Jan 29, 2014
With a new year come new resolutions. You start with good intentions and idealistic goals. You start strong, telling yourself, “This year is THE year.” Then barely two weeks in, life starts hitting back at you full force. By February 1st, your resolutions have sputtered to a disappointing halt. Sound familiar? Every year you seem to find yourself in the same predicament! And it’s not just you – it’s me too! We all struggle with commitment. Life gets busy and life gets HARD. But what’s our excuse, really?
I have a confession to make. I lead a double life. By day, I’m a fitness trainer. I help people lose weight, build muscle, find strength, boost confidence… But by night, I am a pediatric ICU nurse for Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA. I take care of sick kids–very sick kids. I deal with everything from organ transplants to brain surgery, from traumatic injuries to chronic illnesses… and with it comes the gift of perspective. When I tell you your health is a gift, those aren’t just fluffy words. I really mean it.
I see my kids struggle and suffer on a daily basis. These are kids who want nothing more than to simply get up and walk and play but instead are confined to their beds. Yet in spite of this struggle, in spite of the cards they have been dealt, these kids continue to FIGHT. I kid you not, these little ones are the STRONGEST people I know!
Sure, there are days when I’d rather sit in front of the TV than workout. There are classes where I’m tempted to give far less than my all… but then I go to work and remember how lucky I am that I CAN workout. We can never predict exactly what life is going to throw at us but diabetes, obesity, hypertension, heart disease, etc., etc., are all nasty diseases and things we can combat NOW.
It’s easy to get frustrated. I’m no exception. I’ll have one dessert too many or I’ll get discouraged when I feel like I’m not seeing results fast enough… but then I’ll go into the hospital and see these kids that just never give up. They have their bad days; they cry. But they also fight back. They laugh and they get back up! And so should we! We can get that workout in. We can eat healthy (some dessert included!) We CAN because with each new day, we are given another chance. We have air in our lungs, our feet on the ground, and 24 new hours to get closer to achieving our goals.
Resolutions are a great way to spur excitement and change, but they are meaningless unless we take the steps to really COMMIT. Stick with it day in and day out. Persevere during the good times AND the bad times. If you are reading this and its summer time, you don’t have to wait until the new year rolls around to make a change. You can start this minute. Don’t merely focus on aesthetics, but on the quality of life you want to live! (And trust me, that feeling sexiness will come too!)
I’m writing this because I don’t want your new year enthusiasm to start winding down now. I want you to realize that this day, this one right now, is a gift. This isn’t just another ordinary day. It’s extraordinary because we are alive to see it! Our health is a gift, and it can be taken away in a second. I’ve seen it firsthand, and it’s heartbreaking. There are people out there that would die to switch places with you! Some would give up everything just to breathe a little easier or to walk with no pain. With that perspective, I want you to go to bed tonight knowing that you gave it your very best. You might not be exactly where you want to be, and THAT’S OK! Remember, you are on a JOURNEY and you are not alone. Let’s do this. Every day. Because we CAN