Everyone has a story. Here’s mine.
I was living in Washington, D.C. It had been two years since I left college. I was doing some personal training and I was trying to create a career in IT. I had zero passion for IT. I was trying to figure out what I was “supposed” to do to make money and secure a good future. At that time, IT seemed to be “it”. I got training and that led to a job I had at the time.
Morning of 9-11
That morning I had finished training a client at a gym and was about to leave for my IT job in Arlington. I caught a glimpse of the TV and I could not believe it. Matt Lauer and Katie Couric were showing the North Tower in smoke. I could not step away from the TV. I was convinced it was an accident just like they were until I watched the second one hit.
I remember being so confused. WTF?! is happening? Frozen, the only thing I could think to myself is “Do your job. Go to work and do your job.” So I headed in to the Arlington office and just as I was walking in the door a co-worker came in and yelled “I just saw a plane hit a building and now there is smoke.” Frozen again, the only thing I could think is “tell people.” So I walked around the office telling everyone I knew. One consultant’s dad worked at the Pentagon in a high level position. She was inconsolable. The office was complete chaos. Parents left to go pick up their kids from school. I had nobody to go home to and there was a TV at work so I just stayed and watched the day unfold.
The more I heard about the loss of life. Each story of loved ones lost put a tear in my heart. But I really lost it when the towers crumbled. I don’t know why, but watching that scene shocked me like nothing I have experienced before.
Reflecting on Myself
I couldn’t help but be introspective that day. I felt lucky to be alive. But I also felt empty. Deep down I knew I wasn’t happy. I knew that if I lost my life, I would not have felt like I was living my best. I wasn’t really taking care of my health – that was one thing. But the big disconnect was that I was not doing something I loved. I felt like I was meant to connect with people, not code. (No offense to my peeps who love HTML but I could not give a rats ass about programming).
My head hit the pillow that night after hours of watching the news. I remember thinking
“You are not truly happy. You are not where you are meant to be. What are you going to do about it?”
I knew one thing. I was no longer going to think about what I “should” do. I was going to start searching for my passions. I always had an appreciation for life, but I didn’t want to waste it anymore.
9/12 Less than 24 hours later
I had training clients scheduled so I drove to downtown and on my passed the Pentagon. I could not believe that smoke was still coming out of the building at about 6 a.m. Even though my window was rolled up, the smell of burning smoke filled my car. I won’t ever forget that smell.
It really wasn’t that hard to take action and create change in my life. I started exercising again as a way to cope with all my feelings. It started with a one mile run, then a 5K and within about a year my first marathon.
As far as career choices, I always knew I liked nutrition. I thought I could help people eat healthy. I figured maybe it would finally teach me how to eat well. I mean, I knew things like “get fruits and veggies” but what I did was totally different. My daily breakfast was “muffins and mochas”.