Had this conversation with someone earlier today…

“But I’m afraid I will fail” they said.
“Most people who fail don’t want to do ‘hard’ stuff” I replied.  And then I said “I know you can do anything you decide you want to do.  Look at me.  I’m almost 50.  I have no business thinking I can start bodybuilding and compete at my age, but I’m going to do it anyway.  You can do what I did.  Make a list of everything you need to do to reach your goal – than DO it.  Promise yourself that you WILL do the hard stuff.  Everyday.  You might have to skip a few fun things.  So what? You are making an investment in yourself and your future.  All the sacrifices are worth it.”

Then I said, “Come see me and I’ll help you figure out the steps you need to take to reach your goal.  You will be awesome.”

This conversation was between me and one of my precalculus students this morning. She’s worried about next semester. I’m so proud of her. It is very scary to have this conversation with someone you think might judge you.

At the end of the day, another student, one who had been struggling most of the semester, handed me his review project with a huge smile and said “See? I told you I would not give up, See?”.

I put myself in front of them every day.  Whenever they need a pep talk I tell them that if I can do this, they can do a little hard math.  And many believe.  Several have told me in person or in writing that they are getting the message about believing in themselves because I’m doing something scary, too.  I worked so hard to be a good teacher for 15 years and I lost my health – I lost myself.  But now that I’m putting less into the job and working harder to be a bodybuilder, I’m find that I’m connecting with my kids better than ever before.

Speaking of hard stuff, I’m up at 4 am again tomorrow. Doesn’t matter that it is Saturday and that it is a ‘rest day’ from training. I still have to work at the gym at 6 am.   Sure, I’d like to sleep in, but it’s ok.  Got to keep doing the hard stuff.

I will not fail.

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