You know how some days you grab a cup of coffee with your BFF just to talk about your favorite clothes and running shoes and lip gloss? Then other days you need her to talk through the really important stuff? Get cozy friends, it’s an “important stuff” kind of day :)
Seven years ago today, my daughter was hospitalized with bacterial meningitis and subsequent stroke caused by the infection. After her diagnosis, we were told there was a chance she wouldn’t survive … and if she did, she may not be able to do some things that many kids take for granted, like walking or running or riding a bike. She was only 18 months old. As a parent, nothing paralyzes you like knowing that whatever happens is absolutely and completely out of your control.
But God gave us a miracle that day (followed by hundreds of little miracles in the days and weeks and months to come). My baby girl not only survived, she began an amazing recovery during her stay in the hospital. Thanks to dozens of amazing pediatric rehabilitation therapists and a little friendly competition with her twin sister, my daughter started crawling and talking again within weeks of coming home from the hospital and was able to tear up the dance floor at my cousin’s wedding, where these sisters served as flower girls, less then 4 months after her discharge!!
Many years ago, long before I had children, a friend said something that has stuck with me all this time, “Your WHY has to be bigger than your FEAR for true change to take place.” My daughter didn’t waste any time being afraid of what would happen if she tried to walk and fell down or if she tried to talk and the words didn’t sound right. But even at 18 months old, she understood that she had to keep trying if she wanted to get better. Did she show up at therapy grumpy sometimes? Absolutely! But she worked hard regardless of her mood. Her “why” as far as she knew was to play like and with her sister. That left no time for fear.
You could apply this principle to any aspect of your life, including (and especially) fitness! We can all find a million reasons to not work out. Of course we don’t have any time … we are parents, IF we had “free time” we’d already be spending it doing something with or for our children. Of course someone’s always sick, or tired, or hungry … I get it! These are all legitimate excuses to not start (or maintain) some sort of fitness routine. I could give you a hundred more off the top of my head, because I repeat them to myself every morning when that alarm goes off for my “dark-thirty” run. But I get up anyway.
Because my why is bigger than my fear. My “why’s” include things like being a healthy role model for my kids, having more energy to keep up with my family and setting goals then making them happen, just to name a few. But mostly, my “why” is for me. It was terrifying to say that that for a while – it felt wrong because it sounded selfish. But the truth of the matter is that I am a better wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend, teacher, helper, and person when I run. You know what another word for fear is? Excuses. Yep, each one of us has to overcome our fears … our excuses … every single day if we’re trying to make a change.
And I am forever grateful to my trampoline-loving, bike-riding, always-singing 8 year old for granting me this perspective and for continuing to teach me some of life’s greatest lessons! :)