Sunday, April 29, 2012

...sPeCiaL eDiTioN...

I've said it many times...I'm different...not like anyone else.  Growing up and even sometimes now as an adult, I have described myself as weird.  I think about and see things from a little different angle than most people.  I speak without thinking, and at times I find inappropriate things to be funny.  I laugh when I'm nervous, even if it's a serious that no one else would laugh about.  I can be terribly quirky, and when I'm focused or "into" something...I can be borderline obsessive.  Many times, when I order my food at a takes a long time and the person I'm with may think they are with Sally from the movie "When Harry Met Sally".  I need certain things on the side.  I substitute one sauce or side for another.  I always open and rearrange my hamburger so all the ingredients are "straight" and just how I like them.  Most things in my life are different, and so I have many adventures and life with me is hardly ever dull. 

My life inside the gym is not much different than outside in terms of being different than many people.  Most people want to feel as little pain or soreness as possible.  I like to be pushed hard.  I like to use and channel the pain.  Most people want to stick with movements and methods of weight training that are familiar and or fun.  I like to do Power lifting or Olympic lifts while other people are sitting on machines, and it's not because I'm especially good at it.  Agility, balance, and coordination are NOT this girl's strong points!  Most people want to have an enjoyable experience in the gym.  People go to the gym to escape stress.  They want to have fun and do whatever they want to do that day or visit with friends on the treadmill.  I enter the gym with butterflies and nervous anticipation, and I like that.  I like the feeling of panic that I get at the beginning of a workout that is really hard...when I wonder inside how I will finish, even though I ALWAYS do.  I like the fear of being chased by my friends that become my competitors at the gym during a group workout, but most people don't and that makes me and everyone else like me...a little different...a little weird. 
It's hard not to feel conspicuous or wonder if maybe we should try to conform and be a little more "normal" at times, but the truth is...if you want something different...something have to be willing to do things differently.  You have to be willing to stand out or look a little foolish.  You have to accept that not everyone will like or agree with you.  You have to be willing to step outside the box that most other people are standing in.  Sometimes when we step outside the box and we do things that other people are not yet willing to do, it can make us feel alone because we ARE different.  What we have to remember, is that different does not equal bad.   

Be grateful for the qualities that make you who you are! Don't feel apologetic or get the desire to change who you are so you can try to be like everybody else!  Be willing to stand out and shine, and be proud of the great accomplishments that go along with that.  Other people will always have their opinions, because it's easy for the people sitting on the sidelines to judge you. The voice that needs to reassure you and the only opinion that should your own. Be proud of who you are and how hard you are working to make improvements and be strong. Ignore the critics sitting on the couch or the jealous people that are too lazy to do what you do! Just because you are different, it doesn't mean you are weird. You are a one of a kind, special edition! Remember that today! 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Don't be hatin!

"How things look on the outside of us depends on how things are on the inside of us."  ~Anonymous

We've all been guilty of doing it.  It's human nature.  We are quick to judge on outside appearances.  We decide whether or not a person is worthwhile.  We compare ourselves.  We make assumptions.  Sometimes we like what we see and sometimes we don't.  Many times whether or not we like it has more to do with ourselves than it does the person we are looking at.  We criticize to make ourselves feel better and we comfort and lull ourselves by making quick judgements and convincing ourselves that we are right and others are wrong.

Some people even take it a step further, they convince themselves that other people's successes are an attempt to make them feel like a failure.  For some people, life, happiness, and success are a "zero sum game".  A "zero sum game" is a situation where one person's gain can only result from another person's loss.  These are people that spend their time trying to prove others wrong so they can feel right...people that cannot feel good about themselves without tearing other people down either directly or non directly depending on how courageous they are...people that focus on what other people are doing rather than what they can do themselves to make a real difference and have a positive influence.

I've been on both sides of the fence.  When I was weak minded and insecure...I constantly looked outside myself to prove others wrong.  It was my attempt to soften the internal ache I felt because I was unfulfilled and selfish at the time.  I appeared confident.  I said I didn't care what other people thought...but INSIDE...only I knew that it was a lie.  I needed attention and reassurance to feel better.  I still like those things.  Everyone does to some extent, but I am different now.  Don't get me wrong...I still struggle.  I struggle with the way I and others see me.  I struggle not to feel like I have to be perfect.  I struggle when people misunderstand my message or write unkind things.  I struggle to be as accepting and kind towards myself as I have become with others, but my attempt to help others and make a small change in the world has also changed me and the struggle has given me strength I never knew I could find.
I have learned what true strength is.  I know that strength of character is as important as the outward appearance of strength.  I know that how much I lift in the gym only equals a small portion of my strength.  I know that strength and beauty comes in ALL shapes and sizes...all ages...all colors.  I know that sometimes it shows more strength to turn the other cheek than to stand toe to toe and fight every time I disagree or I feel hurt or misunderstood.  I know that the way I treat others is a direct reflection of how I feel about myself deep down.  I know that it takes more strength to see others achieve success...sometimes the very success that I desire...and be genuinely happy for those people...than to tear others down to make myself feel stronger.

The next time you find yourself judging someone else...the next time you start to feel envious or have a desire to talk about another person...take a moment and determine what it is that is bothering YOU.  Explore your feelings and stop projecting your insecurities outward.  Have enough internal strength to overcome those feelings and be strong...not just in appearance...but in character as well.