You ever meet someone that just radiates positivity you can’t help but feel it changing your mood? That’s how we feel about Michele aka Miss Motivational! Today’s Balancing Act features Michele Gordon, Creator of Cardio Sweat Party. If you haven’t taken this class, you need to, like seriously. You will leave in such a good mood after partying through your workout class. She is on a mission to empower the world to #MAKETHINGSHAPPEN. Recognized by the New York Times as a “Top Trainer”, Michele is a bold force as a Fitness Leader, Community Builder, and Experiential Events Pro.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I'm originally from Bellmore, NY and majored in Philosophy, Politics, and Law (PPL) and Spanish at Binghamton University and now live in New York City. Currently, I work as the Director of Brand Marketing for Paragon Sports and the Creator of Cardio Sweat Party, a high-energy fitness class based in NYC. I LOVE motivating people to make things happen in all aspects of their lives, but tapping into this wasn’t always so easy for me. I used to be very shy, follow the crowd, and be sick quite often during my freshman year. I decided enough was enough and I made a change. I had this gut feeling that I was meant to make a positive difference and be a leader, but up until this point in my life, I was never brave enough to own it. I worked on my personal health by kickboxing, going to the gym, and consulting with dietitians and soon realized how taking care of myself boosted my confidence, which helped me to conquer my shyness. Next, I signed up for an internship to become a Group Exercise Instructor the same time I got a job as Leadership Consultant where I had to speak in front of people and help my peers enhance their public speaking, interviewing, and business skills. Needless to say, in just a few weeks, I overcame all of my fears, stepped out of my comfort zone, discovered my passions, and I have never looked back! It's been over 10 years since I started teaching and to this day, I love empowering people to make fitness FUN and using self-care as fuel. I fully believe that success is DRENCHED in sweat!
What is balance to you?
Balance means that the days of your lives are filled up by multiple things related to your work, family, personal health, relationships, and hobbies. If you’re doing too much of one thing for too long, you’ll either burn out or let other important aspects of your life slide, or both.
How do you achieve it?
I used to hide behind my work and being a “workaholic” was always something that came easy to me. I enjoyed working and constantly trying new ways to put myself out there. Plus, while I love being with people, I’m quite introverted. I’m very happy staying at home all night, cooking dinner, reading a book, and writing out ideas. This all made it hard for me to find balance. I was always working, doing things on my own time, etc. But in the Summer of 2015, it all backfired. I was SO burnt out and just craved more fun (that wasn’t work) in my life. From that point on, I’ve done everything I could to find balance and make more time for FUN. It’s still a struggle as it doesn’t keep easy for me, but I prioritize my stuff. I know what my values are. I allocate time for my friends (even if it’s just a phone call), my boyfriend, my family, personal hobbies, and my career. It’s really, really hard, but I find that if I can break up my day so it’s a mix of personal stuff (my workout time), work, teaching, reading, and spending time with my family, then I’m close to being at a homeostasis.
What advice do you have for someone struggling to find work/life balance?
Prioritize, don’t be so hard on yourself, and do stuff that makes you “shut off”.
Create quiet time for yourself and think about your priorities. If you’re like me, there’s a LOT on that list ;) But go through what your list, figure out how much energy you want to put into your values and think about what will work for you in the long term. Do what you have to do to #MAKETHINGSHAPPEN and know that the sacrifice you’re making will be worth it.
For example, a couple of years ago, I was teaching most weeknights and early mornings. Once I started dating my now boyfriend and work on growing in my career, I pulled back on my classes so I can focus on my relationships, my career, and what WORKS. It was really hard to let go of my classes (I loved the people), but since letting go, I’ve found more balance in all aspects of my life.
Do you have any go-to resources or rituals that help you find balance?
It’s funny - I used to listen to meditation apps and read a book full of daily meditations to help me slow down. But simply not rushing, making “me time”, writing my thoughts, and putting away my phone IS THE BEST. Also…an easy outdoor run with no music followed by really good massage can work MAGIC.
Now let’s have some fun, what are some random things we don’t know about you?
I’m colorblind! Less than 2% of women in the world are colorblind. Basically, don’t trust me at a traffic light :) I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 9, but my level of it has changed over the years. I was vegan for several years, but now eat eggs and sometimes explore dairy when I travel. * I STILL fight my inner shy girl every time I do something new * I am CONSTANTLY having to push myself to trust my gut, be brave, and step out of my comfort zone. It is a big challenge. I’ve never colored my hair (yet!) I’m a coffee person. I tried to be a tea person, but that was a sad time! I drink my coffee black and almost always iced, even in the winter. Currently training for my FIRST Marathon