I planned to have a relaxing Friday after 4 days of working long hours. And then life threw me a curve ball. It was very small one, but it drove home a bigger point for me. When I’m faced with a “challenge”, I have a choice on how I react – - obviously. More importantly, I was also reminded that challenges (even the small ones and definitely the unexpected ones) can help reconnect me to my values and what is most important to me. So, here is the rest of the story and the lesson I was reminded of…
I decided to get some exercise and went to one of my favorite fitness classes. I walked in to class with another woman who I have never met before. We smiled politely at each other and that sparked our next interaction. Since she was new to the class, I helped her find the equipment she needed. She then decided to be “helpful” to me by getting me some equipment. That is when she handed me a 4 kg. exercise ball. It fell in to my hands like a heavy weight (literally).
My mind began racing – trying to figure out how do I get out of using this heavy weight I’m not used to lifting?! In fact, my first reaction was that I can’t lift this for the next 45 minutes. That thought was countered by the thought that class already started, and I didn’t want to waste anymore time getting a lighter ball. Then I even thought I don’t want to hurt this nice woman’s feelings by “rejecting” the ball she gave me. At that point, I knew my line of thinking was getting a bit out of control. So, I took a breath and thought ok, I have a choice here…I CAN keep the ball or get a new one. No big deal, right? Then I took a deeper breath and asked myself what do I really want. And I reminded myself that I’m in this lifting class to push my limits so I can get stronger. I decided to keep the ball and lifted away (taking several needed breaks throughout the class). But I survived and am better off for it!
So thanks “friendly gym lady” for helping me realign with what I want, encouraging me to go for it, and helping me feel stronger – literally and figuratively! So what will you do next time someone unintentionally (or intentionally) hands you a challenge? And, what can you gain from taking on challenges in your life?