I was thinking about my post yesterday and how my friend responded to it. She said that my commitment to do what I had set out to do inspired her to do that herself. Her comment really made my day, especially yesterday, as I felt so lacking in energy and inspiration. It made me think about how I do keep commitments to my self…
Awhile ago I found myself frustrated. It was probably post break up as that tends to be when I experience “revelations” . I was disappointed in the general cavalier way people seemed to be throwing around commitments and promises and not even attempting to uphold them. I felt personally wounded, like there was something about me making it seem I wasn’t very important and so I wasn’t worth taking into consideration. Promises, commitments weren’t necessary to uphold with me because I didn’t matter. Upon further self investigation though it appeared that I didn’t keep commitments to myself even. I was regularly willing to give up and abandoned my own plans and schedule for the whim of another person or just a fleeting desire of mine. WELL, we do teach people how to treat us and if I didn’t find myself important enough to follow through on commitments, why would anyone else?! And why was I so willing to give up things that were important to me, they must not be that important to me. This may seem like a “duh” to most people. I don’t know, but it was a huge revelation for moi.
I decided I needed to start making a habit of following through for myself. Working out, by and large, is just how I workout my life philosophy. Yes I want to keep in shape, yes I want a rocking, tough, capable body (that’s bendy too!). But, you know how some people workout their life lesson’s “on the mat” (that’s yoga speak, right there), I workout my life at the gym. That’s one of the main reasons I decided to run and stick to it. That’s a story for another day though.
So I started to follow through on my commitment to go to the gym regularly. I even planned my schedules with other people around my gym schedule (if you know me, you know I still do). It’s important to me. I’m important to me. And when you know without a shadow of a doubt that you will take of your needs, you tend to rely less on other people, which means you can let them give to you out of love and observe who does and who doesn’t instead of pouring expectations on them. That is not to say I don’t feel disappointed when people don’t live up to my personal expectations, but it’s not earth shattering. It’s just part of relationships with humans.
This has evolved into something extremely beneficial in my life. I may not always want to work out or push myself or get my heart rate up. But going to the gym or running outside or even finding 20 minutes for a HIIT or ab workout is me being consistent, it’s making the time for something important to me and that commitment to myself pours out into all the other aspects of my life. And I’ve found that, while I had been afraid of putting people off by having my own schedule, my gym time and my “discipline” are mostly respected. Even my boyfriend recognizes the importance of it and encourages me, when I’m want to skip a workout to have more time with him, to follow through with my commitment to myself. And, conversely, I’m able to better keep my commitments to others because I feel stable, loved, appreciated in and of myself. For example, I have tried to end my artificial sweetener habit several times in the last ten years, but I found I didn’t really worry about it that much and so I kept using Equal and Splenda (and honestly, my favorite is Sweet N Low even though that’s a well known cancer causing agent!). I really wasn’t worried about it hurting my health. But when Dan asked me to stop using it, I said I would and I have kept my commitment! Everybody wins 🙂
AND for a little more perspective, when you respect yourself enough to do what YOU need to do, you begin to have more respect for other peoples different needs and what they might need to do. Which really makes it easy to take less things personally 🙂
In that vein, even though I’m supposed to resting my ankle, I wanted to do cardio today. So I spent my lunchtime on the stationary bike, cranking out a cool 45 minutes without putting pressure on my ankle or shins. And the rest of my day has felt gooood. For me, just showing up and doing something sweat inducing helps to frame the rest of the day.
I also brought my ab wheel with me to work. That things a beast! Does anyone else have one? I did twenty roll outs before the bike and I’m going to do twenty more after this set at work. I’ll let you know how it goes!
PS. Writing this blog is another thing that I chose to do, chose to commit to. I know that some days I feel like I have nothing valuable to say, or I’m tired or bored with talking about fitness. But I have made a commitment to write, daily, and so, even if I don’t think I have anything to say, I make an effort to find something, to stretch my creativity, to keep my promise, my habit, for myself.
What are some commitments you make to yourself? Do you ever find that you “flake” on these? How do you handle it when others flake on you? How do you take care of yourself?