I am thinking to myself how I feel when I am in shape, lose weight and eat healthy. When we are in shape, we are much more likely to feel good about ourselves, feeling strong in mind, body and spirit. Isn’t this true in all aspects of life? As we become stronger, our passion within that strength exudes confidence, security, an overall sense of happiness and accomplishment. Not to say, there isn’t a significant amount of work that goes into getting fit and staying fit, but maybe you could agree… no pain, no gain?
There are times I feel overwhelmed. It might not be a particular event that acts as a catalyst to throw me off the train, but maybe an accumulation of my challenges hurls me. Personally, I have found, I have to keep my mind in good form and in the right place. Thankfully, I have some wonderful friends who help me with this. When I fall into the dumps, I have to get my mind on track again, spiritually, emotionally and physically. I believe it might even be healthy to have these set backs, to remind me, of what is really important, who I am and what I need to do, recognizing, I am called to be and do better!
As an advocate for Alyssa, I haven't sat around eating Bon Bons and feeling sorry for myself because I have a child with differences. I had to get on the advocacy treadmill. I worked out my brain. I learned the laws, I went to conferences; I got my mind “fit” for advocacy. I became enthused to make a difference for Alyssa and others. It’s probably fair, and more honest, for me to tell you, I had my fair share of fits, but I can also say, once you begin to get in shape, the difficulty lessens. I am still a bit chubby in some areas of advocacy, but I know if I keep working on it, I will do better. I have ability and believe in my Alyssa. She is my trainer, yelling for me to do ten more push ups, so I can have the strength to encourage others to advocate for their children too.
A couple of years ago, I took a position to coordinate date night opportunities for families who have children with special needs. Mom and Dad can scoot away, while their children kick back and play. Each year, I have students from the education department, at our local college, come to volunteer. I am told, over and over, by the students, how wonderful these children with special needs are and how the experience changed their life, in a positive way, forever. I sometimes wonder what I am doing, running this program, when I could certainly enjoy the break for myself, but then I realize, I am getting more fit. My strength grows, as I am able to do something for others. I find myself feeling excited and motivated to give the volunteers this experience and the families the break. I am capable and God has blessed me to be strong enough to not just focus on my needs, but extend and share my strength with others.
This past weekend, I went to Telluride, CO for the Imogene Run. I did not run the race! Instead, I was part of the cheering squad. My husband ran the race for the seventh time. I am so impressed! WOW!! This race is 17 miles of running over a mountain, ten miles up, seven down. I am in awe to those who train and complete this task. OUCH! This does not appeal to me, but watching the faces of the 1300 runners, as they came across the finish line, is incredibly inspiring. The looks of accomplishment, maybe even anguish, pain and difficulty, reminds me how a challenge may give us fits, but in the process, a transformation happens and we can be at the top of our game, in great form, truly fit.
I am going to venture to say, it’s okay to have your fits. I might even join you for the good ones. On the other side of that, don’t let the fit last too long because your chub will turn into something that you won't want to see in the mirror.. Keep trying. Keep training. The outcomes are worth it. Empower yourself to make a difference!!!
Thank you for reading and have a great week! Angie