2018 Reflections: Gratitude, Staying Present, and The Fragility of Life


On February 12, 2018, the day of my 40th birthday, the idea of my own mortality for the first time was prevalent in my mind.  In my post “On Turning 40 No Expectations", I acknowledged the fact that, if my life was half over, I would still have lived 80 years.


That may sound overly dramatic, or grim.  That is not my intention.  This is my reality.  And, with that reality, there is more of an urgency behind my days.  If I have a chance to do something, I do it.  If I am scheduling a meeting with someone, instead of perhaps pushing it until “after the holidays” or next week, my feeling is there is no time like the present as you never know what tomorrow will bring.


Ten months and two days after my 40th, the idea that you truly do never know in life reared its head.  On December 14th, Sophia’s paternal grandmother had a massive stroke at only age 73, and passed four days later.  Otherwise healthy, Carol was a woman who lived every single day to the fullest.  So much so that, when my six year old daughter said, on her own accord, that Grandma was only 73 and how could she die because she still had so much to do and was always so busy, Sophia’s father said that while that is true, Grandma Carol lived such a full life that she actually lived two days in one, which would make her 146 years old when she passed.


“Wow! 146 years? Thats the life I want to live,” Sophia said.

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Looking back on 2018, a lot did happen.  And, in ways, it does feel as though I lived two years in one.  I had a milestone birthday, I ran my sixth marathon, I launched a new brand, the fitness portion of my business evolved from primarily group fitness either in Central Park or in a studio to privates and livestreams, I’ve started consulting at HACKD Fitness, which did not exist in 2017 or even the first half of 2018, I received my first endorsement, I recorded a series of fitness videos and I have met and developed countless other partnerships.  For those who are reading this very newsletter, it is quite possible I met you this very year.  Sophia finished kindergarten, entered first grade, performed in her first play, learned how to read, lost two teeth, and at too young an age has firsthand experienced a very significant loss, as she was extremely close to Grandma Carol, and is processing in her own way the finality of death.  


And these are just a few things that happened.  


Yes; if nothing else, the events of 2018 have taught me to be grateful, and to truly cherish those I love as well as all the moments, which can be fleeting.  And, there is something to be said about the fact that, everything does happen at its own time.  There may be times where we want to seize the moment.  And, if the timing is not right, what we want to happen may not, or feel forced.  


Finding the balance between making things happen and letting things happen is a journey.  And one that continuously needs to be tweaked.  I have always believed I am someone with a big heart; I genuinely want to help people out of whatever their pain points may be.  And yet, I am often in my head.  I will analyze, overthink, and obsess over a question, a situation, or a business idea, so much so that I become unable to make a decision.  When this happens, my intuition is totally lost, which is unfortunate because I am also someone who, throughout my life, when I have listened to my gut, or my heart, it has never steered me wrong.


As I look forward to 2019, I will continue to work on this journey.  In my last newsletter, I said that I have started to meditate.  There is something to be said for the fact that, when I am about twenty minutes into a run, my mind kicks into a meditative state and I find that is when I have a lot of my best ideas.  Because I am in my heart, at that moment, the decisions I make and the ideas I have end up sticking; I do not hesitate,  and I move forward with these ideas.

I have noticed a difference, even in the past few weeks, with meditation and leading with my intuition.  I have made some decisions, for my business, that feel right and I look forward to sharing with all of you.


Wishing you all a very happy, healthy and fulfilling New Year.


With love and care,


Laura Kovall