Those of you who know me have likely heard me mention Trainer.
Trainer is tall and has arms big enough to crush your average mortal. He's the kind of man who people stop on the street and stare at because he's both strikingly attractive and in ridiculously good shape. He is also my personal trainer. We hang out almost every day. And when you see someone every day, and you're on some sort of cardio machine sweating buckets and he's standing there... or you're lifting weights and he's counting... you have a lot of time to talk.
From the sound of things, a lot of his clients are talkers. While huffing and puffing on the treadmill, I listen, silently cursing him for making me do sprints at 8 m.p.h., which makes me think I am going to die (maybe someday I'll look back at this and think Aw. I thought 8 m.p.h. was fast! How precious!)
I know more about him than I do about some men I've dated. I know about his cousin. I know about his mother. I know what his philosophy is on exercise and life and that he wants to have his own show. I know that he thinks people need to slow down in relationships and get to know one another before sex makes you lose your head. I know that he wants a Bentley. He wants to be famous. He's ambitious. One time he told me God had brought us together so that he could help me be the best I could be. (And show that guy who broke my heart how hot I was, but I digress.)
That's what we talked about today -- while I was doing pushups and then while he was stretching my legs and then later when we were just standing there (before he put me on a treadmill for my post-workout workout...) -- we talked about being the best you can be. About realizing your potential.
He had recently met a life coach and motivational speaker who had talked to him about his life and his potential, and he had some very interesting things to say...
Trainer is a few years younger than me, but has been a trainer for 14 years, but the coach asked him what he had to show for it. What do you know how to do? What can you do? You train people. We know that. What else can you do? What do you want to do? How have you shaped your life to get you there?
Have you lived up to your potential? Are you holding yourself back?
He talked about how one 20 minute conversation with this coach had made him re-think how he wanted to focus his time in the next 15 months, what he could do differently that would get him where he imagined he should be. Now, trainer has an ego. He wants to be part rock star, part fitness coach and part Dr. Phil. When you listen to him talk, perhaps he'll be able to do it. "Not perhaps, Jennifer. You've gotta talk about things like they're already done. Like you've already succeeded."
How do you realize your potential? What do you want? How will you get there?
First, you have to know what you want to be. Who you want to be. You have to think about who in your life is helping you get there. Who is realizing their potential -- or working toward it. And who is holding you back -- intentionally or not. (Are the people in your life striving to be better or are they complaining about how they don't like what they have but don't make any changes? You know you know someone like that... Probably several someones...)
It made me wonder what I was letting things slide. Where I was falling down on the job, so to speak, of making my life what I want it to be.
Working out with him has changed my body, my mind and my attitude about what I'm capable of doing. I carry myself differently. I expect more of myself. I don't sit around in my apartment wallowing in woe-is-me self pity. But how good can it get? I want to be able to run a 10K. I'm not there yet, but I bet I can do it. I'm stronger. I can do pushups. A few months ago, I couldn't do a pushup. Singular.
But there are so many places I can see I let myself down, when I sit down and really think about it. When I look at what I know I'm capable of and then what I do. How I live. The choices I have made. If I want what I say I want out of life, what have I done to make that happen?
Nobody wins the U.S. Open without practicing their serve. Day in and day out. For years.
I talk about writing a book. I talk about wanting to create something. I talk about a lot of things. But what do I do? I'm never going to afford that Brooklyn brownstone of my dreams on a journalist's salary. I'll have to settle for affording it because I'm a best-selling author.
If you're going to imagine potential for yourself, you might as well dream big. Now, to actually do it...