Life on the Balance Beam

By , SparkPeople Blogger
I’ve often watched the young female gymnasts in competition in a state of awe and wonder. How do they do all those jumps and twirls on the balance beam without falling off and make it look so easy in the process? The precision, the focus, the leap in the face of fear mentality – how do I get some of that?

Maybe that routine on the balance beam is like the healthy lifestyle to you. Some days there seems to be no balance and you can’t get all the things in order to make it work. You’re juggling the job, the family, the pets, the bills, the laundry, the housework, the yard work, or some combination of all those things and more. How are you supposed to fit in exercise, healthy grocery shopping, time to prep and cook meals, plan meals for the next day or week? It’s daunting, frustrating, and frankly you might just want to give up.  Well don’t.

The thing about those gymnasts on TV is they didn’t show up at the training facility yesterday and jump into competition today. They started their journey at the beginning and worked a very long time to get where they are. I appreciate this more now that I’ve been on the healthy lifestyle journey for three years (2 on SparkPeople). I had to start at the beginning, work it out, and keep figuring out how to make it work for me through life while it changed from day to day, month to month, and year to year.

Life isn’t perfect and it will never be perfect despite what the media would like for you to believe. So quit waiting for that perfect moment to get on the balance beam and work out your own success story. You do have to start at the beginning and do the work to get the prize. Just like the gymnast who packed her bag, ate healthy, went to the training facility, logged the hours, and now stands on the beam in the sparkly cute outfit. She overcame fatigue, injuries, bad moods, that time of the month, social commitments, other obligations, etc., all in pursuit of her dream. She didn’t expect it to happen in three weeks, or a couple of months. What gymnast would?

So if you looked at your healthy lifestyle journey and realized that it’s not a short term prospect and you have to learn some new tricks to get that balance, what one thing would you work on today? I ask that because the gymnast did not learn that whole routine on the first day. Heck the first day you’d be lucky just to stand on that beam. I’d probably stand several feet away and just look at it, never in a million years imagining jumping up there and flipping head over heels on it. So why do we expect things to be different in this journey and heap all that pressure on ourselves? 

Start at the beginning today -- what one thing do you need to work on just in this moment to get to a healthier you? Now do that and celebrate what you just learned.  Then get up and ask yourself the same question the next morning. Before you know it you’ll be on the balance beam in your journey.

Do you keep getting back on when you "fall off your balance beam"? Can you make a plan for the rest of this day, and for tomorrow to help you get back on track with your journey?

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CHERYLHURT 2/20/2020
Great Report
KHALIA2 11/28/2019
Thanks! Report
MUSICNUT 11/6/2019
Thanks for the great article! :) Report
Thanks Report
Very inspirational. Thanks SP! Report
Very Inspiring! Report
Thank you Report
Thank you for a great blog Report
Absolutely Report
thanks Report
What a great blog! And so true about picking ONE thing to work on. Chipping away with small sustainable changes really works. Report
So true. It's a balance between outside commitments, internal struggles & a desire to be healthy. Good article. Report
Puts into perspective doesn't it. As one of those new to SP and wanting to be a gymnast in my 2nd month - thank you for the reminder! Report
Great Blog!! Report
This is JUST what I needed! Thanks so much for sending me the link!! Report
Thank you so much for this blog. I've had a spill on my own "balance beam" and have been wondering how I'd ever get back up and into the work of making myself healthier. Your encouragement really helped - and I'll keep working it one day, one hour, even one minute at a time! Report
Very motivational blog Report
I really like some of the alternative suggestions on focusing and getting centered on me when everything else appears to be leading me in the opposite direction of the goals that I have set for myself. Report
As a former gymnast (ages ago) I can say this is an excellent analogy. Something to add, is that even the best, most experienced gymnasts fall of the beam on occasion but they get right back on, make the necessary adjustments, and keep going. Report
Great blog! I am sure this will help a lot of people, a simple yet such an important thing to ask yourself each day. We always have to adjust and readjust. I have found that praying to God for help has really made such a big difference too, really ALL the difference! Report
Nice blog Report
very nice way to look at life. Report
Thank you for writing this blog. This is something I needed to read today and I am grateful for your encouragement. It put things into perspective for me. Report
Great way to look at life! having been somewhat of a gymnast when I was younger - it makes perfect sense! Thanks for breaking it down into a way that could easily be followed. Report
This blog reminds me of the great philosophical conversation between Pooh and Piglet:
"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"
"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"
"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully.
"It's the same thing," he said. Report
Good article! Report
Every time I fall off that balance beam I just keep picking myself up and get right back on!
I really enjoyed your blog! Thank you for the constant motivation & inspiration! Report
Having had a couple days 'in balance' and falling off the beam last night, this was the perfect thing to read this morning. Thank you :) Report
Very inspirational. Here's to everyone's first step on the balance beam! Report
Thank you! I needed to hear that. I can lose and gain, lose and gain, but until I make the changes for a lifetime, and stop going back to the cookie sack, I'm not going to have any balance. Report
Good day to read this entry. I fell off while on vacation in august and have been battling with myself to get back on for weeks now. Today is the day I decided to begin again and this entry provided some wonderful encouragement. Thank you. Report
right on time. I so needed to hear this. "Some days there seems to be no balance and you can’t get all the things in order to make it work. You’re juggling the job, the family, the pets, the bills, the laundry, the housework, the yard work, or some combination of all those things and more. How are you supposed to fit in exercise, healthy grocery shopping, time to prep and cook meals, plan meals for the next day or week? It’s daunting, frustrating, and frankly you might just want to give up."

It is good just to see someone else has the same concerns and is being victorious despie it all. Report
Great blog and a good way to explain the journey. Report
Thank you for the blog, I needed to hear this. Report
Great blog! SP has helped me know that falling, failing, etc. isn't the end; it's just part of the journey. Report
What a great inspiration. My son was head gymnastic coach for a univiersity in Va. so I understand this concept totally. You're so right on. It takes practice practice practice along with adjustments to get it right. Thanks Report
Thanks for a very inspiring blog.
Michelene - wonderfully expressed blog! It is hard on this journey to realize that we didn't gain it all in 1 day, so we sure won't lose it in 1 day. Planning definetely will be the key to success. Report
Thank-you for the well-written blog, truly pearls of wisdom & food for thought (no pun intended). You obviously got right back up on the balance beam. I was up on the beam along w/ minimal coordination. Fall off the beam once to often & you finally get the message, couldn't get back up on that beam. I'm glad it worked for you. I'm in need of something closer to the floor, but not on it. Report
nice atricle. in my life when I fall off my balance beam I get right back up there. I am not going to let the balance beam of unhealthy eating or lack of working out get the best of me. Report
Great blog! Wonderful words to live by and incorporate into my healthy living lifestyle as there are times that I fall off this beam and know that I have to get up and get back on!

Thanks for the words of wisdom!
I always appreciate being reminded that what looks like very little effort is really the culmination of a lot of effort, sweat, tears, etc. Thanks for the focus!! Report
great words of wisdom. I fall off from time to time and get back on. I like the suggetion about focusing on one thing at a time. I will focus on portion sizes and track all meals on the weekend. Thanks Report
Thank You for the nice words of wisdom! Report
Thank-you for the wonderful words of encouragment. Report
Enjoyed the blog, as it echoed my own journey. Almost 2 years since I changed my lifestyle. It has been hard, but I didn't get there overnight and certainly wasn't going to make everything better overnight. Super analogy with the gymnasts! Report
Great Analogy! My daughter was a competitive gymnist while in high school. I used to go to the practices at school and at the gym and I was always amazed at hard they worked those girls and even spoke to them about their nutritian to help keep their bodies strong and firing on all pistons. So I see what you are saying. Even though it looks so easy watching a trained gymnist move through her routine, a lot of effort and hard work went in to get her there and keep her on her game.

Thanks! Report
My granddaughter is a gymnast. I'll be watching her through new eyes the next time. Terrific example! Report