Tuesday, January 8, 2013

New Year's Resolution: To Be Me!

In case you haven't heard, a new year has begun! As I check my news page (also known as Facebook) this week I see it's flooded with stories about "what happened in 2012?" and "resolutions for 2013!" I have to admit, I find these stories very intriguing! It's my version of entertainment news (and my way of keeping up with friends near and far). I also have to admit, I find myself measuring my achievements against those posted by my friends. After indulging, I have to remind myself that I am different from my friends. We are all different. That being said, our goals and achievements are also different...and that's OK! The fact that we have goals and achievements to share is an achievement in itself.

I find myself in the rut I shared above from time to time. Last year I had a very basic epiphany on this same topic in none other than a BodyPump class at the YMCA. When I first joined the YMCA and started attending fitness classes like I had to get my money’s worth, I found myself paranoid that someone would see me and realize how uncoordinated I was am . I soon realized (with the help of a yoga teacher telling me) that no one there was concerned with my form; they were too busy doing their best to imitate the instructor. In Body Pump one day, I found myself comparing my weight selection to another girl in the class. She was brave enough to load her bar far past the dumbbells I found attractive enough to drag over to my corner of the room. As she slung that bar over her shoulders, my ego shrunk and I thought to myself “even if you add that extra weight you’re debating, you’ll still be lifting less than her so just don’t do it.” Later I realized that by building the comparison in my mind, I was giving my body the easy way out (and refusing to challenge myself). I have never been good at putting my connection of the dots into action, but I must say I’ve done quite well with that one. I haven’t caught myself comparing weights in Body Pump as much (sometimes I slip up and have to remind myself to stop). In fact, a few weeks ago I caught myself making the only comparison worthy of making: I was basking in the fact that I had added a little extra weight to the bar compared to what I had been lifting the week before (and I actually survived!). While I’ve been able to quiet the nagging voice in my head that encourages me to compare myself to others at the gym, I haven’t been as successful outside of my fitness classes.

This year, I pledge to use Theodore Roosevelt’s words as encouragement “Comparison is the thief of joy.” I don’t want to rob myself of joy because someone is better at something than I am. I have to do what’s right for me!

I hope you’ll help me stay on track with my resolution this year and share yours.

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