Start the New Year with a Punch!

January. While it’s one of the coldest months for many, and often promises the start of a long winter ahead, January also promises a sense of rebirth, renewal, and a chance to improve on the year before. Yet, for so many of us, by February 1st we have forgotten our lofty goals and laundry list of resolutions. So how do you make sure this doesn’t happen?! For me, I’m starting 2015 off with a punch - literally and figuratively!

I truly believe nothing in life is worth doing if you’re not going to give it your all, and put in 100% effort. What’s the point, otherwise? If you’ve chosen resolutions you don’t feel you’ll be able to attack with full force, then pick new ones - otherwise you're just setting yourself up for failure. Once you're set on these resolutions, go for them, and go for them with all your heart and soul. In some ways, you are attacking them, and in turn attacking your life.

I love this kind of fighter mentality when used for such positive outcomes in our lives. Fighting to the death (figuratively in this case, of course) for something you believe in, or want to accomplish, is the most empowering and exciting way to go about life. And whether you “fail” or succeed, you will gain strength, wisdom, and experience from letting go of fear and just going for it.

This is why we are kicking off the year with UFC Gym! While UFC, as a sport, is still controversial, due to the violent nature of MMA fighting — it can’t be denied that the practice, the workout, and the ultimate dedication of these incredible athletes is nothing but inspiring. Going through just a few UFC training sessions left me feeling untouchable, less fearful, empowered, and energized (not to mention I could barely feel the muscles in my shoulders for a week due to the intense upper body — and full body — workout!).

What struck me the most was: Despite my apprehensions about the violence of the sport which inspired this training method, I found that UFC gym, their trainers, and my practice there felt anything but violent. Coach Ramzey told me from the start, “You don’t ever have to punch another person if you don’t want to, that’s actually such a small part of what our training is about!” And he couldn’t be more accurate. Truthfully, I have no desire to ever punch anyone, but man, did it feel amazing to throw some solid punches at those pads and a heavy bag! I went into the octagon feeling completely apprehensive and pretty nervous, and came out feeling like I could conquer the world - literally.

I hope you feel the same sense of empowerment and inspiration to let go of your fears as you read through our first week of content of 2015! Barry’s Bootcamp devotee Susan Harrison made the decision at age 40 to tackle her fitness head on; Body by Simone nutritionist Dara Godfrey shares concrete ways to stick to your eating cleaner goals in 2015; Sarah Huntington adds a punch of much-needed color to our workout wear (we know, color is scary for some); and UFC fighter Levi LaLonde exposes the world of MMA fighting — and how it became his passion.

As you head into your first full week of 2015 - let go of fear, and get ready to attack this year with your whole heart!

Happy New Year!

Aly Teich
Founder, CEO, and Host
The Sweat Life