Conquer Your Stress

Many of us lead interesting lives but what really is it about our lives that are of interest to us? Sure, many of us should have a job and we go to that daily, or at least most days out of the week. Many of us love to go out, watch a sporting event, gamble, go to bars, or wherever else the day (or night) will bring. So what does this have to do with my own, and your, fitness life? It actually has everything to do with it.

Like I’ve mentioned my specialty in this field is lifestyle change, so when I’m honing my craft, I’m researching various parts for the role just like a Hollywood actor would. So a few years ago I did just that. I went to a few bars and attended a few parties. Were they fun? Yeah, they weren’t too bad. Were they worthwhile? No, not at all. In fact, after I woke up at home the next day, sleeping until about noon, and dehydrated from the night before, I felt nothing  but regret. What did this have to do with any goal of mine? What kind of benefit did this serve? How did this help me with my purpose in life? The answer to all of these questions was simple: doing this had nothing to do with any of my goals, it served no benefits, and in all honesty, it set me back from any kind of purpose I had in my life.

What it did do was tell me what I already knew: this lifestyle had in no way, shape, or form any kind of benefit. It served me nothing and in all honesty, it only created setbacks. But just like God did roughly 2,000 years ago in experiencing what it was like being a human in the flesh, I had to see what it was like to live what many would call a “mainstream lifestyle.” This is why I’m such a big fan of that Fit to Fat, Fat to Fit series, because sometimes we as trainers need to see what certain situations are like before we can fully wrap our minds around them. We need to see where the vast majority of people are coming from and why they do what they do.

Why do people live this way? Why do some of the best people we know go to bars, drink, gamble, watch endless sports, and do whatever else they decide to do that serves absolutely no purpose to themselves and others? In all honesty, we all need stress relief and that is exactly what this is for many, if not all of them. It’s their way to escape from all of the stresses in life that may include work, family, relationship, financial, medical, and any other type of related issue. This is their way to chill and relax. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way.

Am I weird when I say I actually welcome and enjoy having a little bit of stress in my life? Because I really don’t find this so strange. I see something many others may fail to see and acknowledge, and that is the fact that anything, even something negative such as stress does not have to be a bad thing. In fact, it can be a motivator. Think about it for a second. What if everything in life is going wrong? Picture this situation: your sales at your job are way down this month and your boss is putting massive amounts of pressure on you. One parent is sick at the moment and the other one is having surgery the next day. You just broke off a two year relationship and you’re currently living paycheck to paycheck because the bills and various payments have been piling up.

Certainly a situation like this would create a massive amount of stress for anyone and I wouldn’t want to imagine anyone going through anything like this because the above scenario may be among the absolute worst. A person like this can easily find the party hard life on the weekends to be a distraction to say the least. But like I said, if I were in a situation such as the one listed above, why not take this stress and use it as a motivating tool for yourself? Why not take a bad situation and turn it into a good one? The interesting thing about life is that it is a two way street and you can go one way or the other. You can take your situation and feel sorry for yourself while at the same time you can take your situation and use it as a motivator to  make things better for yourself and realize you are worth more than what you are. Way more. Really.

What I’m saying is that stress can be a good thing, a really good thing. Why not change the way you live your life? Why not change your coping mechanisms? Why do you have to do what everyone else is doing to relieve their own stress and follow them like sheep in a field? Why not be a leader? Why not be the one who says they do not choose to go there but they choose to go elsewhere? Why not cope with stress in a way that is beneficial? Why not take a stand and do something good for yourself for a change.

The very first book I ever read was a book called “Oh, the Places You’ll Go” by Dr. Seuss. I was three years old and it was the very first accomplishment of my still young life. It’s also one of my favorite books to this day and it’s a book I’ll still read to this day. What is the overall theme of the book? It’s about life and it’s challenges and that you will have your ups and downs. Sometimes you’ll be flying high and other times you’ll find yourself in a slump. Then you’ll take a route and you might end up at a place called The Waiting Place, where the vast majority of us will find ourselves at one point or another. But we’re better than that and we’ll be taking our shots in  life, sometimes with others but other times alone. What’s even better though is that if we use our obstacles as motivation, we’ll face our fears move mountains. We will end up on different streets, avenues, and anywhere and everywhere in between, but we have to keep moving forward and never end up at The Waiting Place.

So how do we take whatever hand we are given and turn it into a winner? Change your ways. Do things that are going to benefit you both in the short and long term. Don’t be one of those people who are constantly stranded in The Waiting Place. We’re all better than that. God chose us to live this life simply because He’s seeing something in us we are not always seeing, but we’re all here for a reason and for a good reason. Do things that are going to make you feel good about yourself and that will make you a better person inside and out. This is why I love the gym. I love to workout daily because it always gives me a sense of accomplishment. I like to read, write, and learn new things and I’m always looking for ways to become a better trainer. I like to keep my ego grounded these days and always remain a student and learn from others. I like to teach others but I also like to learn as well and continue to learn. I am a fitness professional who is not only certified; I will also have a degree in the field come October. Will I be an expert? Yes and no. I’ll be an expert in my specialty but I’ll remain a student in everything else. That is the inter-dependency I would like to bring to the table.

I am going to use this post as a way to set the stage for future posts. I think anyone who subscribes to me is going to really, really enjoy these next few months because I am going to tell a story about two distinct lives of the same person. This person is going to serve as a protagonist on what happens when one takes stress and turns it into a negative situation and leads a negative life. Luckily for him, this is a work of fiction so he receives a little bit of supernatural help when he is at his lowest point in life and receives an opportunity to relive his life and do it over again. He then learns to take his negatives and use them as motivation and turn them into positives. This story is why I had taken such a very long hiatus from this site and it’s a project I have been working on for quite some time. And I have had a blast writing it!

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