Fall, You’re my Jam.

October is my jam, more specifically.  It’s the month of all the colors, of the crispest fall air (before winter starts to loom), of all things pumpkin, the return of lattes and the beginning of the cold weather nesting.  There’s nothing I love more than settling into regular supper clubs, friendsgiving gatherings, recipe collections, and more focused gratitude for all of the amazingness in our lives.

It’s not that the rest of the year doesn’t have all these things (except, pumpkin since it definitely peaces out), but there’s a different sense of calm as the weather begins to turn, and this year I’m more than ready to embrace it.

Life lately has looked a lot like this, with even more crazy planning, fall organizational efforts, and big exciting news (to come soon) than can’t be captured in only so many pictures:
fuel sweat grow: life lately instagram @valeriemorini

At b:core we’re settling in to our systems and structure, just in time to get ready to launch our cardio component, which take the intensity of barre up about ten notches, with the most structured, athletic, and bad ass functional cardio compliment than you can get.  Our MAD folks complimenting their lifestyle with b:core will be pushed to their heart’s content with this hybrid method, and our barre athletes will get that extra level of functional and full movement to increase strength, endurance, and overall activation of those fast-twitch muscles.   Translation: get ready to start your engines, friends.

Also, get pumped to grab some LUMI juice after class, fresh from our fridge. We’ve narrowed down to some of our favorite flavors (it was harder than it sounds) and can’t wait to share the juice love.

fuel sweat grow: b:core methods LUMI juice

Our website and blog launch is happening this week after much back and forth, development, and thought, so stay tuned, we can’t wait to share the voice of our #corelife.

On the MADabolic side we just started a new program cycle (welcome to durability month, my friends!) and are in a state of constantly evolving with our communities and demand, so it goes without saying that there’s some pretty exciting phases of MADness coming at us soon.  We also finally have some of our sweet new merch in, most notably our new trucker hats from our partnership with Big Truck Brand.  Big Truck Brand is an awesome company, and rather than offering wholesale accounts for typical merch, they choose to partner with the brands they represent on their hats, and hand pick which companies and brands they’re willing to be partnered with.

fuel sweat grow: MADabolic MADlifestyle Big Truck Brand Hats

Needless to say we’re pretty stoked to have these guys are digging our #MADlifestyle and are letting us share their sweet hats with our community.  There are four different styles, but only a few left in total, so if you haven’t snagged yours GET.IT.NOW.  [If you post a pic of you living your MADlifestyle with your Big Truck Brand hat [and tag #MADlifestyle & #BigTruckBrand] you’ve got a pretty awesome chance of winning $100 to MAD from MADabolic corporate and getting another $100 matched by us to either Cville or Charleston.]

On the ‘other’ development front, I closed out September with my third class/seminar of the semester on personal brand and career path development [strengths finder heavy, of course]; the last class being with the 4th year trustees at UVa.  This is my second semester doing this with undergrads, and it’s been a really awesome experience, though pretty different from the typical early to mid-career groups that I have historically workshopped and developed through with these programs.  I’ve got a lot coming up with this, and some pretty awesome new opportunities, but I’m going to have to come back to that at another time when I can do it all proper justice.

fuel sweat grow: personal branding career path development

The same is true for the food and fitness [development] side of life.  While I’ve been cooking more, I’ve been sharing less, and that’s on my shortlist of things to change in the very near future — but you’ll be able to catch a lot of the relevant business content on the b:core blog, and this will dig back into a more functionally evaluative forum for food, fitness, and the personal growth.  In the fitness space I’ve still been researching and pushing forward with my own development needs, but I haven’t get committed to a certification (outside of Lagree) for 2016, and am torn on where the most value lies for me at the moment.  If I were advising myself I’d say that it sounds like I’m overdue for some serious vision boarding, goal mapping, and accountability setting, so thats exactly what I’m going to do.

So, October, it’s time for you and I to get a few things done.

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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.