I’m participating in the Sweat Pink #NoExcuses challenge, and at this point it makes sense to write about what No Excuses means to me, and how it resonates with me.
I ended up sitting at my laptop staring at that blinking cursor for a while, debating how much of my story I wanted to share. I’ve alluded to it in the past, but I had a pretty nasty battle with anorexia as a young teenager, and I dealt with skirmishes well into my 20s. There were some other nasties bundled in there, plenty of struggles both inside and outside my head.
But even when I was at my worst, I didn’t give up. It would have been easy to curl up and let the storms between my ears overtake me, but I didn’t. Sometimes I was barely functioning, but I somehow got out of bed. And in my worst moments, it’s tempting to blame the external factors that made my life so difficult, the bullying and harassment and discouragement – but I don’t. Those are excuses.
In a way, I’ve been living my whole life without excuses, which are a safety net and a luxury that I never had. From my earliest, I tried to take control of situations; that’s why anorexia was able to sink its bloody talons into me. So when I take on a challenge like this, it’s an extension of my life: the life that I’ve created by Vulcan sleeper-pinching my demons until they leave me alone, the life I lead to try to set a good example for my kids. (And I’m so not perfect.)
So when you ask me what No Excuses means to me, how it resonates with me, the simple answer is, it’s just how you live. You stop telling yourself you can’t because [you’re too old/you’re too slow/you’re a woman/you have kids]. You take charge of your life where you can. In my case, that meant freelancing at night until I had built up enough of a clientele to leave a full-time job that made me miserable. It meant making my health a priority, first doing workout DVDs while my daughter napped in her bouncy seat, then going to the gym and taking up running. And it means, if there’s a setback, a knee that craps out on me or an angry IT band or a client that doesn’t work out, I do what I need to do to keep moving forward.
As I’ve told myself more than once, if I could survive everything I did in my teen years, whatever this is? Is nothing.