Standing on the dance floor, decked out in glowing necklaces and bracelets, the word LOVE written on my arm in glow in the dark marker by a dear friend, who in exchange, let me draw glow in the dark eyebrows on his forehead – I got choked up trying to express myself to the leader of this shindig, who also was dressed in glowing attire, complete with a YOLO tank top.
Life choices. Humans make them everyday. And whatever choices you make probably feel pretty normal to you.
But remember as a kid, when you’d go over to your friend’s house for a sleepover and you found out they closed their doors when they went to bed and in your house ‘doors open while sleeping’ was the only way it ever made sense.
Your mind exploded as you realized ‘holy shit, people do it differently in their house than I do in mine!’
Perhaps you adopted the newly discovered life choice of closing your bedroom door. Or, perhaps you held on fiercely to the original bedroom door open choice you were comfortable with.
This doesn’t change as you get older.
Sometimes, when you realize someone does it differently from you, you hold on even more fiercely. And sometimes, when you see this ‘other’ way of doing things, you open yourself up to it, and discover it’s not so bad after all and (stunner) you actually kind-of don’t mind this new way.
When you try on new life choices, you figure out more of who you are.
Hopefully. If you go through life not paying much attention, or not giving any thought to the life choices that sit closer to wherever your “edge” is, you’ll have a tougher time figuring it out.
But when you do try on a new life choice, and suddenly the weirdness turns into “oh damn, this is more me than whatever I was doing before” – it’s a wondrous moment.
Remove The Hurdles
You’ll hear me say:
I’d rather you be fully capable and be able to make the choice of “I don’t want to”, instead of the choice being made for you because your body can’t do the option that sits before you.
By removing the physical limitations of an injured, weak, incapable body – your world becomes much larger. By becoming strong, durable, and capable – you increase the amount of choices you have.
When you move well, you get to decide if you want to do a sprint triathlon, or play in the bar-league softball game.
When you feel achy and broken, the decision has been made for you. Your body can’t go do it.
Remove the hurdles from your life that keep you from living your real life.
Which brings me back to standing there, getting choked up on the dance floor, as I talked to my glowing friend, Steve, who was the reason Camp Nerd Fitness, the adult summer camp that we were at existed.
If it weren’t for Steve making one life choice many years ago to begin the website Nerd Fitness, and then bring in good people to help him turn it into a far-reaching success, and then create an adult summer camp out of it, Camp Nerd Fitness…I wouldn’t have realized there was a hurdle in front of me that I could remove. And I was beyond grateful.
Are You Willing?
I felt incredible. The entire time as I served as a coach at this adult summer camp, I felt nourished, connected, and appreciated in a way I hadn’t expected to feel. At that moment, I was decked out in glowing things, and dancing (I’m certain) like an idiot. A joyous, happy, idiot.
I was reveling in joy, not “like a kid again”. Like me – the very best, wonderful, version of me.
I hadn’t realized that I had been saving my best* for just a few moments with a few people. Oh sure, I brought my A-game to my life and its moments. But the A++ game? The full-on authentic, real, uncensored, ‘here it is and I hope you like it but if you don’t that’s ok too’…that me?
*“best” as of Oct 2015, hopefully more “best” is coming in the future
That shit stayed locked up for special occasions.
But why? Because people will judge you and ruin your life and all will be terrible.
Oh hello, hurdle.
At this camp, there was no way to not remove the hurdle. Even if I had tried, it was impossible to deflect the love and human connection; there was simply no avoiding it…it came at you from every angle possible (even through the trap-door in the study).
This ego-free, all-welcoming, human connection-filled weekend made it easy to remove the hurdle of protection through limitation. Without the hurdle, I realized i could give out my best Self, and not worry about what happened next. Most likely, no one will seek to intentionally hurt me. And if they do so because of something about my authentic Self, then they don’t matter to me anyways.
Removing hurdles brings you closer to your most authentic version of your Self.
But you have to make the choice to a) remove the hurdle and b) handle whatever comes up because of it.
Scary? Probably. Scarier than never making any choices? Definitely not.
You have choices for how you can live your life. Do you want to pick up martial arts despite the fact that you’re sixty? Do you want to play basketball like you did in the college rec leagues despite the fact that you haven’t played in the twenty years since college?
Then damn it, do it. Figure out a way to make it happen before you exit stage left.
You have one ticket for the ride “Earth” and what a waste if you didn’t fully cash it in.