Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A TASTE OF THE ALTERNATIVE

My 94 year old aunt was a witty, wonderful woman.  When you asked her how she was, she would reply with this quip, "Consider the alternative."  In other words, she meant that she is alive, she is upright, she is breathing. Considering the alternative to that would be death.

I wouldn't say that the alternative I'm thinking of is death.  I'd say that the alternative for me, at this stage of my life is back to living a life of pain and muscle aches; pain and weakness; pain and frustration; pain and giving up.

I have been blogging my journey to healthy living which started out a year ago.  It started with a curiosity about a place called Motions Fitness, and my quest for finding answers to living without so pain which I hoped would help me to get back to participating in life.

I have written many posts about my feelings of fear and the changes in my life when I said yes to becoming a client with a personal trainer at Motions Fitness.  Now I am celebrating one year there.  The one year anniversary to me is the "first year of the rest of my life."  But now that I am past the first year, it doesn't really get easy.

A taste of the alternative came to mind as the temptations of relaxed living and eating for fun could have been my choices on an 11-day vacation to meet my new granddaughter.  The alternative could have gotten me right back to where I started, not just a year ago, but years and years ago.  The alternative for me is to turn my back on all the hard work and efforts I have invested in myself, in choosing a healthier lifestyle.

Though I wasn't completely innocent on vacation, having spent some time relaxing and eating foods I no longer eat or the kinds of foods that will lead to bad habits again, I was conscious every moment of the alternative.   I knew this was a big test for me - was I mentally, emotionally, physically strong enough to face my weaknesses and rise above them, now while out of town, away from my support system at Motions.  A little voice kept testing me, and asking me if I could do this, and pushing me to ignore my healthy choices.  But when I looked at myself in the mirror every day, and saw the new person I had become, I knew my strength was more than muscle.

A taste of the alternative was like seeing myself - a person with pain, and many inabilities - walking along side of myself in the airport; lifting luggage; playing on the floor with my 2 1/2 year old grandson.  A taste of the alternative was reminding me of the special accommodations needed to help me sleep comfortably while away.   I realized that I did not want to taste the alternative.  I had indeed what it takes to be strong to face my weaknesses and rise above them.

There will always be challenges, some more complex than others.  There will always be the need to keep on the right path.  There will never be a time when letting my guard down and living a carefree life will work, if I want to stay healthy.  I still have pain, but I understand it now.  And with the pain I also have perseverance, but that will not last unless I am in it for life.

I ended up losing 2 1/2 pounds on vacation.  And looking back I had to ask myself if there was any time I felt that I was missing out on all the fun times and special moments this vacation was about.  I don't think so.  Its taken a year to set the footings in place, to help me realize that celebrating is more than food.

I am celebrating this week with all the others that have been choosing healthy living, working out along side of me in class every week; those that I've never met, never spoken to, but I have seen them putting in the effort and keep coming back.   I have learned that you can't be an inspiration until you are ready to leave your pride behind and let your passion show through.  So, to my personal trainer, Lisa Mills, and all the trainers and clients at Motions Fitness: Let's Do It!  Let's keep being an inspiration to each other and the world!  Thanks for inspiring me!  

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