A Year In Review – The question I asked that changed everything.

Wow. It’s five months into 2016 and something just hit me — I’ve developed more than I ever have in a year. The past twelve months have been full of more transitions, travel, new experiences, connections and adventures than ever before – a year of change entirely, all fueled by one question:

“Why not?”

More specifically,

“If not you, then who? If not now, then when?”

It all started with the decision to transfer to the U of M – to pack up, fly  and move to a city in which I knew no one — a decision that both excited, ignited and scared the hell out of me. A decision I knew I had to make. Yet there were some other triggers that sparked the fire.

In the past year, I have:

  • Transferred schools 1,000 miles away from a small school in Texas to one of the largest in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
  • Studied abroad in a foreign country (Italy), traveling there alone to meet a group in which I knew no one.
  • Designed and declared my own major, a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition, Psychology and Business and Marketing Education.
  • Taken my personal training business from knocking on doors nervously with zero clients to leading a 12-week weight loss program, launching online coaching, and working with over 40 clients in the past year.
  • Obtained a second on-campus job as a peer coach for students exploring their major options, encouraging them to think outside the lines and pave a path of their own.
  • Won two steeplechase races and revived my competitive spirits after a year of an overtrained body and mind, thinking “running may just not be for me.”
  • Launched a blog, Strong Runner Chicks, focused on embracing strength in female distance runners and spoken out on disordered eating, giving an hour-long presentation on sports nutrition to my former high school team of 30+ girls.
  • Attended The Radiance Retreat as the youngest of 50 women.
  • Signed up to go backpacking in South America, starting in a week (eek!)

Looking over this bulleted list, I am shocked at how much has changed. I mention these not to brag in any sense, but to highlight how much can happen in a year, and more importantly, to remark on how each of these were conscious decisions I made based entirely on the pursuit of self-growth and discovery.

With all of the action taken on travel plans, working and various transitions, there were certainly sacrifices made, relationships left and periods filled with bouts of uncertainty and isolation, but it was all worth the while.

Call it the result of too many self-help books and blogs during my time at Lamar, but the fire built up within me after years of dissatisfaction and inaction. Something within me has changed. My new religion is taking action — taking ownership of my life, my circumstances and making the decision to change them accordingly.

This year I’ve spent more on travel than I’d like to admit — more than an out-of-state semester’s worth of tuition, just for trips abroad– all saved up from summers of grinding away with hopes of using it on valuable experience or two. This year I’ve met more people and connected with more faces than I ever have in a single year. I’ve invested more into self-development than I ever have. I’ve taken on more than I thought I could handle, only to prove to myself that I could. And I don’t regret any of it.

So — I’ve mentioned my story but I’m curious to hear yours. What is it that you’ve been long-meaning to do? What is it that scares the hell out of you (but is totally something you should do)? What is it that you most hope to manifest in your life right now? But really: What are you waiting for? 

In your next decision, when you find yourself having doubts, I challenge you to ask: WHY NOT? As my cross country coach says, “If not you, then who? If not now, then when?” 

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Take it by the horns and live it. Don’t regret the things you didn’t do.