This article was originally published on June 28, 2017 on fitjoynutrition.com
Joy has always been something that has come easily to me. My middle name is Joy! Seriously…I’m not just saying that. My name is Sarah Joy Gaines.
There are many things in life that bring me joy: my friends, my family, passing a dog on the street, ice cream…to name a few. But what brings me the most joy in life is the fact that every morning when I wake up, I’m working towards my dream. Every morning, I wake up and I get to work on my projects, my creations, and my vision. Incredibly, sappy, I know. I promise I’m not normally like this. But it’s true!
So you have some context, I’ll give you the quick rundown. When I was a sophomore in college, I started a blog to show other college students that it’s not that hard to stay fit in college. When I was a senior in college, I started a club with the main goal to build a community around healthy living on campus. As I got closer to graduation, I realized that every school across the country could benefit from a community of health-minded individuals, like what I had started at Northeastern, and I realized that I wanted to try to expand. I decided that after graduation, I wouldn’t take a standard nine-to-five job and instead, I’d mess around with a handful of part-time/freelance gigs while I tried to make this thing work. That was in May of 2015.
Now, I’m a fitness instructor in Boston and run Fit University, a health and fitness community for college students across the country. After two years post-grad, I have successfully avoided the nine-to-five at all costs (woo!) and frankly speaking, I don’t think I could ever have one at this point.
But I’m not here to bash nine-to-fives. Different people thrive in different settings and that doesn’t mean one is better than the other. What I am here to talk about is following your dreams, your passions, and your #1 vision.
And from someone who has kinda sorta done that in her first few professional years, here’s what I can tell you about going after all that cheesy stuff...
It brings you life
When you’re working towards something you care so deeply about, it starts to ingrain itself into every inch of your being. You start to live it, breathe it, think it. You stay up until 3 in the morning with a racing mind but you’re ok with it because you’re too damn excited. You follow through with some of these ideas while others fall by the wayside. But either way, each “aha!" moment zaps your entire body with energy. And trust me…you end up with a ton of them and the result is electric.
You’re impacting others
Often times, the work we put in ends up affecting others in some capacity and to me, this is the best part. In my case, I work with college students every day to help them live a healthy, happy lifestyle. Seeing an Instagram post, email, or ambassador application come through that explains how Fit University has impacted a student's life or perception on health and fitness makes every second I spend working worth it. Which brings me to #3…
It’s worth every second
Going after what you want isn’t all fun and games (which I’m sure you were bracing yourself for). Don’t let anyone tell you it’ll be easy… it get’s hard. Things come up, problems you’ve never dealt with arise, external forces get in your way. There will be days when you question why you’re doing everything and contemplate giving it all up. But it’s during those moments that it’s crucial to take a step back and remember why you’re doing what you’re doing. There’s a reason that you started! Sometimes you just need to remind yourself of that reason (see #2) and remember it’ll be worth it because…
Really, it is. When you take a look back at where you are now compared to where you were 3 months ago, you realize, “Holy sh*t! Look at what I’ve made!” You did that, nobody else.
You’re on your own terms
Whether you’re going after your passion as a full time gig or a side hustle, you run the show. No management, no boss, no approval from another department. You’re going after what you want, what you see, and what you dream. You are the master of your creation and you can mold it to be whatever you envision, so go out there and get it.