Friday, September 28, 2012

Update From Halfway Around the Globe

Hello, World.

Since I've been in Moscow, I feel like a new person. I am evolving every single minute, and I have never felt more alive.

Never have I been so purely happy, so wholly appreciative of all that I am receiving. I am living and breathing the only thing I want to live and breathe. I look forward to every new day with an anticipation that has been lost from my existence for much too long.

I have a direction. I finally have a direction. I have taken my future into my own hands and I am creating something out of my life.

I don't miss home because I am fully existing here. I am entirely present and it's unbeatable. Realizing that you are doing something that you needed with every fiber of your being is bliss. It's heaven.

I have no doubt. I never, ever second-guess my decision to be here. Just three weeks ago, I was petrified. There was actually a part of me that didn't want to go. But now, I can't imagine my life without these people, and without Russia.

It seems like too much, for only being here a week and a half. But it's a little like love... when you know, you know. And there's no age or time limit. It just is what it is. If we truly allow ourselves to be honest and open, we will recognize with a full heart when we are in the right place.

That's what it is... I'm full. I'm not a shell of happiness, relying on knowing I have a great life rather than truly feeling it. I've found my purpose, and I'm working towards it. This is it! This is my life.

I have arrived.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

So Close

So I finally got my Russia blog up and running, and the inaugural post is up, as well! Click on this link to go check it out.

I will probably repost everything here that I post over there. I don't think I'll have the time to write THAT much, but I don't want to leave this baby in the dust.

This time next week I will be sleeping in Russia. Actually, I'll probably be waking up. YIKES to the 10am classes with a 30 minute walk to campus. At least I think that's the schedule? Oh, how much I don't know yet.

I can't even believe it's that time. When I was accepted in April I just thought "Great! Whew! I don't have to think about that for a while."

Well. Here we are. Literally standing at the front door of this opportunity.

And that's what it is! OPPORTUNITY. I've been excited from the start, but I've also been kinda sorta pleasedon'ttellanyone... dreading it. Which is so ridiculous and unreal. I get to go to study abroad at the most famous theatrical institution in Russia—one of the most famous in the world, with fantastic professors AND with financial aid, and I'm dreading it?! How does that make sense?

It does, though. Because I like the comfortable. It's not built into my personality to enjoy taking risks. That's not me. But if I don't push myself, if I DON'T risk... then I'm ultimately unfulfilled and unhappy. I know that. And so I do things that scare me. Not enough, in my opinion, which is why this program will be so great and absolutely terrifying. Risk after risk after risk after risk.

But damn this will be so good for me. I know it, I do. And the people seem great, from what I can tell on our Facebook group. It's going to be a fantastic adventure. I feel it.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Utah, part 2

PROBLEMATIC. Things, as they say, have been cray. (I recently learned the origin of this word from my brother. However, I'd still like to use it as short-form for crazy).

Let's just finish up this week, eh?
Thursday, August 16: 
The first official day of our International Convention. We all piled into the Energy Solutions Arena -- all 10,000 of us, or so. The general sessions are my favorite, because you can feel the excitement and the passion; it is so palpable. We had our own little parade of nations, a group representing each of the 18 countries in which the company is currently open:

This is also when the announcements start coming. And man, did we get some announcements on Thursday. Check out this video of the opening session to see it all happen.

The first major announcement was a total overhaul of the company logo and design for all the products. Brought us right into the 21st century. SO awesome.

A little look at the before and after... 

AND THEN. Drumroll, please....

this is my disbelief face.

IT'S TRUE, IT'S TRUE, IT'S TRUE. We all were GIFTED iPads from USANA. Every distributorship, which totaled probably somewhere around 8,500 iPads. And, come to find out, Apple doesn't give discounts. They went all. out. 
However lovely, these weren't just random gifts. The company also launched a patent-pending iPad app to help us grow our businesses. USANA is getting hip to the young people's needs and expertise!

Friday, August 17:


I opted for the flats, having worn my 5" wedges the previous two days. Good. Decision. 
Also? This F21 skirt is already on its last leg. Bought it in March. Oh, F21. Our days are numbered.

In the general session, we met some of the 600+ USANA athletes. Like we all know, athletes, especially Olympians, must be extremely careful about what they put in their body, so the fact that they stand by USANA is a testament to the trust we can have in these products. So cool to know that USANA is helping to power the success of athletes like Conor Dwyer, José Rivera, Derek Parra, and the entirety of the WTA.

And we were all VERY excited about the launch of a brand new nutrition bar. Vegan, dairy-free AND gluten-free. 

After subsisting mostly on our shakes and bars throughout the convention because of the crazy schedule, our team needed a celebratory dinner. Friday night brought us to Z'Tejas, a mexican fusion restaurant in Salt Lake. We actually dined there last year, the night my dad and I flew to NY to move me back in at Vassar. It's surprisingly delicious. But the best thing was this strawberry rhubarb peach delectable smashed pie skillet deal. Ah yes, I'm quite the describer.

à la mode, duh.

Saturday, August 18:

This day started WAY early, with a 5K set to start at 7am. We arrived by 6:30 to warm up with the growing crowd.

Before the start:

Dad, brother, me, READY to go:

And after the race:

 We did it!! 

Though it was only 3.1 miles, it was the farthest I had ever run consecutively. I never once stopped running (except to tie my shoe), and my time was around 34 minutes... though I was so happy to be done that I totally forgot to look at the time clock. My brother's time was 24. I got some work to do for next year, eh?

After the race, we went back to our hotel to shower and change for the final day of convention. I saw my favorite, Dr. Libby Weaver, on a training stage. She was fabulous, as usual. Check her out. She is from New Zealand and is the most relatable doctor I've ever had the pleasure of listening to. Her accent is perfect, she calls the crowd "gorgeous" or "precious" people, and her health tips are so on point. Her book, Accidentally Overweight, revealed so many mysteries about weight gain/loss and it's a must-read, in my opinion. 

oops phone camera+darkness does not equal pretty.

OOH, there was a flash mob on Saturday! Check out the video, which also includes footage of the early morning race and the final moments of convention.

This was Saturday's post-race outfit:

It was time for the closing session. A few great things happened. Namely, Dr. Oz came up through the stage playing a guitar, and then proceeded to give a fantastic 1 hr talk to the crowd. We are all SO excited to be partnered with him, and it was amazing to see him speak live!

And then, just like that, the confetti spewed and it was all over.

One last look at the USANA store:

We stopped once more at the corporate offices to pick up some Rev3 and secure the car (and watch the sun set):

And as night fell, we drove away, looking back at the NEW logo on the side of the corporate office. 

We spent a final night in Utah, and then hit the road early the next morning.

It was a fantastic week. I have never felt more grateful to be part of a company that truly cares about US. I felt inspired, grown-up, educated, and ready to help people. Thank you, USANA, for 20 years of greatness, and continued evolution. 

And also for the iPads ;)