A NEW CHAPTER FOR ME
Updated: Jul 14
If you've followed me for any amount of time, you've probably come to realize that I am a very goal-oriented person. Like most at the beginning of a new year, we think about the year ahead, establish our goals and desires, and create a plan.
I was pretty quiet in 2019. They always say if you can make it through the tough times, it will make you a tough person. Looking back, that is 100% true for me and 2019. It was a hard year for a multitude of reasons and by the end of October, I decided it was time to look ahead to 2020 and focus on what I wanted to change in my life.
Everyone knows that I have worked in the fitness industry for the better part of the last decade, but what most don't know about me is during that time, I have been working and learning everything I can to turn my passion for storytelling, entertaining, video, and photography into a full-time job that I call my career. I have had the pleasure of working with many different brands over the years creating content and consulting on social media, traveling and making fun vlogs while learning the in's and out's of videography, editing, sound mixing, as well as everything else that goes into creating a film, and shooting pictures with friends for social media whenever I had the time. I even had the chance to pitch a docu-series to Netflix amongst a few other major networks. I guess you could say that I got the full "Hollywood experience" in that situation with riding the wave of getting in the door to pitch, crossing my fingers, and then learning that the last year of development was shot down after a week of consideration by networks. Anyways....
What I have come to learn over the years is that as much as I have enjoyed working as a trainer and teaching fitness classes, there are so many opportunities to motivate, inspire and positively influence the wellbeing of others than just working in the gym and the studio. I believe that this can be done through a good combination of storytelling, video production, photography, and living by example. I decided it was time to begin focusing more of my energy towards a new chapter of my life, pursue these opportunities and see where they can take me.
Going back to one, late evening in October 2019, I hung a massive whiteboard in my apartment and just started writing the most insane sh*t that excited me, got me amped, and truth be told, felt so far from my current reality that I wondered what the hell I was even doing. I'll share a few of those goals:
1) Find a brand that would sponsor a trip to Greece to swim between some Greek Islands and bike across France so that I could make a documentary...and bring some people along with me who would likely never do something like this and tell their story of overcoming fears for the opportunity of a lifetime.
2) Start my own "production" company (I didn't write down what I was going to be producing, I just knew I wanted to start making more films and whatever I made, would be a product of my "production" company).
3) Bike to the top of Haleakala in Maui, hire some videographers to follow me and then figure out how to take that footage and make it into a documentary that actually looks professional, cinematic, and inspires someone.
1) Race at USA Triathlon Nationals and qualify to race for Team USA 2021 in Dubai.
2) Race the Ironman 70.3 in Galveston, get my family there and qualify for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Taupo, New Zealand
So, the next step was to figure out an action plan.
I made a list of all of my favorite brands with similar values to me and began reaching out about working together and creating content. Golden Road Brewery is my favorite California brewery and I thought, "why not just reach out to them." After some research, I learned that the founder was a swimmer who competed in the Olympic trials and later became a triathlete. "Ok," I thought, "why not reach out to the founder?" We have something in common after all. "What's the worst that could happen? She doesn't write me back?" "just write the damn e-mail, Alli." I spent 3.5 hours crafting an e-mail and in less than 48 hours, Meg responded to me. It just so happened that she was starting a new venture called Maha Hard Seltzer and her vision was to create a product for weekend warriors and athletes alike, who, continue to chase goals and never settle and like to celebrate with drink of the same value.
When I was on the phone with the marketing director, we began talking about goals in 2020 for both the brand and myself. I was very vocal about the films I wanted to create as well as my own athletic endeavors...I mentioned my crazy Greece and France idea, and then out of doubt kind of laughed it off a bit while thinking "this guy is going to think I'm crazy." He responded with "let's make it happen."
"WHAT?!" Is this real life?
You know those people who always talk about manifesting....I think they're on to something.
We went into full planning mode for our partnership, the production, and the athletic challenge that was going to ensue. Unfortunately, because of the pandemic, it's not happening anymore. I'll get back to this.
As for the rest of my goals, Haleakala happened in February. After weeks of editing, I released my first mini-documentary yesterday. It occurred to me, I don't really need anything to start my own production company because I'm already producing things...The one thing I do know is that I want to tell others stories of daring adventures, overcoming fears, and taking on big challenges. With time, I know those films will come and they can only get bigger and better.
This pandemic has created an incredibly stressful and hard time for so many and I feel extremely grateful to have a roof over my head and good health for myself and my family. I had accepted the fact that this year was going to look quite different than my crazy whiteboard on the wall, but I also wanted to believe that like in 2019, there was an opportunity to learn and grow somewhere in there. Since gyms have been closed in Los Angeles for almost 4 months, I have had a lot of time to re-focus and continue learning which I am also grateful for. I didn't want to let go of my goal to create more and while races have pretty much been canceled for the foreseeable future, I didn't want to let months of training go to waste.
I reached back out to Maha and said, "what do you think about a road trip to some of the most beautiful, adventurous places in the southwest United States and creating a film that might inspire whoever watches it to reconnect to nature, put their training to use for new challenges or simply commit to a new goal? There are places to swim, bike and run all over the region and maybe, just maybe this will be the motivation someone needs to get moving again." I've worked with people in an athletic capacity long enough to know that sometimes people just need one ounce of an idea to inspire or motivate them into action and getting back into nature is something that is in reach for just about everyone right now.
I was lucky enough to hear those three words again, "let's do it!"
So welcome to my new blog. This is a new chapter for me that I want to share the journey of. I won't be saying goodbye to the gym just yet, but I believe talking about your goals and putting them out there puts you closer to them. Pandemic or no pandemic, I will be creating and I will continue challenging myself with new endeavors.
I hit the road on July 13 to visit family first and then will take on the Valley of Fire, Moab, Boulder, Denver, Vail, Horseshoe Bend, and Lake Powell while creating a film for Maha throughout the month of July.
I will be posting blogs on my website and youtube videos on my youtube channel every week.
Thanks for coming along for the ride. If you want to stay up-to-date with this project and everything else I'm working on, just scroll to the bottom of this article to subscribe and you'll be the first to know about giveaways and other things I've got up my sleeve too.
ps. follow @drinkmaha on Instagram :)