Recently, I sat down at a local brewery with someone I’ve known for a long time, yet I didn’t know much about them. I had seen this kid grow up one grade above me since elementary school, and had come across him a few times while he visited one of my friends on campus at Saint Joseph’s College. You may ask, why is it that after years of knowing this person, is it just now that we decided to meet up to get to know each other more? The reason we met with each other is because we have something in common. We love to serve others.
Over the last three and a half years or so, I’ve been on an incredible journey. A journey filled with ups and downs, lessons learned, friends made, and people helped. I’ve personally lost about 80 pounds over these last few years. I started sharing my progress on social media. I started to put more content out on my Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts. Eventually, I even started a blog as well as a YouTube channel to further help people as well as market myself. All of these things took time. I stepped out of my comfort zone a lot in order to accomplish all of these things, and I’m so incredibly happy that I did. Not only have I become healthier and happier, but along the way I found something that I can help people with. It didn’t even really occur to me how much of an impact I made on others by sharing my story, until I started to receive direct messages from people I barely knew. People who followed my content, who I inspired just by being me. Some asked for advice. Some asked me to design a workout program for them. All of a sudden a kid who was 273 pounds just a few years ago, was SERVING others, and helping them to lose weight and reach their fitness goals.
One of these beloved people who reached out to me via direct message was that person I mentioned earlier. One day I looked at my phone to see that this person was congratulating me for all of my success, told me to continue pushing hard, and also asked me for some fitness advice. While I did my best to help him, we decided it would be a great time to snag some Maine craft beer and sit down and talk about fitness, as well as getting to know each other. Now, I also am a religious person. Recently, I had felt distant from God. I knew that this person had close connections with God, and I wanted to speak to him about that. So, when we met up at the brewery, we sat down, he taught me some cool things about craft beer, I helped him with some of his questions related to fitness, and then we started talking about God. It was an incredible conversation that I will never forget. I explained to him how I feel distant from Him, and I’m constantly stressed about what I’ll do in life for a career. My new friend said exactly what I needed to hear. This person reminded me that God doesn’t really care about what our career is. He doesn’t care about the amount of money that we make. He cares about us serving others. The question should not be, “What will I do when I’m older?” But rather, “How can I serve others now, and for years to come?”
So, interestingly enough, by meeting with this person I had known for so long but knew so little about, I not only served him, but he served me. He helped me to focus more on my connection to God, and he reminded me of how important service is. Perhaps I was put on this Earth to serve others by sharing my inspirational weight-loss story with the world through social media. Or maybe that’s just the start.
While on campus I will continue to further pursue helping others with their fitness goals by being active in our campus gym and on all of my social media outlets. This is not something I plan on stopping when I graduate. I’ll always be on a personal fitness journey as well as a journey of helping others with their goals. By realizing how good it feels to serve others, I hope to expand upon what I currently do, get more involved with a local church, and hopefully by being a part of Delta Epsilon Sigma, impact more lives than the 273 pound Tommy Dahlborg ever could’ve imagined.