What I’ve Learned About Me in My 32 Years: All You Need is Love (and Fitness)

Today is my 32nd birthday. It’s gotten me thinking about the things that I’ve accomplished – or in many cases, not accomplished – throughout the last several years. To be completely honest, I consider myself somewhat of a mess. Maybe not in the traditional sense – I have a good job, I live in a great city, I have wonderful family and friends, I’m healthy, I’ve found my life’s passion in fitness and teaching group exercise – but the rest of it? Kind of a big old mess.

I know what you’re thinking … that life doesn’t sound so bad. But when you take a look at the things that truly matter in your life, and realize that what you consider to be the most important things in life are absent, and that the people in your life just don’t understand the thing closest to your heart? Yep, we have a problem. That’s right … big old mess.

At the risk of leaving myself perhaps a little more exposed than I’d care to be, I’m going to admit something that I’m sure a lot of people would not take me seriously knowing: I know exactly what I want out of my life. And I know that the saying goes that you always want what you don’t have – but what if what I do have brings me no joy? What if I’ve just been fooling people and not being true to myself? What if I do have a vision for my future, but I’ve found myself unable to figure out how to open the box, let alone start putting together the puzzle?

What if, really, all I need is love … and fitness?

Which is where fitness comes in. I’ve had many – MANY – people tell me that I need to find something else to do with my time; something else in which I can concentrate my efforts. Find a new hobby (but I already know what I love). Find a boyfriend (you have NO IDEA how hard I’ve been trying … and failing … for more years than I’d care to admit). Take some time off, or just skip it (I won’t eliminate from my life the very thing that brings me the greatest joy). But here’s the thing: when I’m working out, or when I’m teaching a class is the one time in my day I truly feel like me. I’m the person I want to be, I exude the confidence I am unable to muster in any other setting, I’m free of worry … I truly feel alive. My best me. The me I want to be. If there is ever a time that I truly love myself – in the way that people say you have to in order to have others truly love you in return – it is when fitness is involved.

Going back to what I mentioned earlier – that I know exactly what I want from my life. I know it’s a modern era, and women are supposed to be able to do anything they set their minds to, rule the world, get the corner office, do it all. But what if the only thing I truly want is love? And I use that word in two senses – to create and nurture a family of my own, and to be able to share my love of fitness with the world? Yeah, I said it. I want to be a mom and a fitness instructor. That’s it. My goal in life. I don’t want to get all dolled up (and “use the hallway as a runway,” as I’ve been told – long story) and go sit in an office all day. I want to walk my someday kids to the bus, and drive them to soccer, and when they are in school, spend my days doing the one thing that brings me the greatest joy in my life – helping people to live healthier lives.

One of my favorite quotes comes from the founder of a company I worked for several years ago: “All I want to do is change the world; make it a better world for future generations.” I truly try to live by these words. It’s not about me. It’s not about what I can accomplish on my own – it’s what can be accomplished when we help others to achieve their goals. It’s not about money and power and prestige – it’s about caring enough to take the time to change a life. It’s about giving and sharing love, and all the beautiful things that come along with it.

So, yeah … I’m 32 today. And I may, by many standards, have accomplished a lot. But to me, none of it matters. Because I’m not yet in the position to make my life’s work revolve around my passion, and to have people take it seriously. And because I’ve discovered first hand just how incredibly difficult it is to find someone who truly gets it – gets you – and shares the mentality that it’s not about the trivial things. In the end, it all comes down to love.

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21 thoughts on “What I’ve Learned About Me in My 32 Years: All You Need is Love (and Fitness)

  1. Happy Birthday! I’m guessing the people who tell you that you need something else in your life aren’t in the best shape. Just a hunch!

    • Glad you think so – I’m just trying to remind myself that once you start to feel like you’ve hit rock bottom and really can’t handle anymore, that’s when a higher power steps in and brings you the reward for your struggles. It’s gotta be coming soon!

  2. Happy Birthday! I’ll be 30 in June…where does the time go? I’m with you in the sense that when I’m exercising and focusing on my health and fitness, I feel absolutely the best. I slacked in December, primarily because I wanted a month to do so, after working hard for so long. Although it was a nice break, I really did not enjoy it overall – I came back in 2013 and felt sluggish.

    I completely agree with the fitness/love aspect as well. Being single myself, I understand where you are coming from! As I always allow myself to believe – it’ll happen when the time is right.

    Hope you had an awesome birthday!

    • Thanks for the wishes! Sometimes you do need that little break (even though I admit to hating more than one day at a time off) – I do believe that it just means you’ll make some great gains in the coming weeks 🙂 I’m trying my best to keep faith!

  3. Happy Birthday!!
    I hope you find what you want! And it makes total sense that love is the one thing you want. You are not in want of other things because those are already in your life. Fitness is your passion. Keep true and straight on your course to make it your lifework! How many folks get to say they are doing what they truly enjoy, what really motivates and fulfills them, as a career? It sounds like you really have your head on straight! Good for you!

    As for love, well, it will come. Put one foot in front of the other. You will achieve what you set out to do. Don’t worry about opening boxes, doing puzzles and all that stuff. Just keep your eye on that vision and the fitness mom will become a reality. In due time. 😉

    • Thanks so much – I’ve never been so good at the one day at a time stuff. I’ve always been great at going after what I really want … it’s just such a struggle when you feel so powerless in making the things that matter the most happen (doesn’t help that I’m a bit of a control freak and wish I could plan out every single day for the rest of my life!).

      • I know what you mean. I used to know exactly how I wanted my life to go. However, life took me in completely different directions to many different places and I am now so thankful that happened and now my planning is “if nothing else happens, this is what I want to do next”, but I stay wide open to all kinds of possibilities. Sometimes being powerless to make certain things happen can be the best formula to have life happen to you!

        P.S. All the best things in my life started happening the year I turned 32. Just sayin!! 🙂

  4. Happy Birthday my little girl! You’ll get what you want. Soccer? I’ll pick your kids up someday from Rugby and karate. When the time comes we will be great at that stuff. Papap is watching… Love you. Btw, I understand, that’s why I’m a good mummy.

    • Thanks mom … but no rugby or karate. Sorry. Not a fan. I hope I can live up to being at least close to as good as you have been (and I’m not just saying that). I do believe he’s watching. I was really missing him yesterday.

  5. Happy birthday! I sent a prayer your way… My sister is in the same boat – hot as all get-out but can’t find a decent man.

    One thing, you wrote: “and that the people in your life just don’t understand the thing closest to your heart”? Oh, that is such a trap. My sober birthday is a bigger day than my belly-button birthday… My own mother hasn’t remembered it for more than a decade – I stopped reminding her years ago and celebrate the day with my wife and a couple of friends (if available). The point is, it doesn’t hurt that she’s forgotten if my happiness is truly an inside job. Just a thought to chew on. Good luck!

  6. Wow! That was an amazing post and it really hit me! I just wanna say 2keep going after what you want and don’t let anyone tell you different. 2love life is 2strive hard for what you really want…and I know you will get it one day. Nice job girl!

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