"It's the Hard Days that Count"

"It's the hard days that count"

Weightlifting has become a hobby that I really enjoy
I stopped doing Crossfit regularly as it was doing a little more damage than good for my mental health (and body) but have found a fun rhythm with this sport

Everyday Self Portraits by Mae Burke-1-web.jpg

There are things in life that I will always have to deal with-

-The fact that Girl Meets World was not nearly as impactful as Boy Meets World.

-There is not a bra that truly accommodates women who were pregnant or nursing for 6 years straight and fluctuated 50-70 pounds in those years.

-As a recovering self-mutilator, I have tendencies to use pain as a distraction or coping mechanism, and find an addictive comfort in it's regularity.


That last bit is not a sentence that most people want to hear from someone who is well known for working with families and children. It's not lightly joking about alcoholism or sexual depravity, but addresses a real problem without irreverence.


Because of this tendency, I have a habit of allowing myself to get banged up during my lifting sessions. Bruises on my thighs and collar bones, and ripped hands are acceptable injuries in the context of the environment. No one on the inside of Crossfit boxes or barbell clubs question whether or not we just tolerate these bumps and scrapes (or, more, enjoy them.)


Well today was one of those deep thinker, grind it out because everything freaking hurts sessions.

Keeping the bar close to my body, making contact at the top of the pull of a snatch or clean, returning a jerk, every second of bar contact hurt because it was going over previous injuries and I could "hear" my coach in my head say that if I didn't let myself get so banged up, I wouldn't have this problem. (Except, he would use many more expletives, duh.)


There are two conclusions that I came to today on the ride home-

1) It's the hard days that count, for sure. Today was not the day to say "Screw it, this is hard, go home" because who knows what I'll feel like on competition days?! Who knows what personal crap I'll have off the platform begging for my attention- learning to deal with that adversity now can only improve my mental fortitude


2) How often are the "hard days" we face the culmination of bad and destructive habits we've allowed ourselves to slip into? How often are we fighting for our children's attention when we've resulted to letting the tv babysit them? How many times are we yelling at our kids to stop yelling at eachother and realize (oh crap, I'm yelling at them!) How often could we bare the load of a heavy day had we prepared ourselves for it with consistent, focused, peaceful practices?


It's the hard days that build character, but preparing for them is half the work.

Every time I'm vulnerable about this area of my life, I get well-meaning, concerned emails from mothers and fathers all over the world trying to figure out what to do with their teen who cuts. While my heart goes out to each family struggling with it- I am not a professional. I have my own personal testimony of how God saved me from that habit, but I am not here to give you advice or direction. I hope that in sharing my story, you will see that there is hope for your teen (or yourself!) but at this point in my life, this is all I can offer.