Tuesday, July 24, 2012

About doubting - my colorful message to my sister

As most of you know, my sister will be competing in a World’s Championship for the WBFF (World Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation) in August. I’m sure you know how proud I am already. She has already won in my book. Accomplishing this goal takes an indescribable amount of determination, dedication, strength, endurance, and sacrifice to mention only a few small things. This stage she is in right now takes me back to my senior year in college during indoor track season.

I was not winning gold at these meets. I was in the college world now. The athletes came a bit stronger and more intimidating. I competed in the Pentathlon (50 meter hurdles, shot, long and high jump, and the 800) and I did decent. I usually finished in the top 5, but my younger best friend always beat me. My senior year I wanted to give it my all. This was the last year I would ever be competitive. The last year I would ever be in that kind of shape. The last year to experience Nationals.

I qualified. It was rough, but I did it. At the National meet I was nervous. We had a lot of things seem to be iffy, which girls were running, who was injured, where that would place us in heats, etc. I got to a place where I doubted I would even place, and surprisingly I was ok with that. I mean, goodness, just getting to the National level is success in itself! But I kept pushing. My coaches kept encouraging. I poured it all out and left it right there on that indoor track. I ran one of my fastest 800 indoor races ever. I hurdled better than I had since I started, I jumped higher than before. Things came together and the hard work paid off. I can still feel the lining in my stomach turning as I relive that day. Accomplishment, emotion, success… it all came rushing to the surface.

When the day was over I sat there on the high jump mat with my best friend, a girl that everyone thought was my twin, and looked through the results with one of our coaches. 12th freaking place! I couldn’t believe it especially when I didn’t even think I’d get in the top 20. I sat there as tears welled up in my eyes just as they are now with my hand cupped over my mouth and cried a little. I did it. I pushed passed the doubt that I had in my mind and found a place of accomplishment. I was responsible for the results. I was responsible for digging deep and finding what it would take. It wasn’t winning the National meet, it was winning nonetheless. It was winning at me.

I tell you that story because we let doubt seep in. We let our mind get crazy and start believing things that aren’t true. We let negativity start in a very small portion of our brains and then leak down into our blood stream. If we aren’t smart it consumes us. Changes us completely. Makes us quit, give up, do poorly. Not just in athletics, running, competing, etc. In life. We let others doubt us and then believe it. We doubt ourselves and then believe it. We allow the doubt to grow instead of the positive we have to offer ourselves and others. Where could you be if you didn’t buy into the doubt? What heights could you reach? What things could you accomplish? How much love could you spread? How much encouraging could you do? Where could you be?

My sister is five weeks out from the WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP and doubting is coming in. Sometimes things others say validates the doubt in our own minds and we take it as truth letting if fester and do damage. Recently she had someone tell her she shouldn’t compete and she posted that on facebook. She got a ton of love. One of my favorite responses she received was something like, “If I was Tionna, I wouldn’t compete at all, I would just walk around naked everywhere.” It felt good to hear all the love she received and to hear how much others thought of her and how much they believe in her. But, I heard something different. Even though her message was strong that she wasn’t believing that crap I knew it bothered her. My response:

“T, I don’t know who it was or what contest it was in. From your response it sounds like you are handling this responsibly, but if it didn’t bother you, you wouldn’t have posted it. My advice? Use this. Let it sting for as long as it needs to sting. Sleep on it. Wake up and examine every bit of you. Are you really where you want to be? Where you need to be? What doubts did he just validate in your mind that you have been fighting? Find it, Tionna. You need this to push it out, deal with it and use the shit out of it. 5 weeks out. It’s time to dig deep and crush the doubt. When you got your pro card there wasn’t a doubt. I felt it inside me that you owned that auditorium. I saw it in your eyes and heard it in your voice. Are you there? Find it, T. Find it no matter how far down it is hiding, go get it and go FUCKING fix it. Take yourself higher than you ever thought you’d go. To a level no one thought it was possible for you to reach. Your steps strong and confident. No distractions, no excuses, nothing getting in your way. This is your dream and now it is time to live it. Right now and for the next 5 weeks get SOLID, T. Go out and fucking get it!”

It’s what we all need to do. We will never be perfect. There is always something we need to work on, but that doesn’t mean we give in and let things consume us living a life long pity party. I was stuck in this rut for a long time. Living each day by getting up, going to work, not being happy with the way I looked, the way I felt. Making excuse after excuse on why I couldn’t change any of it. Listening and believing the negativity stewing in my mind until I saw her on that stage. She was up there owning it. Doing something that takes a lot of freaking work and winning. That day I decided to take things to the next level and stopped listening to all the doubt in my mind. It has changed my life and you can do the same exact thing. Whether it is your health, your weight, your job, your marriage, stop listening to your excuses.

If you want to join me in cheering my sister on google Tionna Kuhnhoff and follow her on Facebook. Maybe she will even have a blog of her own coming soon. She will knock your socks off!

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