If at first…

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How many times have we wanted something, worked for something and then we don’t get it? We fail, we stumble and we don’t quite meet the grade. As many times as I have heard this phrase before, ‘If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again’, it seems appropriate in so many different life scenarios.

I have attempted a recent challenge, twice, and couldn’t get it. As much as I thought I could do it, no amount of positive thinking was going to get me there. Hard work is the only way and obviously I didn’t work hard enough. As daunting as that sounds, failing is actually the best possible thing that could have happened to me.

Over time, some of our bodies have lost their original shape. Having children, raising children, working jobs, eating too much because of stress, eating too much out of pleasure, health issues, injuries, or otherwise, can distract us from staying on track.

If I walked out onto the street and asked everyone who passed me if they were happy with their physical body, most would likely have something to complain about. Too short, too tall, some body parts too large, too small, too bumpy, too saggy, too wrinkly or otherwise. I am with you.

Regardless of all of our very valid excuses as to why our bodies are not quite as perfect as we would like them to be or in the same condition they were in our younger days, it is very sobering and frustrating when we are faced with a physical challenge that we are unable to do.

At one point in my life, I would say that my physical body was one of my strong points. I was an athlete and dancer and was lean and fit. After university and living on unlimited and copious amounts of dorm cafeteria food, that quickly changed. I packed on over twenty pounds my first year of being away. My weight slowly creeped up until the big game changer – having a baby.

I have used the excuse that I haven’t lost the baby weight, even though my ‘baby’ is now well into young adulthood. Instead, I had embraced my curves and the padding that keeps me (and small children) warm in the winter. Despite the extra weight, I surprisingly feel sexier than I did when I was ridiculously solid and firm.

The only problem, is that when I needed to do a fitness test, my body was not where it needed to be. I worked out, walked, jogged, did fitness classes, used the treadmill and thought that I was on track. It turns out, it wasn’t enough.

Even though I still have an opportunity to get where I need to be, in order to pass this test, I realize how much I miss feeling truly strong and active. This experience has been like a wakeup call that has nudged me back toward where I desire to be.

It is daunting when we look in the mirror and are unhappy about anything that we see. We say awful things about our body. We feel hatred toward our body. Sometimes, we can’t stand to see our body under bright lights or in the mirror.

We have to; however, use kind words about our body. This piece of handiwork has carried us around every single day that we have been alive so far. Our bodies have perhaps created children, carried children, fed children or rocked children to sleep.

This body has brought us feelings of pleasure, allowed us to get out on adventures and explored the world. This body has housed our heart, our brain, our soul and all of the parts that we need to live, breathe and enjoy our time on this planet.

As I start to see muscles again and watch, as parts of my body are changing for the better, I feel excited that our bodies can transform before our eyes. We can, if we really want, make the changes we need to get more active or pay more attention to what we use to fuel our body.

Although this is no guarantee that I will ever get back to the state that I ‘used to be’, I feel hopeful that I am in the driver’s seat, when it comes to how I feel and how strong or healthy I am. I am the only one who can do the work and I am the one who will benefit the most.

For any of you who may be feeling less than grateful for the current condition of your physical body, I hope that you decide to appreciate what great things your body has carried you through and allowed you to experience. It will be in that mind space that you will most likely find the energy to get it moving again.

Failing at something is not necessarily a bad thing; it can motivate us to get to work to accomplish what we set out to do. This almost forty-six year body still has lots of life in it. I intend to make it last as long as possible. Is there anything that you might do to make yours last as long as possible? Today, let’s do more of that.

‘Loving your body only when it’s in perfect shape is like loving your kids only when they are well behaved.’ ~ Author Unknown