I met Danny at the gym (so cliché i know! ). Danny has been a personal trainer for over 15 years now, so the amount of insight and knowledge he had was mind blowing to me. He shared his knowledge, his tips, his tricks and was exactly on the same page as me. He was starting his own career as the owner of a personal training studio and I wanted to be a part of it. I decided to invest in him and start our own business of private training. I was loving it! I saw him in action, training people, helping them achieve their goals. I wanted that, I wanted to help people, I wanted to train people on my own, and so I got certified and got my own clients. Our journey began here. I was living and breathing fitness. Now I still had my actuarial job to go to everyday, and for those who know what actuaries do, it isn't an easy job. But I loved training people, therefore working the extra hours to help out at the gym and train people was rewarding, and so I never thought of it as a second job. And so I started training people before and after my day job. My scheduled was 6am - 8am training clients, 8am - 6pm day job as an actuary, 6pm - 10pm training clients, 10pm - midnight , supper and some down time with the hubby.
I did this for over 5 years. Yes alot of people thought I was working too much, and I probably was, but being in the studio didn't feel like work to me . If anything I think it forced me to take a break from my day job and kept me sane!
Through my love of training, I discovered a whole new side of me. My husband being a documentary lover, watched many movies relating to nutrition, fitness, health, and so forth. Through this, I started as well discovering so many terrible truths about our nutrition today. I started taking an interested more and more in what I was eating as I found that I would gain so much more energy with the right foods to fuel my body. However through watching all these documentaries, it lead me to the movies "forks over knives" and "vegucated". Now, you have to understand that I come from an Italian background where meat is the only source of protein we really recognize, therefore after watching these films I was shocked. So shocked, that I decided to become vegan as I could not handle the animal cruelty anymore. It's now 3 years that I am vegan, and I have to say that I never had more energy. I always thought that in order to build muscle we needed animal protein, but that was yet another misconception I was living with. And so, from being a sluggish obese woman, uninspired in life, I transformed into a vegan, animal activist, fitness and nutrition oriented woman. But it doesn't stop there.
My husband was now leaning towards yoga for additional inspiration in his personal training techniques. He keeps up with all types of fitness in order to give the best trainings to his clients. I started watching him and started following along every once in a while to see what this was. He was feeling amazing with yoga and I wanted to learn why. And then, bam, I finally took a hot yoga class with most probably the best teacher I will ever find in this field. He wasn't the typical teacher, not at all, his classes were actually hilarious! Yes you heard right..I never thought that I would be laughing in a yoga class! It was amazing, I finally tapped into an energy that I didn't realize existed in me. I felt so calm and peaceful after his class, it felt like a natural high. I was hooked.
I started integrated yoga in weekly fitness routine and it worked wonders. I was able to cope with the stress of the corporate world much better than before and found an outlet for those "shitty days" at work.
Back to current day, my life was going great, I was in shape, had lost 65 lbs from the day I decided to change my life, had gained a life partner that was as dedicated to helping others as I was and despite the overtime hours and constant pressure to perform in my day job, I was loving life.
However, as much as I wanted to be superwoman, the stress was slowly creeping up on me. I was constantly getting sick, I was terribly tired from working long hours to deliver projects on time, I was depressed because I could no longer train some clients due to the long hours I was working as an actuary. All that had finally manifested itself to the stomach pains and depression. And that’s when I broke down. My very own clients saw this coming before I did. I wasn’t as smiley as usual, I was depressed, nervous, and had a constant knot in my stomach every day I had to go work cause I knew it would be a hard day.
Finally one Thursday night, I just broke down. I cried so much in front of my husband because I had to pull another long night of work, and I felt my brain had completely shut down. I couldn’t concentrate, I couldn’t remember anything anymore, I just could not stop crying and couldn’t get myself to open my laptop and work. Danny decided it was enough. That night he told me to sleep and stop working. I was so stressed as I had to deliver a project the next morning but wasn’t able to finish it. He kept telling me it’s only a job, but I had put so much pressure on myself that that it was eating me up inside. Now for those who don’t know Danny, he is a very calm, nothing phases him type of person, but that night, I saw sincere fear in his eyes, he knew I was at my breaking point and so he asked me if I wanted to quit. I said I couldn’t do it anymore, I didn’t want to work as an actuary anymore. I was done. I just didn’t’ know how to get out.
Danny started brainstorming ways to get me out of my actuarial job. Unfortunately, he was at a standstill but he always told me, don’t worry, good things will happen if you believe in it.
And so I went to bed wishing for a new life. But I was stressed and by stressed I mean I was on the verge of throwing up the next day at the office cause didn’t have my project finished. That’s when all the pains in my stomach and chest started. I just left from work and rushed to the doctor. But of course, nothing was wrong. It was my stress getting to me. I went home once again crying, I wanted an out so badly but didn’t know how.
And then it happened, the day after, and I mean the very next day after my breakdown, one of my employees at our studio handed Danny her letter of resignation as she wanted to continue studying. Danny came home to me crying in bed once again and asked me one more time, “do you want to quit your job?” and though my tears I cried “yes, but we have a mortgage to pay , how will we do it?” . Now I wasn’t just crying, I was quite frankly sobbing cause I had no control over my emotions anymore. And then Danny smiled. He handed me the letter. And he said, god listened to us, I always told you he had our back. Now for those that know me, I’m not that religious, I just believe in something bigger than us, I guess you can call it god or anything else, for me that’s just a label. But in this case, I knew there were other forces at work. This employee already had a large set of clients and we did the math, we could live off of her salary. And so I took the plunge!
I have to say, I felt that proverbial weight lifted off my chest and damn did it feel amazing!!!!!!!!!!
That very next work day, I gave in my letter of resignation and my two weeks notice.
I’m actually writing this blog today and I have not yet finished my 2 weeks as an actuary. But I have 5 days left before I get to do what I love full time!
In all honesty, I don’t know what life has to offer me next, all I know is that it will be beautiful, because I will be helping people feel good about themselves and I have my family and husband to get me through anything.