Have you ever wanted something SO bad....and then failed to get it?
Have you ever given everything you had.....and it still wasn't enough?
Failure is a bitter pill to swallow. And the heartbreak of a lost dream is one of the toughest things we will ever have to endure.
Whether it's a devastating break-up, a lost job, a last-place finish, a weight-loss plateau, a no-go chin-up, or a closed liquor mart on a Saturday night (ok....maybe not the last one)....the feeling of shattered hope? Excruciating.
Take Perdita Felicien. World-champion hurdler who was favoured to win gold at the 2004 Olympics.
Flare gun goes off. Race begins. And on the very first hurdle, she trips and falls.
After years of gruelling training. Day in and day out. It was all over in the blink of an eye. And never again did she compete on the world stage.
But guys, nothing is ever coincidental.
And although there is a time and place for facing pain head on (and trust me....I've been the girl, hunched over her steering wheel, bawling her eyes out while listening to Say Something), when your tear-stained cheeks have dried momentarily, it is the perfect opportunity to ask the question: what am I meant to learn in this situation?
For Perdita, the answer is clear.
"I'm at peace with it. Because I know what I'm capable of. And a shiny piece of hardware isn't the only symbol of being a world-class athlete."
And I 100% agree.
For me, the pain of failure has taught me that I am an all-in, never-hold-back, uninhibited go-getter. I am passionate and unbridled and audacious to the core. And if living and loving that profoundly and that deeply, means that I fall harder than those who do not, I am willing to feel that pain.
I am a fighter. A fighter for my grandest, most beautiful, most outlandish dreams. And in the face of "no," I am being given the detour to get there. Even if I can't see where that path leads right now.
Because I would much rather reach for technicolor than live in the grey. As exciting as 50 shades of it may seem.
There is a lesson inside of our failures. And as odd as it sounds, the lesson is that there is even a lesson at all.
Life may have to knock you over the head with that lesson again and again......but eventually, it will settle in your soul.
Life happens for us, not to us. And I'd like to make the claim that failure happens for us, not to us, as well.
We never truly know what we're capable of until we push through discomfort.
And what could be more uncomfortable, than failure?
And so, I encourage you to take a look at the challenges you are facing. The roadblocks. The failures. And ask yourself, what are you are meant to learn here?
Then grab yourself a beer. That you got from the LC. During open hours. Which you now have tattooed on your forearm.
Just yesterday, I was driving to the gym with my windows rolled down, and the music cranked (as it always is when I drive alone). I had my “All Me” playlist on, which includes the likes of Pink, Alicia Keys, Kesha, Lizzo and Cardi B. And yes, you’re exactly right. I was belting it out.
Sure, there was the odd red-light situation in which the car next door had a bit of a chuckle. But guys, what I’ve learned over the years, is that people are obsessed with themselves. They’re in their own heads. Deep in the trenches of their own worries and fears and reflections.
And all that time we spend, marinating in anxiety about what other people think about us? It’s a waste. of. time!
Which is exactly why I think “Baby on Board” signs are absolute bullshit. You really think other people are suddenly going to change the way they drive, just because you happen to have precious cargo? No way!
They’re late for work. Pushin’ the yellows. Dodging around your “Baby Shark” infested vehicle. Your adorable infant? The last thing on their minds.
The web we weave, the thoughts we think……they define who we are. And if we choose to linger in "the-world-is-against-me," "I’m-not-good-enough," "woe-is-me" kind of thinking? We’ll only ever believe those thoughts. And hold ourselves back.
Molly Bloom, the notorious ring leader of the world’s most exclusive high-stakes underground poker game, once said that she engages in meditation as a way to make herself “dangerous.” And dangerous in the best kind of way.
Because it is the person who can control their thoughts, and become a witness to the negative self-talk, paralyzing doubt, and harsh self-criticism…..that conquers the world!
None of us can prevent our gut reactions and emotional responses altogether, but if we can learn to manage the spiralling thoughts of negativity that stem from a place of lack, we will be unstoppable.
And this, guys, is the #1 reason why I workout. As much as it is a test of physical endurance and strength, it is a test of mental endurance and strength. And it is the perfect opportunity to hone my positive mindset.
Every single time I start to let those “I can’t do this” thoughts creep in, I counteract them with a badass “fuck that….yes I can.” I counteract them with action, and I prove myself wrong. I witness the doubt, and I carry on anyways.
Which is a mindset that, with practice, has trickled into my everyday life.
I am running my own fitness event (no one will come, I might fail). "Fuck that....yes I can."
I am getting my own apartment (I'll never be able to support myself). "Fuck that...yes I can."
I am becoming a spin instructor (I won't be good at it, I'll never land the audition). "Fuck that...yes I can."
I am publishing a book (people will hate it, no one will read it). "Fuck that....yes I can."
It’s about observing the fears, the anxieties, the worries, and concerns over what other people will think, and instead of letting them completely own me......mentally crumpling them up, like a piece of paper, and tossing them aside, when I know they aren’t serving me.
How do you sell yourself short? How do you let fear and anxiety rule the day? How do you doubt yourself?
Where can you flip the switch, crumple the paper, and tell yourself, "fuck that......yes I can!"?
Start practicing the power of deliberate positive thinking. Get yourself pumped up with Lizzo's "Good as Hell." And aim to become the most dangerous person in the room: a mother-fucking mindset ninja.
Being a mom is both the best and hardest thing I’ve ever done.
It's messy. It's beautiful. It's exhausting. It's life-giving. And every single one of us is winging it. Making it work by the skin of our teeth.
The last six years have been an absolute blur. But amidst the sleepless nights and the PAW Patrol re-runs and the bowls of spaghetti on the floor, I've learned SO much about how to live my happiest and healthiest life.
And the crazy thing is, my kids are the ones who have done the teaching.
1. Big things can happen in the blink of an eye
Kids grow and learn at a ridiculous pace. Milestones happen monthly. Weekly. Daily. And when you take a moment to look in the rear-view mirror, it is absolutely mind-blowing to realize how fast it's all going.
I can remember the day my son Liam learned how to walk. At breakfast, he could stumble his way across 3-feet of terrain. And by dinner time, he was nailing the entire length of a football field, like a boss.
Training wheels off. One good push. Two-wheeling all-star.
Until I had children, I never truly realized the possibility of progress that exists within a single day.
All too often, we assume that our big lofty goals are attainable only in a land far, far away.
But guys! Your health and happiness can be dramatically impacted in a matter of 24-hours. And you have the power to make it happen.
Sign up for that marathon. Go all-in on a plant-based diet. Commit to doing that full-day hike.
You can impact change in SUCH a short amount of time.
2. Small things are worth celebrating
On the flip side of that coin, my little ones have also taught me that there is so much beauty in the small things.
Just the other day, I was walking in the rain with my daughter Clara, and she was in absolutely no rush to get to the car. She was stopping to admire the raindrops on the puddles. She was spinning her umbrella. And she was dilly-dallying to her heart's content.
All too often, we are in such a rush to get to the next thing. Always moving, and rarely getting anywhere.
How beautiful it is to simply linger. Right here. And to stop chasing the next moment at the cost of this one.
How beautiful it is to appreciate the small things. Here and now.
Celebrate the wins. No matter how tiny they may seem. And don't cheat yourself out of the joy and happiness that is right in front of you, because you're too busy looking ahead to the next joyful and happy thing.
5 more lbs on the barbell. 3 more seconds in that plank. 1 more push-up from your toes.
Break. Out. The bubbly.
As a mom, I so often assume that I am the one who is leading the charge. Propagating knowledge. Shaping minds. But I am as much of a student as a teacher.
Here's to the little ones of the world, teaching us big kids how its done. To the big wins. The small victories. All of it possible in a single day.
A kiss on your neck, right below the ear. Mariah Carey hitting a high D. That one place on your couch where your surround sound system reaches its max effect.
The sweet spot.
It's a glorious place to be.
But for many of us, the sweet spot is something we never actually hit when it comes to fitness.
We either go balls to the wall......or we put on the brakes completely. Never quite finding the right groove. The right balance. The right level of consistency.
Because we come up with a goal. And then life gets in the way. And all too often, we abandon ship at the first sign of a slight detour.
Maybe you ate a piece of cake at your dad's birthday party (ah well, this diet is ruined now). Or maybe you missed your evening run because your had a late meeting at work (fuck it....my entire week is down the drain).
But guys, the sweet spot of fitness is out there.
And the key to finding it?
Getting crystal clear on your end goal, then reverse engineering it.
Find your sweet spot each step of the way, then turn up the volume, one notch at a time. Create a roadmap, and allow yourself the opportunity to take it one step at a time, rather than running full tilt, expecting that you'll be able to sustain your breakneck pace, all the way to the finish line.
How do you create such a roadmap? Here's how.
1. Define your destination
What does healthy look like to you? Do some journalling. Do some daydreaming. And imagine a scene of your life that includes the best, most healthy version of yourself. What does your day, your week, your month, look like? What do you eat? How do you work up a sweat? Where? When? Dream big. And do not sell yourself short.
2. Narrow it down
When you have a big dream, it requires you to say "no" a lot. Dreams require time, energy and space in order to make them happen. And we only have so much of all of those. One big lesson I've learned over the past year, is that you have to scale back in order to scale up. And it is so important to be able to prioritize what matters most. Give yourself the grace to let other seemingly important things take a backseat. Don't try to be superwoman. And let the laundry sit.
Most importantly, when your best laid plans get derailed, get back on the horse. Every time. Life is going to get in the way. So plan for the bumps. And give yourself a bit of leeway.
3. Hit rewind
Break down your ultimate fitness goal into very specific tasks and activities that will help you accomplish it. Remove the fluff. Remove the gristle. And simplify the process as much as possible. Give yourself permission to be a beginner, and try not to race to the blackbelt, right from the start. Step 1. Step 2. Step 3. Step 4.
Guys, if there's one thing my kids have taught me, it's the value of taking things one step at a time. My 6-year old son has the goal of becoming an NHL hockey star. And yet, he's totally focused on killin' his cone drills during practice. For now.
We've all got it in us to reach the high heights. But it's all about finding that sweet spot, challenging ourselves just enough, then building on that foundation, mile by mile.
"Whether you think you can, or think you can't, you're right." -- Henry Ford
The other day, I was chillin' in the backyard with my daughter, and she was in a horrible mood. The kind of mood that leaves her flopping on the ground, with every ounce of 4-year old drama. She was pretending to visit the grocery store, but the wagon she was pulling kept toppling over. Oh the injustice! I tried to console her, inviting her to try again. At which point she wailed, "but the grocery store is closed now!" Being a pretend grocery store, it was only closed because she decided it was closed. But at one point or another, she chose to believe that the entire world was against her.
As much as I hate to admit it, I am no stranger to this same frame of mind. The lens through which I see the world can be tipped towards “woe-is-me” at the drop of a hat. Particularly when I’m hungry. Or tired. Or there isn’t any chocolate in the house. Or my hair has gone from cute to complete disaster.
And then all of a sudden. Just like that. The entire world. My worst enemy.
Mindset can absolutely change the course of your life. And today, I'm gonna dig into 3 super simple mindset shifts you can make in order to maximize your fitness game. Here we go.
COMMUNITY VS. COMPETITION
For me, community is the #1 thing....the backbone, if you will.....of fitness. It can be such a lonely road if you're relying only on yourself. And an even lonelier road if you’re taking on a "me vs. them" mindset.
Don't get me wrong. Competition can be a really good thing. But it's gotta have the right backdrop. If competition is based on negative comparison (My God! Look at her pipes! I can't workout next to her....I'll look like a weakling!), it can only hurt you. Having a community mindset, however, will help you see that there are mentors all around you. People who are so willing to encourage you, and support you, and lift you up.
REWARD VS. PUNISHMENT
All too often, working out it seen as punishment. Punishment for something we ate. Punishment for something we did. And punishment for having a good fuckin' time. Ever have a Netflix and taco night.....only to feel extreme guilt, even before the credits roll?
This punishment mindset is the exact opposite of healthy. It’s the kind of thinking that turns fitness into penance. It turns sweat into past-due taxes. In which case, you're only ever playing catch-up. And feeling like shit for indulging in life.
Working out is one of the best ways to love yourself. And guys, by honouring our bodies with movement, we show gratitude for this incredible vehicle we’ve been given. By working out, we are gifting our future selves with the health to live out our dreams and desires. And what better gift can there be, than that?!
I GET TO WORKOUT VS. I HAVE TO WORKOUT
How many times have we taken our health for granted? How many times have we sprained our ankle, or injured our back, or gotten the stomach flu, only to realize that we had it pretty good....back in the day......last week.....when we could run a mile with ease. Don't wait for the wake-up call in order to value your health. If you have the ability to work up a sweat, you've got it made!
My dad is the perfect example of someone who views fitness as an incredible opportunity. And because of that, he is one of my biggest idols. He's currently living with cancer, and yet he goes to the gym every day. His mindset? "I am so grateful to be able to wake up in the morning, go the gym, and feel alive." Working out is a privilege. And we should be so lucky.
There you have it! 3 simple mindset shifts that will help you take your fitness game to the next level! I encourage you to implement these shifts in little ways each day....and soon, you will find yourself thinking with powerful positivity! Cheers to new mindsets and new accomplishments!