It's all about perspective - and Johnny Cash

Lately, at the end of the night, I sit on my back deck with my guitar, strumming old Johnny Cash songs and star gaze. It's been 20 years since I lived in the country - with no street lights to take away from the black of night and the brightness of the stars. 

These days, it's my favorite way to unwind.  

What have you gained? Wendy gained a 200lb deadlift. 

What have you gained? Wendy gained a 200lb deadlift. 

Despite years of resisting the purchase of a house, I’ve found myself embracing all that we’ve gained. Five acres of quiet, a house with great character and history, and also a hot water heater that melted less than a month after moving in...

Cheers to homeowning.

Prior to buying the house, all I could think about was what I would lose.

I don’t like feeling tied down. I’m a wanderer at heart and I relish the idea of picking up and moving whenever I'm tired of a job or a place. In my twenties, I lived all over the country and changed jobs like…well…like it was my job :-)

Every time Sheila suggested buying a house, I’d counter that we should move into an airstream and live on the beach in San Diego. Or that it was time to go back to Pittsburgh. Or that I heard Portland, Oregon was really nice - and that Colorado was my favorite place ever. 

And she'd suggest that I....well...I'll leave that to your imagination. 

It's difficult to change another person's perspective. 

And almost impossible to change an opinion. 

But it's amazing what happens when we are open to the possibility of changing that perspective. 

I see a lot of rigidness in the fitness industry, both from clients and coaches. Some coaches find a formula they feel works best for fat loss and can feel like that's the only way. And many clients come in with one goal in mind:

To lose weight. 


When we hyper focus on one small piece of the pie, we either don't recognize, or worse yet, dismiss what we are gaining.  

Me: Are you sleeping better?

Client: Yes. (Pauses). But do you see these batwing thingys under my arm? My kids play hide and seek with these.

Me: Ok, but how's your energy level? 

Client: Amazing why have I not lost a pound? (That's right - no breath in between).  

A few years ago, when I was home in Pennsylvania, I told my four-year old niece that she was getting tall. And she ran over to the wall, put her hand above her head and exclaimed:

"I know! I'm almost up to my hand!"

Perspective. She wasn't up to her mom's waist - she wasn't tall enough to sleep in a big girl bed - she was simply, in her eyes - almost as tall as her hand. 

I've always loved that story - because it's such a great lesson in the way we measure ourselves. 

Look for what is happening. What you are gaining? Strength. Community. Friendships. Fun. Forearms that your niece and nephew do chin ups on - and don't look know but you just deadlifted 200 lbs. I'm looking at you Wendy LeBright.   

Don't hyper-focus on what's not happening - or what you haven't done. Every single person reading this post has done something to be proud of. I'm certain of it.

If you are going to the gym every day wondering why you bother to keep showing up when the scale hasn't moved, take a step back.

Compared to a year ago, what have you gained? How about six months ago? How about 30 days ago? 

Take a step back. If you can't internally change your perspective, physically change it. Shoot a video of your squat today and shoot another one in six weeks.  

Throw that measuring stick away.