This is what fuels my fire. What fuels yours? John’s story is like high octane rocket fuel for me and I hope it also inspires you to take action to improve your overall health and wellness.
In just 6-weeks John was able to significantly lower his A1c, blood pressure, and cholesterol. Just 6-weeks of consistency. Training 3 times per week. Eating breakfast. Drinking lots of water. And nourishing himself well. It isn’t easy, but it is possible. And it's totally worth it.
This is what I love about our business - stories like these of incredible transformation, the ripple effect that is created by that transformation, and the incredibly supportive community that surrounds us all. Owning a business isn’t always rainbows and butterflies and these are the things that make all the hard work, late nights, and sacrifices worth it.
So tell me... what fuels your fire? What do you love right now about your life, your career, your family that is lighting you up? What do you want to celebrate? I want to hear it! Leave a comment below!
Here I am 4 months into this program and as I sit here writing this I realize I am 35 lbs down from when I started. I can truly say I am seeing the inches fade way and that is quite the inspiration to keep on rolling! But that is not the only thing I have noticed! Since I have started this program, I have noticed some incredible things!
1. I notice that I miss the gym and my routine when I’m away from it.
I went on vacation for 2 weeks to sunny Florida. (Although my vacation involved yard work and not sitting on a beach!) I was getting some good physical exercise in and plenty of sweat - 85 degrees plus on most days! - pheww! While it was nice to get away, I noticed that I missed my routine and going to the gym. So I made an effort to do things while I was away to try to make sure that I did not totally go without doing some physical activity. I kept up with yard work, watched what I ate for the most part, and did pushups, squats, and a few other exercises I learned from WILCOX. To be honest, I was afraid of stepping backwards in this ”new life regimen” if I strayed too far from it so I did what I could to the best of my ability.
"After my vacation was up, I never thought I would be so happy to get back to the gym and my routine!"
2. I notice my WILCOX family has become an inspiration and motivation for me.
The best thing I’ve noticed that motivates me and gives me inspiration more than anything (even more than losing the inches and weight), are the people and trainers at WILCOX. I have met so many people that are so nice, so helpful, and so encouraging. It totally blows me away! You see I am a people person, and the power of kindness is undeniable. I try to be good to everyone and by doing that, you see them all respond back with niceness. I love how I talk to a lot of people at WILCOX and they talk to me. Some on a first name basis, others not, but we see each other weekly- sometimes more than we see some of our own family! We all say “hi”, we all high-five each other at the end of the workout, we all put out the best we can and work our butts off to accomplish our individual goals. Talk about inspiration! I look at the group at the end of our workout and see how hard everyone has worked, each and every one of us. But all-in-all the people, the trainers, and even the owners, are all a part of this inspirational family. One that I am proud to be a part of! To know I have made new friends and family at WILCOX is such a bonus!
3. I notice that we all have our own goals, but we also all share the same goal of wanting to live a healthier life.
Before I first started I thought most people there would already be in great shape and were working out because they enjoyed it, and that their goals would be very different from mine. But after getting started I was surprised at how many people from all walks of life come to WILCOX to workout and why they go there. I have known some of these people for years and surprisingly did not even realize that they came to WILCOX until I started here! People of all ages and professions, whose paths might never cross outside of the gym, come here and workout together and become part of this special group working towards their individual goals and a common goal. Whether it be to run a race, to lose weight and inches, or to just be able to play with their grandbabies a little longer, we all put out 100% to achieve our common goal of ultimately living healthier lives. This truly drives me and I feed off of my fellow gym goers and their energy. It inspires me to try to be healthier, to do more pushups, to hit harder and with better form in boxing, to push my cardio, to slam the ropes harder, to do more crunches, to try more reps, to push myself harder, and to strive to accomplish more every time I go to the gym! My WILCOX family does this magical thing for me called INSPIRATION!
4. I notice that this experience is unlike any other gym experience I have ever had.
The trainers at WILCOX are amazing, both old and new, each and every one of you look to keep us motivated and going. I have trained with all the trainers here now, even the owner, and I will tell you nothing compares to the leadership we get. I can’t help but feel inspired, when I hear my trainer telling me “You’re doing great” and calling me by my name as I’m working out. That really boosts my motivation!! That inspires me to give them more, dig deeper, and go further than I ever had before. So here’s to you Mike, Katie, Nick, and Adam! Keep up the good work! It keeps me striving to give you guys more! And Paige and Katie Rey, thank you for talking to me 5 months ago and getting me motivated to start this challenge! Without that inspiration you gave me to try this, who knows where I would be, but I guarantee - it would not be here, not feeling as good as I am right now!!
To all of you, you make this place feel like I’m part of a family. Thank you all so very much!!
We have spent the last few days getting settled into the rhythm of living and working in Costa Rica. One thing I’m really looking forward to with this trip is gaining a new perspective and establishing a new set of priorities.
I have a tendency to think that everything is super important so I approach business, life, parenting with a level of intensity that most people who are close to me can agree is a little much. I hope that living the Pura Vita (pure life) here in Costa Rica will help me pull out the handful of things that are actually important and let the other stuff slide.
Just to give a super simple example of this. At home I would spend Sunday meal planning and meal prepping. I would get frustrated if I wasn’t feeling ‘inspired’ about food for that week. I was always on the search of finding something new for my family to experience and with endless options in our American grocery store - I felt like there was nothing to eat. Not the case here... there are incredibly limited options in the grocery stores so essentially you get what you get. I am finding that I am getting even more creative and feeling more inspired feeding my family (with an increasingly picky 4 year old) with these limited options.
Here I am focused just on the priority of feeding my family and less interested in making it something super epic. The perspective that I have gained in this is that it really doesn’t matter if the options are limited as long as there are options.
What about you friend? Have you had any life experiences that have totally shifted your perspective and priorities? I want to hear it!
Also - please share any recipes involving beans and rice.
We made it to Costa Rica! (And 2 days later figured out the internet situation.). I have to say, I am absolutely blown away by how well the kids did on our travel day. #didntexpectthatone
We were all up at the crack of dawn in Bangor because we were #soexcited and we didn’t get settled into our room until after 1am. Brookie (our 1 year old) and I were then up 4am (local time) to listen to the birds wake up.
It really is incredible how portable and flexible kids actually are.
At home I spend so much time worrying about keeping a schedule or what it will mean if we miss a snack or don’t have access to the right foods. This travel day taught me to loosen up - the kids will be fine.
Also - #protip when your 4 year old asks to go to the bathroom on the plane for the 400th time. Let him. And - when he wakes up and blames you for spilling water on his lap... go with it.
The last 2 days have felt like a weeks worth of vacation. The kids have been in the pool, out of the pool, in the ocean, out of the ocean, making friends with locals (and aggressive birds at breakfast), on a jungle hike looking for monkeys, and learning some new words in Spanish. Then we all crash hard at the end of the day.
We will keep you posted weekly on our adventures but for now - I wanted to let you all know we are safe and sound and now have WiFi.
Sending lots of love and pura vita,
Paige & Mike❤️
John Pickering is such an inspiration to anyone who has the great privilege of seeing him train. The things he is able to do during his sessions is really incredible - most people 40 years younger would have trouble doing some of the movements he conquers! John has a terrific attitude about trying new exercises and to his overall training. He always gets to the gym early and stays after, which has really accelerated his ability to train and progress. Also, he rarely misses a session and when he does he makes it up within a week - truly committed to feeling great and being active inside and outside the gym. He is also eager to work through movements that are a challenge to him (he even asks his trainer, Nick to try them again so he can get better at them). We couldn't be more inspired by John and the attitude, mindset, and friendly personality that he brings to the gym every single time. Thank you, John - keep inspiring all of us at WILCOX, the trainers and all the clients appreciate everything you do.
I am officially 4 full months into my training program and have to admin that sometimes it can be hard to stay motivated and get to they gym, especially when it snows outside and all I want to do is stay in my warm house! That is why I made a list of things that are motivating to me. These are the things that are inspiring me to keep me going and to push through mental blocks (and snow days)!
1. My friends
“Share the Love February” was the great example of inspiration. I asked my friends to join me at Wilcox and without hesitation, everyone showed up! I woke up every gym day looking forward to introducing them to the place that I have given gallons of sweat to for the past 4 months. They gave it their all, kept up with the pace and (most) had smiles on their faces the whole time. I’m grateful for the opportunity to share those moments with my friends.
2. Sweat & the momentum of a great exercise session
I do believe that motivation gets you to the gym, but inspiration and perspiration keep you there! There is nothing more inspiring than that “groove” you get into during a fun group session. It may be the heavier weight that you can’t believe you lifted, the extra rep that you accomplished, or the time you beat. It may even be the person that you train next to… you may not know their name, but you notice that their clothing fits a little looser or they were trying boxing for the first time.
3. Fun and Play
Nothing motivates and inspires me more than fun! I can find fun in anything, like peeling vegetables, painting my kitchen, and brushing my dog. I internalize fun in my head… how many of these things can I do in a minute? Can I finish today? This all equates to every 45 second exercise at Wilcox, and I get to play with toys every time I go to the gym!
Who does not get inspired by music? Music is the tempo! I find that I skip rope to the beat and do some badass Lady Gaga lunges on the "dance floor" when I’m at Wilcox. But I have this thing for a song that I once loved...I now change the channel when I hear Thunderstruck (thanks Nick)!
5. The clothes in my attic
If I knew Marie Kondo and the Konmari Method of purging a year ago, all of the clothes that existed in tubs in my attic would NOT bring me joy. As a matter of fact, they stressed me out. Why would I keep jeans and dresses from 5 years ago? I knew that some day… some day, I just might fit in them. I moved those tubs 27 times in 5 years holding back the idea of “just donate them already”. Guess what my inspiration is? Those damn tubs. First I opened one and tried pants on THAT FIT. Whatever didn’t fit, I put in the next tub. A month later and I tried clothes in THAT tub, and guess what… THEY FIT TOO. Pretty soon, I’m going to try on the clothes in the next tub...but are shoulder pads still a thing?
6. The next Big Event and what I want to wear
This week, I went to a dress fitting at The Henry’s for the Friends of the Cross Center Gala. There were a dozen familiar ladies there of all sizes. Beautiful dresses are fitted, modeled, traded between dressing rooms, and discussed over desired style. I’ve never really felt comfortable (as a larger person) in a dress shop, but Molly presented me with a dress 4 sizes smaller than the year before….and it fit! The event is a month away and I know it will even fit better! I also love that 4 other Wilcox warriors in the room echoed the same sentiment!
7. Those social media before and afters
OK, we all look at them...the questionably Photoshopped before and after photos of people on social media. I want to look like them and be them, but I don’t like the green shakes they sell, the commercialized CDs they push, and the all-new-and-improved Thighmasters they invent. I want to read that they are real people who ate reasonably, lost weight slowly, exercised regularly, and didn’t have surgery or a magic pill to make it happen. I’m mostly inspired by challenge of transformation - I’m over trying to compare the journey because everyone is so different.
In the end, it is all about the high-five’s. From your trainer and gym partners after your workout, the ones from co-workers and family, and finally the one you give yourself at the end of the day.
In less than a week. My family and I are headed to Costa Rica for an ENTIRE MONTH. This has been a dream that my husband, Mike and I have been working on for the last 2 years since our first trip to Costa Rica together.
We have been asked so many questions about our trip, why we are going, if we are scared of leaving our life and business or a month (spoiler alert: yes - we are scared but we are doing it anyway), who will be in charge while we are gone, and what we are hoping to get out of the trip so I am sharing it all here. I hope our story will inspire you to make the decision to #goforit even if you are scared in your own life.
For anyone that doesn't know my story - my name is Paige Wilcox and my husband and I own Wilcox Wellness & Fitness - a private personal training business that we recently franchised. We have 2 locations - one in Bangor that we have been running for the last almost 7 years and one in Brunswick, Maine that opened in mid-January.
I met Mike 13 years ago on a blind date and married him 5 years later. I definitely married up - Mike is my best friend and partner in all things and I absolutely love spending every minute of every day with him. Not kidding! Together, we have two wild and crazy kids - Hazen is 4 and Brooklyn is 1.
I am originally from Rangeley, Maine - a super small, beautiful town in the western part of the great state of Maine. I come from a family of small business owners - my parents ran a convenience store when I was growing up and I always knew that I wanted to own and run my own business. Not for the typical reasons of ‘being my own boss’ but more for the lifestyle freedom that you can build when you own a business.
I love travel, I love adventure, I love immersing myself in new cultures. It has always been my goal to be able to live and work from anywhere in the world. (Don’t worry - Bangor, Maine will always be my forever home.) I have always made travel a priority in my life and I been lucky enough to do a lot a lot of travel in my lifetime. I have backpacked through Europe, been in the Amazon jungle, and traveled through India.
I love the way travel opens you up to view the world in a different way and provides immense amounts of perspective. For the last 2 years, my husband and I have been working on our #lifegoals and planning a month-long live / work trip to Costa Rica with our 2 young kids - ages 4 & 1. We leave in next week - it is terrifying, exciting, and super epic. It’s going to be an amazing adventure!
This trip will be our first experiment in ‘working from anywhere’ - wish us luck! We feel very confident in the team, processes, and business that we have built in order to physically leave the building for a month. Thanks to technology, we will still be very much connected to the business.
It is scary to leave our business for an entire month - we have never done that before and really our business is our baby. And our franchise business is our newborn baby. But - our real babies - Hazen and Brooklyn are only going to be this little for so long. And I am so excited to have this adventure with them - to connect with them through travel - to see the wonder on their faces - to see monkeys in real life - and to open up their minds to the greatest possibilities. It is scary - but anything worth wild is scary so do it anyway. We only get this one life and we get to decide how to live it.
I feel so lucky. I absolutely LOVE my work. A lot of people have asked me why I don’t just want to disconnect and totally be in #vactationmode for the month. The truth is - I love running the business. I love the team I support. I love the clients we serve. I love brainstorming new ideas. I love creating things to serve our clients better. To me full on vacation mode isn’t desirable - it would be like saying you can’t watch your favorite TV show, or eat your favorite food, or talk to your best friend or your mom, while you are on vacation because you need to disconnect from that thing. But the truth is, doing those things would enhance your overall vacation experience. I hope that makes sense.
I think having the opportunity to get away for a solid chunk of time really gives you the opportunity to look at your life, your family, your business, and your priorities with a new perspective. I think that when we are at home, working, grocery shopping, meal prepping, shuttling the kids around, and doing all the things we can lose sight of the bigger picture. I strive to live a really intentional life. I know that life is what you make it and I think that sometimes you need to get out of your daily routine in order to really be able to truly figure out what you want out of life. Things like... How you want to feel on a daily basis. The relationships that you want to have with the ones you love the best. The impact that you want to create in the world. The thoughts that float through your mind.
I remember one time I was going through a particularly stressful time with an old job (I was an account manager for a scientific distribution company) Mike and I went on vacation together. It was just a week - we were in Puerto Rico and I was having a hard time disconnecting from work - or work was having a hard time disconnecting from me back in the days where disconnecting was my goal. I had to be on a conference call on vacation in Puerto Rico on the way to the boat for our snorkeling adventure. I had a lot on my mind after that call and boarding the boat. I remember then putting my snorkel gear on and putting my head in the water. There was a whole beautiful world down there that I hadn’t even considered moments prior. It made my problems feel so small in the best way possible. The fish would still be swimming, the seaweed would still be swaying, and the waves would still be rolling regardless of what was going on in my life. And I feel like that is what travel does for us. It puts our life into perspective.
I am really excited to have the opportunity to step back and really assess where we are and gain a lot of perspective going forward. I hope that our experience inspires other people to fully go for it in their life and do something that scares them. It may not be travel related but really finding the thing that will set their soul on fire, light them up, and make them excited to jump out of the bed in the morning. Maybe that means applying for a new job, starting a new business, going back to school, or asking that special someone out on a date. Whatever it is, I say throw caution to the wind, go for it - especially if you are scared. What is the worst that could happen? Malaria for the whole family…. Eek - maybe - hopefully not - don’t think that way, Paige!
I am confident that our whole trip is not going to be rainbows and butterflies, monkeys and waterfalls. We have an 18 hour travel day to get there with 2 kids under 5 and 2 adults who don’t like to sit still. Our strategy is to bribe the 4 year old with a various assortment of gum (solid, right?) and pray that he entertains the 1 year old. [Now accepting responsible parent travel advice - come at me!]
Outside of the challenge of the travel day, I will have the challenge of figuring out how to balance the family time with working time. I will still have phone calls to support our franchise business and our team in Bangor and other work to do to keep the momentum of the business humming. I love my work - my challenge will be dialing that back enough to really let the amazingness of our trip and extra family time sink in.
If I am being fully vulnerable here, I am also a little scared of what it will mean to have my kids 24/7. I have never done that before outside of my maternity leaves. I am scared that I won’t have what it takes to be the very best version of myself for them every minute of every day. And then I am scared of beating myself up on that. #iwillkeepyoupostedonthatone
I don’t even want to think about what it will mean when our 34 days of utopia are up but I truly hope that by that time I am itching to get home, get back into our comfortable routine, and eat an American cheeseburger again.
I hope that this trip brings our family even closer together - that our kids see that you can do anything in life that you decide to do - and that life is meant to be fully enjoyed. I am so excited to play full out - embrace the adventure and the challenge - and be transformed in the process.
I hope that we bring home a new perspective from Costa Rica that we can use to serve our clients and our team better.
I hope that the moment we get home, we start planning our next adventure!
So tell me - what is your next adventure? How do you want it to make you feel? What scares you about it? I want to hear it!
I believe that everything happens for a reason. I believe that your story is what makes you unique and that every difficult time in your life that you go through prepares you for something better. I believe that we can find good in every situation. And that there is meaning to even the most difficult experiences that we go through.
After I delivered my first baby - I just wasn’t feeling right. For a very long time - about 9 months postpartum. At the time I was working as an account manager - I had long hours - I had to travel regularly for work - and I was trying to adjust to being a new mother. But I was EXHAUSTED. I was doing all the things - sleeping 10 hours per night, eating well, exercising - and nothing helped. I felt like my body was collapsing on itself - right on the centerline. My vision was impacted - I had trouble focusing - I was m i s e r a b l e. AND - it was supposed to be the happiest time of my life. I kept telling my doctors and they kept dismissing me saying - ‘you are going to be tired, you are a new mother.’ It made me feel like I wasn’t doing this life right - was every mother really this tired all the time?
Fortunately, my husband helped me keep pushing for more tests and more answers. I will never forget the call I got from the doctor one Thursday afternoon when I was driving home from a work stretch in Connecticut. He knew I traveled for work - he said “Where are you? You need to get home. Your TSH level is 17.” [Your TSH should be below 2 - most people feel good with it being below 1.] And with that he *finally* referred me to an endocrinologist who diagnosed me with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis - an autoimmune disorder that impacts energy levels, the ability to focus, and a whole host of other symptoms that I was experiencing.
That experience has allowed me to connect more deeply on how important it is to feel good. I had this horrible experience of feeling terrible so I am able to connect more deeply with others who are also just so tired. It has also made me obsessed with managing my own energy levels - not just physically through nutrition and exercise, but also mentally by learning and growing, and spiritually by doing the things, being in the spaces, and being with the people that make me happy.
I would love to connect with you and hear your story. What negatives have you gone through and turned positive? Let me know here.
When Mike and I first opened Wilcox Wellness & Fitness, we worked intensively with our business advisor through CEI (supported by the Small Business Administration). Tom was amazing for us - 1 part business advisor, 2 parts marriage counselor, and 100% amazing.
When Allison was in the process of evaluating our franchise offering, we recommended that she find her local CEI office and get connected with an advisor.
Opening a new business is one of the scariest things anyone will ever do. It takes guts. It takes courage. And it takes a lot of faith.
Allison's advisor, Brad helped her evaluate the numbers so she could make the best decision possible. As Allison said in this article, “This is the scariest thing I’ve ever done. CEI’s help gave me confidence in the numbers. Every time I feel that entrepreneurial dilemma, I go back to the numbers,”
I (we) are so thankful for the incredible free resource of CEI that we have in this great state to support small business. We would not be here today without you. Thank you, CEI!
If anyone is interested in starting a new business and wants to hear more about our experience, please don't hesitate to reach out. There are so many great resources that are 100% invested in your success.
CEI wrote an incredible article on the Allison's story - click here to read on.
Having a tough day? Or a series of tough days strung together for the last week or month or year... It happens. Of course. And I’ve been there more times than I would wish on anyone. But just so you know, I’ve gotten through it. And you will, too. I always get through it. And you will, too. And I believe that everything in life happens not to us but for us. Every hardship that we go through makes us who we are, prepares us for something bigger, and helps us appreciate the good times even more. A smooth sea didn't make for a skillful sailor. Whether it’s personal, professional, or seemingly totally out of your control. I know you’ll come out swinging. And friend, I’m rooting for you. Anything I can do to help?