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Things I Learned in My Twenties – Geek Turned Athlete

Things I Learned in My Twenties

So I turned 30 today. My 20’s were filled with getting out of my comfort zone not limited to getting married, moving 4 times across the United States and to Germany, completing my B.S., M.S., changing careers, and two Ironmans.

This picture is of me eating some brochen and sausage on the Happy Mosel (a 175 km bike ride in Germany with beer/sausage stands every 2 km) \in Germany. It was so scary (to me at first) when we moved to Germany because I was unfamiliar with EVERYTHING! I knew it would be good for me though.


I like this picture because I think it kinda represents me biting into “life” without fear! I learned so many lessons in the last decade, and I thought that I would share some with you:

1. Most things in life are NOT black or white.
2. I am so much more capable at accomplishing amazing things than I give myself credit for.
3. Marrying Steve was the scariest, exhilarating, most gratifying thing that I have done so far in my life. I’m so lucky to have met him and to have somehow convinced him to marry me.
4. Compassion. We all need to exhibit a little bit more of it.
5. Most people are insecure and that can dictate their actions.
6. If you know what you want, go get it. If you believe something will happen, it probably will.
7. I finally accepted the fact that I’m a nerd, and I’m embracing it.
8. I finally accepted the fact that I have an athlete inside of me as well.
9. I no longer feel the need to change my beliefs to match someone else’s or to make other people happy. I am who I am, and although I do expect some of my opinions to change as I age, I believe what I believe. Love and accept me for who I am because I love and accept you for who you are even if we might have different views. If you don’t, I have no room for you in my life.
10. Life is too short to have toxic relationships. My close friend list has dwindled, but I find it a good thing.
11. Sometimes it is better to keep my mouth shut. Still battling with this one.
12. Sometimes it is better to NOT keep my mouth shut.
13. I am no longer ignorant of how ignorant I am. Traveling around the world will do that to you.
14. Cherish the time you have with your loved ones. You never know when their time or your time is up.

I look forward to learning more about myself and the world in my 30’s

Do you have any life lessons you could add?

{ 26 comments… add one }

  • Brittany March 28, 2013, 10:30 am

    Hey Nicole – Happy Birthday! I recently found your blog and really enjoy your posts. I’m a triathlete living in Texas too, and a military brat (I lived in Germany for 4 years in high school). And I turn 30 next month! Small world. I completely agree with and also struggle with #2.
    Brittany recently posted..Bike Tour Prep

    • Nicole March 28, 2013, 10:55 am

      Brittany, thanks for stopping by and thank you for the birthday wishes! 😉 What kind of engineer are you? I was an environmental engineer in my past life (now studying towards becoming a PA). Happy early birthday, and maybe I will see you at some races here in TX. 😉

      • Brittany March 28, 2013, 11:03 am

        I’m ChemE, but my job now has me doing a lot of economics and business, not too much engineering! Past work has been around natural gas projects though. Yes – hopefully I’ll see you at a race or event here in Texas someday :) I’m headed out your way often for bike riding (this weekend to Kerrville actually). Love it out in the Hill Country!
        Brittany recently posted..Bike Tour Prep

  • lindsay March 28, 2013, 12:05 pm

    yes to all! and happy 30th friend! Come back to austin for a visit, k?

    • Nicole March 30, 2013, 10:04 pm

      Thank you! I should be back sometime soon. 😉 You know, you can always come down here too! Steve and I just ate at a fabulous restaurant for my birthday last night called Feast. GREAT food!

  • Lisa March 28, 2013, 12:23 pm

    I agree! Life is too short to waste energy and time on toxic people!
    Lisa recently posted..Food Enablers

    • Nicole March 30, 2013, 10:03 pm

      Yes, toxic people have a way of sucking the life out of you! :)

  • runinboise March 28, 2013, 1:13 pm

    Happy Birthday!
    runinboise recently posted..Week In Review – Week 17 – 50K Training

    • Nicole March 30, 2013, 10:02 pm

      Thank you! Missing the NW badly! I hope the weather is okay where you are!

  • Quix March 28, 2013, 3:29 pm

    Happy birthday! Great lessons, and cheers to another decade of awesomeness in your 30s!
    Quix recently posted..Rosedale Ride – Awakening (and Week 11)

    • Nicole March 30, 2013, 10:02 pm

      I certainly hope so! Thank you!

  • Julie March 28, 2013, 4:13 pm

    Happy birthday, dear!!
    Julie recently posted..9 DIY Garden Projects

    • Nicole March 30, 2013, 10:01 pm

      Thank you! 😉

  • Amy March 28, 2013, 6:43 pm

    Happy Birthday! I’m halfway through my 30’s and they are awesome :)

  • Sana March 28, 2013, 6:56 pm

    Happy Birthday :) I can’t wait to hear how awesome your 30’s are!
    Sana recently posted..Nonstop Running

    • Nicole March 30, 2013, 10:01 pm

      I have a good feeling they are going to be great! Thanks, Sana. 😉

  • Lisa March 28, 2013, 6:56 pm

    Happy birthday! I’m a decade-plus ahead of you and your observations are spot on. Enjoy your 30’s – I’m sure you’ll continue to take huge bites out of it :)
    Lisa recently posted..Texting Auto-Correction at its finest

    • Nicole March 30, 2013, 10:01 pm

      Thank you! 😉

  • AmyD March 29, 2013, 9:49 pm

    Happy Birthday! I’m 36 and happier than I’ve ever been. I think I’m finally getting comfortable with who I am. I love your list and would add that girlfriends are important and you have to work hard to keep them. Also, as a former military spouse I learned that incredible friendships are totally worth the hard goodbyes.
    AmyD recently posted..Tarawera Ultramarathon – Part 1

    • Nicole March 30, 2013, 10:00 pm

      Oh, I completely agree with you! I’ve had friendships with people who I last saw 7 years ago, and we are meeting up again soon. I’m sure we will be just as close! Good friends are great like that. 😉

  • Susan - Nurse on the Run March 31, 2013, 2:00 pm

    Happy belated!

    One of my favorite coworkers told me that your 30’s are great because you realize that everything you obsessed with in your 20’s wasn’t worth it. And that what other people think about your life/what you do/how you are doesn’t really matter as much.

    I’m 28 so not quite yet 30, but one of the most important things I’ve realized is that it’s not worth it to waste your time on relationships that other people don’t invest in. You want someone who wants you (not just in a romantic relationship, but in friendships as well), and if other people don’t want to put in the work, then it’s not worth it for you. (It also shouldn’t be work…ha.)

  • Toronto Girl West April 7, 2013, 1:51 am

    Happy Belated Nicole!!!! :)

    I have no doubt your 30s will be a fabulous decade!!! Hope your entire family is well – puppies and all!!
    Toronto Girl West recently posted..Snapshots from an Easter Weekend in Victoria + Revealing the Winner of the Alice & Whittles Giveaway

    • Nicole April 11, 2013, 12:36 pm

      Thank you! 😉 I have a good feeling my 30’s will be a blast as well!

  • Tasha - The Clean Eating Mama April 27, 2013, 8:26 pm

    Happy Birthday my dear! I am SOOOO happy I found your site again! I knew you had moved but I completely lost my blog links on my blog and I am slowly rebuilding it! Hope Texas is treating you well! =)


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