Being There For Yourself
I have a couple of friends that are the most amazing people. Whenever you need them, they will drop any and everything they are doing to be there for you. And even better, they expect nothing in return. They demonstrate what a true family member or friend should do and find pride in being unsung heros who often save the day.
However, as much as I admire these people, I also fear for them. These people spend all of their time caring and supporting their spouses, children, parents and friends. All of their money goes to these people, often times without receiving a simple thank you. But what ends up happening is that when these people need personal help in return – nobody is there. Even worse, often these people don’t ask for help because they feel like they’ll be a burden on everyone else.
If you’re one of these people – please, please, please understand that you need to come first in your life. The stress of the world and the pressure you feel bearing down on your shoulders does not get any relief if you don’t take care of yourself.
Just as you feel thankful and needed when others ask you for help, know that others around you would be more than eager to help you in your time of need. You don’t expect others to do it alone, so why do you feel it’s acceptable for you to do it alone?
If the giver always stays the giver, at some point your basket will be empty. Instead of waiting until you hit rock bottom and force yourself to become the receiver, why not start both giving and receiving now so that you’ll always have a basket that is full and ready to serve?!
The End of a Year
You know, each of us have good years and bad years. I hurt for all the people this year that suffered tremendous loss through death, jobs or others means. For each person that is excited for this year to be over, there’s another person celebrating this year and not wanting it to end.
Although I’ve had my fair share of bad years, this was one of the best years of my life. In early February I was able to walk away from a job that I didn’t find fulfilling and follow my fitness dreams. It was definitely scary to start something new and unknown but it’s a journey that I knew I needed to take.
In late April, I married a wonderful man. He left his job in June and moved to Louisville to “bond” with his wife. In July, he left for five months of training. Right before he left, he was able to visit my new fitness/Zumba studio and each day I was/am excited to help diverse groups of people meet their fitness goals.
Around the same time I started promoting a health and wellness product and met some amazing people in Louisville excited to transform their bodies. Along comes October and Milton comes in town for a short weekend visit. He says “Let’s try to have a baby!” One week later I’m nauseated and tired. Then there’s November and Milton is invited to go to Airborne school and conquer his own personal fear of height.
First week of December Milton finally comes home for good to work for two years in Fort Knox. Two weeks later we tell everyone the news of our pregnancy. Christmas was spent celebrating our blessings and giving all praise to God.
With all of the blessings that we have received it definitely hasn’t all been easy. Running a business is very difficult and often times stressful. Being a newlywed away from your spouse can definitely be trying and it can be equally as trying to adjust to each other once reunited. My shoulders have become stronger while being a tower of strength for those who needed me in time of need. Doubts have been cast as to what path God really wants me to take. Curiosity and fear now linger and I hope our baby is healthy and that we can be nourishing parents.
But at the same time, my hands have become sore for applauding others in celebratory times. My eyes have been open to new opportunities and new people. My household skills have improved as I try to be a good wife. My creative juices have started flowing and my heart skips a beat when I know I’m making a difference!
This weekend I entered a fitness challenge at the Convention Center downtown. It was completely different than my fitness competitions but I figured I had nothing to lose. There was a series of six events. Each one was timed and you received points based on how you finished.
Lesson #1 – Looks can be deceiving. After looking at the other competitors, I just KNEW I could win the overall. The first event was pull-ups for 60 seconds. I busted out 8 of them real quick, then my body would no longer pull. The judge said “27 more second!” What? I struggled to get one more out. The lady that went after me, she was in her 40s, busted out 13 pull-ups. I was brought back to reality as I started the competition in second place.
Lesson #2 – We all have bad days. I won the next two events (60 seconds of pushups and then box jumps). The 4th event was sprinting with 3 weighted balls. As a former sprinter, I knew this would be my shining moment! I took off with full force, picked up the first ball and watched it roll out of my hands. This set me back several seconds and I actually ended up forth in that event.
Lesson #3 – Support systems are super. While waiting for the last event, the obstacle course, my friends Shannon and Renee (and Renee’s son KB) came out to be my cheerleaders. It was a wonderful feeling to have people on your side letting you know they are proud of all you are trying to accomplish.
Lesson #4 – Sometimes close doesn’t get it. The obstacle course consisted of things like tire flipping, carrying 20 pounds of sand in each hand and jumping over/under hurdles. At the end of my run, I was told I received a 3 second penalty because my tire did not flip completely over the white line.
Lesson #5 – Despite adversities, you can still come out a winner. At the end of the day, I didn’t know how I finished. There were winners for each age group and then the overall. I won my age group, and also the overall! With it came a huge trophy, $200 in prizes, $300 in cash and the title “KY’s Fittest Female”. The title and all of the accolades are great. But as I reflected on the day, I also realized that regardless of the pitfalls that get us down or the barriers that hold us back, we can all still be successful!
M.Y. January 2010
“You Are My Rainbow”
I took this picture from my office window a couple of weeks ago. My co-workers had been in a funky mood that Friday morning until we came across the beautiful rainbow. So today, I wish to thank each of you for being my rainbow. Rainbows are full of beauty and mystery. You never know when you’ll see one, but whenever you do it makes you stop whatever you’re doing and appreciate life a little more. It’s a rainbow moment each time I go out and meet someone new that compliments me on the OnyxLouisville newsletter. It’s a joy to meet the diverse group of readers.
We are each rainbows in our own rite. Rainbows are colorful from a distance and often seem perfect. However, we all know that rainbows are a combination of different factors. It must rain in order for there to be a rainbow. Similar to our lives, there will be our fair share of stresses and trials we will cross. Sometimes it may even seem like a never ending storm. We need that rain in our lives, though, in order to grow. But have you ever noticed that at some point the storm has to end? We also have our times to shine like the sun on a hot summer day. The birth of a child, a promotion on the job, losing five pounds or even a nice afternoon to just do nothing let us know that life isn’t as bad as expected.
I know little about your background, but I know you’ve experienced both sun and rain. We’ve each had a different combination of the two. However, if we didn’t combine both the sun and rain, then you couldn’t be my rainbow. Your beauty wouldn’t shine high among the clouds for all to see. Sometimes it’s an outer beauty and other times it glows from inside. We know nobody is perfect, but for those few precious moments (like a rainbow in the sky) that our paths cross, you are my rainbow!
M.Y. October 2007