"My story begins with a simple word, but one that has been difficult for me to ascribe to how I viewed myself: love.
Making a conscious decision to become a better version of myself and for the life that I was living to become more full meant I needed to love myself in a different way. I had to learn to seek true happiness instead of mere pleasure. I had to learn to overcome setbacks. I had to learn that making some progress toward a goal or outcome didn’t lead to any sort of meaningful satisfaction. I had to learn to stop listening to voices in my head that held me back. I had to I had to learn that I was worth it, and then I had to believe it.
Taking steps to improve myself came at a critical point in my life. My father had passed away three years ago and I had just finished my doctorate degree. For the first time in my life, I didn’t have what felt like a really solid direction. But, since I like challenges, I found plenty to surround myself. However, I wanted to be more intentional about my physical health and body. I planned to channel much of my efforts into getting back into shape. A co-worker is Jennifer’s aunt and when I explained I was looking for a trainer, she made the connection. We have been working together for about 4 months. Consistent with my personal goals, I have appreciated Jennifer’s attention to psychological, emotional, and spiritual considerations.
I view the steps I am taking to be healthy as more than meeting some goals or outcomes. I even see it as more than a lifestyle. For me, it is a way of being. And I choose to be intentional with how I live, eat, work, play, and exercise so I can be the best me. More than any other point in my life, I now have the means and opportunity to design my life in a way that brings me happiness because I have learned to believe that I am worth it. Eating a hamburger and fries while having a few beers can be pleasurable, but it won’t support my journey toward genuine personal happiness and fulfillment. Working out is not pleasurable, but learning to overcome challenges on a micro and macro level can provide a reservoir from which to draw courage and fortitude in other areas.
I believe that when love if your motivator and it is deeply intrinsic, there is no fear of failing. Actions become choices predicated on your decision to live intentionally. When I have a setback or act incongruent with my path, I choose to get back on. It’s that simple.
My favorite artist Josh Ritter sings “every heart is a package tangled up in knots someone else tied.” While this is true and I am certainly the product of all of the people and relationships in my life, I have come to listen to my voice. I choose to tie my own knots and untie others. Regardless of where you are or what you or others may be saying, I believe there is a voice inside that believes in the power of you. Listen to it. Know you are perfectly and wonderfully made and choose to make the absolute most of the time you have. Not only will you benefit from it, you will be able to give love to others in new and powerful ways."