Safety In Numbers

By on January 13, 2017

Well hello there. Welcome to 2017. I am excited to be back at the keyboard. I have been learning so much and have so many concepts flying around in my head that I want to get down on figurative paper, but its always a challenge to me to figure out what content will actually be helpful and meaningful to other women, so please, your feedback is greatly appreciated!

I’m going to try to get a blog post up every month this year! So I’ll try to keep them shorter…. big challenge for me. So today, I want to talk a little more about community. The reality is we all have some big blind spots in our lives. Physically, mentally, spiritually, relationally. It’s like being “nose blind” (thank you, Febreeze, for that). We all have things we’ve always thought or done that are not healthy, but we’ve always done them that way and we don’t see the problem with it. I think this stands in our way when it comes to fitness. Let me give you an example. I tore the labrum in my right shoulder back in May last year, and like every good nurse I basically ignored it, took ibuprofen, and kept working out for several months before getting an MRI, and then continued to do very little about my injury until December when I started having trouble surfing (and the world came to a screeching halt)! I had talked with several lovely, amazingly fit and tough women who have a similar injury and they told me I should go to PT. I didn’t do it until I got a little desperate and my surfing was being compromised. Again, tragedy in my world. Haha.

So, I finally went to a highly recommended PT clinic that works with very active young people a lot. Holy moly. Humbling experience. The physical therapist (they are gifts from God by the way) immediately showed me that my right scapula was sticking out like a wing and identified a bunch of other problems from the tear that I thought I was living just fine with. I’ve been going for a while and I can’t believe how much better it’s gotten already. I worked with another PT this week, and he did a bunch of testing on that arm again and I was dumbfounded that my right arm is still much weaker than my left. Again, I thought I was almost back to normal.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot and how it correlates to the rest of my life. Culture tells us to be self-sufficient, independent, “I don’t need anyone but me” kind of people. To be honest, I was raised somewhat that way and I’m glad that my parents taught me to work hard and that no one was going to just hand me anything. Now, there are tons of people who are lazy and co-dependent and that’s a whole different issue. I’m assuming that a lot of people who are reading this blog don’t fall into that category. But I think our attitude of self-sufficiency can also be a downfall. We are rarely vulnerable with people. We would rather hide in isolation. It’s very safe. But to live and love at all is to be vulnerable. It wasn’t until I finally admitted that my injury might be a problem that I sought out someone who knew more about it than I do to help me. Many of us have an issue, a struggle, a fear, and just keep it to ourselves. We think we are doing just fine managing it, until it flares up bad enough that we can’t ignore it anymore.

We need to humble ourselves and admit when we need help from others. Maybe some need professional help, like counseling, to work out a relationship issue or something like that, but that’s not really what I want to focus on right now. I’m talking about just living life in community with women who will speak the truth to you when you need it. I need friends like Jaimie and Taylor who tell me that I’m working too much and I need to slow down and focus on other things (yep, that happened). I was shocked! I thought working this much was a good thing (again, independent and self-sufficient!) Honestly, just being around them helps me to grow, because they are just plain better at some areas of life than I am! I need workout partners like my husband or my friend Juliet who will be expecting me to show up for a workout and won’t let me count bad reps. I need people to tell me that my spiritual or relational scapula is sticking out and I need to change the way I’m doing things. Why do you think gyms and fitness clubs like Crossfit are so popular? A lot of people think they don’t need anyone, show up at a gym, work out very ineffectively for hours, don’t see great results, and get discouraged. Crossfit and similar fitness clubs work because of the community and accountability they have established.

One of the reasons we fail to accomplish our New Year’s resolution goals is because we are afraid we will fail, and that fear makes us too insecure to ask someone to keep us accountable. Guess what? They probably feel the same way! I’m not saying to post it on Facebook or tell all your coworkers. In fact I strongly discourage it. Find a few, precious, ride-or-die friends, who have your best interests in mind, to hold you accountable. Most of the time, its just knowing they are there that motivates you! Also, it helps if they share the same goal or resolution, and are roughly on the same fitness level as you are. Like I said, choose wisely. There are certain people I know who are fun to be around; I can surf with them, work with them, whatever, but there’s no way in God’s green earth I’m ever going to tell them my goals, dreams, struggles, or insecurities. They just aren’t in a place where they can be that kind of friend. And when someone confides in you, asks you to hold them accountable, or talks to you about a physical, emotional, mental, or relational injury or issue, be the kind of friend you want to have. Encourage them, speak truth to them, hold them accountable, encourage them, don’t compete with them, and again, encourage them! There’s safety in numbers, ladies.
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Britt is an ER nurse on Oahu. She loves to workout, hike, and above all enjoys being challenged by the surf that the North Shore has to offer. She's always down for a new adventure and loves to travel.

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