BodyBoss: Bring the gym to you!

As I’ve mentioned in many of my recent blog posts, the holidays are around the corner. Thanksgiving is less than a week away, and right after that, the world will jump into gift giving, party throwing and celebration mode.

But you know what that means, holiday food, which often leads to holiday pounds, and then guilt, followed by fad diet resolutions… I could go on. To think that could all be prevented if we just practiced moderation during the holidays and added a few workouts to our daily routines.

I know what you’re thinking.

“I don’t have time for the gym? I don’t even like the gym. Even if I did like the gym, I wouldn’t know where to start.”

Trust me, I get it. I was a division one athlete, and I still don’t love going to the gym. Whether it’s the expensive memberships that keep you from going, not knowing what to do when you get there or simply being intimidated, I have a solution for you.

Over a month ago I came across a company called the BodyBoss. They make working out at home (or from anywhere) really simple. To keep it short, the BodyBoss is an awesome resistance training system that you can use anywhere.

It consists of (1) instruction manual (1) accessories carrying bag (1) fold up vector fit base (1) collapsable workout bar (2) handles (2) wrist/ankle straps (2) resistance bands and (1) door anchor with a ring.

Reading about this could be kind of confusing, so here is a video of me unboxing my BodyBoss so that you can put a name to the items included.

Disclaimer: There are two BodyBoss packages you can buy, one with two bands and others with four. Mine was the one with four. Also, BodyBoss only sells packages with one door anchor instead of two now.

Through the items provided, the BodyBoss gives you access to pieces of equipment that you often find at gyms, as well as the opportunity to recreate familiar gym exercises without having to actually leave your house.

It is really easy to use, but instead of writing about it, I thought I’d show you.

It’s amazing how much you’re able to accomplish simply using resistance bands, but the bar, handles, ankle/wrist straps, and door anchor help take your workouts to another level.

Now, I will be honest, if you’re a big weightlifter, this equipment won’t lead to major gains. In your case, it could be a great way to supplement your workouts by focusing on form, performing higher reps, and grooving movement patterns.

But for most of us who aren’t big into weight lifting and just want to maintain healthy and active lifestyles, then the BodyBoss is definitely for you.

Whether you’ve dabbled in weight/resistance training or this is your first time, the BodyBoss instruction manual gives you everything you might need to get started. BodyBoss also offers more information and workout programs for you to join on their website.

As I mentioned before, I’ve had mine for a few weeks now, and it has really become a big part of my workout routine. Don’t get me wrong, I still drag myself to the gym every once in a while. But it’s great to know that on days that I don’t want to go, or simply can’t make it, the BodyBoss is waiting for me at home, and within seconds of setting it up, I could be well on my way to completing a great workout.

Like any well-rounded review, I will mention a few minor things I wish were different about the BodyBoss.

  1. I wish their fold-up vector fit bases had handles that could be combined or strapped together, similar to the small handles found on gym duffle bags. That would make carrying the BodyBoss around feel more secure. It’s a small detail, but one that I think could improve the product.
  2. I wish the equipment came with separate but extra equipment padding for when it wears out in the future. Maybe that can be sold separately on the BodyBoss website.
  3. I also wish that there were different level resistance bands available for purchase or that came with the BodyBoss. This would be great for anyone who needed or wanted more resistance.

Those are just my thoughts after using the BodyBoss for the past three weeks. But despite those points, I really don’t know what I did before having the BodyBoss and would highly recommend you pick one up for yourself.

It’s so nice to bring the gym to you instead of having to go out of your way to workout.

If you would like to learn more about the BodyBoss, please head over to their website for more information.

Also, the people at the BodyBoss were so kind, and are offering readers of 15% of their order(s) by using the code SYDNEYUMERI.

Try them out and please let me know what you think. I’m a big believer in what they’re creating and how they are bringing fitness into the homes of everyday people.

As always, if you found this post helpful and informative, please share it on social media and subscribe to my blog so that you never miss a post.

Also, come find me all over the web, I’m @sydneyumeri on all social media platforms.

Until next time, get up, get moving, and live your best life!

**Affiliate links are present in this post.** #ad

Choosing Perseverance​

Hello, wonderful people! I hope all is well in your worlds. For those of you who follow me on social media (I’m @sydneyumeri on all platforms), you may have seen my picture in the Newsroom studio at CNN. While this is an exciting time in my life, I want to take a moment to put things in perspective.

To say the least a lot has changed these days, but at the same time, not much has changed at all. Contrary to the thoughts of many, no, I do not work for CNN. I’m not an anchor, and you won’t be able to catch my work on TV… yet!

I am currently an intern under the wonderful and talented George Howell who for the last month has taken me under his wing and shown me what the work of a seasoned news anchor and journalist looks like. Before continuing, I want to highlight the fact that without George and the connections/networking that was put in place to connect us, this internship would not be possible. So I am incredibly thankful to him and the people who were able to make this happen.

For those who don’t know, George anchors for CNN Newsroom between 4-7:30am Thursday through Monday. This means that my internship actually takes place within those hours. Yes, I wake up at 1:20am on Saturdays and Sundays, and shadow George from roughly 3am to 8:30am.

During that time, I watch him prepare for each show, write and re-write scripts, communicate between the studio and production room, line up questions for interviews, and of course, deliver each show live. As each show takes place, I follow along through either the teleprompter or written scripts and take notes on how he is able to deliver each story, his mannerisms, inflection, etc. Then come about 6 or 6:30am it’s my turn. I get the opportunity to do a cut-in.

A cut-in is basically announcements inserted into a network program. In the case of CNN’s Newsroom, at the bottom of every show, quick headlines of the top stories are given leading into another regularly scheduled programming. Now, as I mentioned before, my work does not go on air, and thank goodness it doesn’t because to be candid, I have a lot of work to do.

As an aspiring broadcaster, I have not gotten the opportunity to truly work and hone my craft. That is until now. For the first time ever, I did a cut-in the morning of Saturday, August 5th, and guys, it wasn’t pretty. I struggled through sentences, stumbled over words, and ultimately ended up stopping not even half way through the first script because I was just so shocked and overwhelmed. If you know anything about broadcasting, the biggest rule is to not stop regardless of circumstances.

We were able to run it back, and I read through one script completely, still struggling through it, but the point is, I got it done. Despite the significant improvement of being able to finish the second time around, I found it hard to celebrate. I was scared from the first take. 😬 Truly, broadcasting is more difficult than we give anchors and reporters credit for.


Having watched Geroge for the past four weeks and seeing everything that goes into broadcasting, I have even more respect for what anchors, reporters, and everyone in between do. Broadcasting isn’t just talking or reading, there is an aspect of performance that goes into it. To hold the attention of millions while essentially reading a story is not easy, so there is a lot to be learned about inflection, body language, pacing, and even reading from the teleprompter without letting you eyes constantly scroll from left to right.

Speaking of reading, that is another aspect of broadcasting that is quite difficult for me. Yes, I can read, but just as some people have a fear of public speaking, my biggest anxiety provoker is public reading. I’ve never been very good at it, and the fact that the profession I aspire to requires so much of it is nerve racking. Every day that I get up and go to CNN, I have to face one of my biggest fears, and that alone is a lesson that I would like to share with you all.

The first day I shadowed under George I swear I was ready to give up my dream of broadcasting because I thought there is no way I could overcome my anxiety towards reading out loud. Not to the point where my job could depend on it.

But with little consistent acts of perseverance and courage, I continue to show up every Saturday and Sunday. Not just for myself, but because of the time, energy, and wonderful teaching George invests in me. Most days are hard because I really have to push myself out of my comfort zone. I usually leave exhausted just because of the mental push I assert solely to overcome my anxiety and ultimately negative self-talk. But despite the days being hard, there isn’t a day I walk out of CNN thinking, I didn’t get better. I always move the needle forward in one way or another, even on the day I completely botched a cut-in, my first cut-in.

After that day, I returned on Sunday, August 6th, determined to have a better showing. In my mind, nothing could be worse than my first take from the previous day. It turns out, I was right. I could only go up from there. I was able to complete a full cut-in, and despite stammering through parts, I made significant progress towards my ultimate goal.

I share this story just to say that the road to any goal, anything worthwhile, is never painless. Oftentimes, we look at the successful people who have gone before us and think, “They make it look easy. They probably never struggled like I do.”

Well, you’re wrong. Everyone struggled at one point, or several, and made the conscious decision to persevere. Now, this isn’t a story to pat me on the back. That would be ridiculous. But I hope it serves as inspiration to some and for others a little reminder that you’re not alone as you struggle and persevere towards your goal. This is just the first step to getting there. We all have to pay our dues, and for many of us, we are doing that now.

I’m not exactly where I want to be yet, but hopefully one day you’ll turn on your TV and find my relaying the most recent news happening or giving you a rundown of the day’s sports.

I also share this story to put my picture, and other things on social media in perspective. As I’ve mentioned before, social media is a highlight reel, and that day at CNN was a highlight for me, as is every other day I get the opportunity to walk in that building and get better. But I don’t want you for one second to think I’ve “made it” or believe I have a role that I don’t currently possess. Instead, I want to give you the full story.  I’m an intern who’s getting better, and I’m proud of it! 



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Until next time, get up, get moving, and live your best life!

College was….

With graduation around the corner, I can’t help but reminisce about the last four years.

If only I could go back and tell my younger self all that I would do, see and become. That college would be so much fun, but not for the reasons that people tell you. Well sometimes, but as you live through it, you forget about what people told you it would be, and you just enjoy it for what it is. You create your own unique experiences and memories, and gradually shape yourself into the person you’re supposed to be four years later.

For the sake of keeping things short and sweet, I’ve created a list of what college was to me. Hopefully, you can identify with a few of these and this gets you thinking about what the past four (or three or five) years have been like for you.

College was…

Where I regret every 8 AM I ever took. Freshman mistakes, we all make them.

Where late night conversations became routine.

Where I (kind of) learned how to manage my time.

Where my expectations didn’t always become my reality, but things worked out anyway.

Where I met some of my closest friends to this day.

Where inside jokes were in abundance.

Where General Chemistry destroyed my dreams of becoming a doctor.

Where I later found my passions for writing and all things media.

Where darties (day parties) were always a good idea.

Where I learned Burnett’s are cheap, but they don’t taste very good.

Where Latch by Sam Smith became my freshman year anthem.

Where I learned that being an athlete didn’t have to define me.

Where living in what felt like the smallest and most congested living quarters in America (known as freshmen dorms) really brought people together, and for others, tore them apart.

Where I realized life is short, have the Bodo’s bagel, or three, and a chai latte too.

Where sometimes the “easy” classes weren’t so easy.

Where I realized I’m capable so much more than I thought.

Where 6 AM lifts and conditioning made me question why I played a sport.

Where teammates became family and made collge a home away from home.

Where any excuse to throw a party was a good idea. People would come. (Maybe the same holds true as an adult. We’ll have to wait and see.)

Where I had to be responsible, but not too responsible.

Where procrastination and big assignments were the perfect recipe for all-nighters.

Where I lived, laughed, loved, and now I’m leaving.

Where I went in for an education but left with so much more.

To say the least, it was four years well spent!

Comment down below what college was/is to you. Until next time, get up, get moving, and live your best life!

The Retired College Athlete

As of March 3rd, 2017, a little past 11 pm CST, I became a retired college athlete. An RCA as I like to call it. To put this in context, I have played basketball since the age of seven; I am now 21. For the past four years, I have played basketball at the collegiate level, and while my experience in college sports has been a rollercoaster, that is a post for another day. Today, I want to talk about my thought process when preparing for retirement.

I’m a person who enjoys surprises, but never actually wants to be caught off guard. As a planner, I saw my retirement day in the distance and of course started making moves to ensure that it was a smooth transition. This includes mental and physical preparation.

Let’s start with mental! During my undergraduate education, I spent time as a member and co-chair of a club called I Am More. It was a career readiness program for student athletes because a lot of us won’t go pro in our sports. For me, going pro was never my aspiration. Just check out this old blog post from my old blog, Sydney Sundays. I Am More was my first step to preparing for retirement, and I started preparing my sophomore year of college. I guess you can never be too early.

More recently, I went to see a guidance counselor about my transition out of sport. Sometimes it’s just easier to talk it out with a third party because they will just listen. Here I was able to talk about my past history with basketball, what I’m looking forward to in the future, fitness goals, etc. Most importantly, it was there that I was able to best prepare myself for the mental shift of not being a college athlete anymore. Due to this preparation, it wasn’t a surprise when my retirement day came. There was no shock, disappointment, etc., I was prepared for it.

Now for the “physical” preparation. I slowly created a fitness routine that I could abide by once retired. I skimmed Pinterest, watched YouTube video, and also wrote down things that I just wanted to do, focus on, and enjoy. Let me say, there were multiple lists, all of which were just ideas. While I have changed my actual workout routine many times, the idea of putting myself in that mental state and asking what I would do to stay fit when basketball practice was no longer a part of my schedule was helpful.

So let’s talk about the actual day. The end of my basketball career was kind of weird. We lost to a team that we had recently beaten during conference play. I rolled my ankle pretty badly that game (what’s new) so I barely played, and it really wasn’t how I envisioned my career ending. With that said, that day did come, and I wasn’t sure how to feel. Should I have been more upset? Was I supposed to be happy? When you’re a senior sometimes, it seems like everyone is looking to you or at you to figure out how you feel about the situation. For me, because I was so unclear of how I felt at the time, I chose to act upset. I genuinely believe I was, but after a day or two went by, and I got to spend some time alone, I began to realize that it’s okay if I didn’t feel upset, or if those feelings didn’t last for a day, a week or a year. Ultimately, I had prepared myself so well for that moment, that when it came, I wasn’t surprised, and because of that, I didn’t know how to act.

Fast forwarding to the present day, I think my preparation paid off. More than a month removed from my sport, I feel that my transition into being an active adult has been successful. I have worked out every day since retirement and have not gotten bored of my workouts. I realize that there is a lot of life to live during the hours I used to have practice, and I have enjoyed genuinely doing things I want to do without using the excuse, “I have practice,” to persuade myself otherwise.

With that said, if you are currently a student athlete and your day of retirement lies ahead, my biggest advice is, don’t let it sneak up on you. Cherish your time playing your sport, enjoy your teammates, create good moments, and don’t wish away the tough times. While you might not miss the conditioning, you’ll miss the overall experience eventually, and I’m sure it’s done a lot to shape who you are.

But also, prepare for your retirement by getting to know yourself. Cheesy, I know, but figure out the things you’ve always wanted to do, come up with a workout plan so that you’re not the former athlete that has let yourself go, and mentally prepare yourself for not having the commitment to your sport every day.

Everyone handles retirement differently, but for me, life couldn’t be better. Comment below if you’re a retired athlete at any level. College, high school, middle school… it all counts! Let me know how you dealt with your transition out of sport and if you’re enjoying where you’re at today.

Until next time, get up, get moving, and live your best life.