Work this week has swept me up, dropped me in beautiful San Antonio, Texas. As a product lead for an Event Software company, my job requires me to travel onsite and fulfill set-up, troubleshooting, and breakdown procedures for my clients. Today, I am surrounded by stunning people at a health and wellness event, hosted by one of the industry’s leading multi-level marketing companies.
The energy here is fantastic. Eager, spirited men and woman all line the registration desks, truly jazzed about donning their badges and embarking on an action-packed, three-day ride of education, recognition, and goal planning. These people are passionate, they are committed. They have evolved their lives and are enriching the lives of others by sharing their stories.
Although I am solely here to work my seven-to-seven shift each day, the theme of this event is drawing my mind elsewhere. Day 6-8 of my #tut30days challenge all had to do with transformation: Starting to put all visualizations into actions. Being mindful of everyday thoughts and words. Turning “victim” tales into ones of triumph. For those committed to this project as well, below are the true assignments for each day.
Day 6: Take Baby Steps Toward Your Goals
Day 7: Play Detective- Observe Your Thoughts, Words, & Actions
Day 8: Identify & Change A Story You Tell
One of the areas that I am really trying to focus on is my own health and wellbeing, as I have stated before. A previous post made mention of a dreaded doctor’s appointment, the one that turned my personal unhealthy reality into a medically-documented one. That appointment occurred in late November, however, and although I was much more conscious of my issue following the meeting, I failed to immediately jump into action. I ate breakfast before leaving for work. I steered clear of the sandwiches during lunch, opted for soups and salads in the building cafeteria. But I still wasn’t taking time to walk, eat, work-out, or leave my desk because “I was too busy.”
I’d leave work later and come home to find my husband on the couch. (He comes home an hour or more before me.) He’d be in sweats, so rather than putting on work-out clothes, I would go upstairs and put on sweats too. We’d make dinner, clean, and then catch up on shows before bed. 6:30 PM is my usual arrival time, so with cooking, eating and cleaning at night, I only had between 8:30- 9:30 PM to relax before needing to go upstairs and shower, get ready for the next day. “I never see my husband,” I’d say. “I want to spend the few hours I have at home with him, unwinding; Not rolling into more work, without him by my side.”
Then Christmas came along, and I had 11- days off. Eleven days, and I did not work out. My excuse? Our basement gym was still a work in progress. We needed to buy more equipment that suited our needs. My husband and I sat on the couch on Christmas morning, and outlined a plan. We’d splurge on a new treadmill, a full home gym. Once set up, he’d come home from work and would do cardio while waiting for me. Once I got home, he would move to the machines while I did cardio and then he would cook dinner while I finished up strength training. That would be our routine, every week, at least three times. We’d then wake up together on weekends and work out more leisurely.
The plan sounded FANTASTIC, but it was going to take a while for our equipment to come in, my scale wasn’t budging in the meantime. My story, my trail of excuses, lingered past the New Year.
On Day 6 of the #tut30days challenge, I watched Mike Dooley’s video about “taking baby steps” toward 2017 goals. There wasn’t a written assignment attached to the activity, but his words really inspired me. He spoke about “anything being better than nothing” and the power of simply “showing up.”
I wasn’t going to see my body change by waiting for it to happen; My Fitbit was tracking 3,000 step averages a day while on vacation and that was not going to get me anywhere. So on day 6 of my #tut30days challenge, I decided to go downstairs to my basement, and step on the elliptical.
I made it 30 minutes, then got off and decided to do some leg workouts. I channeled exercises engraved in my memory bank, and wrote down every set of calf raises, wall sits, squats, and lunges successfully executed. After an hour I exited the basement, sweaty and satisfied.
The next day, I felt an urge to return back downstairs. I cranked out another workout.
On Sunday, my husband and I ventured to our local brewery to have lunch with our old roommate. I didn’t drink because I had every intention of working out upon returning home. Clothes were already laid out on the bed, sneakers waiting for me on the floor… I just needed to maintain the right mindset.
When we pulled in the driveway and walked through the door, my husband let out the pups and began to play. The house was chilly, so he started a fire in the living room and laid on the floor. It was perfect- The family was all together, cozy and happy. The thought of peeling myself away from a night of relaxation killed me- but I was staring Day 3 of working out in the eye.
I went upstairs and put on my workout clothes, returned and stood at my husband’s sprawled frame. “I’m going to go downstairs,” I said.
“Proud of you,” he replied.
And downstairs I went. It was a breakthrough moment- I left him and the dogs to watch TV and when I was finished, an hour later, they were still in the same spot. I didn’t miss anything at all, and I was able to check another day off my Strides app. I rejected the voice that told me to stay stationary, enjoy the evening from the living room couch.
After that, things started to come easier. I woke up and threw on gym clothes. I cried as I breathed through my last squat, not because I was in pain, but because I let myself get so far away from this active lifestyle that used to be second nature. Nevertheless, I breezed through my day 4 workout.
I arrived in San Antonio on Tuesday and crossed another bridge. I had never before worked out while on the job- traveling always boasted of long days, great meals, and exploration.
But I was determined. And at 6AM, I texted a picture of the treadmill to my best friend.
As I sit at registration this afternoon and stare at the beautiful attendees that pass me by, in studded stilettos and crop tops, black bodycon dresses or t-shirts that accentuate incredible muscle definition, I try my best to keep my own chin up. If I stretch my legs, I can feel tension, and the pain makes me smile.
I am on my own journey, in the process of changing my own story. Results don’t happen overnight, and I know that. But in this last week I overcame big hurdles, swallowing every excuse I had and taking action. Through blisters and dogs licking my face while planking, whether in my makeshift basement gym or at a hotel fitness center-
I showed up.