GritFit Abilene has challenged me for three months now to be the best version of myself! Two days ago I did a workout in memory of my brother Shawn and it HURT! As I pushed through the pain tears began to fall from my eyes, thankfully they blended with the sweat dripping from my forehead. Francisco Carlos Garrigas, one of our many encouraging coaches, came over to help me just as I began to feel like I couldn’t go any further to complete my final set. I had 7 thrusters left to finish it, but I felt that I couldn’t make it 🏋🏾♀️! He started counting and encouraging me to keep pushing through the blazing fire in my arms and legs! I also heard several incredible people all around the gym saying, come on Stephanie you have got this! I could have stopped and everything in me wanted to but my end goal was, no matter how many modifications I may need, I will not quit! Somedays life is so hard and quitting would most certainly be the easier option! “Do Not Quit” were the loud words channeling through both hemispheres of my brain! I managed to complete it and I am thankful that I did not try to complete it alone!
Sweet Friends. I cannot help but think of how many are suffering right now due to loss of many sorts. Loss of family, loss of jobs, loss of the normalcy of life as we once knew it. What pain are you managing in your life right now? How are you working the chaos out? Drugs? Alcohol? Food? Power & Control? How? Is the pain that you are trying to manage bad enough to take steps towards REAL CHANGE, HEALING? The kind of change that leaves you refreshed, alive, and thriving not just coping, getting by, and surviving?
My observation from my memorial workout is that that It really makes a difference if we have people around who have our backs and count to seven with us just when we feel like we can’t go any further. It is important to set goals and work towards achieving them. It is equally important to have a support system.
My brothers struggled to reach out and get support. Both tragically died young. Both often struggled with self medication for depression, anxiety, ADHD, parental alienation, feelings of never being enough, and many other tormenting issues. Both of my brother are gone FOREVER😭😢. What a sobering and almost unbearable thought. As their baby sister, they undoubtedly annoyed me, overprotected me, and drove me insane as most brothers do. I drove them crazy too 😁! They also loved big, felt deep, and are my why for many driving forces of advocacy and focus towards being my best and helping others.
Often times music helps me find words to emotions that overwhelm my mind and attempt to steal my peace. There is a song by The Band Perry called “If I Die Young”. These words depict how it feels to lose a loved one so very young. “Who would have thought forever could be severed by, the sharp knife of a short life.” That knife cut through layers of my existence and has formed an eternal scar on my soul.
Well, as painful as it is that they are gone, I am thankful that I get to imagine both of my brothers united in heaven, whole and free. Although it is hard, I MUST accept that they’ve had just enough time on earth. They are no longer suffering and if I choose to suffer here, the painful truth is that it will be my choice! Instead of suffering, I will find ways to press on and LIVE my life.
One thing they have taught me is that we are not guaranteed tomorrow. We only have memories and the present moment to truly be. Be present. Be a blessing. Be a person of kindness. Be a person of charity. Be a hard working human! BE Ourselves! No one can replace my brothers, or me, or you. We were created for such a time as this. The weighted question is, HOW WILL WE CHOOSE TO PUSH THROUGH THE PAIN AND TRULY PROSPER WITH THE UNCERTAIN TIME WE HAVE LEFT?
☠️looking for love in all the wrong places
☠️hatred and anger
☠️laying in bed or on the couch depressed
❤️prayer and meditation
❤️time with my family “quality time”
❤️time with friends
❤️humor, counseling, camping
❤️public speaking and advocacy
❤️music (listening, writing, & performing)
❤️healthy eating with some (chocolate)😂
❤️intimacy with your person😉
❤️smiling at strangers
❤️raising money for charity
❤️painfully ugly and still profoundly healing workouts!
I choose the ❤️ not the ☠️!
Self medicating with toxins are not an option for me but this ❤️ list is my go to! What is yours? Please reach out if you need a friend. I don’t claim to know all of the answers. I am not perfect. I am messy sometimes. I am empathetic and may cry but love does that sometimes. I do love to brainstorm and listen! I love this painfully broken yet beautifully whole life I am fortunate enough to live!