Rhoades to Fitness
It's YOU vs. YOU

YOUR best is all that’s expected

I’m afraid this is gonna be a long one. I’ve had a lot on my mind this morning and trying to condense it down will be challenging. Bare with me.

THE BEST! Since I can remember, I’ve had a drive in me to be “the best.” That’s a lot of pressure to put on yourself. Especially as a kid. Was I, or am I wrong in thinking that way? Yes and No. I wanted to be the best softball player on my team, I wanted to be stronger than any girl in the gym, I wanted to make A’s on all my tests, I wanted to learn all my books of the bible and all my bible verses before everyone in sunday school. When I give a massage I try every time to give my best because I want to hear the words, “that’s the best massage I ever had”. When I make flippin’ cupcakes, I want to hear that they are delicious. Maybe even the best. Why am I this way? I dunno. I chalk it up to, that’s the way God made me. I believe He did and I believe it was with purpose. When it came to sports I was naturally athletic, but that wasn’t good enough. I used to practice for hours by myself, throwing balls on the roof and catching them or throwing at a specific target. I hated making errors and hated striking out. I couldn’t help it if i hit a line drive right into someones glove, it was a good hit, but a swing and a miss was unacceptable. I didn’t expect my teammates to be perfect and they never let me down if they messed up. But I was so scared of letting them down, my coaches down, my parents down. When it came to grades I was never the smartest in the class, but I tried, I studied, I always did my homework. Not being valedictorian was okay to me but not making honor roll was NOT acceptable. I didn’t want to let my teachers down, or my parents. I wanted to be recognized as one of the best. In elementary school I used to get sick before testing, and in high school I would throw up before almost every game. Let me be super honest, it’s even important to me to be liked!!!! It kills my heart to think I hurt someone I love. Friendship is so important to me. When I love someone, I don’t love them a little. I love them so much that it overwhelms me. It’s the only way I know how. My hands are shaking as I type these words because it’s hard to admit these things. In 2008, I decided to step out of my comfort zone. I decided to compete in a figure competition. I’m talking about the girl that was always biggest in the family, or on the team, or in my group of friends. This wasn’t because I was lazy, it wasn’t because I was an over eater. I was active and PROBABLY ate less calories than the people I hung around with. Being a big girl was just who I was. I never liked it or accepted it, and I knew going into this it would probably be the hardest thing I had ever done. And I KNEW I wasn’t going to be the best on that stage. In the 25 weeks that I prepped for my first show, and the 16 I prepped for every photo shoot and show after that, I walked on that stage knowing I wasn’t THE best. But I did walk on that stage and smile for that camera knowing I was MY best. Thats where I screwed up in the past and what the last 5 years of my life has taught me. I can’t always be the best but I can always be my best. That’s all that I can expect from myself, and that’s all that my God, my parents, family and friends expect from me. Realizing this has offered me more air to breathe, and it has formed me into the person that I am and still forming me into the person I want to be. I’ve messed up, I’ve hurt people, I’ve lost, I’ve been let down by people I love, I’ve had my heart broken, I’ve had a lot that I worked for over the past 5 years taken from me. All of these things mean I’m not the best. It also means I’m human. And how I deal with these things is a choice. I can feel sorry for myself and quit, or I can keep fighting. I can choose to look at things with different eyes and see the blessings and not dwell on the let downs. I won’t accept the fact that my body isn’t working how it needs, I will fight it. And what I’ve learned over the past year is that I don’t have to have abs to be beautiful, I don’t have to have a body that shows on the outside how much weight I can lift and the good foods I put in my body. I can’t exercise and eat right for vanity, it’s not right. But I can do those things to achieve better health and for my body to run the best that it knows how to right now. I can prep my body for hard work, and build strong arms. I can help other women see the importance in loving themselves and trying to achieve their best. Doing that is a passion of mine and I hope to reach out and help more women in the future.

Over the past few years I tried so hard to get the job I thought I wanted. Though I took classes, got the certificates I needed, passed the physical test above and beyond what was needed, I didn’t get it. But what I got was a better one, that enables me to love, nurture, and teach. God made me, and He knew that’s what I’m good at. I just didn’t know I was good at that, in fact it scared me at first. But it has changed my heart, and it has blessed me beyond understanding.

I’ve experienced heartache and I have caused heartache (causing is so much worse), but it’s only taught me to forgive others and myself. Every trial you and I face, and every decision we make in this world forms us into the person we become. I want to become the woman I read about in Proverbs 31. I want to love like Jesus. I want to be MY best in everything I decide to do.

I was reminded today from a good friend that the bible says, whatever we decide to do, do it “heartily”, not perfectly. My friends are so wise đŸ˜‰Â Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,”

I guess what I’m ultimately trying to say is, it’s not wrong to strive to be the best. In fact, I believe it’s expected from us. But sometimes our best isn’t always the best. So I will strive to be MY strongest, MY most athletic, to give MY best massage, make MY best cupcakes ;), have MY best body, love MY best, be the best daughter, friend, employee, and one day wife and mother that I can be. I know I’ll continue to fail, lose, make mistakes, but they are easier to accept when you know you gave your all.

We can’t look like or be like anyone else, no. But we can be the best version of ourselves. Whether that’s our physical bodies, by training hard and fueling with good foods. Mentally, by continuously learning and being open minded to others thoughts. Or spiritually, by doing what’s right, practicing love and not hate and spending time in His word and prayer. I choose to do my best at all three. It’s not easy but it continues to pay off and I find myself stronger every day.


2 Responses to “YOUR best is all that’s expected”

  1. Erin this made me cry! so glad you shared your heart. What an awesome person you are! so glad that I got to grow up around you. I admire you more than you know and only wish i had an ounce of your confidence! God has really placed you where he wants you and so proud that you are following his life plan for you! Miss seeing your face! love you!

    • growing up next to you was a blessing! so proud of the woman you are, mom, wife, friend, sister in Christ. i was leaving your house the other day, watching you with Jace and thinking all those things. i miss seeing you as well. glad we got to spend a few hours together this week. love you!

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