Like most people, I live and die by my calendar. And, like most people, my calendar is overflowing. Writing deadlines, cycle classes, training schedules, family activities, hair appointments, doctor appointments, lunches with friends….my entire life right there on my phone at my fingertips—and backed up in case (heaven forbid) I lose my phone. Some days, it can look a little overwhelming, and I find myself stressing over how to manage my time. When that happens, I try to remind myself of how lucky I am that my calendar (and my life) is full of things (and people) that I am passionate about. Sure, it can be stressful, but how many people get to say that they get to spend all day, every day, doing what they love? It’s all about perspective, and that applies to all areas of life.
A couple of years ago I was a coach with Girls on the Run (an amazing organization by the way), and I was working with a group of third grade girls as they prepared for the season ending 5K event. There was one sweet, shy little girl in my group who struggled to run, but she worked hard week after week and finally ran her first mile. When her mother came to pick her up that afternoon, this little one was smiling from ear to ear as she told her the good news. Her mom’s reply? “Well, you’ve still got two more to go.”
If you know me at all, you know I was biting a hole in my tongue to keep from telling her mother what I thought of that response. There were so many things she could’ve said like, “that’s great,” or “wow, you’ve worked so hard,” or “I’m so proud of you!” But rather than see and celebrate the accomplishment, she saw and pointed out what was missing. Perspective.
It’s easy to see the glass half empty and start to complain about being too busy, too tired, and too stressed. It’s easy to get discouraged when you aren’t where you want to be in your fitness journey. It’s easy to get annoyed when someone wants a little bit of your precious free time. But what if instead of complaining about being tired or stressed, you take a moment to be thankful that you have a full, busy life? What if instead of being discouraged about losing those last five pounds, you celebrate the fact that your body is healthy and able to move? What if instead of getting irritated when people interrupt your free time you take a moment to be happy that you have people in your life who care about you enough to want to spend time with you?
There is something I say often in my cycle classes and that is this: “you may not be the strongest person in the room or the fastest person in the room, but you are stronger and faster than you were before you walked into the room.” Perspective.
They say that what you focus on is what you become. The next time you find yourself stressed---try not to focus on the stress itself. Instead, change your perspective and focus on appreciating your busy, crazy, beautiful life and the things and people in it that make it so full and worth living.