BEGREATGUYS #5 — My exam story (Try Again)

I have learned many things, some of which made a difference in my life. One of which, is learning to “try again”, which for some is easy enough but for others like myself, “trying again” is scary and makes us overwhelmed, makes us anxious and gives us stress. Stress we don’t need nor want. I can tell you of many incidences where I wanted to try again but didn’t due to fear and not knowing, due to low self esteem and negative thinking and due to lack of courage. I grew up on “trying” and giving it my best; my mom always told me and my siblings this growing up — and even then it was easier said than done. Almost like now. Where trying something for a second or third time seems like a waste of time, especially when you don’t know how it will end. 

I learned REAL soon, that trying again can be the door that opens opportunity — All it takes is a positive mindset, belief in yourself and capabilities & your “why”  (in other words the reason that you NEED to try again, why is this important to you) because without a why, you lose focus and give up. This almost happened to me within this year. 

Just recently I got certified in Personal Training by ACSM (one of the hardest personal training exams right next to CSCS) and holds the “Gold standard” for the fitness industry because it was the FIRST certification and very few people pass this exam the first time let alone the second time. I graduated college May 2016 and took the exam for the first time December of 2016 and FAILED. Mind you it cost me 300 dollars to take it, and I didn’t have whole lot of financial stability at the time, so I knew it would take some saving up before I could afford it while also having to afford bills. I was very discouraged this first time (you can take it after 15 days with a discounted price) but at the time I could not afford to retake it, so I went a whole other year before re-taking it again. The first time I cried and got very upset. The second time, I had something new weighing on me, they were changing the cirriculum for this exam after this test date, so if I failed it this time, it meant having to buy new books & taking time to study the new material (expenses and time) so I retook the test Dec. 2017 and FAILED, again. Now I was very pissed off, I had cried at the gym when telling my boss/owner and sharing the news with a couple of gym members, it was like the world was falling on top of me and I couldn’t breath and didn’t know what to do, I started to think that maybe I was too dumb for this test — people gave me other names of personal training certs I could do: ACE, NASM, ISSA, etc but I didn’t want to do those, I wanted ACSM, it appealed to me because of the recognition it receives and how few people have passed. I wanted to pass it. 

In the meantime while my self esteem was low, I started looking into other cert options in case I wanted to give up on ACSM (and do know I did want to give up) because I even got ahold of NASM and talked with a rep about being interested in taking their exam and pricing and same with ACE. I even researched ISSA to see what it was about. When it was all said and done, I decided I would give ACSM a try ONCE more, because the material was new, I figured I’d rather study this new stuff then to spend more money with a whole other company/cert. Once again I was praying I could afford the new books/study aids — thankfully Amazon had it for decent price and because of using the trial period of Prime, I was able to have them shipped quickly to my house. I got my books and dug in, I decided to once again make note cards, but beforehand, read both textbooks while taking notes in a notebook then used the notes on the notecards and made over 100+ note cards to study from and used the ACSM pocket prep app. I was focused, UNTIL I wasn’t, I had set the date to February to retake the test but realized I wasn’t ready yet, so changed it to March but because I was too busy having fun on my birthday — I changed the date to April to give me more time to study (which I didn’t use my time to study very well) I got distracted by friends and wanting to hang out that I put my studies in second place & the times I could study I would have rather been able to go to bed early. I work two jobs so sleep is important to me. It wasn’t until a week before that I really dug into my notes and focused. I was overwhelmed but made it a priority to study because I didn’t want to keep rescheduling my exam. Long story short, I studies until midnight the night before and woke up bright and very, very early to eat breakfast, study and calm my nerves so I could come prepared with clarity. 

Walking into the testing center made me anxious but I was confident in myself and didn’t allow the nerves to take over my mind or fill me with negative thoughts. The test was 150 questions and I had to score 550 in order to pass. The test was HARD, very difficult but I could confidently say that I knew about 20 of the questions without pondering but the rest depended on memory, being able to answer practical questions and hoping that I can do a good job of guessing if I didn’t know the answer. Unlike the previous test, I went through all the flagged questions I had issues with and made sure I answered them to the best of my ability and even left 20 minutes on the clock before finishing the test because I took my time with this test, I wanted to do my best and give my best answers. 

I PASSED. I passed the test with a 557 score. I cried with a smile on my face and walked out that testing center not believing what just happened. I texted the first 5 people I wanted to share the news with and posted on Facebook the news. Everything was starting to make sense to me after this day, I didn’t give up. I could have very well not tried again but because I took the dive and TRIED AGAIN, I found out I could do it. I passed the exam and I am ever so blessed and happy with the results. Moral of the story, TRY AGAIN. 

“When you try something for the first time, you might find you aren’t the best at it, but doesn’t mean you can’t get better” – Shay-lon Moss

Shay-lon 

Check out my Instagram with the posted good news: ACSM cert

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I have Social Anxiety (Mental Health Awareness)

I will be first in line to admit that I have social anxiety (I believe I have mentioned this many times before) and while many people are in shock when I tell them this, because I come off outgoing and very talkative – this doesn’t mean anything, just means I mask it fairly well – not to mention, if you don’t understand social anxiety and what it means, you might not know what to look for when I am put in situations where I react. Now with this being said, this post will be both informative and yet, I will speak from my own experience as well, so hopefully you enjoy stories and perspective. I will start with the basics, what does it mean to have “social anxiety”?

 

Social anxiety is fear of social situations that involve interaction with other people BUT,  it stems from having a fear or anxiety of being negatively judged or evaluated by other people. —- I have dealt with this fear ALL MY LIFE and it sucks because I wanted to be more like the ones who “don’t care what others think” but even when I try, I know deep down I still care (even when I play if off like I don’t) now with this being said, yes, there have been times where I literally do not give a shit about what others think of me, or how they perceive me, and that usually is when I am at the gym or grocery store because I just feel like I have built confidence in those scenarios/environments. Although if you put me inside a new gym or a grocery store in a different town or area, my social anxiety will kick in because it is a new surrounding with new faces and I don’t know how to handle it.. so I just freak out in my mind. For some people they avoid situations like so, but I have learned to force myself to step outside my comfort level and make myself intentionally uncomfortable in order to fight my anxiety. 

 

Now let’s discuss some of the symptoms & I’ll share which ones i have, if any:

 
  • Rapid heart beat- this is another one I experience
  • blushing or sweating- sweating is one for me
  • feeling of mind going blank – I have this one
  • makes little to no eye contact 
  • speaks with overly soft voice
  • self conscious in front of others, feeling of embarrassed or awkward – This one I have
  • Being very afraid that other people will judge them – this one I have
  • Stay away from places where there are other people

Now, as you can see, I have quite a few signs/symptoms and some people have more or less, and not every situation do all these sign/symptoms display themselves. I personally know another sign/symptom that people I have dated have noticed and even people I have talked to, I tend to ramble when I speak in a conversation with someone, especially if I am interested in someone, or if I don’t know how to end a conversation, or if my nerves are all over the place. I know my ex used to mention that I ramble a lot on and off the phone and she would make jokes about it and I knew that sometimes it was awkward but since that relationship, I have been trying to get better at catching myself ramble and doing it less often. I guess for me, it is really tough to not ramble, because it is my way of comforting my anxiety or “hiding” it, but when people notice and make light of it, it makes me feel a little discouraged at times or feel insecure or puts me in an awkward position where I don’t know what to do or how to handle it – and that just means I went from social anxiety to now I am upset with myself and feeling really embarrassed by my actions. None of my friends or family have ever made comments on my rambling and that might be because I don’t ramble with them .. it’s weird, but also I am comfortable with them. I never notice other’s with social anxiety, it goes over my head if someone does and they are talking to me, because I am so focused on my own response and reactions & trying to come off less awkward that if anything I just assume you are shy and nothing more. 

 

Another thing I have noticed is, depending on the person and type of compliment they give me, I tend to get weird and say quick thank yous without even looking in your direction or I am pleasant and want to connect with you and my thank you comes off more friendly. I handle compliments better coming from females vs males as well. For some reason, I have yet to ever be awkward with a female who compliments me, but when it comes to males, it happens often unless I am comfortable with the male figure. Growing up, it wasn’t always like this but as I got older, it started to make sense as to why (& we won’t get into that at this point) but regardless I love compliments but handle them differently depending the nature of them, the sex and how comfortable I am with that person. I have known both, people who are flattered by compliments and others who get really tense and don’t like them.   

 

Causes:

There is NO one cause of it, but many factors that can lead to one possibly having social anxiety – but doesn’t mean you are guaranteed to get it just because you happen to have these issues but the chances could be greater. 

My mom has social anxiety and her’s is worse than mine, I would say, but she reacts to it differently than I do, on the other hand both of my younger siblings don’t seem to have it from the outside looking in, but I am not a professional so I wouldn’t actually know if they did unless they told me – so families can carry this trait. 

Misreading people’s behaviors toward you can be another cause of social anxiety- and I think I am decent at reading people, but I do tend to over analyze at times.

Underdeveloped social skills – this is a possible cause for myself. Growing up, I had friends but I was always the awkward duck, I didn’t know how to properly interact with others and not feel like an outcast and I think because I lacked some self confidence at times, I was always doing weird shit or saying weird random shit that in my mind was my way of trying to fit in but in reality was probably causing people to think I was weird or pushing people away. I developed a more comical personality in order to handle social situations and instead would always be the class clown and make people laugh and that is how I combated my own issues. 

 

As far as treatment goes, I never saw a professional for it, never had therapy or medication for it, and I refuse to go that far for myself because I think I have more of a handle on it now than I did in the past and I don’t feel like mine is very severe compared to other cases. I have learned to mask some of it, in order to push through and I have learned that if I force myself to confront my anxiety by stepping outside my comfort zone, it helps to build my confidence and encourages me to find ways to manage it better. For example, last year and previous years, I would go to Columbus here in Ohio for a weekend and stay in a hotel by myself and explore the city – downtown area, just walk and explore the stores, bars, etc all alone and  by doing that, I met people, I learned to find my own way and to handle situations that would make me uncomfortable and I loved doing that. This year, I went to a bar in my town alone, and the first time it went well, but the second time it went horribly and so I haven’t done it since then but I might consider doing it again at a different point in my life. My new goals to battle my social anxiety is to attend a movie alone and to eat at a restaurant alone because I am so used to doing them both with friends or family, so I want to step outside my comfort zone and do them by myself – also, I would like to attend a concert by myself and would love to drive out of town by myself again and explore another area .. so those are all goals to help me. 

 

I would love to hear from all of you with social anxiety, speak on what helps you, or try one of these ways of coping and let me know if it worked. If you enjoyed this post, like, comment, share and follow! 

 

Fitness WonderWoman,

Shay-lon xo

 
 

I Did a GUEST POST: College & Fitness

https://designandscheme.com/2017/08/08/college-fitness/

Alright everyone, 

for those of you who didn’t know, I was asked to do a guest blog for a friend about college and fitness – preparing high school seniors for college and freshmen college students for what is to come. I share some nifty tips and advice and give you some real world examples of what temptations will lie in the way and share some personal experiences as well. I hope that not only will you support this blog post and share it among your peers, but that you will take the time to check out her blog as a whole because it is also speaks on time management skills. Thank you for your support! leave feedback in the comments!

Fitness Wonder Woman

Shay-lon xo

Chances are you aren’t really living ..

Every once in a GREAT while, I get in one of these inspirational moods and bore you with my positive outlook and story… thoughts.. fears.. momentary comedy.. and toward the end everything ends with .. bullshit I could have said in the beginning but decided to make you read til the end to find out the point. This is another one of those post. 😀

 

You see, we run into this thing called chance, the possibility of something happening but we never know what. We are always taking chances, at least most of us are, and when our chances run out, well.. that normally means we have met our maker or we have run into a dead end, and it is time to re-evaluate how we spend what time we have left. How do you spend today, if you don’t know what tomorrow will be like? Odds are you will continue to.. what is that word? Live?

People use the word “live” a lot, it almost sounds like a catchy answer until I become a nuisance and ask you “how do you really know you are living, spending everyday alive, when you aren’t taking chances, and you are afraid to make mistakes”? then you get that grumpy answer: “Well I am still breathing, aren’t I?” – nothing seems to make sense anymore.. when people say that. 

Many of you are probably wondering what this has to do with “Fitness/health”, but if you pay attention, this whole thing will add up to another post in the future & in all honesty this whole post has to do with life – and fitness & health is a lifestyle, right? so calm down and don’t worry about me getting off the beaten path.. 

 

This whole year of 2016, I took some pretty huge chances, I made some really fucked up mistakes and I probably lived more than I have in many years. Actually.. I haven’t lived enough and I want more of out life – but that is because I constantly await for something to happen in my life, I patiently wait to make another mistake, to fuck up, to laugh louder and harder, to cry more, to smile often, and store what is left of the memories in my phone, laptop or brain.  I suggest all of you wait too, no use in running after something that will greet you at the door in due time. I am not really good with words, so excuse me if this starts to sound like gibberish, I don’t mean to make you fall asleep, I just don’t use really big words when I speak to keep people’s attention – I much prefer to speak like a child (repeating what I say often using different sentences but the same small words) luckily for all of you, I am a “big kid”, so no need for a babysitter. 

 

It’s shame we have all been trying to fit in all this time, trying to create this white picket fence where we greet our neighbors every morning, say hi to Lucy and Tom next door, and go to work to come home and do it all over again. We stopped taking chances, sometime ago, when we realized that Lucy and Tom were shot walking down the street to get coffee, our dog was hit by a train and our children lost their first sports event of the year & we got laid off from our million dollar job! Oh.. we were living.. day in and day out, doing the same shit, greeting the same neighbors, attending the same games, and working the same hours, laughing at the same black and white TV shows. I remember when people were “living”, living in bliss and living in fortune. Some might agree that back then compared to now has significantly changed (and I don’t mean the weather) – I mean everybody who is somebody can’t even stand to walk anymore without fear. We don’t take the same chances anymore. I hear people say “nothing is going to stop me from living” but they are the same ones driving to the corner store up one block and complaining about how they wished they could save on gas, but don’t dare walk in fear they could be mugged.. – so what was that whole nothing can stop me from living again? lol. 

 

We stopped living when things happened next door to us, when people we know lost their lives, when we decided that it was much safer in our homes, when we watched the news and wanted nothing to do with the outside world, and when pain and sorrow came knocking at our doors – we gave up our lives, we surrendered them to those that challenged it. We don’t attend the same kind of parties anymore, we don’t associate with the same kind of people anymore, we don’t offer sugar to our neighbors, we don’t eat candy from Halloween, we don’t drive the same way to work – call it being cautious if you want to, but being cautious is what kept people from living (for better or for worse, that is up to you)

It isn’t only you that isn’t living, hell I am not living, I am being more and more stuck in this zone of “safety” where it scares me to almost say my name to strangers, not knowing their intentions. Making new friends and dating never seemed anymore scary than these days – online and offline. Truth is, we don’t take the same chances we once have, and it doesn’t mean we failed, or that we are scared shitless, just means we developed a sense of wanting to stay alive, wanting to protect, wanting to be more aware of what could happen. 

 

I personally believe that “living” is what you make it, but what if you don’t live long enough to make something of life? What if your tragic end comes in the next couple of hours? Does it mean you didn’t live life, or does it mean you lived it until you had nothing to live for? 

 

Something tells me you are going to think I am crazy for creating this post, I hope it wasn’t too deep for any of you. I hope it didn’t scare any of you, I hope I get some good feedback , and all of you decide to share your thoughts, I hope you share my post with your audience and get them talking about it, I hope I have inspired you to take chances.. more often.. and I hope I opened your mind to life.. to what we know but do not always notice. 

 

This is how I will end this post: “if by taking chances means we die quicker, then I guess that means we need to make haste, because who wants to die a slow death” – Shay-lon Moss

 

Thank you for reading. 

 

Shay-lon Moss xxxx

 

Motivation Monday Quotes: Happy Halloween Edition! Oct. 31st