Tuesday, October 18, 2011

...rEaCh aNd gRoW...

I still vividly remember the first time I attempted to climb a rope as an adult. I was 39 years old, but I felt like I was 11. I was instantly taken right back to 6th grade. I still remember the detached gym building at my elementary school and all the kids standing in a circle as we each took turns attempting to climb the rope. The anxiety I felt was so great. I HATED the rope climb because I never could get to the top. I always felt like such a loser. I wished I could be more like the kids that seemed to climb right up and down with ease. I stood there...looking up...bracing myself for the embarrassment...hating it as much as I did all those years ago.

It took me a few tries...but eventually...to my surprise...I made it up to the top and back down. I felt surprised and happy and proud. Even though no one from my 6th grade P.E. class saw me...I felt like I had finally redeemed myself...finally proven myself. As I drove home smiling, I thought about what got me up that rope now. Why was I able to get to the top of a rope with no knots as an adult and I couldn't get past the first knot as a child.

It didn't take long for me to answer my own question. Sure, I was stronger. I had been working out intensely for years, but I believe it was something more that just physical. I was scared, but I had learned to conquer my fears in the gym. I learned over the years that if I failed, it didn't mean that I hated the task and went on to something else. It meant I needed to keep trying...over and over and over again...until I accomplished my task. I learned to believe that I could do it.

In the time since then, I've learned that when I set goals, work hard, believe in myself, and refuse to give up...eventually I am able to do things that I once only dreamed I could. Look at the things that you may be struggling with...whether it's pull ups or climbing a rope or lifting a certain amount of weight. Stop making excuses and telling yourself, "I can't." Visualize yourself doing these things and don't ever give up. It took me a year and a half to get pull-ups and 28 years before I could climb a rope. Had I quit...had I not believed that I could...I never would've experienced the joy I felt the day I touched the ceiling as I hung on that rope. Keep reaching...even when it seems impossible...because when you refuse to stop reaching...that's when you grow!


  1. Ha! My post today is about goal-setting as well. It's my working through (or trying to) why it is that I am able to set and conquer extreme goals, but the everyday ones like "no carbs today," or just get out of bed and hit the gym are SO much harder!! Today I begin the journey back from a sedentary 5 years and 40 extra pounds, and it's scaring the heck out of me, yet I know I have to do it, so I have set a lofty goal of making a team - we'll see what happens! Keep inspiring us!!!

  2. Another great post! Thank you Marsha. You are a wonderful inspiration for me. I appreciate you.

    I agree with you that if we keep trying, our mind and body will figure out a way to do it.

    A great man said something about, "If we persist in doing something, it gets easier; not because the thing has changed but because our abilities to do it have increased." He said it much better but that's the idea.

    I admit that your blondness and build was a distraction for me until I read your blog and your FB posts. That's when I came to realize how great you are. I look at your before and after pics and tip my hat (if I ever wore one) to you in respect for what you have built yourself to be. And even more importantly, the character you have shown and developed. In a good way, in a respectful way, I have come to love the eternal indomitable spirit you exhibit in doing hard things and loving to do them. Thank you for that.

    Having experienced some physical challenges since 2009, I had good reason to think that I would never lift weights or play basketball again since I was having trouble just walking or moving much at all. With help from God, great supplements, and a lot of work and persistence, I benched 225 last week and can go a few miles now.

    Some day I hope to do the things that you are doing. Thanks.
    Thanks for what you are and what you do. Strong IS the New Skinny. A much better skinny. :D

  3. Thank you sir! :) I truly appreciate your kind words. I am not perfect. I have my days...days where I am tired, or feeling down, or question myself...but in the end, I know that when I don't give in to those negative feelings and when I continue to try...I am better for it and I learn something.

    I am not special. That is why I do what I do. If I can do it, I want everyone else to know that they can do it too. I was blessed to meet a man that was not just my trainer...but became my best friend. I owe much of what I have become to him and I have always felt like the greatest tribute to him, is to continue to pass the things I've learned along...to "pay it forward" so to speak.

    Congrats on the bench and the ability to press on despite setbacks and difficulties. You ARE doing what I am doing and that is something to be thankful for! :)

  4. Cdineb~

    Thank you so much! I read your post and I wish you the best of luck! The beauty of having to "come back" after putting on some extra weight is this knowledge: You did it before, so you can do it AGAIN! Stick to your goals and hold yourself accountable...but also be kind to yourself! I will check back in to see how things are coming along in the future! :)

  5. I check in here on occasion. Your writings seem to motivate me. I am a forty something Mom that was never athletic. I felt it from a very young age. I was never fast and never strong. I have been working out crossfit style for 10 months. It is changing the way I perceive myself. I am still not fast but I finish. I still rarely RX but I finish. I do assisted pullups but I am progressing. It took me 9 months to learn double unders. Learning that skill felt like I won a marathon.

    I will probably never be first bit I want to be the girl that always finishes.

    Keep writing. You are very talented.