Change and uncertainty has been heavily present in the minds of almost every human on the planet this year. So many people are upset that things have changed so radically, and they are struggling with these changes.
My experiences over the course of my life have taught me that the only thing certain in this life is change. I heard once that “life is a series of natural and evolving updates to what’s real.” I couldn’t have said that better myself. What is true or real changes often, sometimes every week, sometimes every hour. But it’s always changing.
What we know to be true today will not be true in a year. It might not be true next week. So what we know to be true is always eventually going to change; growth and the passage of time demand this.
Sometimes these changes are things we celebrate. (Some examples: births, marriages, birthdays, personal achievements.) Other times, the changes that happen in our lives are things that are not as welcome. (Some examples: death, illness, injuries, and loss.) While it might seem counterintuitive, I have found that it’s actually best to approach both situations with the same tactic: to embrace the changes.
Change is just that - change. Change is not good or bad; it doesn’t have any emotion attached to it until we react to it. If we choose to embrace change - no matter what type of change it is - rather than resist it, we can construct a narrative for ourselves that leads to greater overall happiness. Resisting change, or attaching overly negative emotions to changes as they take place, only creates sorrow and unhappiness.
So maybe you are facing a job transition. Maybe your job itself is different and feels more stressful than it has in the past. Perhaps you are slower or less fit than you were in a previous year. Maybe you have more free time to do the things you love the most. Perhaps you have cultivated a movement/fitness routine that makes you feel great. All of these examples have something in common: they are changes.
Change almost always provides opportunity. By embracing change, we open our minds up and increase the probability that we can see those opportunities that are hidden in changes like gemstones.
The photo that accompanies this week’s Coach Tip Tuesday is a photo of one of my all-time favorite animals: the albatross. While my lifelong love of this bird has its origins in Disney’s The Rescuers (just being honest here, folks), my adult love of this animal is rooted in how tenacious it is and how it faces adversity. Albatross spend a majority of their lives in the air and at sea; it can be as long as five years before they come back to dry land, they literally soar for hours (sometimes only beating their wings once every couple of hours), and they can fly as many as 10,000 miles (not a typo) in a single flight. How do they accomplish this? Their species has learned to soar in Earth’s turbulent winds.
We can learn a lot from this animal. Like the albatross, you may end up on an extraordinary journey that takes you to new heights, so aim to emulate this bird’s tactic of embracing and working with the turbulent winds that life throws one’s way. Change is a certainty. Don’t resist it; embrace it, and learn to soar in life’s turbulent winds.
Coach Laura Henry
Laura Henry is a Syracuse, NY-based coach who is a USA Triathlon Level II Long Course and Level II Paratriathlon Certified Coach, USA Cycling Level 2 Certified Coach, VFS Certified Bike Fitter, and has successfully completed NASM's Certified Personal Trainer course. Coach Laura is passionate about helping athletes of all ability levels reach their goals and has coached many athletes to success.