When it comes to following a dream, I tend to think it’s the littlest things that make the biggest difference in our lives. It’s all about the journey – the steps we take along the way and the moments we feel at the end of our rope and want to give up, but don’t. That’s where the magic is. Every action we take moves us forward in some way, sometimes a teeny tiny almost imperceivable way, but forward nonetheless. Everything we do, every experience we have, holds meaning and helps shape us into the person we are at this moment. Sometimes though we have to take bigger steps – leaps – in the pursuit of our dreams.
The other day when I was reading books to my three year old son Gus, he asked me what I want to be when I grow up. My lips curled instantly at the thought of it, a smile beaming its way across my face. I hugged him so close and kissed him on his sweet little head. My first thought was that I don’t ever want to really fully “grow up” … but rather it is my intent to forever be growing up – always learning, always dreaming and believing in possibility, and ever open to new things, experiences and adventures.
And before I could answer him he said “I think you should be an ELEPHANT when you grow up, Mommy.” Ok then. There’s that. My gosh, I love him.
When I was in college I really didn’t have much of an idea of what I wanted to “be” after I earned my degree. I majored in English Literature because I loved books, plain and simple. The vision and drive for a career simply didn’t exist for me at the time. I eventually found my way into business-to-business sales though and it was a great fit for me on a professional level. I’m a goal-oriented and very social person, attributes that are quite useful when you need to sell things to people. I enjoyed it because I got out of it what I put into it and while there was a lot of independence working from home I also got to interact with all different kinds of people every day. There was always something missing for me in it though, a level of passion that I just wasn’t tapping into in that line of work.
When my second child was born and the price of childcare doubled (along with the level of stress in our home), my husband and I decided we would try living on one income and I quit my job to stay home with our two children. It was an adjustment for us on many levels, but we made it work. A few years later when both kids were in preschool and my husband and I had decided that we were not going to have any more children, I found myself really itching to find some kind of work – a way to make money (which was a necessity for us) while doing something that I loved and still being able to be home just as much for my family. It was at this time that I started a little business making growth charts for kids (a super fun creative outlet for me) and also became a running coach and Pilates mat teacher. It felt like everything was coming together and I was so excited for the seeds I was planting to GROW. I was going to be making this dream into a reality. I felt filled with hope and inspired to go after this dream.
And then, a few days after my Pilates teacher training course was over, I discovered that I was pregnant with Mister Gus. As grateful and excited as I was, I also felt turned upside down and freaked out a bit at first. Wrapping my brain around how I would handle three children while also trying to build a career of sorts for myself really overwhelmed me at times. I just kept moving forward though, doing what I do, holding onto my passions and following my heart. I kept running. I started coaching. I continued to teach.
I believe that we aren’t given more than we can handle, and that everything in life happens when and how it does for a reason (even if we really can’t understand it for a long, long LONG time).
I also believe that if you’re blessed to know what lights you up inside, you owe it to yourself – and to the world – to live your life doing whatever that is.
One of the things that lights me up inside is being a Pilates teacher. I love it with all of my heart, and feel that it is something I am meant to be doing. Pilates literally changed my life. Every day, it helps me connect with my inner strength, teaches me how to listen to, honor and be aware of my body and how I use and treat it, and reminds me to stay focused on the here and the now. I love working with my students every week on the mat, watching them meet themselves where they are and find their own strength from the inside out. The dream to teach beyond the mat – working with individuals and small groups on the other Pilates apparatuses, has been in my heart for years. When Gus was born I really couldn’t take this on, so for the last several years I have taught mat classes and waited for the right time and opportunity to take the next step, trusting that when it was meant to be it would be.
And here it is.
This weekend I am beginning the next phase of my journey as a Pilates teacher. Over the next three months I will be taking the Peak Pilates Level 1 Comprehensive Program at Lifetime Fitness and by the time summer rolls around I will be ready to teach individuals and small group classes at the beginner level, in addition to the mat classes I am already leading.
My first class begins tomorrow afternoon and I will be in class all weekend long basically (tomorrow from 3-7pm and both Saturday and Sunday from 8am-5pm). It is going to be INTENSE over the next few months and my brain will be firing on all cylinders – there is so much to learn! Balancing this with my coaching, my marathon training and the teaching I am already doing along with everything that comes with being a wife and mom of three is going to be a challenge for sure – but it will be worth it in the long run without a sliver of a doubt.
I’m ready to take the leap!