During those times, it's more important than ever to put my thoughts on paper, show up at the gym, and be with my friends. It takes more effort, but it is so worth it in the end.
Take last night, for example. I had a meeting after work, so I knew I wouldn't get to the gym until late. Plus, there's been some emotional stuff on my plate and it's been hard to be my best self, to put on the stretchy pants and shake my groove thing. But I keep showing up, knowing that when I leave I will feel better than when I arrived.
Last night I got on the elliptical trainer and turned on my "Shut Up and Sweat" playlist, set to play at random. The playlist is made up of songs that make me feel good, have enough beats per minute to get me going at a steady clip, and make the workout positive. The first song that came up? "Instant Karma" by John Lennon.
Who in the hell do you think you are?
A superstar? Well, right you are!
Well we all shine on
like the moon and the stars and the sun
Well we all shine on
Everyone, come on!
You couldn't wipe the smile off my face. It was a perfect moment in which the music and my soul were in perfect sync. Regardless of my problems and issues and emotions, I could choose to rise above. I could Choose Awesome.
The trend continued. Everything that randomly popped up fed into the already amazing feeling. "Mercy" by Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, with its chorus of "You already shine ... " reminding me of what Lennon said; "Read My Mind" by the Killers - "Woman, open the door, don't let it sting, I wanna breathe that fire again." And yeah, "Bring Me to Life" by Evanescence, inspiring me to move and tapping into my ... um ... very female side at the same time. Song after song guided me through an amazing hour. Six miles, 700 calories, pure heaven.
And then I ran into Shakespeare in the locker room. We did a little catching up while she got ready to head upstairs for her workout, and it served as a reminder that we're all in this together. We may have tough days, but we can still listen. It's funny, but my friends are teaching me how to be a better friend. I'm better at being there for them, because they're there for me. I'm able to show them the positive side, because they've shown it to me. And yeah, sometimes I even believe that I'm pretty Awesome because they thought so first.
So it's true what Lennon said ... we all shine on.