Back To The Basics

Here’s a quick life update since I disappeared seven months ago…

I know I’ve been MIA, but a lot has been happening! As I mentioned in my last post, I am no longer coaching gymnastics. Back in October right after my shoulder surgery, I felt like that door was closing and another one was opening. I had no idea when or where, but I knew it was time to move on. Over the past three years, I’ve really wanted to pursue a career in teaching Pilates, but with my coaching schedule in the past, that was virtually impossible. But after I quit my job, my husband and I began researching Pilates certifications, and the Lord led me to the most AMAZING place. In January, I began my certification process, and I’m finishing my trainings this weekend! Now, I still have LOTS of teaching hours to get in before I test out to get my full certification in December, but I’m having a blast! Teaching Pilates has allowed me to reconnect with friends that I wasn’t in contact with for years! It’s been so challenging and out of my comfort zone, but this whole process has had Jesus written all over it. For the first time in a long time, I’m starting to feel confident in who He created me to be. And I love having the opportunity to live out my passion of fitness and teaching through becoming a Pilates instructor.

All that being said, I still have my passion for gymnastics. Always have, always will. It will always have a piece of me. And I’m okay with that. But more than that, I have a passion for gymnasts and hopefully helping them walk confidently and successfully through challenges that I’ve faced myself. Not just in gymnastics, but also in life. This confidence isn’t found in yourself or knowing all the answers to the difficulties you’re facing. It’s a confidence that Jesus has your back. NO MATTER WHAT.

I’m writing because Jesus reminded me of this in the most tangible way tonight. Long story short, the past three years have been the most difficult, yet most beautiful years of my life. In the past three years, I’ve struggled with ENORMOUS amounts of anxiety and fear. My family completely fell apart. Everything I grew up with for over 20 years suddenly collapsed. I started realizing the amount of anxiety I had wasn’t just because of the situation my family was in, although it amplified it to the max. I became keenly aware of the anxiety that has plagued me my entire life.

Add to that, I was planning a wedding and about to get married in the midst of all this. My sweet husband… I’m so thankful for his unconditional love and support through that time in my life. He is the most incredible gift God has ever given me. He’s the beautiful part of that story.

And so is Jesus. Now, coming out on the other side of things, I see Jesus’ love through it all. Even though it felt like He up and left me, He never did. He used my pain in that season of my life and made something beautiful out of it. He showed me my anxiety. Not to shame me. Not to hurt me. But to free me. He spoke to me during that time and I remember His words so clearly: “I care more about your freedom than your comfort.” I’m so thankful He was patient with me. In my crying, in my doubting, in my worst days, He was there fighting the battle against anxiety with me. And He still is…

All that to say, I still struggle with anxiety. It’s a billion times better than it was, but it likes to rear it’s ugly head from time to time. And some days that leads to me really struggling to understand God’s love.

You know the song you learned when you were a two-year-old, “Jesus Loves Me”?

Jesus loves me, this I know. For the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong. They are weak, but He is strong. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me, the Bible tells me so.

For the past few weeks, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought, “Maybe I just need to sing that song over my life again. Jesus loves me. But that’s so simple. That’s ridiculous…” I honestly kind of laughed at the thought.

I didn’t sing it. It was a fleeting thought. But it came more than once. And I dismissed it every time.

Fast forward to today. Hillsong Young & Free came out with a new album a couple of weeks ago. I really started digging in and listening to it today in my car. And it’s INCREDIBLE. Sean had a work meeting tonight, so I just hopped on my computer and wanted to play some music. I pulled up the album on Spotify and was scrolling through the songs.

#7 – Jesus Loves Me.

Um… What? I looked up the lyrics and lo and behold, it was a modern day version of the classic “Jesus Loves Me.” I felt Jesus smiling at me laughing a little. “Simple and ridiculous, huh, Tyler?”

It’s the simplest things sometimes. He’s the still small voice saying, “I love you.” And tonight, I want to remind you that He loves you, too. In your gymnastics, in your everyday life, He loves you. He’s got your back.

Sometimes we need to go back to the basics…

“Jesus loves me, this I know.”

How To Conquer Your Fear

Fear is a word that causes something to rise up within us. There is never a warm fuzzy feeling that accompanies fear. Fear always has a negative connotation attached to it. And it is something we all face as humans. Fear is an instinct. We even rank our fears, because, for most of us, we don’t have just one. Have you ever been asked the question, “What is your worst fear?”

Typically when most people think of fear, they think of things like heights or spiders or snakes or public speaking. But if you’re a gymnast and the word fear is mentioned, skills start popping up in your head. Am I right?!

Fear is frustrating! Especially when you can’t explain exactly what you’re afraid of. Maybe it’s your acro series on beam. Maybe it’s your release on bars. Maybe it’s a mental block that you just can’t seem to get over on something that seems like it should be so simple. Fear is part of gymnastics. Gymnasts do some scary stuff! But all of us want to overcome our fears. We don’t want to just sit there and do nothing.

First of all, I want you to know that having fears is okay. It’s natural! Fear doesn’t mean you’re weak. It doesn’t mean you’ll never get that skill. It doesn’t mean that you’re stuck. You can overcome.

And you will overcome! I want to teach you the method I used as a gymnast to overcome my fears. And trust me. There were A LOT of them. And sometimes, this method wasn’t a quick fix. Sometimes this method took days. So be patient with yourself. Every step forward is a step toward conquering your fear!

  1. Decide.

Sometimes as gymnasts, we think that one day everything will just magically feel perfect and the fear will be gone. So until that perfect moment, we just wait. THEN when that moment comes, we can do it! WRONG. I hate to burst your bubble, but those moments never come. Unfortunately, fear doesn’t magically disappear. I wish it did. But it doesn’t.

What I can tell you though is that you have control over your fear. Sometimes we think our fear is so much stronger than it actually is and we start to let it control us. And when that happens, the breakdown comes. The tears start flowing. And we cry ourselves into exhaustion.

But there’s a better way! And no, I didn’t say easy, but it is SO much better. You have to decide. There comes a point in our fear that we have to decide which way this is going to go. Is fear going to control us? Or are we going to choose to control it? Once again, making this decision doesn’t make the fear disappear. But what it does do is put you in control of that fear. It’s still there, but it doesn’t get a say anymore. Make the decision before you get on that beam or before you climb up on that bar that you ARE going to do it. No matter what.

  1. Commit.

So now you’re up there. You’re heart is racing. But you’ve already decided that this is the time. This is the turn you’re going to do it.

Now, decisions mean nothing without action. The decision is just a step toward taking action. Once you’ve decided that you’re going to do it before you get up on the event, now it’s time to follow through by committing to the skill.

When you’re standing up on that beam or in front support about to cast up to a handstand on bars (can you tell my biggest fears were on beam and bars??), now is the time to commit. You’re NOT going to do another timer. When your fear says, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING????” in the middle of the skill, your decision and commitment are strong enough to kick in and say, “GO!” But you HAVE to be REALLY committed.

Easy, right? Ha! Not really. But it gets easier! The first time is always the scariest. After you commit once, committing to it the second and third and fourth time gets easier and easier. But you have to decide and commit that first time.

  1. Conquer.

This is my favorite one! Once you go the first time, you’ve conquered!!!! Now, the fear may not be completely gone, and you might have to go through the decision/commit process a few more times, but ultimately you have conquered the worst part of your fear! Your fear isn’t keeping you from going for it anymore! And that’s HUGE!

You are a conqueror! You are so much stronger than your fears. I challenge you to decide and commit to overcoming the fear that’s holding you back. I believe in you!

 

I want to hear about your challenges and successes! Please feel free to message me with more questions about overcoming fear OR to share a fear you’ve overcome!