I posted this article two years ago, but thought it would be fitting to re-post since today I am celebrating my 29th birthday - and remembering the turning point in my life - that lead me to believe I could make my dreams reality.
It was Sunday, January 24th, the eve of my 25th birthday and I was feeling lost with life. As I entered the Cheesecake Factory for my Sunday morning serving shift, I continued to question the purpose of my life. I knew I was a smart girl, I went to Wake Forest, had been accepted to Naturopathic Medical school, accepted to the Peace Corps, and was applying to medical schools. However, none of these made me light up. I knew in my heart my passion lied within fitness and nutrition. But I was paralyzed, paralyzed by fear of taking a chance.
As the Sunday dragged on, my manager asked me to do him a favor and work a double - meaning close the restaurant. So here it was the night before my golden birthday and I am serving up some more dessert making America obese. But the next events that happened changed my life indefinitely.
It was 9:45 p.m. and I was beginning to do the closing clean up duties, or "outs" in restaurant terminology, when I heard the host tell me I had been sat. Tired and worn out from the 12 hour shift, I mustered up a smile and walked out to greet the guests. Surprised to see how massive these two men were, I smiled bigger and thought to myself, 'maybe they are bodybuilders'. The gentlemen began by ordering three iced teas, 'a joiner' I thought to myself. When I returned with the drinks, the 'joiner' had joined and was wearing a black shirt with a small WWE logo. A light bulb lit up in my head, and I remembered that Monday Night Raw was in Columbus on my birthday.
After setting down the drinks, I began my usual introduction, but then took a seat next to this man who had long dirty blond hair and a calm voice. I kept thinking to myself, this guy looks familiar. But my rational mind kicked in and there was no way I would know him, I was turning 25 and the last time I had watched wrestling was thirteen years prior. So as conversation starts, I learned that these three men were in town for Monday Night Raw. I spilled my childhood memories to them about practicing finishing moves with my dad and brother, ordering the pay per views, and making wrestling t-shirts in grade school. One of the gentlemen asked me who my favorite wrestler was, and immediately I said, "My favorite was Triple H." As the words came out of my mouth, the nice man with the dirty blond hair put his arm around me and said, "Well, thank you Kelley, for making me feel old!" I felt my heart stop, I slowly turned and looked over my left shoulder and found myself looking at my childhood hero, Triple H.
The rest of the evening was a blast. The four of us talked about wrestling and I felt like a twelve year old again, without a care in the world. I had completely forgotten how stressed I was about figuring out my life. Before the men left, they had me write down my number and invited me to the show. As I drove home that evening, I had the biggest smile. I started to reflect on life, and its purpose. Here is this man, in his early forties now who is living out his dream. I thought to myself, 'I bet when he was in his early 20's and said he wanted to be a professional wrestler, people doubted him. But that didn't stop him. And now he is one of the most well known entertainers in the world."
My 25th birthday will always be remembered. Not only was I at Monday Night Raw, but it was a pivotal point in my life. I saw the power of following your passion and I started to follow mine. Within the next week I applied to The George Washington University to complete a degree in Exercise Science and left the conventional steps of medical school behind me.
And here I am two plus years later wrapping up my masters in Exercise Science and about to embark on another journey in the world of health policy, continuing to live out my passion for fitness and nutrition.
This past Monday I met up with the three "massive men"to go to Monday Night Raw here in DC. By the way, Terry, Jim, & Paul (Triple H) are some of the nicest men I have ever met despite their intimidating physiques. After the event, I had the chance to talk to Paul for a little bit. We caught up on life, family, friends, training, and goals. I made sure to let him know how he changed my life. Jokingly he said, "Why? Because I ate a bad meal and you thought to yourself I don't want to be like this guy." But on a more serious note, we continued to talk about following dreams no matter how unconventional they may be, and he said something to the effect of, "You just gotta do it."
So whatever your dream, make it your reality. There is no better time than now. So many people are afraid of failure or afraid of success. At the end of the day, the only difference between Triple H and the guy stuck in the office is Triple H did it whereas the office guy thought it. Triple H didn't wait for the perfect time, perfect opportunity, or perfect scenario: he created it for himself.
Thank you Triple H for changing my life & for giving me the best birthday present: igniting my drive to make my passion my reality!
It's been four years since I started pursuing my passion for fitness and health. It's just the beginning. Triple H didn't become the COO of an international company in four years, but he's stayed persistent and true to his purpose. You and I both can both do the same! Now, lets go make our dreams reality! Have an #amazing day!
I love hearing from you @kelleyvargo