Do You Let Others’ Attitudes Get You Down?

Van Gogh Quote

Words to live by.

Let’s talk a bit, now, about the resistance you might receive from others when you take on your obstacle course race (OCR) journey.  And there’s going to be a lot, I hate to say it.  But your attitudes are the most important things, and you can defeat the attitudes of others.

We talked about this in the post “Why Would You WANT To?” a few months back, and I would encourage you to read that before you move forward in this article. We’re going to dig a little further into some of the resistance you might meet as you begin your journey, and we’re going to start with how people’s lack of knowledge can bring them down – and make them want to bring you down, too.

Here’s the thing: many of us, myself included, don’t feel their age.

They still love having fun, getting out and doing things that some people would think are “too young” for them, and more. And while part of that has to do with how they’ve lived their lives up to that point and how well they’ve taken care of themselves, a lot of it also just comes from not feeling like they’ve passed all that time. I frequently sit back and marvel at the fact that I’m almost 50.  I don’t feel like I’m almost 50 at all – from a purely attitude standpoint, I still feel like I’m maybe in my late 20s most of the time, just from an attitude standpoint. I don’t really ever see any need for me to take it easy with life, and not to go after the things I want or think might enrich my life with fun and adventure.

Part of the reason is that I enjoy taking care of myself and getting the most out of my food, my exercise, and my every day activities. I don’t mind change for the most part (no one is totally immune to the dislike/fear of change in all of its aspects, I think, but some of us are just more willing to accept/enjoy it), and I have always been one of those people who wants to try lots of different stuff and learn lots of different stuff.

But a lot of people have not taken care of themselves. They’ve been eating highly inflammatory foods and they’ve gotten that spare tire, or their hair is falling out at an early age.  They haven’t been doing proper exercise and their knees hurt regularly.

They’ve let attitudes of having be more important than the idea of being.

And let’s face it – you almost can’t blame them. I mean, corporations and the USDA and the FDA have done an awfully good job of feeding us the idea that diet is a matter of calories-in-calories-out alone, and that massive amounts of cardio exercise are the way to undo weight gain. They’ve based the food groups/pyramid/plate on a model that leads to obesity. They’ve promoted food that is not good for us to boost the profits of corporations. They’ve told us that drugs are the best way to combat the maladies of civilization. They’ve told us that exercise patterns that people have done for tens of thousands of years are dangerous and should be avoided. They’ve told us that having a yard with a white picket fence, and two cars, and five TVs, and cell phones (and running up our credits cards to get those things) are the key to happiness and looking like a success to your peers.

And they’ve been told that the way they feel is just a part of getting older. So by the time most people seem to hit our age, they’ve given up on having the fun that they might actually want to have. They just think they can’t do it any more.

But people who’ve taken the time to find a food plan that truly works for them to feel great, or have discovered that play and movement are the most effective ways to keep our vitality and mobility, or have seen through the lies of marketers and poor science don’t feel this way. They see life as a playground to continue playing on for all of their days – because they have discovered (or, possibly, never un-learned) what it takes to make the human body be happy and  healthy.

You can create your own reality by creating your own health reclaiming your health, and taking on the challenge is that means the most to you, whether it’s an OCR, a marathon, or what have you.

It may not even be a competitive thing.  Maybe it’s even something like learning woodworking. Or learning a new language. Or taking on a martial art. Or helping the homeless or another charity. The sky is really the limit.

People will use all sorts of tactics (usually unwittingly, by the way) to bring you down. They’ll tell you to act your age. They’ll tell you that they’re concerned you’re going to get hurt. They’ll ask you why you want to do that anyway. They’ll tell you (and this is the one that really rankles me, hence this article) that you’re too old to try this, that it’s for the kids. They’ll tell you that you look foolish around all those young cross-fitters and such who are taking this stuff on.

Their opinions mean absolutely jack.

They don’t understand that their life choices are what led them to their current state most of the time. They also don’t understand (or perhaps are afraid to understand) that they have the power to regain their health and vitality.

They don’t understand that their attitudes are really the only things that are getting between them and doing what they might actually love, or miss doing!

So don’t be one of those people. Realize that you are a person who can take on a challenge, you can make yourself better, you can undo the conditioning that you’ve been subjected to over time to change the way you live, and you can be better. If you need proof, look here for how people have changed their lives. If you have Hulu you can watch a show like My Diet Is Better Than Yours, or catch the episodes on the ABC.com website, and read about Kurt, a 47-year-old grandfather who lost 87 pounds in 14 weeks and literally turned his life around. If you don’t have Hulu, read his trainer Abel James’s blog posts about the show. (Abel’s plan is very similar to the one I’ve followed for years, by the way – I have read his book The Wild Diet: Go Beyond Paleo to Burn Fat, Beat Cravings, and Drop 20 Pounds in 40 days and I highly endorse it).

There is literally proof everywhere that people can take control of their lives and live the way they want to live. Society tries to control us and make us slaves to their marketing messages. It sounds dramatic and possibly conspiratorial, but I don’t intend it like that. They want people to fall right in to their system of having us live just long enough to stop working and paying taxes and then pass on to the next experience.

You can take the power by adjusting your attitudes. Don’t let them win.

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