I do not believe in writer’s block. Before fitness, my background was in daily newspaper journalism, where we never had the luxury of being “blocked.” In fact, we used to kind of laugh when people from the Sunday paper’s staff (the “weekly”) would moan about not knowing how to approach their stories. Give them a 30-minute deadline, and they’d find an approach, all right. Or they’d be out of a job.
So anyway … guess who is blocked? Me. What have I done about it? Given myself a deadline.
Here’s one of those annoying trainer clichés (sorry ’bout that …): A goal is a dream with a deadline. I’m not sure what my dream is with this blog. Maybe it is to just push through to a new level, which, to bring it back to fitness, is what we’re all trying to do, yes?
I know why I’m blocked. It’s because I’m scared. I’m a chicken. So, to get over that, I’ve decided to write about why I am a big chicken.
- Good writing is authentic. You have to be honest and transparent. And it’s not that I’m dishonest, it’s more that I don’t know how much of a light I want to shine into myself. However, the fact that this scares the shit out of me makes me think it is an important barrier to break through. When you constantly give in to your fears, you trap yourself. And the truth is, I feel pretty fucking trapped right now.
- (Oh hey, if you don’t like swearing, you might want to move on. I probably am going to swear a lot. Not because I have a poor vocabulary, it’s just that I like how those words feel when I say them. One of my fears is to appear classless and shrewish. I’m neither, trust me. Or don’t trust me. It’s all good.)
- So yeah, I feel trapped. Why? Over the past year, I have become fairly significantly depressed. Or maybe it’s more that I have realized I am depressed – that could be more accurate. My eyes are now opened to this lifelong battle I’ve waged. Realizing this is a good thing/bad thing situation.Depression has carved wide, deep crevasses down both sides of my family tree. Some have fallen out of the tree. Hell, there even has been some jumping out of the tree. I had forgotten this fact until I visited some family members recently. OK, truth: I didn’t really forget. It was more that I had walled myself away from it all.
- It is a good thing to realize this, and to know that the darkness I sometimes feel is not mental weakness. And it is good to acknowledge that I don’t have any quit in me. I have lived enough days to know that all things eventually pass. And another truth is, I think that creativity and depression tend to go together for some people. You just have to learn how to manage it, and I think I have. I think admitting this here is a big part of that, because I know so many other people secretly feel this same way. I think they are part of my tribe.That being said, the thing that sucks big-time about admitting this is that my job as a fitness pro is to motivate people. Personally, I don’t see the two – being depressed and being motivational – as mutually exclusive. In fact, in a strange way I think they kind of go hand-in-hand – I know intimately what it’s like to feel that deep sense of pointlessness and meaninglessness, and I know what I can do (and have done) to keep myself moving forward. But the fear, I suppose, is that people think if you’re depressed, you’re the opposite of motivating.
Hell, if you’re one of those innately upbeat people, you don’t need to be motivated. You were born with it!
- Now I am scared that as I walk through real life, people are going to look at me with those big scared eyes, like I’m a pathetic sad sack.
A little warning: If you do that, be prepared for me to motivate that expression right off your face.
- So here’s today’s motivating tip: Go get it done. Focus on helping someone else. You’ll feel better. And if you don’t, you will have helped someone else feel better. And that’s pretty fucking awesome!