Confessions from a Personal Trainer: How many tattoos do I have?

Where every Tuesday: I confess.

*This is the fourteenth confession sent to my email subscribers. If you’d like the most current confessions sent straight to your inbox in real time, head to my homepage, sign up, and download your free gift.*

Confession: I have not one, not two, not three, but FOUR tattoos.

And this seems to surprise anyone who finds out. I want to tell you the story behind each one.

Tattoo #1

My first tattoo I had planned for what seemed like YEARS. But when you’re 18 everything seems to take forever. I knew exactly what I wanted and where I wanted to get it. I also HID my plans from my parents. #rebel

I wanted to get a tattoo of a ring that I had since my confirmation in 8th grade. It was a cross, a ring, and a heart. To this day the tattoo has so much meaning because I really grew up in my church, had an amazing church family, and learned so many lessons and values.

And maybe it was because of those values I learned in the church, I couldn’t keep it from my parents for more than a day.  And their response when they found out “it’s about time you did something rebellious.” 🙂

Lesson from Tattoo #1 – sometimes it’s ok to be rebellious – to do something completely against your “normal” and to try something new.

Tattoo #2

My first year of college I trained for my first marathon. Something I never thought I was capable of doing. It was a crazy experience going for a training run of 20 miles in a small town where a 20 mile run takes you over every street (sometimes twice!). But those runs were some of my best times  – pushing myself, thinking, and let’s be honest – suffering. But it gave me purpose and a drive outside of school and work.

I ran Grandma’s Marathon in 2003 and when I was done – I got tattoo #2. A runner girl on my ankle and since this is the tattoo I see the most – I am often reminded of what it means to me. It also doesn’t hurt that I made her look like me. Blonde hair, big smile, and boobs (oh wait – I had the tattoo guy amp up that feature – ha!)

Lesson from Tattoo #2 

Make a big goal, train/work for that big goal, and then achieve the big goal. And be PROUD of yourself.

Tattoo #3

Several years passed between tattoo #2 and #3. I wanted to keep my tattoos relatively private and hidden so I decided to tattoo my ribcage on the side of my body. This time I moved to a phrase that really resonated with me. “Do what you love, love what you do.” 

I like to think that I live my life by this. It helps to do what you love, but I think more importantly it helps to LOVE WHAT YOU DO. Because sometimes that can be hard. We’re not always in the best situations, life can be hard, and we can wallow in the unhappiness. But there is almost always something to love about it. You may have to look really far and really wide to find it – but it’s there.

Lesson from tattoo #3

Life gets really sweet when you have both. “Do what you love, love what you do.” 

Tattoo #4 

Another favorite saying/quote of mine is “Life is a journey, not a destination.”

This quote is a huge reminder to me that all too often I (we) get caught up in the end result or “I’ll be happier when I…..lose 10 lbs, get a new house, find a new job, etc.”
Recently I’ve also been doing some reading/listening about habits and happiness and we often gain happiness through the steps we take to achieve the goal. We learn more from changing our habits to lose the 10 lbs than we do from achieving that goal at the end.

Also for as long as I can remember I have always wanted to be in the future. I was reading for high school, ready for college, ready for adulthood, ready for the next day but not really living in the moment and in the now.

Lesson from Tattoo #4

Live in the now, be grateful for what steps you take every day, the moments you have, the little and big accomplishments along the way. So very cliche but “stop and smell the roses”  Each day is a gift and there are so many amazing, cool, funny, stressful, moments along the journey.

I still love all my tattoos, I want more but I am deliberately waiting until it has meaning and I think of a good place to put it (them)!



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