I used to be a tomboy. I ran track, broke the soft ball throw and long jump record, and was MVP on the Junior Varsity volleyball team. It was a regular occurance to see my name in the newspaper and my bedroom wall was decorated with ribbons and medals.
Then Life happened.
As a result of circumstance and poor choices, my drug addiction manifested itself among late night school parites and curfews being broken. Not much room for sports when getting loaded is an extra curricular activity.
Fast forward a couple decades, and I find myself back at another starting line.
Since leaving my life of debauchery, I've cleaned up my act, only to fall off the wagon again - and again - and again. I've recharged my batteries so many times, I should have a therapy punch card: "Buy ten sessions, your next issue is FREE."
When we're young and we make mistakes, we're told it's part of life's lessons. We dust ourselves off and
forge ahead. As we get older, the lessons get harder, and much more difficult to shake off. But with increased responsibility come amazing rewards. The lessons may be harder, but what we take with them can be priceless.
Somewhere along the road from the drug addicted anorexic party girl, a middle aged, out of shape woman emerged. Once the star of the track field, now, a tired chubby gal who pants after climbing the stairs at work. But something inside me knows better. The same way I knew to walk away from stripping and leave my drug days behind, I am ready to own my health again. And every day I am reminded about how strong I am capable of being.
Although I'm no stranger to fitness, it's been so long, I feel like such a newbie at the gym. I have little endurance right now and my muscles are weak. It's inspiring when I see an elderly woman pedaling her heart out on the stationary bike next to me.
When I am walking, pedaling or pulling my weight at the rowing machine, I zone out. I take myself back to a place when on stage I was a fit, young woman with a stripper’s physique. Body parts didn’t sag and my belly was rock solid. With every step I see her – that gal with the stripper body – and I push myself a little harder.
This new workout routine has effected more than just my body; my attitude and self-esteem are being lifted as well. I actually had a friend tell me the other day, he could feel my spirit lifting. It's amazing what a little change in our lifestyle can do.
We are all capable of pushing ourselves beyond our comfort zones. Questioning our limits can be a rewarding and healthy experience. So why do some of us get stuck in a rut? For me, it was a perfect storm of not believing in myself, and ignoring my personal issues. The trick is to just start. Right now. Today. Whatever we want to accomplish, it all starts with the descision to try.
With my foot issues (after dancing in 6" heels for ten years), I may never be a track or volleyball star again - but that's not going to stop me from kicking ass on the playing field of life.
So tell me – what motivates and inspires you to push yourself beyond your comfort zones?
"Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you" ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson