On September 21st (08), I’m going to celebrate my 25th birthday. I will now go through a phase in my life commonly known as the quarter-life crisis (it's sister is the dreaded mid-life crisis).
I consider myself a collection of all the people I’ve meet. So far, my life has been great and I owe it to a variety of individuals who is responsible for helping me attain my goals in life. There is no way to repay them of all the iron lessons and wisdom they’ve offered. Thanking every single person would make this article a novel so to keep it simple here is My Top 5 Forever Indebted List:
1 & 2: Of course the “greatest parents”, my mom (hardest working person on the galaxy) and my dad (walking billboard of what perseverance mean) 3. My brother (thanks for being my Superman – all the time!). Ladies, he is artistic, independent, single and if I may say so myself “tall, dark, and handsome” (see pix)
3. My brother (thanks for being my Superman – all the time!). Ladies, he is artistic, independent, single and if I may say so myself “tall, dark, and handsome” (see pix)
5. Daryl Kapis for introducing me to something that not only developed into my passion and my career, but for saving my life. It might seem embellished to the naked eye, but what he did for me really was that valuable. I bet he doesn’t even know how much impact he has on me and how much I look up to him.
Most people by age 25 aren’t all that accomplished (most are just finishing up school or just realizing their true passion). Im not your average person. I build freaky athletes and get people healthy. I’ll be 25 soon, and have been able to accomplish quite a bit for my age. It’s largely because I’m as bad a workaholic as you’ll ever meet. The main reason is that it doesn’t feel like “work.” They say that if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. I’m a perfect example. I’ve been coaching at a local High School and have grown to having a new found respect for high school coaches. Not many people realize this but all high school coaches are underpaid. They actually “lose money” instead of “making money” working as a high school coach. These coaches do it for sheer love, passion for the sport; and in my case for experience and enjoyment of helping people.
I’m also lucky to be in a position to be comfortable with virtually everyone who talk to me about being their trainer/coach. There aren’t many populations to whom I can’t relate. I’ve been fat, weak, strong looking to get stronger, injured, sick, up-and-coming athlete without direction, accomplished athlete with a frame of reference for what it takes to reach the next level, etc. Whether you’re a grandfather with a bad lower back, or a 17 year old Division 1 caliber athelte, I can walk a mile in your shoes and make you better. It might sound conceited, but that couldn’t be further from the truth; it’s just that nothing really phases me anymore. I’d put my experiences, passion, and knowledge against those of anyone in the fitness industry.
My work ethic is the foundation for everything. I’d like to be able to give you a quick-fix answer, but the truth is that nothing will ever go as far as hard work and perseverance (re-read number 1 and 2 above to make the correlation). Hard work and perseverance has a magical effect that makes difficulties and obstacles vanish. I didn’t just wake up one day, told people how to exercises and called the process Fusion Training System. I worked my ass off to get where I am today. Realize it has not been an easy path. There have been times when I have literally been involved with projects where I have flushed lots of money down the drain. But, I act fast! When most people are contemplating, I’m in action. There have been lots of mistakes made. Yet things are always getting done because I learned not to despair, even when my world is falling apart.
I work VERY long hours - longer than you could even imagine. You build a successful career, regardless of your field of endeavor, by the dozens of little things you do on and off the job. Even employed as a Trainer and a Club Coordinator (at a health club), I still did the “dirty work”. I change the lights, did the laundry, cleaned the exercise machines, vacuumed the entire facility including the pool, built a fence, painted the building, etc. I have regularly worked 100+ hour weeks since May 2006. It has been 50 or more hours of athletes/clients (some for free) and 50 or more hours of writing/online consulting/email responses (mostly free). I did it so that I could get to where I am now, and I do it now to capitalize on the foundation I put down. By far I don’t consider myself an expert in the field of human performance. I know a lot, but I haven’t made all the mistakes in this field to make me an expert. Everyday Im constantly trying to learn something because I have a desire to be the best possible daughter, teammate, mentor, trainer, coach, student and friend.
Last week, I had a conversation with an already established Strength and Conditioning Coach and I asked him flat-out where I should draw the line on work and play. His response: "At your age, you don't. Sleep in the gym if you have to.It'll all pay off." You won't find someone who works harder than I do, and when somebody gives an overachiever like me that kind of encouragement, I not only pay attention; but I go from really productive to crazy productive.
So, in short, the truth is that I have busted my butt from day one and wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t done so. I haven’t spend a penny on alcohol since I graduated from college; that money is now spent on resources such as books, DVDs, seminars, and quality food and supplements to make me the athlete and coach that I am today. I never waste my time; especially to watch episodes of Survivor, 24, American Idol, Lost, The Hills, or any of a number of other popular shows I'm forgetting to mention; I'd just rather be doing other things. Don't get me wrong; I've still had fun along the way, but I've gotten better about finding a balance. Life is all about choices, and I chose to be where I am today - on top of the world.
“You Only Get What You Put In.”