Middle age is NOT an end!

It’s a radical new beginning IF you’re ready to make it one.

All it takes is a little grace & grit.

My story….

It all started with Butts & Guts, which…

sounds weird…but stick with me here, it gets good.

Over 20 years ago, I was a 20-something fitness instructor teaching an abs and glutes focused fitness class (the aforementioned “Butts & Guts”) at the University of Michigan Rec Center.

Ahh the early 2000’s….what a time.


Back then, jeans were cut lower than our self-esteem and Paris Hilton represented the ideal body shape.


So, even though this class started at 5 am, it was usually packed (mostly with women) looking to tone up and slim down.

Fast forward a decade, I opened up my own training studio and built an entire business around helping women reshape their physique.

I helped women sculpt and mold their bodies into whatever the “ideal” happened to be. And I was great at it!

Coming from a fitness and dance background, I was able to help my clients push through discomfort, train with consistency, and keep their nutrition in check.

But…over time…something started to shift in me.

Many of the women I worked with were in middle age. And, as I got to know them, I consistently noticed some “cracks” in their foundational self-beliefs. Spoiler—they weren’t just struggling with physical health, those cracks were mental and emotional as well.

Not only that, they were up against some serious challenges in life.

Things like…

  • Having successful yet unfulfilling careers. They were making the money, climbing the ladders but not really loving their day-to-day.
  • Marriages that were…lackluster or, at worst, broken completely (even though their lives looked pretty good on paper).
  • Despite being powerhouses who worked their a**es off everyday, they rarely felt confident.
  • Often, their boundaries were complete crap OR non-existent, meaning they gave everything to everyone but rarely had any stores left over for themselves.

And, instead of addressing all of the above, what were they doing?

Making their bodies the problem. Convincing themselves that having a smaller waist and firmer tush would make it all better.

Who could blame them? Making our bodies the scapegoat for life feeling like a slog is far easier than digging deeper into why midlife can feel lackluster.

These thoughts were just whispers in my heart until I was slapped squarely in the face with my own health hangups.

Around the same time I was turning these ideas around in my head, I entered motherhood.

And NOT in the graceful, ethereal, “life-giving-divine-feminine” way I’d hoped to.

Nope. Motherhood hit like a tsunami of emotional and physical challenges. It was one of the most difficult transitions of my life.

At times, I felt like I was drowning. But, when I’d see people after I gave birth, you know what they’d say? “WOW! You look so great, Courtney! You lost that baby weight so fast!”

Yep. The magical words “every woman wants to hear”, right?

Except it completely disregarded the fact that I was struggling in every possible way. Hell, even my relationship with my husband was crumbling and my identity as I knew it felt like it had been obliterated overnight.

This was the moment that made me deeply question how we think of health as a culture and how misguided the wellness industry has been about what it really takes to nourish ourselves.

Courtney of Grace and Grit laughs as she pushes wet hair out of her face
I had to get brutally honest with myself.
  • I needed to better understand what was driving my need to push so hard all of the time (consistent two-a-day workouts were no longer fitting my definition of health). 
  • I needed to learn how to manage the stressors in my life with better strategies than pouring another glass of red wine or binging more Netflix.  
  • I needed to give myself permission to rest, not just to heal but to really live.
  • I needed to better understand why I was not spending time on things I said were important to me and why I was living out of integrity with my real desires. 

Slowly but surely, I learned to tune into what I really needed and wanted. I started “renovating”. My body started to heal and life stopped feeling like an itchy sweater that I just wanted to take off.

See, we spend the first half of our lives in the “building phase” as I like to say… Curating the career, the home, the family, all the things.

In middle age—we get to do some serious renovation. Part of that is definitely going to deal with our physiology, our diet, our nutrition, our energy. But, that’s just base camp, the jumping off point for a life lived, full out.

Nowadays you’ll still find me enthusiastically teaching women how to take better care of themselves. But, when I tell you that’s just the beginning, oh woman, I freakin’ mean it.

Because when it comes down to it, supporting the physical opens up bigger, more impactful possibilities in our second act.

The work that we’ll do is designed to help you master self-leadership, vitality, and full-spectrum wellness. And we’ll do it with the grace our souls and bodies need and the grit to face the second part of life with agility and resilience.

I would love to help get you there.

Ready to step into your best years?

Let’s live full out!


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