First, I must apologize for such a long absence–not that I am disillusioned that my silence affected your life, but it did mine, I miss writing. Regardless, let’s play catch up. The last three years has been consumed with pursuing a dream: the law. My passion for the law began long before my passion for fitness. I remember being in middle school, watching the OJ Simpson trial and knowing that one day, I too would stand before a jury fighting for justice. That dream never faded, but it was put on hold when I discovered fitness. My career in fitness was a dream in itself: I defied the odds until the odds caught up with me. After nearly ten years and four knee surgeries later, I returned to the classroom. Law school. It was a combination of fear and freedom.

I am still learning that justice is a jealous mistress courts flirt with, yet turn away for the sake of an oath exalting deference.

No matter what the classroom, whether school or life, there is choice and sacrifice. The hardest part is being vulnerable enough to start. The scariest part is walking toward your dream not knowing if life as you know it will be forever lost. Some people chase dreams to have a new beginning; to leave everything behind. Personally, I don’t even like it when I go home for Christmas and the furniture is changed , much less starting over. But, I think regret is more frightening. So I have a history of chasing the unlikely, and I have a decent batting average. But even the best batting averages are filled with empty swings.

So many people will tell you that they learned the most from their failures, and I echo that sentiment. But I have also learned the more you swing and miss, the closer you are to hitting the ball. Every “no” is one rejection closer to the next “yes.” Often, the struggle is not the “no’s,” because everything continues as status quo…there is no pressure; but when you get that “yes,” the tables turn.

Sometimes the “yes” symbolizes everything you dreamed of but never actually expected. Sometimes the “yes” is hard and unwanted because it means stepping out of a comfort zone. Some readers will find that statement absurd, wondering who would chase a dream that wasn’t wanted. Well, I would say because at least with a “no” you can say you tried and can quiet the urging of those around you to “at least try.” Accepting that initial “no” allows one to sleep better with a sort of confirmation they are where they should be in life.

I struggle with the “yes” if I try to analyze it too much. I come from a blue collar family and am the first to go to college, much less law school. It is easy to psych myself out with the possibility of failure, but I have learned if I spend the energy putting one foot ahead of the other in faith, I do pretty well. And let’s face it, I am really too stubborn to give into defeat.

Law school was a very scary, unexpected “yes” for me. I left my life as I knew it, not knowing if it would be there when I was done. I was accepted to my first choice school and traded 8-10 hours a day in the gym for 8-10 hours a day in the books. The transition was only hard when I thought about it or compared what other students were doing. When I focused on the task, I was unstoppable because I had faith in the “yes.” Here was an admission board that had me on paper–my age, my history, my life–and still said “yes.” So I too said “yes” and graduated early, with honors.