Measuring Growth

“Growth demands a temporary surrender of security. It may mean giving up familiar but limiting patterns, safe but unrewarding work, values no longer believed in, and relationships that have lost their meaning.”

John C. Maxwell


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I’m not sure at what point I finally decided to grow up, I’m just glad I did. I will continue to grow until the day I die. It probably would have taken me a longer time to notice my progress if the people around me didn’t it acknowledge it. I appreciate my loved ones for that. Seeing the improvement I made just made me want to work even harder. Seeing what I did with 50% effort opened my eyes to what I can do with 100% effort. Depending on who you “roll” with, growing sometimes means you lose friends. The two reasons are because they aren’t ready to grow or because they’re just growing in a different way. I have lost friends, I have had to make sacrifices, I have had sleepless night preparing myself for important meetings and you want to know something? I regret nothing.

My big problem today was sitting here figuring out what words I can say to you that will convince you that you can grow as well. What I realized there is most likely nothing I can say to you that you haven’t heard from your parents, guardians, teachers, friends, a TV commercial, etc. “Keep going”, “You are capable of anything”, “It’s never too late”,”Yes, you can”. These simple sayings sometimes go in one ear and out the other. I know that because I used to let words like those do that all the time. My wish in writing this is that maybe this will be the time you listen. If it’s not, that sucks but I hope that eventually someone, if they haven’t already, will get to you and convince you.You really do have the capability to go out and live the life you want. The road there will be bumpy no doubt, but as long as you’re willing to work hard, the bumps won’t ever stop you.

Words often times aren’t enough either. That’s why I publicize most of my story, not just with my blog but with the pictures and videos I take. With the internet, you never know who is paying attention, who you may be inspiring. For example, my video may convince someone to get up off their ass and go workout and that’s just one of the goals.So thank you for letting me share my growth with you. I hope you continue to read my blog!


My campaign is still open for donation. If you have no idea what my campaign is for, click here and read up. Donate if you can! Any donation, no matter how big or small, is deeply appreciated. I do not keep a single dollar, all of it goes towards the projects listed. Thank you!

Gofundme.com/CleopatrasArmy

How Cleopatra Conquered the Nike Women’s Toronto 15k

*Throws two thumbs up*, “Jackie did you get the picture?

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Photo by @Jacbeale

Those were my first words after crossing the finish line back in Toronto. I wanted to make sure I got the perfect finish line picture. Unfortunately, I didn’t. In fact, almost all of my race pictures sucked! I was losing my voice and had a nasty cough while I was in TO. Of course, almost every race photographer caught a shot of me coughing or sneezing. And it’s not even liked I was dressed all cute to make up for the ugly faces. My hair was a mess under my hat and it was showing, so I have about two good race pictures. The rest look like I am struggling to get some air. But who cares?! I finished.race_1286_photo_20044716race_1286_photo_20010872

About two and a half months of training that kinda felt like an entire year. I was doing about 15 to 20 miles per week up until Toronto(still going to do the same amount even though the race is over). I was going to tons of Nike sessions, I was running crew hopping, I was strength training, all while still building up my own Cleopatra’s Army classes. My goal was to finish in under two hours, I finished around an hour and 37 minutes.. (Haven’t calculated it exactly yet, but I’ll get back to you guys on that). I was running 10 minute miles and the race was 9.3 miles so you can estimate about how long it took me to complete it. For my first race, I am very proud of that time. I did not stop running and I pushed all the way through.

However, I did not make it this far all by myself. I wouldn’t not have been able to do it without the constant support from the people I have connected with in the running community and within Nike. I had a pleasure representing Nike NYC throughout this journey. This was my first race, but it will not be my last!

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To anyone reading this who isn’t a runner, you should really think about starting. Especially if you’re in NYC. If you want to run alone, there are so many places, paths, and tracks to do so. If you want to run with other people there are some many running crews you can become a part of. I bet there’s one in your neighborhood and you didn’t even know it!

I never realized how amazing it is to simply run miles with other people, but I promise you it is great. The running community is strong, and non runners often times don’t understand it or get a chance to see it. Being that I transitioned from a person who initially hated running to a person who loves to run, I can tell you the transition is worth the hard work. Running long distance is much more a mental battle than it is physical and don’t let anyone tell you different. Running has so little to do with age or weight, it has to do with YOU and YOUR MIND.You have to convince yourself to keep going even when everything in you wants to stop. Start small and then gradually push further and further. That’s how I did it. Who knows you may even come to find that running long distances is easier for you than you thought. Trust me I’ve seen it happen.

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photo by @ajaninyc

Wait, Ajani caught one of me smiling.


Also my campaign is still open for donation. If you have no idea what my campaign is for, click here and read up. Donate if you can! Any donation, no matter how big or small, is deeply appreciated. I do not keep a single dollar, all of it goes towards the projects.

Gofundme.com/CleopatrasArmy

Armored Core Challenge Pt. 2

IMG_1858 IMG_1878IMG_1873I’m proud of the progress my body has made within the last year. I’ve been training hard and the hard work has paid off. It’s going to be hard to catch me with my stomach covered this summer!

Here’s a little ab challenge that I did this week and you guys should definitely try it.

40 Sit Ups – 6 lbs medicine ball overhead

25 Leg raises – 4 lbs ankle weights on each leg

1 min plank hold (elbows)

45 sec active rest

1 min side plank hold (left)

1 min side plank hold (right)

40 Russian twists – 6 lbs medicine ball

Scissor kicks – 4 lbs ankle weights on each leg

1 min plank hold (elbows)

90 sec break

Repeat once

This is not a beginners workout! However, if you’re an eager beginner and want to try this workout you can, you just have to tweak it a bit. Try the same workout just exclude all the different weights I included or lower the reps/time of the exercises. If you feel you’re more advanced than this, repeat it twice, increase the reps, use heavier weights, whatever you feel is better for you. The ball is in your court!

How to have a quality summer

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I live for warm weather so trust me when I say I suffered through the horrible winter we had here in New York. Now that it’d practically summer time Cleopatra’s Army and I are here to embrace this awesome weather with you.

Let’s start with staying hydrated. I post about why staying hydrated is so important all the time. Now that the weather is warming up it is super important to remember to stay hydrated. You sweat more when the weather is hot so that means your body is losing more water. In order to get that back you have to drink more water! Since I have the honor of being you guys’ favorite Drip Drop ambassador, you should also keep some around with you this summer too.

As far as workouts go, you know I have your back. I have two classes every weekend from 2pm-3pm now. You can either just show up or come to the class using class pass. Don’t know what ClassPass is? Click here to learn more about it. The next classes are June 6th and June 7th from 2-3pm. Both classes (without using class pass) are $10 per person. All genders welcome! I know that’s pretty new for Cleopatra’s Army stuff. These classes will be full body workouts and will feature different guests, and goodies. If you’re a beginner/intermediate when it comes to fitness, these are the perfect classes for you. Don’t like training around other people? That’s fine, you can contact me about personal training.

Go somewhere! Traveling is so important. You never want to be stuck in your same area for too long. I leave for Toronto next week and I’ll be going to Atlanta in June. Make sure you get a chance to go somewhere this summer. You don’t even have to go far but just go! If you don’t have the financial means, public transportation goes a long way. Spend your summer going to places you’ve never been in your area.

I know not many of you are really in to community service but Cleopatra’s Army is very involved with things like that. About two weeks ago some army members and I, helped clean and restore the Saint Nicholas Park Dog Run in Harlem. It was a workout but it was time well spent. If you’re looking for some community service opportunities and don’t want to do it alone, Cleopatra’s Army is at your service. Contact me if you want to learn about volunteer work all over NYC. If you’re not in NYC or just don’t feel like doing any manual labor, you can donate to my campaign. All the money goes to my different projects to help others. If you want to donate or learn more about Cleopatra’s Army projects, click here and read up. Donate if you can! Any donation, no matter how big or small, is deeply appreciated.

Gofundme.com/CleopatrasArmy

No More Excuses

I get hundreds, yes I mean hundreds, of questions about health and fitness. I try to answer as many as I can for all of you. Just because I’m not famous or super rich, doesn’t mean I don’t know a lot about the field I’m in. Trust me, I do!

Right now I am very affordable compared to other trainers/ instructors. My classes or the classes I take part in never exceed a fee of $25 and my personal training varies but never more than $75 per week. If you cannot afford me or if you don’t live in NYC that’s okay. It’s clearly not the end of the world. There are plenty of other ways to get in a great workout. Most of the claims for not working out I get are as follows: Too many distractions, not enough space, lack of motivation. No more of this please! I have all the posts about how to fix these problems but let me refresh your memory just incase.

If you have too many distractions, it is up to you and only you to change that. Find a quiet place to workout (rooftop, park space, basement, etc.), put your phone on airplane mode or something and just go to work! Only you can change an issue like that, you have to be determined to eliminate those distractions. If you tell yourself you can’t, you never will. Also, you can’t find any quiet spaces (which I am almost positive is impossible) learn how to lose yourself in a workout. You may hear people say “Fitness is 90% mental and 10% physical”, or something along those lines. It’s true! When you’re focused on nothing else but your task, it becomes so much easier to do. Just convince yourself you are capable of doing whatever it is, and you will do it, or go out trying your best.

Space is never a real issue, unless you are locked in a dungeon. If so, call the police. If you’re not locked in a dungeon, this applies to you. There are many worthy exercises that can be done in small spaces. I give plenty of examples in my videos on instagram, so fish through those and find some you like. If you’re not a member of a gym, and feel like you need more space than just your bedroom/dorm room, fear not, I have the greatest solution ever. Go outside! You can use the stairs in your building, the park in your neighborhood, your friend’s house who has more space, there are tons of options. You just have to be motivated enough to go outside and really get work done. Be confident, throw one some workout gear, find the perfect spot for you and work up a sweat. I know you can do it!

Motivation is entirely mental. I’ll use myself as an example of course. Many of you know some of my story due to previous blog posts and things that I post on my other social networks. I used to have hate pages harass me and the companies I did business with just to try and ruin me. I never let that stop me. I used to get nasty comments on this site about how Nike would never notice me and blah blah blah. Forget all the negativity and just do what you need to get done. I ignored the BS and now I’ve been working alongside Nike while building up #CleopatrasArmy. Find a reason to get fit/ stay fit and focus on that and nothing else when it comes time to exercise.

This awesome video was created By Ajani. Book him for your photo/video needs.

Double A Flyer(May2nd)Next Double A Fitness class is May 2nd from 2-3pm. It’s being held at 520 8th Avenue on the 16th floor, room 16h. There is a $10 fee. Come out and sweat with us ladies!

Also my campaign is still open for donation. If you have no idea what my campaign is for, click here and read up. Donate if you can! Any donation, no matter how big or small, is deeply appreciated.

Gofundme.com/CleopatrasArmy

Double A Fitness: Abs & Ass Fitness

IMG_1373 IMG_1734IMG_1724IMG_1672IMG_1655 IMG_1355 IMG_1352 IMG_1421 IMG_1417 IMG_1398 IMG_1395 IMG_1394Saturday April 18, 2015 guess who had another great Double A Fitness class? We did! Thank you to the ladies who attended and my partner in fitness Essence.

Three amazing young ladies attended. They worked hard and went home with a lot of DripDrop to call their own. People asked me how I felt about the turn out, and I am fine with just three ladies. Would I like to have more ladies attending the next class? Of course, but that doesn’t mean I don’t still see this class as a success. I got to do what I love once again and influence young ladies to do better for their bodies. I am so proud of that!

The next class is on May 2nd from 2-3pm at 520 8th Avenue in Manhattan (Ripley Grier Studios). I’ll update this post when I have the specific room information and post about it all over my social networks. If you want to come, just hit me up so I can keep you posted. I have a special gift for the attendees of this next class.

Also don’t forget to donate to Cleopatra’s Army projects if you can GoFundMe.com/CleopatrasArmy . Any donation is appreciated, no matter how small! Thank you.

 

One, two, three – Stretch!


ByAjani 2015ByAjani 2015

Stretching is very important and for several years there have been so many debates on when is a good time to stretch. Countless studies and research but different people follow different stretching “rules”. To be clear, you should be stretching all your muscle groups on a daily basis.

I stretch at least three times per day. Since I have been training for the Nike Women’s Toronto 15k, I’ve been running pretty much everyday. I know some people say you shouldn’t run everyday but after reading this book on Kenyan running I have changed the way I train. But anyways, I stretch a little bit before I run. I do not stretch too much before a run because I try not to stretch while my muscles are cold, so to speak. I read a couple of articles saying that you should stretch after your body is a little warmed up. When I finish a run, that’s when I go full out with all my stretching. This method works for me and all the people I run with so it could work for you as well.

Why is stretching important you ask? Muscles, like other tissues in our body, need to be well circulated and healthy. Stretching helps increase the circulation of blood in your muscles, increases your range of motion, reduces muscle tension, and reduces the risk of injuries.

In conclusion, MAKE SURE YOU ARE STRETCHING EVERYDAY. Know your body and know its limits. Make sure after you work out, you get in a good stretch. Not stretching can harm your body while stretching can be extremely helpful. Keep that in mind!

Also, donations to Cleopatra’s Army are still welcomed. If you have contributed thank you so much! If you haven’t please go to GoFundMe.com/CleopatrasArmy, and read about the different projects I am trying to raise money for. If you like what you read, please donate. Any amount, no matter how small, is appreciated. Thank you!

ByAjani 2015 ByAjani 2015Photos Taken by Ajani.

The official website of #CleopatrasArmy General, Cleopatra Lee.

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