Developing Your Inner Coach.

One of the greatest gifts my father could have ever given me was the gift of working out. I can remember the first pair of green weights from GNC. He came into the living room where I was and placed a weight in my hand and taught me how to do a bicep curl, he might have even said something manly about having huge muscles. I’m not sure.

All I know is that since that time I have not stopped, it was the times that my father all but demanded that I come downstairs and work out rather than playing video games. Another memory that comes to mind is when my parents bought one of the original versions of the total gym, a machine heavily endorsed by Chuck Norris and many other top athletes in various sports.

When I first got on this machine, I’ll never forget how great and amazing it felt to develop the range of motions in my arms. Not just that, but muscle tone. From that point on, I wanted to be on that machine.   My mom, though, she would always be protective of me and not want me to get hurt by working out on my own as any good mother would.

I’ve always liked working out on my own, though. Being able to throw in my ear buds and tune out the world. Letting go of pent of emotions, feelings and thoughts. I never really understood people that liked to stand around and talk during a workout. I understand, though, that people are fundamentally different in some ways.  Maybe for the ones who like to talk during a workout, it’s a means to catch up in regards to life or perhaps it’s a form of accountability to make sure you finish what you started.

What I want to discuss, though, is developing your own inner coach or rather inner drill sergeant. I don’t know when this started exactly, but when there is a difficult WOD ahead of me (that’s Crossfit language for the workout of the day) I often sense this inner voice saying to me “Don’t give up!” Or “Almost there, don’t quit”. This inner voice is always there for me. Even when I am tired and would rather lie in bed, the voice whispers “you’re one step closer toward your goal”

By now, you might be wondering “that’s great for you, but how do I get an inner coach?” And to be honest, I’m not sure that there is some magic formula that I can give you. I believe everyone’s inner coach will sound or seem different. The first suggestion I could provide you.

  1. Find a verbal cue, what I mean is find something that triggers a sense of motivation and resolve within you. For me, it was triggered by an army commercial where a drill instructor would tell the soon to be ranger “Don’t quit!” with great conviction in his voice. Since that moment, that same drill instructors voice has not left my head. Whatever it is for you, my encouragement is that you embark on the journey of your own inner coach.
  2.  If there is one lesson that I have had to learn over and over again, it’s that you cannot depend on others to be there. You won’t always have that friend to drag you from the couch to the gym. It’s in the pivotal moment when one must decide if they’re going to keep chasing their goals despite the fact that no ones watching, despite the fact that no one is cheering for you. The question you have to ask you have to ask yourself is: Do I love myself enough to do what it takes to be the best version of you possible?  Forget about the moments of failure, forget the moments of self-loathing and forget about all the times you thought that none of this really matters. The only thing you have to is Keep moving forward.
  3. What do you do then, when you can’t sense the voice of your own inner coach? The answer is simple: Keep going, there are many many times when I have to quietly yell at myself to keep going. To give all I got no matter how long it takes me to finish the task at hand. I have no regard for records or who is the best at what, but that I finish and finish strong.

Lastly, set goals for yourself, some short term and some long term. Goals will allow you to keep going not matter what comes your way. Even if the goal is to get out of bed in the morning, start there and move to the next, like eating a healthy breakfast. Then get your ass to the gym.  Life is far to valuable and precious not to take care of yourself, so why not start today?

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Developing Your Inner Coach.

Reflection on Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month

 

March is cerebral palsy awareness month, I’ve made a few posts on FB but I thought that a full-length post would be  good as well. I have lived with cerebral palsy (cp) for 30 years now. Yes, I’m 30 years of age, but I don’t feel it or look it. For that, I can thank the genetics that is in me. Cerebral Palsy is a condition that I have, not who I am.

Cerebral Palsy may be an extension of myself, but it is not who I am. First and foremost I am a child of God, who is loved from the earth to the heavens. This is where my identity lies. God knew my small frame long before time began, he wonderfully made me and gave me worth and dignity.

Having cerebral palsy then is a way that he has gifted me to reach out to others. It has allowed me to empathise with those who feel lonely, hurt and rejected by society. I can honestly say that if I didn’t have cerebral palsy, I probably wouldn’t have as big as a heart for people as I do now.

If anything, I probably would be more selfish and self-focused than I already am. That being said, there are many dark days that come with having this condition. There are many days that I wish I was different or like everybody else. Meaning that I wish I could run, walk and sprint. There are days when I cry out to God wishing things were different.

In these moments of self-pity and feeling of  helplessness, I ask the “what if?” and “why me?” questions. We all ask these questions, so to an extent its okay, God can handle these questions. Cerebral palsy is in no way easy to live with, it has taken me quite a long time to be at peace with myself, God and others.

The biggest truth that I can leave you with is that God loves you and created you with passion and purpose and no one can take that from you. People may not understand what we go through, they may even make fun of how we are. But I fearlessly proclaim that you’re loved beyond anything you could ever long for. Even in the times when you feel most alone, the most rejected the most misunderstood you’re loved.

I’ll be honest, there have been times where I have wanted to die. Just to be free from this body full of scars, but some how God keeps this smile on my face. But I say again, you are loved . Never give up the fight. Chase your dreams. Don’t be afraid to wear your heart on your sleeve, be who you are.

Another truth I submit to you is this, you are not a burden. If people do not make time for you, if they do not take the time to get to know you. That is merely a reflection of them and has nothing to do with you. Futher more, do not be afraid to love, do not be afraid to speak hope and encouragement. I truly believe that we can be the change we want to be in the world.

It may seem like you get nothing back in return, but as it is quoted in the movie Gladiator: “What we do in life echoes in eternity”. Do not shy away from pushing yourself physichally, I have been doing Brazillian Jiujitsu for almost 6 years and CrossFit for almost 2-3 years. With both of these elements in my life, my body has never been stronger. Even when doctors told me I wouldn’t be able to do much on my own, even when teachers told me I wouldn’t amount to much. It is by Gods grace I am who I am.

The same reality can be present in your or own life, you just have to take that small step forward. That might require asking for help, swallowing your pride and letting others be your teacher. It might require you sitting down and discovering your dreams and who you are as a person. Regardless, you can rest assured that there is no glass ceiling over our heads precerebral_palsy_awarenessventing us from conquering the obstacles that stand in our way.

Be well my friends.

-Brandon

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reflection on Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month

Longing For His Glory

 

Within the pages of scripture, there is a man by the name of Enoch. The amazing thing about him and his life, is that God swept him up from this life never to be seen again. He never appeared to be depressed or suicidal, but he was a great man of faith.

I find myself longing for the same. Now to be clear, I am not suicidal but I find myself with a deep longing to be with God. To actually see him, for all that he is. Moses wanted to see Gods glory but in the end only saw his back.

Why? Because if Moses saw the Lord in all his glory and majesty, I think he would fall over dead because it would be too much to take in at once. I simply wanted to rest against the heart of God and have no other care in the world. Just myself and God. Forget everyone else.

Yes, I know that God loves of his people, but sometimes I wish to go in the throne room and shut the door. Just the Lord and I. This line of thinking is completely and utterly selfish I know. But it’s where I’m at in life. I’m tired and weary and long for home. Home, where there is no pain, no selfishness, corruption and hate. Only perfect love, safety and pure joy.

Scripture tells us that we have a friend that sticks closer then a brother, I find that to be captivatingly beautiful. I try to implement that same type of love and loyalty in my life to those around me. Because it is what Christ would have done. We are to live as Christ did.

He knows we will fall, just as baby falls as they learn to walk.  But he must become our example, it’s extremely draining when you don’t receive that same love in return. In moments like this, we must remember that on the cross Jesus was utterly forsaken by his father and the people that swore to never leave his side.

His father turned away, so that those who would trust in him may never be alone. On the other hand, he (Jesus) knows how deeply in the pain goes when you have been left alone. As true and as rich as this may be. Honestly, it doesn’t seem like enough. It saddens me to say this, but I must be honest. It honestly may never be enough until I am in the Lords presence in perfect harmony.

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Longing For His Glory