Who wants to get out of bed at 4:30 AM? Not me! I was told that once you hit 40 years old that ambition turns into settling. Is this true? Do people really start to settle in when they turn 40? The definition of settling is to resolve or reach an agreement about something. If at 40 years old we surrender to this definition, what do we become? Do you settle for poor food? Do you settle for a cap on your salary? Do you settle for a sex life that never gets better? Hell no! So, I ask why not get out of bed?
I thought, I don’t want to freaking settle! That next day, I got out of bed at 4:30 AM and started my journey to the land of not settling. My revelation did not come by chance. It came with hardship and life events that I could either overcome or surrender and let it define me. Should I look in the mirror and accept the old age saying of over the hill? Or should I wake the fuck up at 4:30 AM and not settle? My response: “Why not?” “Why not get up?” “What’s the excuse today?” I could not find one excuse that I could defend.
As I suddenly jump up in bed with fright I think holy shit what’s that noise? Oh, its my alarm along with my husband yelling “turn that off"!” I then sat up and that’s when I knew that nothing can stop this but me. The house was dark and silent. Everyone was sleeping and no one needed me but the person looking back at me through the mirror.
I walk into a local gym feeling unsure, embarrassed, old, out of shape and downright scared. I was walking into a battle. And by the look of the people there, I felt like I had already lost. I started on the treadmill. This I was ok with, as I was a runner prior to this gym going stuff. But running was a sport of pleasure for me. I would put the kids in the stroller and off we went. Every so often they would look up at me and smile with a cookie in one hand and a juice box in the other. The trade off was after mommy was done running we would stop at the park. I ran so often that my one son saw a picture of a runner and asked me with a confused look on his face, “Without a stroller?!”
So, its now 5:30am and I am on the treadmill. I wore a baseball hat, so I could feel safe and hidden. I arrived home by 7 AM and felt great. Battle of settling: Jennifer 1 Settling 0.
One year later I am a gym addict. They say that after you do something for 21 days it becomes a habit. I am pretty sure that is what happened. As I became more interested in working out, Instagram made its appearance on my phone. I started to watch others for ideas on how to become stronger. My husband quickly derailed my fast-moving Instagram train. He said, “if you want to learn then I will find someone that will teach you the correct way!”
My husband leaves early for a networking meeting. By 8:30 AM I receive a text stating “I found the perfect trainer for you”. I responded with “what kind of trainer and why do I need a trainer? I am freaking 40 years old, what could a trainer possibly do with me?” He texted back “well, he can tell you what the heck your doing and help you decide whether you’re a body builder or a powerlifter!”. You see, when I would come home from the gym he would ask, “what did you do today? What did you do that for? Why so many reps? Did you learn that on Instagram?
September 26, 2016
I will be meeting this “perfect trainer for you” guy named Tim at Elite Custom Fitness. I arrive that evening and sit down with Tim and his wife, Jess. That feeling of walking into battle overwhelms me all over again. So, there I am, nervous, can’t even sit back in my chair as I spoke to them. I didn’t know what the heck to say. I answered their questions about what I liked and disliked about going to the gym and different exercises. I told them that I like lifting heavy and that I enjoyed doing “shoulders”. The meeting ended and as I walked to my truck I thought: “I like doing shoulders?!” I must have sounded like an idiot. Who says that? Who says I like doing shoulders? But I did make my next appointment…
I showed up for the appointment on a Monday. Great way to start the week, right?! After we were done, Tim stated “oh yea, you’re a power lifter”. And boom, there I was, about to take on the next episode of my own comedy starring this 40-year-old woman who wants to not settle. And here is the question we ask ourselves; why not? “Why not” became a statement that was repeated as I told people of my new goal. Why powerlifting they would say. I would answer, why not, with a shrug of my shoulders.
By 2017, Elite Custom Fitness became my morning cup of coffee. You know that saying, “Not before my morning cup of coffee”? Well, Elite Custom Fitness was my morning cup of coffee. I could not, and can not, start my day without my ECF “cup of coffee”.
As we decide not to settle, our lives change. Not settling led me to Elite Custom Fitness and Elite Custom Fitness has led me to never wanting to settle. At 40 years old, I have increased not only my strength but my mindfulness of the personal strength we need to have to get through life’s tough times and to stand up and say, “Why not?!”