Thursday, August 25, 2011

Be A Force

Written by Karen
Yosemite, California
I took another step towards getting me back today.  You can’t see it in my picture (since I’m still incognito posing as a bunch of daisies!), but I have put on about 40 pounds in the past six years.  I haven’t been ok with this – of course – but I just couldn’t shake the excuse that this was just one of the many consequences of working in the Silicon Valley.

 I’ve had fits and starts, where I got into the routine of working out during lunch and watching what I ate.  And then, bam…another round of high stress, long hours, and grab-and-go lunches at work sent me back to the beginning again.  For the past year, once we decided that we were going to get off this crazy roller coaster ride for awhile, I thought that I’d just wait it out until next March before I got serious about getting healthy. 
And then today happened.  I don’t really know why the switch was flipped.  Usually, when I think of dieting, being healthy and working out, I cringe.  Am I going to let myself down again?  Loser.  And I have this back-and-forth conversation with myself.  Yes, you can.  No, not really.  I have to work late again this week.  I’m too tired.  Yes, you can.  I’d like to, but it’s getting darker earlier.  The traffic is getting worse.  I just want to crash on the couch at home, have a glass of wine and watch Anthony Bourdain or House Hunters International.  
You get the picture.  But today, the thought popped into my head, “I should go sign up again at the gym down the street.” The silence was deafening.  There was no retort; there was no back-and-forth.  It just was a statement that stood alone and was accepted.  
So, during lunch, I went down to the gym and all of the regulars were still there.  Bill, the owner, came out with a big grin and gave me a big hug, and said, “Care (he always called me Care – he’s the only one who ever has.) where the hell have you been?”  
While he was signing me back up for a six month tour, we got to talking about life in the Silicon Valley.  “It’ll chew you up and spit you out, if you’re not careful, Care,” he said, “I’ve seen it happen too many times. You gotta’ take care of yourself first.  And that means, getting your ass back in here!” He was always quite the motivational speaker!  And, I said so.  
San Francisco, Califoria
He said, “Seriously, if you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of others.  Everyone who knows you suffers when you don’t take care of you first.”  I stopped and considered that.  I had heard this before, but today I was listening.  “Be a force, Care,” he said, with no smile on his face.  “Good things happen when you are a force.  You can’t be a force until you are taking care of yourself. Taking care of yourself will bring you positive changes.”  
I told him I would be in on Friday during lunch.  He said that he would be on the lookout for me.  I believe him.  I’m gonna’ be a force.  


David_SF said...

It's amazing what the power of words can be- either spoken, or written on a blog. Definitely have the power to inspire, both to go to the gym, and to try and to better ourselves. I really like the writing style- it feels very personal without being overly sentimental, and captures the feeling of..well, being human.

Observers of Life said...

Hey David - thanks. It's all a series of baby steps, I think. As long as we are moving forward, that's progress in the right direction.

MoneyIQ said...

Baby steps is exactly right- one step in front of the other, which reminds me of running/walking a marathon. It's interesting how that simple connection with the man at the gym can hold us accountable, isnt' it? Good for you! I hope you can keep up with this great process that you are on...