Some of my fellow Sparkies have come up with a word or phrase for 2013. I love this idea in that I often get so distracted in the “now,” that I forget about the big picture. I think an annual motto could help me stay on track, and it’s a good way to reinforce my beliefs and goals. So I gave it some thought, and to be honest, it didn’t take me too long to come up with my own words. The day of New Year’s Eve, this phrase came into my brain, and it applies to many areas in my life right now.
Stronger as I go.
I’m not trying to be whiny, but the last few years have been pretty rough. A lot of stuff I’d rather not go into or even attempt to deal with in a public forum. Let’s just say, not the best of times. But one thing I learned along the way was that as hard as things have been, it didn’t break me. When I do a treadmill workout, I always hate it for the first 10 or 15 minutes. I tell myself I’m going to get off. “I’ll just do 20 minutes, not 40.” But how dumb is that? If you’re already on it, you might as well do the full workout, right? You’re going to need a shower anyway, what’s another 20 minutes? And then I realize–each time like it’s a first time revelation–once I get past that first 15 minutes, I can go for much longer. Because I get stronger as I go.
It makes sense. Back in my track days, I was a sprinter. Give me 12 seconds & I’ll run you a race. But then I was done and I could relax. So, early on, I got into that mentality that I did my work, now I get to play. And while that’s still true to some extent, my definition of work has changed. Twelve seconds–literally or figuratively–ain’t gonna cut it any more. And especially now that I’m in my mid-40s (ouch), I need to work that much harder.
It’s easy to psych myself out. If I don’t see progress right away, I get discouraged. This weekend I was really down on myself for blowing it at lunch two days in a row. Then this morning, I realized I’d lost another half a pound. I have to let go of the all or nothing mentality and just let things flow. Stop beating myself up for the one bad choice I made and praise myself for all the other good choices I made.
This applies not just to my fitness, but other facets of my life as well. I have some big things I’m working on. I realize I’m no different than anybody else. Ever’body gots problems. Until you can walk a mile in someone else’s moccasins, you have no idea what they’re going through, nor are you qualified to judge. I know every hardship, every disappointment, every failure has led me to where I am today, and I’m grateful to finally feel like I’m in control of my destination. Some days I juggle it all with ease and it’s no big whoop. Like in one of my favorite silly movies, Talladegha Nights, I go into Ricky Bobby mode and congratulate myself, thinking, That just happened! Other days it crashes down around me and I wonder if I’ll ever make any progress. If you ain’t first, you’re last.
But even if I’m last, that’s OK. I know I won’t be last forever. I just need to remember that I get stronger as I go.