I had my own midlife transformation /reinvention /crisis – whatever you want to term it – when I was 44. Well, ONE of my midlife reinventions – I seem to have them every few years to be honest. This one was a particularly significant one however, as my youngest had just started university and I was facing the dreaded question that all mothers face at some point once their kids have grown: “what do I do with my life now?”
In short – I had no real clue.
In my earlier years, I had trained at the Conservatorium of Music in Sydney, Australia – a prestigious institution after which I held various roles such as a high-school teacher, a tertiary lecturer (and principal for a few years there), a church music director, a community big band director and a professional musician – many at the same time, and all whilst juggling family life.
Cue the breakdown – which is a whole other story – along with the subsequent upheaval of immigration, the following years of performing on stage again in a new country and the final six years of being a full time homeschooling mother as my children completed high-school while both travelling the world with their respective sports.
Which brings me back to my midlife crisis at age 44 when I was suddenly redundant as my daughter drove herself off to embark on her tertiary studies.
I knew that I wanted to make a difference and help people. I also knew that I did not want to go back to teaching – homeschooling your own kids for six years of high-school will kind of kill that career choice for you – just saying. I was overweight, unfit and totally uninspired, yet deep down inside was a very faint little voice that whispered to me that I still had so much more to do with my life.
For some reason, instead of ignoring it, I decided instead to listen, rocking up to an interview at the NZ Institute of Sport where thankfully, a young lecturer took pity on the middle aged, tubby woman in front of him, and granted me admission. The next season was a blur of numerous non-comfort-zone moments as this unfit, track-suit clad, overweight woman – who was older than the majority of the staff, let alone the student body – puffed, sweated and swotted her way through the course – before finally graduating as top of the class and even better – a whole lot healthier, leaner and fitter.
Fast forward to the present and I have now seven years’ experience working in the fitness industry, coaching and training folks of both sexes, all ages and all abilities. I’ve learned a lot through this time – and indeed, from my own journey through life – enough to say with certainty that ANY transformation – be it physical, career, marital or at midlife – comes with a price. Unfortunately though, often times people balk at this price and never achieve the transformation that they SAID they really desired. I’ve seen this both in the gym, where people start in January, (our summer) all hyped that “this is their year,” then leave once it gets darker and colder of a morning, AND I’ve seen it with many women at midlife who moan about their jobs, their husband, their bodies, their LIVES – but do NOTHING about it.
I don’t always get things right in my life, but I determined many years ago that I would never give into that “I’m too old,” or “it’s too late,” or “what’s the point?” attitude that keeps you stuck in your rut, and this attitude has helped me step out of my comfort zone time and again, in order to make further life transformations. Similarly, I frequently see ordinary people make amazing transformations in the gym while others drop out once things get a bit uncomfortable, and I see the same happen with women at midlife. Some transform during this season to create incredible lives that impact their worlds profoundly. Others seem to give up, allowing ageing and the burdens of life to overwhelm and bury them.
Transformation IS uncomfortable. It DOES mean stepping into the unknown, it DOES require you to once again become a learner and it DOES call for strength of mind that enables you to hang in there and fight for what you are wanting to transform into. It is also SO much easier when you have a coach and cheer leader motivating, encouraging and sometimes pushing you when the going is tough! I constantly read, research and listen to the words of learned, experienced and inspiring people and have invested literally thousands of dollars over the years in coaches and trainers who guided and CHALLENGED me to become MORE than what I was settling for – and I do not regret one cent of it.
I know that I will continue to transform as I am committed to that process and familiar enough with discomfort that although it might scare me – I choose to push through it. As a result, I also know with certainty that in ten years’ time I will be a very different person to who I am now, just as who I am now is so ENTIRELY different to who I was ten years ago!
Who are you going to be girl?
I’ve just opened the doors to my brand new coaching program “ROCK your life!” and if you know that this is the time for you to begin your own transformation but you are scared, unsure where to start and need that cheer leader /coach to be at your side, then honey, this is the program for you!
TOGETHER, we will gain clarity about WHAT you want to do, WHERE you want to go and devise a plan on HOW you are going to get there. I will hold you to your goals, supporting you, encouraging you and coaching you to make that transformation that you are truly wanting to make. This is not a “course” but totally personalised coaching: YOU define the need, and TOGETHER we find the way forward.
My wish for you today? That you too might be brave and determined enough to embark on your own Midlife Transformation and become the person you TRULY want to be at this time of life.