It’s inside your head. How did it get there? Stress, change, life, all impacting you at once. Now what? Here’s how you can transform what you are feeling to what you are choosing to feel from Strong Sweet Caroline.
I believe there are important reasons routines must change. Rather than get sucked in to the circle of an ‘average life’, why not step out of that spinning wheel and do something different? Modify or die. Why routines must change.
Even with gut-wrenching pains, conflicts can be managed. How? Allow me to share three lessons I’ve learned in handling conflict in the now.
This year of “moxie”, I’m striving to push beyond limits. I want to be a change agent. What does that really mean? I’m working to better define it. However, what I have learned is how I can push myself beyond limits, each day, one day at at time, to reach my goals.
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I learned a lesson on my first hunt. How can you use this lesson in your life?
You have probably seen a lot of dust and smoke billowing into the air as you travel along rural roads. You might have also seen blinking lights on large, slow equipment heading down the road that is not quite wide enough for everyone. I know, you’ve got a full schedule and many things to worry about besides these distractions during your commute.
It’s easy to get caught up in the inconveniences or annoyances in our daily lives. Whether you are working full time, in college or somewhere in between, we are all working towards goals and achievements. We might experience “hiccups” in our days. Things don’t always go as planned in the rush of time. Fortunately, with practice and mental realignment, we can identify and appreciate the positives and rest assured that those hiccups remain just little jolts of energy in our lives.
As many in the farming community would say, “it’s the most wonderful time of the year”. Harvest 2016 is in full swing. Growers who raise field row crops like corn and soybeans have waited many months to see the fruits of their labor. Just like you, they have priorities each day. To a farmer, harvest is that “capstone project” they’ve been working at for months and now, it’s all come together.
Leading up to now, not everything has gone as planned. Mother Nature has not fully cooperated with precipitation and temperatures. Market conditions have made budgets tight and financial planning imperative. Now that we have reached October, the wait is over and crops are being plucked from the fields.
Whether it’s at my family’s farm or a customer’s farm, it is most rewarding to see the look on their faces after a long day in fields. It is a look of accomplishment. I am not sure there is a more satisfying industry to work in that agriculture. Ultimately, the goods and services provided are going to feed, clothe and fuel millions of people. Does that sound inspiring to you?
This weekend, I took more time to reflect on this agriculture capstone. I also realized that I must practice what I preach with staying focused on the little wins that lead to larger success. I took a breather, refreshed, and am ready for this next week of harvest ahead.
How will you learn from this adult capstone to be more gracious and overcome the hiccups in reaching goals? Just like my dog Sawyer, he always finds a way to get the good ear. I’m sure you can too.
The sunshine, palm trees and ocean breeze welcomed me when I landed in Charleston, South Carolina. Mid-70s and the smell of seafood wafted through the air. In just one day, I would indulge in some authentic seafood. Until then, it was time to decide which type of fish to be.
Have you hear the analogy of being “a big fish in a small pond?”
This concept demonstrates that the fish has outgrown its habitat and environment. It could also be related to leadership and experiences. Have you become good enough in an area and are not surrounded with room to grow or develop further? Or is the talent pool around you less than or equal to your capabilities? I was disciplined and focused on this goal for just over a year in bodybuilding and felt confident and comfortable. Was I becoming a big fish in a small pond?
Among 700 athletes, I competed in my first national bodybuilding competition at the NPC Jr. USA Championship on May 21, 2016. I was out of my small Midwest area. I was no longer a “big fish”.
The Charleston Convention Center was filled with tanned muscles, energetic supporters and the opportunity to showcase success on a national stage. Show week, also known as “peak week”, I knew I had prepared the best I could. It was my time to shine. I had to bring my “big fish” mentality from rural Nebraska to a larger group of competitors. I got a cold-like sickness just a few days before leaving for South Carolina. However, I refused to get mopey or upset about it. Just focused on drinking water, resting (when I could) and getting mentally prepared for the large feat ahead. Just like a fish, hydration is necessary.
Saturday morning at 6 am, it was go time. I had seen some of the other athletes enter around the venue. Now, it was my time.
Spray tan, check.
Hair and makeup, check.
Food and flexing, check.
Emergency supplies, check.
Friends to witness, check!
I approached the preparation room. As I entered the back room of the auditorium, something obvious struck me. I was no longer a “big fish”.
I quickly became the small fish in a big pond. I was surrounded by athletes who had been challenging themselves, working their bodies and developing muscle for years. They had more “complete” physiques. They were more prepared. There was nothing I could do to change my stage compared to them. The main difference was amount of time dedicated to the sport.
What a humbling view. As I made my way backstage with a class of 28 other women, I felt confident, yet small. My moxie was in full effect, as it was for the other ladies. I left it all on the stage from comparisons to my individual presentation.
After prejudging, I text my coach. I knew I had not qualified for the top in the class. However, the small fish effect was rewarding.
|Individual presentation photos at the Jr. USA Show. I have come a long way but I’m not where I want to be yet!|
With any large goal, it often takes the little steps and actions to accomplish them. Patience, discipline and laser focus are three keys to achieving something as detail-oriented as bodybuilding. I am more driven after this show experience than ever before. I am planning a longer “off season” to increase healthy calories, put on some weight and build more muscle (all the carbs and all the gains!). I am now a little fish, but I cannot stop swimming.
|Chilling with the girls.|
Are you becoming a big fish in a little pond? How can you reverse this to learn more and surround yourself with folks better than you, more experienced than you and ultimately, people who will drive you to become better than ever before?
Lucky for me, I have a great coach, new friends in bodybuilding and current friends who are learning about my bodybuilding pursuits. I even spent a few days exploring Charleston and Atlanta, completing my first photo shoot and enjoying some sweets and wine along the way!
|Post-show dinner at The Pearl. Swordfish, asparagus and
|Photoshoot in Charleston!|
Take some time to identify one or two of your biggest goals. Are you a big fish in a small pond or a small fish in a big pond? Once you determine that, make a plan that will lead to your biggest potential. Don’t swim alone; the school of fish is waiting to help you (and that can include me if you like).