Taking a Leap of Faith
We were sitting outside our favorite local coffee shop when he sighed heavily, put down his coffee, looked across the table at me and said, “I just wish I could walk in tomorrow, quit, and never go back. I hate feeling like this.”
He'd taken the day off work, after enduring a pretty stressful couple of months. Which was quite unusual, considering his perfect attendance award as a kid and his rule-following tendencies. But he was run down, tired, and needed a break.
And although this was the typical beginning of countless conversations we’d had over the years, it felt different. But still, the conversation went like usual, and we dreamed about the day my business would be at a certain point financially where he could quit his job and come work with me full time. He'd already been an integral part of my business from the beginning: my idea sounding board, my editor, my guinea pig, and my constant encourager. He'd even purchased the study materials to get certified a couple of times. But at the time it felt risky, so we kept saying one day. When it's safe, smart, and responsible he'll join me full time.
Since we've known each other, Eric hasn't enjoyed his work. When we first met, he worked in marketing, but finding a stable job wasn't easy when you graduated in 2008. So he went back to school, and in his pursuit of finding a career that would serve others well, he earned a nursing degree. But even after working as a nurse for a few years, something was missing. It's hard to see someone you love spend their days doing work that doesn't fill them up and instead, stresses them out to the max. Especially when you get so much fulfillment out of yours. Which is why we'd dream about working together full time so frequently. So after he'd switched jobs again, hoping this one would be better, and was still full of anxiety and dreading work every day, we decided to say screw perfect timing, and jump out in faith.
So over the past few months we've been dreaming, planning, goal setting, and working extremely hard to make this our reality. So I am beyond elated to FINALLY be able to formally introduce you to my official full-time life and now business parter, Eric Diaz!!!
Exercise Eric, nice to meet me. ;) (this is funnier if you watch The Office, if not I promise I'm not that cocky)
Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom before you can get clear on which direction to go. At least that's how it worked for me.
Playing sports growing up, being in an active family, and even pursuing baseball throughout college, physical activity has always been a part of life. It just felt natural. Like breathing. And for half of my years on this earth, baseball was my passion. Baseball was life. I had poured my heart into it, even just for a sliver of an opportunity to play after college. That never came.
By the end of college, I thought I would just eventually "figure it out" regarding what adult life would look like. I chose what seemed "smart and responsible", always taking the "next best step" and ignoring gut instincts. I thought if I pushed through hard enough, I'd eventually find fulfillment. However, I kept ignoring and pushing, ignoring and pushing, until it got to the point where I could no longer live the way I was living. So after 6 years of walking down a path that left me feeling depleted and unfulfilled, I hit my personal rock bottom. Buried deeply was the feeling that I was supposed to do something different with my life.
It took anxiety and a few panic attacks to signal something was wrong, but they also served as a massive wake-up call. I had lost sight of my “why” and needed to take inventory of my intrinsic abilities and interests. I’ve always wanted to serve people, but I had followed the more traditional "desire to help people" vocation of nursing. And while I did in fact help people during my time as a nurse, I always felt that there was something missing. Along with learning a lot about myself during those years, nursing provided me the motivation to meet people before they become patients. I knew I could help people and that nursing wasn't the only avenue.
"You have the coolest job of anyone I know," was a sentiment I'd repeat to Jen on numerous occasions. Joining my wife professionally is no “on a whim” decision. Watching her serve her clients so well all the years I've known her, I've truly been inspired and quite envious to be honest. I've always wanted that fulfillment. It is a leap of faith to finally follow a passion I had tucked away for most of my adult life. Jen and I always talked about working together one day and we are now making that a reality! And this past November marks the third time over the last five years I have purchased personal trainer study manuals for certification (cue "Listen to Your Heart"). I’m certainly learning to listen to myself more and trust my gut the older I get.
My definition for fitness has grown immensely over the years. It's not just physical anymore. Fitness is a sanctuary, a therapy, a community, a lifesaver. I want to be a part of that for others, because I know how much it has meant to me in my life. I hope to serve my clients well, and provide them with the guidance and encouragement to enjoy all the benefits fitness has to offer. It has changed my life for the better and I want the same for everyone I encounter on this journey.