That Thing: What Stops You?



Talking with friends the other day, the subject of ‘that thing’ came up. ‘That thing’ refers to that which keeps us from being our best, most healthy selves. It is a thing of sabotage, feelings of inadequacy or worse. It is that thing that causes, in spite of knowing what is good for us, to do the opposite. Rather than exercise, we snuggle with a box of cookies or indulge in a victim mentality or coddle ourselves over a past wound. In all cases, that thing becomes our excuse for not taking responsibility, living in the present, and living our best. All of these would be an expression of negative energy.


Does everyone experience this dark force?


Certainly, when embarking on a new, healthy lifestyle, an internal battle may rage. Don’t feel like getting up early for a workout? Give up a favorite food or libation? Spend time researching healthy food options and learning to cook a different way? Does this represent darkness, negativity? Or is it simply that change can be difficult? It is true. The real work comes in getting to the nitty gritty of why the body is out of shape, not healthy, fat, and slow.   And that answer resides in the head and the heart.


Everyone has a story – reasons (excuses) for their own slack. At some point, a decision must be made. It does not matter how you got the way you are or who did what, you are the way you are now. Realizing that you are 100% responsible for yourself NOW and going forward is key. Just like we instruct a dog to “drop it” when a foreign object is clenched within his jaw, so too must we unclench and drop whatever excuse or warping has taken root.   It is not complicated. In a SINGLE moment, a new way of being is available. Only you have the power to change your mind, start a new path.


To those that think everyone is at the affect of a dark side of themselves, I say: that is not my truth, but I can only speak for me. That does not mean that I am immune to making excuses or that I have never grappled with self doubt. We are all human.


I did not have to wrestle with any crazy to motivate myself to live a healthy lifestyle or clean up my diet. It is true that I grew up ill and don’t wish to ever be bedridden or homebound again. But that is not a reflection of a dark force nor does it mean that my current motivations are based in fear (for being sick again). No!


My motivation is pretty simple. I am making up for lost time. Born with the unfortunate curse of a very loud internal clock, I know our time is short.   For me, living healthy, eating healthy is about seizing the day and sucking up the marrow of this earthly playground. Is that dark? Not by my definition. Does it even matter. Nah.


What is true for me is that when running or doing Crossfit, a space opens in my soul that expands. It fills with light and makes me think that anything is possible. (Light is defined as understanding). These activities align my being with with all that is positive and good. And, it is addictive…just like oxygen and water. Anyone battling ‘that thing’ of negative energy should know that engaging the body and pushing it literally clears darkness (negative thinking) and creates healing and wholeness from within. It is beautiful.


And, it is all relative. A newbie may look at someone ‘further along’ and judge that their lifestyle is just too much, over the top, or whatever. When, the truth IS that the person they are looking at may have transcended the negative voices, built a stronger body, gained mental clarity and is able to go to ‘higher’ level with more ease and should do so.


So, back to ‘that thing”. Is that real? It can be. Does it matter what it is? Not really. What matters is making a decision, in a single moment, to drop it. As the saying goes: when you get sick and tired of being sick and tired, you will make a change. Only YOU have that power.


And, if something ‘dark’ does serve to motivate a healthy lifestyle, then fantastic. Harnessing the power of a former wound to kick us into gear is one way to turn bad into good or dark into light. That is something to be thankful for. Hallelujah.

Melanie Blenis

About Melanie Blenis

Melanie Blenis has been a runner for about ten years. Prior to that, athletics were not part of her life experience. Four years ago, at 42, her son signed her up for her first trail race. She was hooked. Shortly, thereafter, Melanie completed her first Spartan, a Sprint in Atlanta, in 2011. It was life changing for Melanie and her entire family.
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