I have always said that things happen for a reason and, if I wasn't completely convinced of it before, I am now. My move to Overlook Farm began as a chance to get away from my life and volunteer with an organization that I truly believe in. Over the past 2 months, however, it has come to be much more than that. The farm has taught me so much about animals, gardening, where our food comes from, and how it's processed. It also taught me a lot about social relationships. As many of you know, I opted to attend the world's largest integrative nutrition school instead of attending a traditional 4-year college. Because of this choice, I never lived with other people and socialized in that "college" kind of atmosphere.

It's amazing how much you can learn when you start living with other people. Overlook's volunteers come from all around the country (one even originates from the Ukraine)! Together, we have such a wealth of knowledge about travel, life, and giving back. We certainly didn't all study farming and agriculture in school, but we were all drawn to this learning center as the next step in our lives.

Last week I had the pleasure of going on a bike ride with another farm volunteer, Chris, who is just about the most amiable person I have ever met. He also went to school for business, so we could relate on that level as well. This was my first bike ride since maybe last year, when I was biking on the flat sidewalks of Daytona. So here we are, in the middle of nowhere, in a fairly mountainous region, and I'm riding someone else's bike 7 miles. Chris, I should mention, has biked across the United States.

As a health coach, I often feel like I need to be perfect. I need to be in perfect health, in perfect shape, and eat perfect foods. Obviously, this doesn't happen all the time. Health coaches are still human and thus are bound to slip up and eat something with, GASP, white flour or sugar from time to time. So we're going for this bike ride and I'm thinking, "This is going to be easy. It's such a beautiful day and this bike is pretty similar to mine." In retrospect, that was a fairly naïve thought. It ended up being incredibly difficult for me to get through. I felt humiliated that I was in such terrible shape and had difficulty making a measly 7-mile bike ride. I actually had to walk up a hill with my bike while Chris pedaled beside me.

For those of you who don't know, I became a certified Zumba instructor in early 2009, I worked at a gym in Hampstead, NH for a bit, and I used to take hardcore fitness classes back to back. I was super fit. These days, that's not the case. I've been working so hard on my business and on being an "adult" that getting exercise has kind of fallen on the back burner. Exercise is SO important and yet it can be so hard to prioritize sometimes.

The point of this article, because there is always logic to my crazy story-telling (which I get from my dad- Thanks Dad!), is actually something that Chris told me when we were biking back to the farm. I said, "This is so embarrassing. I'm winded from going up a hill. I used to be so fit!" And Chris, such a wise dude too, said, "You still ARE fit. That person you were talking about? That's still YOU." Thank GOODNESS I didn't cry when he said that, because it was just so perfect and such a beautiful sentiment and I KNEW I had to tell you about it.

You are who you've always been. If you used to be fit and then school, work, or kids happened, that's still YOU. Part of you is still that fit person. Just like the NFL player and Olympic wrestler on the Biggest Loser. They're big guys now, but they still have the heart of a champion in them. You do too. Instead of looking back and saying "I remember when..." or "I wish I was still _____," congratulate yourself on the fact that you were there and you can be there again! Be an inspiration to yourself.

Author's Bio: 

Shannon Lagasse, The Young and Fresh Health Coach, teaches women who are struggling to lose weight how to drop the pounds easily and enjoyably by empowering them to find freedom from restrictive dieting, deprivation, rigorous exercise regimes, and beliefs about food that are holding them back from having their ideal body. To schedule your F.R.E.E. Breakthrough to BodyLove Session and to receive her inspirational weekly health & wellness articles on natural ways to get the body and life you want, visit http://www.youngandfreshhealth.com.