EPISODE 050 – Reinventing Yourself At Any Age


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In today’s episode, Karen shares;

  • The importance of celebrating the big and little things you have done in your day to day life.
  • Reinventing yourself is a journey that can be accomplished at any age.
  • How to have the courage to believe in yourself while you overcome any adversity that gets in your way.

Karen has seen her fair share of adversity in her lifetime, from the death of her parents to leaving an abusive relationship. Today she shares how it is possible at any age to overcome these difficult times and reinvent yourself, all it takes is a little courage and belief in yourself. Have a listen to Karen’s full episode by clicking the podcast player above or continue reading for the full transcription.

Hello everyone, my name is Karen Hagen, and I live in Calgary, Alberta. I’m a mom to an incredible 15 year old son, a wife, sister, aunt, friend, and a fitness and health coach. I’m going to give you a little bit more information on what I do as a fitness and health coach as we get further along in my podcast. But first, let me ask you a question. What have you done lately? Or another question we asked each other a lot,  “What have you been up to?”. If you’re anything like me, my usual answer is not much. Especially this past year of 2020 with so many of us locked down and unemployed. But also let me ask you, “when was the last time you acknowledge something you have done?” “When was the last time you congratulated yourself on accomplishing something? Anything? Big or small?” “When was the last time you celebrated yourself? Or do you just acknowledge the things you haven’t done?” Negative self talk like, “Oh, I should have done this”, or, “Oh, I should do this”. Or, “Oh, I didn’t do this”.

Sadly, that’s been me, always looking for the next thing to do. Never stopping to appreciate everything that I have successfully and even not successfully accomplished. I am forever looking at climbing that next mountain instead of looking back and admiring the one I just successfully climbed. So today after chasing my tail for the last year, or maybe all my life, I decided to sit and celebrate all that I have done in my life. Maybe I’ll just do this past year. My world changed dramatically when COVID-19 virus shut down what we all know as normal. It started with me losing all of my sources of income as a fitness coach; all of my classes were canceled in one day. And as a self employed, contracted employee, that means no income. Exactly a week from that day, my husband lost his job. So we went from a two income family to none in a week. Our teenage son was also sent into a spin as schools closed, and we all turned to the online world. Not gonna lie, it was a challenging year, so finding things to celebrate in the midst of it was a chore. 

Up until today, when I stopped and wrote down everything my son, husband, and I have accomplished in the last year, it brought tears to my eyes. My son completed grade nine online in the spring. And in the fall, he started grade 10 in a new school, made new friends, and then in November got thrown back into online school. But through it all he has kept his grades up and is doing very well. My husband after months of rejection letters and fighting depression because of said rejection letters, found a job he loves. We are grateful and happy to be able to celebrate their successes. And also we are extremely grateful that we are all healthy. As for me, I expanded my online business, which meant a whole new learning curve of technology that I have a fear of to begin with. I put myself out there and videoed live workouts, started an online fitness fitness group, and led 10 women through daily workouts for three months. This led to some personal training clients and adapting to a new fitness app. So again, learning that techie stuff. I gave back with free classes in my community until once again, in person group classes were closed down in November. 

Still reaching and striving for more, I became a representative for an active wear company, took virtual workshops to increase my knowledge in all aspects of fitness, and finally took my certification in the practice of yoga nidra. And still when someone asks “what have you done lately?”, my answer was always “Hmm, not much.” So why am I so compelled to do more and celebrate none of it? Are you like me and see others succeeding at what you perceive at a higher level than myself? Beating myself up for not being like them? Maybe I should be doing all of what they are doing and I’ll be successful. But wait a minute, we’re not all the same, and what works for me doesn’t necessarily work for you. Trust me, I’ve done that. I’ve mimicked what everyone else was doing to have success and then felt very deflated when it failed for me. We all have our special gifts that we bring to the world, and mine is not the same as yours. That doesn’t mean that mine isn’t as special as yours, or vice versa. I was terrible with the comparison game. Now I recognize it and I try to stop it before it snowballs into me beating myself up. The other thing I was notorious for is trying to make everyone happy and like me. So I would tell everyone else how wonderful they were and play down my own accomplishments. Now, as a fitness and health coach, that’s part of my career that I do love. I love supporting women to embrace and live a healthy life. And I will continue to do this. However, I need to balance that with supporting and celebrating myself.

So today, I decided to celebrate what I’ve done, take credit for my accomplishments, and maybe just sit for a minute and relish in my glory. This may be the day I realized I don’t need to prove myself to anyone, including me, that I’m good enough just being, and not having to be busy looking for and climbing that next mountain. I started by writing down what I just accomplished yesterday. So I set up my new camera and lighting, which was a task and a half for somebody that’s not very techie, leading a class online, I went for a physical distance walk with a friend, and I made some healthy and pretty dang tasty soup if I do say so myself. Then I expanded to write down what I’ve done in the last week. And I expanded on that- to the last month. And that leads me to sitting here now and writing out my year. I’m a visual person, so I need to see it written down to fully appreciate it. And I’d like for you to do the same. Sit down right now and write down something you’re proud of yourself for may be big or small. It may be the mountain you climbed or the valley you were in and climbed out of. Doesn’t have to be a life changing accomplishment. But just something you did yesterday that made you feel satisfied, like cleaning out your office or writing an exam and getting a great grade on it. Then expand on it from there just like I did. Maybe writing it down isn’t for you, it might be talking to somebody, finding someone who’s in your corner that’s going to cheer you on. Don’t feel like you’re boasting, you’ll be there for them when they want to tell you about their accomplishments. And you can celebrate together. 2020 has been a tough year and we all need to think about what we did this past year and not focus on what we didn’t do. However, it’s also okay to think about what we tried and weren’t successful at. It just maybe was bad timing, maybe more thought needed to be put into it, or perhaps it was out of your control. A lot of 2020 was out of our control. I bet though that you can think of something that came out of it that was a learning experience. Or maybe not, maybe it just sucked. That’s okay too because sometimes it does just suck and it’s in those times that you can reflect and remember you were a force to be reckoned with because you got through it.

Everywhere you turn right now people are pulling you this way or that, and telling you to do this or that, and your year will be better if you do this, and your life will get better if you do that. Personally, I get really overwhelmed with all the advice everyone sometimes pushes on you. My advice is to do what feels good for you. I can attest to a few things that for sure will help you feel better- and that’s to keep active, drink lots of water, get outside, and finally, celebrate yourself. Can we all let 2021 be the year we are gentler with ourselves, give ourselves credit for trying, and celebrate our successes and lessons learned. I am going to be my best friend. I am going to be my biggest cheerleader. I am going to be the one that pops that champagne cork when I feel the need to celebrate me. 

The next time someone asks you, what have you done lately? I hope you pop that champagne, and tell them exactly what you’ve accomplished and celebrate. Thank you for listening. And thank you for The Great Canadian Woman for this opportunity to share with all of you and don’t forget to take care of yourself and celebrate you!

Would you like to connect with Karen? You can find her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/yoursinfitnessandhealth or Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/yoursinfitnessandhealth/ and on her YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCd0nqL2WPWFiM8vhJyBoMSw

Thanks for being a part of our community! Please remember to leave us a 5-star rating & review so we can help more Canadian Womxn spread their message even farther! And share share share! If you loved this episode, please share it on your social media and tag us @thegreatcanadianwoman on Facebook & Instagram!

Karen Hagen

Karen Hagen

Karen Hagen started her resiliency journey at the early age of 22 when both her parents died within a year of each other. Overcoming an abusive relationship, infertility and even more grief Karen is the picture of reinventing and resiliency. Karen is a wife, Mom to an amazing 15 year old son. Sister, aunt, friend and Certified Fitness Coach. Karen has been actively instructing in the fitness industry for 10 years including Bootcamp, HIIT, Strength, Corporate Fitness, Older Adult, Small Group, One on One and Yoga Nidra. Karen has a love for the outdoors and is passionate about living a healthy and active lifestyle. She passes on her knowledge and passion to her clients, assisting them in their mental and physical needs and support.

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