Progress Is Perfection

A blog to inspire, motivate, and unleash the awesome in everyone


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Not Measuring Up

Well, it’s been far to long since I’ve written anything. I haven’t been able to get my thoughts down in a coherent way, so I’ve been putting this off. Tonight though, I needed to write something. It’s just my thoughts tonight, with no real direction, but I’ll get there…

How do you measure yourself? How do you know if you’re achieving your life purpose?

Parenting? Reaching health and fitness goals? Progress?

Well, whatever it is, I’m not there. I’ve been going backwards for the past year and a half, especially in the last 6 months since my car accident.

My parenting is less than perfect, I’m not always present emotionally and we don’t do all the fun things I wish we could. I have an amazing kid though, I boast about him constantly. He’s intelligent, caring and is always making us laugh. I love him and want to be great for him. I want to smile and laugh and enjoy every single day with him, I need to be strong for him.

Reaching my health and fitness goals, this is the killer for me. My fitness goals have come to a halt since May of this year, all thanks to a car accident. I thought I would be better by now, it’s been 6 months. I thought I was strong. This healing process has made me question my strength, mentally and physically. I was in the process of training for my second Tough Mudder before the accident; that included kickboxing 5-6 days and running 2-3 days a week with some extra strength training added in. I was ready to kick ass at TM and bring home another headband. Well, that didn’t happen, and for the last 6 months I’ve been struggling to get back to where I was. It’s beyond frustrating to look back and see what little progress I’ve made; sure, my injury is slowly healing and I’ve improved that, but physically I’m not even close to where I was.

The daily pain is what gets to me; between the headaches, shoulder, neck and jaw pain, I have zero energy for anything extra after work. I’m trying, hard, to break through this. Push past some of the pain to test my limits and see how far I really can go, but it’s a slow process.

I’m not sure how to pull myself out of this slump. I’ve been trying to take it day by day, write my short and long term goals down, and push myself to succeed in those goals.

This last week and a half I’ve seen a considerable improvement in my physical abilities, which gives me some hope, but I’m still not there mentally. I’m stuck in this funk of feeling sorry for myself, pathetic and weak to let a car accident hinder my abilities.

I’ve been through so much shit in my life, that I’ve fought and overcome, so why is this getting to me? I’m honestly just exhausted from life, and this was my last straw. I’ll get through it, I always do, I’ll just have to fight a bit harder this time.

Nicole

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Sunday Evening Ramblings…

Everyone has been through some excruciatingly painful moments in their lives. You know the ones.

The bad ones.

The ones that leave you gasping for air as sobs are wracking your entire body. The nights where you aren’t sure how you’re going to keep making it until morning…day after day. The days where you spend all your energy wearing a smile for those around you, only to come home, finally all alone, and lay your head down and let the tears flow. Those moments where even those that don’t believe in a God are on their knees, praying for the hurt to stop. Praying for just one day and night of peace. These moments often mark a point in our life that we can no longer return to. There is simply a before, and there is an after.

As painful and dark as some moments in life are, I think they are important. They prepare us for what’s to come and open us up to possibilities we otherwise wouldn’t, or couldn’t, appreciate.

As much as we might not care to admit it, these painful moments define us. They break us down, bare our soul, run our emotions raw and ragged, so that when we do come across something that’s right…we feel it right to our bones. The barricades that we build up around our hearts are often left shattered in the process, our defenses obliterated, leaving us vulnerable and exposed. Which, coincidentally, is the perfect time, sometimes, for something good to walk into your life.

And that’s when it happens. The unmistakable feeling that this situation, or this person, is going to help put you back together…reveal the *you* that you have desperately been trying to find and uncover. For some of us this might be moving to a new city. For others this could be starting a new job. It might be falling in love with an amazing person. Or it could be a combination of these, or other things.

Whatever the trigger the end result is the same, and slowly you start forging your new self. Taking all the pain and heartache, the feelings of weakness and uncertainty, and merging them with your new-found strength, your resilience, and unwavering faith that everything will be ok. Instead of simply surviving, you begin thriving.

Your smile becomes real again and your eyes sparkle when you laugh.

You start becoming confident, trying things you never had before, finding joy in the new.

Instead of simply going through the motions you start each day with purpose, actively searching out people, places, and things that soothe and nourish you and your soul.

But…you’re still human. And despite all these wonderful changes, there will still be nights that are long. Days that are tough. Times when it hurts to smile. But the difference is that this time you KNOW that you will be fine. You KNOW that you have made it through the worst of the storm. You KNOW you are strong. You KNOW you are loved and that you deserve this love and happiness. And if you’re lucky like I am, there will be someone incredible by your side reminding you of these things when you have forgotten them.

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– Veronica


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Transformation

It’s been a long time since Nicole or I used this space to write an actual blog. Instead of pummeling my Facebook with an extraordinarily long post, I decided to leave it here, with you all. So…here are my thoughts:

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Few things feel so intrinsically rewarding as that of becoming who you were meant to be. Its an overused and perhaps tired analogy, but one that’s so fitting: the metamorphosis of the caterpillar.

At one end the caterpillar, at the other the butterfly. The same entity at its core, but in other ways almost entirely different creatures.

The change and growth that occurs for a caterpillar to become a butterfly is a process that takes time. Its one that doesn’t have a set timeline, and for some caterpillars it takes longer than others. Its painful. Its bloody. Its exhausting. It takes strength and it also BUILDS strength. You see, the butterfly needs to struggle to get out of its cocoon; to push the fluid from its body and into its little wings in order to make them strong enough to carry her/him. Without this struggle the butterfly’s wings never properly develop, they are unable to fly, and ultimately perish.

Just like butterflies, we go through these kinds of life-altering changes. Not all will make it through to the other side. But those that do…that successfully shed their skin and reveal their true form, wind up with some of the most beautiful souls.

I’ve felt this sort of change as of late.

With my recent separation from my husband there have been many changes, both inwardly and outwardly. I was unhappy for some time before the split, and had started to become a shell of the person that I was. Now looking back…this had been happening for longer than I would care to admit.

It’s been a roller coaster of a ride the last few months, and I’m well aware that it will continue to be. However…I finally feel as if I’ve hit an upswing, and I’m finally starting to feel like myself…only…better.

I feel as if some parts of me that became dormant for some time have been reawakened. I feel like I’m smiling bigger, loving harder, breathing in deeper. Slowly but surely, I’m tiptoeing my way back to not only who I was, but who I will be. Some sort of amalgamation of old and new. For the first time in a long time, I feel like me. I’m not even entirely sure what that means, but I know that I am becoming comfortable in my skin, and forging myself into a person that for the first in a long time…is happy.

– V


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Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it

A few years ago I went to a conflict management seminar as part of my promotion at work. I wasn’t expecting to learn anything too profound, but ended up hearing a notion that has since stuck with me. The instructor told us one simple thing: you can’t change the way people act towards you or alter certain events, but you CAN change how you respond to them. And this can make all the difference.

It sounds stupidly easy actually: change the way you react to things, and you change the way you feel.

This means that any situation that could be negative has the potential to be changed into a positive experience depending on your mind’s framework.

For example, someone decides to belittle your fitness progress and your journey to good health. They put you down, make fun, maybe call you a name or two. You could take this to heart, decide maybe what you have done is not worthy of being celebrated as an achievement. Or – you can realize that what this person is saying to you is most likely a reflection of their own fears, shortcomings, and insecurity. That their negativity says more about them than it does about you.

Of course this takes a bit of practice. It’s difficult in the heat of the moment to not think and react emotionally rather than rationally when potentially negative events are occurring. We need to learn to breathe deeply, step away from the situation and our emotions for a moment, and evaluate it. THEN we can react.

Once I realized this I felt like I had gained so much more power over my life. In psychology I learned this was related to locus of control: someone with an internal locus of control feels that their life is under their influence, while those with an external locus of control attribute everything that happens to them to outside forces beyond their control.

You often can’t change others, or the way they treat you, but you can change YOU; YOUR attitude. It’s said that no one can make you feel inferior without your consent. This is true of any emotion. How someone else acts is up to them, but how you react and feel is completely up to you.

It’s not easy and takes time to master, but once you do you will realize that only YOU control your happiness 🙂

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– Veronica