Sometimes I think we have a tendency to think we need some rock bottom or very large event to change the trajectory of our life. But I’d argue that’s rarely the case. Yes a person can certainly have a near death experience or some kind of epiphany. That’s not my personal experience or expectation for you.
Today’s episode is about both decisions, and also outside scenarios that lead to a large or small change to the path of my adult life. That’s the other important piece of this context – I am referring to my adult life. When I feel I mostly had autonomy and control over my life choices.
I’ve organize these in chronological order. And to be fair, there is actually six of these. Because I just thought of a prequel to what I have listed here.
After graduating high school with honors, in every after school club, and a three sport varsity athlete I decided I’d take off a semester because I hadn’t fully decided on what I’d go to college for, and I didn’t see the point of racking up debt until I knew what that debt was going for.
I had no desire to leave home, I was coaching competitive cheer locally and was happy with that. I am sure my mother was dying inside.
Fast forward – I enroll in a local community college in their fitness training associates program. I was deciding between fashion school, cosmetology or being a trainer. And landed on being a trainer. But wanted to go to school, not just get a cert.
In my second to last semester, we had to interview someone who was doing what we wanted to do. So, I knew of a local strength and conditioning coach who worked with a few MMA fighters in the UFC. He was willing to have me interview him and he told me I needed my CSCS, certainly if I wanted to work in college athletics. But that required a 4 year degree.
After that interview, within a week, I was shifting my whole life, researching Exercise Science, Kinesiology, or biomechanics programs at local universities. Found Concordia, met with their advisor and changed all classes at my community college to essentially set me up for an easy transition to their exercise and science program in a year.
All because of that one interview when I was 19 years old. Thanks to him, I had a new route for my life, which very much so lead to the next 5 trajectory changes.
Fast forward to 2013/2014. I complete my ESS degree, get my CSCS, all to decide I wasn’t going into college strength and performance. You’d think that decision alone was the life changing one, but it was the two that came after that really set up the new direction.
I’d interned at two places – University of Portland as a strength coach, and a Physical Therapy Clinic that focused on the gap between physical therapy and return to sport. I’d had a lot of injuries and was always fascinated by the PT world. I used to joke with them that I wish I could get a PT education but use it to train normal people.
So, did’t honestly love my experience at the PT clinic but did love and support the owner.
After my internship I was offered the job of my supervisor. Which never sat right with me, because I was fairly sure he was unaware of this – though I was not one of his fans. Side note, another mentor told me while I was interning there that I should take it as an opportunity to learn what I don’t like, what I won’t do, what doesn’t make sense to me. So, I did.
The pay was good, it would be an amazing job right out of college, but it was also an hour commute and the hours were shit. And, my gut just said no.
I applied for a personal training gym locally but they required you to fill in with group/class coaching and I fucking hated that with every ounce of my being.
I got offered that job as well, was told I was overqualified. And I just said no. It didn’t feel right.
And perhaps that sounds super outrageous for someone who is fresh out of college. But I was also training people in person already through the cheer gym I coached at. So I wasn’t completely without work.
It took a bit, but in 2015 I decided to start my own biz, fitdesignbyannie. I got business cards and flyers, put them in local businesses. The whole 9 yards. It was in person and online training. And I had not a fucking clue what I was doing, but I knew I wasn’t doing something I hated and that was all I needed.
LOL because 2015 was ROUGH. I had started an instagram, and it wasn’t going great. Like I mentioned, I figured out very quickly that I didn’t know what I was doing and probs needed help.
I call this moment my “not your father’s root beer kitchen counter breakdown” because I was deep in renovating the kitchen in my rental (which was of course being reimbursed by the landlord), drinking not your fathers root-beer, crying because I was very close to reaching my threshold. I’d decided to start my biz, to work for myself, and what I was trying wasn’t working. Well, in person it was working great. Online was like a different language to me.
I get a text from Paige and she sends me a link to Hilary Rushfords Instagram with Intention course. It was like $279 or $197. I don’t remember but I remember not having the money and buying it anyway because I freaking needed help.
That course lead to clarity, and also to purchasing B School with Marie Forleo in March 2016. Those two women, and those two terrifying investments are why I survived the first year and half of entrepreneurship. And frankly, how I kept going.
We’re going to hit pause here before diving into how full time world travels came about.
Maybe you started following me pre world travels or post world travels. Regardless, you’re getting the behind the scenes in these two episodes of the paths that lead me to you listening to this today!
This was a really fun exercise for me to complete. If you haven’t reflected on life trajectory-changing decisions or scenarios, give it a go. There are many paths we can take, but I think it’s cool to unpack the one we’re one. And hey, maybe this leads to another change for you! Who knows!
Tune in next week for world travels, 2021 land and house situation, and of course, pregnancy.
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I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.
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