R is for #resilience- guest blogger Amanda Gilbreath-Hawkins

I was never the fittest, the most popular, or the best cheerleader in my high school years…attributes, that as a teenager, I thought mattered more than being on the honor roll.

I mentally struggled then and even into my adult years because of insignificant physical standards that did not define me as a person.

Today, I am THANKFUL I wasn’t the best…

that I wasn’t voted ‘best figure’ for the year book…

that I fell on my butt on national tv during a cheerleading competition.

You see, I always wanted to be the best but everything I did was to impress others…I was trying to live up to what was socially preferred.

I let my surroundings define me and I had no idea who I was.

image3I gave up my academic scholarship and went into the Navy immediately after high school.

I wasn’t a runner…I had tree-trunk legs and was use to throwing girls in the air at ballgames.

I struggled.

I failed.

I was set back a week in boot camp because I missed my run by seven seconds.

I have seriously never told a soul about that. Ever.

Seven seconds meant seven more days away from freedom.

I was ashamed.

I was embarrassed.

I was officially labeled a failure on paper.

image1From high school to boot camp, I wasn’t meeting the ‘standard’ and for seven long days when the lights went out at 10pm, I cried into my pillow.

I didn’t have a plan ‘B.’

For the first time in my 18 years on this planet, I was individually accountable for my success…err failure.

I had to dig deep in an emotionally-straining environment to find the ‘want’ to try harder…to run faster…to lift heavier…to be stronger…to be better.

“Failure is an honest endeavor”

When Jeidi asked if I wanted to be a guest blogger, I thought, “Whoa! Me? What could someone as mediocre as me in fitness possibly have to offer others.

But the more I thought about it, RESILIENCE is why I wake up at 4am 4-5 times a week to workout and why at the end of those seven days, I knocked well over a minute off my run time.

I am SOLELY responsible

for transitioning

my weaknesses into strengths.

I am a work in progress…

I haven’t conquered my weakness in the gym.

In fact, I now realize I’m not here to reach that “final destination.”

Working out at Sweat has taught me that although it’s a group environment, you compete with yourself.

I’m there for me.

And if I don’t meet my goal this week, it’s not a permanent failure…it’s where I am at the time.

Tomorrow or next week may be different…or it may not… but I SET THE STANDARD, not anyone else.

“Fall seven times, stand up eight.”~ Japanese Proverb

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