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What Moving to Pittsburgh has Taught Me

posted on October 19, 2022

In November, it will be the one year anniversary of my move to Pittsburgh. It has been such an adventure moving from the suburbs of Maryland, to the very busy and very lively, “Big City.” During my time here I have learned and grown so much in ways that I did not realize would be possible.


One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is how important personal time can be. As soon as we (my girlfriend and I) moved to Pittsburgh, one of my best friends passed away. This devastated me and really made me appreciate and consider my time here on this earth. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. We shouldn’t have to lose something, or someone to gain appreciation for that person or thing. We should value and appreciate life as it is right now. Too many times we put emphasis on where we are going and what we are gaining. Doing this takes away the beauty and triumph of the present moment. Believe me, it’s not always an easy thing to do, but attempt to work some reminders into your daily life. One way is to sit down in the morning when you are drinking your coffee or even brushing your teeth and tell yourself one moment, thing or person you appreciate. I challenge you to begin incorporating this into your life to focus on what you have NOW instead of focusing on what’s to come. Final note on this, take the time to appreciate your grandma and call her.


Moving to Pittsburgh also meant new opportunities for work. Union Fitness has been influential for me in many ways. First off, Union is filled with some unbelievably strong people. I’ve never seen someone squat over 500 lbs in person until I started working here. It’s a normal day to walk in and see multiple people lifting that much. Beyond physical strength I’ve seen some people with incredulous levels of mental fortitude and tenacity. Training with Curtis, CJ, Dahveed and others have started to teach me how to tap into that level of grit required to lift heavy. The few powerlifting competitions I have witnessed and participated in (one Push Pull Comp.) have pushed me to train harder and continue to find that place within myself I never thought I would reach. The biggest lesson I’ve learned from Union is that you can get far by yourself but, if you really want to succeed you need to do it with others. The name Union is so fitting for this community of sublime hard-working individuals.


The final lesson Pittsburgh has taught me is to never be afraid of a new adventure. The whole idea of us moving up here was an unexpected opportunity. We had to quickly line everything up in only a few months. Where was I going to work? Where would we live? With only a short amount of time, all of my worries were solved as solutions started appearing.  There is a saying, “Leap and the net will appear.” We took the leap and it paid off. Now here in a new city I have been introduced to so many adventures and challenges that test my confidence and ability. These new challenges have aided in personal growth and new career possibilities. I am forever grateful for our decision. Get out there and do something outside your comfort zone. You are capable of achieving greatness. Don’t let fear of a new opportunity stop you from taking the leap. Commit to something and your net will appear. Time is important, find a new level within yourself, and don’t be afraid of new adventures.


Best Wishes,


Dylan Kopp


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