For a brief time while I was in the Marine Corps I trained for and competed along with others from my gym in several powerlifting contests. Despite being physically stronger than any other girl I knew I never did all that well. One day after doing a set of 3 reps of 315 pounds on the deadlift my trainer made the comment that I could easily do 350 if I weren’t so mental.
I knew he was right. He was able to see from the outside what secretly I had always known on the inside that I was capable of amazing things. The problem was neither of us knew how to help me overcome that very important hurdle. It would be at least 20 years and many stumbling blocks later before I would really start understanding and being able to turn it around.
Growing up my mother expended a great deal of energy on tearing me down. She told me I had visions of grandeur and that I thought I was better than everyone else. For 40 years or more I owned those statements and believed they meant I was intrinsically bad and that if I succeeded at anything it was only evidence that I was self serving, egotistical and vain. One of her biggest legacies with me and others that met her in later years was her amazing ability to either take credit for my successes herself or at the very least attribute them to someone else. Because as children we don’t know better and we are taught to trust our parents and other adults we don’t often question what we are told. Consciously or not I kept my mother’s words in a constant loop in the back of my mind.
Now I relate this story not as any kind of excuse. Actually in some weird way I kind of thank my mother for that experience. Many generations ago political activist Thomas Paine said it so well “The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph”.
Certainly it would have been better to have been lifted up, empowered and taught to look at my gifts as something to appreciate rather than loathe, but I long ago realized that sometimes you don’t truly appreciate your health or any other blessings until you lose them or in my case have to overcome adversity to see them.
Almost universally as we go through life we will encounter people with negative attitudes that will try to bring us down. Sometimes it’s obvious, sometimes they don’t realize they are even doing it and other times it’s presented to us as “being realistic” or “trying to help” “don’t want you to get hurt if it doesn’t work out”. No matter how it is couched, in almost every case it is simple jealousy. The person making the comment is lacking something in their lives and as the old adage goes “misery loves company”. If you succeed then that person is left feeling alone or even worse from their perspective they are forced to take a look at their own lives and ask why it is they are not also getting wins.
The thing is, it’s about your life and what quality you want from it. In my viewpoint there is NO greater feeling in the world than success. And successes come in every shape and size from landing a big financial win at work to simply nailing a great workout. The important thing is that every day in everything you do you have the choice to channel the crappy naysayer voices in your head or to reject that notion and own your champion potential and turn every experience into a win. And no matter how big or small you view that victory, it is a victory and you should celebrate it. Write it down in giant letters on your mental chalkboard and keep it there to refer back to on days when you are not feeling as confidant.
In my last post I mentioned I was going into the hospital for a week for back surgery. The surgery was late Monday afternoon and as I write this I am sitting at home having been here since Tuesday afternoon. I had two separate surgeries. As I understand it one was from the front through my abdomen to install a cage filled with growth material that would eventually fuse my two lower vertebrae together. The second was done through my back to install various hardware that provided further strength and stability.
I was originally told that those two surgeries would happen at different times about 3 days apart and I would likely be discharged the following weekend. However, when I met with my doctor before the procedure he explained that the reason for the extended time frame was to give the average patient time to partially recover from the first surgery before taking on the second. He said that because of my excellent health and lack of problems during previous procedures, he felt I could handle having the surgeries one immediately following the other and I would probably be out of the hospital by Thursday.
I knew going into this thing that everything I want to do in the future hinged on getting through this week strong and to bounce back as quickly as I could. I also knew from previous surgeries that walking and movement is your friend when it comes to recovery. So when they took my catheter out around 5 am Tuesday morning I was immediately out of bed and walking. When the physical therapist showed up we walked again this time down a longer hallway with me chirping away the entire time (because as anyone who knows me can attest I’m not the quiet type). We stopped in their gym area and she had me walk up a small staircase and when we got back to the room I asked if we could make an additional trip down the hall. All of that led to good reports to my doctor so that when he showed up around 8 he suggested I might be able to go home that day. Later a head nurse person came in and said “there is no way you are going home today less than 24 hours after both anterior and posterior lumbar surgeries it just isn’t going to happen”. I just smiled and said we would see. Around 1 pm I got the call that said I was being discharged.
My point is this: everything in our lives is a choice. We can choose to be victims or we can choose to be champions, even when choosing to be a champion means you appear to be alone. Because in reality if you lose your “negative” friends you will gain a whole new set of “positive” friends that will build you up and truly want you to succeed and revel along with you in your victories.
I want to be one of those friends and your personal champion. Let me help you see the champion inside yourself and empower you to be amazing every day.