One of the most frustrating, yet rewarding things about working really hard to reach a goal, is all of the road blocks and moments of struggle that feel like failure, steal my focus, and make me want to quit. I also know that when I have a goal, I make up my mind in the very beginning that no matter how hard I fall, I WILL get back up on my own, learn from my failure, and keep moving toward what I set out to accomplish. I never expect to be THE best at anything I do, even with my competitive nature. I only expect to be MY best......
I don't know about you, but when I set out to accomplish something, the harder it was to get there, the more satisfied I am. There is a great sense of healthy, hard earned pride when we overcome all obstacles that stand in our way. We all know that there is very little joy in the easy way out. The results are temporary, the journey is boring, the reward is little, and in the end you can't really take pride in the fact that things just fell into place for you without any effort on your part.
The thing about fitness and healthy living is that as long as you are doing nothing, you are failing. You may not be the fastest. You may have two left feet and look like a total idiot during zumba. You may be extremely overweight and feel like your goal weight is too far out of reach. You may be getting up there in years and get winded just walking to the bathroom in the night. You may even have extreme physical challenges that seem too huge to overcome. Whatever you're facing, it will not get any easier with the wait. There will be days that you blow it. There will be days that you hate every second of it. There will be aches, pains, injuries, blisters, illnesses, etc. But these things do not make you different than the rest of us out there dealing with similar challenges. Challenges and failures are part of the journey. They are part of life. And though some of us have more extreme struggles than others, we all still struggle and we all still fall flat on our faces from time to time.
I don't know if your goal is to lose weight, or if it is to improve your appearance, or just your health. Whatever you are working toward, believe that it can be yours as long as you're willing to overcome all obstacles. Expect to fall. Expect it to be hard. Expect to have days that you feel like you just conquered the world, along with days that you feel like the world just conquered you. The best part of the journey is that the success BY FAR outweighs the failure.
One thing I hope for, for all of you, is that you learn to enjoy and live a healthy and active lifestyle, without needing a crutch. The difference between a workout buddy or personal trainer, and a crutch is that a crutch is something or someone that you depend on. A crutch is the thing that we lean on when we fall. We all need a support system, but I hope and pray that you can build enough confidence in your own abilities that you understand that you can get out there go for it ALL BY YOURSELF! And when you have a day that eats you alive, I pray that you can learn to overcome it ALL BY YOURSELF!
I see so many people, women in particular, limit their abilities because they never get gutsy enough to branch off on their own and test themselves. You will never know how strong you are if you never have to depend on yourself. There is a time and place for fitness buddies, and we all need encouragement from time to time, but I strongly encourage you to test yourselves and find out what YOU like to do and what YOU are good at. There needs to be balance. I am not saying that you should never have a workout buddy or a confidant. It's fun to workout with a friend. I love it. We all do. What I am saying is that a workout partner should never make or break you. They should not be a crutch. Take responsibility for your own health by avoiding the crutch! A crutch will leave you eventually. It may not be there a year from now, so never become dependent on it. It has to be by your own will that you keep going when the going gets tough.
I want you close your eyes and visualize yourself reaching your goal, whatever that is. It may be a fitness goal, a weight loss goal, a health goal, or all of the above. Think about small changes you could make to get you one step closer to that goal. Think about what needs you have to help you get there, and what you need to do to get those needs met. Don't be afraid to set goals that seem huge. "Where there's a will, there's a way", right? Now that you can see where you want to go, and what you need to do to get there, think about this goal with a more permanent mindset. Meaning, healthy living never stops. It's a lifestyle. One reason we fail on our way to our goal, is we see it as having an ending. You may have a goal to be a size 4, but once you get to a size 4, you're journey isn't over. What good does it do to work toward a goal, arrive at it, then return to your original starting place? When you run a race, you don't cross the finish line, then circle on back to the start. You move on to the next race, the next goal. We want to change! For good! Forever! Therefore, we have to work for good, forever! If we look at a goal as having an ending, it adds a great deal of pressure to you. You put expectations on yourself that are just exhausting, unhealthy, and unrealistic. I say the challenges make us stronger, but we don't need to go looking for them. We just need to be prepared to handle and overcome them when they show up......
Go ahead and start chasing those dreams. Fall down, get up and brush yourself off, and chase them some more. I believe in you and you should too! Don't let past failures keep you at bay. You only failed because you gave up on yourself, but it's not too late to start again. Go for it!
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and I am here for you if you need help on your journey in any way. Fitness is my passion. I love to help people see and reach their potential. No question is too dumb, so let me know what you need and I can steer you in the right direction.
Thanks for reading!