Today’s Positive People Army post is written by a very strong and courageous young woman.
Lara had a moment in her life when she needed her own army to help her deal with a toxic relationship. She found her supportive army in a very unlikely place.
Enjoy Lara’s inspiring story.
I recently celebrated my 5th year as a Fit Chicks boot-camp instructor. I love this job. It is great to have a job where you get paid to stay fit. But the best thing about my job is the women who attend my class. The collective energy they generate is a force so fantastic and powerful that it eclipses all of the other perks. So much so that it has even saved me at a certain point in my life
Whenever I teach, I always put the women in my class as my priority. This is their one hour and the focus must be on them and not me. So no matter how I am feeling, I always put my best face forward. I use every iota of energy that I can muster to give them my attention and passion to inspire and motivate them. But it is not always easy, especially that time in my life when everything felt as though it was disintegrating.
At the time, I was in a very toxic relationship and somehow managed to buy and renovate an older home with my now ex. Renovations are an absolute nightmare and really tests even the best of relationships. We squabbled about everything, including something as insignificant as purchasing Ikea drinking glasses so we were already at a disadvantage. Unable to break from the vicious cycle of my relationship, I felt extremely insecure, defeated and hollow. I was emaciated from the exhaustion of the physical labour demanded by renovations and experiencing mental anguish from tension and anger at my ex. It affected all aspects of my life: friendships, family relationships and work were strained and difficult to maintain. I exerted so much effort in trying to be sane in my relationship that all I could do when I was not struggling to be in my relationship was to stare blankly at walls.
But the only exception was when I had to teach boot-camp. During the nights that I had to teach, I tucked those lousy feelings away and concentrated on projecting a happier and more positive version of myself. Each time I did this, I found that I got so much more from my class.
Each and every woman in my class, whether they knew it or not, lent me their strength and gave me the ultimate courage to do the thing that would make me happy. Whenever I witnessed them evolve from a tentative new student to a supremely powerful and smiling athletic figure, able to jump higher and perform dynamic movements easily, I was inspired. In just one hour, with a few words of encouragement, they were able to overcome their self-doubts and body image issues as they sweated and strained their bodies with effort during the class. The air was frenetic and electric from their heaving efforts. With determination, they banished their fears as they performed particularly challenging moves and finished the class with glad sighs coupled with satisfied and accomplished looks on their faces. Their accomplishments buoyed me.
Sometimes I see women who are physically able to do well in class but have mentally limited themselves by thinking that they CANNOT do the moves in class or CANNOT complete the class successfully. When they finally become convinced to lift those blinders and do what they thought they could not do, I am uplifted. What a glorious breakthrough. Something simple as deciding to believe that you CAN do something can be so life-changing.
I witnessed these feats of strength, courage and determination each time, from everyone in differing degrees. And the more I witnessed it, the more I started to gain myself back. I threw myself into building their strength and power, and in return they gave me back mine. Every single one of them, whether they knew it or not, had lent me their courage and strength to ultimately do what I had to do to make me happy. If this wonderful group could move their own personal mountains, then why CAN’T I?
So I did. I broke up with my ex and sold the house. It was one of the toughest and most agonizing things I ever had to do in my life but it was the best learning I did in my life. I realized the strength that I had and the strength that can be drawn from a community of positive and energetic people.
I am very lucky that I have my army of positive people because they are part of my job. But if you are ever part of a group, community or activity, don’t ever be afraid to let your love, energy and passion shine. If you believe in the group that you are part of, give it all the energy that you have because you never know who is looking to you for inspiration. And your contributions, whether great or small, could be someone else’s salvation.
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