This is Mark, the main author of this blog. Some of you might know me personally; some might be private clients of my various services; some might be customers of the Granite Fitness programs; others might not know me at all, as you might have been introduced to this site by other members of the Granite Fitness Blog team or referred to us by friends who have successfully lost weight with our system.
Well, as the person who curates and/or write most of the original blog posts on this site, I ask you to please humour me by allowing me this moment of self-indulge this one time, just because I can. The only reason why I’m writing a post about myself is because this weekend I reach the milestone age of 30, and would like to write something for people who I know. This is just a personal note, which is why it has no fanfare, no fitness tips, no product recommendations, no promotion, no external links (except one at the end, but it is relevant) or anything like that.
Unbeknownst to many, it was only a few years ago that I was wading in the waters of uncertainty and was unsure about which direction my life should take. Things were pretty stormy for me. I was on the brink of dropping out of my research degree, had just survived a string of relationship failures, was doing things I didn’t find meaningful, had stagnated finances, and basically had no direction in life.
Maybe it was the aftermath of the so called quarter-life crisis, which typically starts as a person hits his or her mid-twenties, and can last until the start of his or her thirties. As a substantial proportion of my personal contacts are in this age category, chances are that they are experiencing it too in some form. It’s a horrible sense of identity crisis which plagues people in this age range living in western countries.
Anyways, desperate time called for desperate measures. I decided to escape it all for a while by trying out something a little different. I persisted with the degree, settling for a lesser qualification to escape the situation, and then I went to Eastern Europe to take a break. While I was there, I managed to date plenty of wonderful women at the romance tour and bond with plenty of good guys. When I returned, I was invigorated and full of confidence that I signed up for a business mentorship program.
That led to the birth of Granite Fitness. I spent months and months with countless late nights toiling on this project; writing the books, arranging the physical products, getting the business registered and getting all the social media up and running. After getting a very capable business partner, the show was on the road. After several months, he led our product testers and initial customers (mostly black and white women from the USA) down the path of successful weight loss. This was something I am very proud of, and no one can ever take this away from me!
While the business had sales that came in dribs and drabs, I learnt the most important lesson – it really isn’t about the money. I genuinely wanted to learn about business. I genuinely wanted to help people lead a healthy lifestyle. I don’t even care that I don’t know them personally. Just knowing that I have inspired them and made a difference in their lives is enough for me, and enough to fuel me to keep on persisting and doing what I do! That was when Granite Fitness became a free blog – and continues to be my hobby to this day!
I also realised at this point that the shackles of my quarter-life crisis were slowly but surely loosening as I had found purpose and meaning in life, and my role in God’s green earth – I was meant to spend my life helping, coaching and mentoring people through their challenges. Looking back at my past, it all made sense. Despite being an introvert, I had always been a people-person and had helped and volunteered a great deal in different capacities. Things were starting to fall into place…..
After visiting Eastern Europe a second time this year, I found a sense of attachment to the place, and made vague plans to live in Eastern Europe as a pseudo-hippie at least for a while, possibly for even up to nine months next year. I could sustain my lifestyle with my various investments, supplemented by online freelancing gigs which I could secure fairly easily with my existing accolades. It was all so simple on paper, but the universe had other ideas and before long God yanked me back from my dreary state of utopian bliss back into my purpose in this life, which was to help others.
This came in the form of an opportunity presented by a close friend to apply for a full-time job which involves assisting distressed students through challenges in order to help them reach a positive outcome. Sensing that I would find meaning in such a role, I went out of my way to secure the position. It was daunting, as I had never had a job interview before. But I used the marketing skills from the business mentorship course to bulldoze my way through the more qualified competition and eventually landed the position. That being said, I am forever thankful to that dear friend for giving me this opportunity!
So here I stand before you, at the age of 30, with everything to be thankful for. I have a very challenging, yet wonderful and meaningful job, working with fantastic colleagues in a student union. I have a wonderful health blog which is helping people become healthier and happier. I have adequate finances and a well thought out financial action plan to give me a good life. I am also enjoying my time occasionally being a unionist, rescue volunteer, church-goer and social justice activist. These are the things that add meaning to my life.
There are still a few things I thought I would have accomplished by this stage of my life but have not achieved yet. The most embarrassing one is not having a driving license, oops. The other is not yet finding my life partner. However, I have come to the point where I am at peace with the latter. Things will happen in their own time, as described in the book of Ecclesiastes. The other half of me is still out there. I just take this as God’s way of teaching me patience, which is a fruit of the spirit! Besides, I know that if the yearning comes back, I can always go back to Eastern Europe to try again. My future life partner might be there, who knows?
The main lesson that I have learnt throughout my own life is that being grateful with what one has is a discipline worth cultivating. Another thing I had learnt is that when you give more, you receive more also. I’m not talking about finances here. After all, I spent a lot on my European trips and business programme, but I treated them as an investment, and indeed they taught me lessons and life experiences that I can’t put a price tag on.
So if you were wondering, the answer is yes, I’m into all that personal development “positive thinking stuff”. I believe that everyone has finite energy and should pick their own battles selectively. I believe in becoming the best version of myself, and that everyone should have that aim for themselves. Ignore the haters because they are just jealous and living in their own insecurities. Be better than that and rise above it!
And on that note of positivity, I’d like to thank all my friends, parents and family. You have been a blessing to me in your own way, and for that I am grateful. I know I don’t always have the opportunity to express it, but that’s because of how life is. I also hope that I can continue to be a blessing to you as well. If we are in the same city and haven’t caught up in some time, drop me a message and we’ll organise something. Although I am as busy as most of you, I do value my contacts a lot and want the best for you!
To other readers of the Granite Fitness Blog whom I don’t know personally, I wish you all the best, and thanks for allowing me this opportunity to talk about my life in this blog post. Perhaps now you can put a face and persona to the writing on most of the blog posts. If you are on the weight loss journey, I wish you every success! Remember that it might take longer than you expect, but if it is a lifestyle change which will serve you well in the long-term! I hope you continue to enjoy reading the posts, and if you haven’t yet, don’t forget to subscribe!
Your Happy Halloween Baby,
ps (There ALWAYS has to be a ps, right?) I’m going to document my life in the 30s in my new personal blog. This blog will have NO theme, but just random ramblings here and there. Most probably no one will care, but if you do, simply…..
AND FINALLY, EVERYONE PLEASE ALWAYS REMEMBER:
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