I remember being up on stage for the school play, in the second act, when I forgot all of my lines.
I froze. Completely clammed up and didn’t know what to do next. Luckily, my fellow actor saved my ass, and carried the rest of the scene. I can’t remember a time that I’ve been more embarrassed.
But it was at that moment I knew I couldn’t make it as an actor.
All through junior and high school, that’s what I wanted to do when I graduate. Be in plays, and maybe one day in a movie. It’s amazing to think what would have happened if I went down that road all those years ago.
But I made a complete u-turn and now I am where I am today.
Do you ever think about where life has taken you?
I can’t believe where I am this exact moment.
If you were to tell me ten years ago that I’d be a fitness instructor, a father, and a retired referee, I would have called you crazy.
A decade ago, my one priority in life was refereeing. I love the game. The reason I ended up being so successful was how hard I was willing to work. I didn’t play hockey growing up and was a terrible skater. But I worked harder than most to excel to levels I never would have dreamed.
But year by year, month by month, and day by day, my priorities changed. And that’s not a bad thing. I kept telling myself my hard work would get me to the NHL. But I was missing something that some of the most elite have. The ability to ignore every obstacle in the way to get to the top. I lost that once I had my daughter. My priority shifted to become something even better than a professional referee. I wanted to be the best dad possible. I didn’t give up something — I gained something else that is worth so much more.
But, refereeing also led me to my love of fitness. I have made it a priority to become a role model to my clients and try to be a better version of myself, to inspire others. In the hockey world, I only inspired a very niche population. But being in fitness has allowed me to reach so many more. I’ve had hundreds of clients, ranging from 13 years old to 78. And each and every single one of them has propelled me and motivated me to work harder every day.
I can’t believe the path I’ve taken over the past number of years. But it’s decisions I’ve made, things I’ve sacrificed and relationships I’ve had to give up.
But it’s that unrelenting desire to inspire the masses that keeps me on this path.
What path are you on? Is it the one you expected?
Even if it’s been something that you never expected, take a minute to remember that journey. Sometimes it’s been an uphill climb, other times I’m sure you’ve enjoyed the ride. And maybe you’re not happy where you are at this exact moment — but remember that this is impermanent. It is fleeting and will eventually pass. I know that’s hard to hear when you’re suffering.
You have my empathy. But dwelling on what hurts and not allowing yourself to advance is where you’ve lost me.
Can you say you’ve done everything you can in your power to achieve what you’ve wanted in life?
And if not — let’s get you uncomfortable and ask why not?
You have time to alter your life for the better. I’ve heard a couple of times recently, ‘I can’t change. I’m in my 40s and stuck in my ways.’ ‘I don’t know where to find resources.’ ‘I don’t know anybody in that industry.’
You’re staying on that same path because it’s easy. It’s what you know and it’s familiar.
You MUST get uncomfortable. Right now. Go do something once a day, for 30 days, that you never expected you’d do. Write more. Say hello to someone on the train every morning. Skip dessert. Drink an extra glass of water. Breathe more.
Something small. Minuscule. So tiny that it had barely an impact on your routine. And if you fail. That’s ok. Dust yourself off and try again. Forgive what happened and just keep looking forward. Over time, these tiny things will add up to a positive routine and bring you peace from the hamster wheel you may find yourself on.
But stay the course. Keep on the path. Embrace the uncomfortable parts and keep steadfast on where you want to be and how you want to live your life.