Ten Minutes and a Whole Lot of Gratitude

There’s a prompt each day for random topics to discuss, and one that comes up is a ten minute free-write. Whatever we want – just type for ten minutes. No editing, no evaluating. Just sit down, and type what comes to mind. Here are ten minutes in my mind…

I’m tired. But the good kind of tired.

Driving home from the airport after dropping off my niece from her week long visit (that really should have been longer!) I just feel…content. 

Last weekend I passed my NASM exam. (This is a national personal training certification.) I had built this test up in my mind as something unattainable. I was so afraid of failing that I procrastinated doing it for 3 and a half years. Better to have a dream out in front in the realm of “someday”, than to crash and burn, right? (WRONG.)

A few months ago, a conversation with a couple of close friends brought up the subject of goals. With every duty station move, there tends to be a loose list of things to accomplish in that 3 year time frame. It can be travel, sight-seeing, and of course fitness goals. This year, the theme of “doing” kept recurring. Instead of “I’m planning on…” and “I’m going to…,” it has become a year of intentional action. This is the time to chase dreams and see where it takes us.

Scary? You bet! Worth it? Of course!

Over the last few months, I’ve been doing something that seemed like a wish; a hope that someday I might be a trainer. That I might get the opportunity to not only do what I love, but maybe even help someone else live a more healthy, fit life. I know in my bones that I am an encourager and a teacher. It’s been the common thread in every career field I’ve ever worked. I think that’s the scary part. To know with out a shadow of a doubt what your purpose is – and then to go out and find a way to live it.

I love watching that lightbulb moment when a client surprises themselves with just how strong and capable they are. When they start opting for the harder modification, just to push their own limits of what they think they can do. Seeing people come back to spin class even though it’s tough, and get stronger. When they come tell me that their spouse is proud of them, and how their face lights up when they do. That moment when they express how much better they feel, that they didn’t know that exercise and eating right would give them more energy, even though that seems counterintuitive. Today there was a guy working out and having overheard a conversation I was having about nutrition and how it may not be flashy, but eating nutritious foods and exercising regularly does, in fact, work, he had to come over and tell me about his journey and how he has lost weight – even sharing his before pictures. I LOVE these moments. I am grateful for the opportunity to be a witness to these non-scale victories, to be the sounding board when someone just needs a space to celebrate success no matter how small it may seem. It’s confirmation that I’m not only doing something that I love and am passionate about, passing on a tremendous gift that was given to me, but that it matters. It matters to this small handful of people who I get the pleasure of working with.

Ten minutes of gratitude. I could write about this forever. It’s inspiring to watch people grow into who they are meant to be. I always say that fitness is a vehicle to so much more. You may think you are strength training, doing some push ups and bicep curls, but it’s more than that. The determination to enact habit and life-long positive change is huge and bleeds over into every aspect of life. When we take care of our physical bodies, our relationships with significant others improves, how we treat ourselves teaches others how to treat us. It gives our kids a glimpse of what self-care looks like in action, and of course all of the health benefits to boot.

Fitness is a vehicle to much, much more. And for that – I will be forever grateful.


Fear. Again.

Apparently I am not getting the message.

I am of the opinion that we learn lessons in life. Situations will recur in life until the lesson is absorbed. Sometimes I think it’s my job to learn things the hard way. Or at least the delayed way.

I recently took my group exercise certification tests and passed. My first thought after I’d completed the exams: “Oh my gosh. I so should have done this sooner.”  I had built up the test as something so scary and so huge that I just sort of became paralyzed. I wasn’t ready, I hadn’t studied enough, could I really do this? Put bluntly: fear of failure.

I literally wanted to shake myself, “WHY?!” I know this in my head. Not that failure never happens, but when I do my best, put myself out there, and take a risk – it rarely comes back without reward of some kind. So why do we still fear when we know the worst-case scenario isn’t all that Earth-shattering? I would like the lesson to be learned. Worst case scenarios and the possibility of failure are still present, sure. But isn’t that the definition of courage – to press on even in the presence of fear?

Tough Mudder is this weekend, and yeah, I’m skerred. But this is a legitimate fear. C’mon – they are going to electrocute me, dunk me in an ice bath, slog me through mud and barbed wire, make me jump over fire and throw me into mud ponds from 20 feet in the air. Perhaps I should be more frightened of my lack of sanity than of the race itself….seriously. I’m doing this for an orange headband.

Joking aside, I will finish. There will be amazing endorphin highs, camaraderie, and all kinds of goodies just waiting for me to experience.  And I’ll have some great muddy, falling, scratched up, scared stories to share.

And I can’t wait. Nothing like a little fear to know you’re alive, right?!

(Thanks, for the reminder, Kai!)

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