We all need encouragement.
There’s something beautiful about an encouraging word.
It can be a moment of sharp, sweet air. The kind that takes you by pleasant surprise.
It can be a life vest. The kind that stops you from floundering.
It can be a flicker of light – the kind that dances in your eyes for minutes after.
About a month ago, I needed one of these moments.
I was stuck. Tired. Exhausted.
My husband had said to me, “What’s happened to you? You’re not yourself anymore”. I had gotten stuck in a rut of coming home exhausted, and proceeding to sit on the couch snacking and watching TV. Basically until bed time. It just wasn’t me. I used to say that I didn’t have time for television, that I had so many more interesting things to do with my time and life. But I was stuck, and I had nothing left to give. I was putting on weight, feeling sluggish, and while I did care – I didn’t know what to do.
A couple of weeks later, some work friends were discussing their health and fitness goals. I told them, “Next term, when everything calms down. Then I’ll start again.” Their response was my first flicker of light, or puff of fresh air, or life vest. They asked, “Why wait till then? Start with a small change.”
So the following week I went for a walk after school.
The next day I made a smoothie for lunch.
That afternoon I did a short run & walk.
I was feeling better. Energized. Changed.
My husband encouraged me, listening to me ramble about my sore muscles, the track that I ran, and how happy my puppy was.
I then got a text from a friend.
“Do you want to run the 12km City to Surf this Sunday with me?”
I’ve never run more than 5km.
I’m so unfit.
I’ll never make it.
It will be so embarrassing to come last.
You’ll be waiting hours for me to finish.
Yep, those lines of doubt were immediately there, squashing me, constricting my breath, stomping on opportunity.
My brother told me, “just do it!”
My friend refuted every excuse.
I did it.
But I wouldn’t have even tried without those moments of encouragement.
Since that day, that hard, tiring, wonderful day, I’ve been back into it. I’ve been eating well, enjoying moving and celebrating how my body can move. I look forward to the next day.
Let’s be honest: I’m on an endorphin high.
This post isn’t about fitness. It’s about that change that you know you need to make. That excuse you’ve been feeding yourself, stopping you from moving forward. Let this be your encouragement.
A week later I went for a 10km run. I started out excited. Within the first km, my brain and body were telling me I couldn’t do it. I began renegotiating with myself, cutting my goal down from 10km to 8kms. Then 6km. Then 4km. Then I figured I should just turn around right now and go home.
The record started.
“I’m so unfit” turned to “I’m not as unfit as I thought I was.”
“I’ll never make it” turned to “I did it on Sunday.”
“It will be dark by the time I get home” turned to “That’s not the worst thing in the world.”
Just keep going.
I pushed on.
I did it.
And then, two days later, I did 12km (resulting in a foot-blister that had me hobbling the next day).
The doubts will always be there. But you need to hold onto the positive comments and let the rest fall away.
You can do it.
One step at a time.
So, what’s stopping you?