One of my favorite songs of all time is the song “Closing Time” by Semisonic. I realize that this is a blast from the musical past in the 90’s, but the song resonates with me, especially when I hear the lyrics at the very end of the song.
“Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end.”
A year ago to the date now, I picked up a kettlebell and decided to change my life. Over the course of that year, people began to notice how drastically different my life was because of that single decision. Some of these people were my friends. Some of these people were my family. Some of these people were trainers. And some of them were reporters.
To this day, I cannot believe how much my life has changed just from making one decision, one choice to change my life for the better. The impact has been beyond what I have ever really intended, but I will admit that as much as I love the spot light, I cannot deny there have been times when I have completely fallen off the wagon. There have been times when I have fallen so fa off the wagon during the journey that I wondered if my body would ever pick up and heal. There have been times when frustration had my attitude sink. There have been times when I have fallen back into old habits. And there have been times when I have been given so many tasks that the thought of giving up entirely crosses my mind. But I keep going. I press on and on only for one reason.
I have not forgotten who I am.
Here’s something most people don’t know about me. I went through a period of severe devastation after I had left my graduate program last year. I was studying Theology at Saint Vincent Seminary with the intention to do young adult ministry. Yep. This is a true story. By the time I had finished my summer term in 2012, I realized that the program was not working out for me. I had wrestled with a lot of the religious beliefs for those 2.5 years I was studying, and decided to take a leave of absence before completing the program to take some time to myself and figure out who I was outside of any belief system. I had intended to return to complete the program after a years leave, but decided to lay that portion of my life down. When you know you aren’t fit to complete something, it is best to let it go. It was the hardest decision I ever had to make, and for a very long time, I was an emotional wreck because of it. Hell, it felt like I was going through a divorce or something.
Here’s the good news.
While I had intended to be of a public service to people, I had no direction at the time I left my program to figure out how to effectively put myself in a career that would allow me to serve others. I was so stressed out that I decided to start working out to at least channel my frustration somehow. Then…the light bulb turned on in my head. “What if kettlebells became my public service? What if fitness became a ‘ministry’ of sorts?”
And one year later, this year in fact, I find myself studying for the National Academy of Sports Medicine certified personal training exam and training my butt off for the Russian Kettlebell Challenge set for April, 2013. I picked up what little stamina I had left, through up some wild prayers and have witnessed some miraculous things in my life blossom because of it. I hadn’t forgotten who I was inside. I knew deep down that I could help others be the best version of themselves, and it looks like I have finally found out how to effectively live out my life calling. And I fully intend to help others eat smart, train hard, and enjoy their lives to the fullest!
Recently there had been some issues that arose in my personal life that had me really think about moving forward into this life of fitness. The stressful demands I place on my body, the crazy working hours I have now, and the amount of time I spend studying had gotten the best of me and I ended up a over trained, under slept, and mishandling my own stress because of it. It got so bad that I received several emails from my own trainer who had concerns about my well being, and that’s when it hit me. I had forgotten who I was for a moment, for just a brief second. And it was destroying my goals for an ENTIRE MONTH!
I took a week off to decompress and thought about the life I was once living and the life I have now. The light bulb went off again. Realizing who I am inside, knowing that I a some what of an oddity and that I genuinely want to help others bust through the insane obstacles they may be facing, I decided to make yet another decision. That decision is in full force now, and that is to permanently remove any last remnants of my self-damaging past and to become the person I always dreamed to be, the minister serving others for the greater good.
There are times in life where we can become so distracted, so overwhelmed, and so worried sick that we fall backwards into they way things once were. We can forget who we are when the stresses of life beat us down. But if we take a moment to look around to see our progress before our very eyes, we can be assured that our current struggles are just part of a new beginning that comes from some other beginnings end.
Remember to eat smart, train hard, ad enjoy your life!