Rhoades to Fitness
It's YOU vs. YOU

Lift BIG. Love BIGGER. Laugh every chance you get.

Have you ever known exactly what you want to say, but then can’t find the words to say them? That’s practically been my week and that’s why I write. For some reason my fingers find a way to say what my mouth can’t. My mind has been in a weird fog about life, where I’ve been, where I am and where I’m going. It’s been a challenging 2 years. Most people that know me and spend time with me, probably wouldn’t really know that, because I do a pretty good job at keeping pain to myself. Actually, I do a pretty good job of not dealing with pain. I like to ignore it. I’m positive my trials are very minor compared to most, but that doesn’t mean I can’t relate. But through every situation, I find that God is molding me and forming me into the person I’ve asked Him to make me. Since the beginning of 2013, until now, I’ve experienced every type of pain possible. I left my home of 30 years and moved up north, though it was my decision, it doesn’t mean I don’t miss my home. For a few months last year, one day each week, I’d get so sick that I could do nothing more than stay in bed except for making my way to the bathroom and then back to pass out again. It really made me appreciate my health. I fell in love with the most beautiful boy I’ve ever seen in my life, he’s only 20 months now, but he taught me a new way to love that I never knew possible. He moves next month, and I’m trying to figure out how to be okay with it, but if I’m alone and let myself think about it a second too long, alligator tears roll down my face. He loves alligators. 🙂 His two sisters have also wormed their way into my heart, turds. 😉 I loved them before but now I love them unconditionally. Some of my favorite moments of 2013-2014 were spent with them, playing Clue, Phase 10 and “truth” (that’s truth or dare without the dare), or watching Veronica Mars and One Tree Hill till we couldn’t keep our eyes open any longer. It’s amazing how little moments like that can be so precious. Please don’t take those things for granted. I hurt my back again in September for the 4th time in the past 7 years and it was really bad this time. And since that day in September I’ve hurt it twice since then, one of those times being this last Monday. I get so mad every time it happens, because I’ve been doing something I’ve absolutely loved each time I’ve done it. The first being softball and every time since then, lifting. I lost my granny back in October. Her death was a lot easier for me to handle than it was to see her slowly passing, and watching my mom cry. I know she’s better now and that’s comforting. One of my best friends moved 7 hours away last year, one of my best friends is moving across the country next month, and I have parted ways with a special boy that I loved very much with all my heart the last 5 years. This week has been the hardest so far and I hope that from here on out it gets a little easier. That my heart, my back and my little broken pinky toe (geez) are on the mend. I’m not saying any of this for sympathy. In fact, if you only knew how hard it is to share my feelings with y’all, you’d know that’s the last thing I’m looking for. I just know that many of you are going through similar situations and can relate to one or more of my pains. Now that I’d like to puke from being vulnerable, I’d like to share the silver lining. For every bit of pain that you feel, the healing process will make you stronger. When you get sore from tearing your muscles, when a broken bone or a broken heart finally heals, it comes back stronger. I know this to be fact. I’ve had all three numerous times. I have loved big and I have lost big, and I know it’s only going to allow me to love BIGGER. That’s actually really scary. I always say, “with big love comes big loss.” So I’m positive that with bigger love comes bigger loss. But I’m also sure that the bigger love will be worth it. It’s been a hard lesson, but I’m learning that it’s okay not to be happy all the time, and it’s okay to be sad and cry. I’m not sure where my hangup with that comes from, and I still might only do that in the privacy of God and myself, but at least I’m letting myself feel it. That’s a very big step for me. Many people have said to me this week and in the past, “maybe you need to stop lifting”…uhhhhh NO! Are you crazy? Do you know me at all? Although, I have decided some of my goals might have to change. That I guess I don’t HAVE to be the strongest girl in the gym (which I’m not, but that never stopped me from trying), I’m willing to spend more time on injury prevention and settle for being strong and not the strong-est. That’s gonna be hard and I’m gonna need a friend or two to remind me that I said that. I’m okay with some tough love, so feel free to give it.
I’m sure each of you have heard the uplifting sayings that end in “laugh often.” Well, often isn’t enough. I say, laugh every chance you get. It truly is the best feeling and sound that God created. Nothing can make your heart or even back feel better than true laughter. Even if I’m laughing so hard that I feel those sharp pains in my back, it’s the best feeling in the world, and in that moment I take in those sounds and feelings and hold onto them as long as possible.
I sing a song to my buddy sometimes when I get the chance to rock him to sleep, I don’t choose this one often but maybe I should, it says, “You have to give a little, take a little, let your poor heart break a little. That’s the story of, that’s the glory of love. You have to laugh a little, cry a little, till the clouds roll by a little. That’s the story of, that’s the glory of love. You’ve got to win a little, lose a little, yes, and always have the blues a little. That’s the story of, that’s the glory of love.” It’s just a reminder to myself that it’s okay to take and not always give. To let my heart break and come back stronger. To cry, but also laugh every chance I get, because those are my favorite moments. To win but it’s okay to lose if I tried my best. Never give up on the little things that bring you joy, like in my case, singing in my car, loving unconditionally, lifting big and playing softball when I get the chance. I’ll take my heart break as it comes, my back aches and broken bones telling me to “slow down and rethink your goals,” but I will never take for granted those talents that God gifted me with. I will use them for His glory and in Him I find my joy. “2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4

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