Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Out of the mouths of babes...

I woke up feeling really empty this morning.  I know...GREAT way to begin a post on what is supposed to be a motivational blog.  Sorry...I always speak the truth...pretty or not...happy or sad...strong or weak.  As I snoozed my alarm 3 times and drifted in and out of sleep, all I could think was "I just don't want to get out of bed today."  I wished I could have a remote control with a pause...or better yet, a fast forward button on it.  I finally stumbled out of bed feeling really alone and went to work.  I put on a smile and welcomed the 2 guys in the gym at 6AM, but behind that smile I felt an overwhelming sense of loss and loneliness.  My mind would wander as I thought about all the things I wish I had until I would bring myself back and continue to coach the guys. 

 I got done and drove home hoping my kids got up to their alarms and were ready for school.  As he always is, my 10 year old son Jake was up and ready for the day...sitting at the computer (where he can USUALLY be found).  I sat next to him while I ate an unhealthy breakfast that I knew would make me feel worse and started engaging in small talk.  The conversation turned to our birthdays.  Me and Jake share the same birthday and it's coming up on Sunday so I started asking him to make me a birthday list so I can shop for him.  He smiled...eyes still on the computer...and said, "I just don't know Mom!  I can't think of anything.  I mean I have everything I want."  I laughed and said, "Oh!  It must be nice to be the man that has EVERYTHING!"  He turned from the computer and our brown eyes met and then he said something that I haven't been able to stop thinking about since.  "No Mom.  What I mean is that I guess I just feel so thankful for everything I have that it's hard to think about asking for anything else."

Wow.  Everything I thought...everything I've felt over the past several days...began to crowd my mind as I hugged him tight...wondering what I ever did to deserve such a sweet boy.  In the 2 hours since that conversation, I've done a lot of thinking and many things have come into perspective for me.

In the fitness industry, there's so much focus on change and improvement.  We always want to be better.  Even for people in the best of shape, it seems that it's never enough.  In fact, I think that sometimes the better shape we are in, the harder it is to be satisfied.  It's always all about getting a little leaner or a little more cut.  It's about eating cleaner, becoming a little faster or stronger, and building more muscle.  We are always striving towards more...and that's not a bad thing...but I wonder if we've lost the ability to be grateful in our quest to be better. 

  I think it's good to want more, but not at the expense of our happiness and our ability to be proud of how far we've come.  Sure, I've faced some serious setbacks and sadness in my personal life over the past year...things that anyone would agree are very hard to deal with.  Some might even say I've earned the right to have a pity party or two.  But at the same time, I woke up in a super comfortable bed this morning.  The temperature in my room was perfect.  I put my feet down on brand new carpet, and walked my very fit, very healthy body into a closet overflowing with clothes to get dressed for work.  I drove away in a new car from a lovely home filled with kids that are smart and healthy and that I love and that love me right back.  I went to work at a job that I love...where I have the ability to work with people that I really like...and I get to help them and see them improve. Yet all I could think about was what I don't have.  How silly.   How weak.  How wrong. 

Goals are important and we should all be striving towards being better every day, but don't become so wrapped up in what you want that you stop appreciating what you HAVE.  When you take the time to journal what you ate or write down what you did in the gym each day, make note of something that you are thankful for as well.  I have goals...goals to lean up...goals to get faster and put on some more muscle, but my new goal is to be able to say, "I just feel so thankful for everything I have that it's hard to think about asking for anything else."