Saturday, March 23, 2013

Keep looking

Most people with children have experienced the feeling.  You are in a busy store or mall with your child and turn your back for just a moment.  When you turn back again, your child is gone.  It's as if they have disappeared and the most terrible feeling of fear, confusion, and panic washes over you.  It can be overwhelming.  And as each moment passes, it gets worse.  You start to behave in ways that you normally wouldn't...yelling...frantically searching....begging strangers to help you.  Irrational thoughts and fears begin to cloud your thinking.  I have personally experienced this on several occasions many years ago when my children were still small.  I'll never forget that emotion or the relief that washed over me when I eventually found my "lost child" each time.

My children are all older now.  I haven't experienced that in a long time, but I have been experiencing something a little similar and a couple of weeks ago as I left the gym I made the connection in my mind.  I was there to workout with my friend at his gym.  Many years ago, he was MY trainer.  Our relationship has changed but the desire to please him in the gym has never really left me in the 6 years since I stopped training with him as a client.  I've mentioned in previous blogs that I have been through a lot in the past couple of years.  I lost my marriage of 21 years that in turn caused me to lose a lot of comfort, security, and free time to workout whenever and however long I want.  Then, a couple of weeks older sister that has struggled with mental illness for many years, took her own life.

Although, I have dealt with it all as it came and feel like I've handled it all pretty well, it has taken a big toll on my emotional state.  That in turn has affected my physical state and ability at times.  Some days, it's been a big struggle physically to make it to the gym.  I start to workout and it's as if all my energy is gone.  I feel weak and that same sense of panic I spoke of earlier washes over me.  I worry that I will never find my strength again.  So when I found myself struggling and frustrated one day after a workout with my friend, I had to think about this.  At one point he looked at my tank and yelled..."FIND YOUR STRONG!" at me!

As I drove home afterwards, I put the connection of those two situations together.  There was one distinct difference though.  If I had lost my child, I would NEVER give up searching.  It wouldn't matter if I was tired or hurt or frustrated or lost.  I would continue to search against all odds to find my child.   I felt like I had lost something that was so precious to me.  I worked for so many years to build muscle and strength that now seemed to be gone, but instead of doing whatever it matter how hard or bad I feel...I was in a sense throwing my hands in the air and giving up. 

Clearly, my fitness and the way my body looks and performs will never be as important as my children, but it IS very important to me.  Making this connection about how I have reacted differently to "losing" 2 different things that I care about made me take a good hard look at myself.  It made me have to get honest about just how bad I want to find my strength and how hard I actually have or in this case have not worked to find it.  I'm not perfect...that is clear to anyone that reads what I have to say, but I'm honest.  I believe honesty and forgiveness have always been a key part of my success.  It was nice to finally be honest with myself about the level of effort because once I realized I COULD work gave me hope.  I could stop being the self inflicted victim and make a plan.  And whether or not I find the same strength I had, I have found a comfort in realizing and regaining control over me.

If you lose something that you love, go find it.  Don't look for a minute or two and give up.  Don't get bored because it's taking longer than you thought.  Don't make excuses because you are afraid or the search becomes difficult.  Search.  And don't stop until you find what you're looking for!