School, Skills and Forgiveness

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I have been away from the blogosphere for a while.  I apologize for that, but I am back tonight to share a little something that is weighing on me, literally.

But first a little tale…don’t worry it is relevant.

My little girl started school this week.  She is starting kindergarten and she will, good Lord willing, be a person that never loses a passion for learning.  She is starting on a journey of growing into the woman that she is meant to be.  She will learn many lessons from books and many more lessons from the people and places that she will come in contact with.  She will grow and she will fall down.  She will succeed and she will fail.  And I want her to.  That is how we all learn.  We experience life, we do not read about it.  And we have to learn what consequences are.  And her mother and I, as parents, want to support her on this journey.

And here we come to today and the weight we all carry on our shoulders.  It is the weight that we must be perfect in order to be successful.  It is the weight that keeps us from seeing progress and only allows to see ourselves through the lens of failure.  That is to say that when we start on this journey to a healthy lifestyle, we had a magical goal that defined what would be success.  And every time we look in the mirror, eat that bad meal, or have a bad day at the gym or cannot learn a lift, we can only see it as failure.  We cannot see beyond the failure.  We cannot see past the mistake to see that we are “in process”.  We cannot simply see that we are still in school and still learning what it means to live a completely new way that is against what we are used to.

And I say we, because I am guilty.  I cuss myself and the failures that I have.  I had a terrible day at the gym today…and I could not even congratulate myself for showing up and giving a solid effort.  I could not even say proudly that I learned some things that I need to focus on technique wise.  I just saw failure.  I just saw every non-perfect meal and the fact that I was not where I WANTED to be!

And so I hung those feelings on the door and got ready to coach.  And I watched as the people that I train, gave it their all.  They pushed.  Some succeeded and some faltered.  They had things limiting their abilities and so we made changes.  But they worked hard.  And I was proud to be their coach.  They gave 100% and gave me their best.  But I know some of them are still struggling with the same things that I do.  They still see that they are not to their goals and they dwell on that.

It is time to return to school…it is time that all of us, give ourselves the right to admit that we are on a journey and we are allowed to fail.  We are allowed to learn from our mistakes and learn what helps us and what hurts us.  We are going to have to deal with people who are brutally honest with us that say the things that we don’t want to hear, but NEED to hear.  We are allowed to fail as long as that does not mean we are done.  We are allowed to continue to learn what it means to be successful.  Just as my little girl has to be allowed to learn about life and consequences, we have to give ourselves the same freedom.

We all have to learn the consequences for our actions.  But more importantly than that, we have to learn to take responsibility for them and not be too hard on ourselves when we falter.  We have to not add weight to our lives, unless it is on a barbell.  We cannot put the added burden and scars on ourselves that we so often do when we are not progressing as quickly as we think we should be.

I love my athletes because they trust me.  They have learned how to be vulnerable with me and let me into their struggles.  I love that they give me an opportunity to speak to them and be honest with them.  We talk and then they choose what they want to do.  They recognize that we are on a journey and they inspire me daily.