Lessons Learned 2017

2017 Lessons Learned

My 2017 was a much different year for me with MANY personal changes, the most recent, a move happening in about a week!

A little backstory.

At the end of 2016 my cousin passed away suddenly after suffering a heart attack when finishing a half marathon. At the time, I was the owner(read: owner, manager, coach, programmer, cleaning lady, etc) of Foster Fitness which was a small barbell gym/fitness studio in Wakefield, MA. I was trying desperately to qualify for Boston and also become a nationally ranked powerlifter. In my spare time(jokes, there was none) I was helping coach a high school soccer team and running strength and conditioning for a high school girls’ hockey team. Then in my extra  time(jokes) I spent with my new husband doing fun things(usually falling asleep on him) or my family(also usually sleeping on them). After this tragedy I did a lot of soul searching on what the hell I was doing and what the hell I wanted from life.  Part of this included the decision to shut the physical doors of the gym, bring the majority of my business online. I enjoyed what I did but I wanted more from my life. I wanted a life.  This was a decision I likely wouldn't have made otherwise as I would've seen it as a failure. This decision was one of the best for me as it allowed me to create a better relationship with myself, my friends, and family. In the end, to me, that is what is most important. What I did not realize was the trickle down effect this decision would have on the rest of my life. 

I mentioned in one of my Instagram posts that in the past year I have truly taken time to learn my body and its cues. To not push when it is not ready to push, to slow down when I am in pain, and to prioritize recovery. This is actually something I have applied to all of my life in general this year. 


 I have learned that in fact I can not do everything and by doing less, I have actually become greater.

I have become a greater lifter. Quite literally my total and my wilks is much greater than it was before and I expect the same for my next meet in 10+ weeks. To be honest, the more important thing is I am hitting numbers I never fathomed I would. The first cut I made was endurance activities (namely running over 20 minutes). For Nationals I took it further by eliminating all cardio outside of walking 3 weeks out to prioritize recovery and nutrition. Currently, I do HIIT cardio 1-2x week depending on how my body feels. I have also cut much of my accessory work once I get into a meet prep. I have added in Olympic Weightlifting so my overall volume is similar. In the past I would’ve tried to done it all and my candle wouldn’t have been able to burn quite as bright. My relationship with exercised has evolved an incredible amount over the years and after this past year I have gained a new respect for my body and am thankful everyday for what it is able to do.


I have become a greater coach. That little word “no.” I used to think if I was going to be a good coach, a good business woman I had to say yes to all opportunities. It came at a cost. This cost was of my ability to be able to deliver at 100% all the time, and it bugged me. It bugged me a lot. Did my clients know, no. I did however and I only wanted to deliver 100%. I learned to say “no” to opportunities that I used to jump on. At first, it means you make less money but in turn you have more to give. You have more time to increase your value as a coach by taking time to invest in yourself as a coach, to jump on opportunities to learn and to meet others. I used to think saying “no” meant I was lazy or didn’t want it bad enough. This is quite frankly asinine but alas I am stubborn so it took some time.  Taking a step back also made me realize how much I have to offer and gave me the confidence to share my knowledge and experiences more publicly to help others.


I have become a greater person to others. By knowing I do not have to try to do everything to be great, to be successful it has allowed me to become a better person. A less stressed person. A more thoughtful person. I always wanted to look forward to events, to get togethers but they would leave me stressed that I would miss sleep or coaching or training. It was like a rubix cube, trying to fit everything into my day. Then if I skipped said event it would leave me stressed on how terrible of a friend I am. This past year has allowed me to build a better relationship with my husband, with my family, and friends. I can be in the moment when at different events because I am not exhausted or thinking about “what needs to happen next.” When I do go to different occasions, I enjoy them. I enjoy the people, I enjoy myself.


I have become a greater person to myself. This honestly could be its own blog. Last year, I thought I had the year of my life, that I was in the best shape of my life. 2017 has blown 2016 out of the water in those regards. By doing less and focusing on a few passions I have become greater. My relationship with myself has become so positive and my self belief in turn has grown. I have put myself in situations where I am uncomfortable and learned that I am capable of so much more than I could’ve imagined at the beginning of 2017. There has been no negative relationship with food. I am okay when I am a little heavier, and just as okay when I am leaner. I embrace my muscles and realize how amazing they are and how hard I worked for them throughout my life.


The coolest part, is that was my goal of starting Foster Fitness. To show people how much more they were capable of than they believed. 5 years after doing so, I proved it to myself.  

Now, I realize doing less and focusing on a few true passions is making me greater.

I cannot wait to see what 2018 brings.


Did you have any realizations in 2017?

Meghan ScanlonComment