I woke up this morning thinking about motivation to get things done. The motivation we all need to shine in this life. And not for our partners, our kids or our friends... but for ourselves.
The ability to jump out of bed on a Monday and think..
DAMN WOMAN. You're amazing. Go chase that dream. Think big. Spread some love.
What could I tell you that you haven't already heard before? I am almost certain that today you will see many beautifully illustrated graphics telling you to go out and get the things you want.
Be inspired. Take a chance. Learn to shine. Yadda Yadda Yadda.
It doesn't matter how many times you hear me, or some other random person tell you, "you've got what it takes - you're brilliant, your time is now" ....
It's all bullshit when you're not in the right frame of mind.
Maybe It's not your time right now. Sorry.
But what if.... play along with me now.. if today actually WAS the day? What if today that you're life changed forever because you made the decision? What if these words were the catalyst in making those changes?
Now let's be under no misconception here. I'm not big headed enough to expect my words to change your life. I'm not asking you to credit me in the screen play when you get famous for living the life you've always wanted. BUT... what if you were just a little more open to change? What if, today, you felt worthwhile enough to say YES to yourself? What if this was the push to get you started?
Throughout my life, many people have inspired me to make a change. I can and will write a whole series of blog posts about them.. and they have shifted my expectation of what being alive means to me. There were times when I was so closed to the idea of change because I found it insulting that anyone would expect me to be any different than I was. What was so wrong with me?
I had it in my head that any change was admitting I wasn't perfect (who is?) and I was scared of what to expect if I did change.
During a smoke break in a day long training course I was delivering, a delegate told me I reminded me of her dead sister (her words, not mine). That's right. HER DEAD SISTER.
Turns out she was overweight too. That hit me like a tonne of bricks. She went on to tell me, that even though she didn't know me, she wanted me to lose weight and stop smoking, because I was going to die. WOW.
An extreme example of motivation. I felt offended, upset and surprised that a complete stranger, that I had to go back into a classroom and teach for the rest of the day, was bold enough to comment on my life choices without even knowing me. I'm not often (ever) left speechless. I was catching flies that day.
It took a while for that to sink in. No one wants to admit their failures or worse, have them pointed out to you in the middle of a training course.
I didn't stop smoking for another 4 years after that. I am still losing weight. and I still think back to the balls of that woman, who since became a great friend to me, who had the guts to make an impact in my life in the boldest way.
It can get frustrating seeing people make the same choices over and over, expecting to get different results. Why sugar coat it? Something needs to be done differently.
If you want to be HAPPY and you are currently UNHAPPY with something. Logic says you have to CHANGE something. It doesn't matter how many motivational posters you see, or how many people are jumping around willing to support you. Until you are ready. nothing is going to change.
Chances are, someone else in your life recognises that you have been unhappy with something. They can see that you need that push, but they don't know how to tell you, or worry that when they tell you, you will be insulted and feel even worse. They too might awkwardly blurt out something about their dead sister. It might be offensive in the moment. Go easy on them - because they might not know how to help you start. Don't wait for them to point out the things they think you need to change. The person that knows you need to change most is YOU.
and you are the only person stopping you... so...
What if today was the day?
I know so many people running in the Vancouver Rock 'n' Roll Marathon this weekend I feel like half of Kamloops is missing. I'm not going to pretend to understand why people sign up for these things? There must be a great feeling once you get past the pounding in your chest. The inability to breathe and general exhaustion that accompanies a run.
The one major advantage runners have, as far as I can tell, is the need to eat a bunch of carbs in preparation for a run. Now that's something I can get involved with. In fact, any time I am indulging in a particularly good sushi feed, or pasta dinner I always imagine fondly, that I am carb loading for a race I will never enter.
Running isn't my "thing". However, there is a small, really confused part of me, probably on a carb high, wanting, desperately to enjoy running. I've resisted it for so long and there are probably reasons less obvious than being slow, fat or unmotivated that I could try and uncover... but for the most part, I have just avoided it in favour of exercise in any other form. ANYTHING but running.
The other night I was out walking with my pup and I suddenly felt the inexplicable urge to run. Weird.
I set the goal of one block, knowing it was manageable and not that far. I say not that far, but without the desire to do it, it would feel like running a marathon without the carb loading, the medal, or any glory at the end.
Fast approaching 9pm, with limited visibility, I couldn't see the end of the block. To the casual observer I may have looked like a slow escaped prisoner trying to get to the nearest all you can eat buffet, but in my head I was a city fox. Stealthy. Graceful.
Not at all the large perplexed looking woman with the even more confused dog in tow, running in the dark for the hell of it.
I knew I could run further - so I walked down to the next street and as soon as my foot hit the curb I started running again. Another block.
I challenged myself and I did it. AND I didn't hate it AND I was able to control my breathing without feeling like dying. I wasn't self conscious about my body jiggling along. I was doing what I needed to do at that very moment. Even the ol' pup enjoyed it.
I wondered why so many of my friends liked running?
I can't speak for them, but when I am running down the block, and my throat is dry and I'm out of breath and I can hear my heart beating, I know I am alive.
I don't care if I look the part. or if I am quick. I don't care about anything when I am running, because I am so busy keeping one foot in front of the other being grateful, nothing else matters.
For my friends running tomorrow - whatever your reason for being there, you inspire me to keep trying! Your determination and passion for moving, gives me the itch to pick up the pace sometimes. I may never be a runner, and that's ok - but when I get the urge to run a few blocks, I'm going to be slow as treacle but I'll be smiling all the way to imaginary buffet.
Mother, creative strategist and health & happiness advocate. These are my personal ramblings..