It's amazing to me the things that stick out in my memory. Mostly because I have a terrible one and constantly feel like I can't remember anything.
But I do recall this day quite vividly from college. It was a holiday weekend, maybe the Friday leading up to three days off in a row. I was probably a freshman or sophomore, somewhere in there. I told you - I don't remember things.
But I had decided to go to our school's wellness center and workout. I loved that place! It was really nice and new when I started there and a place I felt comfortable on campus. I was walking back to my dorm after finishing up and ran into a couple of people...I don't even know that I'd call them friends necessarily since it took me a while to make them but I do know what was said. I'm sure the conversation went something like this.
"Hey, how's it going? What are you doing?"
Me: "Oh, just getting a workout in."
<Look of confusion>
"Kati, it's the holiday weekend. Take a break!"
It probably shouldn't have been that big of a deal. And it's not like I walked away crying. But I distinctly remember feeling embarrassed, weird, like an oddball. Silly for going to the gym, when probably no one else was there.
It was the weekend. Why couldn't I just be normal??
Even now, it stirs up feelings inside me. Because I entered that time of my life extremely shy, naive, and like most college kids, unsure of what I wanted to do in life and where it was all going. All I knew was that I enjoyed staying FIT.
Every time I walked into my advisor's office, he'd say, "Kati, have you decided what you want do?" And I'd say, "Yes, remember? (well, once I had decided) I'm going to do Exercise Sports Science. And be a personal trainer."
He never made me feel odd about that; he was head of the department. But despite his involvement and participation in my life goals, I still felt a twinge of uncertainty when I recalled that silly little conversation where one off-the-cuff comment made me question it all.
Did I really need to care so much? Was being into health and fitness silly?
I can get emotional thinking about it because that is where it started for me. I had enjoyed playing high school sports but I knew I didn't want to coach those same sports or teach PE like a lot of others pursuing my same degree. I hated math. And the only subjects I liked were English and my ESS classes. I became more interested in nutrition. I didn't feel a draw towards anything else, so I went with what I knew and what I liked.
Fast-forward. I tried personal training in a gym environment but it wasn't my thing. I didn't know what my thing was but for ten years, I tried to find it. I looked and searched and prayed and was bored and frustrated and thought - what is there for me? What is out there in the field I'm so passionate about that would allow me to do what I love?
I never guessed I would find it. But I'm so glad I did. And that story is for another day, but let me tie this all together with a thought.
It's true! And had I let that off-handed comment throw me off the path I felt led to pursue, who knows how different my life might now look? If you feel passionate about something, if you feel called and led to DO what you do, then do it! Don't let another person, thing, excuse, or obstacle stand in your way. Find your way through - fight for your passion - and don't stop until you've reached your goal. If that takes your whole life, bravo! You will live a life well spent. Your heart will beat faster, your smile shown more often, and others around you will feel the energy that comes from doing what you LOVE.
Happy Weekend my friends. #DontStopBelieving