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My 2019 & What I Learned

I have been avoiding writing this like the plague. Having to look back on the most exciting yet horrible year of my life is hard. No matter how I spin it or how I long I try to avoid it, it is time to face that 2019 has come to an end and now is the time to make a new plan and create a new normal for what I would like my life to be like.


When I started 2019 I knew it would be a hard year. My mom was diagnosed with ALS in June of 2018. So I had come to the fact that I was going to lose my mom in the future I just didn’t realize how quickly it would be.


I started 2019 full of excitement and with goals to achieve. I was in the middle of starting my dream business of personal training and nutrition coaching. My two young horses were finally ready to finish patterning and pushing for their 5 year old year. (The year I had been looking forward to since I brought them home as 2Yr Olds in 2016). I had also set some personal fitness goals for myself. One which I was super excited about was a the Femme Fit Comp in July 2019. I had built a training program and was ready to start training for the beginning of April.



By mid April, my clients were all doing amazing and getting great results. I was getting ready to start my training programs for myself and getting my young horses going, But my mom started to decline. My mom’s family had gone through this with my grandpa so everyone was aware that time was becoming limited and fast.


May and June were filled with lots of family time and preparing for what was to come. Making decisions I wasn’t prepared to make, phone calls about topics I didn’t know existed and meal prepping for my dad and mom so they had meals that were quick to warm up. I was still training clients and loving every second of it. My strength workout disappeared and were replaced with running to clear my mind. My goal of pushing my colts turned in to my riding for pleasure to relax and clear my mind when needed as well. I stuck to all of my routines and was able to stay focused and healthy through this time.



July was the toughest month of my life so far. It is the month that we said god-bye to my mom. It was her time to go and I value the time we got to spend together. Like you always here it did feel like our time was cut short but it was her time and I accept that.

I took August off. I need a break and some time to reflect on the past four months. Losing a parent is a season of life almost everyone one goes through at some point. Some go through it early in life, some in the middle and some later. We all go through it. But I wasn’t prepared for how hard it would randomly hit me and stop me in my tracks. Mike and I went away on a dirt biking holiday we had planned earlier in the year to celebrate my birthday. There was no other place I would rather celebrate my birthday than in the mountains out service. I spent the morning of my birthday sitting down by the river drinking coffee and reflecting.



September was getting back to it. Although finding a new normal is always hard. This is something I didn’t quite understand. I thought I had dealt with my grief and was ready to get back to life. But what I didn’t account for was how little things in my day would stop me or knock me down. Things you don’t always think about like on Monday’s when I drive home from work I would call my mom to catch up on how their weekend went and what they were up too this week. Or how going to catch my horses to go ride would make me stop in my tracks and retreat to the house because too many emotions/memories of my mom would come back and I didn’t know how to deal with them.


Over time riding has gotten easier, I now call my dad on Mondays after work. Like I said earlier it is a year of finding my/our new normals. I was just getting the hang of new normal, my classes were going great, my personal training clients were doing great and I was back to riding like normal and my young horses were coming along great.

As it got colder we were now looking into the holiday season. Christmas was around the corner, little did I know that this was going to bring up a whole new set of emotions. As December approached, I found myself asking what now… Do we celebrate Christmas, do we just let the day pass. To be honest, all I could think about was that one empty chair that would be at the table or who was going to make the gravy. I wanted to run away and have a quiet Christmas by myself so I wouldn’t have to deal with it. But conversations with my family we all decided we should still do Christmas Eve like normal.



It turned out to be great. We talked about memories of mom. Joked about how no one would get mad if we dumped the potato water by accident. We also talked about what we would like the coming year be like. Christmas was a Success!! One more first checked off the list!


Mike and I got to send off 2019 spending time doing what we love in the mountains in deep fresh pow! Mother natured delivered the goods and we got to make some new friends along the way!



So as I head into 2020 I don’t have a solid plan for what my goals/year is going to look like. I have some ideas but not quite ready to share them yet.


  • I will keep working on building my dream business and working on myself everyday to become the best coach I can be.

  • I will take more time to spend with family and friends.

  • I will be spending time doing what I love with my horses, sledding and dirt biking.

  • I am going to learn to relax a bit and not put so much pressure on myself.



Cheers to Everyone as we head into a new year and decade!! I am rooting for you all!!


NOW LET”S GO MAKE THIS THE BEST YEAR SO FAR!!


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Box 1181

Athabasca, AB T9S 2A9 

Phone: 780-213-0845

Email: Stepswithleah@gmail.com