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When It’s Time for a Pep Talk

By Alexander VanHouten, Master Trainer & Life Time Education Specialist

Uh-oh, you’re in that place again.

Yet why you’re there is irrelevant. Life is happening to you. Something’s become so big you can’t handle it and you’re tired of fighting the good fight anymore.

Go ahead and wallow for a bit. But how far does that get you?

You feel the weight of the world on your shoulders and you try anything and everything to make the uncomfortable truth go away: Life is happening to you.

Turn to laziness.

Numbing your mind and body by doing nothing and watching mindless things. Your step-counter is blinking at you for you to move, but you don’t care. You DESERVE to do nothing, right? And by-golly you’re gonna do just that. However, doing nothing leaves you feeling more tired and a dull mind leaves you even more down than before. And life keeps happening to you.

Turn to food.

Perking yourself up with sweet and salty bites of decadence. You enjoy the first bite or two. It’s SO, SO good. You DESERVE this too, don’t you? You’ve been so good lately, and for what? You feel down, so why shouldn’t you indulge? Only with every bite, the mind is desensitized, with every chew you are less and less enamored until the guilt of turning to lavish indulgence makes a pit in your belly and on top of your depression is shame. Oh, and life keeps happening to you.

Turn to support.

Dumping your woes onto another because lazy solitude and gluttonous coping weren’t sufficient is perhaps one way to make the dread go away. But after a few relieving sentences, you realize they have their own problems and you’re not really adding anything to their life by piling on your struggles. You feel more alone than before. All alone and life keeps happening to you.

On a whim, you decide that anything is better than this. You decide that taking control and doing something, anything, is better than this. Life churns on whether you like it or not. Do nothing, eat, watch, cry about it and nothing changes. Life keeps moving forward and is happy to do so without you…But isn’t ANYTHING better than letting life happen to you?

Turn to running.

Dust pounds under every footstep as your breathing falls into sync with your mental patterns. Sure, it’s tiring, but as you press on, endorphins flood your brain, washing doubt, anxiety, and pain away. A smile spreads across your face. Things begin to make sense as you take control. You are moving forward, if even if just in space and time. You are moving forward. You are making life happen.

Turn to yoga.

The tranquil peace of the morning erupts in purpose and motion as your limbs sway and stiffen like a willow, no longer weeping, in salutation with the energy of a waking planet. The sun comes alive while you nurture a gentle, but glowing sweat and lay motionless after your practice. Gratitude washes over you as you let go. Even in letting go, you are taking control. By choosing to be motionless and receive life in thoughtful thankfulness, you are moving forward. You are making life happen.

Turn to weights.

The music blares in your ears and through your muscles as you ready yourself to take on the next challenge. It’s heavy, too heavy, but you’re going to give it your best shot with good form anyway. Every fiber of your body struggles and then it happens. You do the impossible. Your chin goes over the bar, you put that hulking thing over your head, you land deftly on the box. Now the impossible is possible and it’s because you tried. Your mind opens as the world gets a little freer. You are moving forward. You are making life happen.

Turn to cycling.

The world races by in a blur as your legs churn hard into gears. Pull up, push down, keep the marching cadence even though your lungs burn and your muscles are fried. Wind whipping, bike buzzing, and eyes bright in anticipation of the crest of the hill. This climb has lasted forever, but in a relieving lightening of force and jubilant triumph, the slope evens out. You can do this, the little voice inside you said—the little voice was right. You are moving forward. You are making life happen.

Climbing, swimming, boxing, dancing, jumping, tumbling, playing. The struggle is real, but it is good.

Strip everything away and know that there are two types of people in this world.

And it boils down to a choice.

Are you letting life happen to you?

Or are you making life happen?

Choose the latter.

In the end, it feels better, it looks better, it lasts longer, it’s more fun, and it gets easier each time you do it.

You have one life. How are you going to live it?

The posts on this blog are not intended to suggest or recommend the diagnosis, treatment, cure, or prevention of any disease, nor to substitute for medical treatment, nor to be an alternative to medical advice. The use of the suggestions and recommendations on this blog post is at the choice and risk of the reader.
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