One second between Fear and Greatness

They say everything you want is on the other side of fear.  This picture was that precise moment for me this morning. With yesterday being Father’s Day, I chose to not go to the gym to train legs, and instead decided to go to the gym before work Monday morning, around 6 am.  It was leg day and we have just started a new training program that includes heavy leg presses.  These are something I have loved and have always been able to really load up the weight on.  However a few years back I had a slight pain, maybe more than slight pain, which I eventually learned was due to a very tight TFL and IT band and launched me into the world of self myo-fascial release techniques and self care.  I healed but that experience definitely left it’s mark with me mentally.   Around the same time as the injury, we had switched gyms, which opened up a great deal of exercise variety and options.  Pete and I have used the leg press for several programs after that and I have had no further issues.  However, getting back to heavy leg presses, does stick in the back of my mind.

Getting back to this morning….Pete wasn’t there and I was training alone.  I had the thoughts and questions of how to handle the leg press today – do I go all out and load up the weight I wanted, or do I back off and switch it up since Pete wasn’t there and I wouldn’t have peace of mind having him there.  It took some rational and honest evaluation of the situation.   I did this weight last week.  When the sled is loaded up, the safeties on the machine are in place for a reason, if something goes wrong. Plus, there really isn’t much Pete or I could do for the other as far as pushing the sled with that much weight on it.  So it came down to me.  I knew I had eaten well all week, slept well, warmed up and stretched properly. There was no reason not to go for it all.  I wanted to do more than last week.  I wanted to move forward and be better than before.

And with that it was time to work or move on.  Thus the picture.  In that moment, the sled is loaded up, but not yet in motion. It sits securely on the pins.  It only takes one decision and action to conquer the fears, the unknowns, and to crossover into the world of action, reality, and success.  Everything is in place and ready.  All I need to do is push the sled and move the sled to start the set. One action. With a confident and focused mind, I put my goals into action and powered through every set of leg presses.  I got more reps than I had last week in each set and every rep was full and deep.  Each set drove me on to the next set.  By the last set, I was focused on “daring to fail.”  I wanted to see how far I could go until either the weight no longer would move and I would fail on a rep, or until the form broke.  It is a very powerful feeling to conquer a challenge.

The rest of the workout had that same intensity and determination.  Overall it was a great workout, and my legs will pay the price for success for the next few days.

I share this story as an example.  We all have that moment between fear and action.  Do or do not.  There is something that we must answer for ourselves each day – whether to take the risk and move closer to accomplishing goals and dreams, or delay them for another day.  The challenge is not relegated to the gym.  It could be a phone call we need to make, a conversation that must be had, questions to be asked when we fear the answers but need to know.  It may be fitness, sport, or nutrition related.

The fear is only in our mind.  It is often the fear of the unknown that keeps us frozen and from taking action.  But here is the challenge I have for you, and one that I use over and over -just as I did this morning in the gym.  If it is our thoughts that create the fearful scenario, why can’t we change the thoughts and create a more positive outcome and scenario?  For me, it was switching my mindset from a fear of the unknown to telling and visualizing myself doing exactly what I wanted to accomplish in that workout.

So I challenge you.  Instead of creating fear in your mind, change your mindset and create, visualize, and act on creating success and action that brings those thoughts into the realm of reality.

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One Decision You Must Make Today

20170108_125137Not every day is a great day.  Things happen. Unexpected events and circumstances catch us off guard and can throw us for a loop.  Regardless of how well prepared we are for the day and various situations, sometimes getting knocked down is inevitable.  And guess what – it is perfectly ok and even a good thing.  We are meant to be challenged, defeated, confused, frustrated, disappointed, etc.  These are all part of a process of growth and will come to us often on the path to finding our greatness.

I had one of those days recently.  The day started out on track as I was planned and prepared for the day.  At some point, out of nowhere, things slowly slipped down hill.  I maybe was tired, drained a bit from the week and let my emotions and mental sharpness start to slide.  I started eating things I had not planned and didn’t seem to want to stop. I was a bit sluggish in continuing to execute my plans for the day and get things checked off my list.  By the end of the day I was dragging, down on myself, mad and frustrated at some of the decisions I made during the day, and just felt overwhelmed with so many things.

The next morning, I had that same feeling.  That is when I had a decision to make.  I could wallow   in my new found funk and write this day off before it even gets started or gain control of my thoughts and emotions and start to take control of what is or was getting me down.  It took me a little bit, but I chose to make this day different.  I vowed to move forward and climb out from my own little reclusive mess.  I had to shift my mindset and gain a new perspective in order to be able to conquer the day.

It is often said that every day is a new day.  I will go even further and challenge you with every moment is a new moment. It comes down to one decision.  It is the power to shift our mindset, our focus, our energy that empowers us to forge a new path at any given moment.  It is in those moments of doubt, negativity, hopelessness, that we must make that one decision which will change our moment.  We must choose to do different.  We must vow to no longer stay on the path we are on and do that one thing, no matter how seemingly small it may be, that is going to drive us into a different outcome for the day.

This is not to say that every problem, struggle, or conflict is going to be resolved and made better in one moment.  It is not about solving every problem in an instant.  It IS about coming to a point to accept that the molehills are not necessarily mountains and the mountains are not necessarily insurmountable.  It IS about accepting that we do not have to have all the answers and allow ourselves the time to come to some clarity at a future time.  It IS about allowing ourselves to be human, to mess up, slip, stumble, and to know that we can leave it in the past.  The past begins now. It ends and the present begins with a decision.

The power to choose is an extraordinary gift.  It is the power to choose different – particularly in our thought process and in our perceptions that is extraordinary.  You must make a decision today, at this moment and every day.  Will you let the day run you, or do you choose to take control and run the day?  Dictate how you want the day to go and how you will react to events that arise along the way. Forgive yourself of the past – whether it is the past year, day, or something you did or didn’t do 5 minutes ago.  Let it go.  Choose to move forward from this point, with a clear mind, and the willingness to try one more time.