2013 – The Year My Life Changed Forever

I’m going to simply state that 2013 has been one of the most pivotal years of my entire life. I don’t know where to begin. I opened a fitness studio, separated from a long-term relationship, pushed myself outside of my comfort zone, and am dealing with the loss of a beloved pet.

My Life Changed Forever in 2013

I know that most of you come to this website for the kettlebell videos, fitness pictures, and some of you even come for the tons of information published within my articles. Maybe you find my posts a little motivating. If you get anything out of this post, I hope that you can see how I set goals , hold myself accountable to them, and push myself for personal growth every year.

Goals and Accomplishments of 2013

I’ll begin by reviewing the goals that I set for myself at the beginning of the year.

  • Launch an online training program – C – I did launch an online training program earlier this year, but it was short-lived because I opened my studio. Look for more on this topic as 2014 progresses. I’ve got some big ideas!
  • Publish my first eBook – F – Didn’t happen, but is still on the agenda for one of these days…
  • Increase JohnnyFit to 20,000 visits per month – C – I’m averaging 10,500 visits per month which isn’t too shabby! I averaged more at the beginning of the year, but running my studio has significantly cut into my blogging time.
  • Work hard at everything – A – There’s no E for Effort, I work my Ass off and deserve that A.
  • Visit 1 place I’ve never been – AJohn Day Fossil Beds in central Oregon.
  • Network – A+ – My network of mentors and peers seemed to explode in 2013. The yoga trainings that I jumped into this year have been nothing short of spectacular in helping me develop relationships with other people who are passionate about the same things that I am.
  • Corporate Wellness Program – A – I had a fantastic Corporate Wellness program and some great clients that were benefiting from mid-day workouts. This is another program that had to fall to the wayside as I opened up my training location.
  • Remind the people who I care about that I love them – D – I really suck at this. I’m so caught up in my life that I fear I’m not very good at being a son, brother, and friend 🙁
  • Grow in body and in spirit – A – I’m not sure how to point out where my personal growth in body and spirit are. It’s been a roller coaster of a year, and you’ll just have to take my word for it. Keep yourself beyond your comfort zone, and shit gets really real!

Pushing My Boundaries

Some amazing things happened to me this year that I didn’t plan. Opportunities have an odd way of appearing when you actively work to move your life in a direction that aligns with your ideals and goals.

Personal growth comes from putting yourself outside of your comfort zone, and dealing with the challenges that arise. It’s not easy to step into new and unknown territories. However, living the life that you dream of requires that you do something different from what you’re currently doing… Embrace the change.

JohnnyFit Bootcamp & Yoga

Opening my training studio, JohnnyFit Bootcamp & Yoga, has been hands down the most pivotal thing that has happened to me this year. Having my training studio was always part of my 5 Year Plan, but this came a couple of years sooner that I anticipated. I surely didn’t start the year off thinking that this would happen to me. Life is strange…

JohnnyFit Studio 2013

Fitness Expert

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost 2 years since I left my corporate job to pursue a different life. I’ve developed this website, trained hundreds of people, and have really established myself here in Portland.

The challenges that I have faced while opening this location have been many. For the first few months I couldn’t even pay myself, and had no idea if it would succeed. I almost can’t believe that this all happened because I believed in myself, and took action every day towards the life that I wanted to live.

I’ve talked about motivation, perseverance, and challenge quite often on this blog. My words of determination, work ethic, and goal setting would ring loudly in my own ears, and sometimes I wondered if I was just full of shit. I’m so glad that I didn’t listen to my own doubts. I can’t believe the opportunities that I’ve created for myself by betting on me. Being your own boss in a business that is also your hobby IS AMAZING!

Motivational Leader

This year I’ve been honored to be recognized for doing something that many people wish for, which is ditching my corporate job for a life that I am passionate about. I was featured on the Bet On You podcast, and The Startup Sessions blog for being someone who had the courage to follow his dreams.

Public Speaker

In June of this year, I had an opportunity to participate in a keynote presentation at a fitness blogger’s conference called FitBloggin. I gave a 5-minute Ignite Talk to approximately 350 people. In 20 slides that auto-advanced every 15 seconds, I talked about creating opportunities for yourself. I hope to push myself outside of my comfort zone to do more public speaking in the future.

Do you think that I have some skills or perspective that would motivate or interest your audience? Contact me!

Only Human

A lot of good and challenging things happened to me this year, yet I still have my personal battles as well. The one thing that all of us have in common, no matter who we are, is that we are all dealing with things that are hard for us. We all have challenges and problems that we’re working through. I might be JohnnyFit, but I am only human.


I walked away from a 3-year relationship that was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. It would have meant moving to another state, and seriously thinking about having children. So many things are happening for me in Portland, that this is where I need to be for now. I just feel it, and you know when you are following the path that you’re supposed to be on.

Sometimes, changing the direction of your life can lead you away from people who you care about.

I had to let her go. She was my best friend. It hurts, and I miss her.

and Loss

My dear Mr. Kitty, who has been my constant and faithful companion for 9 years has been diagnosed with a lymphoma cancer. This selfie taken on 12/30 will likely be the last picture of us ever taken together. I don’t want to capture his ensuing frailty as his cancer sucks away his life force.

Mr Kittys Last Picture 2013

It’s been one hell of a year!

A year of love and loss, elevation and humility, dreams released and dreams realized, highs and lows, good times and bad. Thus is life. I’m glad to know you, and I’m glad to be here. Be safe, and I’ll see you all in 2014!  Johnny

4 thoughts on “2013 – The Year My Life Changed Forever”

  1. Johnny, Thanks for sharing your review of 2013. You have been an inspiration to me this year. Your transparency and motivation to succeed are incredible. When I got laid off from my corporate job in August, your example was a big reason that I believed I could support myself doing work I loved. I pushed forward and now I’m so glad that I did.

    I’m excited for the growth that you experienced last year. And the bad stuff…well, that just seems to happen in the course of life. Just know that you are supported and loved by Jill and I.

    Thank you for your leadership, inspiration and for setting the bar high.

    All the best to you for a spectacular 2014!

    1. Thanks for your words Michael!

      I’m looking forward to watching The Startup Sessions grow, and to working with you in some aspect in the future. Here’s to 2014!

  2. Chanel Jene Smith

    Hey Johnny! I didn’t get to experience any of your awesomeness in 2013 other than here online but you have always been a big motivational role model to me and I wish you the best of luck in 2014! I hope to get in and check out your studio sometime soon! 🙂

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