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With 2014 drawing to a close and the new year upon us, I wanted to take a moment to share my thoughts on 2014 with the hopes that they will resonate with you. First and foremost, I’d like to thank you for supporting Training & Fitness magazine this past year. We are passionate about aiding you in your fitness endeavours well through 2015 and feel absolutely honoured to be a primary resource in your pursuits of health and wellness.

As I sip my ginger oolong tea and reflect on the happenings of the last few months, I can’t help but feel a sense of pride in what we have accomplished thus far. In under twelve months, we have signed world-class fitness professionals on our contributor team, welcomed six interns to our editorial department, and have continuously demonstrated our dedication to providing you with the best and most accurate health and wellness information online. Let me tell you, these are no easy feats. You can bet that we will be carrying this momentum forward into the new year.

On a personal and professional level, 2014 was a year of growth for me. For the first time in my life, I welcomed change. Often, we become so comfortable with our daily routines that the thought of change genuinely scares us; we become victims to a deep fear of the unknown. But in 2014, I challenged myself. I dove deep into different; different routines; different perspectives; different priorities. As tough as change is, I learned that it can be absolutely invigorating; change can add vibrant colours to a canvas that’s been black and white for years.

This part is not easy for me to admit; in the last few months of 2014, I lost the balance in my life. I became rigid; accepting the same routines day in and day out, utterly consumed by my busy schedule. The time I made for fitness, a true passion of mine, slowly diminished, seemingly no longer having a place in my new routines. Short workouts felt like they dragged on forever and I became far too focused on counting every minute I spent at the gym to justify to myself that I had worked out enough that week. With this thinking prevailing, the gym slowly became a stranger to me.

When I think about how I reconciled my relationship with fitness after this time, I know that it had everything to do with a change in mentality. I stopped thinking about working out as something necessary to keep me looking my best, and instead set functional goals. I focused more on what I enjoyed doing rather than which exercises would burn the most body fat in the least amount of time. I explored other avenues of exercise. I tried mixed martial arts and boxing. I found my love for fitness again and, because my passion was reignited, I found it easier to make time for it.

My message here is simple: if you’ve lost touch with fitness and it no longer provides the joy it once did, use the new year to change your mentality, refocus your energies, and find that passion once again. In 2015, I will absolutely make time for my personal wellness, and so should you. Your health is more important than anything that seems engraved in your schedule today.

Whether you’re starting your health and wellness journey or deep within it, I urge you to open yourself to change in 2015. Accept the unknown; lose the rigidity, and find the balance.

Let 2015 be the year of you, your best year yet.

Best wishes,

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Editor-In-Chief Lisa-Marie Assenza is a Kinesiology student, former competitive gymnast, and fitness enthusiast. An avid reader and writer, Lisa-Marie's high language proficiency coupled with her passion for health and wellness provide her with a unique and impressive skill set that has made her a cornerstone to the Training & Fitness team.

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