It is an ordinary day, and I have been going through the motions of ordinary tasks with music blaring because…well, just because I like to think that there is a soundtrack to my life and I want to hear it!
Although I always have my playlists on shuffle, I was struck by the theme that was coming through the speakers. It was a theme that has been echoing throughout my life for quite some time but particularly over the past 17 months.
Change is a subject that has the ability to stir up a wide range of emotions and responses. We love it. We hate it. We embrace it or hide from it. Change can be necessary or whimsical. Change could be forced upon us or eagerly sought out. Our feelings about change can vary from day-to-day and situation. One person’s idea of an onerous change might be another person’s idea of a happy change.
Sometimes change is easiest to deal with when it doesn’t involve our own character or habits. I can change my hairstyle. I can change the layout of my furniture. I will accept changes at work, even if somewhat reluctantly. But woe to the person who tells me that I need to change myself!
Been there? Me, too! It’s funny, in a twisted sort of way, how much we will resist making those personal changes in our lives, even when we know full well that we need to make those changes. We are smart enough to recognize that we would be better off with the change, but we drag our heels and fight that change as long as we can. Sometimes we make a feeble attempt at change and fall flat on our faces. Feeling like failures we give up, believing that we simply cannot change so there is no use in trying.
Oh yes, I have been there! I was overweight, out of shape, stuck in a rut of unhealthy choices. I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror, and I didn’t like what the mirror could not show. My self-confidence was in tatters, and I had no idea who I really was anymore. I was directionless, mildly depressed, unhappy, and isolated. I knew it. I knew I was all these things that I didn’t want to be, but I felt so powerless to change any of it. I certainly tried and failed and tried and failed. Sometimes I would make a few more steps forward than I would fall back, but I was generally getting nowhere. I’m pretty sure I hit the bottom a few years ago, made a few lifestyle changes that sort of stuck, and life began to get a little better. It wasn’t enough yet. I had some stumbles and found myself feeling like positive change was never going to happen.
The day that I stepped into Progressive Fitness in September 2013 was a cataclysmic event in my life. I wanted change. I believed I was ready for change, but I honestly don’t think I could ever have anticipated what was coming my way or where it would take me. I could write a book about all that, or you can just read back over previous blog entries…it’s all there!
A short while ago, a month or so maybe, my husband was telling me how some time ago he had been praying for me that I would find a passion to grab hold of and make my own. He told me this as he was expressing once again how proud he was of me for what I have been doing with my life and the changes I have made over the past 17 months. Of course, he also didn’t realize that his little prayer would result in the creation of a power-lifter, but he’s still so very proud. <excuse me a moment while I dry my eyes and blow my nose>
Okay, so where am I going with this?
I have made a lot of changes in my life over the past year and a half. I have a lot of people cheering me on, encouraging and supporting me. Social media makes it easier for me to have a voice with which to share such details of my life, because ultimately I am an introvert and that will never change! But you know, sometimes change is still difficult and unpleasant. I’d like to believe that change gets easier the more we practice it and embrace it, but I think it is also easy to become complacent with change. We make some changes and get comfortable in our new normal, but we aren’t necessarily done with growing and changing just yet. Change is a life-long process, I think.
I remember when squatting my body weight was a really big deal! That was a big deal on a couple of fronts. First of all I was amazed that my body weight was 145 pounds, when only 9 months before I had weighed almost 180 pounds. Secondly, of course, I didn’t start out squatting anywhere near that amount of weight. It was a slow and gradual process of practicing form and building strength. It was exciting to squat my own weight, but I wouldn’t have ever wanted to be content to stay there. Every new personal record is the result of hard work and determination. It is the result of choosing to embrace change and refusing to be satisfied with good enough. Some day the gains in strength will slow down and the new personal records will be more difficult to achieve, but I still won’t stop striving for more. It is part of the process. It’s a fact of life for those who train and compete…in anything! It’s true for ordinary life, too. Life is all about change.
So what songs prompted this blog post?
Landslide by Fleetwood Mac, especially the following portion:
“And can I sail through the changing ocean tides
Can I handle the seasons of my life?
Oh oh I don’t know, oh I don’t know
Well, I’ve been afraid of changing
‘Cause I’ve built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Children get older I’m getting older too
Yes I’m getting older too, so”
and What a Good Boy by The Barenaked Ladies, especially the following portion:
“I wake up scared
I wake up strange
I wake up wondering if anything in my life
Is ever gonna change
I wake up scared
I wake up strange
And everything around me stays the same”
and Man in the Mirror by Michael Jackson…
“I’m starting with the man in the mirror
I’m asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you want to make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change”