Happy New Year’s to an absolutely amazing group of Rookie Runners,
I sit here contemplating 2008, remembering all that has happened, the dreams, the hopes, the triumphs, and the almost triumphs that occurred within our wonderful team. Funny that when I thought about the challenges, I put them into perspective with where we want to be. Are they setbacks, or are they really mini-challenges, intended to make us improve physically, mentally, or emotionally – heck, maybe all three.
With that thought, my New Year’s message was born. I know that not all members of this group believe in God, and that is cool, but most of us believe in a higher being (whether that be us, or another)…. what is sticking in my mind right now is that God, or our mentor, only gives us what we can handle. Crazy that huh? So when we look back on the year wondering how that impacts us, let’s think to that.
We start our journey towards good health, and are weak – we try to stay within the food guidelines, but they are alien, we must work hard to get this food thing right. We are not getting a lot of pressure because we are trying our best – sometimes failing, but always looking towards the ultimate goal – health and happiness. Through this stage I think we are on the “honeymoon” we get a whack of latitude because we are pursuing a path that is for the greater good.
Then we hit the next stage – let’s call it complacency. When we decide….”yeah, I’m doing great”, and lose focus, we sometimes back peddle. That’s where the pressure is upped a bit. Maybe we find nutrition, or fitness a bigger challenge than before, and it is showing us that, unless we decide to commit to this change, that we always run the risk of sliding back into the mindset we had. This stage is the most important – we have to consciously decide whether we want this, or are ok with what we had. If we decide we are here, and want to move forward, we must dump a schwack of preconceived notions about ourselves (not an easy task).
We are our own worst critics. Until I got real with me, I was my own worst enabler – I thought I looked great, and didn’t even consider a change. After I got real, I viewed my body as an enemy for the longest time. I hated the way it looked, and was upset when it didn’t respond to exercise the way I thought it should. What has become very clear to me through this process is how absolutely beautiful my body is now, was then, and has been through the process – we really are incredible creatures. I hope that you can all look in the mirror and say to yourself that you matter – that you are a beautiful person.
Change is inevitable – we are born to evolve, if we don’t, we stagnate. The question becomes…”what should I change?”. Everyone is different with this, but everyone must concentrate inwards to see what areas are potentials for improving your life. My kid’s school has a motto for the year…. Concentrate inward on yourself, project outward the way you want yourself to be seen and how you want to treat people, and strive upward because the stars are your guides. This motto is a wonderful guide for all of us – inside, outside, and all around.
After this stage, we are in it full throttle – only problem is that we have likely forgotten part of what it means to have moderation (ok, ok, ok, I know, I am there…hehehe). This is a dangerous stage because it can de-rail what you have already done. The reason I am bringing this up, is because I am ABSOLUTELY guilty of ignoring this stage, and I want you guys to see what a bad impact it can have on moving forwards with your running goals.
I hit everything I do with everything I have – since quitting smoking that has been my style. As a lot of you know, I have had some physical challenges this year – heck, most of the year has been on the sideline. What has been painfully obvious is that I have waited until I am almost ready to go back (feel good), and do some really strong work-outs that side-line me again. The results have almost exclusively been bad – more time off.
I know, you are likely thinking that I shouldn’t really be leading a group of rookie runners if I can’t figure out how to deal with my own injuries, and that may be true, but I think that my experience speaks for itself. This year has been the biggest challenge I have faced, and I stood tall to do it – asked a lot of you for support along the way, and thank you every day for all you have done. I realize that my body will do whatever I ask, and that it is me that needs to change the message.
Funny that, the message needs to be changed:
· You need to exercise
· You are fat
· You eat too much
· You don’t like yourself
· You aren’t setting a good example
· You don’t deserve anything…
So what should it be changed to?
· What kind of activities do you like to do?
· Let’s go through the Spark goals, and decide what would be healthy for you.
· If we track what we eat, we can see where we need to increase/decrease
· List 5 things you like about yourself, and 3 things you don’t…. for the ones you don’t, what do you think you could do to improve them.
· Think about what you do, if it isn’t something that you kidlets should do, find another option. For me, admit I was wrong – moving forwards is always a good thing.
· You always deserve compassion and love – heck, through all of our bad decisions we have always helped each other.
Everyone, I’m so sorry I have been absent for a lot of the past year – it has certainly been a challenge. But I tell ya, I am so incredibly proud of each of you for deciding to dedicate yourself to you, and ultimately to being healthy and happy. I hope from the bottom of my heart that you have a wonderful New Years, and that we meet in 2009 to share stories about how your decisions have made you a healthier person.
Hugs and kisses,
If all you get is all you give, then you should only give all you''ve got.