By Samantha Pruitt
December 12th, 2018 I wrote a blog called “Going tiny To Live BIG.” At the time I was about a year into a gradual life redesign, my Essentialism journey, and planning head for my #fierceatfifty project. Closing out 2017 I had discovered (once again- but this time I did not ignore) that my life was too stressful. The truth was that I willingly choose a jam packed lifestyle (self employed, family, athlete in training, community volunteer, etc.) so I had to get real about both my stuff & our living space NOT being one more additional pressure point. In fact, after some deep soul searching and purpose work, I discovered I no longer WANTED excess stuff, high living overhead obligations plus I needed more time for self investment as I eyed my 50th birthday horizon. Instead what aligned with my values was freedom to go adventure, build deeper relationships and the time & energy to put my mental and physical health first. When I gave thought to finances and to objects in my life I did NOT feel freedom, instead I felt trapped. When I looked around at the years of collected stuff I did not feel it made me more happy. When I paid the monthly bills for housing, cars, obligations to all the stuff we had I did not feel more at peace. When I reviewed my overloaded planner full of ‘to do’s’ I did not feel more successful. It was then I also came across Greg McKeown’s book on Essentialism. And so the FIRE WAS LIT.
I started slowly, donating and purging stuff I no longer used. It truly helped me breathe and think better in my home. Then I went through our expenses at the end of the month and canceled or cut way down on all the stuff possible. This gave me a reality check too on how I was (or unfortunately was not) putting my dollars where my real values stand. I then bought a new planner and decided to rebuild my year ahead NOW rather than wait for the official New Years tradition. I literally canceled sooooo many prior obligations that no longer were a HELL YES plus I broke down my week and my days into clear buckets of time that better suited how I wanted my time to really be invested- in building a values driven life.
To be clear, not everyone in my life appreciated this new movement I was committed to. Over the next 6 months there where moments I took steps backwards and other things I simply just had to leave as is. BUT 75% of the changes I made stuck and very quickly I started to evolve into a much happier and more productive human. By July 2018 I had convinced my beyond patient husband (who has supported my evolutions for 22 years) that we should go TINY and so in September 2018 we did. Read about it in my prior blog posted here. We moved in our 300 sqft ‘Tiny Margarita’ on a friends land in Santa Margarita CA for 15 months. It was a massive change from our two story 1,600 home! As life and bodies change – my well used 😉 husband ended up needing 2 new hips and so we needed to get back more space (and no stairs) to help him recover from his back to back surgeries. In December 2019 we moved into an 800 sq ft airbnb and sold our Tiny Margarita 5th wheel to our landlord. Though we did not really have a plan for what would happen next, The Universe did! On March 10th, as my husband was literally in surgery, life as we ALL knew it changed forever. The COVID-19 pandemic went next level in California where we live and the world flipped upside down for everyone around the globe. My husbands temporary job changed, my own event business I built for 13 years was shut down and our entire existence shifted overnight into a place of unprecedented uncertainty. Honestly I was so grateful that we had already established a more simple way of living nimble and grounded in our values pre-COVID. It was rocking all of us to our core and we, along with all of humanity, needed to adapt.
Drive fast forward to today, July 19th, 2020. Going tiny on wheels To Live BIG 2.0. As I type we are living in an 80 sqft sprinter van, our new home on wheels, named Badass Betty! Pulling out of our home town for over 19 years (with fresh hot oat milk lattes in hand of course) we are off on our next Tiny Living BIG Life adventure! WTFFun?! Will it be? It is too soon to tell but we are embracing the unknown big time and choosing the essentialism path once again. I am taking our Endurance Town USA storytelling project on the road, coaching clients virtually and Hubby is now working part time and fully mobile. We bought our 23 foot jet black Badass Betty used for a screaming deal when we went in to buy another SUV, as my old car was taking a nose dive. We decided instead that taking back our tiny life and using this global pause opportunity to reinvest in ourselves and those we love was way way way more valuable than any new car (or its monthly payment). We are truly doing what we deem essential and taking only what we really need in order to spend time and energy with our values. The freedom to go adventure, build human relationships and the time and energy to put our mental and physical health first, is just what the pandemic doctor ordered.
Follow me and Hubby Dave on our Badass Betty VanLife journey for the next three months while we explore the United Western States, countless beautiful humans and communities and reinvest in ourselves using the wild outdoors as our front door step.
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ABOUT SAMANTHA PRUITT
How A Former Couch Potato Became An Ultra Endurance Athlete, Life Coach And Entrepreneur
“I am passionate about inspiring people to build their own best bodies and lives through endurance sports and outdoor adventure because that’s exactly how I have been able to realize my dreams. In my early 30’s, after a decade of intense working conditions, a serious health scare forced me to recognize that I needed to invest in my own physical and emotional well being. I began running and switched up my diet; soon realizing I was feeling better than I had in years. With this newfound energy, I started testing my limits in endurance events, progressing from local 5ks to marathons and finally to ultra endurance events. Along the way, I connected with a community of people who were unafraid to play hard and dream big and these folks inspired me to make even bigger changes.
Switching gears professionally, I became a Certified Race Director and Coach with the goal of helping others find the same life changing satisfaction from outdoor adventure that I had. I took my decade+ worth of experience in marketing and sales and translated that into new entrepreneurial ventures including founding Race SLO, an endurance sports event production company and launching Endurance Town USA, a podcast devoted to the lifestyle and business of endurance sports.
Now, with over 20 years of experience in the sports and outdoor industry, I am continuing to evolve as a Leadership and Small Business Coach, delivering results for my clients using a values-driven approach. As a Content Creator, I foster greater community connectivity through authentic storytelling and experiences.
My mission is to inspire my fellow humans to invest in their own emotional and physical fitness as way to creating their own best lives.”