“One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesn’t pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself.”
― Lucille Ball
I have a terrible habit. Often (or sadly, most of the time) I concern myself with what others think and look to the outside for validation. I’m not a fan of stereotypes or labels, but for whatever reason, I allow myself to be boxed in by them all the time. But I’ve reached a breaking point. Last year, while I was working towards a personal trainer certification through the YMCA, I expected support but instead was frequently met by comments like “really?” or “it doesn’t sound like you” or my personal fav “you know it’s really something for an outgoing sort of person”.
I suppose I’m not surprised by the reaction, but more or less disappointed that I allowed those reactions to discourage me. I finished my certification and was so unbelievably proud (it was, after all, a lot of work), but was saddened by this feeling that I couldn’t share my excitement about this new path with a lot of the people I know. And even more saddened by the fact that I allowed what other people feel I am capable of to shape my own perception about myself. Subsequently, I let a few new opportunities pass me by and scurried safely back inside the person some people feel I should be.
Yes, it’s true…I love to knit. I know I’m your ‘hippy’ friend. I know you think I sit around chugging back beer and making pessimistic remarks about the state of the world (which granted sometimes I do). I know you think I’m socially awkward, a little off, eccentric, or ‘different’. I know you didn’t think I knew how to even locate a gym or that I even owned a pair of running shoes.
But there is a lot you don’t know.
If you judged, it’s ok.
I am, however, the only one who gets to decide who I am.
I do own running shoes and a treadmill. I work out 6 days a week. I believe fitness should be about more than your body. I support wellness (mind, body and spirit). I am continually looking for ways to challenge myself…physically, creatively, emotionally.
I’m social…too social at times, but I love to learn and I love to meet new people.
I’m pessimistic, but also very motivated and driven.
I’m no supermodel, but my body is beautiful.
I believe being fit has nothing to do with the ‘shape’ of your body and everything to do with loving and caring for yourself.
I exercise hard and I fuel my body with home cooked whole foods. I love to eat and don’t know the word ‘diet’.
I like to run and I’m completely in love with my evening swims at the pool.
And yes, even though i desire to train bootcampers with burpees and mountain climbers…even though I’m fascinated by learning about anatomy, nutrition and wellness…even though I spend my nights reading about training principles and program design…and even though I don’t have perfect abs (but holy shit you should check out my cardiovascular system)…
I’m also still your ‘hippy’ friend who loves to knit, guzzle back a few beers…and yes, I am sometimes the ‘weird’ one. It’s ok. I can be more than one thing.
I can even be some things you don’t think I am. The fact is, I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished and I don’t much care for the confinement of a box.
To reaffirm this new path that I have chosen for myself I have been working towards yet another certification. It feels good to be doing something I love. Final written and practical exam booked for November. Couldn’t be more excited.
and maybe one day I’ll learn to knit and run at the same time. (i’m close…I swear…so close).