It’s that time of year again! The last days of 2017 are upon us. Time is soaring by and we are doing what we do best… looking forward. Like always, it’s the end of of the year and we are spending our time completely focused on the upcoming year. We are asking ourselves the goal setting questions… What are we going to do differently next year? What are we going to change? What are we going to add?
We get so focused on moving forward that we forget. We forget a critical piece of learning and growing: reflection. This year, we changed our focus for just a second and took some time to reflect on 2017.
We talked to each other, we talked to our students and each of us put together a list of things that made an appearance in 2017 that we don’t want an appearance from in 2018. What will you leave behind in 2018?
Teresa - Fear. All in all, 2017 was one of the most challenging years of my life. I learned how powerful FEAR is, how it controls your thoughts, limits how you live and how quickly it demolishes happiness. Fear is a real and extremely strong emotion. It was controlling my decisions, limited my ability to take risks and stealing a productive, healthy and happy lifestyle from me.We all face adversity and this past year was no different for me. For those of you who know me, you know I am an optimist. I usually find the silver lining in most situations, that is until FEAR decided to present itself in the form of cancer. It all began back in February, when my husband, Steve, asked me if his neck was swollen. Well it was, and so the testing began. One of the hardest things was the unknown, and the fear began to make itself a little too comfortable. Once diagnosed, the cancer treatments pursued shortly after, in early March, just four days before our grandson, Kessler David Graves was born. During a difficult time, we welcomed so much love, joy and happiness into our lives, and Kessler could not have come at a more opportune time. Meanwhile, we knew we needed to stay calm, optimistic and positive for the duration of chemotherapy and radiation treatments and even more so post-treatment. We all know someone who has had battled cancer; my mom passed away from cancer when I was 37. Fear is a natural emotion, the thoughts of: what if? how could I continue on? how will I be able to live without?….. I learned first hand how compassionate you have to be, how important it is to put others' needs ahead of your own, and what unconditional love really means. Fear provided this opportunity for me and I am most thankful.
Fear is controlling and it can be overwhelming at times, but it also can be used as motivation. I ran my first 5k in Tulsa in February of 2017, The Sweetheart Run, although there was nothing sweet about the race, except for Jessica. It was a Christmas gift from her to me, hoping I would “catch the running bug”. The opposite happened; I hated it. I wasn’t close to being in shape, it was cold, I was emotional (Steve’s diagnosis) and I was pulling up my yoga pants along the way (which was annoying me). I was afraid of having a bad time, not competing and most of all, letting Jessica down. This race and the fear helped me continue running. I joined the running group, continued with FitCamp and ran the Tulsa Run and the Route 66 5ks for the first time. Because of the strength and resistance training coupled with yoga I was able to knock 3 minutes off of my time and get in the top ten of my age group in both races.
I will only gaze back to 2017 to see where I have been; my focus will be on 2018 and where I’m going. Fear will be left behind, as I plan to live a productive, healthy and happy life filled with family, friends, my StudiOne family, yoga, FitCamp, Running 5ks and at least one half marathon. Maybe two, who knows? Without fear, there is no limit to what I can do.
Sprenkel - Doubt. If 2017 taught me anything it’s that “we are very good at underestimating what we’re capable of”. I listened to a speech by KV Switzer (if you don’t know who she is, look her up!), and that single line, along with some very encouraging studio sisters (ahem, Teresa and Michelle), convinced me to train for the marathon I swore I would never run again. I never imagined I could be a Boston runner, and even though I didn’t actually qualify this year, I got so close that I know I can. It’s so important to have people in your corner who know your potential is bigger than you realize, and I’m lucky to have a whole studio of them! If you’re doubting your ability to do anything, there’s no harm in giving it a shot.
The Scale. We preach again and again in Fit Camp that we are not on a weight loss journey and we don’t want weight loss to be your primary goal. There are a lot of reasons for this but the main one is that it doesn’t really matter, or shouldn’t matter as much as we let it. I remember years of having truly horrible days because of what the scale said one morning. Or years of coming home from a trip or holiday and wanting to see the damage done and work back to where I was. No more. I haven’t weighed myself at all, even just to see where I am, since I did a pre-race training weigh in in April. I have no idea what my weight is right now but it doesn’t matter. I can run. I can fit in my clothes. I can lift the weights I want at fit camp. I can live my life without being controlled by a number every morning. The past few years I lied to myself and was still weighing but pretending it didn’t matter, but in 2018, I’m done with that scale!
Natalie - Self Image Critique. "I LOVE exercising - but more than that I love taking care of my body.” This is a quote by me and as I reflecting on 2017 I’ve realized there is also another glaring reason that I workout so much... I’m way too concerned about the way I look! My arms have to look like this my legs need to look like that, if I’m not the certain range of weight I need to double my workout and diet the next week. Guys, that mindset is so unhealthy and leads to negative self talk. It goes against what I preach and it is all about the way I look and not about my health or the way I feel. In 2018 I am going to make that statement more true than ever before. I am going to stop making my health and fitness about the way I look. I want my health and fitness goals to truly be about my health!!
I love taking care of my body and being proactive when it comes to my health. An active heart is a healthy heart. Whether you are 18 or 80 you can change your life with healthy eating and exercise. I know when you are just starting the task might seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Start today. You can start with a walk around the block… or a walk to the studio to get 2018 started right. Just START!!
A big reason I have found myself focusing on unhealthy goals like weight and self image is because I made unrealistic goals for myself. In 2018 I’m going to simplify. Eat healthy and attended a class at least 5 times a week. Exercise should be a celebration of our bodies and our health. Exercise shouldn't be a punishment for something we ate or because our legs look a certain way (I am so guilty of this). I have the power to change my perspective, and so do you! As we start 2018 I want to encourage you to ask yourself, is your mindset empowering you or punishing you?
Janelle - Twenty-seventeen was a big year of self-discovery for me. I had an opportunity to study yoga therapy that taught me many useful tools. While I discovered the ability to manage stress and anxiety and learned techniques to share in my classes, I also found things within myself that I wanted to let go of forever. Only through quiet mindfulness did the feelings of inadequacy and fear surface in a way that allowed me to approach them with compassion. This next year I have decided to not only silence, but release any negative thought that would tell me I'm not good enough. No matter where these thoughts come from, no matter who has made me feel "less than" in the past, I'm letting 2018 be the year of resurrection and truth. It takes diligence to turn bad habits into good ones, but it is possible! My wish/dream/goal for myself, and for you, this next year is to embrace the mantra "SAT NAM." Truth is my identity. There is nothing in this life that can be more persuasive than my truth. I am love, I am loved and can love freely in return. There is no voice more powerful than my own. Happy New Year, everyone! It's time for a brand new chapter.
What will you leave in 2017?