“You can quit this anytime you know? It doesn’t have to be forever.” I’m really not sure how my trainer Eli knows precisely the right moment to challenge my commitment, but he always times it perfectly.

Sometimes I fear that he might be psychic. I sincerely hope that is not the case. Some of the things I have thought about him as he drops the weight pin to increasingly challenging levels are less than kind.

Whether or not he has supernatural powers he does seem to know exactly when I’m feeling weak. Perhaps he can see it in my eyes. I am a bit of an open book. Or maybe it’s that psychic power of his.

Maybe I had been out with friends the night before and they all ordered pasta or risotto, after having devoured the basket of bread and creamy, salted butter. Maybe there was a lot of wine flowing around the table. Maybe some of them even ordered dessert, and maybe, just maybe, I was feeling a little sorry for myself.

Eli seems to instinctively know that voicing aloud what I have been thinking will force me to snap out of my funk and accept what it is that I truly want. I want this lifestyle of fitness and strength forever. He reminds me rather cleverly by forcing me to speak the words of defiance to his supposed escape hatch.

“I’m not quitting Eli! Seriously! I want this… and everything that’s required of me to have it.” I reply emphatically, pushing aside visions I’d had that very morning of eggs Benedict. Oatmeal and egg whites are surprisingly satisfying, I remind myself.

What he’s really saying to me is that I’m choosing to be at the gym. I’m choosing to be fit and healthy. I’m choosing to defy gravity. I’m choosing to continue working as hard, if not harder, than I did in my twenties. Quite simply, I’m choosing. Those are very powerful words when spoken with conviction.

There are many aspects of our lives to which we simply have no choice. Maybe I would prefer to be either very petite or Amazonian in height instead of a terrifically boring and average 5’7”. I might like to have the choice on some days to have the classically feminine complexion known as peaches and cream instead of the slightly less delicate olive one with which I was born. Wouldn’t it be lovely if we could choose at any point in our lives to simply flip the switch on artistic ability and suddenly start cranking out masterpieces on the level of Picasso, Rothko and Warhol?

We may not have a choice in some parts of our lives, but we almost always have the choice of fitness. Even if we are limited because of injury or accident, we can always choose some way to improve our level of fitness and health.

I try to hear my trainer’s voice in my head when I’m facing a moment of weakness, reminding me that it’s always my choice… and aren’t I lucky to have it. And then I remind myself that the likelihood that he is psychic is really rather slim. Thankfully!

And now I ask you to choose to have a look at some of my other work over at www.staciacarlton.com

Happy Lifting!

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