There used to be a time in my life when everything going on would constantly be floating around in my mind. A minute wouldn’t go by were I’d be panicking about my next test, my plans for that weekend, or if I’ll make weight for my wresting match. If one little thing didn’t go the way I wanted it to, I would be totally thrown off and quickly go into crisis mode. This way of living definitely aged me a good few years. So I recently decided that I just don’t care anymore.
Now, I’m not saying sit in your room and do nothing with your life. That is not the message I am giving. I am saying put everything you have into something you care about. Don’t settle until you are a hundred percent confident in what you have done. If you do that, then you won’t be worrying about what will happen. You won’t be staying up until the middle of the night tossing and turning hoping you studied another for your test. All you have to do is give it everything you have, and whatever will happen will happen. The cards will fold the way they are supposed to be. This is how I will live my life now. I am not going to worry and panic about the minor things. I am not going to care about that kind of thinking. I am going to do everything I possibly can to do what I want. And however it plays out, is how it is meant to be. All I know is I did everything I could and that’s all I care about.
For people living on the east coast, this winter has been one of the worst. Now that everything is finally getting back to normal after the blackouts, gas station lines, and devastating losses of Sandy; we were now hit with the storm Nemo. While I think this is my favorite name for any hurricane, I was anticipating the worst after being without heat and power for almost two weeks from Sandy. Fortunately, Nemo wasn’t as harmful as most people thought. There weren’t any power lines coming down or trees collapsing in the middle of the road. However, the storm did bring the most snow I have seen in a couple of years. It was so heavy that I had to shovel my driveway once at night and again in the morning. When I was done, I showered up and laid back for a a little. I felt awesome with that feeling you get after you had a good workout at the gym. My muscles were relaxed and my whole body was filled with energy. I never realized that shoveling could be this great of a workout.
While it doesn’t snow everyday, I feel like shoveling the driveway is one of the best cardio exercises I have done in a while. Unlike just running on a treadmill, you are putting emphasis one very muscle in your body. You use your arms and chest to push the shovel deep into the snow, and then use your back and legs to lift the snow up and throw it to the side. You repeat this over and over again as you pump up those muscles carrying a good amount of weight up and down the driveway. Even though this is a simple task that most people do, it makes me proud that I accomplished it. I almost feel like one of the weightlifters in the World’s Strongest Man Competition carrying those 200 pound balls of cement, even though the snow is probably only twenty pounds every shovel.
Another great thing about this task is you can’t focus on time and can only put your attention on what you are doing. One of the worst parts about being on a treadmill is the timer flashing in big lights. You try to ignore it, but it draws your attention like a fly to a light. Not only is it distracting, but each time you count the seconds it makes you feel like you are so far away from how long you want to run. With shoveling, there is no timer or watch. You just keep plowing the snow until you are finished. When you are then, you just realized you finished an hour cardio workout.
I really was dreading the potential of hurricane Nemo. Fortunately, it wasn’t too bad and actually enjoyed my time being snowed in. While I’m not a big fan of the snow, I have to say it did look really pretty outside at night with all the street lights bouncing off it. As I was shoveling, I couldn’t help but to get upset. My neighbors were all easily clearing their driveways with snow blowers. I definitely wouldn’t mind having one of these to get the job done, but the part that really ticked me off is that they offered the machine to everyone except me. As I was grabbing on to the shovel to catch my breath, they were all chatting it up as it only took them ten minutes to get rid of the snow. After I was done, I was actually happy they didn’t come to help me. I felt a sense of pride that I could do something like shovel my driveway without anyone’s help. The best part about it is that I was so bundled up in clothes, I probably burnt off more weight doing that than actually running or lifting. So if you ever want a really great workout, pick up shovel the next time it snows. I guarantee it’ll be some of the best cardio you have done.
I always want to have the best day I could have every time I wake up. I hope to accomplish something during the next twenty four hours or maybe an unexpected surprise will happen. Unfortunately, reality sets in and somedays will be just boring and monotonous. And other days will be hard to get through because of obstacles and unexpected misfortunes. Everybody is bound to have a bad day once in awhile. I guess yesterday was mine.
Just waking up, I knew it wasn’t my kind of morning. I went to the gym right away and my leg cramped up in within the ten minutes on the treadmill. I decided to skip cardio and just focused on lifting. However, I just felt off like my whole routine was screwed up. I pushed myself through and frustratingly finished my workout. On my way back from the gym, I needed to refill my car’s tank. I couldn’t pull into any gas stations as they were packed around the block. It seemed like hurricane Sandy all over again as people carried five gasoline jugs in both hands. I had to drive about twenty minutes from my house before I could find a vacant pump. After this ordeal, I managed to get home, shower up, and take care of some errands. It was one of those days I couldn’t wait to pass out in my bed.
While yesterday was awful, not everyday is like this. It’s obvious that good days will certainly outweigh all the bad ones. Despite all my problems , I was able to get a good workout in today and now can relax as I am snowed in. Despite being trapped inside my house, I always enjoy some good rest and recuperation from the daily grind. Other people find it so overwhelming when they have a bad day. They just want to throw in the towel or whine and complain. I can barely go on Facebook anymore with all the annoying statuses about how awful their life is. My favorite is when people post about why they have to deal with so many unimportant problems. I hate to break it to you, but there are others in this world who have it a lot less wonderful than you do. Yes, people always take things for granted as they become accustomed to them. But just take a second to think and you will realize how good you have it compared to others. And most of these problems you make seem so dramatic with long tweets and cries for attention will probably be forgotten in the next week. If you have an issue with something or want a change in your life, you need to make it happen. If you want something bad enough, you will do everything you can to make accomplish it.
One of my other favorite statuses is how bored people are. I’m pretty sure no one else really wants to read your twenty posts about how lame your town is or begging people to hit you up with your desperate attempts at attention. I can’t even count the amount of times I’ve sat in my room doing nothing. It all seems like a blur that has clouded most of my high school days. I have realized that boredom is only your fault. I can’t stand by being idle in my life. If you have absolutely nothing to do, set a goal and accomplish it. Go out for a late night run or gym lift. Finish your homework that will count for half of your yearly grade. Be productive. All of these things will help you later on in life. None of those high school parties or hang outs with friends will truly amount to anything later on. I am not saying that having friends is unimportant, but being productive with your time and accomplishing things will help you on later in life.
Life is going to be boring sometimes. If it was all fun, then how could someone appreciate all the special moments that happen maybe once or twice. Memories like graduation, prom, and passing your driving tests are occasions that will always be cherished. If we had these event happening all the time, than they wouldn’t be called memories. They wouldn’t be as special.
I hate hearing the phrase “If you come in second, than you’re just the first loser”. Athletes are always pushing themselves to get to their ultimate goal. Obviously they don’t train with the intention of finishing behind other people, but in any sport or contest there’s someone that falls short. There are people that put their blood, sweat, and tears into their passion. This can be the football player that wakes up at five in the morning with barely any sleep to go for a run or the guitarist strumming for hours even if his fingers are bleeding. But if they don’t win that championship ring or succeed, than all that hard work wasn’t worth it. I used to have that mindset for a big part of my wrestling career. I would get so upset when I lost a match that it would deter me from putting in that much effort with my training. I didn’t want that feeling of defeat after I probably put in as much time or more in my workouts and lifts as the kid as I was wrestling. This way of thinking really crippled my potential. I was so scared of losing that I couldn’t even focus during my match. It felt like I was about to have a heart attack before the ref even blew this whistle. This problem wasn’t getting any better until something happened before one the biggest matches I had ever wrestled.
It was my junior year and I had just made my way to the finals of the county tournament. It may not be a huge deal to some people, but one of my biggest goals for the year was to win this event. Growing up with all these kids, it would be amazing to be crowned champion and be known as the best in your area. I was wrestling a good tournament, but I wasn’t used to the pressure and intensity of the finals. There is only one mat in an enormous gymnasium crammed with screaming fans. All the lights are shut off in the building except the lone spotlight shining on the mat. That means every single person is focused on you. There isn’t another teammate to rely on like in other sports. It is just you out there. If you make one mistake, it won’t go unnoticed. The nerves began to kick in, and I could feel all the intensity get to me.
I was doing my usual routine to warm up before my match. I’d stretch out and just pace back and forth thinking to myself. About three matches before I was going to step out on the mat, my assistant coach pulled me over to the side. He asked me how I was doing and I just shrugged saying I’m fine. He could see right through my guard and noticed I was nervous. The next thing he said to me I’ll remember for the rest of my life. He told me about what his dad said to him before he wrestled in his county finals match. Don’t worry about if you win or lose. Don’t think about how people will react if you do this or don’t hit that move. Just go out there and leave it all on the mat. It was like a light bulb just went off in my head. I suddenly didn’t have the prematch jitters I could barely shake off. I actually felt excited to go out there and wrestle. I stepped out on the mat and my whole style changed. I didn’t hear any fans blowing their lungs out cheering. I didn’t think about what will happen after the match if I lose. I didn’t even see my opponent. I was going to wrestle my match and leave everything I had out there. If I wrestled like this, I would have nothing to second guess later on. This new found mindset propelled me to win my first county championship. All the five o’clock runs in the mornings and sacrifices finally paid off. I was overwhelmed by so much joy and happiness that the only thing I could do was cry. I left it all out there on the mat and no one could say anything about it.
I haven’t ever thanked that coach for the little bit of advice he gave me, but that one speech probably changed not only my wrestling career around but my life as well. I was so caught up in the cat and mouse game of life that I never let myself go. It felt like my whole existence was measured by the amounts of wins and defeats I had. This stopped me from really going after what I wanted with a clear mind. After that speech, I could finally be in the moment and focus all my attention on what I was doing. From friendships to school and especially wrestling, this outlook on life gave me a whole new perspective on everything. And I did lose after my victory at counties. But this time I didn’t storm off the mat upset. I actually had no regrets because I knew I gave everything I had in all my matches and shouldn’t be disappointed. I began to learn more from my losses and it helped me become a better wrestler and person. Life shouldn’t be a tally board or record, it is a journey that should be experienced in the moment. Sometimes you just need to let go and everything else will fall into place.
After the ball drops and the morning hangover kicks in, everyone begins to remember the “important” New Year’s resolutions they made the night before. From getting back in shape to quitting smoking, millions of people set their goals high for the upcoming year. However, the “resolution” that is always followed through the most is pushing back these life-changing resolutions . How many times have you heard or even been a culprit of saying “Oh, I’ll start it tomorrow”. I’ll be the first person to admit that I have done this countless of times in my life.
It can start off as a simple “I don’t feel like it, I’ll take out the trash later.” You wouldn’t even think about it twice, just a simple excuse to keep enjoying the football game or another episode of True Blood. For some people, it’s a one time offense. They’ll eventually get to it. For others, it can be a bad habit almost as addicting as picking up a cigarette. That simple line can almost get you out of anything.
It starts off from putting off chores to scrambling the night before to finish a project that was given out two months earlier. I still can remember that devastating feeling of finding out on Sunday night Barnes & Noble is closed and there’s no way to get that book I need for my test the next morning. Eventually, midnight strikes and you head over to Spark notes and accept the mediocre grade on your test. No real drastic consequences, just shrug it off and make another empty promise that next time it won’t happen..But it always does. Just think, if you didn’t procrastinate on every project you ever did and started if off early, all those grades would have added up and made a world of difference. I know it could have changed my whole high school academic career.
This procrastination bug is the hardest addiction to break in my opinion. It might be less lethal than other habits, but is still as life-changing as others. It has not only prevented me from many opportunities, but also locked me into a cycle of laziness. I hate making cheesy resolutions, but I will make one now. I WILL NOT WAIT FOR TOMORROW! I am not going to put off things for a another day, week, month. I am going to seize each day and not wait another minute. You can wait on life as long as you like, but life will not wait for you.