I always thought the loves of my life would be people. It wasn’t until this year that I realized I’ve had four true loves of my life, and shockingly only one of them was a girl.
My first and deepest love has always been words. From the countless collages created on walls, to the endless quotes I’d save as my AIM away message (preferably in the LoWeR UpPeR CaSe FoRmAt). If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then you were obviously born into a different generation and didn’t have a completely fulfilled childhood.
The next love of my life crept in slowly, but like any great love, it happened slowly and then all at once. Photography was a love that I wasn’t always confident in, but seeing the world in different way was always second nature to me. After years of practice and trying to find the right frame, I took an image that made me realize that being a photographer isn’t always about capturing the perfect photo. In March of 2016—in the midst of the Alpha Female Program—I took a picture in Portland, Oregon that in many ways, was very mundane. For me though, that picture was a turning point in who I was. It was a moment of calm and clarity. It taught me that my passions and hobbies didn’t have to be appreciated or even understood by anyone other than myself.
This photo isn’t perfect, but it embodies a love that I will cherish forever:
Fitness was a lifelong crush, but I was never able to fully commit. Things were always getting in the way; relationships, jobs, social outings, you name it and I let it come between us. When I finally owned up to my inability to commit, something wonderful happened. It was like falling in love with my best friend—it was always right there in front of me,
asking begging to be loved and once I let myself fall, there was absolutely no going back. Lifting heavy things for me is therapy. It’s the only place these days where I can let any inhibition go and calm my mind. When I’m working out the world disappears and I can clearly see my goals and make a plan of action. In fact, Only Human Fitness is here because of a culmination of moments that happened while I was in the gym.
The most recent and notably the most impactful, was falling in love with myself. I searched for 27 years for a partner to fulfill a portion of myself I never thought I could. Who knew all these years that the love of my life was staring back at me in the mirror.
When I made the decision to put myself first it caused a domino effect on the rest of my life that was unmatched by anyone or anything else I’ve loved in my life. I mean think about it, how can we be happy when we don’t like the person we’re with the most?
So I put myself first, I put my health first, I stopped listening to what other people thought about me, I found my passions again and somewhere along the way, I learned to love myself and in doing so I fell in love with the world that surrounded me.
So go fall in love.
Write those words.
Take that picture.
Sign that song.
Plant that tree.
Find your inner Picasso.
Climb that mountain.
Get on that plane.
Lift those weights.
Love others, and yourself, radically.