Right now I’m staring at a softball sized, black and blue lump on my right shin. Straight down the middle is a cut that is starting to scab over.
Monday night was my second practice of full contact roller derby at which I got slammed into a wall, fell, got tripped, kicked in the shins, and elbowed in the ribs. I knew this was coming. It’s all part of the sport, but on the way home from practice, I called my mom. Before she could even get a word out I started bawling.
It was a culmination of a lot of things that had come to a head, but the bottom line was that I was feeling beat up. Beaten down. Literally, and figuratively. Up to that point I had been working hard, skating hard, trying hard, putting out so much energy…hard. Not just in derby, but everywhere. Business, love, my personal growth, activities. And it felt like all I was seeming to get was being slammed into a wall. Efforts not producing results. One step forward, two steps back. Over and over again. And this night, it was all just too much.
And in between my sobs, where I was questioning whether or not I wanted to do derby, I started feeling bad about myself in a way that was very familiar to me. The old belief came creeping in that I’m a quitter. That I don’t push myself hard enough. That I give up. And how could I be a Life Coach who talks about personal growth and the like, but be so willing to leave (derby?) when the going gets tough, and just because it doesn’t feel good to me?
And it reminded me of a couple buddies of mine who own a Crossfit-type gym. I often listen to them talk about their opinions of fitness. They train elite athletes and whoever wants to train like one. They talk a lot about pushing yourself physically. Working hard so that you can grow beyond what you thought possible.
I see the results that their members get and it’s incredible. People reaching beyond their personal goals, feeling proud and empowered, looking amazing. Performing better in all aspects of life. And I love these guys. I love what they’ve created with their gym. But I just don’t go. Almost ever. And up to now I’ve felt bad about myself. Like, what is wrong with me that I don’t enjoy pushing myself in this way? That I don’t push it to the max? Lift as much as I possibly can? Finally do that pull up?
Up to now I’ve seen these people as different than me. Better. More motivated. More determined. Stronger. And my thoughts have been “I must not be tough. I must be lazy. Or weak. I must not push myself in life. I must be……a quitter.”
But the more I thought about it, the more I realized I was using someone one else’s ruler to measure success in my own life. I may not have a goal to lift a certain amount of weight, I may not have a goal to be tough in that way. But that my toughness comes in a WAY different form.
My pushing myself to the max looks very different. They may be sculpting bodies, that may be their goal, fitness and health, but in my life, my goal is to sculpt my heart.
I go to the edges of the earth, the cliff of total discomfort and fear and danger and I jump off of it in the service of my heart being as wide open as possible. For my soul to experience every single thing it came here to do. I push and I pull and I rest and I work hard. I train. Just like they do. But in a different realm. I’m fierce about it. Dedicated. Do it every single day. Fall and get back up. Mess up and then try something different. Think I can’t go any further, and then I do.
I take classes to get new skills. I read. I hire my own personal trainers in the form of coaches, healers, intuitives, and business people. I’m always learning, growing, changing and evolving. And that is no less important than how many kilos I can dead-lift. It makes me how I see them…dedicated, courageous, fierce, never giving up. It just comes through in a different form. And that’s ok. This is my measuring stick of success in my life. It may be a totally different ruler than a lot of people use, but it’s mine. My life.
And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I was beating myself over nothing. The important things to me in my life, I never quit. I never give up. I keep going even when the peak of the mountain seems so far away.
This is the path I chose. A lot of times it feels lonely. I almost always feel lost. And although I am doing it on my own, in that at the end of the day, it’s just me, my big heart, my vision, and my determination, I have an army of Wildhearts in my life who are there on the side of the road extending their arms to help me up when I fall. To hand me a towel when the sweat, dirt and tears are in my eyes from feeling like I can’t go any further. To hold up a sign saying “YOU CAN DO IT SALLY! YOU GOT IT GIRL!” when I’m ready to quit.
I’m going on my own, but I’m not alone.
And as I’ve been thinking about this all week long, a song came to my mind. And I wanted to play it for you.
It’s true. None of us really know where we’re going. A lot of the time, we feel alone. And often…no matter how much we search, the answers don’t come.
But I know for me, I AM going to hold on for the rest of my days. Keep walking. And know that the answers all lie within me. And the more I walk down the road, the more I know this.
What we’re looking for lies within us. And the more we seek it from outside sources, the less we’ll ever be able to find it. Only by looking inside will you ever find what you’re looking for. Freedom. Freedom from the pain of your wounds. Freedom from the way you think life needs to be. Freedom from having to have it all figured out.
If you don’t want to do derby, don’t. If you don’t want to go to med school, don’t. It’s not that you should give up, but more it’s about finding what matters most to you, and doing whatever it takes to get there.
Me and the other Wildhearts will be here to wipe the tears.
Have you ever felt this way? Have you ever felt bad about yourself or situation when comparing it yourself to others? Do you ever feel lonely walking down your path? Leave a comment below.
From my Wildheart to Yours.
P.s. Want to be part of the Wildheart Gang? Click here.