At approximately 9:30 p.m., I dragged myself into the gym and plopped down on a bench in the ladies’ dressing room.
As I was coming, another woman was going. She pulled on her jacket and peered across the room at me. I was still holding down the bench, pulling my change of clothes from my bag ever so slowly.
“It’s okay,” she said. “You made it here.”
I laughed. Was my dread that obvious?
Maybe there was an entire day’s worth of frustration etched across my forehead. Or maybe I wore the shame of someone who had eaten healthy all day only to waste it on an all-fried-everything Chick-fil-a dinner. Perhaps I sighed aloud rather than in my head as I wondered whether that heavy meal would hold me back once I stepped on the treadmill.
I don’t know what prompted her to say it. Regardless whether she associated my defeated body language with the day that lay behind me or the workout before me, I’m glad she said those words: “it’s okay, you made it here.”
She was right. Although I tapped into some emotions today that made me want to curl up under my covers, I made it to the gym. Even though I ate something I immediately regretted, I still made it to the gym. Whether I felt like I could pull off a good workout or not, I had made it to the gym. That alone should encourage me.
And it did. Greasy dinner aside, I went hard at the gym. In fact, I think I tried to right that fast food wrong by exercising harder than I would have if I had eaten a healthy dinner. Fueled by my diet failure, I set a new personal record.
But it didn’t stop there. Her words and my adrenaline rush talked me out of an earlier decision not to post to the blog this week. My brain was spent and I didn’t have it in me to tackle any of the topics in my head. However, my time at the gym gave me just enough energy to come home and place my fingers across my laptop’s home row keys just long enough to type this simple post.
If you are anything like me, sometimes you can let your failures weigh you down. You’re dragging through today because you’re still dwelling on the mistake you made yesterday. And you’re so consumed with that one misstep that you assume it has thrown off your next move.
However, as that woman told me, it’s okay, you made it here. You may have messed up back there, but you made it here. Showing up, or stepping into a new headspace in order to make a better decision, is half the battle. Pat yourself on the back for that small achievement. Understand that what you did then can only hold you back now if you allow it to do so. Use that previous failure to motivate you to achieve your next success. You have something to prove now – that you can bounce back. So let the mistake push you further than you would have otherwise gone.
Don’t allow the present and future to be clouded by your past failures. You may have screwed up, and you probably can’t take it back. But it’s okay, you made it here, to this moment, with intentions to do better. So move forward.
SheryLeigh is a woman who loves God, words, and people. She is currently living and loving as an author, blogger, poet, and spoken word artist in the Washington, D.C., area.
A communicator by education and trade, SheryLeigh holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Howard University and a Master of Arts in Management from Webster University.