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  • Writer's pictureRachel Bennett

2020 Lessons… and a little rambling

This is the time of year when most people are still in a Christmas hangover and looking toward New Year with anticipation of what the next year will bring. This year is a little different I think. Because the last nine months have been a challenge for most people… if not all. COVID 19 has been a punk!!!! It's hit everyone in different ways… depression, anxiety, weight gain, domestic abuse, job loss, and the list goes on and on and on. And don't forget the people who have actually gotten sick… and some that have passed. It's been a helluva year.

When we first when on lockdown in March, our family had just returned home from a cruise vacation out of the country. Traveling had already become affected and it was a little scary. I remember telling my 8 year old son to "TOUCH NOTHING!" about a million times a day. Being that it was a cruise (which is essentially a floating buffet), I had set an intention of getting my nutrition and fitness back in high gear as soon as I got home. And it saved me. Because as the rest of the country was treating lockdown like a vacation from life, I was kicking my rear into gear. And it wasn't easy. I was used to having a gym, and a trainer, and classes and grocery stores full of a variety of foods. I never realized what a luxury that was. And then it was gone. I was feeling a lot of feelings about this… anger, anxiety, frustration… but I wasn't about to quit. I'm not a quitter… maybe a procrastinator at times, but not a quitter.

I'm not going to go into all of the details of what I ate and my workouts, because that's just boring. But what I will talk about is how my mindset had to shift. I had to get curious about changing my approach because my environment had changed dramatically. And I had to be so incredibly disciplined. And I choose that word carefully.. Because it had nothing to do with will power. I just didn't it. I knew that I wanted to lose a few pounds and change the shape of my body a bit. But I didn't have the will to do the work. So I had to rely on habits and routine. I got up in the morning every morning and put my workout clothes on and put in the work. Some work. Any work. Some days I worked harder than others, but every day I worked.

Will power is a resource. And like any other resource it can be there in abundance or it can be scarce. I found myself in a place of scarcity. Just like toilet paper, there was none to be had. It had just been sucked out of me. I hate that saying "Where there is a will, there is a way"… So if I have no will then there is no way???? Really. My will power battery was at an all-time low. But I still had a plan to execute. And what I did have was discipline. Because taking care of my body is not a hobby that I do when I have extra time. Taking care of my body is job. And like in my career, if I don't do my job well then I may lose it. Oh man, just to think about that right there. Why do we treat health like something we'll get to when we have free time???? And then with lockdown we have all the free time in the world but don't do anything but sit in an anxious state, waiting to see what happens… Wow, I'm getting on a soap box so I'll get back to my point.

Looking back over this last year I don't even remember what happened before March really. So I'm reflecting on what I accomplished this year since and setting goals for 2021. 2020 was supposed to be a year of focus (like 20/20 vision), but as I think about it, maybe for me it was a wakeup call and a reset button. It taught me to understand resource scarcity and how to work with it… because it's reality. I learned to rely on my discipline and create routines… get creative and look for new ways to socialize and navigate life in general. So it's taught me new skills and has given me a new perspective. It's made me thankful for my healthy community and ignited a new fire in me to be a better steward of my own health. I've learned to listen to my emotions and understand that it's ok to be concerned and even freak out a bit.. But it's not ok to downward spiral so I need to take the time to process my feelings. And I need to allow others to feel and do the same, because I'm not alone. This year taught me how to ask for help when I need it and give praise when it's deserved. And as I reflect on the year, while it's not been great in general, there are still some great things in it. Now on to the next year…..

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