Getting Comfortable with being Uncomfortable

Getting Comfortable with being Uncomfortable

Strong is a word that denotes many things and can be interpreted many ways but for simplicity’s sake, let’s break the idea of strength into three separate categories. There is physical strength, the kind that allows you to lift heavy things and move large pieces of furniture from one place in a room to the next. There’s mental strength, which for many conjures up an image of perseverance, or the mental fortitude required to write a book or perform heart surgery.  Finally, there’s emotional strength, a kind of resiliency that exists when you make it through something emotionally challenging. Caring for a sick parent, the death of a sister, or going through a divorce all require emotional strength.

WCW - Meet Jo Belton

WCW - Meet Jo Belton

Jo authors a blog where she writes honestly and courageously about living with chronic pain. She is a true badass. While a work injury ended the career she loved, fighting fires, and left her with chronic and unrelenting pain she refused to let that be the end of her story. She worked to understand her pain and find her way back to movement and living life fully. Her blog documents that journey. One she’s still on.

So you think I'm fearless?

So you think I'm fearless?

 “You’re so brave”. “You’re fearless”. On Instagram people think I am scared of nothing. 

From a distance, what I do seems dangerous and/or brave. I balance on rocks. Sometimes on one arm. I do flips on concrete. I do handstands on everything. I’m “fearless”.

But up close, what my InstaFriends don’t see is how long it takes me to get there. 

WCW - Nicole Evangelista

WCW - Nicole Evangelista

We were introduced to Nicole Evangelista through the a friend in the Caio Terra community and we were instantly impressed.  Nicole is one of the most promising jiu jistu athletes coming up the ranks. She's 18 years old, a self proclaimed perfectionist, is learning to speak Chinese and is seriously a badass.  

WCW - Meet Jeannie

WCW - Meet Jeannie

Be a true beauty - the kind that shines from within.

Know and understand yourself, seek to understand others, be kind to yourself and others, listen deeply, hug like you mean it, express gratitude, celebrate daily, don't assume anything, learn about everything, ask better questions, be curious, life is a process - find a way to enjoy the hell out of it!

WCW - Meet Venus

Meet Venus. 

Venus is a another great mover who is full of life and passion.  She is mesmerizing to watch flow and seems like a fun person to hang out with.  She lives out on the beautiful West Coast and has years of experience under her belt.  Venus  is on a mission to energize and “awesome”-ize others and we think that this #wcw piece will do just that!

Get to know Venus!

Instagram and Twitter @venus2bfab

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What do you do?

Fitness Trainer, Movement Coach, Fitness Model, Writer


What else do you do?

I love to get lost in movement & flow, experimenting & getting creative in ways my body can move... from traditional fitness, functional fitness, yoga, animal flow, and enjoy trying new practices I haven't been exposed to.

I also love playing sports of all kinds and regularly go to the beach. I played Division 1 golf for Baylor University and was a competitive swimmer for 7 years as a kid. But you can find me surfing, snowboarding, rock climbing, hiking, and trying new classes like aerial & dance.

I've also written, produced, and acted in different projects... I love a creative outlet. But without writing a whole book about it I like to say I like to explore physical, mental, and spiritual outlets that help me connect to myself and others.


How do you define the word 'strength'?

Strength to me is an inner perseverance of being able to flow with the demands of life.

Strength to me is an inner perseverance of being able to flow with the demands of life.

Being the best you in the most honest way you can be in the present moment. It's not about being the most special at anything in particular, although those things are great too and I have great respect for things that take continued effort... That which I call Mastery, an ongoing process.

Life is short, so I like to live life as curious as my soul wishes to be and discover more as I connect with people.


How did you discover your passion/work/niche?

I've always been a physically intuitive person and was an athlete growing up.

Typical story of being that girl that was asked to be on most sports teams but golf and swimming were my primary focuses. After college I had corporate jobs and wanted more so I did some soul searching as well as comedy writing and acting. Then I wanted a job that gave back more. So I became a personal trainer at Equinox, not realizing at the time that it would grow into a much bigger passion than initially intended.

Each year I gained more knowledge in the continued education courses I took and each year I fell more in love with my job as a trainer. Then I became a certified animal flow instructor and yoga instructor and my love for flow just exploded! I seek flow in pretty much everything I do too, not just body weight training, it's really changed the way I view "working out" and fitness.

I like to say that I play all day, cause sometimes I just don't want to workout.


How do you incorporate movement into your daily lifestyle?

Well I'm a trainer so I move all day.

When I'm not training, I try to be aware of my breath and body at rest. Breath is so vital and key to any movement.

I also go on walks & hikes often, play/move with friends weekly, and enjoy working on my handstands at home while jamming out to music.

But movement is kinda my life so not really sure how else to answer this question :)


Where would be a good starting point for someone who is looking to add more movements into their life like what you do?


I always tell people to first start with something they can consistently do everyday for 15-20 minutes, LITERALLY ANYTHING to get their body moving.

If that means dancing in your apartment then that! Or take a class that looks interesting to them, not necessarily do what they think will get them in the best shape. Most people will look at what I do and be like ummm that looks too complex, even though it's really not, it's just taken years to find the layers from foundations to the icing. It starts with consistent habits to be built first, then once that's established go do the things that they want to learn.

If it's something like what I do they can start with yoga or a ground based movement class, or (shameless plug) they can get my online program when it comes out. But it's all about foundations, understanding how to hold the body in different positions with strength, mobility, coordination, balance, and breath.


How do you define 'fitness'?

Fitness is what people do to move, recycle, and express their bodies.

My personal definition for myself is to maintain being a good mover while getting stronger and more mobile with different skills. That's not everyone's definition and that's ok.

I think it's important to be the best version of you in the present moment while also seeking growth with fitness goals whatever that may be for the individual, not everyone has the same goals.


Where do you see the future of the fitness?

I see what I do becoming vital for the fitness industry.  Fluid, solid movement.

It pairs with all styles of working out and only gets you stronger and more mobile to not only prevent injury, but I really think it's the missing link when it comes to optimum performance with you're an athlete or an average gym goer.

I've gotten in the best shape of my life with daily flow, even better than when I was in my 20s crushing super intense workouts like a crazy "how hard can I go" person. I still like to crush workouts but the intention behind it has got more "flow" behind it, and my intensity is more about mindful movement.


Does movement increase your self-confidence? If yes, how?

Absolutely, movement increases self-confidence. You are connecting to yourself from the outer most layer, the physical, and everything is connected... Physical, mental, emotional, spiritual. Not everyone taps into those but they are all being affected.

Movement gets the blood flowing through the tissues, heart, lungs, brain... That revving cycle increases metabolism, stimulates the mind, flushes toxins out of the body, creates an inner focus, challenges breath, and reminds us we are alive!


What advice do you wish you could have given your younger self?

Just stay the course. Don't dim your light, the brighter you shine, the more you'll attract the great things meant for you. Keep trusting & loving yourself and the universe... I still have to give myself that pep talk on a daily basis.


What motivates the crap out of you? (quote, music, people, sport, etc)

Connection motivates me, to self and others.

What motivates me is after each workout I feel more connected to myself, and I love sharing that which motivates me as a trainer. You gotta be able to do that for yourself in order to share it with others. I love connecting to others and deep level, my clients and I are pretty close and there's nothing surface level between us.

“Don’t ask what the world needs, ask what makes you come alive and go do it... Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
— Howard Thurman

My favorite quote is by Howard Thurman, "Don't ask what the world needs, ask what makes you come alive and go do it... Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." I love all music, especially anything flow-like, tropical island-ish, or 80s sounding, but my playlists are pretty much all over the place. I really like the orchestra sounding covers of Vitamin String Quartet.

People who motivate me range from my mentors to Instagramers who do amazing feats of movement to the everyday person who I see has that inner fire of wanting to be better. Like clients who are struggling in the middle of a workout but their attitude is "I got this!"

My favorite motivation speakers are Tony Robbins, Oprah, and Brene Brown.


Anything else you'd like to share with us or a bunch of women out there?

Don't dim your light, keep making your light shine brighter & trust yourself & the universe. Oh, and keep an eye out for my upcoming online program where I'll guide you through flow and we'll be connected on a weekly basis.


Howard Thurman

Howard Thurman

What Sarah learned from Jazz Musicians


A big fat dinner party. Raising money for a good cause. Training with others to run a 13.1. Sitting back to listen to some great jazz musicians create amazing music. All of these have something in common... people working together...collaborating.

Collaboration is so where it's at! And yes, there’s goodness to be had in solitude, but working with other people to create an event, an experience, is truly a bad*ss, mojo, wonder-us, bit of magic. Because after all, wherever two or more are gathered together focused towards a common goal, well, the energy grows exponentially and amazingly beautiful things happen. That's the kind of groove I love to be a part of.

So it's no wonder that I’m totally geeked about the Women’s Movement Collaborative weekend. The WMC team is such a stunning collection of strong (physically/mentally/emotionally/spiritually) women.  Each has carved out a niche for themselves.

They’ve “struggled strong”, as WMCer Jamie Snow talks about (and Jamie truly knows the strength and vulnerability it takes to “struggle strong”) to claim their unique and oh so personal space in the world. Each woman on the WMC team has been inspired and believes in giving back by inspiring others to find their strength and their passion.

But it's not been all rainbows and unicorns for these women. Each of these women have had to make their way in the face of stereo-types and preconceived notions of what a woman is capable of and what a woman should be and should do. And they’ve all fallen on their asses but have refused to accept failure as an option. They get back up and find a way. Each of these women are ridiculously persistent with a“f*ck you if you think I’m gonna accept defeat” kind of attitude.

But they are also a fiercely playful band of women. They love to laugh. They love to joyfully express themselves through movement. They explore their limits intelligently, and yes, sometimes stupidly. I mean what sane person runs anything past a 13.1. Sarah Scozzaro (Drty Runner), 100km!? 100miles!? WTF!? But seriously Sarah, those friggin’ crazy distances are amazing. Can't wait to hear about the demons you had to wrestle and how you kicked their *sses to the curb to make it happen.

And then there’s the dynamic duo of “Strong Body & Strong Mind”, Julie Angel and MaryBeth Gangemi. Talk about two women who live movement and are passionate about making movement accessible to everyone. And by movement I’m not talking about simply taking a walk around the block or a few downward dogs. I'm talking about crazy *ss Parkour and MovNat moves. Teaching all kinds of people how to start small and explore movement to the fullness of their potential. To grow their potential (physical/mental/emotional/spiritual) through exploring movement. They are freakin’ Wonder Woman bad*sses who are curious and playful souls.

And can we talk Kristy Gosart? Sweet Jesus she can defy gravity. But what she loves better than being able to do all those fancy handstands and body weight moves is serving others in finding their own groove of defying gravity.

Then there’s Dani Almeyda. I gotta say my life has been blessed by knowing Dani and being able to witness her unfoldment as a positive force of nature in serving others by helping them reclaim their Original Strength. She is a damn strong woman, wildly creative, a lover of elevated rolls, with the heart of a warrior-goddess.

And last but not least, there's going to be a tribe of awesome women attending the WMC workshop. And each of these women is going to add their unique and special mojo magic to the party. The WMC weekend is going to be a big, fat, delicious weekend of collaboration and discovery. Hell, there may even be fireworks and a hallelujah chorus at some points. Because there's gonna be some mighty positive vibrational shifts of empowerment flowing as women come together creating spaciousness, for themselves and each other, in order to embrace more of their wondrous, bad*ss and beautiful potential.

So queue up Helen Reddy 'cuz we are women hear us roar!!

This blog was written by Sarah Young, who was recently featured as a #wcw and felt inspired to share her thoughts and words.  Thanks to Sarah for sharing!!!


WCW - Meet The Movement Maestro, Shante Cofield

Meet Shante. 

I've yet to meet her in person, but have been connected via the ever so powerful Instagram! You can check out her awesome insights and daily 'maestroisms' here.  

She is smart, and kind, and really freaking good at her job.  Not only that but she's funny, strong, and is an incredible teacher! We can't wait to connect to Shante in person and know that you are going to nerd out over her interview below and killer Instagram channel.  

Get to know Shante, aka. The Movement Maestro below!

Instagram and



What do you do?

Shante simply answered, 'Live the dream'... which pretty awesome itself!


What else do you do?

I'm a physical therapist by trade.

About 3 years ago I left the beaten path, took a job with RockTape, and never looked back. I travel the country teaching continuing education courses for RockTape, on subjects including kinesiology taping, Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM), but honestly...they're about MOVEMENT. All about movement.

I don’t fix, I facilitate.

I still treat, but my focus is on assessment and guidance. The majority of my patients come from social media, looking for a different approach to whatever it is that ails them. I typically see patients once every few weeks, with the emphasis being on THEM doing THEIR stuff and creating their own changes. I don't fix, I facilitate.

I also spend a hefty amount of time on social media, looking to provide free education to whoever is willing to listen, with my ultimate goal being to empower individuals not to be able to treat themselves, but to be able to recognize a good provider. If we want to fix the system, we gotta educate the consumer.


How do you define the word 'strength'?

The ability to face and overcome whatever challenges may face you.

Be that challenge gravity, social norms, insecurities, physical, mental, or emotional.


How did you discover your passion/work/niche?

This question makes me think of one of my favorite quotes: "Go as far as you can see. When you get there, you will see farther."

I would say that I stumbled across my passion.

I took a traditionally PT job out of school and hated it. I almost left the profession but then discovered social media and an awesome dude name Perry Nickelston (@stopchasingpain) who would become my self-appointed mentor. I wound up taking a RockTape course simply because he was teaching it, totally fell in love with the content and their approach to movement.

I inquired about becoming an instructor, found myself in the right place at the right time, and fast forward about 2 years, I'm living the life I always wanted. I've always wanted to be an educator, and RockTape provide me with that platform. And honestly, this is just the beginning. Social media has absolutely played a HUGE role in this, allowing me to connect with providers and individuals around the world.

Each day things continue to unfold and reveal themselves to me. I've found myself receiving clinical inquires, but even more questions relating to creating new lifestyles and finding happiness. I continue to take it day by day, and the most incredible part is that after a few months, the view is completely new, and it's incredible.


How do you incorporate movement into your daily lifestyle?

Movement is EVERYTHING.

CrossFit has become a huge part of my life, and I go to the box about 5-6x a week if I'm not traveling for work. If I am traveling for work then I do my best to drop in to a local box, which is honestly one of the coolest parts about traveling.

If I'm at home and CrossFit isn't an option (or if I just need a break), then you can be certain I'm taking advantage of that SoCal weather, hiking, biking, or chilling at the beach. Movement is life, and I make certain to find a way to bring it in to my day-to-day, be it a CrossFit WOD or just some simple mobility work in my living room.


Where would be a good starting point for someone who is looking to add more movements into their life like what you do?


I think one of the biggest problems today is that people are so detached from themselves and their experiences that they can't every truly learn and grow from them.

Wearables and a fast-paced lifestyle seems to have everyone focusing on external feedback instead of truly experiencing and feeling whatever it is that their doing. Too much looking to 'gurus' or fads or trends.

The fact of the matter is, something works for everyone, but not everything will work for someone. Meaning, find what speaks to your nervous system, and do it.

I love CrossFit. CrossFit is not for everyone. I've got friends who swear by Animal Flow, or pilates, or yoga, or running...and that's great.

As long as you're moving, I'm happy. Find what speaks to you and go from there.


How do you define 'fitness'?

Gonna have to steal one from CrossFit for this answer: "There are 10 recognized general physical skills. They are cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance and accuracy. You are as fit as you are competent in each of these 10 skills. A regimen develops fitness to the extent that it improves each of these 10 skills."

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Where do you see the future of the fitness?

I see the future of fitness moving towards a more well-rounded approach. No one modality is king.

People are finally starting to realize just how incredible the human body is, and the fact that experiencing these heights doesn't require you to beat yourself down day in and day out.

If you’re not healthy, you’re not fit. If you’re always injured, you’re not fit.

In fact, that mindset is actually the opposite of what you want to be doing. People are realizing and recognizing the value of recovery, the importance of nutrition, the necessity of movement virtuosity, and the fact that fitness is not determined by the presence of a 6-pack.

If you're not healthy, you're not fit. If you're always injured, you're not fit.

People are educating themselves, empowering themselves, and the future of fitness is one filled with individuals who are healthier, because they realize that that is the basis of true fitness.


Does movement increase your self-confidence? If yes, how?

Absolutely. As I said before, movement is life.

An interesting study came out in 2012 by Brazilian researchers that found a direct correlation between movement and longevity. The study simply looked to see if folks could sit down on the ground and then stand back up without the use of their hands. They found that those who were unable to perform this task are 6.5x more likely to DIE within the next 6 years. DIE!

Why do I bring this up? Because as your movement arsenal grows, your resiliency grows with it. Knowing that you can lift something, scale something, get into a position, makes you feel that much more prepared for whatever life may throw at you, and thus that much more confident facing any and all obstacles.

What motivates the crap out of you? (quote, music, people, sport, etc)

Watching people push themselves and accomplish things they didn't think possible. Doesn't matter if it's a pro athlete or kid trying something for the first time.

Human physical achievement speaks to so much more than physical capacity and capability. It speaks to mindset, to dedication, to perseverance, to courage, to heart. It's a physical representation of that person's soul, and seeing that poured out and left on the battlefield motivates the crap out of me.

What advice do you wish you could have given your former self?

Quality over quantity. Movement virtuosity.

As a young kid I was super athletic and just banked on that. I played tons of sports but never had any formal technique training or technique work. When I was 15 I tore my ACL/MCL/meniscus, and then about 2 years later a tore the lateral meniscus of of left knee.

I got surgery, never rehabbed as much as I should have, focused too much on just getting back to playing, and paid for it down the road. I've since focused a TON on my movement and feel the best that I have quite possibly ever felt in my life, but I didn't have to take the hard road to get there.

Work smarter, not harder. Listen to your body.

Treat and use your body with the understanding that you only get one.

Anything else you'd like to share with us or a bunch of women out there?

Ask. Don't be afraid to ask for things. Asking for something changed my life.

It's a very male mentality to go into things and have zero problem asking for things...a raise, a promotion, a set on the bench that you're using.

I think that as women, we often believe that if we work hard, do what is asked of us, and give 110%, our efforts will be recognized and rewarded.

Lovely thought, but not always realistic. If you want it, work for it. But don't be afraid to ask for it. It just might change your life.

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Woman Crush Wednesday-Meet Mirna


Meet Mirna Valerio.


You may have seen Mirna on the NBC news, or in a viral post on Facebook. Oh, wait, or maybe you saw her on the latest issue of Women's Running, or under the pen name, Fat Girl Running, or in this awesome Lane Bryant Campaign (which includes a 4 week program written by Mirna)!  

If you didn't catch on so far, Mirna is a runner, and not just any runner, she's one of those people that love to just run and run and run and run... she does the crazy long, ultra races.... kinda like former #wcw and WMC Project presenter, Sarah Scozzaro

We asked Mirna to be a #wcw a while back and wow is she blowing it up and being oh, so crushable!! Go Mirna!  

So awesome to see Mirna making such a solid impact on women all around the globe and we're over here crossing our fingers that we'll get to meet Mirna in person sometime soon! 

Alright, get ready to crush as we introduce you more to Mirna Valerio... aka. The Mirnavator! 

Oh, and you'll want to check these out:


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What do you do?

I am an educator: Director of Equity and Inclusion/Spanish/Cross Country Coach

What else do you do?

I also blog at; I am a contributing writer for Women's Runner Magazine, and am an author of the forthcoming book A Beautiful Work in Progress, due out October 1, 2017

How do you define the word 'strength'?

Strength is that which emanates from you mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It counteracts all forces of life gravities and allows you to stand on your own two feet, and withstand that which attempts to knock you down.

How did you discover your passion/work/niche?

I have always been a educator and writer, and since high-school a runner. I discovered running as a means of becoming a better field hockey and lacrosse athlete, and fell in love with the sport as well.

How do you incorporate movement into your daily lifestyle?

I'm always training for something: races, Tough Mudders, life and it's a vital part of my day, that is scheduled in.

Where would be a good starting point for someone who is looking to add more movements into their life like what you do?

Schedule it in and really make it an essential part of your lifestyle.

You can’t wait for your body to be perfect.

Think of it as a way to help prevent disease and chronic illness, and most importantly as a way to make sure your body is functionally strong and able to do the things it was meant to do.

How do you define 'fitness'?

Fitness is the ability to move about freely and unencumbered most of the time, and at high intensities without persistent pain (soreness notwithstanding).

The ability to run, walk briskly, swim, exercise, without hurting yourself--the ability to do these things for long periods of time. The ability to recover fairly quickly from these activities.

The ability to depend on your strong body to be functionally healthy. This applies to differently abled bodies too.

Where do you see the future of the fitness?

Fitness will be for everyone, and it won't be limited to a certain aspirational body type.

Does movement increase your self-confidence? If yes, how?

Absolutely. When movement is a constant in your daily routine, you constantly discover how physically and mentally strong you are. You are constantly confronted with your own humanity and this creates a connection with self that is unlike any other activity.

What motivates the crap out of you? (quote, music, people, sport, etc)

I am motivated by the possibilities of discovering how far, how fast, how long my body can go, move, be.

What advice do you wish you could have given your former self?

Well, there really is no former self--isn't it the same self but on a different place in the life continuum? I have no regrets.

THANKS MIRNA! We are now changing this question to your 'younger' self! :) 

Anything else you'd like to share with us or a bunch of women out there?

You are enough, and this has always been the truth whether you believe it or not.



Support Mirna further and read more from her in her new book, Beautiful Work In Progress... Which already sounds awesome!





Woman Crush Wednesday-Meet Barb


Meet Barb Hoogenboom. Aside from this killer last name, Barb is a professional who understands the true power of movement.... oh, and she's just an awesome human.

She's a respected professor of Physical Therapy, a certified Athletic Trainer, and a published author. You can find a number of research articles written by her! She's a leader in the field of movement and passionate about it, but incredibly humble, gracious, and kind.

We love that she approaches learning with a beginner's mindset and that she has fun.  It's obvious that Barb is committed to her own movement practice and motivated to add goodness to the world. She's totally a Woman Crush!!

Connect with Barb:    Facebook  -  Instagram  -  Twitter

And now let's learn some more about her!

What do you do?

Physical therapist, athletic trainer, professor/educator, journal editor

What else do you do?

Bits and pieces of writing, online marketing and research.

How do you define the word 'strength'?

Wisdom in action, the ability to help others

How did you discover your passion/work/niche?

Got super lucky to find physical therapy.  I related to an accident my brother had and I watched his physical therapists make an amazing difference in his life.

How do you incorporate movement into your daily lifestyle?

Walking, hiking, strength training, yoga

Find something that “isn’t just ‘work’ but that gives you joy”.

Where would be a good starting point for someone who is looking to add more movements into their life like what you do?

 Start by exploring, find something you love to do! Find something that "isn't just 'work' but that gives you joy".


How do you define 'fitness'?

Working toward optimal health by choosing activity that allows for all being. Being active every day in some way!

Where do you see the future of the fitness?

Movement based, balanced activities with components of aerobic, strength, and flexibility tailored to each individual

Does movement increase your self-confidence? If yes, how?

Improved posture, maintenance of balance abilities, positive self image, improved body image even as I age.

What motivates the crap out of you? 

MUSIC, working out with my daughter, overall desire to be healthy

What advice do you wish you could have given your former self?

Don't work so much!

Anything else you'd like to share with us or a bunch of women out there?

Live life joyfully. Love others. You only have one chance