So after my Precious Papa read this and edited this post for me, he sent me this message in an email:
You are much superior to that overused word “awesome.”
You are one of a kind. A non pareil. A lotus blossom among frogs. You are strength to the weak and compassion to the sorrowful. You are a Jeepful of fun. A Super Buggy full of bubble gum. You are My Girl. You are snow at Christmas. You are a perfect game by my baseball team. You are perfect to me.
I love you.
And all is right in my world. I love you Dad.
My life isn't all Alzheimer's disease...thank goodness. Lately I have had some experiences that have scattered my emotions all over the place. First, I have started new programming for CrossFit. For years I had been really good at making sure that I was programming exercises that I didn't like or wasn't good at just as much as the movements that I was good at or liked. Then I stopped. Not only that but I wasn't truly programming for myself. Instead, I was picking and choosing from other gyms or making something up. In the end, this didn't give the results I wanted.
I also have a shoulder/bicep issue that has been keeping me from going full bore on a lot of movements that I normally would be able to do quickly. Now, I cannot do some movements without scaling or I am very slow. This also has been a mental test for me. I was accustomed to doing all workouts as prescribed, or “RX,” meaning that I didn't have to make the weight lighter or add a band to assist with a movement like dips.
Now someone is actually programming for me again and I love it. The new programming has me lifting and doing multiple workouts a day. Some may think this is crazy, but fortunately I have been fine. There have been days that I was exhausted, but with enough food to fuel my body and enough rest to recover, I have managed. This new programming also has made me take a step back and reconsider. I felt that I was allowing myself to be mediocre and that was not okay with me. I wanted to regain my physical strength, and I wanted to build more mental and personal strength. It was time to reevaluate all aspects of my life.
I always have had certain negative conversations with myself. These conversations told me and sometimes still tell me that I must be the best because that is what people expect of me. That I must be the first one done with a workout/across the line/with the most reps because that is who I am. If I fail at this, there is something wrong with me. So I was not satisfied with just getting the workout done. I don't jog, I must run. There is a constant reel of “musts” and “warnings” going on in my head about how I might fail or who might know how badly I did on a workout or that I wasn't able to lift as much today as I did with the same lift last week. All of these conversations are made up by me, I know that, but it doesn't quiet them. They persist.
Over the years, as I have worked out by myself, suffered a debilitating illness for eight months, and grown older, these conversations weren't changing, but my body was. The intensity wasn't there the way it once was. I had to get myself healthy again, and I knew that getting healthy had to include my mind and soul as well as my body.
Don't get me wrong, I know that I am strong in many ways. I can lift heavier weight than a lot of people I know. I can push through a workout and get it done, no matter that my mind is telling me to stop. I am also mentally strong when it comes to most aspects of my life. I deal with my mother's Alzheimer's disease on a daily basis. I have a family and home to take care of (trust me, the whole stay-at-home mom thing is harder than it sounds). But accepting my own self-worthiness is something with which I have always struggled.
I have said it before: I have always believed that I was/am never good enough. The biggest things that contribute to this now are not financially contributing to my family’s budget, our house not being how I want it, trying to get all my family’s activities perfectly balanced and scheduled, and my “workout things” (my body, my workouts etc.) not being how I want them. I could go on and on with a list...but I won't. I preach to my children that there is no such thing as perfect, yet I sit here and struggle with the same thing- achieving some unrealistic version or sense of perfection.
So, with this new programming I have had to step back, and I realize that I cannot do it all exactly how I want to do it or think that I should do it. I have had to scale weight and make myself deal with it. Admittedly, I cringed at first. I literally had an anxious feeling in my stomach because of scaling weight or movements. I had to keep myself from crying in a workout about two weeks ago. I was tired and slow that day and felt awful. I have had to push away the conversations that someone else was doing this workout in half the time because, guess what, of course someone was able to do that - and that is okay. There ALWAYS is someone who can do things better, faster, differently than I can. Always. But I was still doing it, giving it my all and I had the clothes drenched in sweat to prove it. I was doing this for me and it was working.
I no longer had anxiety over the food that I was eating. I was eating more healthfully just because I wanted to. It made me feel better and perform better. I have started seeing true improvements, not only in my times but also in my body composition as well. This success with my health bleeds over into my other world- the one that involves kids, housework, activities, and all the other goings on in my life.
Yesterday I posted a poster on my Abundantly Awesome facebook page that someone had posted on a pole in a town. It is a picture of a dog and it describes the dog, his name, and some personality traits. At the end you read that the dog isn't lost, just that the owner wanted to share how awesome his dog is. I posted it with a status that said to tell someone else that he or she is awesome. Because we all want to hear how wonderful we are, right?
Not much later I got a text from a friend that said “You're awesome! XOXO.” My response was “Ummm...thanks. So are you.” I thought she had meant to send it to her mom or husband and I had gotten it by accident. I had totally forgotten about my post and wasn't expecting to get a personal response from it. I eventually figured out that she sent it to me after seeing my post, but I was so resistant to hearing the compliment that I shrugged it off as a mistake.
What is wrong with me? Have I been beating myself up so much that I can't imagine that anyone would actually compliment me? That is just pathetic. It is time for me to accept who I am at any given moment and be okay with me. Heck, not just ok, but to think that I every little part of me is awesome.
I am that girl who makes stupid voices when I talk about certain things. I am sometimes brutally honest. I have stretch marks on my legs from growing muscles during puberty faster than my skin was ready for. I still cannot snatch 95 pounds, but I can overhead squat 190 pounds. (Makes no sense, I know). I cry all the time at songs, commercials, or because of the love in my heart for my kids and husband. My immediate family has no drama and I love them for that. I wish I lived closer to my dad and sister. I cuss sometimes and sometimes it makes me cringe and sometimes it makes me feel badass. I have awesome friends all across the country and right here in Indiana. I truly miss Colorado. All of these things and so much more make me awesome.
Finally my mind and soul are catching up to the healing and strengthening of my body. I always talked about how I can't stand how others bully. Well, I have been bullying myself for decades and it is exhausting. If it is not ok for someone else, it is not ok for me. I need to change the kind of conversations I have with myself.
Lately, things are changing. I have had deep belly laughs. I have eaten pizza and drunk wine and loved it with no feelings of guilt. I have danced in the middle of a store with my daughter because we both loved the song. I ran a 5k with my son and didn't care that he needed to walk once in a while. I truly accepted the compliment from the old gentleman in Walmart yesterday.
Maybe if I chill out a bit, accept and love myself for my individuality, strength, beauty, and ability to do the worm, I will enjoy life a little more and be able to pay it forward. Because we are all awesome.