"When the situation becomes difficult, the strong will work harder to meet the challenge."
Well, I'm back! After a month of being almost constantly on the road I'm back with more stories of where I've been, what I've done, lessons I've learned, and also some great tips and stuff for you, as well!
I want to start with a story of the struggles I've endured over the past month, because I'm sure that many of you can relate to circumstances in which life throws challenges at you back to back to back. This is the story of how I wanted to give up, and where my mental state has gone in the process. In the end, I hope you will make the same decision I have... to get going... or rather, to MEET THE CHALLENGE!
First, I'm going to start with a list of everything that happened to me. Mind you, this isn't to complain (because I'm over that state), but it's to show you what's happened to create the struggles I've been working through (because I'm sure you think everything goes wrong for you from time to time too)...
- Last Fall I had mono and got dumped (in a manner of speaking), which put a wrench in my exercise and my self esteem and mood.
- I was feeling better by January, but then I got plagued with a terrible ear infection that couldn't get cured and stayed with me for about 3 weeks (leaving me in pain to the point of tears at many times).... thus, again interrupting my fitness.
- After that was gone, I started hitting my workouts hard to prepare for my Midwest Aerials Intensive workshop... and then came March. In March I was out of town a lot; one of those trips took me to the Bahamas. While in the Bahamas I had my credit card info stolen, I fell off a horse while on a retreat (it got spooked by a dog; my mom will likely read that and freak out, but I'm ok, and I truly believe that you need to get back on the horse [literally in this case] and not live your life in fear... after all, when people get into car accidents they don't stop driving forever, right?) and was unable to do any of the group workouts while away (which was a bummer, because it meant I missed some live workouts with Shaun T and Tony Horton), and I got bronchitis while there because of all of the second hand smoke (which I'm very sensitive to). So, again, workouts interrupted (which makes my mood plummet).
Last weekend I attended the Midwest Aerials Intensive (put on by MACE, a "a not-for-profit organization whose purpose is to provide education and training that specializes around physical movement in the performing arts"). I got there knowing that I wasn't going to be as strong as I wished I'd be. I had done aerials work some years ago at The Actor's Gymnasium, in Evanston, and had a lot of fun doing it (I had to stop when I got put onto Accutane, because my muscles and joints hurt so much). Even knowing that, I was highly disappointed... I was back to square one. I'm sure lots of you can relate to having to start over again, am I right? It's FRUSTRATING! That is the point where a lot of people think, "Why bother?" In fact, I was starting to think like that. By the second day I was so incredibly sore that I almost wanted to give up and go home and not even do Day Two. I did it, though... I went back. Towards the end of the morning session on Day Two I was really battling with my psyche. My brain KNEW what it was supposed to do, but my body was unable to perform it (including things that I USED to be able to do)! I was so frustrated that at one point I just walked away, went into the bathroom, and cried my eyes out. This isn't the first time I've had release like that when frustrated. The last one I remember before this was last year when I was learning to drive stick shift up hills.
After I finished crying I came back out renewed. It was during the tears that I brought myself back to reality. RIGHT NOW DOESN'T MEAN NEVER! So many times we get stuck in the mindset of "If I can't do it now, I'll never be able to do it." That is not the right mindset to have! Instead, we should be thinking, "I may not be able to do this right now, but I'm going to work hard to accomplish it!" So, I went back out to the workshop and I TRIED. Could I magically do stuff? Heck no! The important part, though, is that I chose NOT to simply be a spectator. I still tried my best with what I had to give. That made me more determined. Instead of thinking, "This is hard, I'm never going to do this again," I started thinking, "This is a challenge, and I want to conquer it!" Did this mean I failed in front of one of my fitness idols? Yep! Did it mean that she (and another) tried to hoist my a** up over a trapeze bar? Yep! Hahaha. I guess it's not every day you can say that one of your fitness idols tried to hoist your a**! It's now a fun and funny experience, and I'm glad I tried. Laugh at challenges... and then conquer them.
That's how I want you to start looking at your challenges. Sure, you may cry (I do, obviously)... but don't give up! Look those challenges in the face and then determine how you are going to conquer them! It may take a lot of time and dedication, yes, but that's ok! The greatest things on this planet were not built in a day (and neither were the greatest people). It takes time to develop quality... so, work on it! This truly does apply to health and fitness, because you WILL run into times where it's hard and you want to give up. You may not be happy with how you look and/or feel right now... and that may bring you down, and you may not do the research and work necessary to reach your goals. Change that! Face that challenge, remember what you want! If I'm being 100% honest, I'm not happy with where my body currently is... depending on the day of the week, it may be in the look of my body, but in most days it's in how my body feels. I want my strength and resilience back... and you can bet your buppy that I'm going to get it! If you KNOW what to do, then DO IT! If you don't know what to do, then ask and learn... and then do it ;-) YOU have more control than you think over the outcome of your life... so, go cry it out a bit, and then come out stronger and more determined. It's best to learn how to overcome challenges and how you react when faced with them, because this won't be the last time you encounter a challenge. The more you know about yourself, the quicker you will recover.
May all of your challenges be conquered!
Dreya Weber and me at the Midwest Aerials Intensive
Tags: actor's gymnasium, aerials, circus arts, dreya weber, fitness at home, get back on the horse, inspiration, MACE, melanie bolen, Midwest Aerials Intensive, motivation, never give up, overcoming challenges, overcoming obstacles, overcoming struggles, personal fitness at home, weight loss motivation