Every year around my birthday I get a little quiet and think about what I’m doing and where I’m going. I’m pretty sure I’m going to look back on my 36th year as one of the most challenging in my life. I knew I was going to be making a “few" changes this past year. What I didn’t know is that NOTHING was going to work out the way I thought it was going to.
I always think about goats during my annual “quiet birthday reflection time.” I’ve always been somewhat fixated on having goats. What I thought would be a liner path to goat ownership has proved to be quite an interesting journey. As it turns out you can’t have goats in the middle of town or in a building with no yard. Maybe I’m not meant to have goats? Let’s not be ridiculous, the goats are a serious life goal. Going into last year I recognized that something in my life had to change in order to move the needle towards the goat goal.
I could go down a rabbit-hole of life and business decisions that got me here but instead I’ll say this: I LOVE what I do. I think of my job as the same as the person that works at an amusement park. The one that ushers you onto the rollercoaster, checks your seatbelt for safety and then smiles and waves as you take off towards the long ascent into fun… that’s me! To know the fitness industry is also to know that it’s extremely hard one to make a living in. This industry is famous for long hours and little return, hence the needing to make a change.
I know enough about myself to know that I’ll never be successful doing something that I’m not crazy passionate about. My passion for fitness comes from knowledge, from the many years of studying exactly how fitness can literally change your mental and physical health outcome into old age. On the other hand, my bicycle is all heart. The feeling of staring down a new adventure feeds my soul. I’m also passionate about this old building we own, I absolutely love our community and I saw an opportunity to make something special. I decided to pull together all of the resources I could find and start an ambitious project.
I was scared and I was alone walking into unchartered territory. When we started the fitness business it was my husband and I together, now his career has taken him to a different path. It’s one thing to be crazy passionate about something, it’s another thing to mold that passion into a functioning business. No one mentions how much you have to give up when you make a big change in life. For a few months I had to set my fitness routine on a shelf, my workouts were literally trimming 1,600 sq. feet of barn tin into 2x2 ft. squares. I had to give up extracurricular reading and my little craft projects. I simply didn’t have the energy. Everything I had went into keeping my family together and finishing this project.
I’m going to address how many times I was told NO during this last year. I could write an entire book about being told no; banks, insurance agencies, bicycle companies, parts suppliers, window contractors, contractors in general love to tell me no. I have always considered myself a pretty resilient individual but the constant stream of being told no really made me question my sanity and almost broke me. Instead I learned to pivot. I learned that behind every “no” is a better solution to the problem that you were trying to solve.
Now that all of the reclaimed barn tin has settled into a perfect grid on the ceiling, I can say things worked out exactly how they were supposed to. I came out with a whole new understanding of myself. So buried in these words I guess my point to this story is this: Don’t be scared and absolutely don’t give up if you have a goal. It’s hard to sit and look at your life and assess what’s working and what is not working. It’s even harder to take steps to change what’s not working. Be brave and take that step anyway. It’s going to be near impossible to keep going when it gets hard. Keep marching and when you fall, you get back up and you march.