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Courtney Townley 0:00
Welcome to the Grace and Grit Podcast made for women who want their healthiest years to be ahead of them, not behind them. Join your host Courtney Townley right now. As she breaks down the fairy tale health story, you have been chasing all of your life, indispensable action steps, and lasting change.
Courtney Townley 0:28
Hello, my friends, welcome to the Grace & Grit Podcast, I am so happy that you’re here. I can’t believe it. But the Grace & Grit Podcast has now been in production for seven years. In fact, at the time of recording this show, we are quickly approaching our 300th episode.
Courtney Townley 0:49
Now, I’m willing to bet that you are not the same person that you were seven years ago. And I can say with absolute certainty that I am not the same person that I was seven years ago.
Courtney Townley 1:00
Life changes us. We learn, we grow. And with a willingness to keep fighting what I always call the good fight, we hopefully become more robust and better informed versions of ourselves.
Courtney Townley 1:17
And this Podcast has been no different. This Podcast, of course, is an extension of me, and how my career and my education and my experience have shaped the Grace & Grit message.
Courtney Townley 1:33
Now I started the Grace & Grit Podcast seven years ago because I was really frustrated with the fact that with the Women’s Health conversation was being jammed into this tiny little conversation that revolves solely around diet and exercise. And health is so much more than what you eat or how you move. There’s so many considerations to make when we are talking about improving health. So that’s the space that this Podcast initiated from.
Courtney Townley 2:17
And today, I continue this Podcast seven years later. Because I don’t just want to encourage women to think about their health in a more expansive way. I want to encourage women to think about themselves and their possibility in a more expansive way.
Courtney Townley 2:40
All this to say I felt like it was high time for a re introduction. I know a lot of people who are first introduced to this show tend to go all the way back to Episode One. Which is why I felt compelled to rerecord the introductory episode, which this is. And I will also air this episode as episode 293.
Courtney Townley 3:12
So whether you’re a new listener, or you’re a longtime listener, I think this will help you to get very clear on the purpose of this show today. So the reasons I felt compelled to do this reintroduction are many, like I said earlier, I’ve evolved, my work has evolved, this show has evolved. I also don’t want you to have to listen to nearly 300 episodes of the Grace & Grit Podcast to really get a full understanding of the current mission and message of the show. And I want to be able to give you a little advice for navigating a Podcast that has so many episodes.
Courtney Townley 3:55
In fact, I went a step further and created a really amazing Podcast guide. I included six episodes that were hand selected by me that I think speak really well to the common threads that we address on the show.
Courtney Townley 4:12
If you want access to that, you can always go to graceandgrit.com/midlifemagic. Once again, that’s graceandgrit.com/midlifemagic.
Courtney Townley 4:29
And I have one other reason for this free recording is I want to give you current opportunities and awareness of how you can take this knowledge, the principles that we talked about on this show to a much deeper level.
Courtney Townley 4:46
I’ll start where I think any introduction should start. I’m going to tell you a little bit about my background and give you some reasons for why you might be interested in keeping the show in your ears. So, if you’ve never met me before, if this is the first time you’ve ever been on the show, listen to the show.
Courtney Townley 5:06
My name is Courtney Townley and I live in the amazing state of Montana, with my husband, and my son, and my three year old blind, Great Dane, Sully. You’ll hear a lot about Sully, because he is one of my greatest teachers in life.
Courtney Townley 5:22
I’ve had the awesome privilege over the last 20 plus years of working with women all over the globe, who are ready to take radical responsibility for how they are showing up for themselves. And for this one, and very precious life.
Courtney Townley 5:41
Now, I don’t claim to have it all figured out. I am very real with you. I am always telling you where my own rumbles are. However, my career and my education over the past 20 years has helped me to develop a lot of very unique skill sets for helping women to become incredibly powerful leaders in their own life.
Courtney Townley 6:09
The journey that I took to get here, of course, was not a straight line. Journeys rarely are I don’t expect the rest of my journey will be a straight line either. But I actually ignited myself into this career, I started out in the wellness space through the dance world, which is interesting. So, as a young kid, as a young adult, dance was my only interest. I literally went to college on a dance scholarship at the University of Michigan. I ate I breathed I slept dance until I was about 25 years old. And dance afforded me a lot, I got to travel to a lot of incredible places. I was able to study with companies like Alvin Ailey, and Paul Taylor and Martha Graham. And there was so much benefit that I reaped from being a part of that world.
Courtney Townley 7:05
However, weirdly, the dance world taught me nothing about how to take care of my body. And I say kind of weirdly, because you would think that when your body is your instrument, that is the first thing that you learn is how to take care of it. But that was not the case, I learned very little, if anything, about how to take care of my body as a dancer.
Courtney Townley 7:30
I rolled into my 20s, feeling broken, and confused, and not really sure what direction to head. And right before I graduated from college, I was of course, looking for ways to make money because I knew what was ahead of me, I needed to put, you know, pay my bills and all the things. And so I applied for a job to teach some fitness classes for the rec department at the University. And so the first class I ever taught was called butts and guts at 5:30am.
Courtney Townley 8:06
You literally cannot make this stuff up.
Courtney Townley 8:09
And I enjoyed it immensely, probably because I’m a mover, I had been studying movement my whole life. And so it felt like a very natural transition to start teaching movement. And I took that to a whole nother level. When after graduation, I sold my car so I could afford to go to a Pilates School up in Toronto called Stop Pilates. It was a year long program, I had to live there.
Courtney Townley 8:34
About six months into my training with stop Pilates, they invited me to become a master trainer. They invited me to start certifying other teachers. And that was really what gave me exposure to the wide and vast fitness world. So as an instructor trainer, I got to travel all over North America, I went to all kinds of conferences and seminars and into all kinds of facilities. So I really started to get immense exposure to all these fitness concepts and different ways of training the human body.
Courtney Townley 9:12
So naturally, I opened my own facility, I started personal training, all was well and good. A large majority of my clients were women in midlife who were coming in, you know, they said to lose weight to get stronger. But what will usually come out in the wash as we were working together is they really just wanted to feel better, not just in their body but in their life. And so often throughout my career, I have seen this pattern where our life is feeling kind of like an itchy sweater we just want to take off. It’s not really fitting who we are today. And so we then hyper focus on our body being the problem, rather than remedying the real problems of our life.
Courtney Townley 10:00
Now please don’t hear me saying that we shouldn’t be taking care of the human body. Of course we should. And we shouldn’t necessarily shouldn’t make that an obsession to the point that we aren’t addressing other things in our life.
Courtney Townley 10:16
I went on to, in an effort to help these women on a, on a bigger level, I went on to get education and nutrition behavior change science, I studied through a lot of programs got a lot of certifications.
Courtney Townley 10:30
Around this time, I got pregnant. And I went through a nine month pregnancy as you do. And on the other side of having my son, I was struggling, I was really struggling as a new mom, I didn’t know how to, you know, the whole motherhood thing was very new, very out of my comfort zone. I was physically broken down, I had a very difficult delivery. And of course, just jumped right back into the training world thinking that I could do that. I wasn’t very nice to my body.
Courtney Townley 11:01
But what’s interesting is that all the comments I got after I had my son, even though I was mentally and physically struggling at such a high level, the only thing people said to me was how awesome I looked. You look amazing. You lost all your baby weight so fast, Courtney. And I’m thinking, but here I am, like, literally struggling on every level. And the only thing people want to talk about is the fact that I lost my baby weight.
Courtney Townley 11:34
That’s a problem.
Courtney Townley 11:36
That combined with the fact that I’ve been working with a lot of midlife women who were making their body the problem when I could see that it wasn’t the problem.
Courtney Townley 11:46
The problem was setting boundaries, the problem was asking for what they needed. The problem was being in a marriage that felt loveless, the problem was having a career that they no longer enjoyed. The problem was they were kind of leashing themselves, holding themselves back from going after the things that they truly wanted.
Courtney Townley 12:05
The problem was the mindset that they were running their life from.
Courtney Townley 12:10
Ultimately, that’s what started this Podcast. I wanted to expand the conversation around what health really is not just the health of your body, the health of your life. And ultimately, that’s what expanding or improving health does. It allows us to expand and improve the way we’re living.
Courtney Townley 12:36
Now, it’s interesting, because about 10 years ago, blogging was really big. And so when I first moved my business online, like everybody else, I had a blog, and I love writing, I really do. But it’s it’s tedious. For me, it’s a big, effort filled endeavor for me to write, because I keep rehashing and revisiting, it’s very time consuming.
Courtney Townley 12:57
So someone had approached me and said, Hey, Courtney, you should start a Podcast. You teach all the time, you’re always talking out your message, I think it would be a really natural transition for you. And so I thought, What the hell, I’ll give it a shot.
Courtney Townley 13:11
I knew nothing about podcasting. I didn’t own a microphone, I didn’t understand any of the technology. So I reached out for a lot of help. I made a lot of mistakes. But every week for the last seven years, mostly every week, we’ve taken a few breaks. But pretty much weekly. I’ve been showing up on the show, to help normalize the rumble that we have, with keeping ourselves in integrity with ourselves.
Courtney Townley 13:40
What does that mean? Well, it means that you’re showing up in your life in a way that matches what you want for your life. And I talk about this a lot on the show.
Courtney Townley 13:54
But, integrity pain is a very real pain for an awful lot of women out there. Women are living their life out of alignment with what they say they want. And it’s creating tremendous upset in their physical health, their mental health, their relationship health, all the layers of health.
Courtney Townley 14:16
So, I wanted to start a show that helped to mend the fabric of the female health story. Not as a means to an end. But so that we can actually get on to the real work of our life.
Courtney Townley 14:32
Ladies, the real work of your life is not obsessing about your body. The real work of your life is what you are here to cause and contribute and inspire your legacy.
Courtney Townley 14:44
What do you want to be remembered for? What is the mark you want to leave? How health is the gateway for that? And yet we treat health as if it’s like the primary focus now
Courtney Townley 15:00
On the show, you’re going to hear me talk about some threads to this fabric of the health story. And I just want to mention some of those threads here some of those very common threads. Number one, you will hear me often and much speak to health and life being multi dimensional. It is not one singular thing. Right?
Courtney Townley 15:26
Health is physical and mental and emotional and relational. It is environmental, it is spiritual. Which circling back to what I said earlier in the show, this is why it is not enough to just address health, from the perspective of diet and exercise. health and life are also dynamic, which means they are always changing the way that I need to care for my body.
Courtney Townley 15:56
What fills me up in my life at this age and stage of life is very different from what self care and life fulfillment looks like 10 years ago. And if I can’t if I don’t honor that, if I stay very rigid, to my idea of what self care and life fulfillment looks like, I basically blocked myself from accomplishing those things.
Courtney Townley 16:22
You’ll hear me often say that I’m not interested as a coach in helping you to create once in a lifetime transformations. I’m interested in helping you to step into a life of transformation, because that’s what life is it is transformation. It is always changing and always evolving. So what skill sets are you learning to help support that?
Courtney Townley 16:48
I often will also say that honoring your health is truly just base camp. It is not the mountain you are here to climb. Our health is the foundation that allows us to make the climb. So I love having the health conversation, I am armed with so much information to help you take better care of yourself. And that is just the tip of the iceberg.
Courtney Townley 17:22
That is the tip of the iceberg for really lighting your life up. Improving health is an amazing platform for developing your self leadership skills. I talked about self-leadership here a lot, which is very counter to the messaging that we get from the health and wellness space, which is often you should outsource your process you should outsource your plan, you should outsource what you need to do to somebody else who knows better.
Courtney Townley 17:57
I am here to change that messaging my friends, you need to insource and sometimes becoming skilled at insourcing turning to yourself. For what you need, requires that for a while you have someone traveling alongside of you.
Courtney Townley 18:16
So I often say to my my students that hey, I’ll be your coach until you’re ready to take on that role. Because that’s really the work we’re here to do. I am here to teach you how to be your own coach, I am here to teach you how to be your own guide. I am here to teach you how to be the mentor of your own life.
Courtney Townley 18:42
Self-leadership is really deciding on the version of yourself that you most want fully expressed into the world. Self-leadership is deciding what you want to make this lifetime about. And then managing your thoughts and your emotions and your behaviors on the way to making those things happen.
Courtney Townley 19:09
Midlife is an invitation to up level your self leadership skills in new ways, for the reasons I mentioned earlier. We are in this incubator of stress at midlife. We are in this incubator of having learned so much about ourselves and now wanting to do some renovation work. And we can either be frozen by that prospect or we can be ignited by it.
Courtney Townley 19:42
I want to offer you that midlife is an opportunity to step out into life fully, unapologetically. Not a moment to fade out. Step out, not fade out. That’s what we’re here to do. And midlife just has a way of shaking us awake to this opportunity.
Courtney Townley 20:07
And I have witnessed a lot of women who refuse to do the inner work to learn the skill sets that will help them to travel into the second act with more grace and ease. And man that causes a lot of unnecessary suffering.
Courtney Townley 20:28
So, if you want to learn skill sets, for making this transition into your second act, much more seamless, much more fulfilling, much more in integrity with you what you want it to be stick around, because that’s what we’re here to do.
Courtney Townley 20:50
Now, like I said, at the start of the show, today, I created a midlife magic guide for you, it’s totally free. And in this guide, I am basically helping you to figure out start building some practices for how to make the most of your second act.
Courtney Townley 21:12
In these pages, you will find a handful of Grace & Grit Podcast episodes, actually six of them handpicked by me to help you really consider how you want to show up in the second half of your life. And most importantly, these episodes are going to introduce you to tools and systems and strategies for helping you to show up in that way. I even, in this guide, give you very specific questions to consider after listening to each episode. So you can immediately start applying what you learn to your own life.
Courtney Townley 21:55
I have no doubt that if you actually listen to these episodes, they will help you to start renovating your mindset and ultimately your life. So you can step in to the second half with confidence that your best years are absolutely ahead of you because you you have decided to make them so.
Courtney Townley 22:19
So once again you can register for that guide by going to graceandgrit.com/midlifemagic. Once again, I am so happy you are here and I am really excited to travel alongside of you so we can Rumble & Rise together my friends. I’ll talk to you again soon. Take care.
Courtney Townley 22:45
Thank you for listening to the Grace and Grit Podcast. It is time to mend the fabric of the female health story. And it starts with you taking radical responsibility for your own self care. You are worth the effort and with a little grace and grit anything is possible.