I was jogging on the treadmill the other day at our little apartment gym here in Seattle, and I couldn’t help but think about my college dorm days.


Each day I would go to the rec center and run on the treadmill for 30+ minutes, even after a long night of beer drinking (my roommates thought I was nuts), I’d listen to my favorite tunes from my little radio strapped to my bicep (no such thing as a smart phone then kids!), and I’d think about all the things that were running through my head (including when the next party was going to be).


I remember that period of time being pivotal in my journey through life. No doubt I was studying and getting good grades, but the truth is I was trying to find my place in the world.


Between dorm life, terribly unhealthy fried food, boyfriends who were not so ideal and all the partying, I was really searching for who I was, and who I was meant to become.


I started my healing with food journey all the way back then, when I was just 19 years old.


Getting sick every two months with this or that was totally cramping my party style. I couldn’t make it to the next kegger unless I was feeling good!


I can’t tell you how many prescription drugs I was taking at the ages of 18-21.


I was diagnosed with ear infections, bronchitis, tonsillitis, depression, strep throat, mono, hypothyroidism, you name it I had it.


I was constantly taking antibiotics, and then I had my daily medications of antidepressants and thyroid medication on top of it. I gained 15 pounds in three months and on this little 100-pound body, that was a lot!


Every day I would look in the mirror and wonder where I went, and not only that but where I was going.


Finally I had enough, and I knew there had to be another way.


I became un-interested in pretty much anything besides my health at that point. I did tons of research and reading, and came up with a plan for myself to heal everything with food and fitness.


I got back into running (I was a cross country runner all four years of high school), started eating sandwiches instead of fried chicken and greasy pizza, and before I knew it I was gaining my energy back and losing weight.


I trained for and ran the full Chicago Marathon in 2004, and before I knew it I was graduated from college and feeling amazing.


As a recent Art School graduate and future hair stylist, little did I know that in the end, health would be my path.


All throughout cosmetology school and my nine-year career as a hair stylist, I remained focused on my health and fitness.


I would eventually go on to school for Traditional Naturopathic Medicine, and here I am today, a Holistic Health Coach living in Seattle, helping others get healthy with nutrition and fitness…just like I did for myself all those years ago at Eastern Michigan University.


This past year has been an unbelievable year of self healing in body, mind and spirit. And I realized as I was jogging on that treadmill the other day, this relocation from Detroit to Seattle has been exactly like college, but without the keg stands.


In just the past year or so, I have left my home base, my parents, my friends, my job, and most of my belongings behind.


I have gone on an amazing adventure to re-discover myself and my passions in life, to find who I TRULY am as a person and as a healer.


On those lonely nights where all I wanted to do was call my Mom or Dad and have them come over for a quick hug or a dinner out, I couldn’t. When I was feeling sad and missing home like crazy, I had to look deep inside myself and find the strength I needed to pick my feet back up again and continue walking.


Those times I just wanted to call my best friend and have her come over for a glass of wine, or those moments I’d get all excited for the weekend so I could go to my favorite dinner spot…those were some of the toughest moments.


But how about the wonder of adventuring in a new place, meeting tons of new people, forming a new community of amazing individuals, celebrating holidays with just my husband and I cozy on the couch…


These are the moments I cherish. And to all those hard times of sadness, grief, anger, and loneliness, I THANK YOU for being my guides, the guides which have helped me discover who I am meant to be in this life and how I am meant to serve the world.


So I leave you with this: The hardest times are also the best of times. They are our teachers. They help us peel back those layers we never even knew were there, to find the true soul inside of us.


As we move through hardships and tough times in our lives, these are the moments to grab hold of that life rope and hang on. It’ll all be over soon, and what’s waiting on the other side could be the best thing that’s ever happened to you.