Wow… its hard for me to figure out where to even begin. For myself, 2014 was amazing. It was jam-packed with a lot of joy, personal growth and emotion. I don’t say this without some guilt however, as I know for many, some near and dear to my heart, 2014 has been one of the worst years ever.
Its amazing really how much happens in twelve short months, especially if you have children. The days, weeks, months… go by so fast. Sometimes, you wish you could freeze time for just a little while to hold on to moments that are so very precious.
Its also incredible how much ones health can change in twelve short months. Whether it be from finally making the commitment to dedicate yourself to a healthier life to the opposite spectrum such as a setback due to an injury or even more devastating, an unexpected illness. What I have learned in these past few months is that the human mind is completely in control of our outcomes. The way you choose to approach any situation largely determines how successful you will be, how healthy you will be and how strong you will become.
My year started off with a brand new position as Client Coordinator at Genex Marketing. I was so excited as this position fit me to a “T”. Requirements were: Type A and OCD personality! (haha – JK – not really!). The learning curve was so steep and I loved the challenge and I soaked up everything I learned. Chris Botterill and Lance Smith are the two greatest mentors, teachers and pure technological and design geniuses I know. Well, just take a look at my amazing website! If you are in the market for digital marketing – they are your people.
While I was working away at my new job, running my kids all over the place, working on the school board, teaching group classes at the gym and volunteering for the skating club, all my spare minutes went into soaking up fitness. I enrolled with Canfit Pro to do my Personal Training Certification through home study. I would still have to write the exam and do the practical – but I thought it best to study on my own. Summer came and I wasn’t making progress, I wasn’t making studying a priority. So I enrolled in the course to give myself a push. Who knew how one small decision like that would lead to the most amazing people and opportunities.
The summer months brought complete chaos. I’m not sure how much stress one can endure in a short period of time, but I suppose I’m here to tell the tale. My work on the school board became a complete train wreck to say the least. I am someone who wears my heart on my sleeve and while I definitely developed a thick skin, a stiff upper lip and found my voice, my heart was essentially broken by politics. A three year investment… you think you can change the world, but sometimes you just can’t. I don’t fail – ever – EV-ER. So much red tape, so many conflicting views and no progress. I feel as though I failed. I failed the children, friends who are teachers, parents, my own kids… I have told many that I absolutely do not regret my time as a trustee at all. It made me stronger, braver and able to publicly speak in front of large crowds! But it also pulled me away from my children. The conflict of interest pulled me away from volunteering at school and being with my children toward a losing battle trying to advocate for everyone else. So my decision to not run again was very easy. I credit any person who puts themselves in the political arena. I’m pretty sure those three years created more age on my face and scalp than all of my prior years combined.
At the end of June, one of my best friends was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of breast cancer. Everything I knew was turned upside down. Cancer is all around you – but until its right beside you – right inside of your flipping heart – you have no idea how it actually feels. She and her husband are who I credit to and speak of in my beginning paragraphs. From these two amazing people I have learned what strength, belief and perseverance truly are. Watching the way this woman approached each and every step of this horrible battle has kept me in complete awe. People have said, if it were me, I would be the same. But I am not so sure. For the past six months I have asked myself each day, how someone could have such incredible strength and positivity. She had it all scheduled out – how long it would take after each treatment until she could go run like a crazy woman with her four beautiful daughters. I mean, she didn’t let this hold her back at all… she would have chemo and then be off to a conference 8 hours away, she would have another and be helping her kids submit their projects for the fall fair, another and she was off to Christmas shop in the states. I don’t have that kind of stamina on a normal day!
With the way my journey unfolded this year, I often think that I wasn’t there enough for her. But we shared some very intimate moments, which I am so grateful for. When we shaved her head, I had to swallow the tears back so hard I almost puked – and she just finally got ‘firm’ and told us to move our asses and get it over with after stalling for an hour. She smiled each time I sent her a hokey-pokey article I found… or when I brought her crazy natural concoctions to sample. She always laughs at her crazy friend as we sat to learn how to draw on eyebrows and I totally stole her thunder and wanted to pluck and shape and pencil mine to make them pretty like hers! Here is a shout out to Christine from Dot Mobile Boutique – amazing nails, make-up AND eyebrows!!!
September I began training new clients. Had I known for one second that this job would bring me so much joy, I would have done it years ago. But, I also believe that everything happens for a reason… One path leads to another… and stars align just the way they are meant to. The people who have come into my life through this job, what I have learned from my clients is truly a gift. Each of these people have a story, a story that they’ve chosen to share with me. For that, I am blessed. I don’t see myself as someone who is just there to help my clients get fit or to get into shape. For that one hour I am with them each session, I want them to have that hour to be all about them and what they need and what they are striving for to become a stronger, healthier person not only physically but I think, even more so mentally. My hope is that my clients feel a trust with me, that they can open up to me and share what is possibly holding them back. I’ve had very personal moments shared. I’ve shared tears, I’ve shared excitement, joy, victories and celebration. When someone entrusts me with this job, its an honour and I want nothing more but to see them successful.
So although this post has very little to do with fitness and personal training, my hope is that you have been able to read between the lines to capture what I’m saying. Each new year brings new beginnings, new goals and also many new challenges along the way. Often we play the “I’ll do it tomorrow” card, or “Poor me” card. But, if we stop for just a few minutes to reflect – ask yourself what you would do if just one day you accidentally came upon a lump in your breast and your world was turned upside down, if you lost a child or a loved one, if you had an injury that made you physically incapable of having the option to active… how would you handle it? I know that after the year I’ve had, I would approach it a lot differently than I would have even five years ago. I’ve learned from someone special that each day is precious and that you can’t wait for tomorrow and you must be positive despite dark days. We have one short life to live and as each new year slips by waiting for tomorrow we lose precious opportunity to be our most amazing selves.
Go out and be amazing this 2015! Whatever dreams you have be them big or small – stop waiting for tomorrow!
Happiest New Year my friends!