Almond Milk Lattes, StrengthsFinder & Earned Weeks

There are good weeks and bad weeks, long tough weeks and the weeks that pass in what feels like the blink of an eye. It’s always a gamble, and the more you push to achieve, the more concerning the odds are.

And then, like hope at the end of a long winter, there are the earned weeks — the weeks that can only be found at the end of the most challenging stretches of time-sleep-and-sanity deprivation.  They make all the struggles seem worthwhile, even if just barely, and everything begins to fall together.

This week was definitely an earned week, and in addition to all the work and long hours that made it happen, I’d also like to thank the newest sponsor to my productivity: Milli Joe.

Fuel sweat grow: Milli Joe

Milli Joe is a locally owned coffee and gelato (+ cheese and chocolate) shop right off the downtown mall in Charlottesville.  While all of that’s awesome, this town is hyper-local so everyone needs a little something extra to distinguish themselves, and this week I found out what Milli Joe had to hook me in – fresh all-natural almond milk made in house and hand crafted each morning into the latte that kept me alive.

Fuel sweat grow: almond milk latte

Today is day 10 of 28toLife and it’s so true for me that the most challenging part is giving up coffee the way I love it — a little sweet and a lot creamy — so this was the perfect replacement.  They are just shy of $5/cup, but that’s pretty on-par with starbucks pricing, and has none of the crap, so that’s an immediate bonus.  Add on that my current alcohol costs are hovering around zero, and it doesn’t seem so terrible.

And if that wasn’t enough, they were awesome enough to reserve us a sweet corner section for our MADabolic Cville team StrengthsFinder development night last Thursday.

Fuel Sweat Grow: MADabolic StrengthsFinder

I love personal and professional development, especially exploring the strengths, motivations, and goals of the people surrounding me, in both work and life.  A few years ago I was introduced to the StrengthsFinder test when I was working with lululemon, and revisited it again just recently with my team at Wells. It’s still dead on for me, and continues to blow me away with it’s accuracy across the board.

When we were in Charleston last month the rest of our MADass partnership group took the test, and it only seemed appropriate (and more exciting) to enroll our trainers in Charlottesville as well.  In addition to giving insight into each individual, what makes them tick, and what strengths we embody as a team, the book also digs deeper into how best to manage individuals based on their top strength which is so important to consider.

It was a great forum for team bonding, conversation, and development, while also serving as a great tangent off of our normal fitness focus.

Fuel Sweat Grow: MADabolic StrengthsFinder

Fuel Sweat Grow: MADabolic Cville StrengthsFinder

Fuel Sweat Grow: MADabolic Cville StrengthsFinder

Fuel Sweat Grow: MADabolic Cville

The most important part of any business is leadership — which is only a strong concept when it goes beyond who is ‘in charge’ and extends to the sum of all the parts.  Our trainers are awesome people and give our business the energy and life it requires (and our clients demand) everyday, so it’s our responsibility to continue to develop and invest in them to continue their growth – and in turn, ours.

I’ve been lucky enough to know, and work for, more than my fair share of awesome leaders who viewed themselves as small pieces of the whole– and my fair share of those who touted themselves as leaders without what I would call any earned or legitimate experience (or respect) in business.   Both experiences had value, but the former was of course was the one that equipped me with the inspiration, drive, and sense of self that really took my abilities (‘potential’) and pushed me to achieve more than I knew I could.

In short (or, actually, long), last week I had some amazing fresh almond milk lattes which inspired my strengths, reinforced my goals, and supported the foundational steps for our team and business growth.

Add on to all of that my renewed sense of accomplishment that is directly rooted in a new style of notebook, and you’ll understand how this week became an earned week – the first sweet trace of spring at the end of a long winter.

fuel sweat grow: notebook organization levenger

 

And that’s just what happened when I wasn’t figuring out meals for 28toLife and sweating next to the best of them at MADabolic Cville.   Thanks for the good week, Charlottesville. I miss you already.

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