My friend tells me that anxiety is about the future and depression is about the past. I guess the message is to stay focused on the present. And I get that; in fact I’m a strong believer in that way of living and sometimes I’m actually quite good at it. However, there are times when you need to look backwards to more fully evaluate your current circumstances as surely all that you’ve experienced and learned from your past has to count for something! Other times, you do have to look forward in order to put in motion the steps that will get you where you want to go. Otherwise, we might as well sit around all day and get stoned. (Not that there’s anything wrong with doing that from time to time!)
Last week I made the decision to withdraw from the personal trainer program I was enrolled in. I tried really hard to make it work but ultimately I had to acknowledge that it wasn’t a good fit for me. One of the things I learned in class is that we each have our own balance threshold; beyond this threshold we lose control of our center of gravity. Balance training is all about stressing this threshold by practicing on increasingly unstable surfaces until our area of control widens. (NASM Essentials of Personal Fitness Training, p. 248) If you don’t have a good sense of balance, you wouldn’t move directly from standing on one foot on level ground to attempting to stand on one foot on a BOSU ball! I think that is a good way to think about personal growth as well. I’m open to growing and changing but I need those unchartered spaces to be adjacent to who I am right now. Too big of a step away from my arc of comfort makes me fall down!
What I can’t tell yet is whether or not I still want to become a personal trainer. It dawned on me recently that being the trainee and being the trainer are two very different things. When I work out, whether individually or as part of a group, I lose myself to some degree and get engrossed in what I’m doing (or trying to do!) I think that is one of the things I like most about working out. On the other hand, being the trainer involves a whole different skill set and it is this set of skills that I’m no longer sure I can develop without trying to be someone I’m not. I love working out; I didn’t love the process of learning how to become a trainer. Maybe it was the approach; maybe it wasn’t. Or I might simply be feeling bruised from this experience and just need some time to let things settle down.
This is what I know for sure. More than ever I want to keep getting stronger and fitter and I want to keep writing. Beyond that, I don’t know yet. My other friend reminds me about the Zen saying, “jump first and the net will appear.” Well I did jump and the net that appeared wasn’t what I was expecting. Soon it will be time to jump again.