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Motivation, Change, and Balance.

Posted October 9, 2014 by Melissa diLeonardo in Life After Five
Getting what you want can lead to big change and a struggle for balance. Don't give up. This is a time to learn and grow.

Getting what you want can lead to big change and a struggle for balance. Don’t give up. This is a time to learn and grow.


Part of my job as a fitness professional is to inspire others to try, achieve, and grow.  Whether a measured fitness goal or a sustainable lifestyle change, I work to direct my clients toward the path to success.  I adore my job and am lucky to work in a field I deem rewarding.  But lately, I struggle.


To be a good coach and motivator, one needs to walk the walk.  To try hard, to achieve and to make it look effortless with a big smile. I do these things, in spades! And – I am not complaining or boasting – my hard work has paid off big time in 2014. I have a new job, a new apartment, and recently adopted the cutest cattle dog in Chicago.


So what’s the big deal? Smile already! Here’s the rub.  These changes are awesome and I am grateful to receive them. However, they are not plug and play. Sometimes reaching a goal brings big change and big change requires patience in order to find balance.


My new schedule has altered what was once a bad-ass healthy sleep schedule.  My job, albeit rewarding, creates new stress as I learn the ropes.  And my dog – bless his sweet heart – has major anxiety issues that take a time to counter condition.  I foolishly look back at 2013 and sometimes “think” I was doing better. Living a healthier life: Walking the walk 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  I wonder if my advice and expertise fail to be valid if I struggle.  I mean, shouldn’t the life of a fitness professional and brand ambassador be filled with brilliant publications, swarms of Instagram followers liking the selfie of my six pack and posts about the farm-to-table meals I prepare daily? Isn’t that “balance?”


Writing these thoughts now makes me reconsider. Balance should not foster doubt or stress. To grow, to achieve, and to struggle is normal. Fearing the difficulty often brought about by positive change is useless and leads one to not try. Although I wait to find normalcy within my new routines, I am happy to have these opportunities.  I continue to share my successes and now my struggles with my clients.  Maybe I am gaining a better perspective of what it means to be human – to understand how life isn’t always easy – even when it’s great. To take time amid bountiful chaos to recognize good fortune, its demands and breathe. To identify and thank those who love and support me even when I feel adrift. It’s okay.


The struggle is interesting. Necessary.


Besides, I wasn’t planning on sharing pictures of my six pack anyway.


About the Author

Melissa diLeonardo

Melissa is an East Coast native who has made Chicago her home! She has worked in the health and wellness field for over six years and lives to bike, hike, run, lift, and play. As a ReebokONE Brand Ambassador, Certified Personal Trainer via the American Council on Exercise, and a Registered Yoga Teacher, Melissa is down with good health. Voted “Best Personal Trainer” in the 2013 Chicago Reader’s Annual Poll and selected as a global finalist in the 2013 Life Fitness Personal Trainer to Watch Contest, Melissa instructs fitness and yoga classes throughout the north side of Chicago (spinning, boot camp, strength training). She a proud member and assistant coach at CrossFit Chicago and Master Trainer for Life Fitness Academy . Co-founder of the Chicago-based wellness collective, true-2-life.com and Program Manager for Corporate Movement at Life Fitness Corporation, you can follow her on twitter @mdsapphire. Now let's dance!