Ten years ago I considered myself stagnant in life. In my eyes I hadn’t accomplished anything since I was 19. I know I had gotten married to a wonderful man and we had two beautiful, smart, healthy girls, but I didn’t consider those things accomplishments. I was a stay at home mom and house wife, and I am thankful for the time I was able to spend with my children and family, but I still felt that there was something inside me that needed more.

I watched as my high school classmates became doctors, lawyers, public speakers, business owners, etc. and I was jealous. I held them up on a pedestal and I wanted more than anything to be them. I wanted a career. I wanted to put on my designer pants and closed toed shoes and walk into my office ready for whatever the day brought me. I wanted to be successful. I wanted to be out in the world making a difference. But deep in my heart I was scared. I knew that I wasn’t qualified to have a career. I had no education, no trade skill, and no idea what I even wanted to do. I looked at my peers and tried to figure out what was the magic pill that they took that made them so successful in their business career? I searched for years, but the only thing I could come up with was that they were smarter than me.

Then I met Kellie Foote. Kellie is one of the leading Nuero- Surgeons in the country. I met Kellie at a birthday party for one of my friends. I was in awe. To me there couldn’t be a more successful person. I wanted to get to know him, and so I sat myself right next to him and watched his every move. I watched what he ate and drank. I watched how he talked to people and how he laughed at their jokes. I watched when he sang “Happy Birthday” to our friend and how he gave us all hugs when it was time to say good- bye. I watched him carefully all night and when I went home I kept thinking about him. The problem was that there was nothing different about him. He was a normal person just like me, he drank just like me, he ate just like me, he sang off key just like me, and he got in his car and drove home…just like me.

So what was it, what was the magic pill that he took that made him a Nuero- surgeon? I decided that the reason he became the most successful Brain surgeon in the nation and I hadn’t become anything was because when he was 19 he went to college, and then med school, and then he did his residency, and then he got a job at the hospital, and then he kept learning an learning, and working and working, until he became the best in his field. I on the other hand, had done nothing.

I was “nowhere” in my life because I had never started on my road to “anywhere”. I was stagnant because I had never taken my first step forward, and so I stayed in the same spot. The only difference was that I never worked for anything in my life after the Olympics. I just sat stagnant and waited for something to come my way, but nothing ever did. I was uneducated because I never went to school. I didn’t have a trade skill because I never tried to do anything. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I knew I had to do something.

I decided to take the first step. My first step was enrolling in a humbling remedial math class in our community college. I was embarrassed at first because it was really difficult. But I kept at it and after I had mastered remedial math, I moved onto my next class and I took my second step. I didn’t know where I was going, but I was on my way somewhere. I tried many wrong roads. I took many wrong turns and the roads were difficult. But my road took me on a journey. I decided to try every class and take every opportunity, and by doing so, I discovered psychology. I fell in love with it. It made so much sense to me. I found a passion for it and paired that with my experience in sports and decided to focus on sports psychology. And after ten long years of taking tiny steps forward, I finally graduated from the University of Central Florida with my degree in Psychology.

As I sat looking at my degree sitting on my desk, I realize that my work wasn’t done. Getting my education was only the first step in my journey. The hard work needed to continue. The steps needed to continue. I had to keep moving, because if I didn’t keep moving forward, than I would become stagnant again. And the only way to get where I wanted to was to work hard for it. So every day I tried new things. Some things work and most didn’t.

Today I am happy person, mother, and wife. I learned that the magic I was looking for wasn’t going to just appear out of the darkness, I had to create it. I had to be in charge of my journey and if I wanted something, the only way to get it was to get off my lazy butt and go get it.

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