Article written by my amazing client, Meghan Knowles!
Change - it’s one, single word that’s had a world of meaning to me in the past year.
But let’s take it back 365 days…
About a year ago, I was getting ready to embark on the greatest change in my life - moving to LA for what I saw as a new beginning. For so long, I had wanted a new start by going into the group fitness and health/wellness space, which stemmed from my passion of wanting to help others better themselves, but was held back by the security of my full time career in public relations. Sure, it gave me a steady income, but it also gave me an overwhelming case of stress and anxiety from the demands of always having to be “on.” This didn’t leave much for work/life balance.
As much as I was excited to make it to LA in January for my “fresh start,” I was also scared to death. When I arrived I was unemployed, living in an area of the city that I did not feel a strong connection to and was unsure of how I would meet new people outside of the small group of friends I had here from college. To say I was scared out of my mind is an understatement. I had just left behind everything I knew in NY. My family, friends, my fitness community (shout out to my SurfYogaBeer family!) How was I going to find that in my new city? Let’s also throw in the fact I was about to turn 30…
A few weeks after settling in LA, I landed a new job in PR. Was it what I was really hoping for? No, but it served as a landing place to help me get started here. One thing it helped me do was meet a great group of co-workers that were a creative, driven group of women that, for once, I felt connected to and supported by. At first it seemed completely different from my anxiety, stress-filled world of PR in NY, but then I noticed that I still wasn’t devoting enough time to myself out of the office or to researching how to break into the fitness and wellness world. Thankfully, that all changed when I attended an Almost 30 podcast panel that Jess spoke at. When she told her story of her career change, it was like she was in my own shoes and speaking directly to me! I knew I had to message her and set up a time to meet so that I get myself to a better place mentally and physically.
Fast forward a few months in working with Jess I began to see what felt like immediate changes - my acne-prone skin was clearing up (taking Hum Nutrition pre- and probiotics was working like a charm) and I was taking steps to prioritizing self care, like setting up little “day dates” and rituals for myself (for me, nothing beats a Sunday evening Survivor at SoulCycle with Dacoda, followed by a trip to Whole Foods). But even so, something was missing. It wasn’t until Jess and I worked through the fact that I was taking work home with me that I realized I was working an 8-5…and then some. I was slowly burning myself out and work was taking over my life.
I soon realized that my self-care had to be the #1 priority. I made sure to leave my work for the next day and take the rest of my evenings to myself. But at the same time, things at the office became increasingly demanding and overwhelming, which along with it, came the all-too-familiar stress and anxiety. As much as I had done to make positive changes for myself, I felt like I was being sucked back into the lifestyle that I so desperately wanted to leave behind. The one part of my day that I truly felt like I was using for me and as a release from it all was my workouts, whether it was a run or a favorite boutique fitness class. From this, it got me thinking again about how I could carry this small portion of my day into a job or career that I could love.
It wasn’t until recently, when my stress and anxiety levels felt like they were at an all-time high, that I finally understood what people meant when they said they had to physically drag themselves out of bed. I don’t think anyone really jumps up and is excited for work - we all want that extra 5 minutes - but this was so much more. The thought of going to the office, feeling drained and overwhelmed for 9+ hours a day, filled my body with anxiousness. Some mornings, I was paralyzed by the thought of getting out of my car and into the office. Feeling frustrated by a number of issues and emotionally & mentally depleted every week, I knew I couldn’t live like this anymore, not when I had worked so hard on my self-care and creating a better, more balanced lifestyle for myself.
After attending Jess and Rachel McClusky’s “Recharge to Balance & Bliss” retreat, which gave me the opportunity to spend a weekend in beautiful Lake Arrowhead with even more beautiful, supportive and inspiring women, I made the decision that it was time to take that leap of faith and make the change that I had been wanting for so long. I put in my two weeks with my company and felt a wave of relief come over me. To know that I was setting myself up to finally go down the path to pursue my passion for fitness felt so right.
Over the past month, I’ve started working at a couple of boutique fitness studios here in LA and where some people might see it as taking a step back (let’s face it, I left behind a SALARY), I know I’m propelling myself forward. I’m in environments where I’m observing multiple classes a day, seeing the work the instructors put in (even after we leave class) and everything that goes on behind-the-scenes. Plus, by being able to dictate my schedule, I have more time to dedicate to me, something I haven’t really had since jumping into the corporate world almost immediately after college. I have lunch meetings, get in a mid-afternoon workout, read, or simply catch up on my favorite trashy reality TV shows (more Housewives and Bachelors, no Kardashians). I’m able to dedicate more time to my Adidas Runners LA community and become a better leader for the group as a Crew Runner. Basically, for once, I’m doing things that serve me.
It’s crazy that the end of the year is almost here, but I’m SO excited for what 2019 has in store. I’ll be celebrating my 1-year LA anniversary 💃🏼, running my first LA Marathon (#5 overall!) and plan on taking a Pilates certification course…all within the first part of the year! To set these - and other - intentions in stone, I’m joining Jess’ 4 Weeks to Balance & Bliss: New Year, 2.0 YOU virtual group coaching course in January because I know I can thrive from the guidance of some of the best health & wellness experts in the biz and support of like-minded women.
I can’t say exactly what the next year will have in store for me, but what I do know is that the 2.0 version of me is out there and I can’t wait to meet her!