Tug-o-war. If you live in our neighborhood, this has been an annual tradition at the elementary school at least since my oldest daughter has been there. It is an annual competition, a tournament among the grade level classes, that earns you bragging rights for the year.
This is a photo of my daughter’s 3rd grade class. She’s the tugger in the white shirt right there with her teacher coaching her on. These kids and their teachers are serious, mentally prepared, and make it fun. The parents have as much fun watching as the kids do competing.
When I look at this photo it depicts how I feel with my daily journey to live more balanced. Being about six weeks into weight watchers, I am feeling the reality settling in of living a new lifestyle. It’s not one big pull and I’m at my goal. It’s something that I will work at always. And I want to be healthy so I take it seriously. My health and the health of my family matters. I have had to get to a place of being mentally prepared in order to approach this as a lifelong journey- a lifestyle of balance that I practice daily. And, yes, I have fun. I make it fun! I have gotten in a rhythm of sorts with it all. I found workouts I love to do. I know what foods I need to fuel my body with and I am learning how to prepare them in ways that are tasty… that I look forward to eating. I’m learning to say to no to things that make me feel overwhelmed and I try to rest when I can. It’s not easy and it takes work. Daily work.
So what else is going on in this picture? How does this relate to a journey of better living? I see a whole team that pulls with you, in the same direction you are going, to get you closer to the goal. One person alone cannot carry the work that requires many. Your team is right there by your side, going through the game with you, wanting the win too. They are your steadies- those that do life with you in a way that makes you want to live better, love bigger, and give your all.
On the other end of your team? That’s all the things that work against you… habits from the past that are hard to shake, negative self-talk that becomes your everyday norm when you are in that self-demoting mentality, emotional triggers that cause you fight or flight… and most days flight is just an easier option. It’s those that may not support your new way of living or your new habits of bettering yourself. And sometimes it’s just the taste of that one vice that you.cannot.say.no.to.ever. (Remember… The chocolate struggle is real…). These things tend to always be pulling us away from our goal- whether it’s massive resistance or just a gentle tug. We are in constant motion to pull back, away from these triggers.
Standing there right by your team is the coach. Maybe this is a person, maybe this is an online community of support, maybe this is a monthly meeting you attend. It’s that person or program that gives you specific strategies on how to pull harder in the direction you want to go. Coaches that have clipboards full of ideas to keep you committed to do your best. They see in you the goals you want to accomplish and they help you figure out a plan to execute a plan.
None of this would be easy without the cheering section. These are those bystanders around you that yell out encouragement from the sidelines. They are there, ready to give you that attagirl that we all need to hear from time to time. They may not be in your life daily, but they are there watching you succeed, giving you that thumbs up to keep going.
My daughter’s class started off this competition losing two out of the first three rounds. That didn’t stop them. They kept trying, working together one round at a time, getting stronger as they kept going and relying on each other. And by the time it was all said and done, they walked away with first place. What a win! Accomplishing a goal is always so much more satisfying when a little sweat and tears went into the game.
So I look at this photo and realize- this is life. This is me using my strength to pull towards the goals I have set for myself. One giant tug doesn’t get me there. I have to work with those around me, that help push me towards my goals. I have to use the support I have put in place to help coach me through, and I need to pay attention to the encouragement I get along the way. One day at at time. One tug toward the goal at a time. The drawn-out, hard fought wins are always the ones that you remember the most. And they are always so worth it.❤️