Red Light, Green Light and That Darn Yellow Light
Getting over the hump of the Fit Family Challenge.
Hi. My name is Ami. It's the middle of May during the Fit Family Challenge and I have plateaued. I know about this space. This place where the traffic light of progress suddenly changes from a glowing, green light to a flashing, yellow light. Some people speed up when they see the yellow light; like it's a countdown to their guaranteed win just on the other side. Others slow down when they see that somewhat annoying light. Its timing is always bad. I mean, you're coasting down a smooth, freshly paved road then all of a sudden this blinking light is mocking you, as if to say, "If you were going faster and making better progress I'd leave you alone, but since you're driving at such a rinky-dink speed, I'm going to mess with you."
For the most part, I have a type A-minus personality (I just made up that minus part). Some aspects of my life only exist in the green or in the red. For me, that works. Either the light is green and I'm going, going, going; or the light is red and I've completely put the irrelevant task out of my mind. But this dichotomous way of thinking is applied only to the things that I perceive to have a big, hairy negative consequence waiting for me if I don't succeed, like performing well at work, raising the child, making sure the child gets enough vitamins but avoids the allergens. These are all green-light tasks. I would whizz right through the traffic light if I saw any shade of yellow appear during these tasks. No slowing down; no plateau.
The type B part of my personality couldn't care any less about being looked at as successful or being considered a high achiever in some areas. This part of me thrives on the idea that some things in life are so completely subjective, or that the foundation of their perceived significance is so slanted that it would be a complete waste of my time to even enter that drag race. I deal with these things within a very padded comfort zone. I do these things my own way, at my own pace and I am just fine accepting the "thanks for showing up" award. A couple of the things that my brain has decided properly belong in this category are money management (as I may have mentioned in earlier blogs, managing money is not my favorite pastime for some very specific reasons), but also working out. I mean, really working out – walking into a gym, attending a class with other people and instructors … those are the kind of workouts that make me see yellow, and slow down. Because I just don't know if that whole scene is my speed at this point in my life. I'm not saying that money management and working out don't hold value in my life. Believe me, they do! But, not to the point that I have to be all type A when it comes to how I go about it.
For those who have been following my Fit Family Challenge journey, you know that Lena and I have become quite the adventurers when it comes to hiking the trails in town. We love it. We get lost in it. We make time for it. It doesn't feel like a workout, that is, until we walk up a steep hill. But, even then, we're into it regardless. It is now part of our weekly routine. Great! But, I suppose we wouldn't exactly be taking the Fit Family Challenge if we stopped there.
Last week, I found myself chatting with a colleague about the Fit Family Challenge. She asked how things were going, and I said, "Great! Lena and I are hiking, eating balanced and home cooked meals, drinking more water, maintaining our wellness, all of that. But I've not been to the gym. I think I'll wait until Lena is away with her dad for the summer before I delve into that." My witty colleague chuckled as she quickly replied, "But, Ami, aren't you sort of missing the point?"
Ugh! I knew it as soon as I said it. My colleague was right. Sure, I could wait until my mommy schedule cleared and simply workout alone. Yes, I definitely am benefitting from the hiking activities that Lena and I love so much, but it came to us pretty easily. In fact, Lena and I had already explored some hiking trails before the Fit Family Challenge began. So, where's the challenge? Where did it go? I don't think overcoming the challenge and hiking along our little plateau is supposed to be the end-game; we're supposed to be all revved up and ready to speed toward that next challenge instead of riding the brakes the entire way.
My excuse is that I just don't have the time. How would Lena truly fit in? I'd have to change things all around to go to a class and be on time. Interestingly enough, these were all the same excuses I used to count ourselves out of the Fit Family Challenge in the first place. And now we hike every week. I've taken workout classes before. I know they can be fun. I know they are worth any hassles I may have to go through to attend. I also know that the Fit Family Challenge experts are pretty great and that Kyle has been a pleasure to work with. So, if the lane is clear and there are no cops around (figuratively speaking, kids!) why would I let that blinking yellow light psych me out? Says the type-A part of me, "I bet it won't anymore."
Ami Hill, 35, and daughter Lena, 9 are participating as one of our 2016 Fit Family Challenge spotlight families. Learn more about their healthy family journey here, and follow along with Ami as she updates us this Spring and Summer in the Fit Family Challenge Blog.