This is dedicated to Shirley Shepard, who kicks my ass and keeps me inspired on the DAILY…
Hey all you beautiful souls!
Let me ask you something…
Do you ever feel inspired and stuck at the same time?
I know I certainly have…and yet, sometimes that “stuck” isn’t really STUCK at all…it’s more of a choice thing.
On purpose and for a purpose!
So despite a lifetime of on again, off again, on again…fitness…I never credit myself as being anything more than a beginner…
I guess in a way, I enjoy being a “novice”…it keeps my mind open to possibilities. It is also very humbling. When you never allow yourself to become an “expert,” that means everyone else knows way more than you and you never allow yourself an opportunity to get comfortable.
So while you might seem “stuck” – you aren’t actually stuck in a rut…you are purposefully choosing to stay in a continual place of inspiration and learning.
I never allow myself out of my “DIScomfort zone” – because every time I think I’ve “mastered” something, that’s my cue that it’s time to move on to something new, more difficult and/or challenging!
To push to that next level…it is time to learn MORE!
I say I am the proverbial “student” and everyone else is the “teacher”…
I never bother to clarify that I have a past that involves working out, or where I’ve been, or what I have done… I mean let’s get real, what does it matter what I USED to be able to do?
If I can’t do it now – I’m starting over – I deserve to be treated as a beginner.
Reality is, wherever I am, is where I am NOW and things change. My body changes, equipment changes, products change, science evolves, mindsets evolve…and maybe I’ll learn something new by being open minded.
Just because I used to be able to do something doesn’t mean I know everything there is to know about that…or that I can even do it now!
As a result, I’m forever getting my ass kicked…and I’m okay with that…there are lots of benefits to that too.
Sometimes I think, “Man, I got this!” only to realize I don’t! Sometimes I think, “I can’t do this at all!” Like I’m gonna die…it hurts, I fuss or maybe try to distract my trainer…but I know I won’t die. It’s not actually going to kill me and my trainer catches on to it, she catches on to me, or tells me “not today Hope” or “let me do my job.”
Sometimes she can tell that my energy level is low, or maybe it’s just been a long, rough day and she lets me off the hook a little…
Sometimes she tells me to “suck it up buttercup” or some other thing and starts kicking my butt because she knows I can handle it. I look at her like I want to throat punch her. She knows it too. She even says, “who would pay me to do this to them?” and we laugh.
I felt this way one particular night as she kept making me start over on a fast twitch exercise she had me doing on the leg press. It was very light weight but high quick reps, keeping the muscle engaged and every time I didn’t hit the bumper, usually around rep 23, she would start me over. I did think I was gonna die that night for sure, and if looks could kill…she would have been dead on the spot.
Only reality is, I wasn’t actually mad at her, I was getting mad at myself. I wanted to master it and quickly…just to get it done and over and when I couldn’t, I was annoyed. I wasn’t really putting my focus on the exercise. I just wanted it over! She could tell too…so, what did she do? She made sure I did it correctly through over correction, until I learned my lesson. She kept saying, “nope, start over.” and would begin counting again. I finally mentally settled in and did it. I nearly hurled and I practically crawled out of the gym but I did it. Guess what else, I learned my lesson, I learned how to do it, and now it’s getting easier and easier…and I didn’t die!
Only guess what did die that night? Some of my damn ego…the same ego that was getting twisted up in not being able to master the exercise quickly. The same ego that just wanted it over!
Because let’s be real, our ego’s get in the way of a lot of our own success. We think we know so much and so we aren’t open to new ideas or suggestions. We won’t or don’t truly listen, we get frustrated and stop, or sometimes won’t even start because we’re afraid of looking or feeling silly.
There is no room for ego in being a novice…and it’s okay. That little bit of humility is probably what we need. I know it’s what I usually need…even when incredibly frustrated. I just need to let it go, listen, try my best and keep it moving because I nearly always walk out smiling…
I may be drenched in sweat, completely disgusting and who the hell knows what I look like…yet I feel satisfied that I pushed myself.
So I guess I’m saying, never stop being a student at something…and preferably all of life.
Be curious, keep yourself in a discomfort zone somewhere, with something and keep growing. Let some of your ego fall to the wayside…you don’t have to be an expert in EVERYTHING!
I promise, we all benefit from that.
It keeps us young and alive and just better for it all around…and guess what!
You won’t die…
So stay stuck in student mode somewhere in your life…and be inspired!
As always…Go in love,