Most Thursday mornings, I start my day in one of my favorite ways–by working out with my trainer. I love strength training days and the feel of the various weights in my hands–my muscles stretching and strengthening with each squat or lung, the cardio intervals, and my body pushing to complete that last set of the circuit. Each one helps me to remember how far I have come since that crazy, incredible day nearly six months ago when my femur decided to break 100 feet from the finish line of my first marathon.
This Thursday was no different. I awoke early, wiped the sleep from my eyes, dressed in my workout clothes, and hurried to the kitchen to grab a banana. After lacing up my shoes, I went downstairs and climbed onto the stationary bike and began my warmup routine. A few minutes later, my trainer arrived and we began the first circuit of the day’s training session.
One, Two, Three…
Our bodies are amazing machines! I feel so blessed to have come this far in such a short amount of time, I surmised, finishing my count of the first element
…Ten, eleven, twelve.
My trainer and I continued through the different exercises, bantering back and forth, while I continued to focus on how blessed I am to be healing and moving with both legs again.
During the last circuit of my hour-long session, my trainer exclaimed, “Let’s do some box jumps!” You all know what I am talking about, right? That exercise where you jump up onto a box or platform with both feet at once, and then step or jump back down. We use an adjustable aerobic step platform stepper to accomplish this task, which adjusts up to twelve inches in height.
“YES!” I responded enthusiastically. Having just started integrating these into our workouts over the last couple of weeks, the thrill of jumping again has made me almost giddy with excitement. Like completing a race and crossing that finish line, each new achievement towards running again has me busting at the seams with emotion about the miracle of our bodies and how they repair, strengthen, re-awaken, and re-engage after a “long winters nap” (aka recovery).
As I completed my first set of jumps, my mind wandered, as it did during the workout earlier in the week,
Can I jump any higher than the 12 inches I am currently jumping?
Knowing I don’t have additional “steps” to add elevation, I contemplated the large rocks, near a set of steps, at one of my favorite running locations. They are definitely taller than twelve inches.
Then fear raises its ugly head. You know, the old, “I’m not ______ enough” story we tell ourselves like, What happens if I miscalculate and can’t, or don’t jump high enough? For a brief moment, fear of missing the top of any surface crosses my mind but the warrior/competitive/sassy side of me immediately stepped in and challenged, Why not try?
Inquiring minds want to know, so I asked my trusted friend, “Am I barely clearing this platform or is there room for additional height?”
Knowing how I consistently push the boundaries of what I can currently do, she says, “I don’t know… Let’s try this!” as she moved my plyometric box next to the step platform I had been using, which is four inches taller. About a third higher than my previous jumps.
Next time through the circuit, I used the 16” side and what do you know? I COULD do it! Holy cow! And it wasn’t even that much more difficult!
And yet, until I asked the question, I acted as if that twelve inches was three feet tall and pushing my limits.
So… how many other times do we sit by
complacently complying with
what is expected or is “normal” instead of reaching for our true potential?
It reminds me of a conversation I had with my chiropractor and friend. I inquired as to why a certain muscle was not re-engaging to the level and in the time frame I felt it should. He knows my competitive nature and said, “Lori, you have to remember: When there has been an injury, you will never be 100%.”
Of course, I immediately challenged the truth of what he’d said: “Ohh… but I disagree! How do YOU know I was ever at 100% before I was injured?” I inquired, citing examples of how much faster my half-marathon times had been after a previous torn muscle healed, not to mention I had my fastest time yet during the first eighteen miles of my marathon.
I could see his wheels turning. A big smile crossed his face. “I like the way you think!”
How many times is the minimum or the norm what we accept as what is possible?
What would happen if we exerted a little effort to do a little more? Try a little harder? Reach a little further? Step up instead of stepping back?
What can we accomplish? Who can we become? How can we make a difference?
We are all MAGNIFICENT beings. Each one of us a child of God, with infinite potential.
Are you willing to explore the possibilities?
- Turn off/Tune out that voice that attempts to keep us small.
On/Tune In to what IS POSSIBLE.
- Smile at each person as you pass – maybe you will help them to feel seen.
- Find something to compliment someone on – might just make their day a little brighter.
- Put the phone down and go for a walk, run, or bike ride. Even better, include a child/children or spouse in the adventure. Not only will you feel better, but you will be creating memories.
You never know whose life you will touch by stepping up and becoming more of who you were intended to be.
Who knows… You may even surprise yourself with how easy it is!