Tuesday, May 29, 2012

...sToP iT!...

Sometimes the best advice is simple advice.  People look to therapists and books and friends for great revelations to problems that we know the answers to deep down inside ourselves.  I experienced this recently after I had breakfast with my friend, Wes.  He started out as my personal trainer 5 or 6 years ago (I can't even remember how long it's been now), but ended up my dear friend.  We met to discuss our training, but it ended with me telling him about some situations in my life that have really been weighing me down.  He listened as he always does even when I know it must sound ridiculous.  He tried to interject here and there, but he mostly listened.

We finished and moved out to the parking lot where we continued to talk (at least I did).  I said, "I don't know what to do!  I don't know how to get out of this situation that frustrates me and makes me so unhappy!"  Wes said, "Yes.  You do."  I never skipped a beat and continued with a list of excuses and rationalizations.  I noticed that he was writing something down on the notepad he had.  He turned it over and showed it to me.  It said "STOP IT!"  Then, he tore it off and gave it to me.

We said our goodbyes and I drove home.  I kept thinking about his advice.  What kind of advice is that?!?  STOP IT???  It's so much more complicated than that.  The funny thing about me and Wes is that I really like to be right, and many times he and I agree but when we don't...try as I might to prove him wrong...he ALWAYS ends up being right.  I tried to think of every reason why that advice would not work, but in the end, once again he was right.

All the excuses I had for why I couldn't "STOP IT!" were invalid.  The only reason I can't stop is because I've been refusing to stop.  And I've been refusing to stop...because as much as I say I don't like it...I don't WANT to stop or I would.  It made me think about other situations in my life and I realized that this simple advice was all I needed.  If something is not working in my life, if I'm doing things that are making me happy, or allowing people to treat me in ways that I don't like...I need to stop it.  I need to say "No."  I need to walk away or limit my exposure to people or places or things that do not ADD to the value of my life.  I am in control of me and I choose what I do.

If you have situations similar to mine in your life where you know things are not right, take the focus off others and take an honest look at YOURSELF.  If you are seeing no results from the work you do in the gym after a reasonable period of time, STOP what you are doing and do something different.  If you are around people that bring you down or make you feel drained and sad, STOP it and walk away.  If you are not losing weight, look at what you are eating and how often you are working out.  STOP eating crap or doing the same thing you've done and expecting different results!  As you face situations in life...whether it's the need to lose weight, or the desire for happier, healthier relationships, or the goal of getting stronger...deep down, you know what to do.  If you are unhappy, you are on the wrong track.  You have to sit and evaluate WHY you are doing (or not doing) what you know you should to be happier, healthier, and stronger.  Changing our lives and becoming happier and stronger is not as complicated as we make it out to be.  STOP doing the wrong things and start doing the right things.  It really IS that simple.

Sunday, May 13, 2012


(This is from an original blogpost that I wrote a while back that seemed appropriate today!)

Wouldn't you like to be faster than a speeding bullet?...more powerful than a locomotive?...able to leap tall buildings in a single bound? Sounds pretty good to me!  What about the ability to cling to walls?...or to have super human speed, agility, and strength? These things would certainly come in handy most days at my house. I can think of many times in my life where being able to stretch my body into different shapes and lengths, or being able to become invisible, or to fly would've been incredibly helpful. I can't do these things because I am just a human. I am mortal. I walk on the ground. I can be hurt, and one day I will die. I don't possess any of the characteristics of Superman, Spiderman, Mr. Fantastic, The Invisible Woman or any other of a long list of super heroes. I guess that makes me regular...nothing special...nothing super.

Everyone loves super heroes. Men want to be them, and women want to date them. They give us a glimpse of greatness...of what it would be like to be better than everyone else...to make a difference in the world. They make us feel safe and give us hope for a better tomorrow. When Lois Lane falls, Superman is always there to catch her. When she is in trouble, he saves her from the bad guys.
My kids always need a band aid to make them feel better when they're hurt...or think they are. We go through band aids like you wouldn't believe in my house. Whether it's a scratch or a cut...bleeding or barely noticable...a band aid is ALWAYS a neccessity. The only thing that can calm their cries or heal their hurts faster, is a kiss...my kiss. As a Mom, my kisses can dry tears and soothe pain. It's like magic. I started thinking about this one night as I held my daughter in my arms and kissed her stubbed toe. Yes, I really did kiss her toe with my lips. Her crying got quieter until it went away, and soon she was back up and running around. She still had a tear sitting on her cheek, but she had a smile on her face and her toe, the one that was ruined for ever, was working just fine again..free from pain. For a moment in time, I held a super power of sorts...the power to heal...to quiet...to calm. I made her feel safe, just like Lois Lane feels when Superman cradles her in his arms and places her feet carefully back on the ground.

When one makes a list of super heroes, there are certain men that come to mind first. I always think of Superman, Spiderman, and Batman. Those are my top three. Until, I started to think about what powers they each possess, I had never realized that while Superman and Spiderman have numerous and specific superpowers, Batman does not. Batman fought crime and saved people just like the other guys, but he did not use special, super human powers. He made use of what he had. He used his wealth and his intelligence...his love of technology, his detective skills, and his physical abilities to accomplish many of the same things his fellow super heroes did.
This leads me to the thought, that in our own way, we can all be superheroes...to somebody...sometime...in some way. A mother is a super hero to the child that she comforts with her kisses...that she catches as they fall...not from a tall building, but as they take their first steps. The businessman that stops on the highway, rolls up his sleeves, and changes a tire for the woman with a van full of small children, even though it's hot and he's tired, and it will make him late for dinner, is a superhero. The doctor that heals the patient...that saves his life for yet another day, is no less of a hero, than if he were Superman. It doesn't take real superpowers. It takes using the talents that we each have selflessly...to the best of our ability...for the good of others. I can...I am...I will be...a super hero today.