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Another year in the books and what a year it was. The end of December always seems to bring out that summary-ish feeling and I end up looking back at what the year meant in my life and health journey…

2014: A Year Of Growth

When I took the big picture perspective look back at 2014, the word that came to mind was growth. In both my personal and professional life, things seem to be growing and I couldn’t be busier or more excited. The most important growth in my world the last year was the expansion of my family as we added a new little darling girl and all the wonderful love, learning, lightheartedness and undersleeping that came with her. Having a fourth child has impacted me more than I could have imagined and has shown me how much more is possible in my life than I ever considered. My wife deserves much of the credit for so much of my wonderful family and I’m only able to enjoy this and so much more of my personal growth because of her. She continues to amaze me every year.

Personal growth also seemed to take place in my maturity and attitude regarding health. Maybe it’s because I’m getting a bit older and wiser (hopefully) or maybe it’s the natural progression many of us go through as we experience, experiment and learn about what it takes to be a healthy human. Whatever the reason it seems that I am getting a better handle on all this health stuff simply because I have figured out how little we have figured out. I think one of the big themes of last year was how many people out there claim to have health figured out when it’s so obvious that we don’t have it figured out. There is more we don’t know than what we know by far and the gap is growing every year. If we want our knowledge to grow we need to remember this and respect our relative ignorance when it comes to all this health stuff.

Growth takes time and patience

This may be one of the big takeaways for me in 2014. I’ve been becoming more and more aware of this as I study, experiment and research health over the years: growth very rarely happens quickly or from a place of impatience.

I have certainly noticed this in my physical training over the many years I’ve been working out but it’s been particularly evident the last several months. After coming up short on American Ninja Warrior this year I decided to tailor my fitness pursuits toward strengthening my obstacle course related weaknesses. Getting better at rock climbing, free running and gymnastics is a process which takes time and patience. I would love to make speedy gains in all those areas but that’s unrealistic and even undesirable as far as I’m concerned. There’s beauty and stability in growth and if it were to happen too quickly we would lose the chance to appreciate seeing it happen and having it stick.

Deep growth is slow and permanent.

Quick growth is shallow and temporary.

Growth provides new opportunities

In my professional world I’ve recently gotten the chance to expand and it has enabled me to help a few new people and has encouraged my continued development as a trainer and health coach. There’s nothing better than opening yourself up to new challenges and seeing how much you can learn and grow as a result. So often we get nestled in what we are used to and just cruise along and forget to grow.

Embracing new challenges and opportunities is the best way to grow.

Growth is everywhere

Maybe most evident this year was how ubiquitous growth is. It’s everywhere around us and is constantly happening whether we are aware of it or not. Life is full of changing things and obstacles and every day provides us with opportunities to grow. So many of us only see the big, daunting challenges in front of us that take forever to conquer without realizing how many other things we have endured and conquered.

Whether small or big, we are surrounded by mountains to climb if we keep our eyes open and legs moving.

Growth takes humility

An important lesson that I’m still learning is that the best way for me to grow is check my ego at the door. I like to think I’ve got a pretty good handle on things and can keep everything under control pretty well but what I’ve really figured out is that I also need to be willing to be ok with being wrong. I think that people open to new things are the ones that discover the realms they didn’t know exist. I want to be one of those pioneers and in order to do so I have to keep myself humble.

The minute you think you know it all is the minute you don’t know anything.

Growth keeps happening

So after all this reflection on growth in the last year it’s time to look ahead. The first thing that comes to mind is that my growth is only starting, except in baby land where both my wife and I agree 4 kids is perfect. Other than that I fully expect to pursue my learning and the evolution that comes with it and I look forward to the new opportunities that I have yet to encounter.

Wrapping Up 2014

A great year full of challenges and growth. I hope all of you got to experience similar things and grew as a result.

I wish you all a great year ahead and am honored to share in your journey of health and exploration.

Thanks for reading, have a great day!

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