I was the head coach of a high school cheerleading team for five years, and a total of 9 seasons. I devoted most of my 20's to teenage girls who became like daughters of my own. I spent countless hours holding practices, riding buses, doing competition makeup, and staying awake stressing about routines. People would constantly ask me, why? And while I never had a straight answer, in my heart it was quite simple - passion. The joy it brought me far outweighed the aggravation and sleepless nights. I look back at all that time I spent, and not really much to show for it, but such is life. Whenever those girls thought they couldn't do a skill or stunt or dance, I would tell them "make it work". Not because I wanted to stress them out, but because I believed in them much more than they did in themselves. And ultimately, we achieved what we set out to do - complete the skill, hit the stunt, work the dance, and win competitions. In the grand scheme of life,who cares? Well, me and those girls do; but that is beside the point.
I often sit at the studio and listen to women tell each other of all the every day stressors they face. I even actively participate myself, and sometimes might even be the catalyst for it. I think it is healthy and OK to complain, vent, stress, and overthink. What is not healthy and OK is for these things to become setbacks or excuses. I am far from Super Woman - back in those days when I was coaching, and working full-time, and starting a business, I THOUGHT I was busy. This calls for a huge LOL at my former self. I was 8 years younger, and really had not much to worry about. Raising a 1-year-old while 7 months pregnant, running a business, teaching 15 classes per week, and managing all the relationships in my life at the same time; well, that's a little closer to "busy". When my son arrives in March, I don't even know what the word for THAT is going to be, but once I get there, I'll be sure to let you know. I'm not throwing my to-do list at you to impress or one-up anybody, it just is what it is. There are plenty of people out there still a LOT busier than me, and they might even do it with more grace and my hat goes off to those individuals - I certainly don't always make it look pretty! I'm throwing it out there because very easily I could post on Facebook everyday: #thestruggleisreal. But the truth is, I don't even like that hashtag, I think it's kind of dumb, actually. So to this I say, #thestruggleisfake.
The struggle is what we make of it. In light of the holidays and all the beautiful chaos that comes along with it, it's important to remind ourselves that we CAN make it work. There are so many wrenches that life throws at us along the way: THE Christmas gift our kid wants is sold out, the lines are miles long, the traffic delays our planned errand trip by at least an hour, we burn our homemade muffins, we run out of tape, or we forget what we did with the gift card we got for our uncle. (some of these things may or may not have happened during the making of Bradley Christmas 2016...) It can be a whirlwind to say the least, but in the end, we don't throw ourselves in bed and say "F it all" (well, maybe we do for a moment). We make it work. We make it work so much so that the struggle is gone. We enjoy our families and friends, because that is where our ultimate passions lie. We enjoy life, and ya know what? We make it, we succeed, we win.
As we approach 2017, and you start zoning in on goal setting and becoming a better version of yourself, I ask that you be realistic. Know that life is going to happen no matter what our plan is for ourselves. That is not an excuse to throw our hands up and abort the mission. Know that you can make it work, regardless of setbacks. Your passion for life will overcome all of it. You have come this far, now look straight ahead and keep going...