Objects in Mirror are Closer than They Appear

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If you’re like me, or any other human for that matter- you probably have a hard time finding balance. I fee like I’m constantly playing defense and I never get to play offense. I am so incredibly fortunate, and often feel like I can always save the day by fixing things. Yet, at the end of the day I come to realize that’s not always a role I’m capable of filling. I know I can’t fix everything in someones life, but if I can fix a part of it, I feel like I’m doing something right- on the flip side I fail time, and time again, at fixing myself and giving myself the same things that I tell others they need. 

If I can’t make my dream work then no one else can. Owning your own business means you get to be creative, but it also means you talk through things with yourself, structure your own budget, make the final cuts, and decide where to allocate the funds. You also decide (in theory) where your energy goes, and who you allow to draw from it. It’s not always easy, yet you see the refined product, so you keep going. I don’t struggle with sleeping on Sunday nights because I don’t love what I do, I struggle because I’m afraid I won’t be able to continue to fix something, or someone. Including myself.

We’re wired to be emotional beings, but when we’re advised to shut part of that system down, we no longer function as a whole. In our culture we’ve been conditioned that feeling pain, or an unpleasant emotion isn’t something we necessarily have to endure. Sadness is something we’d rather sweep under the carpet and deal with…never. It’s become part of our belief system, that we can simply “fix it”. The problem at hand, is that negative feelings are normal (to a degree), and they allow us to internalize what’s really going on. Without much thought we typically go the the pharmacy and pop a pill to ease the pain, control the uneasy feeling, or mask our negative emotions. The Greek word for pharmacy is pharmakeia; when broken down means both healing, and poison.

Whether we turn to medicine or not, we do this sort of healing, and poison on a regular basis. We pretend we’re not effected by whatever the origin of the problem is, we fail to look so deeply within ourselves because we don’t want to address the root cause. The real issue at hand is that the majority of the time we deflect our emotions onto something else, and choose to not deal with the negative emotions that are often associated with the truth. This cyclical habit applies to pretty much everything in life. Negative relationships, overeating, toxic people that we allow to stay in our lives…and all because we don’t feel like addressing it. We’re supposed to feel, yet we’ve been brainwashed to believe that feeling hurt, anger, or sadness, can all be washed away by something else.

For me, it’s the white noise that I can’t handle. Constantly staying busy is a numbing tactic I use to ease the pain. We must realize that however we choose to numb the pain, we also numb the joy, the true feelings that are warranted and necessary for us to function as a whole.

I’ve fought this battle long and hard, and continue to do so on a regular basis. I’m no superstar, I’m a human that’s managing my own problems. Not with ease, but day by day because I know I’m not comfortable succumbing to what our culture has made us to believe. We have to realize that we’re more than what society tells us we are. We’re human, with feelings of happiness, sadness, and everything else in between.  It’s much easier to have a glass of wine, take an anti-anxiety pill, or keep ourselves so incredibly busy that we don’t have time to process the truth, when the truth is- it’s going to hurt. Whatever it is that you’re dealing with- you have to face it. It’s going to hurt, but that’s natural. What isn’t natural is being numb for an extended period of time and not facing your reality.

No matter what we think, the grass is in fact not always greener on the other side. Addiction happens in various forms in our quick fix, consumer culture.

Truth: all of our problems cannot be solved by an image that claims something different, it’s time to look in the mirror and face it. 

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I’m Alive

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Thank you fitness…thank you, thank you, thank youuuuu. You gave me something to strive for each and every day and you gave me something to run away to (and I do mean run away).

No one knows if its water or tears in my goggles and my screams are hidden in the deep end at the bottom of the pool. I started running at 5 and swimming at the age of 8. I was the youngest finisher in most races and continue to push throughout my 30s.

I started running to spend time with my Dad, and I continued hoping to steal his attention away from his alcohol addiction. …PS that never happened.

I have so many amazing memories but some negatives stick out. The aggressive father who threw beer mugs (Genesee), and turned over couches; Driving with my brand new drivers license to see if he was alive at his house; stealing vodka bottles and chucking them into the woods with all my might; Picking him up from bar fights and constantly going to visit him in rehab. …Just to name a few.

He died on me way too young from cancer but if it wasn’t that awful disease the doctors say that alcohol would have taken him. I learned my extreme behavior from him. I remember asking my Dad when I was home taking care of him if he thought I would turn into him. He said

“no …your addiction to fitness and motivating others will save you.” …And it has.

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I still work hard to get his attention and I still believe that fitness turns sad faces into happy faces faster than you can imagine.

Fitness makes us alive everyday in some way and all I can say is thank you.