Y’all. I’m a year older. I made it. What a great birthday! It was so low key, which I actually loved (Who am I these days?) And I made sure I only did what I wanted to do. But the greatest thing about birthdays is people feel the need to tell you really nice things about yourself. It’s pretty great. (For real though. Thank you, everyone, for saying really nice things that are way greater than I deserve). 

But once you turn 20 something, a birthday is just another reminder that you’re getting older. And I legitimately woke up feeling older. And then I did a lot of weighted overhead lunges, and I definitely felt older. AND I LOVE LUNGES, just for the record. Man, last weekend in Miami got me, obviously. I’m still recovering. 

But here’s what birthdays give opportunity to: To reflect, and just be really thankful for all that went down in the previous year. When we start viewing each year of life as a gift, it can change your perspective and actually make you a fun person to be around. 

First of all, before I say any more, I want you to know, I’ve had some really great years, some “so-so/blah” years, some years where I made a lot of mistakes – which led to pretty crappy years. I’m not going to be fake with ya and pretend my life is unicorns and rainbows when it isn’t. BUT I can’t help but rave about how great Year 28 was.

And here’s why:

Last year at this time, I was confused. I was a 20 something year old that still didn’t even know who she was. My identity was wrapped up in whoever I was around. I cared deeply about what people thought of me. I felt like I had to say the right things, do the right things, and of course, say the right things on instgram…you know, always making sure I said deep, super spiritual things so people would know how deep I really was <—-LOL to that. 

I had a great job – a job that I will always be thankful for – but I was miserable. I was holding myself back from really getting to use the gifts GOD had given me to help others make their lives better. And for the record, I didn’t even know it yet. 

I took a step of faith- I guess you could call it that – with the FULL support of Daniel (who has picked up a lot of the brunt and sacrificed more than ever through it). I went and “got ish done” – despite being scared out of my mind. With a little push from a few people, I went and got my CrossFit Level 1 Cert – honestly with the intention to hopefully use it at some point over the next 5 years before it expired. It seemed like a good investment in a time of transition. $1000, for us, wasn’t only an investment, but it was a step of faith. It was a really great weekend. I learned a lot. I was humbled (I’m not the best “mover”). But potential was spoken into me by people who are way smarter than me. They said I was coachable (probably because I just smiled through them correcting every single little thing about my movements) And they said that they saw a future in me competing, and I’ll never forget those 2 observations. 

Since December, some great people have taken a chance on me, taught me A LOT, and given me an opportunity to help make other people’s lives better through all things fitness and overall health. As I’ve gained experience, I’ve gained confidence in it, which has led to me getting to be a part of changed lives through CrossFit. I’ve had the opportunity to train some pretty great people 1-1, and I love coaching classes at CFEC. I’m not the smartest, but I try to ask a lot of questions, read some stuff on the internets, and I surround myself with people who are smarter than I am. 

I freakin’ unapologetically love what I get to do, and I promise you that I never even saw it coming – even a year ago. There aren’t too many other things that make me happy than when I get to be a part of helping someone set goals, take the steps to get there, and then meet those goals. When the lightbulb goes off in someone’s head in class, and they figure out how to get a kipping pullup, or a handstand pushup, or even just make it through a workout – those are the moments I live for. Because in all reality, it’s about more than just CrossFit. It’s about real people getting better, or even just being able to let off some steam after work. 

Through all of this, I’ve had the amazing opportunity to compete – even getting to somehow find a way into Regionals this past year. The weekend of the Atlantic Regional was great and all, but the weeks surrounding that weekend changed me a little bit, and I’m thankful for that. Competing and stepping up that training has shown me the good, the bad, and the ugly about myself that I didn’t even really know was there. If you would have asked me exactly a year ago-when I turned 28- if I saw myself here now, I would have thought you had lost your mind. Despite some days of frustrations and tears and probably caring too much, I wouldn’t trade it. 

Now, do I wake up throwing up unicorns and rainbows on the daily? Nah. Does everyone like me? Most likely not. Do I say and do dumb things. Yes. Am I the best wife around? Nope. Am I great friend every day? No. Am I selfish? YAH. 

But, I can look you in the eye and tell you that (even though it took 28 years) I’m getting to live out a dream I didn’t even know I had a year ago. Despite myself, I’m getting to make a difference in people’s lives- and that is the greatest feeling ever. 

If you don’t get anything else out of this, I hope you can walk away realizing that it’s never too late to change the direction of your life. If you want something, go and make it happen. Some days you’ll question everything. Some days you may feel like you have no idea what you’re doing. But I promise, you’ll be able to look back and see that despite every flaw or imperfection you have, you made a difference and had a lot of fun in the process. 

Here’s to year 29. 

  Josh Wilson Photography

Josh Wilson Photography