Good Morning Readers,
Today I want to share the Priorhouse Interview with blogger Cindy Georgakas.
How did this interview come about? I met Cindy when she was featured on Kally’s Middle Me and was inspired by her positive energy. The other thing that stood out was how she has been in the health and fitness area since the 1980s. This level of expertise and understanding of the human body is impressive. She also brings joy to the blogosphere.
My favorite post from Cindy’s blog (so far) is “I’ve got your back” with some excellent tips for spine/posture health, sitting tips, and helpful stretches.
Cindy, Thanks so much for saying yes to an interview. Can you tell us some of your history and what you do?
Thank you so much for inviting me, Yvette. It is my pleasure to be here.
I am a Fitness and Life Coach, Personal Trainer, Group Ex Teacher teaching Yoga and bootcamp, Craniosacral and Massage Therapist, Reiki Master, and a Music-as-Medicine Facilitator. I also have a team of therapists and teachers that generally work with me, but due to Covid, we are on hold with that piece of our practice.
Whew…. You might be asking, “How does one person do all of those things?”
The short answer is that when you have been doing this work for as long as I have, diverse pathways continue to emerge and you trust and then go where you are called. I’ve been in the field for 35+ years (that makes me sound a little younger, lol), and I have been regularly practicing right here in Woodside, California (40 miles south of San Francisco) where I was born.
My blog, Uniquely Fit, was born out of my passion for fitness with the premise that every person is unique, different, and each individual’s needs must be honored. Life is meant to be shared and I hope that my blog posts provide some pearls of wisdom and Aha! moments that give meaning to your day; perhaps a chuckle, something to ponder, growth, light, insight, and joy.
Cindy, An interesting thing I took away from your interview on Middle Me was how you started your coaching and health/fitness practice around the same time as Jane Fonda. This stood out to me because the first aerobics class I ever did was with a Jane Fonda cassette tape in 1987 – which started with something like – “You want to have your running shoes on because you won’t want to stop and put them on during the session.” – and lines like, “Get those knees up there.” – haha – So reading that parallel life connection with Jane Fonda was cool. How does your career parallel to her stuff and anything else you want to expound on with this – ?
Interesting question, Yvette – and first, that is such a fun Jane Fonda memory!
I wasn’t an activist or actor like Jane Fonda, but I did perform in a dance comedy group in San Francisco in my 20’s for a few years before opening my studio. As a Recreational Therapist who struggled with my weight, I saw this as a tremendous opportunity to open when Jane Fonda opened hers. I shared her love of fitness and dance and staying in shape, which is what we had in common. Her studio was in S.F. and I opened mine about 20 minutes south of the city in San Mateo, Ca. Fitness studios were popping up all over our area at the time. Classes were one hour consisting of a warm up, waist work, arms, aerobics, gloor, abdominals, legs, hips, thighs and buttocks ending with a stretch cool down. We used those same lines, “knees up”, ”reach”, “higher”, “squeeze.” We also had a lot of “whoo hoos” and cheering to keep everyone motivated while using mostly body weight and dance moves. Those were fun days and I employed the BEST instructors.
Cindy, do you have any tips for the readers on balancing work and family life?
- Take good care of yourself first and foremost, which is easier said than done.
- Remember you are not Superwoman or Superman. You are human and you need time for yourself as well.
- Make a schedule and stick to it and plan in time for the unexpected, much the same way as having a money fund for an unexpected event.
- Create a support network as it takes a village to stay strong and fortified. My mom and step dad were AMAZING parts of my support system! Before I decided to get pregnant again, I would ask my mom, “Are you ready for another grandbaby?” Without her, I would NEVER have had more children. Now my mothers asks, “When is someone going to get married and have kids so I can be a Great Grandma?” Also, I was fortunate to have a career that allowed me to adapt my hours to my kids’ schedule and I had an incredibly supportive husband; he was as hands on as I was while raising our kids.
Those are great tips and what spoke to me was the reminder that we are not Superwoman or Superman. In today’s culture, we tend to put so many demands on our schedule – busy-busy, go-do – and many forget to rest and decompress. Cindy, can you share wisdom from a life lesson?
I had owned a fitness studio for two years and we started out gang busters in 1981 when we opened. We built it out with beautiful wood floating floors, with electrifying graphics in red and purple, and we had the very best team of teachers – who I trained along with a consultant I hired.
Our location was marginal and I say that to emphasize, Location is EVERYTHING. If you haven’t heard the famous saying, it is “Location, Location, Location” and in the brick and mortar business world it is everything. I wanted to be in Burlingame, just 10 minutes away, which was perfect but I couldn’t get building permits etc.
I was young and naive and had a great following, but we started out with six classes a day, which was way too much with overhead costs. I ended up giving a lot of free classes and one thing I learned is that people need to value what you give them.
Cindy, I know what you mean about “not valuing” free things. Sometimes free means “disregard.” For example, we once heard about a community center that had people tossing free, entire hamburgers and full drinks into the trash. Rather than giving those items away for free, they started to charge a quarter for hamburgers and drinks, and there was less waste.
Yes. When something is free, people usually do not value it. Also, at that time, I had my first baby and my commitment and time constraints started shifting. As instructors didn’t show up, I had to get certified in more and more classes to assure the show would go on, which was stressful. We were in the red and struggling. The writing was on the wall but this was my first baby, so it was tough to let it go. Finally, we decided to sell the business, which was heartbreaking – but the business was unsustainable. It turned out that the new owners ran an illegitimate massage parlor, which we had no idea about until they were paddy-wagoned out a year later.
At the time, the whole thing was devastating but it turned out to be the best thing ever and the increase of income was insurmountable. Traveling to people’s homes and them coming to me, was much more lucrative without the overhead of a storefront business.
As the 2020 year is winding down and some folks might be thinking about health goals for the coming year -do you have health and wellness tips to offer?
I would say:
- Don’t wait for 2021 to start, DO IT NOW.
- Take small steps to build habits and instill more long lasting health benefits.
- Do some kind of activity daily for a min 30 min. Aim for an hour but if you can’t do that, do 10 minute increments. Cardiovascular activity is important for your heart health. Think walk, run, bike, dance etc.
- Do some kind of strength training either with your own body weight or small or medium to large weights 2-3 days a week, and do stretching everyday if possible.
- Meditate or do some breathework daily. I love Yoga and Tai Chi because they are moving meditation. I also like to do a daily sitting practice of about 15 minutes to train myself to do nothing, which is no easy feat.
- Music and chanting are also wonderful gifts for the soul.
And where on your blog should they go for more information if they wanted to connect with you?
I blog monthly about fitness on my blog site and add videos.
Please feel free to visit me there at uniquelyfitblog.com
My website is uniquelyfit.net and I continually add new fitness and yoga videos on Youtube:
Thank you so much for your time here at Priorhouse blog.
Thank you, again, Yvette, for inviting me to be featured on your invaluable site.
As a Health and Wellness Professional, I am inspired daily by my clients and friends who continue to inspire me to be my best self! One of my favorite parts of blogging is sharing thoughts openly and candidly in support.
To all readers, Remember that “Life is Not a Dress Rehearsal” so do not put off what you want most for what you want now.
My top takeaway was Cindy’s call to action.
Her reminder to NOT put off what you want most and the advice to not wait for 2021 to start is something to consider. Start some new habits “maybe this week” and don’t wait until “after the holidays.”
Start something today.
End 2020 with some Zest.
Sometimes our health and wellness needs have to be addressed right now – no matter what the season. Maybe pick one thing from the list of suggestions and get moving – like do some breathe work – try meditating – or start following Cindy’s blog for some ideas – and especially be sure to check out her “Fri-Yay… Funday!!!”
And this short YouTube wvideo will give you some ideas for giving your body a lift right now – 15 minutes of an investment in you:
- Okay- Any notes for Cindy regarding what she shared?
- Any photos from the post stand out to you?
- Any plans for your health and wellness goals for 2020 – maybe something to start this week??
- Or any tips you have for ways we can end 2020 with some zest?