the second bravest thing I ever did in my lifeAfter graduation from high school, I wasn’t at all certain about the type of work I’d do, or career I’d have. I grew up in a rural area and didn’t really know what my options were. While I considered my future, I took a full-time office job. I earned slightly more than minimum wage, gained experience, was given pay increases for good job performance and I learned a lot. But the most important thing I learned was that I wouldn’t be able to tolerate a long-term job being cooped up in an office environment all day, every day. I had never really known what career possibilities were available to me, based on the small-town upbringing and lack of exposure to people with “exciting careers”. But now I knew what I definitely didn’t want.

From a very young age I recognized that I was attracted to adventure and activities that were physical and fun. Outdoors if possible. I had no ideas about the details or specifics related to how I’d turn those into a career, job or business that would allow me to support myself, but I thought there must be a way. The stereotypical expectations of how adult women should live their lives had been fed to me from childhood and although it may have appealed to many females as they approached adulthood, I just knew that having children, being a stay-at-home Mom and all that went with that lifestyle was not going to satisfy me.

After 10 years of doing “what I had to do” – as opposed to “what I loved to do”- I now had post-divorce financial obligations that were keeping me awake at night. I knew that sometimes you have to hold your nose, stay true to your instincts and hold on to the hope that you’ll find a way to fit into your skin and your life for the long term. As they say, “Never surrender!”

Even during those years of 9 to 5 boring, boring, boring, I embraced the active “adventure-loving” aspect of my personality and found time to manage my stress and anxiety by scuba diving, weight lifting, making acquaintances in aerobics and fitness-boxing classes, running every evening after work, driving my motorcycle as fast as I could on quiet stretches of road, mountain biking on the local trails. It all helped a little, but mostly it fueled my hunger for a more active lifestyle and job and less indoor office work. It even made me realize that wearing uncomfortable high heeled shoes at work was a glaring contrast to the comfy running shoes I wore after work.

My feet hurt and my soul ached.

A (literally!) painful divorce in my late-20’s had affected the trajectory of what I thought would be my life and I felt (financially) more hopeless than I’d ever believed would be possible. Would I ever have a career, job, dream that I could look forward to? Would I ever enjoy a night of full, deep sleep without worry? I was feeling increasingly restless and even (gulp) hopeless.

One day in the lunchroom at the office, I noticed a headline in the Business section of the newspaper that was lying on the table. It changed everything for me:

“PERSONAL TRAINING – Not Just for Celebrities Anymore!”

Now we’re talking! Tell me more! I couldn’t stop thinking about how I could combine my favorite activities and turn them into a career that felt second-nature to me. Immediately, as I took this idea seriously, I noted another ‘personality-based’ bonus that would work well for me – besides the comfortable shoes: “PERSONAL” Training………One-On-One!

I’m not “anti-social”, but I’ve always been aware of the fact that I do better in situations with one or two people at a time rather than trying to suppress my anxiety when socializing or working with larger groups of people.

That faint glimmer of hope that had always been tempting me through the cracks of my restless life, had suddenly become a huge ray of sunshine and recognition as I realized I might be onto something real and possible!

And that’s when my aching soul came to life and I felt the air become fresher. My glimmer of hope became a bright wide-open door of determination and energy. And that short newspaper article about “Personal Training for everyone” ignited my energy and hope and launched me head first into what has become my lifelong career…….and my joy.

Nothing feels better than finding your place. Belonging exactly where you are.

I took the plunge, spent every evening and weekend becoming a trained, certified Personal Trainer. But now I was approaching my 30s and I wondered if anyone would want an “old” personal trainer. The celebrities all had young and beautiful trainers. Would anyone even want me to be their Trainer?

You never know exactly what will happen until you try. Do it. So I pointed my heart, my most positive thoughts and my strengths in the direction of a brand new career…………..and as it turned out – a brand new satisfying life!