Friday evening. I silently applaud myself for making it into the gym on an evening where sleep seems like more of an appealing option. It’s arm day! It’s been a while since I’ve worked on them and they could sure stand to be refined. 45 lbs for skull crushers. Seems like a bit of a challenge, but not much. I struggle to lift the weight up over my head. Strike one. T-bar rows are next up. Only 35 pounds. Not too bad. Single arm rows. Too bad. Strike two. It’s now my partner’s turn. As she effortlessly gets through her set, I gawk at the woman staring at me on the other side of the glass. She is slim, slight curves (the biggest one fighting to come down in an attempt to be masked underneath a waist trimmer), small butt. The more I stared at this woman, the more annoyed I became with her. The more I observed her frame, the more I just wanted to tell her to forget it. “Quit. It isn’t worth it.” I slung my body onto a bench as I waited for my partner to be done. “I feel discouraged” seeped from between my lips before I had even granted it permission. My partner inquired further and I shared my observations with her. “How could I not see a difference? How is it that I am not getting traction? I’m doing routines that have worked well for me in the past.” These were the thoughts that clouded my brain. Instead of bombarding her with it all, I simply said “nothing is changing.” She quickly came to my rescue and assured me that I was doing my best. She also reminded me that I am the encourager & can’t stand to be defeated.

Defeat. . . self defeat. It is a very real thing. I find myself in this place again. I weigh all of the factors that have brought me to this familiar place: My body is not conforming. My schedule is not consistent enough. I need a change—a change in my body, a change in my routine. This change can only really come with a change in my busy schedule. This I can be certain of in a couple of months. In the meantime, what shall I do? 

What, then, is the remedy for defeat? There is no "one-quick-fix." I will share what picked me up in that moment, however: my accountability partner. I have blogged about her once before and, in that post, did not realize how she could be valuable to me in this way. She reminded me of how much I tend to encourage her regularly and in doing so, she immediately returned the favor. I allowed her words of encouragement to resonate and forced my mind to receive and believe every last ounce of positivity being spewed my way.  By her encouraging me, I was able to muster up the ability to encourage myself. What I have realized through this moment is that one of the hardest things to do when you are down is to pick your own self up. Sure, others can give you some encouragement, however, it is ultimately up to, you, the individual to make the decision of whether or not you'd actually like to receive it. This was the case with me.

So this post is an ode to anyone who gets knocked down and feels as if it isn't worth it anymore. Giving up is so much easier to commit to than staying the course. Surround yourself with people who can encourage you just as much as you can do for them. Also, recognize your power. You possess all that you need to overcome whatever obstacle it is that you face. They key is believing that you already have it.


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