The Cat Box

You’ll always find something of interest in the Cat Box

Grinding It Out — August 1, 2013

Grinding It Out

Grindstone-300x241

How many times have you had to do something that was not particularly appealing but just plain had to be done? Stuff like this is usually important or you wouldn’t even consider doing it, so you’ve just got to get it done. That is one of those times when you’ve just got to put your nose to the stone and grind it out.

I recently heard this term from a guy who was considering a really difficult bike race with mega elevation gain. Somebody else was describing the difficulty of pieces of the ride and this guy said thoughtfully, “No, I can get through that. I am an extreme runner and I know how to just… grind… it… out.”

Since then I have been thinking about an individual’s anticipation and acceptance of just grinding it out. If you have ever done it you know how it’s going to be – really, really difficult. It’s going to be unpleasant. It’s going to hurt. But you know what to expect and you are sure you can do it, will do it, and will feel pretty darn good about it afterwards.

I usually think about this “grinding it out” when I am on my bike approaching one of those hills that go on forever at a grade that I know is going to be challenging for me. I get ready for complaining lungs and legs, but most preparation I need is for the challenges I will face inside my head. I frequently call upon the words that I have heard coaches and mentors say over the years. I use these words as a combination of prayer, meditation, and incantation; surprisingly to much success.

You can laugh, but “Ain’t nothin’ to it but to do it” and “Quitters never win and winners never quit” have gotten me and my bike over some tough stretches. I might as well admit to chanting to myself on a long 7% grade “bulldogish hangontiveness” over and over. It comes from my junior high school principal (We were the Trexler Bulldogs) and flows nicely over the other “I can’t do this” voices.

I have now reached a place where I truly grasp the beauty of just grinding it out, and I can do it; albeit, at my own level. I am surprisingly happy about this and about knowing that everyone can grind it out at his or her own level and that someday we will all tire of our perceived levels and grind it out even further.

Making It Happen — February 19, 2013

Making It Happen

Woman2SWomanI have arrived and every experience I have had up until this moment was in preparation for this moment. Now it is my responsibility to take this gift and do something fabulous with it.

What do we have but this moment? What have you got to lose?

A woman cannot sit around and feel sorry for herself. Those negative thoughts produce negative energy that surround her and keep her from finding happiness. Exercise really helps. A plan really helps too. If a woman makes herself get up and do something that she may not believe she is capable of she won’t believe how much power that will give her.

When I see a woman who breaks through her fear and gets to the gym or really starts walking and doing sit ups and push-ups and putting her valuable time into herself my heart rejoices. You see a new-found strength in her face and in the way she stands. She feels her god or goddess-given power. If she keeps going you will see her absolutely glow. We have all experienced the power of our own and our sisters’ successes. It is so empowering.

This is where a plan comes in very handy. If a woman formulates a plan for making herself more important in her own life and for making herself into the woman she would love to be, it becomes more possible that this will happen. Not everyone in her life will support her in this endeavor for many and various reasons which do not matter. She needs to find some support and we all need to be available to each other in these our efforts to blossom.

I’m thinking so much about women in my life who are stepping out and others who are thinking about it but are still fearful. I have been crippled by fear and will never criticize another woman for her fear. I hate receiving advice from other women when I am too scared to hear it. I will always be there though to lend support when someone has taken their first steps.

Some of us are here to help each other at the gate, but I feel more confident helping my sisters through the turns once they begin taking their own steps. We are all here to help each other and bring our own power to do that. We each have our own gifts that we bring to the world and our own way of helping each other bring theirs. We can let our powers lay dormant or we can bring them out for each other.

Moving Back Into the Light — January 3, 2013

Moving Back Into the Light

I have to admit it’s getting better, a little better all the time. Truth be told, I have been in a loooong black tunnel for the past 6 years while life rained shit down upon me. Really, so many bad things happened that I curled up like a pill bug touched again and again by the twisted hands of fate.

Only now can I look at those days with anything but fear as the bright circle at the end of the tunnel gets bigger and bigger.

Into the Light
Into the Light

And only now do I have the clear vision to see the many blessings I received during those days of blind fear and angst.

But wait a minute. Something I read on Oprah’s website http://www.oprah.com yesterday made me think that perhaps I prolonged my own agony by living in it as if it was my only option.

Oprah was relating the difficulties she experienced ending her fabulously successful television show and she advised, “Step out of your ego so you can recognize the truth. As soon as I did that, I was able to see the role I had played in creating “my circumstances,” without blaming other people. And—bingo!—I realized that all the noise about my struggle was a reflection of my personal angst and fear. “

Angst and fear. I had always considered myself a risk-taker and an explorer of life, but after getting hit pretty hard several times in a row, I lost my courage and my faith in myself. I began to live in darkness instead of light and to feel weak instead of strong. I was thrashing about for answers believing them not to exist. Oh, and those blessings I mentioned; they were very real and huge, and I let go of their power to clutch onto my pain.

I have to mention Oprah again because she uses her power to bring goodness – I see it all the time. She attracts people with inner personal power so people whose voices I need to hear appear in her magazine and on her website.

In the January issue of O there is a piece by Martha Beck titled “Take a Flying Leap.” She says, “When you crash, you’ll just keep getting better at the pop-up. You’ll live through every leap except the big one at the end. And even if you never leap, you’ll die anyway.” Nice. You can find more from Martha at http://marthabeck.com/.

I have also discovered a blog by a man named Jonathan Wells that is helping me to get moving on my path again by creating momentum. He says, “Taking consistent action toward your goals is the best way to build momentum. That means that taking action will get easier and easier as you go along. Eventually the actions you take will require much less effort. You’ll begin to enjoy your activities because you’ll feel more empowered and confident and you’ll have momentum on your side.” Check out Jonathan’s blog at http://advancedlifeskills.com/blog/the-power-of-momentum-2. His Breakthrough Strategy Coaching says, “You’re not here to break even. You’re here to break through.” Fantastic!

It is great when others speak their own personal truth that comes from their own personal experience. I hear and feel these words from these individuals. I also feel ready to work toward my goals of aging powerfully and gracefully and helping others to do the same. I am signed up for the 2013 Denver Century Ride http://denvercenturyride.com/ on June 15th. I am training for the 100-mile course that goes up over Lookout Mountain.

Up and Over Lookout Mountain
Up and Over
I stopped at Salvagetti Bike Shop in North Denver last night for new cleats for my shoes and took my first spinning class in four years. I am moving back into the light.