1. Compare yourself to yourself, not others. Document to know how far you’ve come, not continuing to stack yourself up to everyone else.
Lesson: This is your race. Win it for yourself and nobody else. I hear mommas say this all the time, “I want to exercise for my kids.” I would modify that verbiage so that the focus isn’t on them because we cannot do something for someone else when we don’t feel it. Instead, I suggest to say, “I want to build strength so that I am confident and continue to love myself so that I can be a role model to my children/spouse/family, etc.”
2. I CAN DO IT. The opposite of this word (can’t) is what I call the “C swear word” with my patients I adjust and the kids I coach. But to be honest, my mind was telling me that I wasn’t sure that my body could do this, yet in my heart and my gut I knew I could.
Lesson: I suggest a C word permament vacation!
3. All I need to do is SHOW UP, and then I just need to do the work.
Lesson: Just like life, success comes to those who just SHOW UP.
4. How to get my ASS to the GRASS. Yes, the typical squat…and the exercise that most adults don’t do anymore.
Lesson – Watch a toddler play with his toys on the ground. How is he sitting?
5. I guess it’s a rite of passage to pee your pants doing box jumps, double unders (jumping rope), running and many other high stressors…especially when you’re fatigued. So, needless to say, I fit right in!!
Lesson: Be open, be honest, but not critical of yourself. When you have a question or a concern, ask someone who you trust. Don’t let what you think of as a limitation to stop you…rather, have it motivate you.
6. It’s never too late to start. Anything. Just do it. Know that little voice that softly and gently suggests to do something and when you ask that voice, “Why”, it says (ready for this?!?!) – “Because this will get you outside of that damn comfort zone. If you don’t, this voice won’t be soft or gentle anymore, but will be more like a truck hitting your forehead.” Personally, it was one of my “Oh shit moments”…those times in life that you know you HAVE to do something. And it is terrifying, yet rewarding but without starting we don’t know the rewards and then we stay terrified because not only are we terrified to start, the terror gets worse the longer it takes to start.
Lesson: Just do it. Do whatever that little voice has been telling you – to work out, to find another job, to date, to talk to a long lost friend, to apologize to someone, to have an honest conversation with a spouse, child, parent or friend. Whatever it is for you, just do it. And do one thing at a time. Then don’t forget to celebrate!
7. The power of a community around you. Be around people who support and believe in you, who push you, then celebrate your achievement.
Lesson: You are the average of the 5 people you are around, so whether it’s your work group, your family, your exercise group, your friends…take a look around you. Choose wisely, evaluate your peeps. Know that no matter what, you’re loved and there is more power in WE than ME.
8. It’s ok to cry. And swear. And hit the wall. But then get over it. When I hit a wall/barrier, I want to cry, then scream (with screaming always comes swearing…yes, I know). In the past, I would usually quit because I’ve learned to squish those feelings for so long, so in my mind I think that is my limit and I better stop. HELL NO, that’s not my limit. Now I know that I need to break through that barrier to get to the next barrier. PS – I only hit the wall once (when I couldn’t get my ass to the grass on wall balls) and I quickly learned that it hurt my hand. I don’t plan on doing that again.
Lesson: Whatever your barrier, feel the emotions and move through it. Whether it’s fear, terror, anxiety, anger, frustration, sadness; acknowledge that feeling and move on. I actually talk to that feeling and it’s something like this. “Thank you for reminding me of this barrier and protecting me in the past. I am strong enough to move past this now, so “bu-bye” (imagine yourself kicking down that barrier)!”
9. The most important revelation is: The physical limitations were all made up in my mind. Seriously, what can we REALLY achieve if we allow our self-talk to be positive? What can unfold in our life, in our relationships, in our work if we truly believe that our life is meant to be amazing – so that at the end you know that you lived, that you loved and that you made a difference.