Labels

“I’m not disciplined.”  I explained.  To them, to myself.  Over and over I’ve labeled myself as someone “undisciplined” when it comes to working out on my own.  I’ve always found comfort in taking a class with an instructor that tells me what to do.  I can’t make myself do 20 burpees but I sure can follow an order.  Or can I?

I arrived at the neighborhood park this morning, cutting my run short because I was a) gasping for breath after only 4 minutes and b) knew my kids wanted to play.  For the first time, I thought of one of my friends, a mother of four, who uses the park equipment to workout, effectively killing two birds with one stone- the kids play while mom works out.  Win-win, except I’ve always told myself I could never make myself do that.  I wouldn’t know which exercises to do and am generally just too lazy and unmotivated to make myself move.

But here I was, in my workout gear after cutting my run about 15 minutes short.  What harm would a couple of burpees do?  So I did 10 of them.  Followed by 10 broad jumps with the 3 year-old, who saw and joined me.  Squat jumps, walking lunges and push ups- I worked up a sweat and I thought, “Damn.  Maybe I can do this.”

In that moment, I realized I had labeled myself “undisciplined” as a subconscious way of excusing myself from ever even trying.  And it caused me to wonder, how many times are we guilty of doing this in all other aspects of our lives?  How many times are we quitting before ever trying?  Is it a fear of the unknown?  Of failure?

I challenged myself to think of all the other labels I’ve placed upon myself.  We label ourselves fat, lazy, the middle child, unlovable, depressed, not good-enough or perhaps too-good, too-smart, too-risky.  And while there may be some truth in these labels, there comes a point when we must ask, “Are we identifying the label or is it defining us?”

It’s true.  I’m a bit lazy when it comes to working out on my own but that doesn’t mean I always have to be, just because it’s the way I’ve been in the past.

New Leaf Parenting.  Every Day is a Fresh Start.

Today was a new day for me.  Today I coached myself and it felt gratifying to know that I can.  I can, so long as I toss aside that label, turn over a new leaf and get busy defining my reality on my own, new terms.

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