The Bitter Pill

I wanted to share something I heard in a podcast yesterday by the Ziglar Foundation. If you follow Zig Ziglar, you’re probably probably very familiar with the story as it’s probably one of his most famous examples of things that happened at his events. 

He talks about how he was at an event one day they had like a Q and A time after that people could come talk to him and ask him questions about the event. He said, one day he was standing there and this woman came barreling up the center aisle towards him. And he said, man, she had fire in her eyes. That woman was angry and she got over to him and, and said “Mr. Zigler, I got to talk to you”, and he’s like, “well, how can I help you ma’am.” She responds, “I got to tell you, you’re telling me how to make my life better. Well, you don’t understand” she said, “the job I work is awful. The people are awful. My boss is just miserable. The workload is horrible. Man if you worked where I worked, you would understand. There is no way what you taught me today can have any benefit. It doesn’t apply to my situation.” So they talked and he goes, “well, ma’am, I’m going to challenge you. I’m gonna challenge you for the next 40 days.

He goes on to say, “every day when you get home from work and your responsibilities for the day are done, taking care of the kids, making dinner, and before bedtime, I want you to find a quiet spot and I want you to go by yourself and write down a list of all the things that you love about where you work.” She scoffed at him. “Did you not hear me? I told you where I work is awful. It’s horrible. There was nothing good there.” Zig’s like, “well ma’am I want you to do this exercise before we talk about what your next move should be.” She replies, “Mr. Ziglar. You are not listening to me.” He goes, “give me one, give me one thing that you like, what’s one benefit of your job.” Well, she got all upset and replied, “well, you know, they do pay me all right.” “Open up your notebook” He said, “write that down“. And she just gave him a look like, are you kidding me? And he say’s, “ma’am I can’t help you.If you aren’t going to take the action. If you’re not going to do what I’m asking you to do today, he said, then we’re done.” 

And she just got all upset and they sat down and as they started, they paid her on time. She had a 401k and profit share options, full benefits and four week package of vacation. And by the time they had sat down and gone over some of the things she liked about her job, they had come up with over 40 things that were benefit to her position in her job. And she went home and did what Mr. Ziglar said and continued every day to write down the things that had happened that day, the thing she was grateful for for that job. When she came back to the next event, she was like, “Mr. Ziglar, you would not believe the changes.”

The people are just so much more pleasant. The workload is so much more easier, man. I enjoy going to work everyday. You would not believe how much has changed about where I work.” Do you really think what changed was where she worked or do you think what changed was her attitude about her circumstances? The way she viewed her every single day. See the reality of it is we all have things that we could be just so ungrateful for things that are unfair things that just aren’t right. And if we told some horror story, let me tell you, they would be like, I can’t believe it. You’re right. That is not right. That’s not fair. Just like that woman thought was going to happen. When she came up to Mr. Ziglar, she thought she was going to sit down and tell him, and he’d be like, Oh my goodness, How do you even tolerate those people? 

And instead she was given life changing advice about bitterness. See, we all struggle with bitterness. We all struggle with moments of things, just being unfair, but it’s how we decide to handle them that make a difference.

Now, I myself went through one of the most devastating things in my life a few years ago, I had to with almost no notice, shut down both of my businesses. 

That was my life’s work, 19 years of heart, soul, and sacrifice. And I literally had nothing to show for it. I have had moments where the anger and the bitterness towards the people who put me in that position, who lied to me, whose lack of integrity, put me in a situation that was just not fair has wanted to consume me.

There have been moments almost daily where I get bitter and angry, looking at people who get to go on and do what I love to do because of my work. And I instead now have to pick up the pieces of my life, but see, I have a choice every single time that those emotions come over me. I have a choice to let them consume me and let me keep them in this place of darkness or I have a choice to be grateful for what I do have because of those changes. And I have to remind myself daily that I have so much to still be grateful for. And that, yes, this is heartache. This is painful, but it’s also a season of life, a change. You know, I never pictured it in a million years that I’d be doing a writing about my company’s closing, but I am. Things just did.

And I could give you a compelling story about all the reasons it was unfair and not right, or I can say, okay, what’s next? And those are my choices. If I decide to live in that place of bitterness, if I decide to live in that place of anger and it’s not fair and, and focusing on other people, then I will never move forward in life. But if I make the choice to everyday be grateful for the things I do have. If I’d make a choice every day to redesign my own future, then I have a future to redesign. And we all have these opportunities in life. We all have the chance to not take the bitter pill to not live in a place of it’s not fair. 

Every day, we have an opportunity to think about all the things we have to be grateful for. And as challenging as that time of life had been for me, there is still so many amazing things that I had in my life every day. I have my sons. I have an amazing guy who has stood by my side during the worst days of my life. If I spend my time focusing on all the things I don’t have, then that I’m going to miss out on all the great things I do have, like even just a gorgeous morning, like this with a fantastic view, as I get ready to go and do some work for the day and plan what’s next. I have opportunities in front of me. 

So I challenge each of you, whatever your circumstances are right now, take out a pen and paper and forget the crap. Forget the stuff that weighs us down. Forget the drama, forget the phone call from someone saying, Oh my gosh, can you believe what just happened?

And write down all the things you have to be grateful for, and do it again tomorrow and the next day and the day after and keep doing it until you find yourself in a place where you spend more time being happy and grateful for the amazing things we have in life every single day, regardless of the crap and BS that’s going on around us. 

Cause you know what? We all have it. Everybody, everybody has unfair things going on in their life. Everybody has challenges. Everybody has things that five years from now you’ll look back at it and laugh and be like, I cannot believe I allowed that to consume so much of my energy. So stop letting it. Live in the awesome, that’s my challenge for you today. And you know what, if you can’t say “ouch” say “Amen”.

Let’s change our mindsets and stop living in a place of it’s not fair and why me. Instead, If it’s going to be, it’s up to me.

Hey, some diamonds go on rings and other diamonds dominate them. Let’s dominate the ring of life together.

I have a free Facebook group for women where I share motivational video’s, workouts, meal planning, Skin care and most importantly women’s personal protection. Follow this link to join.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/189252658263222/

3 Things I Learned from Being Sexually Assualted

Scared Child

 

I was between the ages of 2 & 3 ….probably closer to 2 years old. It is one of my first memories. I can recall the layout of the apartment to the detail. My dad had left me with a family friend/babysitter – a teenager. Someone I knew well and had watched me before. I trusted him completely. It was probably early afternoon.

I sat on the couch with him as we read a magazine together. He was “cuddled” next to me the way someone reading a child a story would be. As we looked through the magazine we came across a picture of a naked man with a briefcase. He pointed out to me that the man was naked. I distinctly recall going from a place of safety, trust, and comfort to fear, guarded and confused. He then asked me if I had ever seen “one” before and if I wanted to see his. I told him no. He proceeded to pull down his pants around his knees, exposing his penis and tried to convince me it was ok. I don’t know how, but at that very young age I KNEW it wasn’t ok. I created space between us by going over to the other sofa and putting the coffee table in between us.

He then began to ask me to kiss it – telling me it was ok to do so. Again, I don’t know how I knew it wasn’t, I was too young for anyone to have explained that yet, but I knew. I told him no and began creating more distance. He started following me around pleading with me to kiss it. I was scared. I had to use the bathroom and thought i would get some privacy/escape. But, he followed me in, standing in the doorway. He sat on the floor in the doorway with his pants still down. Telling me it was ok. He then told me he would kiss mine if I kissed his. I still told him no. I was scared and knew I couldn’t let him see “mine” so I used 2/3 year old logic and sat backwards on the toilet. When I was done he continued to follow me, asking me to PLEEEAAASE kiss it. I did what any 2/3 year old would do to escape – I went to the bedroom to take a nap. He didn’t follow me and left me alone. At some point during his following he begged me not to tell our parents, that they would be upset.

I don’t know how much time passed before we saw them again, a day..weeks? Its only snapshot memories – like a movie in my head. I think that day may have been the day I told my parents. I recall being scared and clinging to my dad. I recall the friends etc that were there asking why I was so quite and not as talkative as usual. I don’t recall ever seeing them again after that day.

All through my childhood I had nightmares about this day. Reliving it over and over in my sleep waking up screaming, crying and scared but never recalling the dream. My parents had no idea – and with the exception of these dreams I did not remember what had happened. When I was in 5th grade they had a session on molestation etc. I started having the dreams every night for a couple weeks. I remembered them now – finally I said to my mom, I keep having these weird dreams every night and I told her about the dream. She said, you remember that. I realized the nightmares and dreams I had been having were my memories replaying over and over.

As a young teen I was hanging out with some friends who always stopped in and visited this old man who would always have candy for the neighborhood kids. We had visited a couple times and it was always weird and uncomfortable. My instincts said bad place – but my friends went there all the time – so I ignored it. When we were there the last time, he reached out and grabbed my breast, hard, and wouldn’t let go. I froze – completely shut down in shock – my friend grabbed my arm and dragged me out of the house. I told our parents and they called the police.

Why do I share this? Because I never want to feel that again. The fear, trauma, nightmares. I for years couldn’t have an older man standing near me. I would get tense and stressed. I never want that feeling back.

Self defense training specifically like Krav Maga gives you the tools to protect yourself, but more then that… the confidence in which you carry yourself reduces your likeliness of being a victim. Now of course there is no self defense I could have learned for when I was so young..but understanding the feelings help me understand why it is so important.

So what can be learned form my experiences?

1. Listen to your instincts. 

Listening to my instincts at that young age saved what could have become an even more traumatizing event. If I didn’t listen and did as he asked, “kissed it”, what would have come next…. not listening got me into “trouble” as a teenager.

2. Train – the more the better.

I froze.. I FROZE!!!!!! Sure I didn’t have any practical self defense training at that point..but I considered myself a confident don’t take nothing from anyone kinda girl… but my shock froze me in place. My goodness, I responded better at 2 years old keeping distance and furniture between us then I did when I was older. This is more common then you realize, do some research on how people respond in an attack situation. Taking a self defense seminar or two is great. But to know how to respond, to keep your skills sharpened train weekly, daily. Training in a good program like Krav Maga also puts you through stress drills..allowing you to push through the stress..and the “freeze” moment to protect yourself.

3. Tell

If something does happen make sure you tell some right away. Get help and support. Report them right away, you may protect someone else.

So get the training. Learn the facts. Be aware.

Feel free to check out one of my facilities.

www.abdspencer.com or www.abdshrewsbury.com

Or for a Krav Maga school near you visit

www.kravmagaalliance.com  

#liveitloveit #blackbeltlifestyle

Fitness for Life

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The Journey Never Ends

30 begins the slow decline to death” 

Was the anthem that surrounded me during my 20’s. My instructors, employers, friends, training partners, and coworkers sang it frequently, like a chant reminding me my days where numbered. As I looked to those people in the martial arts that I knew at that time over 30, it was disappointing. Training was limited by any number of “age” ailments. Shoulders, knees, back, neck, weight etc. I was growing older, just wait, they said… As a mom with 2 young children, I was working full time and barely finding time to work out myself…I couldn’t even imagine how disappointing my future would be.

As I entered my later 20’s I was working 50-80 hours a week teaching martial arts and running a martial arts school. I found time to hit the gym occasionally – but my martial arts training had dwindled down to only our instructors class that was geared specifically to what we where going to teach the next day, not challenging me to the next level. I was a 3rd degree black belt,  I had adapted the belief in my head that this was it..becoming a Master (my next rank in that system) would require learning a new form or two – every few years. I looked at the instructors around me who now learned via book or video and felt my martial arts training had come to an end.

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First Half Marathon- Never thought I could

Then we opened our own school. I began to fantasize that maybe I could train again. I wasn’t sure how but I wanted to learn Brazilian JuJitsu so badly. I also really wanted to become certified in Krav Maga, and after watching a season of Master Toddy’s FIght girls, I was mesmerized by Muay Thai.

I started gymnastics with my demonstration team, I was 28 now… only a couple years left to get all the things I had always wanted in before my body fell apart right? Then 3 months after I started gymnastics I broke my arm badly. It required 3 surgeries to put it back together and I was out of work for 3 months. During that time, so may people said to me “What were you thinking” “Don’t you think you are a little old for that stuff” “I hope this taught you, its time to stop”. I couldn’t help but agree and think they where right.

I settled, at that point  I reserved myself to the fact that this was the best I could get. Go to the gym a couple times a week and hope for the best. But I would never again have any new accomplishments. At that point I gained 10 pds.

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The End, I thought.

Then, later that year, a business friend of mine posted on Facebook about having a mentor. I couldn’t help but think of someone I had taken some seminars from, He really “walked the walk” and if I could choose anyone in the world to learn from he was the man.

It was then I joined Martial Arts For Excellence, with Master Paul Garcia. I was excited to learn how to run a great martial arts school, attract more students, and have financial success.

The thing is, I didn’t get a business seminar. The very first event we attended i was blown away at these very successful school owners – they were all in amazing shape!!! Most of them where not only over 40, some where over 50. When the instructors hit the training matt, so did they.

Master Garcia taught us then, we had to lead from the front. That we had no business teaching martial arts if we were not training at least 3x a week..IN MARTIAL ARTS (we also should be working out for cardio and weights). Not stuff you already know he said, go learn new things. Be the best you can be for your students. Fall back in love with martial arts.

I felt like it  was a dream come true, hadn’t I started in the martial arts and fitness because it was my passion? I started teaching so I COULD train more.

My arm was still healing so at that point I was limited to Monday training. Then a Jujitsu class opened up on Fridays. It was so exciting to start learning new things again!

THEN I TURNED 30, and my world fell apart just like everyone said….the end.

NOT

Master Garcia had taught that it only gets better, and I saw living proof! I watched a 44 year old out kick an 18 year old. I watched those who had been training for years, humble themselves and get certified in Krav Maga. My thinking changed, my beliefs changed, my input changed, and so did my results. I have accomplished more in the 3 years since I turned 30 then I did in ALL of my 20’s. I could totally kick my 20something year olds butt.

Since then I have

lost 15pds

Got my Krav Maga certification 1,2,&3

Got my first 3 stripes on my white belt in Brazilian JuJitsu

Certified in Trans Muay Thai

Got my White Mongoul in Muay Thai

Got my 4th degree black belt

I Run more,

Lift more,

I am Faster,

I Kick higher

become and inspiration to my children

….and much much more

With 2014 here, as you set your goals for health and fitness. Don’t let societies beliefs hold you back. Set goals, then find the coaches that can get you there. Don’t settle, get off the sidelines of life and play!

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Stretch your limits