thoughts on 30

Turning 30 always seemed like a looming deadline – a to-do list of all of these things that I had to accomplish.

And now that it’s here… it just feels like a sigh of relief.

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This past weekend, my mom told me that she loved her 30s. She said, “The 20s are just about finding your place and getting your feet on the ground. In your 30s, things start to feel more stable. And then in your 40s, you’re just like ‘pshh whatever.’” That’s exactly how it feels for now. I’m not sure how much I wrote about this, but 25 was a tough year for me. We were in Valdosta, and I felt very much alone, unsure of myself and the future. This blog actually helped me get through a lot of that, and to you all, I am so very grateful. 30 feels a lot better than 25 did. 😉 While I’m still not sure what I want to be when I grow up -I have so many ideas and plans, it’s just a matter of prioritizing- I feel content and blessed by the people around me, and for all of the experiences I’ve enjoyed.

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W livi

A while ago, I put together before 30 bucket list. Some of these goals were serious and some were silly. I thought it would be fun to crank through the list and see what goals I crossed off. 

1. Travel to Italy. Yes! And it just further convinced me that we’re destined to live there. I can’t wait to go back.
2. Amp up my training certifications. I finished my NASM PT and Weight Loss certs, got BODYPUMP certified and also finished the training at our barre studio before teaching this new format. I’d still love to get a Women’s fitness specialty certification and possibly attempt PiYo at one point of another. The more certifications, the merrier. 
3. Run 2 more half marathons. Nope; just one, but was excited to PR.
4. Have baby #2. Obvious no. We’re still waiting a little while on that one and enjoying lots of sleep for now.
5. Take mom and nana on a trip. We’ve taken them on a couple of little trips, but I’m trying to convince them for an Italy family vacay.
6. Take yoga teacher training. I was planning on starting this fall, but since I’ve been working on a couple of extra projects, I’ll probably have to wait until spring. It’s still on the top of my teaching goals list, even if I don’t actually teach, I think I would enjoy it.
7. Write a book. It comes out this January… and I still can’t believe it really happened.
8. Watch the classic movies I’ve never seen, like Star Wars and Indiana Jones. Ehhhh. I still haven’t seen these haha.
9. Parasail. No, and I decided it sounds like a red nightmare.
10. Teach a cooking class. No, but I think it would be fun to teach some classes as part of the book tour.
11. Learn conversational Italian. Kind of? If the conversation involves ordering a glass of wine, asking where the restroom is located, asking the price of something, and commenting on the delicious food, I’m all set haha.
12. Become a morning person (yeah, riiiiiiiight). This can’t be a real goal.
13. Design a fitness program for youth. I have some ideas in my brain, but not quite there yet.
14. Finish my MBA. No, and will probably wait until future Baby #2 is in preschool. I was scoping out the nighttime program at Eller, and would love to do something like that.
15. Start going to acupuncture again regularly. Yes, and I remembered how much I’ve missed it.
16. Make a fitness DVD. Soli Beat! Would love to make another one eventually, too.
17. Dust off the piano and play. Haha we were just talking about this…
18. Flamenco dance. No, but still think it would be fun.
19. Build a covered patio for the backyard. Nope, because we moved.
20. Karaoke (I used to sing, but karaoke still horrifies me for some reason) Finally did it! The bar sang “Santeria” with me and it was a blast. The pre-song margarita helped, too.

While it’s been fun to cross off some of the big, small, and silly goals off this list, over time I’ve discovered a kindness towards myself that I didn’t have in my 20s. We can be our harshest critics, and even though I don’t think I’ll ever be able to shake my perfectionist tendencies, I’ve changed my attitude towards myself in the process. Every day really is a blessing, and I’m excited to see what the next year holds.

Any fun birthday traditions? One big, small or silly goal you’d like to accomplish in the next year? Fave karaoke song? 😉

Hope you all have a wonderful day <3



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  1. Cara's Healthy Cravings on November 12, 2014 at 4:48 am

    Cheers to 30! My thirtieth is coming up next month, but to be honest, I sorta feel like I am already there, probably has something to do with a later in the year birthday, as all my friends have celebrated theirs. Bring on a new decade, I love it! To see how much has changed in my life over the past years, I can’t wait to keep living, exploring, having more adventures etc.

    • Fitnessista on November 12, 2014 at 8:11 am

      amen to that!

  2. Michele @ paleorunningmomma on November 12, 2014 at 5:00 am

    I’m 32 and I think your mom was right – the 30’s are way better than the 20’s! I feel like since turning 30 I’ve recaptured who I really am, without worrying what anyone else thinks. There’s so much to look forward to and I feel I have more confidence now to actually accomplish those things.

    • Fitnessista on November 12, 2014 at 8:12 am

      that is awesome. xoxo

  3. Kaila @healthyhelperblog! on November 12, 2014 at 5:11 am

    You did great with your goals! Especially some of those big ones! It’s got to be so great looking back on all you’ve accomplished before 30. You should be proud! 🙂

    • Fitnessista on November 12, 2014 at 8:11 am

      thank you, kaila! hope you have a great day <3

  4. clare @ fitting it all in on November 12, 2014 at 5:47 am

    Happy birthday Gina!! You’ve accomplished SO much!! 🙂

    • Fitnessista on November 12, 2014 at 8:10 am

      thank you so much, clare <3

  5. RachelG on November 12, 2014 at 8:06 am

    The other night I was talking to my mom (aka my guru) about an issue I was having with mean girls. Yes, even at 29 mean girls still exist! I was telling her about the situation, how my feelings had been really hurt, how I felt like I was back in middle school, and how humiliated I felt that I was even dealing with/worrying about things I hadn’t dealt with for so long. She said she was watching an interview, I think it was with John Cleese (Monty Python) who said that the reason he can enjoy being in his 80s so much is because he learned to stop giving such a F&*!^. When she told me this it kind of put things into major perspective. As I get closer to turning 30 my long term life goal is going to be to stop giving such a F^!%*. At this age when dealing with mean girls I can at least use the situation to think about all of the wonderful friends, girls, and guys, that I do have in my life. Maybe by 39 I won’t even have to give situations like this a second thought. **Fingers crossed!** 🙂 🙂

    Happy birthday, Gina!

    • Fitnessista on November 12, 2014 at 8:10 am

      totally agree. and the sad thing is: mean girls never go away, and they create future mean girls.
      i think i’ll always have a desire to be a people pleaser, but i’ve also realized that by trying to please everyone, you please no one. and there’s also no use trying to make unreasonable people happy, because it’s not possible 😉
      i love that with growing older, you can relax a little bit more and worry about the things that matter <3
      thank you for the birthday wish and hope you have a great day! wish you could zumba with me again tonight! 🙂

      • RachelG on November 12, 2014 at 8:17 am

        You’re spot on! I think the best thing you can do as a mom is raise your daughters to be confident in themselves, find great friends who accept them, and not worry about what other people think (as hard as that can be).

        I wish that too! I’ll go to class in my town tonight and booty pop from afar! lol. 🙂

  6. April on November 12, 2014 at 8:18 am

    Your mom is right, but you knew that:)

    Happy Birthday!!!!

  7. Cara on November 12, 2014 at 8:20 am

    Happy happy happy birthday!! I turn 30 on Monday, and I thought I would be feeling so “old” but in reality I’m in a great life place right now and excited for what’s to come! Hope you are celebrating with lots of cake and love! Enjoy your day:)

  8. Lauren C on November 12, 2014 at 8:23 am

    I am turning 30 next year and I started making a list of 30 things I want to do before I turn 30. I will definitely be using some of the items from your list! Happy 30th!

  9. Megan Little on November 12, 2014 at 8:27 am

    I only have one birthday tradition – cake and champagne for breakfast on my actual birthday. It is something wonderful to look forward to and I pre-order my cake weeks in advance.
    Happy Birthday!!!

  10. Krista on November 12, 2014 at 8:28 am

    I turned 40 this year and looking back I wouldn’t want to do my 20’s again. Not that they were bad….they were actually pretty awesome!…..but I feel so much more confident and knowledgeable now. I’d say 35 was when I finally “got my groove”. I think it helps somewhat that the kids are 15 & 13 now and my hubby and I are able to do couple things again without the hassle of a babysitter. 🙂 I always think it will be interesting to see what my 50yr old self thinks! haha!

    Happiest of birthday’s to you!

  11. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on November 12, 2014 at 8:29 am

    Your Mom is right! 30’s are the best. I had no idea who or what I wanted to be when I was in my 20’s. I just turned 37 two weeks ago. I’m actually sad to be leaving my 30’s in a few years. 40 seems so daunting!

  12. Becca on November 12, 2014 at 8:30 am

    Happy Birthday! 🙂 I turned 30 last month!!!!!

  13. Andrea on November 12, 2014 at 8:31 am

    Cheers to 30!

    I too, was worried about turning 30, but it has turned out to be great! I got engaged (and married now), I am applying to grad school to become a nurse practitioner, started practicing yoga, and we are talking about adding to our little family, fur and human forms 🙂

    I agree with your mom, the 30’s are much better than the 20’s. You’ve accomplished so much and I’m sure there are more great things to come! Happy Birthday!

  14. Jessica on November 12, 2014 at 8:37 am

    I am turning 31 on the 27th of this month and actually had this conversation recently with my boyfriend. I feel much more comfortable in my own skin since I have hit 30. I tend to doubt myself less and feel less intimidated by all the things that used to make me quake with anxiety. So far my 30’s have been much more serene and peaceful. Maybe I have just already hit the ‘psssh whatever’ phase and don’t care anymore 🙂

  15. Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine on November 12, 2014 at 8:42 am

    Happy Birthday! You have such a lovely family and you are such a wonderful bloggers! You should be so proud of everything you have done! XOXO

    • Fitnessista on November 12, 2014 at 8:47 am

      thank you so much, rebecca! 🙂 xoxo

  16. Nicole @ Runs & WODs on November 12, 2014 at 8:43 am

    Happy 30th birthday Gina!! You’re such an inspiration for an aspiring blogger such as myself. I hope I accomplish half as much as you have by the time I’m 30. For the next year a goal of mine is to break 1:30 at the NYC Half Marathon in March. I’ve come so close the past 2 years. I’m determined to do it this year!

    • Fitnessista on November 12, 2014 at 8:47 am

      thank you so much, nicole!
      1:30!!! YOU ARE A SPEEDSTER 🙂 you will do it!

  17. Annie B on November 12, 2014 at 8:49 am

    Happy Birthday, Gina! I started reading your blog when you were still that 25 year old you were talking about and I still thought you were utterly amazing an so inspirational! Congrats on completing so many bucket list items, and cheers to your 30s!!

    p.s. Come to the Bay Area on your book tour! 😉

  18. Ashley @ A Lady Goes West on November 12, 2014 at 8:50 am

    I’d say you’ve done a lot in your life and the biggest thing may be all the inspiration you provide here on your blog. I love the thought of being kinder to yourself. That’s sooo great. Enjoy your day! 🙂

  19. Kaitlyn on November 12, 2014 at 8:52 am

    12. Become a morning person (yeah, riiiiiiiight). This can’t be a real goal.
    ^LOLLLLLLL! Amen to that.

    I turned 30 in May, and I was really at peace with it. We celebrated with a big party at our house, and I was surrounded by all of my favorite people in the world (including my sister who surprised me from Boston!). It was a great start to my 30s, and if that’s any indication of how the decade will go, I’m a lucky girl. I love to celebrate my birthday with a nice dinner, a glass (or two) of wine, and the other awesome people in my life. Happy Birthday!! I hope it’s full of lots of love, laughter, and sleeping in 😉

  20. Laura @SheEatsWell on November 12, 2014 at 8:59 am

    Happy Birthday Gina! Your blog is such a positive space and I look forward to reading your posts. Thank you for sharing your life with us! Also…your workouts….kill me. I can’t believe you are not a morning person, I always assumed you were ha! Have a fabulous birthday, you really deserve it! xo

  21. Kaylin on November 12, 2014 at 9:01 am

    Happy Birthday Gina! 30 looks amazing on you! 🙂

  22. brittney on November 12, 2014 at 9:04 am

    The 30s are the JAM. Welcome. You’ll enjoy it. 🙂

  23. Kelsey on November 12, 2014 at 9:04 am

    Book tour to Minnesota, please! 🙂

  24. Amanda @ Slimplify Lifw on November 12, 2014 at 9:13 am

    You are so inspiring! I want to run my first marathon and move somewhere new, on my own. I’ve always lived near all my fam which is my heaven but I think it’s time to spread my wings!

  25. Alex @ get big, go to work on November 12, 2014 at 9:43 am

    Happy Birthday!! It sounds like the 30’s are going to be a great year! Can you please come to Richmond VA on your book tour? Over the next year, I would like to focus on creating helpful and beneficial content for my blog to grow it and see if it is something I could sustain long term and possibly transition to full time.

  26. Cassy @ Wine & Dine to the Finish Line on November 12, 2014 at 9:50 am

    Happy birthday, Gina! I just turned 25 last week and feel like I’m kind of in the same place you were at this age. My boyfriend and I just moved to SD, so in addition to not knowing anyone here, life just feels kind of unstable right now. Obviously, there is always instability that comes with moving (especially moving across the country), but I can’t wait to start feeling like myself again. I was also NOT looking forward to the milestone of turning 25, but everyone says it was a great year for them, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it – you give me a lot to look forward to! Hope you have an amazing day!

  27. Lauren @ The Bikini Experiment on November 12, 2014 at 9:55 am

    Happy Birthday! I actually felt that way when I turned 31 because it was a relief that the looming deadline of 30 was out of the way! Every year I just like to reflect in a similar way and establish a variety of goals for the coming year.

  28. Meg on November 12, 2014 at 9:55 am

    Happy Birthday Gina! I love that you are so positive about this milestone in birthdays. I am in the dreaded 25 right now just trying to figure things out… this blog post helps me to realize it just takes some time for things to fall into place 🙂 Have a great birthday!

  29. Jenny @ on November 12, 2014 at 9:55 am

    Happy birthday, Gina! Have a greta day! 🙂 I’m just a few years behind you, but we celebrated my husband’s 30th in September. It was definitely his best birthday yet. I think the 30s are a great decade!!

    • Jenny @ on November 12, 2014 at 9:56 am

      *Great day. 🙂

  30. Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries on November 12, 2014 at 9:57 am

    A huge happy birthday to you, Gina!! What a great, uplifting, positive post. I love it! It sounds like you’ve really come a long way throughout your twenties and in a really great spot these days. I admire your attitude about entering your thirties. I hope your day is special and full of love! xoxo

  31. Amber Schumann on November 12, 2014 at 10:03 am

    Cheers to having such a beautiful perspective on turning 30!!!! It sounds like you are set to make your 30s 30s the best yet…just by being happy and content, while still appreciating a good self challenge.

    I just turned 30 last month, and I remember DREADING the day up to that point. But as the day came, I felt very at peace and content with how I’d gotten there. I have a confident sense of ownership over myself that I never imagined I could feel. Almost like you’re running up this hill in your 20s….it’s so hard to fight that incline…but when you reach the top, you feel euphoric to finally hit that easy cruising pace. Turning 30 was euphoric…I’m happily cruising now.

  32. Alex @ True Femme on November 12, 2014 at 10:11 am

    Happy 30! I hope this next decade brings even more fun, joy, and love than your 20s did! <3

  33. Bethany on November 12, 2014 at 10:40 am

    Happy Birthday, Birthday Twin! I’m 34 today and it’s interesting. I was really dreading 30, mostly just because it seemed omgOLD. But since i’ve been in my 30s i’ve traveled a ton and been the fittest i’ve ever been so i guess it’s not like we fall apart or anything. Still not married and no kid but i’ve been in a great relationship for 6+ years and i’ve got the best job i’ve ever had. I still want a little one and i AM scared about being an “old mom” but i know i won’t be the only one…
    Enjoy your day and hope the festivities and shenanigans carry over into the weekend! I’ve been gifted a massage and facial at a local resort spa on Friday afternoon and i cannot wait!

  34. Angela @ HonestlyAngela on November 12, 2014 at 10:55 am

    Happy birthday Gina! I’m not quite 30 yet but my husband claims that 30 was the best year of his life so far. I hope you can say the same thing!

  35. Eileen on November 12, 2014 at 10:56 am

    Happy Birthday Gina! It is true what your mom said, 30’s are great you start feeling grounded and begin to figure out what really makes you tick. And 40s are even better because you fall in love with who you are in the present moment and really stop caring what others think. I can’t wait for 50! =)

  36. Tracy on November 12, 2014 at 10:59 am

    Happy Birthday, Gina!!! Is it today? Hope it’s an awesome one 🙂

    I loved turning 30. I felt like I received more respect from people. I also feel so much more grounded and truly appreciate the things that matter and have become a lot more relaxed about the things that don’t.


  37. Maria on November 12, 2014 at 11:14 am

    I just turned 30 on the 2nd of November and let me tell you…it’s been absolutely wonderful so far. It’s strange because it really is “just another year” but for the first time in a long time, I feel so content with everything in my life. I’m not so, “Okay I just ran a marathon, what’s next?” It’s nice and a definite big sigh of relief. I completely agree with your mom: your twenties are for figuring it out, learning from foolish mistakes things like that 🙂 Welcome to the dirty thirty club 🙂

  38. Julie on November 12, 2014 at 11:14 am

    Happy 30th Gina!! I’m about to turn 32 later this month, and I have to say my 30s have already been the best decade so far- your thoughts on the 20s are spot on- It feels like a bumpier road (even thought there were some amazing aspects of my 20s!) but 30s feels a little more “settled” and secure. Hope you have a wonderful birthday with your loves!!

  39. Erin @ Her Heartland Soul on November 12, 2014 at 11:20 am

    Happy Birthday Gina!! Josh just turned 30 a week ago! I’m excited for both of you! 😀

  40. Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed on November 12, 2014 at 11:24 am

    Happy Birthday <3 <3 I hope you have a fabulous day! I always hear people talking about dreading getting older but my late 20s have been amazing and I'm super excited to start a family in the next few years. Oh and travel to Italy, it's definitely at the top of my to do list 🙂

  41. Maureen on November 12, 2014 at 11:31 am

    Happy Bday fellow Scorp!! I turn 32 on Sunday, and I can say, being so much older and wiser 😉 that your 30s are awesome! They keep getting better too! Cheers to your new decade, all the amazing things that have happened up to this point and all that is to come! xoxo

  42. maria vittoria on November 12, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    Happy 30th birthday Gina!! You have a reader in Italy!!I could help you with point n.11 !! Ciao

  43. Jennifer on November 12, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Happy, happy birthday, Gina!!!!!! 30 is awesome, I’m 34 and feeling like it’s only getting better 🙂

    My husband and I were married 2 days before my 30th birthday so it will always be my favorite.

    Your list is inspiring and I’m so happy for you. Hope you enjoy your day.


  44. Stephanie @ Whole Health Dork on November 12, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    Happy 30th! I hit the big 3-0 last year and I have to say, I’m loving the 30s so far. I feel like I’m more comfortable in my own skin, in my own head, and in my life. I know who I am and am not afraid to be it. I don’t care what other people think nearly as much as I used to (which is silly at any age). I think this will be a great decade, so welcome!

  45. Priya on November 12, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    gina, you HAVE to go pairasailing! it isnt that scary at all! (if you are, you’ll be fine in a minute!) its so exhilarating!! especially since you live near the ocean 🙂

    (this is coming from someone who HATES heights and hates getting in the ocean. i do like flying IN planes though 🙂

  46. Madre on November 12, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    Happy Birthday, My Daughter!
    My heart still beats with yours,
    I Love You! Madre

  47. Lisa on November 12, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    Happy Birthday sweetie!! Miss you 🙂

  48. Julie on November 12, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Happy birthday Gina! Love your perspective and honesty.

  49. Jess on November 12, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    Happy 30th! I turned 30 in Feb and I agree it was almost a relief. Funny I have zero anxiety over turning 31, but the anticipation to 30 was a bit ridiculous! You have achieved so so so much! Amazing lady! Also re the whole still don’t know what I want to be comment. I can completely relate. I recently read an article by a lady in her 60s who said she had many life callings, some callings that took her away from previously hard to achieve callings. She said she found it was especially true for women who were mothers because right there we have a huge competing calling. Just think it sounds like you, you have done so much and I am sure it is only the tip of the iceberg.

  50. Stephanie on November 12, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    Happy birthday! I turn 30 today as well!

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