Twelve years ago, I decided that I wanted to be a group fitness instructor. I had just become a stay at home mom to my first baby, but was still itching to do something to get myself out of the house and make my own money. I studied, I practiced and then took the exam. Know what happened? I didn’t pass! We ended up moving a short few months later and I set that dream aside for years. A few more moves and another child later, I started to feel the itch again to give instructing another go. Fitness had re-entered my life as a way for me to deal with some pretty harsh trials that had taken a toll on me in all aspects. It became my therapy and my outlet to deal with the pain and anxiety. And after seeing the impact it had on my life, I wanted to help do that for other people. And so, after we had moved for the 6th time in 9 years, I decided to try again. And this time, I passed! And then immediately found out I was pregnant the next day. So once again, my dreams to teach were put on hold. Fast forward two more years, I had another baby and we had just moved AGAIN, and I just walked into a gym and asked if they needed an instructor - my certification was still active and I figured why not just go for it. They took a chance on a new girl and thus fulfilled that goal I had set as a new mom.
At my peak, I was teaching 8 classes a week and loving every minute of it. But, about a year ago, I started to fill the urge to start cutting back. So, I cut back the number of classes to 5. And then I cut back to only teaching at one facility. And then I cut back to two classes a week. As I have stuck to those two classes the past two months, it still didn’t feel like I’d cut back enough. As much as I enjoy what I’ve been doing and the people I have met along the way, my heart is being pulled in another direction and my body is telling me it can’t keep up.
So, today, I taught my final class. My son is half way done with middle school and I have hated that he comes home to an empty house several nights a week. My youngest seems to be sick more often than not. My own body is suffering from adrenal fatigue and will require me to completely slow down in order to heal. There are so many reasons why I know it’s time to move on. And while I know I am making the right decision, I will admit it has been an extremely emotional week and I’ve been in tears more than a handful of times as I think about closing out this door.
People keep asking me what comes next. For the first time in my life, I have no clue. This is the first time I don’t have a new path to pursue, no new big goal or dream I’m trying to fulfill or work toward. I have been searching for the inspiration, but honestly, I feel like what I’m supposed to do is lean in to the unknown and see what happens.
Closing this door is scary and humbling. I have learned some profound lessons - like sometimes reaching a goal can take several attempts and might not happen in the timeline we expected. Rather it will happen at the precise time I need it the most. I’ve also learned that I can multitask with the best of them. I have shown my kids that I can be their mom and still have time to do something I love. And as I close this door, I am showing them that I’m choosing them.
I regret nothing about this chapter of my life. I needed it, I met some amazing people, I felt like I served others, and I will always look back on this phase of life with nothing but joy. My friends, go after what you love if it makes your heart happy. But also know when it’s time to let go - even if it means stepping into the unknown.