Life is full of speed bumps. I know, I know, corny analogy about life full speed ahead. But seriously. It’s true. And it’s supposed to be that way. You know how everyone says how fast time flies? Imagine if we had no speed bumps along the way forcing us to slow down. Yikes. So while these speed bumps seem like inconveniences, they are doing you a huge favor. Whether you are aware of it or not.

The truth is, we need to slow down sometimes.

In this current day and age, we are all on the go. ALL. THE. TIME. With screens in front of our faces 24/7, we never get a chance to really be alone. To slow down. To see and experience what’s right in front of us. It’s hard to when we have access to everything else that’s going on all over the world.

Is it convenient? RARELY. Is it necessary? ABSOLUTELY. Is it up to us to make the most of it? BINGO.

Regardless of WHY the unforeseen events and challenges are presented in our paths, it’s up to us to handle them. We have the power to control how we respond. Whether or not we rise up to the challenge and appreciate it for the growth it can provide is up to us. This could look like an unforeseen work event taking over one of the 2 days you are able to workout, or a new injury forcing you to reconsider your entire training approach. Literally anything forcing you out of your usual routine.

Most of us will get frustrated. Cuss. Swear. Take it out on friends and family. Blame everything and everyone else. (I’m definitely guilty of all of those at some point). Everyone deals with these speed bumps and feelings of frustrations on their health journey (whether they share them publicly or not).

It’s those who stop for a moment and remember that there is always an opportunity for growth and those who learn and practice the skill of gratitude daily that will reach their goals. 

Think about all the times you passed a street with what seemed like 20 different speed bumps on it. How angry did you get? How annoyed were you? Did it allow you to stop and see the beautiful neighborhood you’ve driven through every day the past couple years? Or did those speed bumps force you to slow down and prevent a tragedy of hitting a dog that decided right then to chase the squirrel on the opposing side of the street?

When it comes to pursuing health, speed bumps aren’t just a possibility. They are an expectation. There will be things life throws at you and forces you to slow down.

But like a regular speed bump, you have to keep going to finally get over it. If you stop, not only will you get stuck, but you can even roll backwards. No matter what is happening in your life, there is always something you can be doing to make sure you are still taking action. There will always be a way to make do with what you have. There’s always a better choice that can be made somewhere.

Maybe you can’t afford a gym membership at the moment. Instead of giving up, this is a great opportunity to get creative with objects in your house or outside! It’s possible. I’ve been there. And I’m thankful for that time in my life because now I can squeeze in a workout just about anywhere thanks to my creativity I cultivated during that difficult time.

Maybe your schedule changed, leaving you virtually no time for a gym session. Another creativity challenge. Where can you squeeze in a few squats or a walk? Even a 10 minute kettlebell session can suffice. Anything to keep the ball rolling until your schedule frees up again.

Regardless of your situation, there are always ways you can make better choices towards optimizing your health.

Here are 3 things to remember for when you hit the inevitable speed bumps on your health & fitness journey:

1. Keep going no matter what. 

Like I mentioned before, starting requires the most energy. It’s no wonder you feel so drained with all the quitting and having to start all over again. How many times have you missed one workout or one week of workouts to just give up on it all together and get stuck in a rut?

Focus on the 24 hours in front of you. What can you do right now or today that can help you keep the ball rolling? It doesn’t have to be anything drastic. Just something. Put your energy into it. It’s all about momentum, and the act of putting forth effort is all it takes to keep the ball rolling!

2. Gratitude wins. 

Most people respond initially to these setbacks or challenges with frustration. Or blame. Some may even catastrophize them into something much bigger, exasperating the situation and playing the helpless victim. But we are not helpless. Yes, life does throw us some pretty nasty curve balls at times that are beyond our control. But we control how we react. And reacting by finding something to be thankful for? That’s how you win. That’s how you keep from getting defeated by the all-or-nothing mindset.

There is always something to be thankful for. For example, imagine a time you were under a great deal of stress. You didn’t sleep the night before because you had a big work presentation or exam that day. But you head into the gym anyways. As you start your workout, your start to feel lightheaded. Or your warm-up is feeling like your 1-RM. You begin to feel frustrated. This is one of your workout days. How could your body have betrayed you like this? 

Instead of getting wrapped up those feelings of frustration, take a moment to think about your situation. Your body is just letting you know it’s exhausted. Try to cultivate some gratitude and be thankful for the opportunity to celebrate what your body can do. It’s doing a fantastic job at keeping you alive, despite you asking it to perform without giving it the proper rest it needs. Meet your body in the middle. Drop those silly expectations that everything needs to go according to plan. Let your body be a dynamic, changing body. Give it a break. Be thankful that you were able to step foot into the gym that day, even if it means a light mobility session.

Everything doesn’t happen for a reason, unless you decide to look for that reason. It’s up to you.

3. Everything is temporary. 

Go back and read that again. And once more actually. Now screen shot that shit and put it on your phone since you already check that 3,000 times a day. No matter the cards you’ve been dealt, they are temporary. The world is always spinning, and everything is in a stream of chaos, constantly changing. We are all always adapting.

Your situation is not permanent. Unless you succumb to it and become the victim of paralysis. Take action, no matter how small. If you are feeling stuck, it may be time to brainstorm what actions you can take to make a change. If you hurt your shoulder or have family in town interrupting your typical workout schedule, it’s okay. The shoulder will heal (especially if you go get it checked out by someone who understands movement and can help you) and your family will return to their homes. Life will get back to normal. Or you will find a new normal.

Plus, you should be enjoying time with your family if they are visiting. Not stressing about missing a workout or two. Don’t miss out on life because you’re stressed about your routine getting interrupted.

Goals are not met in a day. Or a week. Or even a month. Sometimes you need to slow down and allow life to happen. This is how you create a sustainable healthy life that you love. Embrace it.