Taylor is seemingly everything at once: she’s got the feminine charm that makes you trust her makeup advice without a second thought, and the nitty-gritty toughness that makes you want her on your side of the fight. Moreover, she’s a talented photographer, food educator, and blogger who is inspiring thousands of women every day to live their most empowered life.
I’ll be honest, I was completely starstruck when Taylor agreed to be interviewed for Everyday Goddesses. Her blog is a wealth of both information and inspiration, and one that I’ve read for a long time. She is the embodiment of an Everyday Goddesses, and I’m grateful to share her words here with you today.
Without out further ado, Taylor in her own words.
“When you allow yourself the space to follow your true passions, and take your own path, really wonderful things happen.”
Who are you? What is “your story?”
I am a food obsessed fitness blogger, a women’s portrait photographer, a beauty junkie, a CF-L1 and USAW coach, and manage a CrossFit gym in Seattle, WA. I’m a New Yorker, a scorpio, an introvert who loves to play extrovert, and when I find something I like, want to do, or want to know more about, it gets my 100% effort and attention.
Case in point being the time I found CrossFit, almost 5 years ago to the day. I wasn’t much of an athlete, gym goer or exerciser in general, but always loved a challenge and would fantasize about the concept of being physically strong. CrossFit immediately changed my life, motives, and career trajectory; once aspiring to be a successful wedding photographer, I instead wanted to know about all things CrossFit, which then morphed into all things nutrition, and then ultimately how to help others and share what I’ve learned to inquiring minds.
Fast forward to today, and I now run a blog called She Thrives, where I share everything that inspires me and fires me up, from rants and raves to recipes and fitness and wellness advice, as well as interviews and conversations with other inspiring women. My goal through this blog is to help women find their inner power, to build and strengthen their self-acceptance and the belief in themselves that allows them radiate confidence and own their bodies, minds, lives, and power. In short, I want to help women thrive.
How has physical fitness and strength impacted your journey?
It’s funny, as someone who’s fairly new to the strength and fitness scene, I can’t imagine my life without it! I think it’s most profound impact it’s had on me the sneaky ways in which it bleeds into every area of life. The pride, confidence and general Unf*ckingstoppable Queen of The Universe vibe you get after setting a new PR, hitting a goal you’ve been chasing forever, or surprising yourself in some way inside the gym, translates seamlessly to the rest of life, outside the gym. You stand a little taller, there’s a little more confidence in your stride, a little more faith in yourself and your abilities, that all lends itself beautifully to, as you say, trusting that you can do hard things.
“My goal through this blog is to help women find their inner power.”
Tell me the lowest or darkest point in your life. Tell me the happiest point in your life. Now tell me the connection between the two: how did “rock bottom” become a foundation for success?
A low point was when I was 19 and got the letter from my college telling me that I’d officially been “let go” due to a failure to keep my grades at or above a certain point. This was actually the second school I had been expelled from (for different reasons, though- another story for another day, perhaps), and the overall feeling wasn’t great. It’s easy to attach the word “failure” to yourself when you literally failed out of something, and picking yourself up is tough when you feel like an utter disappointment to those around you.
One of my happier moments was when I launched my blog, She Thrives. Although I already had an LLC at that point (my photography business), this somehow felt bigger- like I could make more of an impact, help people the way I once needed to be helped, and feel fulfilled.
I would be remiss to not add to my happy moments, the time I met my husband. I had just packed up my car, more or less on a whim, about two years after leaving college, to move from Maine to Colorado, by myself, where I knew precisely no one. (I probably couldn’t have even found Vail on a map prior to my interest in moving). It was so scary, such a risk, and it worked out so beautifully. I met my husband and some lifelong friends there, discovered my passion for photography, and made some pretty killer memories.
The connection between these, for me, is an easy one to see, with that crystal clear hindsight vision. There is no one path for everyone. What’s right for your friend might not be right for you. Just because it may be expected of you, whether by your family, yourself or society at large, does not, I repeat, does not make it right for you. Tuning out the “shoulds” in life is an ongoing challenge that I still occasionally struggle with, but it’s such an important fight. Because when you allow yourself the space to follow your true passions, and take your own path, really wonderful things happen. Who knows, you might even start a blog.
“There is no one path for everyone. What’s right for your friend might not be right for you. Just because it may be expected of you, whether by your family, yourself or society at large, does not, I repeat, does not make it right for you.”
What does it mean to you to be “strong?”
To me, I don’t think strength lies in pounds lifted, or discipline, or loudness, or power.
Though if any of those qualities resonate with you, then that’s important, and here’s why: I think strength is the ability to know yourself, to trust yourself and to support yourself. I think strength is self reliance. In knowing you will have your own back, for better or worse, in sickness and health, til death do you part. In being honest with yourself about what lights you up and what you really can’t stand, and making time for the things that let you feel most fulfilled and letting the other stuff go.
In then actually making the life choices, whether they’re little and inconsequential, or big, scary, tough decisions, to support your own personal path, desires, and well being. These things can take time, practice, patience, courage, ambition, work, and trust, which the sum of, to me, is strength.
“I think strength is the ability to know yourself, to trust yourself and to support yourself.”
Describe the fearlessly authentic you.
Not afraid to speak up, but learning to pick my battles. Passionately feeling life’s highs and lows, but attempting the art of letting things go. Spreading joy, offering help, and supporting those around me, and knowing when to ask for it for myself. Allowing others to access the deep wells of strength in their bodies, their voices, and their minds, through the process of tapping into my own.