Celebrating 30 with Oprah and The Rock (Part I)
I've officially started my 30s, y'all!
The question I kept receiving over the past week or two leading up to my birthday was,"How does it feel to be leaving your 20s?" Honestly, it feels damn awesome! I feel like my 30s are going to be amazing! For starters, being 30, for me, means being past all the negativity and drama that encompassed much of my 20s. At 30, I have a wonderful relationship with a man that loves and supports me to the ends of the earth, I have amazing friends and family that I feel lucky to surround myself with and who fill my life with positivity. I get to wake up every day and go to work doing something that I am deeply passionate about and that constantly feels rewarding. My husband and I are much more financially intelligent and stable now compared with the financial recklessness that we experienced in our 20s. What's not to be thankful for?? Being thirty rocks! Plus, Oprah says life starts in your 30s, so obviously I'm rolling with that.
I traveled back to Atlanta last Friday to spend some time with family and friends for my birthday, and to attend the Oprah 2020 Vision Tour, with special guest THE ROCK, on Saturday with my sister. I arrived home on Friday afternoon to this:
My mom is awesome, guys. She made me feel so special on my birthday. That night, we met up with my niece, my sister, and my Dad for dinner at Ted's. We called it an early night, because my sister and I had to be up early to go see Oprah and the Rock, duh.
The event was absolutely incredible. It was an all day wellness workshop filled with inspiration, motivation, and celebration for the year and beyond. I left the arena that day feeling refreshed and focused on making this year my best yet.
The day started out EARLY. My sister and I got to the event venue as it was opening so we could walk around, snap some pics, and look through our swag:
There was also a pre-show dance party that lasted a literal HOUR that you couldn't help but eventually get caught up in. Before we knew it, we were fist pumping, booty shaking, and shimmying away in our very confined seat space. By the time Oprah made her way to the stage, I was legitimately sweating.
Oprah started out the day talking about her wellness journey, and ultimately her journey to self acceptance and love. She told a story about a time when she got down to the lowest weight in her adult life. When she finally reached her goal, it was not happiness she found. In fact, she spent the next several weeks gaining most of that weight back. She admitted to getting to her goal weight by starving herself, and when she came out on her show, pulling a wagon filled with a representation of all the fat she had lost, all she could think about was all the food she was going to eat when she got home.
Since leaving the competitive side of CrossFit behind, I've talked a lot about finding a better life balance and how health and wellness isn't just about being fit or eating healthy, and most definitely not about depriving ourselves to reach our so-called goal weights. It's about the health of our relationships, our happiness in the workplace, and our mental and emotional health. We spent a large part of the morning discussing this exact topic and taking time to examine our own balance of mind, body, and spirit. In a workbook exercise titled "Find Your Wellness Quotient" we went through a self-assessment questionnaire that helped us identify areas that needed more attention in order to create a better balance of wellness in our lives.
"Wellness for me is simply all things in balance. We long for a life without constraint, free from conflict, fear, or judgment- where our health, relationships, career, and finances coexist in perfect flow with our spiritual center. This is the highest form of well-being."
Personally, this was my favorite exercise of the day. Because I do goal-setting and self-assessment pretty often, and expect it of my clients as well, I feel pretty in-tune with where I struggle, areas I am working on, and those that I have pretty nailed down. I enjoyed taking the time to reassess, see where I have improved, and where I still need to focus my efforts. My lowest scores were in the categories of emotions, learning, and relationships. The specific areas of each that I needed to work on within these categories are actually goals that I have mentioned on the blog.
Emotionally, I tend to shut down when faced with uncomfortable or negative feelings. I struggle to confront my problems head on, and sometimes push them to the side to put up a tough-guy front. My focus for improvement in this area is to realize what is in my control and what isn't, to be more open about my struggles to others, and to manage my stress in healthy ways, such as by taking time to decompress, journaling, and acknowledging my problems rather than bottling them up.
Side-note- Oprah told us that stress is simply our desire for a situation to be something that it cannot be.
Imagine you are stressed on your way to work, because you are caught in traffic and know that you are going to be late. Rather than stressing about the traffic making you late, and working yourself up about it, accept the situation for what it is. You are going to be late. Then develop a plan for how you are going to handle the situation once you arrive late.
Alright, back to business. In the category of learning, I scored myself on the lower end, because the past couple of years I have neglected the opportunities to further my education in my field. As I have mentioned in previous posts, I am looking to change that this year by working on my certification for nutrition coaching, attending health and fitness conferences, and looking into other fitness specializations. My overall goal here is to gain the knowledge necessary to prepare myself to offer as much help as I can to those that seek it from me.
Finally, in the relationship category, I scored on the lower end when it came to feeling a need to please everyone and in my ability to communicate my feelings with others. This year, and the rest of my thirties is going to be about separating myself from the need to please. Oprah said that when she stopped feeling that need to please everyone all the time, she was finally able to find peace with herself. It makes a tremendous amount of sense. I felt this pull to look a certain way, act a certain way, be a certain way, because others expected it of me. But ultimately, being "the way" that everyone wants you to be is probably not your idea of happy. Plus, the people who want you to be anything but exactly what and who you are aren't worth having in your life in the first place. This year I want to be more open with the people that matter to me by voicing my struggles and truly being me.
My higher scores were in purpose, movement, nutrition, and work. These areas I can confidently say that I excel in. I love my work because it gives me purpose. I get to help others by teaching them about a subject that I am so passionate about- health and fitness. I also get to go to work each day doing what I love and feel like I was put on this earth to do. The nutrition and movement categories are second nature to me now. My day feels incomplete without exercise, and I feel an overwhelming need to nourish my body with whole, nutrient-dense foods so that I can continue to feel good each day.
Which of these areas- nutrition, movement, purpose, work, relationships, learning, emotions- do you struggle with? Which do you excel in? What goals do you have to improve on the categories that you struggle with?
It amazes me at how one woman can talk so much and engage an audience for so long. I felt literally mesmerized at points. Before we broke for lunch, we were challenged to come up with a word that set the tone for our wellness vision for 2020 and beyond. Oprah told us her word was "purposeful," because she wants to be sure that everything she does moving forward has a clear "why" behind it. In other words, she's no longer trying to please others by doing things she doesn't want to do. I love this mentality. How many times have you agreed to go to an event that you really didn't want to go to because you didn't want to let someone down? And how many times did you find yourself counting down the minutes until you could leave said event, thereby doing yourself and others a disservice by not bringing your full attention to the moment? I can answer this by saying more times than I can count. What was the point?
Purposeful is a great word, so my mind was instantly at work running through my vocabulary to find a word sufficient to encompass all of my 2020 goals. I needed something that would do my thirtieth year justice. It was going to take me a hot minute to get there.
I anticipated this post to be a long one, but not quite this long! I still have half a day left to talk about! We're going to separate this bad boy into a two-parter, so I will be back tomorrow to finish up with my Oprah experience, and finally get to the interview with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson <3.
Lots more knowledge bombs and wellness talk to come. To be continued....