Better Than the Alternative Tuesdays: Gut Check

Happy holy-hell-it-is-freakin-cold-out-there-Batman Tuesday! My Tuesday has been upside-down and inside-out from the beginning. I blame the blistering cold weather for feeling off.

Back to Snow Beast attire.

Admittedly, I am in no rush for the sweaty, hot days of summer to get here since it will mean that every piece of my wardrobe will be drenched the minute we hit 80°F (that’s 26.67°C for my science friends out there–why aren’t we on the metric system yet, by the way?!).

Wow. That was quite a tangent.

Here’s the thing, when was the last time you had a Gut Check? You know, had someone in your world push back against something you said, tried something you were fairly sure you couldn’t do, had someone call your bluff. A Gut Check.

You know why it’s important to have a Gut Check every once in a while? Because we usually gravitate toward things that make us feel better. The friend who consoles us, the significant other who comforts us, the co-worker who sides with us, the parent who kisses our head and tells us we’re perfect and nothing is our fault.

Bleh.

I absolutely love that JB is (occasionally, brutally) honest with me. I love that my closest family members and friends give it to me straight…most of the time, but always when I need it the most. Without them, I wouldn’t have even tried to go to PT school, which is my dream and also the scariest thing I’ve ever done.

And I moved from the suburbs of Colorado to Brooklyn. Yes, PT school is still scarier.

First day of Anatomy Cadaver lab = TERRIFYING!

The people who run away from Gut Checks are either scaredy cats or narcissists. It’s ok to be afraid. You can get over fear, you will likely never get over being a narcissist. I used to be a scaredy cat where my career was concerned. Sure, I could move from Colorado to NYC but I couldn’t get up the courage to go back to school. I needed JB, the Obi-wans, Red, my family and my bestest girlfriends. My Gut Checks.

Gut Check: you’re smart enough, so why haven’t you gone back to school?

Gut Check: you say you want to run a marathon, but have you signed up for one?

Gut Check: you say you want a new job, but have you been pounding the pavement?

Gut Check: you want to meet someone, but do you actively pursue dates?

Gut Check: you want to do trapeze/skydive/zumba, but you just got on the elliptical…again.

Gut Check: you want to change your life, but you really spend most of your time whining about it, not changing it.

This is the face of me, post-Gut Check.

Gut Check. We all need them. They help us grow, change, venture out of our comfort zone to reach higher highs…and sometimes some lows. But you get to live. So don’t shy away from people who offer you that Gut Check. It’s likely that they care about you, want you to succeed and cannot stand listening to you bellyache about your life anymore (see Season 2, Episode 13 of “Sex and the City”).

Don’t be afraid of the Gut Check. It might be just the thing you need to make the leap. It will make your life richer, fuller and more awesome. It did for me.

“Do or do not. There is no try.” -Yoda

Get it. Gut Check. It’s way Better Than the Alternative.

Now go out and run.

Better Than the Alternative Tuesdays: The Force

Better Than the Alternative Tuesdays is a time to remind ourselves that life isn’t really that bad. Right? I mean, you’re here, so that’s good. No matter what else is happening, my Obi-wan is always saying, “Hey, it beats the alternative” and so was born BTAT.

What better theme for BTAT, then, than The Force. If you don’t know what The Force is, please turn around and walk to your nearest computer and immediately watch the original three Star Wars movies. I’m talking the ones with Mark Hammill and Harrison Ford, not that other garbage. They are seriously awesome movies which you should watch in succession on a gloomy day or when you are sick. They rock.

Anywho, The Force can be used for good or for evil and is the most powerful weapon/tool in the whole Galaxy. The light saber doesn’t even come close to the power of The Force. The Force can move objects, choke people to death, make the impossible possible and otherwise overcome the powers of the Dark Side. And, as Obi-wan and Yoda are always telling Luke, The Force is strong with you.” Yoda has all kinds of words of wisdom regarding The Force.

The most powerful moment for me is after Yoda raises Luke’s jet out of the swamp using The Force:

Luke: “I don’t believe it.”

Yoda: “And that is why you fail.”

In my world, my Obi-wans (Mr. & Mrs.) are always telling me and my siblings that The Force is strong in our family.” And, yes, it is something we say to each other during times of trouble and when we need encouragement. We are corny, I know. But there’s truth to it. Because within our family structure, there is a Force, an energy and a determination to succeed and press on in seemingly impossible situations. So, yes, The Force is strong in our family. And we all have it.

And we all believe in it. And believe in it we must (little Yoda-speak for you there). When life seems impossible and there is only darkness, we have to believe that someday there will again be light. Faith, The Force, whatever you want to call it, it must be within us in order for our strength to overcome the Dark Side, to keep going.

Winston Churchill said, “When you’re going through hell, keep going.” That is what The Force allows us to do, to keep going. You may think it cheesy for us to take something from a movie and actually incorporate it into our everyday lives but I gotta tell you, there’s truth to it. I’ve seen it. I’ve seen it in eyes of my family members when they were sick with cancer. I’ve seen it in the eyes of my sister running a marathon, of my brother on the football field. I’ve seen it in times of trouble or sadness when there is suddenly one focus, one team and there is nothing we can’t do together. I’ve seen it in the fierce protectiveness we all have over each other when on of us is hurting or in need. It’s very strong and certainly a Force to be reckoned with.

The Force is strong in my family. And for that, I am grateful. And that’s what makes is Better Than the Alternative on this Tuesday. No matter where we go, no matter what we do, The Force is with us and within us and it will keep us going through our darkest times.

I hope you have The Force in some way or another. I hope you know the depths of your strength and can harness it when troubled times abound. It’s in you, you know. You just have to believe it, like Yoda says.

May The Force be with you, friends.

Now go out and run!