Happy 2021! At least, let’s hope it’s happier than last year. What a year…
I want to begin this post with a quote from the late author Roy T. Bennett who wisely said:
“Change may not always bring growth, but there is no growth without change.”
I don’t know about you, but my last year was full of changes. And yes, thankfully, I grew a lot in the process.
Here’s just some of what happened in my personal and professional life last year…
- After taking way too long of a break, I started writing again.
- I started learning martial arts.
- I read a lot of books.
- I fell in love with positive psychology.
- I met some incredible, intelligent people I’m now honored to call my friends.
- I published my first book, The 12-Minute Athlete: Get Fitter, Faster, and Stronger Using HIIT and Your Own Bodyweight.
- I wrote a book proposal for my second book that I’m immensely proud of.
- I made a lot of handstand progress.
- I had a few memorable trips before COVID-19 pretty much shut the world down.
- I got a surfboard and a skateboard and am finally learning both after years of saying that I wanted to.
Of course, as happens when you’re fully immersed in life, the ups seem to be inevitably tied with the downs.
Although many good things happened (see above), 2020 was also a tough year in so many ways.
At the beginning of the pandemic, just as my first book was about to come out, I quickly became depressed and disillusioned with life and my place in the world. Later, I broke my foot and could barely walk or jump for nearly six weeks (remedies that usually help me stay sane). And then my personal life fell apart.
In many ways, I feel like this past year forced me to grow up. To confront reality head-on, and learn to take responsibility for my actions and growth. With that came the realization that as long as I’m willing to be fully immersed in life – failures, heartbreaks, and all – I can create my own future.
We can all create our own futures, as long as we’re willing to go all-in on life.
The Future of 12 Minute Athlete
This brings me to the real point of this post: what to expect from 12 Minute Athlete from here on out.
Some of you reading this have been a part of the 12 Minute Athlete community for a very long time.
I first started 12 Minute Athlete as a blog in 2012 — eight years ago (!) — when I was twenty-six years old. I created the app shortly after, when apps were barely a thing.
I began my career in fitness when I had tried everything else I could think of (seriously — I’d previously tried testing the water in photography, politics, journalism, public relations, copywriting, barista life, among other careers).
When I look back at those early photographs of myself online, I see a lost girl desperately trying to prove her worth to the world. To prove she had something to say, a reason to be here.
Fitness became my way of proving to myself and others that I could do something difficult. From not being able to do a single push-up to learning how to do what I’d previously thought of as impossible-seeming feats of strength and skills (like pull-ups and handstands), slowly making my way in the world through fitness taught me that I could do hard things.
It taught me that trying wasn’t a waste of time.
Finally feeling like I had something worthwhile to say, I started 12 Minute Athlete to share what I’d learned with the world.
Although, on the face of it, 12 Minute Athlete has been a brand about fitness, the underlying message is that we are all capable of so much more than we know.
At the beginning, my goal was merely to help people get rid of the most common excuses they had for not being the athlete I knew they could be. I did this by helping to remove the most common barriers to working out — lack of time, space, and equipment with the app and workouts on the site.
I wanted to help convince people it’s not too late to get fit, to learn something new. That no matter what your age, sex, or previous experience, you can make significant progress if you allow yourself to really try and stick with the process, even when it gets hard.
It took the craziness of 2020 to force me to look at my life and come to terms with the fact that I no longer consider fitness to be everything in life.
Don’t get me wrong — I will always cherish movement and exercise. Fitness has been one of the biggest teachers so far in my life and has taught me everything from how to work hard, to the power of persistence, to how to set long-term goals and work toward mastery in a skill or a craft.
But I no longer believe fitness alone is enough.
To become what psychologist Carl Rogers called a fully functioning person — a person who continually aims to fulfill his or her full potential — it’s not enough to only focus on how we move and nourish our bodies.
To live the good life—a life full of joy and pain, love and heartbreak, fear, and courage—we have to take care of minds, spirits, and our bodies.
Which is why I can no longer focus solely on fitness. It no longer feels authentic to who I am and where I see my place in the world.
What You Can Expect Moving Forward
So, now what?
First of all, fitness will always be a part of who I am and what I do. My team and I will continue to post workouts and fitness-related content on social media and on 12minuteathlete.com, and we will continue to update and support the 12 Minute Athlete app with new workouts and training programs.
Along with fitness-related content, I will also be posting more on topics related to mindset, well-being, mental toughness, peak performance, and unlocking our full potential as human beings. I see this as a natural evolution of my brand into one that includes both physical and mental fitness.
In addition, I’m also revamping our weekly email. Moving forward, you can expect a combination of physical and mental fitness-related content on a weekly basis. This will include books and articles I’m reading, fitness and non-fitness things I’ve learned, quotes that have inspired me, as well as new workouts, program updates, and more.
One thing that won’t change is my place in this journey of growth. I have never claimed (and never will claim) to be a guru or complete expert in any category, fitness-related or otherwise. The entire journey of 12 Minute Athlete has been one where I’m learning right there with you. That’s not going to change. My hope is that we learn and grow together, to become all we can be as athletes and human beings, to lift each other up as we challenge one another to become more than we thought we could be.
Of course, if all you’re interested in is workouts, and the other stuff doesn’t appeal to you, that’s ok. Most of the people who originally found 12 Minute Athlete found it because of the workouts or the app, so I understand if that’s your priority. You can unsubscribe or stop reading my posts at any time, no hard feelings.
If you do decide to stick with me, understand that there will be some experimenting while I find my new footing in the world. I’d greatly appreciate any feedback you have — what you connect to, what you don’t. Please feel free to connect in whatever method works best for you — you can reply directly to this post, contact me through social media (I’m most active on Instagram and Twitter), or comment in our very supportive and inspiring Facebook group.
Here’s to becoming all we can be.
“To learn is to change. Our destiny is to learn and keep learning for as long as we live.” – George Leonard