A year ago, I got fired from a job I absolutely hated with my bosses’ departing words being “ya know, running will never pay your bills.”

I responded politely with “thank you. I really appreciate your advice.”

I walked out of her office and drove back to my empty apartment… An hour went by… no music. No distractions. Just sheer disbelief.

I had no idea what I was going to do. I didn’t have a clue how I was going to get there.

I had always wanted to coach. I learned over the past few years I wanted to write. I knew I wanted to travel. I knew I had become good with people. I have taught myself and learned a lot about sales over the past 10 years.

I knew I could get my old job back in a heartbeat. I knew I was a good employee. I knew I was smart, and I could work hard at anything, even if it wasn’t my number one priority.

I knew leaving the job was the best step I could have ever taken… but the fear of giving up a big income scared me. The fear of not paying all my bills crippled me. The fear of losing everything I worked for held me back.

In an instant, I lost my safety.

In a moment, I was free.

When I went skydiving last summer I felt the same feeling… The fear of being in the plane and moving to the door made my heart jump out of my chest, but the second they threw me out the door, I was free. All of my troubles were gone. Everything that held me back was gone. If I would have fell without my parachute opening, nothing would have mattered… not because I would have been gone, but because at that moment, there was nothing I could do to change me falling to the earth. I had to accept the circumstances as they were and trust the process I was given.

Last December, I had to do the same thing in life. I lost my income. I knew I had to make some other hard choices and decisions. I had to clean up a lot of mistakes I made in 2017… And more importantly, since I lost the stability I had, I knew I had to make a choice of where I would call home. I figured since I had lost just about everything, I had nothing else to lose… so I decided to make the long overdue move to Denver.

I have slept on couches. I have stayed in spare rooms. I have tent camped, car camped, and with the grace of more people than I can ever thank, I have survived the last year… not only survived, but thrived. I’ve been given a hand up in every single direction. People have fed me when I couldn’t afford to buy my own food. People have given me experiences I couldn’t buy. I’ve been given odd jobs and been over paid for minor tasks because people wanted to help me.

If I could only tell you how lucky I am. I haven’t deserved any of it.

If I could only express my level of thankfulness and gratitude to more people than I can count…

A year later, I don’t know how I’m alive… let alone how I landed where I am today. If it weren’t for the generosity of so many people, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I made it a whole year without drinking alcohol. I finished Leadville. I am strengthening old relationships. I am gaining new positive relationships. I have coaching clients all over the world. I have traveled to some of the most amazing places and talked to some of the most awesome people. I get to work in a place where I help people improve their fitness and health every day.

A year ago I had no idea what the future held. I was lost, scared, and didn’t have a clue what I was going to do. I came up with an idea and started taking the small actions I could immediately. I tried to stay present as much as possible and trust that if I improved 1% every single day, I would continuing making progress. I had bad days. I had good days. I had streaks where everything went my way. I had times when I thought the world was going to end… I took some steps forward that were bigger than others. I had some setbacks that brought me to my knees with tears in my eyes…

I don’t really know what is going to happen in the next year. Some days I look at how good this year was and I wonder if it could get better… then I think about where I was a year ago. I think of how much I was broken mentally, physically, and spiritually… and I start to wonder how much farther along I could be if I would have made better decisions in the past… but then I think, I wouldn’t have taken the risks or action I took without going through the experiences.

I don’t know what the future holds.

But, I do know one thing. I’m excited.

If I could get where I am today starting from the bottom… I wonder what I can do with some positive momentum.

When all else has failed me, I have learned many valuable lessons…

The most important lesson I learned was to keep moving forward one step at a time.

As we all move forward in 2019, I want you to know no matter where you are, you always have the choice to start moving in the direction you want to go. But YOU must have the courage to take the first step forward… you never know where that one step will lead you.

No one can force you to do it… It’s up to YOU!

Wishing you the best in 2019 and beyond!

“My Victory isn’t crossing the finish line. My Victory is taking the next step AFTER I want to quit.”

Published by Gary Stotler

Gary Stotler is a father, running, fitness, weight loss and personal development addict. Formally 400 pounds, Gary has naturally lost 200 pounds, created a coaching & speaking business and has become a 100 mile ultra-runner. Holding a degree in Psychology & Sociology, certifications from the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a personal trainer, mindset & behavioral modification coaching, a certification in DISC personality assessment coaching and he is a certified speaker, coach & mentor with the John Maxwell Team. Gary firmly believes, if we take One Step at a Time, nothing is impossible. He is determined to let his actions show people what is possible and hopes to help you shake up your thoughts, change your actions and create your future.

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