One would think I have everything figured out at age 28.
Getting married, having soccer babies, planning retirement, being a homeowner, and meeting Jon Snow in person.
In fact, I told myself by age 26, I would accomplish all of these things. HAHAHAHA.
Joke’s on me.
While you may see me as “behind” in the game of life, I admittedly feel right on track. To that end, I believe life isn’t a one-size-fits-all ordeal. Everyone is on their own unique journey to finding happiness and fulfillment.
Maybe being married by age 23 makes you happy. Maybe giving it some time to become self actualized in your career makes you happy before you put a ring on it. Maybe traveling to all 7 continents and going broke in the name of experience makes you happy. And maybe taking perfectly staged yogic Instagram photos makes you happy.
Great. I believe people should do more of what makes them happy. Life is too precious to be complacent and settle for mediocre.
I can confidently say at age 28, I have everything, but nothing figured out. But. I am happy.
Here are 28 things I’ve learned at age 28:
1.) You are what you prioritize.
Want to lose weight? Want to get better at your sport? Want to cultivate meaningful friendships?
I find it funny when people have good intentions with stuff like this, but fail to show up. If you prioritize something, it will come into fruition. And if you don’t, you clearly didn’t care about it in the first place.
So whether that is a fitness or performance or personal goal, find out how much it means to you and if you’re willing to make it a priority.
There’s nothing wrong if you don’t, but don’t be surprised if the results are shitty.
2.) There are a million ways to crawl.
A few weeks ago, I was asked on a podcast what exercise I would do the rest of my life.
Without hesitation: crawling.
Not only is it good for total body strength, coordination, and nervous system excitation, you feel amazing afterwards. And there are a million variations.
3.) People will fail you.
This is a tough pill to swallow, but people will always be people. I’ve had to get better at not being disappointed when others fall short.
As an example, one of my best girlfriends forgot it was my birthday the other day. Normally, I would get mad and curse “bitch” under my breath, but I realized I, too, have forgotten people’s birthdays. No biggie.
People will fail you, but we must learn to accept them when they do.
4.) The best training = the training you can do consistently.
There’s a lot of fluff out there on the best methods for fat loss and muscle building.
The best advice: do workouts you can stick with for the long haul. Keep it simple, stupid. #KISS
5.) Diet will always matter.
Hitting up the taco bell drive-through at 3am drunk as fuck every weekend will only hinder your fat loss goals.
With that said, if fat loss is something you value, then you would make an active choice to nourish your body with amazing, healthy food.
6.) The frontal plane is extremely underrated.
If you’re an athlete or a bodybuilder training for a show, it’s in your best interest to incorporate frontal plane exercises into your regimen.
We tend to get caught up in a saggital world of squats, bicep curls, and tricep extensions.
Let’s start adding in more frontal work to build ourselves up into being more badass.
Here is an article I wrote on the benefits of frontal plane exercises.
7.) The best business plan: help others.
8.) The best marketing plan: word of mouth.
9.) The best success plan: good old-fashioned hard work.
10.) I’m Gary V, I know.
11.) Keto diets work…only if you’re in a caloric deficit.
It kills me when the keto crowd says they dropped pounds by eating bacon, cheese, and cow intestine fat. To lose weight, you have to consume fewer calories, so don’t let these people fool you with their lard touting.
My girl Aleisha Fetters wrote a VERY thorough article on keto diets here.
12.) Pull ups are a total body movement.
In order to improve your pull ups, your entire body (upper and lower extremity) must be strong. I couldn’t recommend strength coach Meghan Callaway’s Ultimate Pull Up program more because she hammers home the total body component.
13.) Own less, experience more.
Earth is too pretty to not get out and see its beauty. And in order for me to travel, I’ve had cut back on spending money on worthless shit.
Even ordering a small instead of large Dunkin coffee each day has saved me a lot of money. It all adds up.
14.) Youth training is simple.
Let’s not get lost in fancy gadgets, Instagram trainers, and volume and plyometric overload. Kids need simple and safe.
Here is a guest post I wrote for strength coach Tony Gentilcore on youth training.
15.) How to be a successful fitness writer: Write. A lot.
16.) The world’s easiest looking exercise that will crush your soul:
17.) Time to get all spiritual: trust in God, the Universe, or whatever you want to call it.
When I started coaching, I was free falling through life without a plan. After every training session early in my career, I had NO clue what would come of any of this. But I trusted the process and it all felt good in my heart, so I kept going.
As long as you’re putting positive energy into what you do, and you surrender to the life ride, it all works out. Promise.
18.) Floss your teeth.
19.) Self care is ugly.
This is a mind fuck, right?
More often than not, the highest act of self care is something you actually don’t want to do. It’s not all massages, rainbows, and meditation classes. These are just an excuse to escape from the stressors of your life, rather than grow a pair of balls and face them head on.
Sure, you could listen to your yoga teacher tell you to “stay rooted into the Earth and feel God’s light coming into you” OR you could write a letter to someone you’ve resented your entire life and find God that way.
Self care isn’t about escaping, it’s about taking action. I’ve definitely learned this the hard way.
20.) This is the point when I wish I was only 20 years old.
21.) Are we at 28 yet?
22.) Adidas > Nike > Under Armour
Oops, I opened this can of worms.
23.) Zercher variations are the best.
They hurt. They burn. But most importantly, they build character.
24.) A funny meme before Thanksgiving:
25.) People can change.
I think it’s bullshit and a bit pessimistic when my friends tell me, “people sometimes never change.”
I look back to people I used to resent, and now all of them are my best friends. They have grown.
And for me, I was stand-offish and a bit bitchy in high school, but I’ve evolved into a different woman now.
So yes, I truly believe people can change.
26.) 26 is still the best # out there.
27.) Depth jumps must be done perfectly.
Normally, I’m not a fan of perfect “textbook form,” but when it comes to jump training, I think it’s okay to expect perfect from your athletes.
The depth jump, for example, is too advanced of a movement to butcher. Athletes must land with control, otherwise they could get seriously injured.
28.) It’s okay to not know what you’re doing.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, I don’t have anything figured out.
Yes, I coach, I write, I train, but I’m just along for the ride. Life would be boring if I knew EXACTLY what I was doing and had a set plan.
It’s okay to lean into uncertainty.