Just finding a moment to WRITE this post has been reflective of the title.
A little background story and then I’ll get why it matters:
I had imagined my first week back to work after vacation to be one where I was re-energized, refreshed and ready to jump in feet first. Due to being sick at the end of our trip and through out this week – it’s been harder than I ever expected. I have had a zillion appointments, a nightmare situation with an event scheduled for next week, a trillion emails, and it’s also that crazy time of year where students are applying for leadership positions on campus & we are hosting drop in hours to help. Having a walk in schedule on top of everything is crazy town.
Yesterday, I hit rock bottom. At one point, I tweeted that I was going to quit life for a few days. Yes, I know I can be a bit dramatic sometimes.
But after such a terrible day at work yesterday, piled on top of a mostly not-good week I was faced with teaching my TurboKick class at the gym last night. So – let’s be clear. I haven’t had a REAL workout since the last time I taught my Turbo class which was prior to my vacation. I ‘worked out’ at the gym in Mexico like once, went for a bike ride, went for a really long walk down the beach, etc – but none of those things can compare with being in the gym 5 days a week to prepare your body for instructing an exercise class. So add that lack of preparation onto being sick with a cold and cough and I was SERIOUSLY not looking forward to teaching my class yesterday.
As I walked over to get ready to change for class, I took another dose of my cough medicine hoping it would help me make it through class without having a coughing fit. I get to the locker room and realized the pants i brought, which have a little fabric string in the bottom so you can make them tighter or else they billow out really weird (it’s hard to describe) – either way, the string had come almost out of the pants. You know how annoying it is to try and weave a string back into a hoodie or whatnot – that’s basically the same idea. Of course, I’m running late due to a long walk in appointment at the end of the day. I sit there for awhile with my pants on, trying to mentally WILL the string to come back to the hole so i can tie it up. Obviously, that doesn’t work. So i decide to just pull it out completely and I jimmy rig it by tying the extra fabric up with the string right below my knee so it at least LOOKS like its supposed to. *sigh* Not a great start to a workout that I’m already worried about.
I make it to the hallway where my classroom is…and there are all these students waiting to be let in. This is where it all changes.
I can’t help but smile – these people are there waiting for ME to lead them through a tough, intense workout. I open the door and we all file in and before I know it, it’s go-time. I warn them I might have to stop for a few extra drinks of water due to my cold/sore throat but they say they don’t mind. Somehow – I made it through this workout. I felt a little loopy during it and sometimes couldn’t get all the words out of my mouth, but we had a good time, we got our sweat on and on the way home I was thinking to myself….If I can do this when I feel like such crap – there is no excuse for not working out on a “bad day.”
The benefits were immediate. My blood was flowing, my mind focused and I couldn’t help but feel proud of myself for pushing through a lot of “hard stuff” to get through the class.
I think so much of the time, we find ourselves focusing on all the things that stand in our way:
We don’t have enough time.
We don’t feel well.
We are tired.
There are other more pressing things to do.
But in the end, we just find ourselves disappointed because we aren’t reaching our goals, which keeps us in this cycle of making bad decisions. But when you can convince yourself to make a breakthrough – literally pushing through those excuses and going to work out, or making a healthier food choice or whatever it is even though it’s NOT our easiest or preferred option at the moment, it can bring such positive rewards immediately:
You feel proud of yourself for making a better choice.
You are glad that you worked out after you work out, right? You feel good!
You feel satisfied and pleased with yourself when you opt for a healthier meal option. No guilt!
Don’t get me wrong – this morning I had a chiropractor appointment and was running behind to try and make it to work before my first appointment and since I always eat breakfast at work, I was nervous I wouldn’t have enough time to eat my normal healthy meal. I considered stopping at a fast food place for breakfast and then I thought – no way, every decision counts! I made it to work, ate my english muffin with turkey sausage and cheese and I feel great about it. Not that Bojangles Cajun Filet biscuits aren’t delicious in the moment – but I always regret them about 20 minutes later when I’m feeling greasy and gross, right? Plus, I’m not feeling guilty about my first meal of the day!
Pushing through the hard stuff almost always leads to feeling good about yourself after. And if you can dig deep in order to remember the great feeling you will have of reward, accomplishment and all that other amazing stuff when you do make the healthy decision vs. the lazy decision – I promise it will help you push through all those excuses.
Life is way too short to be continuously making bad decisions, and in the end – you are responsible for your health and no one else can force you to eat better, move more, stop smoking, etc. It has to come from within you for it to be a true change. And excuses and making poor decisions is a cyclical pattern, because a bad choice for breakfast might lead to a bad choice for lunch. Or having a fatty snack because now you have a taste for it. One coke maky lead to several refills on a coke – countless empty calories! Not working out one day may lead to feeling lazy about it the next day. These bad decisions have a way of adding up and multiplying so quickly that you might find yourself buried.
But making one good decision actually has the same effect in the way that it helps you make the NEXT good decision. Eating a healthy breakfast makes you feel positive about incorporating a healthy snack because you are off to a good start. It just seems easier! Working out on Monday is a great way to set the tone for the rest of your week. You will never see results if you don’t make good decisions along the way – one decision at a time, you have the power to break through all the hard stuff (i.e. excuses, bad days, being sick) and make a real change in your life.
Don’t wait -make a good decision RIGHT now! I promise, the next decision won’t be so hard.