Winter…in Chicago. While making some winter plans for myself, I have thought a lot about how we can make the most of this time. It’s a dreary time of year in Chicago for me. It’s cold and gray and to my surprise, there is far less snow than I thought there would be when I moved here 15 years ago. Wow…15 years! I never imagined I would be in Chicago this long. Since I opened Coaching by G on Chicago Avenue eleven years ago, a lot has changed, but here I am, wintering in place because there is a pandemic. Little feels normal right now…whatever normal means. In reality, our version of “normal” is just a construct. We construct the things we need when we need them. Isn’t that kind of fabulous? It is, and yet sometimes we construct things that don’t actually serve us well.
Recently I was listening to my favorite physician Dr. Zach Bush describe the extinction of dinosaurs (arguably the coolest creatures in evolution). He remarked that biology is so amazing and even though dinosaurs were the coolest creatures, after their extinction, the world did not end AND biology also did not hustle to recreate dinosaurs. Evolution moves along innovating and pivoting in unimagined ways.
While many people dread the thought of death, it is a necessary element of life. There can be no spring without winter. And there is no such thing as rebirth, there is only birth. What this points to is that there is only “change”.
While many are sitting around fattening up in isolation, I ask you to consider your cocoon as the winter it is. Now is the time for change – for metamorphosis. What are you doing in your cocoon? What are you choosing? Are you creating the habits that will serve you in the new world?
Not only is the world changing, you are too, whether you are aware of it or not. Each cell in your body is undergoing a life and death cycle. Your body is repeatedly born anew. It is constructed constantly by the things you consume and the things you do and the thoughts you have. Every 5-7 days the cells lining your intestines die and are regenerated. This is amazing and wonderful and allows the intestines to withstand the constant wear and tear of digestion and elimination.
So if your body is constantly remaking itself, doesn’t it make sense that you would like to build it with high-quality ingredients? Doesn’t it make sense that you would like to be encouraging it to build muscle rather than store fat? All of the tissues in the body are remade constantly. What you eat, how you train, how you sleep, what you drink, and especially what you think matters.
If you have spent the majority of the (never-ending) Covid season overeating or under-eating, not training or overtraining, sipping through the wine cellar or the liquor cabinet, never fear! It’s not too late to turn things around. Now is always the right time to change. And now is the only time we have.
Consider that THIS is the new normal, at least for a while yet. You may be mostly isolated and when you are not isolated you are wearing a mask. So what can you choose to do to be living your best life?
I wish I could answer this question for you. I would say live your life. Take all the precautions you find necessary but don’t stop doing what you do. Set new goals and move toward them with gusto! You’ll know if it’s right for you or not by how you feel. Listen to your intuition. But you cannot make progress if you are only sitting on the couch Zooming and consuming.
Regardless of what you choose to do or where you choose to go— you don’t have to stop living toward your goals. Consider this winter the cocoon that it is and tell me how you plan to emerge? What would you like your metamorphosis to look like?
We are still training at Coaching by G and when I go to train elsewhere, I wear a mask. I still have goals. I am really tired of Covid restrictions but that is just how I feel—it isn’t an indictment of the current reality. Business is slower and the possibility for athletic competition is low. How can we take the stifled energy we feel and channel it toward creating something new?
Personally, I am very interested in moving forward. If this is the new normal, maybe I start running again because I don’t want to be relegated to competing indoors with a mask. If this is the new normal maybe my business shifts more to life and wellness coaching with fitness sprinkled in? As an example, I am giving a talk on Zoom for “Wellness Wednesday”, January 20th, where I will be addressing people all over the country regarding ways to stay healthy, get healthy, embrace meditation and create lasting habits for the reality we are living in right now.
I have transitioned several of my clients to life coaching instead of (or in addition to) fitness coaching. Now that pandemic restrictions have been going on for ten months it seems like we should consider that this IS what normal looks like. Like the title of Ryan Holiday’s book, “The Obstacle is the Way”. What are some things this obstacle has helped us get clear on?
During Covid my business has changed. Small businesses are constantly pivoting and adapting. I can evolve and adapt to what is happening. I love giving talks (hire me!!!) and answering questions about health, nutrition, breathing, meditation, fitness, movement, competing, etc…..I have choices and for that I am truly grateful. So do you.
As we embark on 2021 I hope you will consider who you are becoming. And I hope you will consider that everything you are currently doing is a determining factor for who you will be.
I want to say this to you: What you do matters, what you eat matters, what you drink matters, what you think matters!! Now more than ever because NOW is your life.
This thing that is happening now—this COVID reality —THIS is your life. Your one, precious life. Every second of this is your life. How are you spending it?
Do you really want to just be waiting for “this” to be over? Remember, THIS thing you are waiting out, rushing along, pushing aside or medicating yourself with booze or drugs or sugar or TV or social media or video games or…whatever your particular distraction is, THIS is your life.
My 2021 challenge to you is to choose our own reality. Whatever is happening, IS happening. You can’t change that, but you can decide who you are going to be regardless of what is happening around you. Don’t limit yourself to the ways of the past. Forge new growth. Evolve and adapt. The dinosaurs are not coming back.
You can do this. Stop waiting. Everything is only ever-growing or it is dying. Biology has no plateaus. You choose.