U.S. National Archives and Records Administration Heart Mountain Relocation Center, Heart Mountain, Wyoming. An instructor in the weight lifting class at this relocation center demonstrates the proper handling of 200 pound bars to a group of aspiring students.

This is how strong I am after CPY Boot Camp

I’ve been doing a two week boot camp program at Core Power Yoga and yesterday was my final workout. What this means, basically, is that I have worked out twice a day for the last twelve. I’ve woken at 5:30 a.m. Monday through Friday to make it to the studio by 06:00 and at 7:00 a.m. on weekends.

Waking that early is no small feat for this girl. I can occasionally still pull a nooner on a Saturday or Sunday with little problem; I was born to snooze. In fact, I have enjoyed slumber so much in my day, I’ve been known to plan out naps before I even rubbed the sleep from my eyes. And here I am doing cardio circuits and strength training for sixty minutes before the ol’ nine to five begins (not that anyone starts at nine anymore)?

I, conceivably, could have been fitting in morning workouts for the past twelve months, since my last go-round of Core Power Boot Camp when I tasted the glory that comes with getting fit. Technically, I could have been working out every morning since the moment, years and years and years ago, I decided physical fitness is a priority. But I haven’t been; I just haven’t been able to muster up the strength. I cannot drag myself out of bed and fit in even a twenty minute elliptical jog. I feel too tired, go to bed too late, have too much work to do, am clumsy and clunky in the morning, am too bitchy if I wake in the dark, know I will be late to work if I attempt to squeeze too many “tasks” in before the 8 o’clock bell rings. Basically, an endless stream of excuses as to why working out in the morning is not for me.

Making room for achievement, making a commitment to accomplish anything, making space for goal-setting and, ultimately, goal crushing, short- and long-term, takes time and investment. It can be difficult to find the motivation because we face basic challenges every day that must be met before any unessential things can be given our attention: grocery shopping, laundry, making a nutritious meal for the family, finding the perfect gift for a friend’s housewarming, worrying about how far the next paycheck will stretch, searching for a job in a market where they are few and far between, or mulling over the decision to pursue the one that inspires rather than the one that simply pays the bills, learning a new trade, studying for a certification, the future and a general sense of unknowing what lies ahead. These are challenges that, at times, can seem almost insurmountable in and of themselves…why add another that could quite possibly, in some way, add stress to life and may be out of reach?

William Blake wrote, “All that you behold, though it appears without, it is within, in your imagination of which this world of mortality is but a shadow.” Confidence. Pride. Liveliness. Strength. Elation. Vigor. These are good feelings. Plain and simple. In fact, they are more like great feelings. And all of them can be ours, if we make the time and space for them in our lives. If we want to feel them bad enough, we’ll make the necessary sacrifices. Maybe we can’t always feel accomplished and assured or strong and thrilled or whatever feeling brings the most satisfaction, but I’d guess we can at least 90 percent of the time, if we put effort into it, yes? If we make the time and then begin noting a change and presence consistently, they gradually become part of our inherent makeup and everyday routine. We dig deep and find them inside. We begin to become our own motivation rather than being motivated by some other thing.

With that, though, we have to take the bad with the good, and, I’ll even go so far as to claim, the bad is good. It is, I swear. You have to beat the bad in order to get to the good, in order to experience just how good the good really feels. Being uncomfortable, like being exhausted at the end of each day from working out hard core for two weeks is a fine feeling that certainly is less than ideal when you’re in the middle of sixty seconds of TRX suspended pushups into pike position. Picture that one.

What brings us this dignity? This fulfillment, this feeling of being pumped and invigorated? Is it because we pay hard-earned cash to do some workout program or for a pricey annual yoga membership so we feel obligated to commit to it? Maybe. Or maybe it’s because we want to know these feelings of commitment and achievement like they are ours? And then rather than simply know them, we own them. We become the true beholder and nothing can take them away except ourselves.

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