“Are you sad?”

That seems to be the resounding question people have had for me as they learned my oldest daughter was heading off to college.

We sent her off Monday night up to Oregon to embark on her next big life adventure at Oregon State University.

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It’s a fair question for sure.  

But it’s also one that I’ve been not completely certain how to answer.  So it comes out something like this:

“Of course I’m going to miss her but no I’m not really sad.  She is ready.  She has been ready for a while.  And this is her next step so I’m really excited for her.”

Not exactly a picture of moving sentiment of a father for his daughter, right?

Well that’s how I felt anyway as I struggled to articulate how I feel about this next step.

You see from my perspective this IS something to be excited about; not to be sad about.  To me it’s the job.  My job as a father is to help prepare my children to move ON when the time comes; not to try to hold them “in the nest.”

We had a rougher road than we would have ever anticipated and to me that makes this moment all the sweeter actually; not bitter.  To see the woman she is becoming and all that she has already accomplished, and the confidence in who she is and this next step in her journey makes me proud.  It makes me very proud.

And if I’m being honest there is also a sense of pride in seeing who she has become and where she is at, and knowing that I did my job as well as I could.  Making sacrifices and decisions in faith (and screwing up A LOT), trusting that God knew what He was doing and had (and still has) a plan for her.  Something far better than I ever could.

So when we said our “goodbye” at the airport Monday, no I didn’t cry (I mean i’m going to see her in a couple months anyway :).  And it’s not that I won’t miss her, or don’t feel emotion, it’s just that for me I am more excited for her than sad for me.

So how does this relate to health and fitness?

There are a few themes that came up for me as I thought about not only my journey as a father in this, but also Asianna’s journey getting to this point.

  1. Sacrifice

There are many sacrifices we make as parents for our children, and there were certainly many for me as well.  But I think we also make sacrifice out to be a bad thing; that we are giving something up that we value for something else.  However, I’ve found that with true sacrifice what we actually gain in return is of far greater value, though perhaps assessed differently.  For instance when we moved here I sacrificed a great career and a home and place I loved.  However without that sacrifice I wouldn’t now be in a career I love in a gym I opened impacting people’s lives on a MUCH more direct scale than I ever could previously.

And by the same token my daughter made several sacrifices in her journey to college.  Giving up the extra “free” time and hanging out to focus on studies and pursuing scholarships and participating in sports and extra-curricular actviities.

Application:  In your fitness and health journey you WILL be required to sacrifice current habits and ways of life to be able to more align with what you know is more valuable.  Of course there will be pain of loss in the short-term, but massive gain in the long-term.

  1. Passion

It’s amazing how much passion young adults have.  And that passion absolutely fuels them to excel in whatever it is they are passionate about.  Whether it’s a passion for art, or helping people, or a particular sport or a dream of a certain profession, I am constantly amazed at the drive by both my own kids and those young athletes I am blessed to work with when they find their passion.

Application: You MUST find your “why” in your fitness and health journey.  This will be the passion that will fuel you in those times the journey gets hard (and it will).

  1. Gratitude

I don’t know about you but I find it very easy to complain.  And in full disclosure, it is rarely about something that is very important.  In the wake of Harvey, and Irma, and even Iniki 25 years ago, I don’t have many legitimate complaints.  But it is AMAZING what gratitude can do for you.  I’ve tried to make a habit of writing in my planner gratitude in the morning to start my day and before bedtime to cement it.  This little shift can do wonders, as you start to re-wire your brain to look for things to be grateful for rather than complain about.  And it serves to open more doors of opportunity as well.  

Application:  It is easy to find things to complain about when you are trying to change habits and behaviors, especially around health (I “only” lost 1 pound this week, or “I blew it again and had that pizza”, etc).  We need to have as much grace for ourselves in our journey as we do for those around us.  And when we can be grateful for the process as much as the results those habits become much stronger.

  1. Support

Quick little thought experiment…  think of the most successful person (or people) you know.  Got them in mind? Good.  Now answer this – did they achieve that success completely on their own?  Of course not.  We hear a lot about “self-made” success stories but that just simply isn’t true.  Success is a team sport.  

I would not be anywhere near where I am today without some amazing coaches, mentors, friends and family in my life.  And my daughter certainly would not have excelled as she has without the amazing support community she has here on Kaua’i due to people who have sacrificed and invested so much into her success.

Application: One of the single biggest (and most surprising) predictors of success in your fitness and health journey is your support team.  Do you have someone (or group) to hold you accountable, to encourage you, to challenge you to be the best version of you, and to remind you of your “why” when things get hard?  If not, find them.  Join a gym. Enlist a friend or family member.  And avoid or eliminate those toxic people in your life who want to hold you back.

  1. Embrace the journey

This is the last one but I also think one of the most important.  Don’t just “endure” the journey; truly embrace it.  Most things we’ve achieved in life required the first thing listed above – sacrifice.   I know in my journey as a father I failed many times, and I also failed in living out the priorities I proclaimed.  I failed in many more ways than I can even list here 🙂

During one of the darkest and most desperate times in my journey a friend shared a scripture with me from Isaiah 43:18-19 that changed my whole perspective.  “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

Application: Don’t dwell on the past.  Certainly learn from it, but then leave it there.  You are on a journey to something better.  And even if you can’t see it, maintain hope and embrace the struggle, because there is something amazing on the other side – the best version of you!

 

In closing I would also like to thank YOU – our ADAPT Performance Kaua’i ohana.  I’ve had to make a variety of decisions in my training career and business here on Kaua’i to fit my definition of an “ideal business” that would allow me to be the father I needed to be.  Many of these limited our growth and options for our clients and so the investment and trust you’ve put in us to support your goals means so much.  There have been so many times that your encouragement and gratitude have made the difference.

So here’s to the next step in our journeys, and may we embrace them with the wonder and passion of an 18 year old island girl heading off to her college adventure.  Love you Asianna 😉

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Aloha and God bless,

Jeff

 

P.S. If you’d like some help in your own fitness journey, check out our 28 day Kickstart at https://apkauai.com/kickstart

 

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