Thursday, June 11, 2015

Life is like...

...a box of chocolates. Running. Cleaning your room. Hiking a mountain. Cross-stitching. Playing an instrument. Canoeing. Washing dishes.
No, really. You can compare life to pretty much anything.
I love metaphors for life.
One analogy that's been on my mind lately is how much life is like weight-lifting.

Flashback to a few of my experiences since I started weight-lifting:

You start off in the newbie training program. You have no idea what you're doing, but it's fun. It has its ups and downs. You feel pretty weak sometimes comparing yourself to others. Maybe your weights partner can deadlift a ton more than you, but you can top them in bench press. Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses.

Sometimes, you forget how to do something. But you can always ask one of your teammates or your awesome weights coach (shout-out to Josh, the best ever). You can learn something from everyone around you, whether it's how high off the ground you go for back extensions or what the proper form is for cleans or how to do a perfect reverse lunge.

Sometimes, even after you've graduated from the novice program and feel like you are a pro-weight-lifter and can lift on your own without guidance or instruction...
you mess up. You drop the bar on your foot while WARMING UP for the actual lift. You plop down on the bench and hold in the scream of pain that threatens to emerge from your pursed lips. Your foot turns bluish purple and your ego is slightly bruised too because you're embarrassed. You thought you were better than that. But you learn a lot. And you move on. 
Experiences like that humble you and remind you of the fact that you are very human. And then you're careful never to make that mistake again.

Sometimes, you learn from other people's mistakes. After cautioning you to watch your step on barbell step-ups, Josh shows you a picture of some athlete's face who fell during that exact same exercise and had to get stitches to repair the damage done. It was not pretty.

Sometimes, you have to dig really deep in order to muster the motivation to do anything. Thank goodness for self pep talks, and pump-up music, and the gospel. A long-term, no, an ETERNAL perspective is one of the best ways to motivate yourself to do your best right now. Imagine what it will be like in the future if you work hard now. Is it worth it? Then do it. Do your best.

Sometimes, you realize that you ARE tough, after all. After weeks and months of training, after you've been consistently working hard and pushing your body to the max, you notice and can take pride in those calluses that you've been building and those muscles that you never knew existed. But you are aware of their existence now. (Because they're sore.)
You realize how far you have come and you make new goals to keep striving towards your very best.

Sometimes, you forget (AGAIN) what you've been taught time and time again. HANG SNATCH TO POWER REQUIRES A WIDE GRIP. And you bonk your nose with the bar as you do your snatch with the wrong hand positioning. Well, thank goodness mistakes like that don't hurt much more than your pride. I mean, they hurt, but they're easy to recover from and they don't take you out of the game for a month (or more).
Remember that, and learn from others' mistakes. 

Sometimes, you wish there was some kind of award for a job well-done. But the rewards you gain are far greater than any kind of medal or tangible recognition. 
You know you've worked hard and been consistent. 
You see the results in your running.
You know you are capable of so much. 
You are made even more aware of and grateful to your Father in Heaven. You know how amazing He is, because He created you.
You know you can't do it without a lot of help. From your teammates, your coach, your Heavenly Father, your Savior, Jesus Christ, your family, your friends. Basically everyone around you, in person or in spirit.

That's a lot like life, don't you think?

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