The past decade has been nothing short of a complete whirlwind for me. I’m sure I speak for other people when I say that I have done so many things and learned so much about the kind of person I am. Perhaps that is simply because I spent most of this decade in my twenties or it was honestly just a crazy decade.

As my readers know, I enjoy reflection. It teaches me a lot and also give me an incredible amount of appreciation for those in my life and the life lessons I have learned along the way. Therefore, I have decided that instead of just keeping my reflection private, I would share my reflection of the last decade of my life with my readers!


I started off 2010 recovering from septic shock and just trying to get my endurance back. In April, my baby brother was born. I started my senior year of high school in September of that year.

2010 was an awkward year for me because I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life. I felt an intense need to have everything figured out so I could start planning. I was exploring options like trying to get into an ROTC program so I could go to college and then join the military as a commissioned officer after graduation. I applied to attend my dream school, Seattle University. I also applied to attend the local university, University of Nevada – Reno (known as UNR). Most importantly, I was just trying to have a memorable senior year of high school. 


In 2011, I graduated from high school after doing all the rite of passage things like going to prom and participating in senior ditch day. I found out earlier that year that I had been accepted at Seattle University, but I ended up not being able to go for financial reasons. I ended up just opting to attend the local community college for general education and then the plan was to transfer to UNR afterwards. I started off my college career by declaring neuroscience as my major. I got my first job that summer, working as a brand representative for Justice (known to us 90s kids as Limited Too). 

Towards the end of 2011, I began to realize that I totally did not have life figured out. My parents moved to a different state and I chose not to go with them. Thank GOD I had my Papa because he let me live with him completely rent free. I don’t know what I would have done if it weren’t for him. 

Still, my job was not paying me well and this was when decent jobs were far and few between. Gas prices were around $4.00 per gallon and I was literally working just to fill up my gas tank so I could get to work and school. I needed to figure out SOMETHING.


2012 is the year that truly set the tone for the rest of my life.

In February of 2012, I enlisted in the Air National Guard. For those who don’t know, the ANG is a component of the Air Force. I would still go to basic training and tech school, but then I would serve one weekend per month and two weeks per year afterwards. This would allow me to still pursue my degree, which I had changed to psychology, while having another source of income.

I left for basic training in September. Those eight weeks were some of the most transformational and empowering weeks of my life. I learned a lot about who I am as a person and how I truly did not need anyone who didn’t need me. In November, I moved on to tech school. In December, I met the man who would eventually become my husband, though I was not interested in him at all at first.


At the beginning of 2013 is when we started dating. 2013 would be a monumental year as far as love and finally learning what kind of man I actually wanted in my life.

I graduated from tech school and went back home in May. Michael was living in Arizona at this time so we ended up being in a long distance relationship. I remained on active duty until the end of August when I went back to school. 

At the end of 2013, Michael and I went to London and Paris for Christmas, where he proposed to me. About a month before he proposed, I realized I didn’t really know what I wanted to do degree-wise so I decided that when that semester was done, I would take a break from school. We decided that during this time, I would move down to Arizona to live with Michael.

It was towards the end of this year that I started doing research into getting my personal training certification. I had always been an athlete, especially a runner. I wanted to help others realize how much fun fitness could be!


At the beginning of 2014, I moved in with Michael (along with my cat, BooBoo). I turned 21 at the end of January, which was not celebrated in the traditional way because I had drill that weekend and my unit would not let me have my birthday off (which is totally fine, I wasn’t all that interested in getting crazy drunk). 

I got a job in Tucson at a local resort, which I enjoyed at first, but then it slowly started to go downhill. When this started happening, I decided to begin my personal training studies. I enrolled in the NASM personal training course and I passed it in December.

Other than all of this, 2014 was a pretty lowkey year, which in hindsight was really nice because the upcoming years were about to get crazy.


In January of 2015, I got my first personal training job at Anytime Fitness. It got off to a slow and rocky start, but with a change in management, I really found my groove. That job was easily the most rewarding gym job I’ve had. 

In June, Michael and I finally got married! I was also put on active duty orders towards the end of the year. We found out in November that Michael was being hired into a pilot spot at our unit, which meant that he would go from enlisted to officer and we would go through a few years of training.

Photo by Michael Chansley

2015 was an amazing year for us. We began realizing that both of our dreams were finally coming true and this just made us want to work that much harder.


I continued working in the gym throughout 2016. This was also the year that I started my first legit fitness blog (that was not on Tumblr – HA). About four months into the year, Michael had to leave short notice to go overseas. I just worked my tail off while he was gone to stay busy. He ended up being gone for a total of seven months. 

2016 taught us a lot about communication and sacrifice. We also learned that if we could make it through a long deployment during our very first year of marriage, we could probably make it through anything.


We started off 2017 with a bang – Michael went to Officer Training School and became a commissioned officer in the Air Force! In April, we packed up and left for Del Rio, Texas where he would start the first year of his pilot training. Within a week of Michael starting training, I started college again. It was an online program, but by the end of it I would have a degree in English and professional writing. 2017 was also a challenging year. This was the year I was diagnosed with my mental illnesses and started treatment for them. We lost a close family friend in an aircraft accident. We ended the year eager to see what 2018 had in store because we were definitely DONE with 2017!


2018 was a HUGE year. I started the year off by re-enlisting in the Air Force for six more years. This came as a huge surprise to everyone because I swore up and down until the very last minute that I would not re-enlist. I also started The Fit Writer while continuing to go to school online and teaching spin classes at a local studio. Michael graduated from pilot training and moved on to the next phase of training where he spent a few months in Mississippi while I stayed behind in Texas.

Unfortunately, in May, we found out that my Papa had leukemia and he decided on palliative care instead of any intense treatment. I surprised him in Ireland where we vacationed as a family. It was my first time to Ireland and I truly fell in love!

We moved back to Tucson for about nine months while Michael went through the final phase of training, which was learning how to fly the F-16. 


This year has been very interesting and life-changing, both in good and bad ways. While Michael was in training, I was offered a temporary set of active duty orders. I accepted this offer because I was honestly tired of hanging around at home. We found out that we would be moving to south Florida so thus began our house hunt, which was so frustrating that it made me question whether or not we were making the right choice to buy a house. The seller of the original house we fell in love with made things incredibly difficult for us. She ended up defaulting on the contract, too. While all of this was happening, my Papa was in and out of the hospital. After talking to my mom one night, I had one of my gut feelings and I decided to take emergency leave to go see him one last time. Thankfully I did because he passed away while I was there. 

Naturally, during this point of the year, I felt incredibly overwhelmed. I was grieving and just had no clue where to go from there. A miracle ended up happening and a house in the same neighborhood that we wanted to buy in was put on the market. It was even better than the original house and suddenly I felt at peace; like Papa was looking out for me and like everything would be okay.

We were able to buy that house with no issues at all. We packed up our belongings and moved at the end of August to south Florida! Right after we moved, I got a job at a local gym. I also transferred to an Air Force Reserve unit here. Everything just simply fell into place that I truly felt like life was finally going my way and that perhaps there was someone overseeing it all. 

December was easily the biggest month for me, as I have decided to quit my gym job and be a full time business owner. 

I think the next decade will look significantly different than the past one. My philosophy about fitness and overall health has changed significantly. I have officially followed my dream to have my own personal training business and I will start 2020 off with working on that. I have grown mentally and spiritually, too. 

Most importantly, I know exactly who I am now and that is the same person that I want to be.

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