Learn to celebrate the small wins
“Maybe you have to know the darkness before you can appreciate the light.”
- Madeleine L'Engle
Today I'm celebrating 6 months since my knee operation - woohoo! And I celebrated by running on a treadmill for the first time yesterday which felt empowering and amazing. Now I know this might sound really boring, but to me it was like jumping out of a plane with a parachute. I’ll tell you why. I was instructed by my doctor not to run, dance or play tennis (three of my favourite things in life) for six months after my op to allow the new cartilage to fully form and harden enough. I thought it wouldn't be that difficult but boy was I wrong!
We think we’re stronger than we are (or at least I do!)
I don't think I realised how my restriction in movement, being competitive and socially active really impacted me - body, soul and mind - and in turn affected those around me. I feel like I've crept out of a dark hole and seen the light for the first time in a long time. And it's given me a newfound appreciation for all things healthy, active and positive.
For me not being able to move freely is a huge thing because I've grown up playing competitive sports, tennis, cycling, and dancing! But the past six months has been like a whirlwind for me. It's not just missing the movement of my body: my increased heart rate creating so much goodness inside me, the sweating, and feeling like I accomplished something positive, and the release of a lot of frustration and stress. It's also the social aspect and the competitiveness that I've missed as well. I realise playing competitive sports is healthy for my mindset and confidence as a human being as well. And not having that aspect has really put me in a depressed state leaving me feeling inadequate and incompetent.
And what I'm learning about myself is that this is instinctive to who I am. My top strengths are competitor & achiever. So if I don't regularly take part in activities where I'm pushing myself to achieve and compete, I start to struggle with all other areas of my life, my confidence and relationships with others.
In the book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, author Angela Duckworth speaks about how extracurricular activities we participate in as children create resilience, perseverance and success later on in adult life. I have experienced this first hand. I'm thankful to my parents: my dad for inspiring me to play tennis, and my mom for pushing me to keep at it and persevere all the way into young adulthood. Because I can now look back and see how this taught me so many key life lessons, brought me opportunities and relationships (and kept me out of trouble!)
But today I'm thankful for the fact that it's helped me persevere in life, in my dreams and passions to push further beyond my known limits as a life coach, as an accountant, as a wife, friend and human being. It has helped me develop the confidence and belief that I can push through just about anything, and today I stand here knowing that I pushed and persevered through six months of gruelling, boring rehab and built up resilience and patience, knowing that I would be able to use my knee and my full body again one day.
New goals for my new lease on life and health:
Finally become that Zumba instructor I've been dreaming about for so long!
Start paying attention to what I'm putting in my body. I deserve it and need it to fuel all the things I want to achieve in this short life span.
Dig deeper and connect more with healthy living (and have fun while doing it!) mind body & soul!
Reduce bad stress and worry brought on by incorrect thinking.
Do more to help get decent sleep.
Keep my mind focused on productive living, and less on the things that are out of my control.
This is good and healthy living!
What I’m trying to say is this...
Know who you are and go after the things that make you come alive and thrive. What’s the point in playing small?
In the waiting there will be pain and suffering. Learn to practice self-compassion even when everyone else doesn't understand what you're going through.
Become aware of the stage of life you are in so that you are able to show yourself compassion and understanding instead of being harsh towards yourself and others. This is really difficult to do and probably needs some outside perspective. It can't always be done by yourself or those closest to you.
Do the things that make you happy! Stop being distracted by everything else and come alive!