Inspiring Women: Kim Lyons

By Guest Author: Kim Lyons

I’m a “Lucky” Woman

“You’re so lucky!” was a phrase that would make me cringe. I’d hear it from friends, fans, and people I had worked with along my journey.

The “lucky” phrase was always delivered with a smile and innocence, but it made me want to scream back, “There was no luck, not one ounce—it was a journey of failures and lessons learned the hard way!”

But First There Was Failure …

As a child, I dreamed of being a fighter pilot, just like my dad, zipping through the air with a mass of power to propel me into the beautiful blue skies. After years of flying, I learned my eyes weren't good enough to fly anything fast and furious. I was heartbroken, lost, and decided to work the front desk at a gym. I was a failure, a total quitter at something I’d dreamed of for so many years.

I was a depressed college graduate with a shattered dream and zero direction. I was 30 pounds overweight with acne, sitting on a stool behind a gym desk, watching people slide their member cards, and making the “rack your weights” announcement every hour. I hated working out and can't even remember why I applied for the job, except that I could walk there from my tiny apartment.

Failure number one set me on the gym path, where I was meant to be. I began working with a trainer that saw the potential for me to do well in fitness competitions and fueled my passion for understanding how exercise and nutrition changed people, not just physically, but also mentally.

Thanks to my first significant life failure, I have become one of the most well-respected trainers in the country.

In the height of my fitness competition career, I completely severed my Achilles tendon, two weeks before a competition I’d been preparing for my entire career. I was not only out of the competition, that I was favored to win, but I was also headed into surgery to get a donor’s tendon. With a 4 to 6-month recovery, I decided to reach out to the magazines I’d been in to see if I could write articles. They all said yes, every one of them.

This failure helped me discover my passion for research and writing and put me in the position of a well-known expert in the health and nutrition industry. I published my book Your Body, Your Life, with Sterling Publishing House a few years later. Not a bad trade for losing one night on stage.

And Heartbreak

They say the third one’s a charm, and failure number three was just that. The “granddaddy charm” that blindsided me and left me at an all-time loss of hope and direction.

The end of a 14-year relationship left me with nothing but time to focus on my health and realize my love of helping others become healthy. Shortly after that epic relationship failure, I met my true soulmate, Gunter, and I was invited to audition for the trainer It took a year to get the job. I got married two years later and had my son three years after that.

These are just three of the many epic failures along the road to success. Perhaps that’s book number two. Trust me, there are that many!

Embracing It All

It’s taken me 47 years to learn something incredible about myself.

I THRIVE in the face of failure. I embrace it, expect it, and am ready for the positive that comes from it.

Am I lucky? Ironically, Yes! Very lucky. Lucky that I've learned not to fear failure but instead embrace it.

Tips to Failing with Grace:

  1. Don’t be afraid to take a path that might not be lit up. Unknown paths lead to adventures worth exploring.
  2. There are many things in life that we can’t control. However, we can control what we eat and how much we move our bodies. Don’t take that for granted! When you are healthy, you can get through anything.
  3. Trying and failing is better than wondering “What if?” Be proud of every failure. It simply means you are brave enough to try.
  4. Get mad, be sad, feel frustrated, and get on with life. There is always a silver lining, even if it takes years to see it. You have to look for it to find and appreciate it.
  5. Feeling discouraged? Google “Successful people’s failures." It’s one of the best searches I’ve ever done!