You Are Enough – a SHiFTer’s Journey

“Know who you are and know it’s enough” A little over a year ago I came across those words in the studio. It was like a switch was flipped, a light bulb went off. I took a picture of the little post-it note near the front desk and kept it on my phone.  At first, I had to look at those words on a daily basis, sometimes more than once a day. 
 
The truth is, over the past 10 years, I felt like I was never enough. I was not the perfect mother/daughter/wife/friend that I wanted to be. I found myself surrounded from all angles by people telling me what they thought I should do, people I wanted to make happy. I wanted to make everyone happy, and I surely tried to. All of this worrying about everyone else was at the sacrifice of myself. I was constantly telling myself to try harder, do more, push a little further. I would give more and more, but feel like I never measured upPerfectionism made me feel less and less perfect.  Less sleep, less happiness, less satisfaction and more anxiety.  More and more everyone else, less and less me.
 
As a result, my physical and mental heath was in trouble. Big trouble. I was seriously obese. I was tired all the time. I never felt good getting dressed in the morning and my feet swelled at the end of the day.  Feeling unequipped to handle more hurdles, I was then faced with my husband being diagnosed with a serious illness and losing his job. 
 
At that time, I was a mostly stay at home Mom. I couldn’t leave my young son for too long with my husband. I felt a profound sense of  
“Oh crap, now what?” My jaw ached from clenching my teeth in my sleep.  I tried to manage the stress with  anti-anxiety pills.  I had to do something otherwise we would lose everything.  
 
Do you know why I first walked into the studio? It was not for me but because my husband’s doctor said exercise could help him! Typical.
 
Taking my first class with Jenn, however, I found something . .all for me. The dark studio was a place where there was no judgment. I could turn off all the doubts and negativity running through my mind. I could just stop the constant worry for my son, my husband, my marriage for just a moment.  We are asked to set goals at the beginning of class. My goal at that time was for a little bit of “peace”. I didn’t know what peace would look like but I knew I needed it.
 
As usual, I was tuned in to what others were saying. But in the studio it was “When your back is against the wall you rise to the occasion”, “be your own best friend”, “you can do it; I’ve got you” For once, the message I was receiving was one of inspiration.  As time went on, Heidi helped me get on the right track with what I was putting in my body and slowly but surely the pounds came off. 
 
More important than anything I lost,  is what I gained. Through SHiFT Cycling, I came back to myself. She was always there. That five-year goal Jenn always asks us to set for ourselves?  I made mine in one year.
 
I know who I am. I am the girl who talks to herself in the same way she would talk to her own best friend. I go for what I want in life. It’s not always pretty or perfect. Sometimes I fall but I get right back up.The girl who can do anything she sets her mind to. The girl who now has a great career, the girl who doesn’t need anyone to do (or carry ) anything for her. I surround myself with others who lift me up and let those who don’t go along on their way. I’m the girl who still loves other people and wants them to be happy, but now I include myself on that list. And that girl is enough
 
Those of you who are stressed, those of you enduring anxiety, those of you who feel less than, who don’t feel like enough? I recognize the anxiety and stress in your words, your face and your body language. Maybe you’re not happy with your career, your relationships, your body, your life. I see you. I look for you. You’re not alone. I want to tell you “me, too, I’ve been there; but not anymore”. 
 
I ride for my best friend. That best friend just happens to be myself. I ride for all the others out there who need to be reminded that they can do anything.  I believe in you. I know you are enough. I ride because now it’s MY TURN to say to others and myself  “you can do it; I’ve got you”.
 
 I had a lot of support and encouragement from so many people, I am so grateful for the friends I have made. I couldn’t have done it without my SHiFT community. 
Written with SHiFT Blogger Emily Webster 

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