All in a Day's Words

Tag: community

The Quest for Greatness

My quest for greatness collapsed into twelve-week increments. Eating enough calories for satiation and preserving muscle, balancing sugar levels, while exercising muscles vigorously, was my prototype for change. To eliminate the weight, reveal the underlying muscle, and heal the emotional turmoil, were pieces of a puzzle left incomplete. The journey to find the holy grail of weight loss, weight maintenance, and fitness took work, and required a paradigm shift in the way I view food, exercise, and well being. Building this foundation began long ago in what seemed a galaxy far, far away. Tools scattered, solutions abundant, and follow-through short lived, searching for the magic pill, the pot of gold, and the silver bullet proved especially challenging. Yet the search ended when I stopped searching. The truth lay dormant in my heart and soul, awakened by readiness, desire, and effort.

Hard work is not something you can bypass; emotional healing cannot be hidden, squashed, or swallowed. Gathering the broken pieces of our bodies and hearts is a prerequisite for change. One without the other limits success, and typically resumes to initial equilibrium, unhealed, strength diminished, and pounds returned. Doing the work, focusing on the day-to-day, and utilizing community support in the process, conjure weight loss and empowering transformation. Like an everlasting Gobstopper®, the colors might keep changing, but eventually if you remain committed, you will reach the core, the great sweetness of arrival. There are no shortcuts to the center, no biting through to shortchange the journey. Lessons along the avenue of change are vital for achievement, maintenance, and increased strength. Eating for fuel, weight bearing exercise, and psychological healing, are works in progress. Without the journey, the end result is short lived.

Finding a man behind a curtain with all the answers, only to realize they were with you all along is an age old story. Yet seek the truth and you shall find the will, ability, and motivation, to carry yourself over the rainbow and back home again. Within our hearts and bodies lives the holy grail we sought to find. There stands our strength, our noble steed, awaiting an awakening into wholeness of being. Through the journey, winding roads, and obstacles there to teach resilience, lessons of forgiveness, and great understanding, we reach a pinnacle unlike anything experienced prior. These lessons build courage, knowledge, and fortitude for the lifelong journey that continues long after each of my twelve week destinations. They fill in the puzzle, putting pieces in place where gaps had stood, resulting in wisdom, healing, and courage for a lifestyle of maintained sustenance, strength, and wholeness of well being. This quest for greatness continues over a lifetime, no ending, no beginning, but a journey to the holy grail within.

When the Shift Hits the Fan

External transformation causes an internal stirring of emotions. On the periphery we alter our bodies and environment: reduce inflammation, cleanse the closets, release toxic friends, clear the clutter, and eliminate consumption of artificial ingredients. Inevitably an emotional shift occurs when we lose significant weight. Clean food choices, exercise, and community support change our energy, physically and psychologically. Deadened, dormant pieces of ourselves arise from their slumber and shift our awareness. Deep-seated, internal, heartfelt secrets emerge from the soul, awaken for healing, retrieval, and release. Speaking our truth, illuminating the untold stories and guarded spaces of ourselves, ultimately sets us free to live an enlightened existence of self-love, peace, and happiness.

When we physically change, the sacredness of secrets hidden within awaken our senses. Releasing imprisoned emotions requires courage to bare the bones of our hurt, alleviate our pain from the past, and shed the stale crusts of our core, ignored, buried, and shut out from the light. These shadows deter life’s full potential, limit possibilities, and diminish self-worth. Shielding ourselves from truth, we fear its existence and the vulnerability that lurks with possible exposure. Yet that vulnerability is the exact necessity for strength and healing. The hidden pieces of ourselves must find light, awareness, and visibility in order to heal, mend, and alleviate buried pain. Without this nakedness of being, we lay injured, in disrepair, and immobile. Love, worthiness, and healing are the precepts for change, strength, and connection.

Hardwired for connection, vulnerability, truth, and empathy are its foothold. To have a sense of belonging, we must feel worthy, illuminate our authentic selves through truth, and access the deepest depths of our hearts. Mutual exposure with others forms human bonds where empathy lives. Accessing “me also” from another strengthens vulnerability, an empowered feeling and weaving of connection. Even if our experiences are different, we walk in the other’s shoes in our mind’s eye to share the sacred space. Taking the risk to reveal our inner selves to entrusted friends, therapists, or relatives, has rewards. Exposure to those who do not have our backs, may warrant some falls in the process. While failed connection may occur, entrusted confidantes holding your story and pain with safety, empathy, and love is worth the risk.

As the body transforms into a stronger, thinner, and exposed version of our old selves, so, too, will our insides shift. A supportive network of people is necessary to carry our truth, healing, and pain. Aloneness, independence, and sole survival were never meant for humankind. Delving into our past reveals our true selves, alleviates the wounds, and stirs inner change. Although an internal process, community rises up in support. When the shift hits the fan, life happens. It spins, sputters, and spits out the dust of life experiences, awaiting cleanup. Should we allow the dust to settle upon the sills of our lives, it remains untouched until stirred by the winds of change. Body transformation is the ultimate in unsettling our dust. Worth exploration, worth risk, and worth pain to heal the inner wounds, we enable true worth of our existence to rise from the ashes with the support of community. We are worthy of this greatness!

Raising Others Up

The remarkable workout community I frequent uniquely enhances support. Competitive, corporate, and scrutinizing populations of gyms miss the mark of propping up peers. Gym environments propagate vulnerability, act as starting gates to fitness. Initially physically weak, aiming for strength and health, a harsh, unhelpful atmosphere can trigger a newcomer to run for the exit long before reaching goals. Discovering an alternative, unique environment, where women raise one another up rather than breaking each other down, has been pleasantly surprising. Helpful advice granted, sacrificing one’s workout to guide another, and extreme encouragement to the successful, the weary, and the shy, counter typical gym surroundings. Raising others up is a lesson in giving, wishing better and more for the stranger next to you, an effective, overwhelming, heartwarming experience.

Giving without expecting any rate of return, my gym community bonds within a private Facebook® page . Inquiries, interests, and motivational pep talks parade the pages; postings by veterans and newbies alike engage and commiserate about emotional healing, fitness, and weight loss. Pictures of food preparation, inspirational cartoons, and before/after photos of successful participants, bombard the posts to engage the masses towards successful choices. Women vulnerably divulging their life struggles are met with empathy, supportive solutions, and listening ears raising hope, sharing healing processes, and establishing an inclusive, belonging spirit to over three hundred pairs of watching eyes and sponge-like minds.

Besides the virtual community, connection, comradie, and collaboration occur upon the floors of boot camp classes. Partnering up for intense interval training, boosting the efforts of a partner, is a full energy sprint in giving with energy, enthusiasm, and support. Wanting more for someone than yourself orchestrates a genre of palpable, euphoric giving. It plays a harmonizing tune in our hearts, pounding from adrenalin, beating with love emotionally, and sounding the alarm of raising up another. Reciprocation feels immensely satisfying, but unexpected. Joy, healing, and belonging are in the giving piece of raising up our peers. Connection ensues, vulnerability dissipates, and strength flows among the masses.

Competitive environments motivate many, but within the vulnerable spaces of healing the broken emotional parts of ourselves, empathy necessitates a kind-hearted community, connection, and consoling space. Typical gym philosophy negates this need. Yo-yo diet and fitness cycling continue without core results, core healing, and core well being. At the heart of community is support, accountability, and motivation to be better, do better, and become the best versions of ourselves. Breaking down the boundaries, revealing the depth of our despair, and revolutionizing support through connection, the charge to change fitness communities is possible. Raising each other up enables the successful road to wellness, paved with generosity, sharing, and engagement of humanity’s greatest strength, love.

Recognize that success of another is not your failure, kind people are the best kind of people, and engaging in a supportive environment is the difference between successful, sustainable lifestyles and failure. Boosting up others’ spirit, power, and reserve to keep going when failure seems inevitable, empowers the masses. It raises hope that anything is possible with the power of many. Assembling the pieces of the journey by yourself requires perseverance, mindful energy, and consistency. Yet when the shoe drops, others picking you up, dusting you off, and showing compassion, is the web that weaves connection. Together courage, accountability, sustainable success causes the confetti to fly. Community within the gym requires the raising up of others!

© 2022 HerStory

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑