“To help create positive change in others, you must first
find the catalyst for positive change in yourself.”
All my life, I followed what I thought was the correct path. School, job, marriage, children… It all seemed the direction that I was destined to go. Everything was going well, until it wasn’t. 3 deaths in my family in 7 years really caused me to look inside and evaluate my life, to see if I was truly happy with the direction I was traveling.
My siblings both died before reaching 40 years old.
This was shocking and very scary as I became worried that I would die before reaching 40 years old just as they did. I didn’t want that to happen mainly for my children who were young teenagers. I wanted to live a long and happy life and have grandchildren, gray hair and above all else – to be happy.
At the time, I was an IT Director and was both happy and miserable. I loved learning new things – and believe me, in technology there is something new to learn every day. I hated the stress I was under and the daily headaches I was suffering. I was worried I would die of a stroke like my brother, who was 36 when he passed away.
It’s surprising when you consciously and deliberately face your future and commit to making a change in your life. A reboot of sorts.
I remember waking up one cold January morning in 2004 and deciding to train for a marathon. Trust me, I’ve been a lifelong athlete, but never a distance runner. So, it was shocking to me to wake up with this revelation as if I was called to run a marathon.
Change clue #1 – Look in a different direction to get a different result in your life.
I got out of bed that day and just started running. I was up every morning at 5 am and running for my life, my health, and my family. I recognized that to commit to change, I needed to be all in and work tirelessly towards this new life.
At some point in my training, I got my first ever massage. It started with a 15 minute sports massage and I really liked the stretching. So, I scheduled a full massage for the following week. The minute hands were placed upon my back I had an epiphany. I thought to myself immediately that “this is what I’d been looking for my whole life!” It was life changing.
Now, this wasn’t a career change epiphany – more of a health thought bomb. I had tried chiropractic and been left feeling like it wasn’t what I wanted.
I started getting weekly massages which really helped my marathon training.
I was soon up to 5 miles a day comfortably and beginning to work towards more miles on the weekends when the next shoe dropped. My older sister was killed in a car accident on the freeway between Rochester and Olympia at just 39 years old.
Change clue #2 – Find the spark which will serve as a catalyst for change.
My sister dying became the next big life change for me – a big catalyst for change.
Her two kids were 15 and 9. Now, they would be raised without their mom. I truly didn’t want that for my kids. The secret conversation that was going on in my head scared me. Outwardly, I was strong. Inside, I was a mess and afraid for my future. Yet I wasn’t ready to commit to making a change – yet.
Over the course of marathon training, my massage therapist often talked about the profession and often told me that I’d be a really good massage therapist. I didn’t understand why he felt that way and his answer was always that because I was an athlete, I understood body movement and injuries which would help me as a massage therapist.
I must admit, I was curious about the massage profession.
But still I was hesitant to change my career. My family had grown accustomed to the income I was earning. I knew that whatever career I chose, I needed to be able to earn as much (if not more) than what I was earning.
And, that’s when my massage therapist told me how much money was possible and how much his dad made as a massage therapist (it was a 6-figure number) the year prior. I perked up at this point.
Change clue #3 – Questions to ask yourself
- Is there an opportunity for change?
- Is this something you care enough about to seize?
- Or, are you focused on past disappointments and willing to continue as is?
- Do you embrace change – or run from it?
For me, the decision to run a marathon became the first catalyst for change. Getting my first massage and subsequent conversations about the industry and potential career opportunities became the second. Yet, still I needed to make the leap.
I attended an introductory massage workshop at Bodymechanics School in the fall of 2004 and fell in love immediately with massage therapy. I was excited. I was exhilarated. I felt amazing.
I signed up to join the next evening class – which was started in March 2005. I couldn’t wait to begin my new journey and become a Licensed Massage Therapist. I took the leap.
I’ve definitely had a lot of challenges in my professional career. Life can through a lot at you. When faced with a difficult situation, you either buckle or take it and do the most with it. I’ve definitely done the most with it. When I lost my pinky finger in a traumatic injury in 2013, I could have buckled. It ended my professional career as I knew it. Instead, I looked at the opportunity it presented and it became the next catalyst for change for me as I have continued to grow exponentially since that fateful day.
Change clue #4 – See your dream and run towards it
When I woke up that fateful morning in January of 2004, I had no idea of the direction my life would take. But, I took ownership of my life and chose to change directions. I asked the questions about my future, and ran towards change, rather than living in fear of my death. I chose happy.
Massage therapy has been the best thing (besides my kids and grandkids) in my life. It has helped me create a life that I love. Owning Bodymechanics School of Myotherapy & Massage allows me to shape the lives of future students and changes millions of lives around the world through massage therapy.
I now life a life that is very rewarding. I find myself stepping into a bigger role in the massage industry and I am excited for this next big transition even if it scares me just a little bit. I could never have imagined my life going in this direction and I could not imagine today anything different.
One of my mentors said this: “Keep fear in your future and you’ll never grow old.” Dan Sullivan
He was talking about pushing and challenging yourself. Keep pushing boundaries and growing. Life is so short and so precious, I hate to see anyone as miserable as I was in my past “job.”
Recognize that you are 100% in control of your life and embrace change.
I am here for you. I want to help you change your life. We’ve got BIG plans at Bodymechanics and we are always making the program better for each class that starts.
I’d love to help you.
Call 360.350.0015 and lets work together to make your career change.
Committed to your success
Shari Aldrich, LMT