We went last night, to get our Christmas tree. It’s lovely and full, nearly seven feet tall. As I look at it, undressed and waiting for the sparkle to come, all I can think about is putting the tree up last year.
Zoe and I worked on the tree last year, after school one day. Evening comes earlier this time of year, and it was dark with a little nip in the air – not much of a nip as we are in South Florida, but there was something. I had made the choice earlier in the day to send an email to the gym down the street. I wanted to start taking better care of myself and the task of putting up the tree myself made it all the more obvious that my shoulder was a problem and that I was not getting any younger or better, doing nothing.
While we were organizing the lights that worked, the ornaments and all, Matt the gym owner called me back. “I’m not much of an email guy” he said, “so let’s talk.”
That conversation changed the way 2012 was going to go for me.
I’ve been training with Matt twice a week, for almost a year now. In that year, I’ve lost two sizes but I’ve gained more than that. I’ve gained physical strength. I’ve gained access to a life without pain. I’ve gained a good deal of upper body mobility back. I’ve gained a healthier outlook. I’ve gained a support system. I’ve gained confidence and I’ve gained myself back.
In that year, I’ve done things with my body that I never could have imagined. Opening a refrigerator door too fast gave me pain last year. This year, I’m boxing. I’m doing vertical pull ups, push ups, prowlers, rope climbs, and more. I’m pushing SUV’s for Hulk’s sake. I never thought I would be able to do those things. But I have. I do.
In retrospect, I would say that if I knew that it would have made such a drastic change in my every day life, I would have done it years ago. It’s costly. I’m not going to lie. But what’s more worth it, than you? (Primal Fit is doing gift certificates this year for anyone interested and you bet, I’ll take them too).
I’m sharing this because I know at this time of year, we’re all looking at doing things for others. The holiday lists, friends, cards, work commitments, family drama. It all adds up. The problem is, we start looking at superficial ways to celebrate and give to others, when we need to look inward too.
We need to say “What is going to make a difference in my life? What is going to make me a better, happier person. Make me, more me? What part of me do I need to take back?” Do you know?
For me, it was clear. I could dance around it all day long, but the bottom line was that I was last on that list and my health was deteriorating. The life that I have chosen, involves a lot of work so I can make ends meet without financial support. A lot of work to raise a kid alone. A lot of work to manage my Type 1 Diabetes. I chose it. I am an active participant in my life. That said, I’m exhausted a lot of the time.
There’s only so much of that one can take.
So last Christmas tree time I said “Enough.”
What’s the worst that can happen? I’ll fail miserably? Matt will laugh me out of the building? I knew he wouldn’t because we talked about expectations and motivation before I even went in to meet him. I think our expectations have fluctuated over the year, tied into my body’s response to the training and subsequent recovery, but I’m happy.
I also think there’s so much more we have to do.
If there’s something that is holding you back, take a minute to really outline what that is. It’s not a material thing, I promise you that. It’s something more dynamic that you’ve been denying, running from or even running to, when you should be looking elsewhere.
Take responsibility for what that is and make a plan to remove it. You have friends who will support you. If they don’t, they’re not your friends. Give yourself permission to be happy and successful. The only thing holding you back, is you.
Don’t wait for the sparkle to come. Create it.