I’ve never climbed Mt. Everest and, unless they install escalators and coffee shops the whole way up, it’s unlikely that I ever will. Just watching movies about it makes me feel cold and winded. In spite of my inexperience, I’ve made a couple of assumptions. For instance, I assume that the first climb is the most difficult. Subsequent climbs probably aren’t a cakewalk; but, I assume that, in those climbs, there is both comfort and confidence in the knowledge of a previous successful climb.
Yesterday, I did my exercises (planks, leg lifts, squats, sit-ups and push-ups) and I struggled with them. Part of the struggle was more with the Ferocious Jungle Kitty Bodhi who was “helping” me plank. (He’s really not as helpful as he thinks he is.) The rest of the struggle was with my muscles that are just weak! As I did my three sets of ten push-ups….with open hands….on my knees, I remembered when I was kickboxing. I was able to do my push-ups on the first two knuckles of my fists and on my toes. I could do sit-ups until I got bored with doing them. I was strong – stronger than I’ve ever been in my life! I was practically G.I. Jane, man! I was a beast!
I was. But that was two years ago.
Just thinking about it made my spirits flag and sapped my energy. At that point, I had a couple of choices:
- I could continue down that road of thinking about what I lost – what I let go, really – my strength and fitness. I could revert to my old self-defeating thought patterns that end up with me in the freezer section with a spoon, or
- I could strengthen my newer, empowering thought patterns that end up with me being a beast.
I chose to feed the right wolf.
Okay, so I’m no beast today. But, like the climber, I know I’ve done it before. It really does give me comfort and confidence that I can do it again. While my schedule and budget don’t allow for kickboxing anymore, I do have a living room floor and can do a great deal of strength training using my own body weight. While I will still be on my open hands, resting on my knees for tomorrow’s push-ups, I know that in a few weeks, I’ll be on my toes again. And, in a few more weeks, I’ll be back on my knuckles.
I am strong. I am determined. I am capable.
And I’ve climbed this mountain before.