Good luck/bad luck. Some things are just out of your control. But as a true Irish lass I believe you can make your own luck. There is a famous quote by Samuel Goldwyn that goes, “The harder I work, the luckier I get.”
Sometimes it’s easy to look other at other people who seemingly have it all and turn that Irish color: green with envy. “Why are they so lucky? Why is their life so much better than mine?” you think. My high school teacher once wrote on the board “jealousy” and then circled the word “lousy” because he said it was such a lousy human defect.
Confession: When I first started going to the gym I was a bit of a player hater. I’d see a really fit women in a cute yoga outfit and sometimes think, “Oh shut up!” as though her whole persona were saying, “Ha ha, I’m better than you.” And then I’d think, “You’re so lucky! You probably never had kids! You probably love to eat tofu and salad all day! You must have some serious skinny genes to fit into those skinny jeans!”
When I think to the times in my life I’ve felt jealous of other people I realize that my envy had nothing to do with that other person but it did have everything to do with my own fears. Fear that I was not capable of achieving my long term goals. Fear that I would never measure up. Fear that my best would always be lacking.
The only way I’ve ever been able to conquer fears was to confront them. Once I started taking ownership of my health my fears began to dissolve. Ok, I can do this. And I discovered all those things I had been telling myself were lies:
- That woman on the treadmill with the great body? Yeah, she has four kids.
- The woman pumping iron loves Cap’n Crunch not salad. But she chooses to eat salad anyway because it makes her body work better than sugary cereal.
- The gal in the yoga pants? Her genetics might be luckier than mine in that when she carries extra weight she goes up a bra size and when I gain weight I look pregnant, but if you think people were genetically engineered to be obese try telling it to a caveman.
Here’s another truth: No one ever said to me, “Ha ha, I’m better than you.” No one ever laughed at me. (Well, except the time I knocked myself in the head with a cable, but let’s face it, that was pretty damn funny.) All those women made their own luck and they worked at it every day.
And the harder I worked the luckier I became, because the other women starting giving me tips on how to balance exercise with family, how to make clean eating taste dirty and tasty, how to trick your body to push through a plateau. Now I’m lucky enough to call them my friends.
On this St. Patrick’s Day I wish you the best of luck pushing past your fears and finding your own pot of gold, whatever that may mean to you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.