You are one moment away from miraculous change.
This Christmas I experienced my own Christmas miracle…the gift of life.
This is not a sympathy post. This is a clairvoyant recollection of a terrifying experience geared to promote deep and real gratitude for this simple yet profound gift we have…life.
For the past six years I’ve had reoccurring pinched nerves in my neck. It’s clockwork. After a long flight or aggressive overhead quick movements I exasperate the injury and I know what to do to recover.
This time was different. My neck was locked up in all three plans of motion. I couldn’t move from sternum to chin. Stiff is an understatement.
Christmas evening, my dad drives me to the ER. Swedish hospital ushered me into an exam room and began their process. They asked all the right questions and I think it is business as usual. Give me a muscle relaxer of sorts and send me on my way.
But since I mentioned my pain was 360 of sorts they wanted to be thorough: EKG, CAT scan, x-ray and blood work to rule out any structural injury and or pulmonary embolism. As each test came back negative I breathed deeper thinking I’m closer to leaving.
Then the nurse came back and was ready to inject pain medication via my IV. Meanwhile, I asked where my dad was and she said she would grab him after the injection. Come to find out he was outside the exam room the whole time and could hear the enoire assessment.
As she injected the first of three pain doses she asked me questions about my life; easy ones I should be able answer regardless of intoxication. Then the second dose flooded my body and I started to feel a rush of heat and panic. As she injected the third dose I said, I don’t feel right. She asked what I meant and all I remember is grabbing the rail of the bed attempting to scream for my life but I had no voice, no sound came out and everything went black. You know those nightmares where you need to run but your legs are cement or you need to yell but your mouth is sealed…it was happening in real time.
I slipped out of my body. I floated away. I could feel it. It was as if I was watching the team of eight doctors and nurses work on bringing me back and all I could think was: I’m not done. This isn’t my good bye. Meanwhile my dad is in the other side of the door & could hear everything…I can’t imagine what he felt or what he experienced…
I come to. I see many strange faces and hear many voices asking if I know where I am, what day it is, and my name. Well, I can’t speak my mouth is numb, my body is in shock and my brain & heart have been deprived of oxygen for almost two minutes. I’m freaking out!!! I try and breathe deep, I hear my dad, he’s there over me and I start to bawl. Tears of fear, joy and gratitude all at once.
This wasn’t my good bye. This was my wake up call. An aggressive one. A clear cry for change.
As the doctors purged my system of the drugs and flushed it with saline and water, I too was trying to rid myself of everything. A cleanse I wouldn’t wish upon anyone. I had to stay over night for observation of blood pressure, new medication and cognitive connection.
On a side note, the staff at Swedish Hospital is the best I have ever experienced. Luckily, I haven’t been the patient but with family and friends I have wit messed my fair share of sub par health care. This was the polar opposite. As my dad said; there is no better place to have a medical emergency than in ER. And he is right. I had a team of angels watching over me as I went thorough anaphylactic shock.
So, here I am, 48 hours after my almost good bye and I’m still processing the heaviness of it. At first I brushed it off like it was no big deal. People go through this all the time, but they aren’t me. They don’t get to dictate my feelings over my experiences. I do. I am entitled to feel what I need to feel to process my emotions about my life.
I have a basic right to feel. I have a basic right to express my thoughts. I have a basic right to share and covet what I deem appropriate.
The clear message I feel and see as this experiences starts to tapper is gratitude. We talk about it a lot. We see it all over social media. It’s catchy and on trend. But is it embodies into our soul. Do we truly cultivate gratitude for the most basic rights: breath, body and spirit?
I treated my body horribly for years: eating disorder, body shaming and anger that I didn’t have what someone else did. This wasn’t gratitude, this was neglect and disrespect.
I’ve made huge steps in the past four years; clean of binging and purging, no bull shit 10 day to lean diets and more importantly choosing a wellness lifestyle that is tailor made for my body and soul.
We have the power to decide each and every day: grateful or not.
I am grateful.
I am blessed.
I am commit to myself, my values and my loved ones.
I choose to see the silver lining.
I will love over judge.
These moments are life’s wake up calls. I am grateful I was at the right place at the right time to experience this trauma so I can use it to evolve and refine how I approach life.
Gratitude. It’s real. It’s powerful. It’s a religion. It is what I choose.
Bad Decisions…are they even a thing?
I have made mistakes. A lot of them. One of the first lessons my dad taught me was to fail fast. Make the mistake, learn from it and move on. This is one of the best personal and professional lessons I have carried with me.
Over the past year I have learned a lot about myself due to my health and the intense lifestyle change. There is a beautiful and raw internal process when you are stripped from your values. This past year of being sick and focusing on my health I realized wellness begins in the heart. Health resides in the depths of the soul. I knew if I could not clear the emotional clutter, relationships scars and regrets I did not stand a chance of healing.
This has been an incredible journey of getting in touch with who the real me is, what I love about myself, what I want and what I need. My values have provided me an internal compass for both big decisions and everyday small choices. I consider these to be what I live by and why I navigate certain situations in the manner I do. My values are embedded in who I am and who I consider myself to be in this universe…
I am a wellness enthusiast.
I am passionate about health.
I love to move. I crave education.
I love love.
Coaching is my talent
I desire true connection.
I value honesty.
I want realness in everything and everyone.
So why the topic of bad decisions…well, in my healing process I relived experiences I buried deep for decades, years and even recent months. There was one common theme as I reminisced about my past experiences (the ones that shook me to the core)…I was operating outside of my values. I put others’ needs before me. I rolled over so others would feel comfortable. I neglected the fact I was cheating on my own soul by giving a situation or someone else my power.
I am a strong, independent and compassionate woman. I am both ambitious and generous. I am private as much as I am transparent. I believe we can all learn from each other. We all have something to offer this universe. Sharing our experiences is what makes us human. It creates conversation and connection.
A few years ago I used to blog all the time, I would air my dirty laundry. Mostly about my poor choice in men and all the subject related bull shit. But in the past few years of being single (happily single), I realized there was so much more growing to be done. The only way to do this was to date myself. I needed to put me, my identity, my values and my vision for myself first.
Life is happening. Now. Whether you feel it or not. Your days are a blessing. This is all real. There is no far away space for situations, conversations or realities you don’t want to face. Your soul knows exactly what it wants and your actions are a direct reflection of this.
Magic bubbles to the surface when you move freely, share openly and engage truthfully.
So, I share with you my thoughts on bad decisions…there are none. If you can define clearly what your values are and live through these there is no chance you will made a bad decision. All I would suggest is: you are connected to these values, you believe in them wholeheartedly, you feel them as if they are inside of your body, you ARE your values. Once you step away from these, well, as I mentioned before, you can lose your power, allow other people’s agendas run your world and two years later you wake up and think to yourself, “what the fuck, who am I, what am I doing and how did I get here?” Take it from me…having been there…that moment is a bitch.
So, I have a dog…did you know that? (insert sarcasm…) I have a dog that I am pretty much obsessed with. I have wanted a French Bulldog for ten years and in 2014 I finally got one. The time was right and I picked Lucy Leigh up from the airport on April 1st at a young eight weeks old.
Over the past eight months I have become quite the hermit. I stay in and snuggle with my pups, watch Netflix as well as study. I enrolled in the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in June 2014 so I have been immersed in taking advantage of the additional education. I LOVE learning!
This past year was all about retreating, observing and laying low. While I did this I put on some love pounds. I label them love pounds because I LOVE my dog that I wanted to be next her every moment through her puppy months rather then going out. Pre-LuBear, I was on the go go go and out out out all the time. My home was more or less a place to crash, shower and change.
When I moved into my new space in March of last year I nested…hard. I did some killer DIY projects and made my home feel like a real home. So much so that I never wanted to leave. Ever.
Fast forward to present day. I have cabin fever, I am O.V.E.R being at home all the time, but here in lies my dilemma. My social life is twenty-five miles away from where I live. Bull shit, right? So, what to do? MOVE! The Lu & I will be moving up to the LA streets and will be hitting the pavement hard.
I cannot wait to bike to yoga, walk to new dog parks, have happy hour any damn day I want, get a green juice with a friend any day of the week and not feel restricted by the damn 405. Beacuse that thing is a nasty bitch.
So…why talk about the love pounds? Well, they can feel shitty. Let’s be real, no ones wants to struggle to put on their favorite pair of jeans. It is downright flustering. In the past few months I have endured a couple meltdowns because that last button just did not take. Ughhhh.
In my 31 years I have yet to feel this and to be honest, with only being three plus years into my recovery of my eating disorder, that black hole was calling my name to come crawling back to the dark side. BUT I did not, I have not, I will not. I am stronger than this moment. My worth is more than those fucking jeans. My new life with Lucy is priceless.
This is more motivation for me to be transparent with the world as a wellness coach, fitness leader and real person to tell the story that these things happen and they do not have to control our thoughts, attitude and self-esteem. I know it is hard. Believe you me. I know. But, this is where life gets good. This is where we are challenged to find the message in what we do and who we are and rise above it all.
My purpose on this earth is to inspire others, elevate our community, and de-mystify the phenomena of wellness. I work in a tough industry where every pound, inch and wrinkle are judged, so this my friends is a wake up call. We are more than our love pounds. We are incredible humans with infinite potential. The story goes on and you have the power to change the plot. I plan to change it in more ways the one…
Plus…I love making a fucking comeback…Its kind of heroic.
2014 was a year of reflection. 2015 is a year of action. In my year of reflection I thought a lot about “realness.” I work in an industry that has endless opinions, plenty of egos and an abundance of information that can be crippling rather than inspiring.
In my year of action I am determined to de-mystify the opinions, egos and over- information and share the real stuff from our wellness leaders. I am grateful to know many of these key influencers so it is my pleasure to share how they motivate, influence and encourage their communities to live happy and healthy lives.
The wellness industry is vast and has room for all of its leaders to be significant.
I say significant rather than successful because to be significant one needs to be real. When you are living, breathing, moving and speaking from a “real” space, there is a vibration that is felt that is loud and clear. This freedom frequency takes over and it is a unbroken flow of inspiration and authenticity.
The #MyRealStory series gives our community an exclusive peek to our leaders real thoughts on life, love and all things wellness. It is a funky mash up of Inside the Actor’s Studio, a Jimmy Fallon interview and a casual conversation All real. All day.
I am OVER THE MOON to activate the #MyRealStory series with one of the brightest, most beautiful and talented writers I know. She also happens to kick ass in the cycle studio as a top instructor at many Equinox locations and she has been known to wow members in savasana with her acapella singing. Katie Horwitch is salt of the earth kind of people. She is always so chipper and full of joy that you wonder…is that for real? It is, it is all real. With that said, she also opens up to the not so chipper parts of her journey and that is where she shines even brighter. Katie makes sense out of unreasonable and sees the silver lining in the lesson. Katie is wise beyond her years and I know that in years to come she will have an ever bigger audience to dazzle and inspire with her wisdom and words.
By: Katie Horwitch
I was born in…
…Los Angeles, CA – I grew up in Encino and Calabasas, so not only am I a proud LA native, but I am an actual, bona-fide Valley Girl.
My first kiss was….
…when I was 15, in a dark movie theater. First date with my first boyfriend. While seeing…wait for it…Monsters Inc.
The last time I cried was….
…December 13th. Sitting in central park on a bench looking out at the skyline. Coming to the realization that there is so. much. out there in the world, and I am so much bigger than the typical day-to-day I sometimes fall into. I had felt this expansiveness growing inside of me for about a year, and the universe put it right in my face that day – as if to say, You are ready. Here I am.
The movie that makes me laugh so hard my stomach hurts….
I work in the wellness industry because…
…it’s where I can be wholly myself, and use every tool I’ve been given to its fullest potential – in turn helping others do the same.
A quote that keeps me inspired when I feel depleted…
“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities have crept in, no doubt. Forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson
Right now, life is…
I want more….
Freedom. Chances to sing. Sleep. I am such a whore for sleep.
I want less….
Stagnation. Road blocks. Zits.
What moves me most about being a wellness leader is….
…when I see, hear, or read about others awakening into themselves – shifting from those casual negatives that can become part of our vernacular to pragmatic positivity. About their bodies, relationships, careers, communities. The most moving thing is seeing someone else own all of themselves, drop the pretenses, and approach the world with expansive love.
My heart opens widest when…
…I’m in unfiltered, uncensored, deep, authentic, courageously vulnerably nuanced conversations with others. And when I am creating something – something I know has major potential for greatness. Right now, that’s WANT. Just talking about it moves my soul.
My definition of soul mate is:
A person who opens you up to yourself and you do the same to them. Soulmates do not complete one another, they enhance one another. Soulmates are not just romantic, but family and friends as well – I feel blessed to have a few unbelievable soul mate friends, male and female.
The song that makes me tear up…
“If I Didn’t Believe In You” from The Last Five Years
The song that makes me run faster…
…Ugh – so many – probably something by Backstreet Boys, Brit-brit, or Ginuwine. (My best running tip is listen to your guilty pleasures and sing as loud as you want in your head…or out loud…)
The sound that soothes my soul is…
…Rain is so cliché, but it’s true. The silence in my home late at night that’s washed over with faint sounds of the city below. My own voice when I really choose to hear it and let it shake my soul. A sincere “I love you” or “I understand” – said to me or simply overheard. Those words could change the world.
My secret (or not so-secret) crush is…
…Sounds so shmoopy, but I still have a major crush on my guy even though we’ve been together a while now. (I think he knows, though.) Also, Paul Rudd is a major babe.
I am grateful for:
My commitment in 2015 is…
Create. Expand. Connect. Repeat.
My favorite curse word is…
…“shitton” or “crapton” – basically means “a whole lot.” I also have been known to use “fucktard” a lot.
My most memorable moment in the wellness industry is…
…probably being hired by Equinox. It’s what really began my commitment to the art of wellness and introduced me to my very best friends (those soulmates I spoke of earlier). I remember not being too nervous, thinking that I can only be myself; if they don’t like who I am, then I can do nothing to change. I auditioned for Keith, Paul Katami, and Justin Rubin – just me and them. I remember Keith stopped me five songs in, turned to Paul and said “She’s great. She’s ready.” It was the first time in my adult life I had someone really see who I was and say “Yes, I believe in you. Yes, I am willing and excited to take a chance on you, exactly as you are, right now.”
If resources, time and fear were irrelevant, I would ______________ to change the world?
Tour the world in a speaking-music-movement tour helping women crush their negative talk patterns and move forward into who they are meant to be, defining health, wellness, beauty and success on their own terms all the while. Think a lecture-slash-workshop-slash-spoken-word-jam-slash-fitness-break-slash. Check back with me in a few years.
I move because….
…it introduces me to who I am, in that moment, every moment I move.
I fuel my body with….
…kale, kettle corn, salsamole (my own personal invention – 3 parts salsa, 1 part guacamole), lots of homemade coffee and chlorophyll water.
…freedom in my life to move, work, love, and play in the places and with the people that allow me to shine as myself.
…those times I don’t have freedom in my life to move, work, love, and play in the places and with the people that allow me to shine as myself. They bruise me on a very deep level.
I am most passionate about…
…self-actualization and self-talk, forward-motion and entrepreneurial spirit, empathy and expression…and love.
A misstep in my career that I learned from…
Career-wise in the wellness industry, my biggest misstep was trying to be what my role models said I should be like for so long. How I should speak, how I should teach. How I should look. The second I started just being me, opportunity flooded in – in crazy amounts.
My biggest misstep, however, was actually when I was acting – fun fact, I went to school for Musical Theatre and had a few wonderful years in the acting/modeling biz before I realized my primary passion (and mode of expression) had moved elsewhere. I was auditioning for an honors award in college with a song from the musical Nine. My voice teacher/professor/mentor had told me to “really go for it” in all ways. I interpreted that as what turned out being basically a clothes-on striptease/sexydance for all three of my professors who were auditioning me. Plus the room-full of students waiting their turn.
Needless to say, I didn’t get the Honors – which devastated me, because I thought I had done what had been asked of me but had gotten it horrible wrong. It’s the most embarrassing moment of my life and it didn’t even happen until after the audition was over.
When I talked to my teacher afterwards, she told me something I will never forget: “You didn’t do anything wrong. You did it so right you actually made us uncomfortable! But I am so glad you did. You showed us that you are fearless. You make out so much better for risking so much than by risking nothing at all.” From that point on, I put myself out for all kinds of roles and opportunities, because I knew my natural inclination was towards fearlessness (even though I am very cautious). I learned to trust what I force I can be. For better or for sexydance.
I want to live in….
…the world as myself, not someone else’s idea of me.
My mentor/s are…
…some of my personal heroes. Everyone needs a mentor; a role model and advisor all at once – it doesn’t have to be someone you see often or even someone you know all that well – just someone who can offer insight and guidance along the path YOU are meant to lead. Guidance and mentorship are so very precious and I’m always profoundly humbled and grateful when someone opens up their world of wisdom to me. Jen Smith, my soul sister and the person who has from day one helped me define true wellness from the inside out. Keith Irace, who took a huge chance on hiring me as quickly as he did and, subsequently, changed my life. The voice teachers I’ve had throughout the years who helped me discover what it means to feel expansive. My boyfriend Jeremy, who works in branding and is pretty much the most perceptive and insightful man I’ve ever met. From afar, Marie Forleo and Danielle LaPorte…but hopefully one day I’ll at least be able to give them a hug and thank them for all the insight and advice I’ve gained from what they share with their respective communities.
My gift that I am meant to share with the world is…
…my ability to bring the best out of others due to my high sensitivity to all the nuances of world around me. I’ve learned my sensitivity is my best tool if I let it be.
…being ephemeral, never actualizing my potential, losing the people I love most (losing them either physically or emotionally), losing my sense of self.
…a force. For better or for sexydance.
…be exactly who I am meant to be in this lifetime. I will win and I will lose, and never for a second will I stop loving it all.
More about Katie
Katie Horwitch is the founder of WANT: Women Against Negative Talk, a website and initiative that helps women move forward in their lives by giving them tools, resources, and inspiration to crush their own negative talk patterns. A Los Angeles “lifer,” she is a founding team member and the current Fitness + Mind Body Editor of The Chalkboard Mag, a lifestyle wellness magazine by Pressed Juicery. She is also a certified fitness instructor and proud member of the Equinox group fitness teaching team, where she leads cycling classes across Los Angeles.
In addition to WANT and The Chalkboard Mag, Katie’s writing has been featured by Darling Magazine (print and online), Cameron Diaz’s Our Body Book, Venice Entrepreneur, LeadUp Magazine, and others. She is a leader in the upcoming Chrysalis 2015 Women’s Empowerment Program.
Katie is a writer, wellness activist, group fitness instructor, speaker, performer, and artist, as well as a lover of cinnamon, kale, frosting, and popcorn. She lives and breathes for the expression of love, in all forms.
Stay Connected with Katie
Facebook: @Katie Horwitch
Feel like I’m taking gains where I can. Working this Kettlebell Complex like a winner. Kettlebells are my first love when it comes to resistance training.
So fresh. So fun. So fierce.
#train #trainhard #wetrain #sweat #move #movedifferently #moveyourbody #fitfluential #fitfam #kettlebell #strong #strongwomen #equinox #equinoxmademedoit #power #pushweight #gains
H A N D S T A N D
Even if it was just for two seconds. Progress friends. Progress.
#nofear #falldown #getup #handstandeverywhere #handstandeverywhere #inversion #upsidedown #onehand #progress #boom #believe #truth #train #yogaeverydamnday #yogaeverydamnday #yogaflow #myyoga #mypractice #fitfluential
Situations, people, challenges, relationships, goals, obstacles, responsibilities and anything and everything in our life can be so overwhelming to the extent that we cannot see beyond the struggle. I feel like I have been living in this exact moment for too many years too long.
I cannot do this alone. I cannot live this life by myself. I am not the best at everything. I am not the expert of all things. I am not the be all end all. But what I do know, what I feel right now, what I am in this moment…that I know.
I am ready.
I am open to connect.
I am vulnerable.
I am love.
I am in transition.
I am flawed.
There has been a world of hurt I have clung to because it was safe. The disappointment, the heartbreak, the patterns of chaos were familiar and giving them up meant I was forced to face who I was, where I was going and who I was meant to become.
Taking a sledgehammer to my emotional armor has been one my biggest challenges to date. I am blessed to have a small gang of experts in their craft to share their insight and coaching to elevate my game in all aspects of life.
Stepping back from certain situations, people, challenges, relationships, goals, obstacles and responsibilities has given me perspective to dissect each one in its own light. When you evaluate all of the above from a place of clarity life gets a lot less complicated.
Now clarity, that shit is deceiving. There have been instances I thought I was making a sound decision from clarity when in reality I was operating out of loneliness, insecurity, pressure or projection. There wasn’t clarity. There was representation of who I was, but not me. Not my true self.
So, I step back. I pull away. I retreat. I reflect. I pause. I stop. I ponder. I evaluation. I get real.
When I make moves based on my values, well, that shit is not deceiving, it is clear as day. The choices feel good. There is a gut response that says; yes, hell yes, no or fuck no. I rely on my physical reaction because I have connected to these values on a deeper level. That is an accomplishment in itself.
When I feel my gut instinct, you know what I am talking about…I get it when I hear people speak negatively about me, or when I accidentally see the text message from that girl who is “just a friend,” or on a lighter note when I hear my nephew laugh… these all give me a sensation that allows me to step back and decide how I will react? Will I give my words, actions or energy to this moment? If I do, how will I care for myself as I do this? Am I operating from my values? Am I speaking from my voice or the voice I think I should use?
Step Back. It has been my jam for a few months. It has been lonely, that I will not lie, but necessary. In order for me to be ready, open to connect, vulnerable… I need to be at peace and stand firmly in my values.
When I peel away the bullshit, I see what matters… I am able to FEEL what sparks my fire. It is easy to feel numb because we are overstimulated all day everyday. Lack of awareness will continue infinitely because we are fooled to believe we are fulfilled with all the outside shit but on the inside we are missing out. Believe me, I was smacked around with that reality. But I am here to encourage you to keep exploring… take the liberty to step back for any amount of time until you are clear and ready to move forward.
Step Back. Move Forward.
It is a dance that I am thrilled to learn and re-learn each and everyday. That is the beauty of this life and who we are as humans. We can decide who we are and what we want to become. I hope I am not the same person I was two years ago, I can only strive to be a better version with the intention of improving a lil more each day…
Saturday sweat sesh.
Goals make the hustle so much sweeter.
5 rounds of awful on the menu.
#ff #fitfam #fitness #sweat #workout #saturday #equinoxmademedoit #equinox #essentiaphwater
Your shopping cart is empty
Visit the shop