After three years of working in fitness and over a decade of being a fitness participant, I’ve come across a lot of attitudes that see fitness, and life for that matter, as a destination. “Once I weigh ___ lbs, I’ll be happy, or “once I have it all figured out and I’m not stressed, I’ll be happy.” I’m guilty of this attitude as well, but waiting to live life until everything settles into place is not living. Until you give up on the idea that happiness is somewhere else, it will never be where you are.
My last two blog posts have come around to the same point—that striving to live a more present life will ultimately lead to a more joyful one. Now, it can be really easy to turn the idea of being present into a destination as well, so don’t fall into that trap. Contrary to popular belief, being present doesn’t mean being comfortable. In fact, it’s horribly uncomfortable at first. Being present means leaning into what’s happening right in front us. All of it—the good, the bad, and the ugly. It’s being in the shit in order to grow. It is within those shitty moments—the moments that we are most scared, nervous, or unsure—that we grow. Lean into those moments.
This is one of the many reasons I love exercise. While my relationship with exercise has certainly changed over the years, the incredible feeling of accomplishment and pride that I feel when I complete a near impossible workout has never changed. To me, exercise is the ultimate expression of self love—we give ourselves space to be challenged, but on the other side of that challenge is growth and celebration. Every person needs to be able to experience that. It will change their life.
The key to a happier life isn’t in the next promotion, a slimmer waist, or a brand new car. It’s you. Everything you’ve ever wanted is already within you. It’s up to you to bring that to the surface.