The time is approximately 6:50 am. Honestly, I’m tired and can feel my body slowing down. So I turn up the music a little louder. No…wait. Switch the song. Now I’m listening to “Give It Away” by Red Hot Chili Peppers. I’m in the zone now. But not for long, before I get interrupted. “Hey what’s up man?” I respond and say, “I’m cool….you?” I’m trying to keep the conversation short when he starts to motion with a two hand open gesture, looks at me with a confused expression and says “What happened!?” I respond, just as confused, and say, “Huh?” And here’s the kicker….”Man, you didn’t used to have that stomach, what happened?” WTH?! My mind is racing through several thoughts at once as I stare like a deer caught in headlights at this guy who’s got to be a good 50 pounds (and not muscle) larger than me. Is he serious? Does he know who he’s talking too? I quickly pull my private moment of enraged mental chaos together and say, “Yeah the holidays can really get you, can’t they?”
Have you ever noticed that people who don’t have their own lives together are the first ones to point out the wrong in yours? But that’s another blog for another day. Deep down, the real honest truth was the scenario that happened above while I was at the gym this week was a great thing. Did it sting a little? Yes. Did I like hearing it? No. But was he saying something I really already knew? Yep. Since Thanksgiving, I’ve been letting go and enjoying good food with family and friends. I say I’m only having one or 2 cheat days here and there, but truth be told, my diet doesn’t have the structure it used to. And I can feel it. Sometimes you need that one good punch in the gut (figuratively speaking) to get your act in gear. The truth is, I know I’ve been slacking but I haven’t quite done all I can to combat it. So, even though that guy’s comment irritated me, it was the motivation I needed.
Maybe your motivation is not needed in the workout or health department. Maybe you’re already where you need/want to be or could care less. But we all have an ugly truth that we know we need to fix, but just haven’t made it over the hump to changing it yet. Most of the time, we are not afraid of failing, but afraid of the responsibility of success. There is no accountability needed to be mediocre. And isn’t it amazing how the tactless delivery of words from a stranger resonates with us? Don’t get me wrong, friends and family can tell us the same things with love, but sometimes it takes that unknowing spirit to really drive the point home. The next time someone stings you with words or deed, don’t think about the pain of the sting, but think about how good it feels. That may have been just what you needed to take you to the next level.