the refractory period and pulling out of the nosedive in a very short span of time.  I know people who have the Ironman Blues for YEARS, and mine lasted for less than a month.  I’ll take it! It wasn’t a pleasant month, but now I am refocused on things that are important.  I have a great “A” race for 2017 that I’ll begin training for next month and I’m happier and more productive than I’ve been in a VERY long time.

I’ve decided to retain Deb as my “official” coach indefinitely.  And I know there are people who are reading this post right now who are saying, “Yeah Ang, nice for you to have your partner as your coach… everyone else has to PAY for it!” To that I say this… Free coaching never works because there is no skin in the game and when the going gets tough – and it always gets tough somewhere along the way – sometimes it is only the fact that there is money on the line that keeps you moving.  I cut Deb a check every month out of my own bank account to keep me accountable to myself for this process.

I know I will always have a coach – someone to push me further than I believe I can go on my own.  It’s worked pretty darned well for me so far – I think I’ll just keep going!

Happy Coach-iversary!!

COACHIVERSARYI’m back from a fantastic (and somewhat painful) vacation in Key West that I will post all about shortly, but today is a very special day!  It’s Deb and my 6 year “coach-iversary!”  And THAT is a day that I celebrate even more than my own birthday – it is truly the day that changed my entire life.

Deb Cheslow and I met through my son’s karate school where she was an instructor.  Of course, she was also a coach… Not an athletic coach (although she would be amazing at that too I am sure), but a “mind coach.”  I didn’t really know or understand what she did for a living when I invited her for coffee that day back in February, 2010, but I did know 3 things:

  1. Deb was my age and was in the best shape of anyone I knew – and I wanted to learn how she did it…
  2. Deb was one of the most “together” people I had ever met in my life – and I was falling apart and I wanted to learn how she did it…
  3. I really liked her and wanted to be her friend.

So, I invited her for coffee one Sunday afternoon – February 21, 2010.  We met at a Starbucks in Christiansburg, VA and we started talking.  And we talked, and we talked, and we talked.

She asked me about myself and I threw up all over her (figuratively).

7-changeI poured out my entire life on the table – the good, the bad, and the ugly.  I took off the mask that I put on for the rest of the world and told her everything.

… the seemingly unrecoverable financial mess of my life

… the inevitable bankruptcy that was looming

… the dead-end job I was stuck in

… the failing marriage I was stuck in

… the abusive, dysfunctional relationship between my husband and me

… the near-daily bottle of wine consumed to escape it all

… the self-loathing I felt every minute of every day

… the unworthiness I felt every second

… how I would watch my son sleep at night and cry because i did not feel deserving of such a precious gift

… the desperation I felt to get my shit together for my son, if not for myself

She listened.  She listened for hours.  She asked a few questions here and there for clarification, but mostly she just listened.  And when I was finished, she smiled and she said she could help me.  And I believed her… I trusted her.

Then it was her turn.  She talked to me for a long time and explained how most people perpetuate the crap that occurs in their lives with their thoughts… how most people allow their feelings to control their thoughts, which sets up an never-ending downward spiral of more and more crap.  It’s more complicated than that, but that’s the gist of it.

bobs stick figureShe drew “the stickman” on a napkin (how I wish I had saved that napkin) and explained it all to me.

I gotta be honest, when she drew the “hangman” dude and told me it would change my life, I almost got up and left.

By the end of our meeting, I was certain that the key to a better future lay in the things I would learn from Deb Cheslow.  I could not afford to hire her as my coach, but I couldn’t afford not to either.  So I did.  It was – without any hesitation or doubt – the best investment I have EVER made!

I met with her for an hour or so every week.  I diligently did my homework and applied the principles I was learning.  I got up early and stayed up late to work on myself.  I noticed a change almost immediately.  I felt better.  I started changing my behaviors, especially my eating, exercising, and drinking behaviors.

A month later my marriage came to an abrupt end.  Deb was there for Josh and me.  And she’s been there every day for the last 6 years.  During that time, I have accomplished things I never even dreamed were possible.

  • I became financially responsible
  • I paid off a mountain of debt (just one more to go – thanks for your patience, Mom)
  • I bought half of Deb’s consulting company
  • I’ve written and published 3 books
  • I earned my blackbelt in karate
  • I got in great shape and compete in triathlons now
  • I am HAPPY
  • I have the coolest kid on the planet for a son and he is as proud of me as I am of him
  • I haven’t had a glass of wine in almost 3 years (I enjoy a beer occasionally, but I avoid the trigger of drinking wine)
  • I get to go out and do what I love each and every day
  • I co-founded a non-profit corporation to help end domestic and family violence – WHAT???
  • And so much more

And when the going got tough (and it ALWAYS got tough), Deb was there as my partner and my friend, but more importantly, as my COACH.  She held my feet to the fire.  She never let me quit or give up on myself.  She pushes me right to the edge of the big, scary cliff and says “JUMP!” She believes I can do ANYTHING, and so, I hold onto her belief in me when I don’t believe in myself, and I jump and I learn how to fly on the way down.

So when I celebrate my Coach-iversary, it is a VERY serious matter.  It is a celebration of the day that someone listened to the trainwreck that was my life back in 2010 and held out a helping hand.  It is a celebration of the day I took back my life and started the creation of something very, very special!

Happy Coach-iversary, Deb!  I love you!


New Year’s Eve Randomness

random-thoughts-1This morning I woke up with a bunch of “randomness” in my head – I think it’s time for me to go back to work – so I thought I would share it.


Photo Credit: Elise Bauer, Simply Recipes

Random Thought #1:  Best Shrimp Scampi Recipe EVER

When we were planning our Free Week menu Deb suggested that we have Shrimp Scampi one night.  I was happy to comply – I love Shrimp Scampi and we rarely have it because 1.  Deb is not a big pasta fan (and you HAVE to serve scampi over pasta) and 2.  I thought it meant a plate laden with butter and wine, and that just doesn’t fit into our food plan all that often.

I was looking through my cookbooks for a recipe and I found this one in my Betty Crocker’s New Cookbook (1996).  No butter… No wine…  Why not?

It was soooo good!!!  Amazing actually!

Shrimp Scampi
Prep:  25 min.  Cook:  5 min
Makes 6 servings


1-1/2 pounds uncooked fresh medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp thinly sliced green onions (I used finely diced white onion)
1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley (I used 1/2 Tbsp dried parsley)
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
2 large cloves garlic, minced
Grated parmesan cheese

Heat oil in large saute pan over medium high heat.  Cook shrimp and remaining ingredients (except cheese) for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, until shrimp are pink and firm.  Remove from heat.  Sprinkle with cheese.

Calories:  145; Fat:  8 g; Carb:  1 g; Protein:  17 g

Random Thought #2:  Quinoa Pasta

As I mentioned above, Deb is not a huge pasta fan.  I can’t relate… I’m Italian – I’ve been eating pasta since before I could walk and it’s always been a staple in my diet.

However, since the end of August, we have been eating (nearly) dairy-free and gluten-free, and well, pasta is nothing if not GLUTEN.

So, when I was at the market last week, I did some label sleuthing in the pasta aisle.  Who knew how many alternative grain pastas there are?  Surely not me! I generally buy whole wheat pasta whenever we do have it.  I tried Dreamfield’s back in the low carb days and didn’t like it at all.  I’ve heard it is better now, but I haven’t worked up the desire to try it again.

quinoa pastaAnyhow, I saw Quinoa Pasta, and although a bit pricey at $3.49 for an 8 oz box, I decided to give it a try.

Ingredients:  Organic corn flour, organic quinoa flour. (I like that!!)

It was REALLY good!!  It did clump together like nobody’s business, but who cares – it was DELICIOUS!!!  And BONUS:  Deb liked it too!

The package says cooking time is 6-9 minutes.  I boiled the noodles for closer to 9 minutes, so perhaps cutting it closer to 6 minutes would result in a less “clumpy” product.

2014-homeRandom Though #3:  Shameless Self-Promotion

I am not in the habit of promoting myself or my business on this blog, because that’s just not what it’s about.  However, January 1st is like our Super Bowl in the mindset coaching and achievement business.

Even if you have given up on New Years resolutions (I have), surely you have goals that you want to achieve in 2014 (I DO!!).

That’s what we do in our company – we help people get from where they are to where they want to be.  We have books, programs, and online coaching services that use a proven process which employs systems and accountability to make the self-discipline required to reach any goal habitual.

Our “tagline” is Where would you be if every time you said “I SHOULD…,” you actually DID?

Think about that!

Only you know what kind of tools YOU need to reach your goals – be they personal or professional, physical or financial, individual or team – the process works if you work the process!  So, that is why we have placed our entire online store on sale – so you can save on the tools that YOU need, not what WE think YOU need.

So check out our online store and if you see something that you feel will help you reach your goals – whatever they are – enter the promo code NEWYEAR14 at checkout and save 30% on everything as my gift to you.

Wishing you your best year EVER!!