Last year on the day before my birthday, I took a moment to gift myself a synopsis of my 24th year; and wrote a piece called “This is 25.”

While writing the piece, I had one of those “Holy crap” quarter-life crisis moments. You see, I had no clue where I’d be living six months from my 25th birthday.  I was attempting to write a book. I was 100% single and I was very unsure of everything.

My whole life 25 had seemed like some magical age; I’d been dreaming about being 25 since I was 10 years-old! But being 25 wasn’t so perfect. It was daunting, it was scary; it was happy, it was sad; and over all, nothing was clear. Case in point: I contemplated moving out of Boston to Chicago for six entire months.

And now, here I am writing on Decemer 8th, about to begin my 26th year and I have no idea where I’ll be living in six months. I’m attempting to write a book and I’m 100% single.

So what has changed?

Actually a lot.

Going into 25, I was a very driven 24 year-old who’d planned 16 weeks (to the hour of the day) for a bikini competition, written a training program for an upcoming 2016 powerlifting meet…. but after that… I had no clue what came next! Except for another bikini competition in April 2016.

The uncertainty ate at me. It kept me up at night. I over-analyzed everything to almost a point of paralysis some days.

By some magical power of 25, spending a year at that age taught me HOW to embrace the unknown. I’ve learn to be happy each day even when I don’t know what the heck is going on! I’ve gotten really good at finding ease in uncertainty.

I’m consciously working on living in the present, granted, you kind of have to spend a lot of days living in the past when writing a memoir. I’ve held back from over planning my life. In fact, last Monday my BFF Shannon had to remind me to make dinner plans for my birthday tomorrow night in Chicago.

But, last summer there was one true time where I know I lived in the present.

I was sitting at the beach with friends from Barry’s Bootcamp, Cyc Fitness, my crazy neighbor and his crew… just living. When I got home that evening I realized that I’d been 100% present the entire day, because my apartment seemed more quiet than normal, I hadn’t a clue what time was and the thought of checking my email hadn’t crossed my mind once.

It might sound silly, but that was a big moment for me.

If you take anything from what’s below, take that sometimes being in your twenties means you have to ride the waves and just let them, as precarious as they may appear, be your guide. You can’t force anything; and now, more than ever, I believe in a greater plan. I’ve summarized some highs and lows below. I hope you enjoy, and if you want to really see any type of transformation, read this from last year first.

“The year of____”

I kicked off 25 with a powerlifting meet, attempting to squat 200 pounds and deadlift 275. I weighed 112.

Scratch that. I actually kicked it off with two Bumble dates in December: one that had a second follow-up date in Aspen (he came to see me from Indiana). The other Bumble date basically turned into an entire season of Bachelorette, (filmed in three days) wherein we drank wine inside a warm, low-lit dive bar with frosted windows as snow fell outside, met on the ski slopes the next day to make some turns under bluebird skies,  cross-country skied midst giggling at each other’s wipe outs on the third date, and on the fourth? We sat in a steamy hot tub outside with a view of Mount Sopras, cooled off by light snowfall.

Neither Bumble candidate talked to me romantically in 2016, both because my clients in some capacity strength/ nutrition coaching.

And THAT is part of why age 25 made me question the modern man. I doubted men’s communication skills, punctuality skills, tact, and common sense. I was stood up three times, catfished once, un-asked out (yes it can happen!) and I even had a guy from Bumble pick a fight with me before we even met…. so basically dating went well.

Interesting fact, as a 25 year old I went on over 25 dates (~30 if you count an airplane ride with drink afterward). It was “The Year of Bumble!”

The only guy I’ve had a big crush on this year^^But he’s dating Miss Universe. Tough competition!

Bumbling or not, this year was absolutely the toughest; and I’m not saying that just because it was my most “adult” year yet, or because I’m the oldest I’ve ever been. Trust me, failing a soccer test in second grade was heart breaking! Having braces and not fitting into preteen clothes in 7th grade was rough too. If you told 13 year-old me that reaching 25 meant being able able to order cocktail dresses and bikinis online, only to have them show up and fit perfectly, it would’ve sounded like a dream. But honestly, being a size 0 wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. I worked hella hard on moderation, minimal drinking, consistent training. And, sure! It was a LOT of hard work; but hard work I enjoy doing! Losing some fat, I developed an affinity for wearing minimal clothing; I could call also this the “The Year of Nakedness.”

In all seriousness though, 25 was hard because aside from trying to write a book and run an online business midst “adulting” (whatever the hell that means), I had to figure out whether or not to stay in Boston. It weighed on me so much in fact, I wrote a book about it!!

As mentioned, fom January until about June I changed my mind on the hour, every hour of every day. Most days I wanted to move back to Chicago, but there were some weeks I contemplated moving to Indiana and San francisco. At one point I was convinced my Barry’s Bootcamp bosses were going to fire me— not because I did anything wrong— because I kept going back and fourth!

Funny side note, in high school my coach nick named me “Roo” because the all week of high school try outs I couldn’t decide if I wanted to try out for JV or Varisty (I had a strong feeling I’d make varsity and was scared I couldn’t handle the commitment).

“The Year of Great Indecisiveness?” 

Moving on… if you know me, you know that I stayed in Boston. And, I had a GREAT summer. How could you not, when you spent it wearing a high waisted, tie-dye one piece?

In order to build a bigger sense of community in my life, I branched out as much as possible.  A list of things I did includes, but is not limited to: joining a volleyball league (Go Team Light Blue Balls!!), square dancing, going to an underground art show and hanging out with 13 Patriots players for three hours on a random Monday night.

But the highs of fun first dates, giggly girl dates and fun reality TV show auditions, the lows of being stood up by jerks, the freakishly early mornings I spent coaching and a few health issues were a sometimes hard pills to swallow on my own.

Like, the time I threw my back out in my apartment–  I figured out how to crawl to my phone and the slowly get up to go to the chiropractor, who helped nurse me back to walking, standing, and lifting.

The time a small blister sent my whole foot into severe swelling–  I got a fever, had a Doctor cut my foot open to realize it couldn’t be popped, which sent me back into the ER with a dead cell phone. I was thankful my cousin Andrew came to bring me a phone charger so I felt less alone. Three nights alone in the ER didn’t scare me, but it didn’t feel good.

Then just when I thought 25 had played a tough game, (but I’d still win), I found out I that Celiac’s has made me actually develop arthritis. It sucked to learn the news (although I suspected it), but I went to bed, prayed and knew I’d be OK.

“The Year of Self-Reliance…” I like that one.

Business Stuff

I like “The Year of Self-Reliance” especially because I made several important business decisions on my own at 25:

  • choosing the first ever CROF tank top designs and vendor
  • hiring a CROF employee
  • negotiating a new salary for real estate consulting services
  • finding two locations for Caffe Nero
  • hunting down an editor
  • coaching myself through two fitness competitions.
  • helped over 200 people lose fat and/or get stronger!

I became self-reliant, yes, but I never stopped calling my mom. She always answers <3

Dare To Move Tank Teal

On friends

I know she’s proud of me, but what’s cooler is that I was proud of me at 25. Like, truly proud of myself and happy about it. My biggest accomplishment though? Becoming closer with the friends I’d been making in Boston towards the end of my 24th year. And ultimately I became a better friend, I think. I learned what it truly means to be a friend.. and that, in fact, is how you make friends.

Going on walks, seeing movies, dancing the night away and getting tons of manicures with girlfriends helped me get closer to some incredible women in Boston. For the first time ever I truly celebrated my birthday, IN BOSTON (early) last weekend. In past years on my birthday in Boston, I’d gone to dinner,but the first birthday (24) was plagued by an asthma attack, and the second (25) I left a nice dinner to meet up with a guy who didn’t show… Therefore, last weekend having these sweet girls to celebrate with was more fulfilling than I can yet describe.

It may sound cheesy for those of you who might have never really left your home town, but if you’ve ever moved to a city where you knew nobody, and spent the first year in a relationship and part of the second dieting for a bikini competition, you don’t know lonely. Having someone to text when you get “home” to your foreign city and say, “Hey! I’m back, whats up?!” or having someone to go do things with— as simple as eating a meal—is something I never realized I’d want and/or miss so much until I moved here. In my 25th year I found that. I made some incredible new friends and stayed really close with old friends, as always. #oneissilverandtheothersgold

 More Social Things

With the new friends I met at 25 and old ones, I got to do some cool things. Here were my favorites:

  • babysit Julian Edelman at a philanthropy (where I had CROF stuff in the silent auction)
  • Do a workout with navy Seals at Barry’s Bootcamp
  • Do cheerleading stunts with my old stunting pal from Miami of Ohio
  • Do gymnastics
  • Have a fun brother sister weekend in Aspen
  • Threw two fun parties with my friend Meg, on my rooftop: (Hello, Summer & Goodbye, Summer)
  • Attend monthly Writer’s rounds with other authors, all over the age of 45.
  • Went to three Friendsgivings
  • went to my first Southie parade.
  • teaching an outdoor Barry’s Bootcamp class

 

#DTMthebook

Writing my book, Dare to Move, was like trying to tame a wild beast. It was like I lost my mind some days. I’d get lost writing and not leave my apartment for a week, except to teach the 5 a.m. class at Barry’s Bootcamp. Sometimes my phone would go off and I’d go to answer it and realize I was sobbing–  lost in time–  having traveled to places of precise memories, good and bad. Long story short, it was quiet cathartic.

I began working with an editor in June, and I just submitted the final piece to her (which she’ll work on through January). Then we will re-work and edit further. It is still my goal to self-publish for a summer read… we will see!

I don’t have an artist or anyone helping me with font yet, but I KNOW the the photo below will be on the cover.

Let’s do this, 26!

25 was the year I solidified my person. Not to say that I don’t want to add hundreds of more layers to myself throughout my lifetime, but quite the opposite happened in 25.

I was stripped of a lot of things at certain points during 25– physical and emotional weight, friendships, confidence in dating, confidence in friendship making, money, my health– but in each of those scenarios I bounced back bigger and stronger.

I strived to give more to others who MIGHT, just MIGHT be feeling stripped of one of those things too. I learned that I want to always be a source of love and support for others, thanks to having had support from others in low times, and having also experienced what it’s like to NOT have support.

Thankful that when I’m all alone, in a hospital bed for instance, and without a phone for 24 hours when you’r forced to really be comfortable with YOU.

Some moments of 25 really tested me, but I wouldn’t trade them for the world. All I ask for in my 26th year is more fun with new and old friends and for my health and my family’s good health, especially because I’m going to be a big sister!

#Daretomove

 

Love,

G

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