On my 34th Birthday

Here I am on the day of my 34th birthday, sitting quietly in my kitchen post 5:15am workout, eating some bacon and eggs and reflecting upon the year that passed and the year ahead. The last 365 days have flown by, as time always seems to do, but yet were the most challenging to date both in my personal life and professional career.

The responsibilities at work have grown immensely and the expectations are higher than ever. Everyday I am tasked with being bold, aggressive and creative; and, at the same time, organized, diligent and transparent. My modus operandus is no longer able to be blanketed in a spirit of newness and learning. Mistakes happen but they are tolerated less and less and are more costly as I lead projects. While there is so much to improve on, I need to operate everyday with the confidence in my abilities.

The past year in regards to the gym was one of transition as I started at CrossFit Kingfield and introduced a whole new group of coaches into my pursuit of health and wellness. I went from pushing myself to compete to pushing myself to embrace the routine and seek transformation through my daily habits. This continues to get refined, especially as I am now working with a dietitian and rigorous about going to class Monday through Friday mornings and pushing myself to fully embrace an active lifestyle even on my rest days. I have to be patient and trust in the methodology and know that the desired physical changes will come.

Outside of work and the gym, I am hyper aware of my relationships, both social and romantic. With all this focus on myself, I have to push to keep looking outward and not to be shy or embarrassed about my personal pursuits. The friends that I want to surround myself with support my growth. And so too will the right partner. There is no point in hiding my passion for personal betterment, rather I need to find those who engage in a similar journey and who are willing to grow together.

All this boils down to the fact that on the start of my 34th year, I believe in myself. As Stuart Smalley would say, I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggonit, people like me!” Last year on my birthday I challenged myself to think bigger. This year, I want to act on those thoughts. I have the support and resources I need thanks to my work team, family, friends and coaches.

I am reminded of a scene towards the end of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Finch, the main character, has moved quickly up the corporate ladder from his lowly start as a window cleaner. He is now preparing to present his big idea to the boss, but all the other corporate underlings are plotting against him. Finch gives himself a pep talk that reflects his success throughout the movie – a strong belief in himself. Contrary to what you may assume, I don’t start my days staring into the mirror playing the Rocky theme and spitting out cliches to psyche myself for the day ahead. But more than ever, I tell myself, “I believe in you.”

Now there you are;
Yes, there’s that face,
That face that somehow I trust.
It may embarrass you to hear me say it,
But say it I must, say it I must:
You have the cool, clear
Eyes of a seeker of wisdom and truth;
Yet there’s that upturned chin
And that grin of impetuous youth.
Oh, I believe in you.
I believe in you.

I hear the sound of good, solid judgment
Whenever you talk;
Yet there’s the bold, brave spring of the tiger
That quickens your walk.
Oh, I believe in you.
I believe in you.

And when my faith in my fellow man
All but falls apart,
I’ve but to feel your hand grasping mine
And I take heart; I take heart

To see the cool, clear
Eyes of a seeker of wisdom and truth;
Yet, with the slam-bang tang
Reminiscent of gin and vermouth.
Oh, I believe in you.
I believe in you.

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