Seeing the Good is Great
When I was a kid my mother would oftentimes tell me that I have rose tinted glasses. It would always be at random times that I couldn’t understand and I would ask her what she means by that. She said that I always saw the good with whatever situation I was dealt, but somehow the moments she would say that to me I honestly felt like I wasn’t seeing the bright side and it just confused me. It wasn’t until I was an adult that the meaning truly sunk in.
I remember when I was going into high school and asked my parents to let me try out for football my freshman year. Up to this point I only played football with my brother and friends in the street or a near by park. The summer before my freshman year, my dad took me to the gym to show me how to lift weights. He said that it was going to be imperative towards making me a viable candidate for football. That first time lifting weights was brutal! I remember finishing our workout, going home to shower and literally not being able to wash my hair because my arms were exhausted (though back then I had a crew cut which was a much easier task then it is these days).
I only played football until the summer between sophomore and junior year. If y’all know anything about Texas, football is king and by junior year they required your life to revolve around practice and working out. Granted they are trying to get guys strong and good enough to play in college and potentially into the NFL. I knew that was not my path so I quit football which broke my mother’s heart. Surprisingly my dad understood and backed my decision. Even though I quit football I still lifted weights because I loved how it helped shape my muscles and the strength it gave me to handle difficult physical tasks.
Throughout college I continued to lift weights and started to run a few times a week. For those of you that know me, know how much I love to eat and that I can throw back enough food for a family of four. Running became important so that I could still enjoy the foods I love without gaining too much weight. After a couple years I got to the point I was running 4 miles a day, 5 days a week, at an 8 minute a mile pace. Then my junior year of college I was helping my dad lay down some hard wood floors and pulled my hamstring. That was a difficult recovery and was told it was largely in part to the lack of flexibility in my legs. That’s what led me to yoga.
As a kid my grandmother would bring us to her yoga classes and I always enjoyed them, but it was sporadic and happened less when we got into middle and high school. After my hamstring healed (it only took 9 weeks of intense physical therapy), I found a yoga studio that fit my budget. I forced myself to go to class 3-4 times a week and the first few weeks were great! Then after a month of going to class, yoga started to feel like a chore and it felt like that for the next 6 months. Once I crossed over that 6-month mark it was like some changed in my body. All the sudden if I skipped a class or two, I could feel my body begging me to go to yoga. Now it was no longer a chore it was becoming a passion!
That was when I realized that I found the perfect workout combination for my body. I loved to lift weights to build muscle, run to burn off the extra calories I loved and yoga to stretch everything out. After a year or so of yoga I started to feel the mental and spiritual benefits and it opened my eyes to a whole new world. (Can you hear Jasmine from Aladdin starting the chorus? Lol) Those of you keeping track at home probably have figured out lifting weights (1-2 hours), running (30 min) and doing yoga (1 hour) in one workout is a lot and nobody (including me) has time for that. So I decided every time I would work out I would do 2 of the 3 tasks that I love.
For the last 10 years this has been my workout routine and it has been successful in keeping me trim and maintaining my happiness. Though last fall I lost my first grandparent (grandfather on my maternal side), and being in my 30s with all 4 of my grandparents still alive it was a tough blow. He was truly the first major loss of a loved one. I got out of my workout habits helping my grandmother with her new normal and trying to find the time to grieve his loss. Right as I was starting to get out of my funk and was starting to workout regularly again COVID-19 hit and shut down our world.
Like all of us it threw me back down into my funk, and I no longer had the gym to go workout the stress and frustrations that were building inside of me. Thankfully my yoga studio had recorded classes and launched virtual live classes. I bought some resistance bands and I also prefer to run outside so I was able to workout routinely, though I couldn’t get out of my funk. Running and yoga really didn’t feel different but I couldn’t get into using resistance bands.
Then we lost my maternal grandmother over the summer. It was a devastating loss. If she and I hadn’t been living at the same time I would have believed I was her reincarnated. Between our passion for life, love of laughter and our favorite color (RED) we were two peas in a pod. She was also the one that connected me to yoga. The only comfort I had to her passing was knowing that she was back with my grandfather because losing him was extremely difficult on her.
Since COVID-19 turned our world upside down, her funeral was extremely tough. We could only allow family to attend the funeral and we, as a family, couldn’t even touch each other to grieve properly. I still miss them everyday, I even have tears rolling down my cheek reminiscing about them.
After her funeral, the gyms started to open back up in Texas. I go to the YMCA in downtown Houston and I was so impressed at the precautions they took to bring us back in. You had to reserve a spot to use the weight room, temperatures were taken, masks had to be worn and they had a system to let you know if the machine had been used or if one of their team members already came by and sterilized the equipment. I was so grateful because I knew I needed to get back to lifting weights, little did I know how badly I needed it.
For 6 weeks I worked out 6 days a week only resting on Sundays (mostly because the YMCA was closed). I got back into my routine of combining 2 of my 3 favorite workouts each day and that first week of lifting weights was like I was back in high school again. I had to lower the amount of weight and I was so sore EVERYWHERE! After 2-3 weeks all of the sudden I noticed I was happy, for no reason at all. I would wake up in a good mood, and no matter the bad news I received or frustrating remarks people would say I would still be happy.
Then I realized this was a feeling I had not had in over a year, when my grandfather was diagnosed with cancer. My mother always told me that I have rose tinted glasses on because I always saw the good in people and situations around me. As a kid I couldn’t understand it, but now as an adult I know what she means. I also know how important it is to maintain that positive attitude and outlook on life. It was like I found my rose tinted glasses and finally put them back on. That was the moment I realized how important lifting weights was for my happiness. What is it that makes you happy? What is it that brings you joy into your life? Is there something you do all the time that makes you happy but maybe you just didn’t realize how much it affects your life?
I want to challenge you to take a moment and think about what it is that brings you that joy, what helps you find your rose tinted glasses. Right now our world is so chaotic and so many people are stressed to the max. I can only imagine the struggles 2020 has brought you and your family. Find your rose tinted glasses, pick them up and put them on. Right now we need more people like us to bring light and love into our world. If baking makes you happy, find more ways to bake. If working in your yard or garden bring you joy, schedule more time for you to spend growing your plants. If working out helps you remember why life is so good, go out and break a sweat! Just remember, you are a beautiful person inside and out and have the ability to bring happiness and joy to the people in your life.
Chris Ciardello, Consultant
Chris Ciardello joined Global Team Solutions as a consultant in 2013. As a practice management consultant, Chris is passionate about sharing his expertise in the areas of technology and marketing as it pertains to the dental office. Chris has a distinctive knack for understanding the needs of an office and he communicates those needs to the team, which creates a cohesive, productive atmosphere. He is a member of the Academy of Dental Management Consultants and Toastmasters International.
He can be reached at: Chris@GTSgurus.com.