2016 is coming to an end. I have done a lot of reflecting, and have so much to be grateful for. While I am still not where I want to be, both personally and professionally, and although I always consider myself a work in progress, I have come a long way. Rather than setting goals or making New Year's Resolutions, I believe in making small changes and developing positive habits that will last a lifetime. Here are some of the habits I have adopted over this past year:
1. Increasing the visibility of female coaches in the fit was industry, and empowering women/girls
2. Writing more frequently
Here are some of my favourite articles that I've written this year
3. Being true to myself
While this kind of goes hand-in-hand with my writing, I have made a huge point of living my life more openly and authentically, both personally and professionally. Doing so has removed a huge weight from my shoulders, metaphorically speaking, and has allowed all aspects of my life to thrive. Being my uncensored self at all times has definitely improved my ability to do my job, both in person, and online, and has made a dramatic difference with my writing. Living freely is the gateway to creativity, learning, and bettering oneself. I wish I had done this years ago, but better late than never.
4. Making myself more, not less
While for years I worried about being ''too big,'' and this is when I had virtually NO muscle, I am loving the muscle I've added all over my body. In fact, my legs have grown 4 inches in diameter from when I first returned to training after my 5+ years of severe body dysfunction. While it's cool on an aesthetic level, it's significantly more meaningful to me because I have regained my health and ability to work out/play sports, and I will never take this for granted again. In 2017 and beyond, I will continue to make myself more, and celebrate my good health!
5. Learning that it's ok to say no
For most of my life, I have always had an extremely hard time saying no. This applies to both my personal and professional life. Professionally speaking, I have learned to set boundaries, and have realized that saying no is OK. If I am working with a client and they are being disrespectful, I will let them go. In fact, I did so twice this year. If there is a prospective client and I do not think that it will be a good fit, or if I do not think I will be able to help them, I will be honest and tell them. This has definitely improved my ability to do my job, and has made it even more enjoyable.
6. No longer comparing myself to others, or at least not as frequently
For years, I had the exhausting habit of comparing myself to others. For example, whenever I would see kickass women squatting and deadlifting a tremendous amount of weight, I would feel badly about myself for not being as strong. While it did take a lot of work, and while on occasion I still catch myself comparing myself to others, I usually find myself admiring their strength, versus feeling badly that I am not at their level. Now it is all about bettering myself versus comparing myself to others.
Now that I have been fortunate enough to fix my body, and have achieved good levels of strength and fitness, I make a huge point of sprinting 2 to 3 days a week. This is obviously hugely beneficial to my soccer, but it is equally important for me mentally. Back when my body was an absolute trainwreck, and my stubbornness and unwillingness to quit (largely because I was playing well) kept me going, I did not enjoy sprinting as I only noticed how much my body hurt, and how fucked up and dysfunctional it felt. Now when I sprint, my body feels fantastic, and I feel like I have such a spring in my stride. It took me so much time and effort to fix my body, so I'm really embracing and appreciating how good I feel.
8. Making quality sleep a priority
10. Developing my hamstrings
Last, and definitely not least, it has been a huge priority of mine to establish more connections with amazing female and male fitness professionals from around the world, both on a professional and personal level. I have been extremely lucky as a few of my favourite professionals reached out to me first (I'm still totally pinching myself), and I have made many fantastic connections with others. While there are way too many people to thank, just know how much I appreciate you, both professionally and personally. Thank you for believing in me, and for supporting me on many different levels.
Bonus: A Crazy/Fun Workout Compilation