Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Life's a Trip

Tomorrow marks 1 year since I created the Disciplined Indulgence Blog.
It's also the day Mister AC asked me to be his wife!
Last week, Andrew told me to "Take a Hike!"
No, he doesn't want a divorce! :) He wants me to be happy! So he's sending me away to one of my favorite places, Santa Cruz Island
off the coast of Santa Barbara
The picture above was taken on one of my solo adventures to Santa Cruz Island, about 1 months after I returned from a trip to Tasmania. You can see my little blue tent in the left hand corner

Thanks to the love and support of the amazing man I've married, I've begun to embark on several new adventures. Journey #1: I’m jumping back on the trail, of formal education, that I left a long time ago when I left college because my career as a professional dancer had taken off.  I had no clue how to return to school since I had no clue how I had even gotten there in the first place-I had been given scholarships for Ceramics and Photography and no one ever gave me a map in case I decided to return. Thankfully I've found my way back, thanks to much inquiry, and by surrounding myself with productive and supportive people. Journey #2: I'm recovering from the loss of the Controlled Burn Fitness Studio due to that fire in May. This event spurred me on to pursue the LEAP Program at Saint Mary's of California thanks to Career Transitions for Dancers. Journey #3: Taking a Hike! I need to disappear in order to find myself. Anytime I’ve ever been on the brink of a new and intimidating personal journey, I’ve made it a point to head out on a physical, solitary adventure. I’ve found these getaways to be so helpful with gaining perspective on my intentions and expectations, and these adventures give me uninterrupted time to really map out a plan of action.
I want to thank you for reading this far and if you have read any of my previous posts, wow, I am humbled. There is something so powerful, humbling and exciting about being able to transport a person to places where I’ve been. Stories come from experience; my experiences have all been adventures, my adventures have all contained personal epiphanies, and all of my personal epiphanies have coincided with my wilderness adventures. The fact that you've read any of them means so much to me.

Part of my blog's title reads:  "...Every Day Should be a Journey. This is Mine…”

I am so happy that you want to come along!

I invite y’all to share your journeys with me. Please feel free to post links to your blog, website, twitter, or feel free to ask any questions and post comments.

Here’s to the next year of wonderful advedntures!

Can’t wait! J

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Life Lessons from My Kayak

Overall, I can easily say that my life is pretty wonderful.
But I am human. Even I have my sad days, or moments of helplessness.
There will always be challenges and life is not always puppies and rainbows, but I am always so happy each day when I wake up and know that I still have the ability to breathe, move, laugh, smile, and make decisions for myself and care for the ones I love.
I can give much thanks to all the time I spend on the water, with my kayak, for giving me a positive outlook on life.
I can rely on the ocean to help soothe my sorrows…and to teach me a lesson, or two.
I go kayaking to make my life better, to gain perspective, and to renew my will to move forward regardless of what obstacles may be waiting for me along the way.
When the going gets tough, I go kayaking.
The moment I’m out on the water I’m reminded of how lucky I am to be able to move. Without fail, if I’ve hit the water to work out some demons, a moment of calm can override my volatility, within moments of my paddle hitting the water.

While kayaking, I am easily reminded that I cannot fight the tide. I have to go with the flow, relax, enjoy the journey...all the good, the bad, and unexpected that comes with it.
Life is very much like ocean kayaking; one cannot truly be happy when fighting the ebbs and flows of life.
When I go kayaking, I ride a fine line between control and surrender. I find this balancing act to be wonderfully invigorating and very therapeutic. While kayaking, the water is my master and I’m always aware that Mother Nature is really the one in control.
As in life, while on the water, things can turn ugly without warning and I must not fight them. If I try to fight the tide, I will exhaust myself and, in a truly challenging situation, there is a chance I may die.
I have learned many lessons about life while being challenged on the water.
I’ve learned that proper planning, my ability to be alert and connected with body & mind is essential to keeping me safe and happy while on my adventures. Knowing better not to throw myself into harm’s way by putting myself into situations that are beyond my ability is essential to my safety, longevity, well being. I also choose my kayaking companions wisely. I choose to surround myself with kind, considerate, and productive people on the water (and in life)…if they have respect for their well-being it is pretty easy to assume they will respect others.
Kayaking has taught me that if I do not take inventory of all my gear and make sure that my kayak is in great condition, I cannot expect it to keep me safe. I take care of my body the way I take care of my kayak…as if my life depends on it…my life does depend on how I take care of it.
I’m not saying everyone should go kayaking (most people are freaked out by the water) but I do encourage everyone to start moving, start taking inventory of the people they surround themselves with, take inventory of what they have been doing to and with their body.
I encourage people to get to know their body and their mind. Respect it. Stop ignoring it. There is so much we can learn when we stop trying to turn things off.
I encourage everyone find their “kayaking.”
Life is as difficult as we want to make it. J

Enjoy the ride!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My Official Goodbye to the Original Controlled Burn Fitness Studio Location

 Here's the Complete Story
with pictures!

Looking back at where I've been Melissa Adylia Calasanz of Controlled Burn Fitness
Looking back at where I've been
Melissa Adylia Calasanz of Controlled Burn Fitness

On the morning of May 24th, 2011
I woke up at 5:15am, excited that I'd slept in past 4am on my day off. I had planned on spending the day enjoying an early morning hike along the Morro Ridge Trail in Crystal Cove State Park followed by some quality time with my kayak in Newport Bay. I was surprised to see a voice message on my cell phone, and noticed I had missed a call that had come in at 12:45am. All I could think was "who the heck do I know in Glendale who would be calling me in the middle of the night." It turns out it was one of the calls no business owner wants to get...it was from the Glendale Police Department. The officer said "Hello, this is the Glendale Police Department. I am calling about an incident at your business. Please call us back at this number ________. Your incident report number is________."

I figured it wouldn't be anything too bad, Most likely just some drunk bar-fly, from The Blue Moon Lounge, passed out and fell through the window or something. Nothing bad ever happens in North Glendale. Wrong. L Once I got a hold of the GPD, I was instructed to call the Glendale Fire Department.

I knew this wasn't going to be good
It wasn't. I was informed that there was a fire but they wouldn't tell me what had happened or how bad the damage was. All they could tell me was "you need to get to your business now."
Well, I was not thrilled. Not only was I freaking out thinking that everything I had worked so hard for, over the last 3 years, was literally down in flames, but I now had to drive 42 miles at peak traffic hour on a weekday. Anyone who knows about heading from Orange County through Downtown LA on the 5 Freeway, knows that it is anything but fun.
I didn't shower. Didn't even think to brush my teeth (which really grossed me out about 10 minutes into my drive once I realized it-eeew!). I just put on my clothes, and barely whispered to my husband (who was still my fiancee at the time) "I have to go." He looked so confused because he knew it was my day off and I could tell he heard the stress, fear, and tears in my voice. I didn't want to worry him because there was nothing he could have done. I just told him that "something happened at the studio..."
and instantly he said "do you want me to go with you?"
(He's the best!)
I wouldn't let him. No use in ruining his day too, when there really was nothing he could do.
However, I did call Miss Tina H., once I was on the road.  She has been one of the most influential people in my life. She's known me since I was 17; happens to be my high-school-sweetheart's Mom; and if it was not for her, the Controlled Burn Fitness Studio wouldn't have existed in the first place. She had been my business advisor and voice of reason for many years. I may not have a biological mother who is still living, but I have Tina, and I don't think I could ask for anyone better for keeping my head on straight. J

When I arrived at the studio, things didn't look too bad

It pretty much looked like the photo above, which was taken on July 12th, 2008
the first week the studio opened.
Sadly, the little deli next door to my studio was pretty much burnt to a crisp.
I really thought I dodged a bullet! Things were looking up...

Until I "looked up" a little closer

That hole wasn't there when I left the day before.
But, really, a little hole on the facade? No problem, I could deal with that!

But why was my bathroom mirror completely smashed to bits

and sitting outside, in front of the studio?

This really wasn't making any sense.

I needed to investigate...hmmm, but my key wouldn't turn the lock on the door. The door was completely mangled, and no locksmiths were open at that hour (it was only 6:15am at that point-I drove like a maniac), so I did the only logical thing a girl would do
I called My Mechanic!
Greg came right away. He used a little hatched to bust the deadbolt
and we went inside.
Turns out, the fire department had used their hatchets to pry open the door, bending the metal framing. They were kind enough to "lock" the door behind them
using the hatched to pry the framing closed.

It only cost a few dollars to fix
: /

We were instantly greeted with that distinct fire-y stench
but all looked pretty good.
Until I opened the bathroom door.

OK, now I know why my mirror was outside

Hmmm, I don't remember removing the door to the crawl-space either
or having a skylight
but it sure is bright in here

Oh, Hi Neighbor!

Aren't glory holes supposed to be a little bit lower

Well, I think I can fix that with a little re-decorating
No one will ever know, right?
; )

Looks like the neighbors decided to do a little remodeling too

Their skylight is much bigger than mine
Philly Cheese Steak, anyone?

On the Bright Side
No one was hurt.
Sadly, the little deli next door to the Controlled Burn Fitness studio was a complete loss. They had an electrical fire that started with a commercial fridge. Unfortunately, their insurance is refusing to pay and the city has been dragging their heels with the building/construction permits.

Big Decisions to Support a Happy, Healthy, and Active Life
Today is September 6th
repairs and construction haven't even begun on my unit.
That's 4 months of my life, and my business, that have been hanging in limbo.
This fire came just after I had to deal with a flood in February, which was caused by the tenant  behind my studio (who is M.I.A.). The loss was below my deductible
so I had to eat the almost $800 in ruined yoga bolsters and other supplies.

Before the fire I had really been reevaluating my choice to keep the studio, considering that I lived 42 miles away, and the long drive was really beginning to take a toll on me.
Commuting has always been something I worked hard to avoid, yet it is unavoidable when living so far away and having an obligation to such wonderful people who make me forget about the commute
the moment their Personal Training sessions begin.
When I had opened the Controlled Burn Fitness studio, it fit perfectly into the life I had worked so hard to create. I always wanted to live within walking distance of work; I lived exactly 3.5 miles from my apt
when I signed the lease on the fitness studio.
It really was perfect.

But things change
Priorities change
Life changes

My values have not changed
I choose to live a healthy, happy, active life.
Spending an extra 9 hours a week, sitting in a car, on the crazy highways of Los Angeles, has done nothing to contribute to the life that I want to nurture.
I had become stressed, constantly tense, for 45 minutes each morning, tyring not to get clobbered by all the big-rig trucks that speed at about 85mph at 4:15am when I hit the road on my way to my morning clients. The commute home was even more miserable. If I didn't leave Glendale before noon, I would usually have at least  an hour and a half to 2 1/2 hours stuck in traffic. My income was going to the gas companies, and to the upkeep uf my car. Time on the road was not allowing me to spend time on taking care of my body, my mind, or the wonderful man who was working so hard to provide us a wonderful life. I was no longer able to fit the activities I loved into my day because
I had to accommodate the commute and my clients.
I was spending my time on the road.
My body has not responded well to this life.

So I'm ending it!
The commute
The stress
The waste of time
The lack of life

It needs to end 
I constantly began to think "how could I possibly continue to be an inspiring or motivating influence on my clients when I was no longer able to motivate myself
due to the choices I had been making.

I want my life back!
I need to make my life here, in Orange County, with my wonderful husband who has been so supportive through all of this. Never pushing me to give up my business, because he knows how much I loved it. Even though he's been watching it suck the life out of me, while I've been
waiting for some miracle to get it rebuilt.
Even though he knows just as well as I do that it really isn't "good business" to "run" a business from so far away.  He never pushed me to stop driving up to Glendale, though he did begin to insist that
I drive his car because he feels it is safer.

I tell my clients that life is about choices
 I tell them that each of us has the power to create the life we want; that we need to take care of our health and happiness in order to have
something to give to the ones we love.

I was becoming a hypocrite.
I was putting my loyalty to the health and happiness of my clients, before my own.

I was no longer leading by example.
It's been easy to put my clients first, because I love what I do. I adore my clients and value them as people, as friends, and as hard-working, impressive, and inspiring human beings.

My clients are people I am proud to know.
They are people I will miss dearly.
But they will do great without me.
They are strong...body and mind.
I have given them plenty of information to keep their bodies pain and injury-free. I know they will find others who can take care of their needs.
I am not abandoning anyone.
I will be available to be booked at least 2x per month
when it fits into my schedule.

I'm not turning my back on my old life

I'm saying hello to my future
Wishing y'all a Happy and Healthy Day!

-Melissa Adylia Gutierrez
Controlled Burn Fitness

Original intro to this post:
It's Official!

Melissa Adylia Gutierrez of Controlled Burn Fitness
is now offering Personal Training in the OC!

Since my relocation to the OC (over a year and a half ago), I'm finally making it official that I will no longer be accepting Personal Training Clients in the Los Angeles, Glendale, Los Feliz,
or surrounding areas.
It's time for me to share my talents with the people of Orange County!
I will continue to teach my "Pedal Precision" Indoor Cycling classes at Pedal Spin Studio in Montrose, for the time being, and I'm planning to hold some incredible workshops at the South Pasadena location in the near future.
Please stay up to date with all the Classes and Workshops via the

Please read on for the complete story behind my decision
and for information on
Personal Training, Private Group Fitness Classes, and Workshop