Chasing Summer

I will spend my life chasing summer. It’s been a few weeks since I’ve checked in due to my crazy schedule for my holiday in America.  I escaped the Australian winter and took off to the US for a month of fun in the sun. It has been nonstop since I landed in NYC and reunited with so many sorority sisters and friends from college and apparently, believed that I could still party like my former sorority girl self. I spent many of my first days in America hungover until the afternoon when I could finally recoup, exercise and then get back at it again. This lasted for my first weekend and then my body rebelled. It was so amazing to see my friends and my family and even though I haven’t seen any of them in person for a while we just carry on the conversation like it never stopped. It’s pretty amazing how that works. It’s also crazy to genuinely realize that you are past the age where partying is worth it. I enjoy a few glasses of wine. I always will, but I wholeheartedly would rather stay in with friends and family, or even alone, than suffer through the misery and anxiety hangovers bring. Is this growing up?

Luckily, I also managed to have a few “touristy” experiences in NYC because even though it’s my favorite city in the world I’ve been to countless times, I still want to be a tourist because I’m rarely there anymore!  I walked the Brooklyn Bridge, went on a food crawl, did an amazing hot yoga class, took my first Soul Cycle class and spent time with so many people near and dear to me. New York is one of the few cities that I believe has a pulse. You can actually feel how alive it is. Before I knew it I was on a plane and off again to Nashville to attend my annual coaching convention. I experienced this event last year for the first time and this year did not disappoint. There is something so tangible about gathering together that many positive and motivated people for a fitness convention to celebrate our successes, attend seminars and trainings, attend live workouts with our celebrity trainers and just bond with our teammates that we work with predominately online. This time it wasn’t the city that felt alive, but the energy from the people in it. I lost my voice the first day from having so many heart to hearts and possibly from belting out country songs at the crazy bars on Broadway. Just because it’s a bunch of fitness coaches together for a work convention doesn’t mean we don’t have our fair share of fun! It’s an awesome balance and one I attempt to emulate in all of my personal travels… until someone introduces the idea of a tequila shot.

Our keynote speaker, Gary Vaynerchuk, is someone who is very well known for his public speaking, business investing, YouTube videos and entrepreneurship. He has made a name for himself as one of the most famous self-made entrepreneurs of our generation. I am personally a huge fan of his work because he has a total no nonsense attitude and tells it like it is.  He addressed a whole stadium full of entrepreneurs and told us that basically we were all just a lot more lazy than we care to admit or believe. He gave a lot of specific business advice but also honed in on the message that when it comes down to it, whatever you want in life, you need to be patient and work hard for. He stated, “Self awareness and self esteem are two drugs that drives success in this society.” This couldn’t be more true. I cannot count the amount of times I met people at the conference(over 25,000 coaches attended) and told them I am living in Australia and heard, “That’s so awesome! But, I could never do that.” People say it to me all the time, about my travels, living abroad, writing, starting my own business, etc. But I hate to break it to you. I’m not special. There is nothing magical that I have that you don’t have except of course if you are lacking self awareness and self esteem. I do have both of those and they are traits that I continually work at. I don’t just wake up everyday feeling awesome and motivated and ready to take on the world. I found things that MAKE ME feel that way, like exercising first thing in the morning, yoga, reading personal development books, and listening to inspiring podcasts. I also am highly influenced by the company I keep so I have learned to find a solid, positive and supportive tribe wherever I wander. When I don’t do these things, I don’t feel as motivated. I know myself and I know when I don’t keep myself busy I get into trouble, which is why I have designed a life where I am entertained, challenged and engaged constantly. I think my biggest takeaway from my week in Nashville with new and old friends and hours upon hours of seminars and inspiration, was that following your dreams, living outside of the lines, jumping into the unknown will never lose it’s fear factor. It’s what you do with that fear that matters. Wherever you are now you can always change and improve or you can digress  but life is constantly moving and we have to learn how to keep up with it. You have to work hard for what you want or deal with the repercussions of regret, jealousy and general dissatisfaction with your life.

After Nashville I came home to Syracuse, New York to my childhood home and my parents wide open arms. I burst into tears about four minutes after walking into my house because the paws of my family dog and best friend no longer lingered on the hardwoods. If you follow my journey, you know that Connery passed away while I was abroad and coming home to a house without him was extremely difficult for me. My days in Syracuse have been brightened by a visit from my oldest brother, sister-in-law and niece and nephew for an amazing few days of quality time and adventures and the wedding of my longest best friend’s older sister, who has played an older sister role in my life since I was 11. Throw in an awesome workout with old friends, some fancy dinner dates on the lake with my mom, lots of backyard workouts and business hours and I’ve got you caught up. As I said, it has been crazy since I landed in America but I have been drinking every moment in. It’s odd to me, to continually feel like the person who is “coming back”, “visiting from abroad”, “swooping in” but it is  extremely liberating and rewarding. When I lived in Syracuse last year for a short time, I might have taken for granted a nice dinner with Mom, an afternoon with my niece and nephew or getting ready with one of my best friends, but now, these moments feel like memories as they are happening. I cherish them with the sense of fragility and preciousness they deserve. Because I can’t see everyone I love as often as I want, I am able to invest fully in those moments and give my full self. My vacation has already instilled in me a greater appreciation for the life that I have created for myself down under, the way I utilize my time, the amazing relationship I am lucky to have found and motivation to continue chasing my dreams for a life completely by design.

My greatest fear in life is looking back with regret and that is why I continually and unapologetically chase what pulls at me on the inside. Is it hard because it’s different than the norm? Well, yes, of course it is. But do I want to wake up in 20 or 30 year, hell, even 10 years and say I wish I tried this, I wish I moved there, I wish I got in shape while I was young, I wish I wrote the book, hugged the friend, or woke up for the sunrise yoga class? Never. I am sure as hell not perfect but I am doing my best to follow my heart and put my heart into any journey I embark upon.  In one of our dinner conversations my mother said to me, “Well you know, all people don’t have the ability to just try things and believe they will work out. But you do, you always have.” What a compliment. What a sentiment. When you leap…it is terrifying, it takes hard work, continual sacrifice, growing separately from who you know, where you grew and what you knew, but it’s worth it. It’s worth it when people ask you how you are, and you can genuinely say that you are living the life you’ve always imagined. Chasing summer ain’t a bad way to live. It’s not luck. I’m not special. I leap before I see the net. And I believe it will be there… You can too.  

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