Archives for October 2012

Hurricane Sandy – Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

Here are some videos of the damage Hurricane Sandy did to the Outer Banks. Check back often because I’m out and about still taking shots!! Hope all are safe and sound!

Hurricane Sandy Damage on the Outer Banks

Here we go again … seems like we just got over Irene!

Best Buys on the Outer Banks for the week of October 22nd

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Balance – it’s difficult even with both legs!

So we’ve been home from the hospital over a week now and it’s been good to be home.  It’s also been more difficult than I thought to manage everything I want to do.  I’m determined NOT to create excuses, but to create solutions.

The reality is Charlie has cancer.  He’s not feeling well most of the time.  In fact a good day is now described as being able to get him to the bathroom twice a day without vomiting.  It’s an ugly disease.  It’s not welcome in my home or in my adorable Charlie.  In the midst of fighting this disease and eradicating it from our lives, the show must go on.

This is where the attempt at balance comes in.  The bills keep coming and my weight will come back if I’m not careful.  Especially with all the mouth watering foods we’re receiving from all the wonderful friends and family we have.  This was so clear to me last Thursday.  I went for a training session with Matt for the first time in over 2 weeks.  It was hell.  I barely made it through 2 circuits in 30 minutes when a month ago I could have easily done 3.  I felt so defeated.

I realized right then that no matter what is going on in your life, you have to make solutions, not excuses.  I have to keep my physical health up, or I’m no good to Charlie.  I have to keep my business going, or I’ll create another problem I don’t need. So I’m determined to be in SOLUTION mode.

I’ve run every day since that failed training session.  I’m feeling good. I still have some doubts about finishing the half marathon in less than 4 weeks, but I’m just taking it one day at a time.  I’m also taking time each day to prospect and follow up with leads in my business.  I’m determined to stay on top.  I want it, I need it and I’m willing to EARN it.

I’m going to meet my goals for 2012.  Both my physical and business goals.  I have 15 pounds to lose and 4 more houses to sell.  And I will succeed. After all I’m best under pressure.  I’ve learned that much in my nearly 37 years. (Birthday is next week)

Without these solutions I can’t balance my number one priority…taking the BEST care of Charlie.  He’s my inspiration, my love and the most courageous person I know!

Best Buys on the Outer Banks for the week of October 8th!

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Ilona versus Running

In the last blog I introduced how I got involved in Bootcamp, some of the incredible results I’ve achieved and the idea that running is now a part of my life.  Before we get started, let me be very clear about one thing.  I do not like to run.  As a matter of fact, most (not all, there are some freaks out there) people I’ve met in Bootcamp share the same thoughts about running.

When I first started working with Mike Ferry (the leading National coaching company for real estate) he kept telling us we had to “Prospect.”  He’d say, “You can’t be a successful salesperson if you don’t generate leads every day.”  I soon discovered he was right.  Only one problem though….most of us hate prospecting.  I mean why wouldn’t we?  It’s uncomfortable, brings rejection and if you’re not practiced in it you can get shut down pretty quickly.  So now what?  How can one build a successful sales business without it?  Well one way would be to spend massive dollars buying business through advertising. I didn’t have that kind of money.  Neither did the agents I was managing at the time.

So our only choice was to embrace the fact that while we never have to LIKE or ever LOVE prospecting, we have to RESPECT the fact it’s how we will get to our production and financial goals.  That’s a big pill to swallow and one that takes most a bit of time and a real determination to achieving the goals we set.  See, many agents who had options, or weren’t as motivated to really meet the goals just wouldn’t buy in to this idea.  They will spend a lot of time resisting.  When I decided in 2011 to resign from being a real estate coach and go to sales full time, I immediately started prospecting.  Now here I am a year and a half later on track to achieve my sales goals for the year.  I still dislike prospecting, but I’ve gotten good at it and it gets me to my goals.   So I do it because failure is not an option.

Why did I go into that long dissertation about sales when you thought this blog was about running? Well, because the same concept applies. I may or may not ever like or love running.  However, I now embrace that it’s the main activity that will help me achieve my fitness goals.  Just like prospecting I have learned to RESPECT this part of my training as necessary, essential even.  I will learn over time to do it better.  I will learn some days will be better than others.  I will deal with injuries, pain and being uncomfortable. All because I know this is the way to get where I want to go.

To prove this point last week I officially registered for the Outer Banks Half Marathon.  I am still in shock. In fact seeing these words I am not sure I’m even typing the right blog!  Why would someone who dislikes running so much, voluntarily sign up for AND PAY for the chance to run 13.1 miles? Honestly I don’t know!  Haha, just kidding.  I’m doing it because when I finish I will feel such a personal accomplishment it can only propel me that much faster to completing my fitness goals.

I remember the first listing I took from cold call prospecting.  I was so pumped I couldn’t stop calling.  I took 5 listings that month!  So by finishing this half marathon, a feat most would never even attempt, I will be propelled forward into great things for my physical well being.  I know it won’t be easy.  I know it will be painful.  I’m already very uncomfortable, so I must be doing something right.  Another lesson learned from my mentors in life is that you’re not growing unless your uncomfortable. Check!

To date I’ve run 7 different organized races.  They’ve all been a 5k, which is only 3.1 miles. My best time was the last race run on September 22, 2012 with an official time of 33:02.  During Bootcamp, I’ve run as far as 6 miles during an hour and a half.  Of course there were stops along the way, but it was 6 miles nonetheless. I have some serious training to do in 6 weeks time in order to be ready for the 13.1 mile challenge.  I have no doubt I can do it as long as I keep my mind focused and my training on track.

This will prove to be an even greater challenge now that we’ve discovered just this week that Charlie has another round of fighting Cancer.  This actually gives me even more determination to do this.  What an example of conflicting thoughts…thinking about how much I dislike running and then having the overwhelming appreciation that I am healthy enough to still run.  How could I ever take anything for granted again?

While the time to train will be challenging to find, I’m going to somehow find a way.  I’m running in spite of this damn cancer.  I’m running just to spite it.  I’m running to control my anger that someone so wonderful could be dealing with such overwhelming issues.  I’m running to strengthen my love for life and for God and for my adorable boyfriend Charlie.  I’m running for you honey.  I love you to the moon and back.  And without hesitation I’d run that far to heal you.

“Before a person will change, the pain of staying the same, has to be greater than the pain of the change.”

I’ve had this real estate blog for about two years now. However, if you’ve read my blog before you know I rarely get personal….I thought diaries were supposed to be private 🙂  It seems to be the trend these days and since:

1.  I’m a fairly interesting person,
2. What we do at Bootcamp is very interesting, and
3. I’m interested in knowing if you also find this interesting…

I decided to take the plunge and write about my journey with OBBC (Outer Banks Bootcamp).

So here goes…

I have had friends on Facebook posting about this Bootcamp they’d been doing for at least 2 years. I had even talked to the man himself ( Matt Costa) about possibly joining the madness in April of 2011. At that time Charlie had just received his cancer diagnosis and we had no idea what we were in for.  Well, needless to say I didn’t join that April.  In fact, it was nearly a year later and another 20 pounds before I even thought about exploring the idea again.

When I met Charlie in 2009 I was (ahem…here goes….yes I’m going tell it) 185 pounds and feeling pretty good.  Keep in mind I’m 6 feet tall so that’s a very good number for me. I could comfortably wear a size 8 pants and had been this size for about 3 years at this point.  By the time we got through the new relationship weight, then the stress of cancer weight (he lost it and I promptly found it as if I was vacuuming it up as soon as he dropped it) I found I had gotten up to a whopping 228 pounds.  I was miserable and disgusted with myself.  Now that we had a pretty good handle on Charlie’s recovery, there had to be some focus put on dealing with this problem I had.

It was a rainy Friday in the first week of March 2012 when I walked in to Knuckle Up gym to inquire about kickboxing.  The Spring Bootcamp was starting mid April and I knew if I was going to attempt it I had better go ahead and get started doing something now or I probably wouldn’t commit to it.  Seeing as how I had never really stopped TRYING to lose weight all this time and had exercised here and there throughout the last couple years, I had this fantasy I wasn’t THAT bad off.  Well, I had no idea how extremely out of shape I actually was.  I was in denial, I would soon find out.

I signed my name on the potential new member sheet and was told to come in on Saturday for a free trial of the kickboxing class.  So I wrote my name down and left, excited about the new person I would magically become.  Later that day, I got a call from Matt.  He was excited I had come in and was looking forward to seeing me the next morning.  He asked me about Spring Bootcamp and I reluctantly said I was considering it.  He said, “good,” and then we ended the call.

Saturday morning I take the drive from Duck to Kitty Hawk to attend the 8 am kickboxing class that I was offered at no charge. Holy Moly!It was quite the experience.  About 10 minutes in I was already rethinking what the heck I’d gotten myself into.  Matt put us “on the run” around the gym for like, 10 minutes,just as a warm up.  I’m not a runner, have never been a runner, and have never wanted to be a runner.  I hated that part.  However, by the time I was done with the hour long torture session disguised as a “class,” I was so proud of what I had accomplished that I was hooked! As hard as it was, I was hooked.  That went on for several weeks until the dreaded day Bootcamp started.

It’s 4:30 am.  I’m actually purposely getting out of bed to go to Bootcamp?  What the hell am I thinking?  This is insane… I’m excited…What’s he going to do to us…Will I survive? 20 minutes driving gives you a lot of time to conjure all kinds of scenarios.  None of them could have captured what I was about to experience.  Our first task was to run over to a large patch of grass behind the building where we got in a circle with our backpacks on and did squats, push ups and other sorts of exercises I routinely avoided.  Then we were off to the beach. More squats, push ups and jumping jacks.  Really? Jumping Jacks in the sand are a treat if you’ve never done them.  Then of course it’s the first day, he has to put us waist deep in the water. Yes.  It’s April and there’s 100 of us intelligent, mature adults waist deep in the crisp and very much alive Atlantic Ocean, all before 6 am.

Needless to say, I’m less than thrilled at this point.  Do I really want another 5.5 weeks of this shit? NO!I was done.  Now he wants us to roll around in the sand after I’m soaking wet.  Oh HELL no.  I won’t be back, I thought. This is just too much!  There’s sand everywhere on me! Ughhhhh!  Matt strolls over and asks how I’m doing while FIRMLY gripping my hand.  I told him this wasn’t for me.  I now know the firm grip was intentional. Almost a hypnosis technique if you will.  He made me promise I would come back on Wednesday.  My dad was very adamant about us keeping our word, so I knew I would have to give it another shot.  “One more day and that’s it,” I told myself.

I left that first day of Bootcamp with so many different emotions, most of them negative.  But then it dawned on me.  The epiphany arrived.  The words of a great mentor of mine rang through.

“Before a person will change, the pain of staying the same, has to be greater than the pain of the change.”

As I was showering off the mountain of sand I brought home with me (thank goodness it wasn’t from Nags Head or there would have been a special assessment for it) those words kept going through my head.  Will I, Ilona Matteson, really let a little sand in my crevices get in the way of making this all-important change in my life?  It’s JUST sand.  Good grief.  I was about to sabotage my health and fitness well being over a little sand.  I quickly realized then how silly it was.

I went back to Bootcamp that Wednesday morning and had one of the most exciting experiences I can remember in a long time.  We as a group ran over 3 miles!  I could barely run across the street on Monday and that Wednesday morning I completed over 3 miles.  Yes, there were stops in between. Stops with push ups involved!  Now, here’s the reason Bootcamp is successful where other workouts on my own were not…teamwork.  See, Matt knows a few things.  He knew if he made us hold hands with another teammate we would go further than we would on our own.  And it worked.  Phyllis got me through that morning, holding my hand and talking me through it long after I would have quit by myself.

That folks, was the beginning of the end.  The end of being afraid of sand in my butt.  The end of thinking I can’t run a few miles.  The end of being afraid to try things I couldn’t do before. The end of fighting this weight battle on my own.  What I gained this past summer while working with the amazing coaches- Matt, Adam, Jay, Christine, Jody, and Don- was the confidence I had lost in myself.  I gained the belief that I could do it and the determination to actually do it.

It wasn’t easy.  It wasn’t pretty.  I fell down on my goals, a LOT.  I wanted to quit, a LOT.  I cursed, a LOT. And by the end of the summer, a full 3 Camps later, I accomplished, a LOT.

I’ve lost 21 pounds to date and nearly 10 inches.
I can do 73 sit ups in 2 minutes.
I can do 10 real push ups.
I can run 5 miles.
I’ve completed six different 5k races.

It’s been a wonderful journey.  My favorite part hasn’t even been the results…it’s been the new “family” I belong to.  My newest friends, supporters and motivators.

There are plenty more stories to tell and even more still in the making as I trudge along this path to get back into a size 8.  I can’t tell them all here or this will turn from a blog into a book. This is only one of many stories to come.

Tune in for “Operation: Amateur” and “Operation: Survive The Half.”

“Special thanks have to go out to Re.  Thing 1 loves you!”





Best Buys on the Outer Banks for the week of October 1st!

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