It was around this time 3 years ago that I made the biggest choice of my life. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy and I didn’t know where I was going to end up. I just knew that I needed to change. I made the choice to walk away from the drinking and drug scene that was gobbling up my weekends and my wallet. When I look back at the time, I was in total denial of where I was and what was going on. I was self-medicating for my own choices that I had made and in denial that it was up to me to change it. I blamed others and I rarely blamed myself for the bad choices. Why, because I had essentially given up on my life. I was trying to convince myself that this was the best my life was going to get. I was fat, unhappy with my career, and inside felt powerless and trapped to change it. Like many people out there, I was afraid to quit my job. It was my income source, and when the economy was in the dump it was difficult to imagine myself being 37 and jobless. So I stayed stuck and it was eating me alive. I had the victim’s mentality.
Some people will say that it was because I had an addictive personality, but let’s be honest for a minute. There was no addiction about it, I just didn’t want to accept the responsibility that I had to be the one making the steps to change it. I wasn’t addicted to the drinking, the drugs, I wasn’t addicted to going out every weekend. I was making the choice to do it, because I wasn’t in the right mindset to break the cycle. There was no drug out there or treatment program that could have righted that ship. It’s my belief that you can get all the help in the world to take control of a ship, but if you don’t take the wheel and start steering. You will never correct the course.
You could say that change happened overnight, but many people will not understand it was that easy and I’ll explain why. Change is the action of doing something different, and when I looked at myself and decided that I was going to do something different I “changed”. I ditched the victim mentality and went to a victor mentality. Now that doesn’t mean it was easy, but I started the moment in the other direction. I had my doubts and I had my distractions. That image of me in the mirror though is still fresh in my mind as to who I didn’t want to become. As I started accepting that I was at because of my actions and no one else, life started to change and I started to find ways to succeed. Steve Jobs once said “You have to believe that the dots are going to connect down the road in life.” and I heard that earlier this year and he was absolutely right. When I look back at the choices I made there is a deliberate path to success with where I am at now. Triathlon, tri club, beginner open water swim, volunteer swim coach, adult learn to swim coach, to volunteer captain for the swim area at the local races, and triathlon coach.
So the moral of this blog post is that it is your life and up to you to LIVE it. Be the victor in your life and not the victim.