WARNING: This post could get long, but I promise if you keep reading, you’ll get to see pictures along the way!
Today I gave my two week notice to The Hills Fitness Center.  Over the past six years of interning and working in various positions there, I met Rick, several of my best friends, awesome clients, and stumbled in to amazing opportunites from being there; which made me leaving a bittersweet moment, but I realized in order for me to move on to bigger and better things, this was a necessary step to take.
Before I start this post, let’s rewind to about 11 or so years ago.  I was a high school student working at the Fredericksburg Herb Farm gift shop.  One slow afternoon I picked up a magazine (I assume it was one from the Austin area) and started looking through it.  I stumbled upon an ad for a fitness center in Austin that had running trails sourrounded by trees and running water, beautiful swimming pools, and what looked to be an awesome place to workout.  It was called, The Hills Fitness Center.  For some reason, this place stood out to me and I bible swear that as I was looking at that magazine years ago I said to myself, “That place looks awesome. I want to work there someday”.
Fast forward to 2005, my senior year at Texas State, we were choosing places to do our Health and Wellness internship in the central Texas area.  My classmates and I had a list of probably 30 places to choose from and as soon as I saw The Hills Fitness Center listed as one of them, I clearly remember looking at that magazine a few years before and knew I had to choose this place.  This is how I was first introduced to The Hills.
As I said before, I feel most of the people and opportunites I have come across in Austin have in some way been connected to The Hills; which is why I titled this post, “The Six Degrees of The Hills”.
As most of you all probably know, this is where I met Rick and I will forever be thankful for that.
Our 1st date in 2006
5 years later…married!

 It was also in this same time frame that I met, Michael Bland the coach that would talk me into doing duathlons and triathlons, racing all over Texas, the nation, and Europe.  Without his relationship I probably would never have seen these parts of the world, let alone compete in them.

Long Course World Championships in Denmark with Taylor, Jess, Mike, and I.

Short Course World Championships
I was introduced to the only swim coach I have ever had, Jimmy and since he left The Hills, swimming has not been the same.  (Sorry Jimmy, this is the only pic I have of you) Jimmy also introduced me to open water swimming at Hippy Hollow, the land of love-to-be-naked hairy old men.
Coach Jimmy Bynum
It was also around this time that I met Blake, who introduced me to working for David King Fitness and some of my favorite clients that I train today.
And then there’s Sara who not only introduced me to the amazingness of Pilates, but also who always had such great advice and words of wisdom.  And clearly from the picture below, she was also a lot of fun, too!
Hannah, Me, Sara
And one day when my bestfriends moved out of our apartment, to different cities, and I was in between places to live, the Kurtzweil’s welcomed me in their home for a few months.  I miss having Karri around as an instant bike-riding partner. 
Dinner with the Kurtzeweils and friends at the Grand Canyon
And then there’s Todd (pictured with Niko, also a great friend) who opened up an Anytime Fitness and then over a year or so convinced us to open our own in Fredericksburg!
Niko and Todd
And last but definitely not least, the girlfriends that I have met through The Hills. Going from just co-workers, interns, to great, lifelong friends is something I will forever be grateful for.  And for this, you ladies get a montage of pics.



Without Karen by my side I would have never rode 150 miles!



 

Pam, Me, Celest, Karen, Brette at Sex & The City movie night

   

Karen, Me, Hannah



Night out with Celest, Karen,  and Jess


Pam, Karen, Me

Casey, Hannah, Karen, and Amanda at Rick and I’s wedding



Hannah and I dancing in the streets of NOLA 2010 Red Dress Run



So…here’s to closing one door and opening another one.  I truly believe that reading that magazine ten years go, the people I have met over the past six years, the places I have been, and being married to my bestfriend was no accident.  I feel very blessed and and am excited to move on to greater opportunities and meeting new friends along the way!

Peace.ChunkingtheDueceToTheHills.Love.