Athletes are all too familiar with wake-up calls. Waiting until things happen and then wishing they would have started doing things earlier. Injured? Perhaps you said I should have been better with strength training, I should not have pushed through that workout and I need to be stretching. Burnout? Perhaps you said you knew you should have rested when you kept pushing through. Not at your racing fitness? Perhaps you wish you would have made slow progress earlier in the year than trying to make everything happen in the last few weeks of training.
As humans, I feel it is perfectly normal to use wake-up calls appropriately for we all need a little kick in the butt to remind us that life has meaning and we need to appreciate it to the fullest. For the 20+ year smoker has been known to quickly stop smoking when he/she finds out he has cancer and the individual who thought that diet and exercise didn't matter may feel instantly motivated to change habits after learning that his/her current state of health is at a result of not focusing on lifestyle habits earlier in life. Most people find it easy to change their lifestyle when they are given a wake-up call...but why wait?
Everyday you are forced to answer hard questions with your lifestyle choices. Perhaps everyone is doing it so you want to fit in. Maybe your standards are lowered because of lack of confidence. Or maybe you are excusing your behavior because you just don't feel you deserve any better. Maybe you feel great and you love the way you are living life.
Life is hard because many times we feel fine and have no reason to change, to think or to act differently. But when we ignore many things for too long, it only takes one quick wake-up call to recognize all those former positive thoughts that could have made an impact on how you are living today.
There are no guarantees in life. We often receive wake up calls because we are being given another chance. The call is not typically welcomed and many times, it keeps us from living the life we had been enjoying. But if you do a little searching, there are many times when wake-up calls are given to you as a learning experience and not as a punishment for your previous actions or thoughts. Sadly, sometimes you aren't given a wake-up.
Wake up calls require you to rethink your priorities and that is something that you can do now, tomorrow and everyday. Whether or not you have been given a wake-up call in the recent months, don't wait for your first one or another.
Remind yourself as to what is important to you in life. Crossing a finishing line, traveling the world, being successful at work, being a role model for your family, keeping your body in optimal health, sharing love and education with others. Many times it doesn't involve a number on a scale, a size of clothing or a 'fast' racing time or place. Eager to be perfect or to do well at everything, many choices are often extreme or goals are often pushed off due to difficulty.
Your body is there to take care of you for the rest of your life. Subtle changes have cumulative effects on your quality of life. If your body is giving you a warning signal, if you feel like you are waiting for the right moment to start or if you feel like all is wrong in your days....at least you have days to make things happen.
Start now, don't wait and enjoy the journey of life. Don't wait for the worst to make things better now.