We’ve all had them. Those day when a lot more seems to go wrong than right. For some reason I’ve had several of those recently. One even left me walking 30 minutes to the gym. Days later, as I sat in my stalled out car on the side of the road, two blocks from the repair shop I was heading for, I had a nice opportunity for an attitude check.
Texting back and forth with my buddies while I waited for my car to decide it could start up again, it was easy to remain happy. After all, they we’re going to Fedex me some protein bars and even offered advice on how to survive on puddle water and grub worms until the bars arrived. Two separate police cars stopped and offered assistance. One lady who actually had a child in her car also stopped to see if I needed gasoline. No, just a new crank position sensor I told her, but I was really appreciative of her taking the time and going out of her way. I felt the same way about the police officers. They merely came to see if I needed assistance and we had a nice little chat. Eventually, the car made it to the shop.
The following day was filled with different challenges. I had to remind myself that things are never guaranteed to be easy. That sometimes, a different approach was necessary or a different point of view needed to be taken. But that the opportunities were always there and if the attitude and the effort remained where they should be, time, patience, and the right information would create success. So, when I finally got to the gym that day, a full hour later than I should have, I was happy. I had not allowed myself to become trapped in feeling sorry for myself or being angry. I was grateful for the borrowed vehicle until my car got out of the shop. I was motivated to explore and view different options to some unforeseen obstacles. And I was thankful that the only problems I really have are solvable and minor compared to what many people have to deal with.
Before I did my first set, I saw a young man in a wheelchair woking out near me. I had seen him there once before. He has figured out what things he is capable of doing and attacks them just as you or I would. How ashamed would I have felt if I had spent time feeling sorry for myself or being upset with how tough things had been on me? I know he faces challenges every day greater than anything I have ever gone through. We greeted each other briefly.
“I don’t want to imply that you can’t do everything by yourself, but if you ever do need help on anything, feel free to ask,” I told him.
“Thanks”, he said with a smile. “Sometimes I do need help here and there.” He went off to finish his workout and I started mine. Although he did get a bit distracted flirting and talking with one of the more attractive young ladies for awhile! :)
No, life will not always go as planned. Yes, there will be tough times on occasion, some for only moments, others that may last for days or even years. But there will be good days and moments even during those difficult ones. There will always be the opportunity for the light at the end of the tunnel to shine through. It may simply be a matter of continuing to walk through the tunnel, even when it seems long and dark. Or you may even be bathed in light that you just can’t see because your eyes are closed, or you’re looking in the wrong direction. Your fitness journey should be a part of an ongoing search to find the positive things in yourself, others, and even in the world. Just like life, fitness won’t always be easy. But just like life, there is always the opportunity to make things better.
Believe in yourself and keep pushing forward. One day you will see the light. One day, you may even be the light!
Photo: Terry Goodlad