Find Your “Why”

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Last week I got off track. I let worry and anxiety get the better of me. I made food choices I have not made in a couple years (hello Halloween candy) and did not work on my pull-up goal. I share this because I saw several of my friends were struggling as well. this morning my SHINE text introduced me to the term “Autotelic”. From the Greek Autos (self) and Telos (goal). The definition is: having a purpose in and not apart from itself. Meaning we need to be internally driven, not external. We set goals, we post them online, then see how many likes or amount of praise we get. We set a weight loss goal and let the scale decided our success. What if we lived our lives so that we did not wait for a future benefit, but made our choices based on doing them was the reward . What if feeling better was enough, being independent and providing for our families was enough, being there for people that depend on us or making their lives easier, was enough. What if we stopped chasing happy and embraced our “why” in the work we have today. All though I talk about this all the time, I lost sight last week that I had a choice. A choice in what I read, how I let it affect me, and how I let my emotions affect others. Friday is a good example, my husband and I went out and had a great time at a festival, walking distance from our house and had dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. It was an unplanned, super fun night. I came home and went online into a group page to see several parents got phone calls from their kids. All our boys are in Boot Camp together and I knew this meant my son’s Platoon did not win a challenge that they were hoping and my son had been working hard to get that phone call home. My whole mood changed and my poor husband reminded me “we had a great night”. A lot of you will say I am a mom and I deserve to be upset, but I let something I have no control over take over my “why”. I had my phone on me waiting for his call, I already knew that he was not going to call that night. I let it take my “why” of my food choices this weekend and I let it take my “why” I need to be a strong support for my son and my whole family.  When faced with a challenge, we can step back and remember we choose what affects us and how we choose how to respond. There is meaning in everything we do, everyday. What we choose is up to us. So my “whys”:  I choose to eat in a way that makes me feel strong and healthy, I choose to continue on my goals to make my body stronger to feel energized and tackle any goal I set for myself. I choose to be a positive light for my family, friends and clients in my classes because I love that I have that opportunity everyday. I do not need a scale, social media likes or pats on the back. I need to remember that every “why” I have, I choose. I am going to honor it by being the best version of myself. What is your “why”?

Shine When It’s Your Time

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As a fitness instructor, I put myself out there to encourage others to enjoy their workouts, have fun, and help them reach fitness or health goals. When someone shares a story of how their workouts have helped them not just physically but mentally overcome depression, loss, stress, loneliness, the magnitude of how blessed I am to be able to connect with people and be part of their story, is truly humbling. As we all know, anytime you open yourself to the world, there will be people ready to knock you down.

I see it in the gym when friends who started working out together, stop being supporting of one another when their goals or their progress shifts away from each other. The looks of judgement when someone is new and trying to find their footing starting their fitness journey. When cliques develop over certain workouts or classes, not recognizing one shoe does not fit all.

I would like to say as instructors we set a better example, but sadly I know this is not true. We judge each other on class numbers, social media following, if our format is better, how expensive our shoes and workout clothes are. We question if our body is in good enough shape to even be in front of a class, if we are talking enough or too much,  if  the critics are right.

Standing in front of groups of people, several times a day, eventually criticism will come. On the days it is constructive, I am grateful. I embrace the opportunity to grow as an instructor, to provide better classes and better experiences for my participants. At times, it is not, and I challenge myself to remember the way my light shines is not for everyone. I might be the sun and they need the moon. When I encounter another instructor not creating the kind of positive, supporting, uplifting class I think is important, I remind myself to stay in my lane. If I stay true to me, I will get to my destination and I will have a tribe with me that is excited about sharing the road together and letting each other shine. Each person deserves to find their lane, their light, without our judgment or harsh comments.

When we are on the end of criticism, we have an opportunity to grow, to let our heart become kinder for when we feel we need to offer guidance, to become stronger by standing up for ourselves when needed. The moon can shine in the dark and so can we.

 

Let’s Talk Change

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Spring is here and like many of you, I am looking at my home, my schedule, my inner self and taking inventory of what I am ready to let go of, and what I would like to add to my life. While I have been quiet online, there has been a lot going on as I refocus, redirect and look at how I really want to use this space and what I want to share. While I will continue to share workouts and recipes, I am feeling I want to share deeper and be more open. From the conversations I have had the last few weeks, a lot of us are struggling with parenting, marriage, friendships, feeling guilty and trying to find balance. Yet, we don’t want to talk.  We are afraid of being judged and instead put on that perfect front. I think the ultimate act of kindness is to be open and honest with those struggling around us and be transparent so our loved ones can support us. I will be running some challenge groups in the FB group that will help us share and reach short-term goals. Coffee Talk posts will be more frequent and real life struggles parenting a teen and young adults, new adventures in my 21 year marriage and just life in general. Cardio And More will continue to be workouts and tips. Cup Of Love is a space for motivation, kindness and peaceful living. Thank you for being part of my journey, for your love and support. Please comment on any topics or tips you would like to see in the coming weeks. Hope your week is filled with Coffee, Peace and a little Cardio.