If you follow me on Instagram, you’d think that my life is all fitness, food, and fun, and it is – most of the time.  But it’s also more than that and since I like to keep things real and I believe my audience appreciates my honesty, here is the scoop on my life and what doesn’t get Instagrammed (yes, that’s a verb now. I just decided).

If you were to ask me how I’m doing these days my standard answer would be “Great, thanks!”.  But it wouldn’t really be the whole truth.

The real answer is I’m…okay.  I’m alright.  I’m getting things done.  I’m dealing with lots of 1st-world-type problems.  I’m focusing on my business and trying not to lose myself in the process.  I’m changing and growing and learning more about myself in the process.  I’m really, really tired.

I came home from IPF Worlds in Finland on June 15th and immediately got sucked into the maelstrom of Epicentre’s move & expansion.  It was/is an overwhelming process.  Coordinating the move itself was dizzying but thanks to my incredible community we were able to execute the move over 1 weekend and be open for business the following Monday.  Since then, it’s been non-stop dealing with the: contractor, electrician, plumber, construction workers, landlord, alarm technician, painter, tiler, insurance broker, customs broker, salespeople, bla, bla, bla.  Some days things aren’t moving fast enough, and some days they move so fast I feel like I can’t catch up.  Add in ungodly amounts of time on the phone, on the computer, and in the car making trips to Home Depot, Ikea, and TD Bank, and I am just plain fed up of planning things, re-planning things, asking for things, searching for things, begging for things, praying for things, and paying for things.

We’ve been welcoming many new faces to Epicentre, both in our group lifting sessions and our personal training sessions.  The feedback from our existing clientele is great and the excitement is palpable.  Our powerlifiting team continues to grow and I’m currently coaching 10+ athletes for provincials in November and prepping another 4-5 novice lifters for their first meet in early 2016.  I’m seeing 30 personal training clients and running our strength & conditioning/general fitness group training sessions.  All of this makes me deeply, deeply happy and is encouraging, exciting, rewarding, and exhausting all at the same time.

I am fortunate enough to be competing as a member of Team Canada again, this time at the Commonwealth Championships in December in Vancouver.  After lifting in Finland, there was no question that I wanted the experience of another international competition.  The pace of my life lately hasn’t exactly been conducive to training and recovery but I’m putting in the work and doing the very best I can.  I hope that on meet day it will be enough and that I make everyone, including myself, proud.

We’ve been working on a brand new website for Epicentre Training – hopefully this will drop by the end of the month.  I have lots of meetings – some are informal over coffee and in spandex; others I have to wear real pants for and clean the chalk off my hands (I hate those kinds of meetings as much as I HATE real pants).  I’m on the phone and computer a lot more, returning emails and programming.  I welcomed another fantastic trainer to our team.  I’m trying to be the best leader I can be.

There has been an abusive amount of caffeine ingested.  I mean ABUSIVE.  I felt bad about it for a while but I don’t anymore.  There’s a time and a place for what I’d like to call “earth-mother-holier-than-thou-life-balance”,  and there’s a time and a place for excessive caffeine.  THIS is the time and place for excessive caffeine.  Please do not email me to tell me how great chicory root tea is or that I’m ruining my adrenals.  If you do this I will politely tell you and the earth-mother horse you rode in on to go f*ck yourself.

Stress is getting the best of me and I lie in bed at night running through my endless to-do lists and doing financial calculations.  I’m not sleeping much (please see above: caffeine).  I know all about good ‘sleep hygiene’ and the effects of not enough sleep.  This is just where I’m at.  Unfortunately, this is simply NOT the time when sleep is good & plentiful for Kacey Baines.  There’s too much to do and not enough hours in the day.  Eventually things will return to a more manageable pace and I’ll welcome that time when it comes.  Until then, I’m using a lot of expensive under-eye cream and…wait for it…caffeine.

Change is hard.  In the midst of the chaos of Epicentre 2.0’s birth, I made the very difficult and painful decision to end a 9 year relationship.  The reasons why do not belong on the internet.  There is still much love, respect, and support as we continue to share the gym, our friends, family, pets, and community.  As a result though, I have been on what feels like a 3 month camping trip while I search for a place for Otto and I to call home.  Thanks to my 140-lb canine companion, I have been turned away from at least 30 places (not an exaggeration).  I finally found something and soon I’ll be planning & executing another difficult move.  In the interim, I’ve been staying between friends and family and carrying bags of clothes, food, dog-food, my scale, computer, and pillow everywhere I go.  I’ve had many sleepovers on my best friend’s floor, chatting late into the night with her like we used to when we were 12 years old.  It’s been good for my heart.  I’ve been staying with my parents a lot (and spending loads of time commuting in traffic – kill me now).  I’ve been sleeping in my old kid-bedroom, which is both humiliating and soothing.  I moved out of my parents house when I was 19 and I remember telling them I couldn’t stand living under their roof.  Now, at age 35, being welcomed back under my parents’ roof along with all my problems, my work, my dog, my crazy schedule, my meal-prepping needs, my irritability, my tears, my need for company, my need for solitude – all of this without question or judgement – is humbling to say the least.  I am grateful in ways that cannot be expressed.

There are days when I stand in the shiny new Epicentre watching our members train and I’m in complete awe that I MADE THIS HAPPEN.  There are nights when I stand in the gym alone before shutting out the lights and cry because I’m overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work, and change, and because I MADE THIS HAPPEN.

So, if you ask me how I am the real answer is this: I am utterly exhausted.  I’m overwhelmed, worried, stressed, scared.  I’m processing, healing, changing, growing.  But I’m also confident, excited, hopeful.  I’m just getting started.  I’m dreaming, I’m working, I’m making things happen.  I’m proud.  I’m grateful. I am optimistic.  Maybe the real answer is…that I’m doing great, and maybe it’s the truth.

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