I was flipping through my photos the other day and came across this quote I had captured on my cell phone. I must have taken this picture a while ago, but I honestly don't remember when I did.
What is about our own struggles that make us want to retreat? How did we evolve into people who have shame about not being perfect, or happy, or "where we are supposed to be?"
It's almost cliche to remark that physical fitness is a metaphor for life, but in this case it's appropriate. When we embark on a path to better our physical self, it generally is born from a place of dissatisfaction. We yearn for change for our bodies, whether it's losing weight, training for an event, or reversing the negative health effects of a lifetime of poor eating, but we struggle to start. We get scared. We question ourselves, saying things like "What if it's too hard?", "What if I can't do the exercise?", "I don't have time", "I'm embarrassed to try" and "I don't have money".
Very often, we get stuck in that place of fear and it derails our efforts. Once we can take the first step, whether it's joining a gym, taking a class, or putting on sneakers and running around the block, it breaks the cycle of fear and we can move forward.
In life, as in fitness, this happens over and over again. Sailing along in life, everything seemingly fitting together nicely and then BAM! life throws you a curve ball and you don't think you can handle One. More. Thing. You want to retreat and hide and maybe you do for a while, but in the end, when you break that cycle and recognize the struggle for just what it is rather than let it define you, you move through it, and transform.
And in fitness, as in life, moving through the struggle is best achieved surrounded by love. Working out with friends, or in a place you feel comfortable, will help you achieve your goals. That means, simply, that you don't have to do Crossfit if Yoga is more your thing. Find your thing and do it.
And in life, as in fitness, surround yourself with people who love and support you. These people see you and believe in you even in your darkest moments. Use them to remind you that you are still you, and that you are exactly where you are supposed to be.
We all struggle. It's called change. Some of it is hard. But everything is constantly in motion so if you are struggling now, remember that the struggle will end.