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Who Needs Others When You Can Be Proud Of Yourself? | FNBB 81
I did something today. I passed the ACSM Personal Trainer Certification exam. I wouldn’t say that I passed with flying colors, more like passed with colors. But as I always tell people who like to say they won a race, but downplay it by referring to there only being “this many” in the race – you won the race, it doesn’t matter how many were there. So I passed the exam and it doesn’t matter the passing score. You don’t sorta win. You win. You don’t sorta pass. You pass.
I literally haven’t been in any kind of learning situation like this in 30 years. I’ve taken some writing classes, but writing is very touchy – flowy and requires a lot of imagination. It doesn’t require knowledge of lists, names, definitions, math, and practical applications. And did I mention there was no class instruction for this thing, just self-guided power point videos and a book? Did I also mention that the exam didn’t really use any of the study materials and was directed at practical application of personal training situations? Yeah, that was a surprise.
I had three months to study, which seems like a long time, but when you throw in all the facets of my real life, it was challenging to say the least. But if you know me, you know I am a planner. I knew that if I just started studying and waited till I was “ready” to take the exam that I may never do it. So I picked a date and registered for the exam first. Then I took all of my study materials, divided it up into sections, and put together a study plan for each week leading up to the exam.
I’ve mentioned this before – That normally I wouldn’t have told anybody that I was taking the exam today or any day. Until I had passed. This is normal modus operandi of most people. Nobody wants to say anything about it just in case they don’t succeed. It’s obviously much easier to tell someone you have succeeded rather than have failed. Telling someone ahead of time of your plan puts you at great ego risk.
But I forced myself to tell people that I was taking the exam today. Doing that could have given me confidence, but it didn’t actually. There was definite pressure. I’ve told people. What if I do fail? That went through my mind at least a hundred times. I held off writing this blog until now – after the test was done. All I could think before I took before the exam was, what would I write about if I failed?
I had decided that if I failed then I would have written that regardless of the outcome, you have to take risks and bet on yourself in life. Sometimes it works out, and sometimes it doesn’t, but you definitely can’t quit on moving forward in life. Not a single person succeeds at everything they attempt. And if feels that way, then I guarantee they aren’t disclosing the things they’ve tried and failed to accomplish.
I ran out of time checking some of the answers that I had flagged to go back to review. It took me to a page that asked if I was ready for results. Was I? I hit the “next” button and it was immediate, no pause, result was a “pass”. I just sat there. Honestly I was surprised because I kept thinking during the exam about when I could take it again, because I would know more about what was on it. When I saw that word – Pass – I was relieved and gave thanks in that moment. Truly I did.
And then I felt very PROUD of myself and my accomplishment. It was one of those BIG P moments. Not a small p moment. Small “p”s happen a lot; I skipped dessert all week – small p, I worked out every day this week – small p, I didn’t tell my boss off when he deserved it – small p. There are many small “p”s that happen that make us smile and pat ourselves on the back.
But the BIG P, those are fewer and farther in between. And it’s nice when others acknowledge our accomplishment and say they are proud of us, but it means even more when we allow ourselves to be proud of ourselves in these BIG P moments. We are the ones that have sacrificed and know what we have been through in order to accomplish this thing. No one else will truly “get it”. We have been in the trenches with ourselves and have faced all of the fears and doubts, and have emerged triumphant.
Don’t ever deny yourself the Big P and make sure to celebrate that bitch, but in a constructive way. Don’t celebrate reaching a big weight-loss goal with eating a plate of cookies. Do something that means something to you. For me, it means heading to the lake to give my brain some R&R for a couple of days.
So that’s where I’m headed. Thank you for the congrats and for being proud of me – I’ll take all of it. It can’t rival how proud of myself, but it still means a lot.
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