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I’M LIKE CHUMBAWUMBA, BABY (Two steps forward, One Step Back)

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Hello, from the slump.  The rut.  The terrible, horrible, no good, very bad semi-inexplicably lackluster day.  The woe-is-me semi-unfounded home of the blues.  I hate these days.  I find them to be a waste of time (usually).  Although: as I age, I find that these slumpy days have their merits.

 

WHAT DO I WANT?

 

WHAT AM I WORKING TOWARDS BUILDING/ACHIEVING?

 

WHAT IMPACT CAN I HAVE ON THE WORLD AROUND ME?

 

Self centered?  Yeah, sure, a little.  I’m a millennial, I haven’t been an independent adult long enough to be sick of it yet, and I have an insatiable hunger for…well, almost everything.  For success, for learning, for food, for stretching the limits of my body, for contributing to something, for building things, for discovering, for putting myself in positions that terrify me.  But you know what I enjoy most? Sharing the journey/experience. I don’t want to just build something for myself–I want to build tools that will better the collective experience and the individual lives of those in it. I know that sounds like a load of you-know-what, but it isn’t.  I want that.

 

You know how people will say “it takes 10 years to become an overnight success”? No? Okay, well trust me: it’s a thing. I don’t have insane delusions of grandeur, but there are increasingly specific goals I’ve set for myself and these projects in the past year and I feel like I’m on a lifelong Wipeout game where hilariously dumb obstacles keep knocking me off my feet and starting the whole process again…or at least a few steps behind where I/the projects used to be.

 

All of this ambiguous metaphorical talk goes to say that I’m not satisfied or content with where I am right now.  I’m not happy with myself physically (yeah, I know. possibly the kiss of death for a personal trainer to admit that on her own fitness website?…I’m human, too!) or career-wise.  I’m working so hard to improve these things, but…it takes time.  So I’m practicing patience the best I can and forging ahead.

 

The best result of these hum-drum moments, I find, is that they usually become catalysts for change…or like a superboost in a video game. Unhappy? Unsatisfied? Disappointed? Cool. Fan that flame, baby. Work harder. Work better. Work faster. I’m like ChumbaWumba, baby. I get knocked down BUT I GET UP AGAIN.

 

As a bit of accountability, here’s where I stand and here’s what March is (working towards) changing:

  1. My body: living out of a hotel and doing a decidedly un-physical show during the winter time has been difficult. Spending many, many hours trying to build businesses on my laptop has been difficult. Hilariously and depressingly ironic to lose some physique while you build a fitness business, but it’s a real thing. So here’s what’s up: I am 100% all-in with you challengers in March.  I have ambitious fat loss goals I’m pursuing this month.  I have strength training goals I’m pursuing this month. I’m going to give you all some one-up challenges for a little extra boost, if you’re really wanting to get into the nitty gritty of fat loss and muscle gain.  Let’s do this.
  2. CaptainKatFitness: I am as in love with this project as I was 4 months ago.  Change (namely sustainable change) takes time–we know this.  So I don’t have hundreds of members.  So I’m not making a profit. It’s okay. We are building something, you and me. And it is so, so special. And I have no doubt that it’s worth the time and energy. I freaking love you guys. And, shameless plug, if you want to help even more with the building of this passion project, get a friend on board.  They can literally pay a dollar for a full month next month.  Or $5 if they want to forgo a frappuccino next month.  Trust me: the effects of the Better Body Challenge will be better and last longer than that $5 coffee.  www.captainkatfitness.com/register (or just click ‘register’ above)
  3. Kinekt, the App: My first fitness baby, Kinekt, is still living in limbo and effectively has been since late summer. Kat’s going to need some more capital to fund the development.  But I still believe in it, love it, and (in time) will produce it.  The work is there, and maybe someday a Kickstarter or Crowdfund of some kind will help launch it out of limbo, but for now…this one’s waiting on the sidelines.
  4. Unannounced Project That I love But Can’t Announce Yet: I’m so stoked about this one. It’s bubbling and brewing and going to be so neat and wonderful. It needs a lot of love and work before I can officially share it with you all, but ladies (and gents–oh HEY dudes! this project is for you, too!) I really think it’s going to be awesome (AND FREE) and well worth the effort and I can’t wait to share it with you all.

So what have we learned in this little check in? Big projects are freaking hard work. Hard work takes time. Starting a new career is challenging and exhausting. Building that career is even moreso. But are these projects still worth the time, effort, and money? Absolutely. I believe in them…and I hope you will, too.  And thanks for following (and supporting) the journey.  It means the world.

 

xoxo,

Captain Kat


 

If you have some spare change to contribute towards the journey and help keep CKF running (or even want to contribute to Kinekt), there’s a button below.  If now’s not the time, no problem.  Happy to have you along for the journey and thanks for reading.


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So Many Dreams, So Little Patience

2am, any early morning between October and May of 2007-2008.  Tuthill performance hall, Rhodes College.  18 year old Kat sneaking into the performance hall with the code she’d memorized, playing piano and belting full-voice for hours and hours with printed sheet music.  Incessant stalking of musical theater idols.  Slow-burning dissatisfaction that she–I–wasn’t in school to pursue theater, but lack of gumption to do something about it.

 

The catalyst for actually pursuing theater came the summer following freshman year.  I knew I wasn’t challenged or happy where I was, but didn’t know how to get out of it or where to go.  Thanks to the happenstance of a mentor-friend’s advice, my mother’s patience, and some glorified community theater, a new (very scary) plan was forged: leave Rhodes, attend community college for a year, and audition for a couple theater schools.

 

It was a huge leap of faith, but it worked out (mercifully).  I spent the bulk of college performing in the Dallas area while finishing my theater degree and started traveling with theater gigs the fall after graduation across the country, to Tokyo, Japan, on a boat, to Alaska, to Canada, to New York, on a tour, out, and back again.

 

I continue to love performing, but the love is well-worn, and as I approach the big 3-0 (okay, in 3.5 years, but still) I recognize the same feeling I had almost a decade ago: a need for a great, big, impossible challenge, a different set of muscles and brainpower to challenge and stretch and grow, a need to achieve something totally new.

 

Personal training certification had long been a goal, but the problem-solving, creatively bent facet of my make craves an adjacent challenge.  So I’m building Captain Kat.  I’m building the Better Body Challenge.  I built an app that’s living in limbo until I can afford to develop it.  I have a brand new project in the works (again, all under this same umbrella).  The underlying big-scary that I’m seeking?  Class.  School.  Technical Skills.  The confidence and know-how to build something I’m proud of and challenges me and scares me in the fun, healthy way.  A community to support these endeavors.  Though theater was technically only a viable career in my world beginning midway through college, there were so many steps and stumbles on the way to fairly consistent gig-work.  Piano lessons since 6, dance lessons since 3, choir my whole life, a couple high school musicals, a year of community college, 2 years of theater school BFA, a sizable handful of community theater shows, regional theater as a local actor, and then getting out and doing the big-and-scary.  I have a giant network of theatrical friends and mentors.  I love this world.  I know this world.

 

I built my app 6 months ago, I built Captain Kat four months ago.  The number of friends I have in the entrepreneurial/technical world are mostly only acquaintances, and I can count them on one hand.  Starting something completely new is overwhelming.  But I remember feeling overwhelmed by the processes of the theater world–how to make friends, how to network, how the union worked, where to take voice lessons, where to take dance lessons, when to move to New York, how to audition, where to audition.  All of this is second nature to me now.  I don’t even think about it.  And–difficult though it may be–I have to remember that while I build up this second (hopefully–dare I say it?) career.  I’m as excited and inspired and terrified as I was with theater.  Do I have the aptitude?  The gumption?  A big enough brain?  The persistence?  The drive?

 

 

….I think so?

 

Do I need to relocate?  How do I build a community?  Where do I find mentors?  What classes do I take?  I can only hope I find answers to these questions sooner rather than later, and hustle and try and fail and succeed and persevere until it all becomes real.

 

So many dreams, so little patience.

 

Thanks for following the journey.

 

xoxo,

Captain Kat

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The 13 Things You Forget About Life in New York City

The first day back in Manhattan after a sizable stint away is typically a hilarious wakeup call.  My Ninja-Turtle shell of New-Yorker-disposition is nowhere in sight, and reality deals revelations swiftly and certainly throughout the day.

 

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The 13 Things You Forget About Life in New York City (after some time away)

  1. Snow stays white for about 4-5 hours.  After that, it’s a mud-slush-porridge of trash, melting snow, dirt, and…various unpleasant miscellany that best goes unmentioned.
  2. You can get almost any service in the world done or buy anything you want or access anything you want within about 20 minutes.  It is empowering and it is glorious and it’s so deliciously dangerous and expensive.
  3. Smiling is an invitation.  Careful.
  4. The happiest people in New York are tourists.
  5. Speaking of tourists: winter is for the die-hards, summer is for the tourists.  A woman in the nail salon dubbed me her best friend for about 10 minutes and we jointly lamented the sludge snow and difficulty of life in New York in the winter.  As Darwinian as the city can be is as tribal as it can be.  New Yorkers gotta stick together, man.
  6. What constitutes as suitably warm clothing in a driving-city is not warm enough for walking around in New York.  Overprepare.
  7. All shoes are not created equal.
  8. Never forget your chargers.
  9. Never forget your umbrella.
  10. All coffee shops are not created equal.  Though there are a handful of diamond-in-the-rough coffee shops that contain the precious trifecta of ample seating room, wifi, and dependable bathrooms (the coffee is secondary, though a few coffee shops have this, too–looking at you, FIKA, Taszo, Joe’s at Columbia University), the most dependable of coffee shops is sadly Starbucks.  The UWS Joe Coffee may have delicious espresso, but their tables are laughably small and there’s nary an open wifi signal in sight.
  11. Central Park is beautiful year-round.  It’s more comfortable at certain times of the year, but unless it’s super swampy or blizzard-ed over, there are few better places to take a walk in the world.
  12. The best way to experience New York is knowing you are going to have to leave soon.  When I’m trapped on this island without an end date, the day in-day out of dayjobbing and hustling dream-pursuing and avoiding eye contact and avoiding puddles and walking your legs off gets unbelievably tiresome.  But here I am, for 36 hours, brimming with joy and excitement and dreams and plans like the stupid naive optimistic Kat who arrived here over 2 years ago.  When your time to allow the magic the city offers is limited, it helps you realize how precious it actually is.
  13. It is the greatest city in the world.  I SAID IT.  I wouldn’t say it if I were living here right now…I don’t think.  I have had the roughest back and forth of affection with this silly place.  It’s mostly been a matter of reconciling expectation with reality.  In a few ways, this city has been a brutal slap-in-the-face and, frankly, a disappointment.  In so many other ways, it’s exceeded my wildest expectations and allowed me to pursue projects I never would have elsewhere.  The opportunities are limited.  The opportunities are limitless.

 

Hope you’re all having a beautiful start to February–I sure am.  Here’s to new opportunities.

 

xoxo,

Captain Kat