Official Website of Sarah E. Rippel, BS, CPT, FMS

-You’ll Never Know Unless You TRY-

Y’all bear with me today, as I am prompted to write this post while reflecting on some deep stuff.  One of my friends lost her 21-year-old brother in a tragic boating accident this weekend.  I’m not wanting to talk about tragedy or death…i’m wanting to talk about the fact that life is precious.  Life is a gift.  The older I get, the more this becomes obvious to me.  We are each given the opportunity to do amazing things with our lives.  The majority would rather settle for average, while some would rather waste the gift of life that’s been given to them.  The rest of us?  Well, we’re following our dreams.  We are doing all we can to put what our hearts say into action.  

Without any warning, your life or the life of someone you love can be cut short.  Live each day as if it were your last.

I’m assuming most of you guys are with me on this.  If you’ve been keeping up with my blog for a while, you’ve probably gotten to know more about me & therefore realize that I refuse to live a life of “not trying.”  You may realize that there’s a lot more to me than meets the eye.  I can be very deep at times, and although I have fun with my life, i’m pretty selective with who I choose to “let in.”  I used to journal and write poetry a lot.  I need to get back into doing this…i’ll add this to my “ME” board! 🙂

Without getting overly-wordy and dragging you into my childhood, I spent my grade school years as a happy-go-lucky kid.  I was athletic, creative, and for the most part, carefree.  Then we moved before I started 7th grade, and I became a different person.  I became really self-conscious and withdrawn, and learned to hide my emotions.  I didn’t cry.  I had friends and I had gymnastics, but I made myself crazy with being a perfectionist and worrier.  I kinda got lost for a while.  Then, here comes high school and my parents started having problems.  Anorexia pushed it’s way in, and became my best friend.  As a perfectionist, I became really really good “at” anorexia, as well as making it seem like I was okay.  I became a really good actress.  This is gonna sound a bit odd, but I tried my hardest to be the best anorexic I could be…but most of the time, I convinced myself I wasn’t good enough.  I know, I know, that sounds weird.  

Essentially, I was like this shell of a person.  My heart hurt, my brain was controlled by my eating disorder, and I didn’t really care about tomorrow.

Then came the day I “woke up.”  I will never forget it.  I was about to be a freshman at Texas Tech, and I was working out with dumbbells at Bodyworks.  Bodyworks was the first gym I ever worked out at (not including Parke Way when we’d use the Nautilus machines after diving practice for conditioning).  Bodyworks was my home.  Bodyworks basically saved my life.  I know that sounds cheesy, but I convinced my mom to let me join the gym so I could accelerate my unhealthy behavior.  I told her I wanted to be healthy, but in reality it was the opposite.  Anyhow, on this particular day, I remember standing there…looking in the mirror…and being disgusted by what I saw.  My eyes had black circles under them, my hair was like straw, and I weighed 89 pounds.  It was like that day, I “woke up” and realized how unhealthy I was, and from that point on I made the decision to become healthy.

My decision to change was difficult.  It took a long time to get to the point where I am today.  I became addicted to working out, and although this may be considered a “good” addiction to some, it wasn’t a positive one in many ways for me.  Why?  It was all I thought about.  I found something that I enjoyed doing, yet it was something I “had” to do.  I couldn’t find balance.  I had to eat every three hours.  I became obsessed with supplements, muscle/fitness magazines, exercises, sets, reps, muscles, you name it.  I ate, lived, and breathed bodybuilding.  Working out was just another means of running away from “stuff” I couldn’t deal with.  I had the “more is better” mentality and it wasn’t strange for me to hit the gym 2-3 times a day.  Working out defined who I was.  Hell, I paid $5k for fake boobs, had bleache-blonde hair, and wore a bikini and hooker heels onstage.  If you really “know” me, you know this is completely NOT me.  I had no other identity but “that really buff blonde trainer chick.”

I had several “waking up” moments since then.

You see, an eating disorder creeps into your mind…it holds your heart hostage…it takes over your life…it WAS my life…for years and years, in some form or fashion.  I simply wasn’t ready to TRY to let go of it.  Although it was such a struggle, it was easier to stay trapped in the insanity than to step outside and LIVE.  

Roughly seven years ago, I made the decision, once and for all, to stand up for myself and LIVE.  I let go of a bunch of crap and decided that I simply was not going to make apologies to anyone for my life, career, etc.  I decided it was ridiculous to be living a life that wasn’t dictated by my goals and dreams.  I was not being myself, and it was time I changed that.  Here I sit today, and I can honestly say that I am constantly amazed at how wonderful my life is.  It’s as if every day, there is something amazing that happens to me.  I train some great people.  I help people on the Internet.  I get props from other fitness professionals and get to return the favor!  I have some amazing people in my life…near and far.  My friends here in Baton Rouge look out for me and want the best for me.  Everyone is so supportive of my dreams and goals.  

I don’t feel like i’m letting life pass me by anymore.  I’m the one in charge.  I am giving everything my best shot, because you know what?  I may not be here tomorrow.  I want to be able to look back on my life and feel a sense of pride.  I am happy to say that when my time comes, I will be able to look back and realize i’ve helped many people simply by doing what I love.

Nowadays, i’m proud to say that I embrace life, as much as I can.  I have gone through so much that it’s almost as if I have no worries.  I have been blessed and have been given numerous second chances.  I refuse to take life for granted, and perhaps that’s why when I see people being complacent more often than not, it frustrates the hell out of me.  We all aren’t as fortunate.  

Step outside your box, people.  Don’t let anyone or anything tell you that you MUST adhere to a certain set of rules.  Make your own rules!  That’s what I do! 🙂  Life is a wild, crazy ride, and i’m having a blast with it…y’all comin’ with me?

Yours in Health,



11 responses

  1. Amazing, amazing post from an amazing woman! I’m proud to know ya 🙂

    May 18, 2009 at 9:38 am

    • Thanks, Laura! 🙂
      That makes me smile!
      I need to write more “deep” posts b/c…this is my blog, lol, and I CAN!
      PS I just remembered I need to link your blog to mine! Gonna do that now!
      Have a great day!

      May 18, 2009 at 9:48 am

  2. Nancy Rae

    You never cease to amaze me. I love everything that you write, stand for, and of course you just being you. Of course my workouts are pretty awesome too. Keep up the good work, the sky is the limit.

    May 18, 2009 at 10:45 am

    • Nancy!
      I love you! Thanks for being such a great supporter, client, and friend! 🙂
      I’m seriously in my element these days and I kick myself for not living life 100% for too long, but that’s a big lesson right there! Can’t go back and change it, all I can do is live LOUD and keep doin’ my thang, and eventually buy a jet with which I can fly around the world and train anyone & everyone…and, and and… 🙂 lol
      Have a great day! I’m excited you’re doin’ your new workout!

      May 18, 2009 at 10:51 am

  3. Tonya

    Great post. You’re such an inspiration. It’s so easy to stay on the same path cause that’s the path you’re on. But, really what have you got to lose by choosing to investigate a different way? Time? Some money? Here’s to living your dreams!

    May 18, 2009 at 11:56 am

    • Hey Tonya!
      Thank you! You’re exactly right! It’s easy to not change or not step outside your comfort zone b/c that’s all you know. Then, when you DO step outside, you realize you should have done it sooner! Kudos to you for stepping outside your box as well! 🙂 Proud of you!
      Yours in Health,

      May 18, 2009 at 12:21 pm

  4. Sarah…you impress me more each day…what a terrific post, on many levels. I know I over-use the word, but this is truly an ‘awesome’ post.

    As someone who’s asked you for advice, I can say firsthand that your willingness to help someone, for absolutely no gain, is so refreshing…and very rare these days….I’m proud to be able to call you a “friend”, even though we’ve never met. I think you’re a bigger inspiration to people than you realize…

    Thank you for sharing some of your past with us…Sounds like you’ve gone through a lot and come out on the right side of things…Glad to know you’re at a place now where you can appreciate all the cool stuff you do…enjoy! You deserve it, mi amiga!

    Stay strong,

    May 18, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    • Hola Fred!
      Awwww…I swear, today has been an amazing day! It’s awesome (and I use that word allllllllllllll the time, so don’t worry!)…it’s as if I am destined to be continually amazed at just how EASY it is to reach out to people…and just be doing my “thang”, & it’s appreciated! I have always said that I will never be lumped into the category of trainers who are just in it to make money. Never will I be in that category. From day one, I have always been on the lookout for my clients’ best interests while putting mine on the back burner. Of course, I’ve come to realize that MY health is super-important, b/c without it (physically and mentally), I can’t help my clients.

      I honestly feel i’ve been fortunate to have gone through all I have gone through. I’ve gone through a lot, and I don’t talk about it often. I feel that the crappy times help shape you into a stronger person. Actually, and i’ve probably said this in a post or comment before, but i’ve never forgotten it…I was once told that when you go through something that tests you, you are given a “key”…and it’s up to you whether or not you use that key to open a door. I feel many people go through crappy times and then just become “victims,” and refuse to move forward. Why the heck would I wanna do that? I want to learn and grow and never stop doing so!

      You’re the best!

      May 18, 2009 at 8:40 pm

  5. DDRdiva

    Great post! That’s so true that you never know how well you’ll do until you try. I saw a good slogan once, “When was the last time you did something for the first time?” I try to do something for the first time as often as I can.

    May 19, 2009 at 9:37 am

    • Hey Sue!
      Thank you!
      I love that slogan! I’m gonna use it! It’s awesome! 🙂
      I try to do new stuff all the time as well! Life’s too short NOT to! Take this weekend, for example…I will be in Vegas…I will learn to play craps b/c i’m going with one of my friends, and that’s what she plays. I don’t gamble. Other first-time experiences will be hanging out poolside at the Monte Carlo…never hung out at a Vegas pool! Another will be seeing Cirque du Soleil’s “Zumanity”…seen “O”, and love it…but this one is different. There will be tons of other “firsts” in Vegas, I’m sure…
      Oh, and in October, i’ll be doing something new…i’m doing the “Muddy Buddy” race in Dallas with one of my friends! You go as a team and one runs while the other is on the bike. Every so often, you encounter an obstacle…and mud…one does the obstacle and you trade off run/bike…should be a blast!

      Yours in Health,

      May 19, 2009 at 9:47 am

  6. Pingback: It’s About Getting Strong | RIPPEL EFFECT FITNESS

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