Saturday, January 10, 2009

Kicking In The New Year To Become Your Opposite

The kickboxing instructor looked at me with distain. “You do yoga and running, but nothing aggressive?”

Even though I just met her, I had to prove myself. This is me. I ride a motorcycle, hike, camp, and take the hard knocks in life standing up. Had I really never done anything “aggressive”? That couldn’t be true. I stood there thinking and remembered judo in college. Yes, I had officially done something aggressive! I quickly explained that the girls refused to be my partner because they were afraid of me. I had to throw the guys and that was easier because the bigger they are the easier it is to get under their center of gravity and the harder they fall. Whew, passed the first test.

Why did it matter to me?

I didn’t know her and hadn’t even signed up yet. Obviously she’s the type of person I admire. Although small, she was straightforward and filled with a recognizable strength. Even more so, when I set my sights on something, I hate when someone thinks I can’t do it.

A long time ago, I took a simple personality quiz. The whole premise was that we all have characteristic traits from four areas. One is our strongest and one is our weakest with the other two in between. People spend their time trying to determine their personality, but that’s not what’s important. You need to concentrate on the person you are not. If by the end of your life you do not become your opposite, you will be unfulfilled.

My whole life I’ve been an overweight slug and I have the thighs to prove it. As I was turning 40, I decided to change. Other women told me that I shouldn’t bother to lose the weight, but I lost 50 pounds. For nine years I’ve practiced yoga, and I found the Thrive Yoga studio to help me reach a more advanced level. Two years ago, I started running on New Year’s Day and I’ve never missed going out a few times a week.

Fellow blogger, Amy Kimes, posted a link to her friend’s website about creating a personal vision board. With limited time, I answered the questions and created a personal vision statement which included kickboxing.

Throughout my life, I’ve ignored my physical well-being. In order to be complete, I need to be more adventurous. My instructor turned out to be a national champion in kickboxing. She trains, completes, and teaches in a few martial arts. I gave her hope that she could still have children in her 30’s and she inspired me to be totally fit.

Think about the person you want to be. Create a vision about where you would like to volunteer, what you dream of doing, what you would like to accomplish in work, and where you want to take your vacation.

Spend some time thinking about everything you don’t like to do. All those activities and situations you would never be caught dead trying. When you hear yourself saying “That’s not me”, take some time to determine why. Decide whether there are any barriers that might be stopping you from doing something fun, different, and challenging.

Most importantly, take it one year at a time -- starting this year.

1 comment:

  1. What a great post! Thanks for being so inspiring, particular as I enter the year in which I turn 40!