The Harder of Two Options

Over the past 5-6 years I’ve been noticing how rewarding it is to choose the harder of two options. Should I watch TV or read a book? Should I walk or drive there? Should I get up early to workout or just sleep in? Should I eat the broccoli and cauliflower or the brownie at my co-workers birthday celebration? I would have to say that I have never regretted choosing the harder option. So far there hasn’t been a time while I was working out at the gym that I said to myself “It would’ve been better to just sleep in.” In fact, just the opposite. I usually end up saying “I’m really glad that I made myself get up, this is great!”

When given the option of watching TV or reading a book it seems that many choose to watch TV. Why not, it’s easier. It doesn’t involve much more than clicking a button (or maybe a few if you have multiple remotes). But when I choose to read a book I am rewarded so much more. The characters remain in my head and I think about the story lines often during the day. I can’t wait to read again and find out what happened. It’s more relaxing since you don’t get the loud noises associated with watching TV. There’s a reason people always say when referring to a movie “the book was better”. Not to say that I don’t watch TV or movies but that I usually get more out of reading a book.

For many years now I’ve been opting to walk or ride a bus as opposed to drive on many occasions. It is harder and it does take longer but overall I experience so many things that I wouldn’t get a chance to if I didn’t get out from behind the wheel. Not to say that I don’t like to drive because I do and there’s a great deal to experience while cruising in your own vehicle but arriving somewhere via your own strong legs is empowering. I love thinking back to being in San Francisco and knowing that I walked close to 20 miles in one day just touring the city. I saw so much more, was able to stop at any shop or restaurant that I saw along the way, and I probably got to places faster than driving. Riding the buses regularly and knowing most of the routes feels like freedom along with comfort to me. I can get anywhere. I never have to worry. I’ve gotten to know many people by taking the bus and it feels like a community which you just don’t get from driving by yourself.

Many people want to workout but say they can’t find the time. I’ll admit, it is hard to make the time to workout but if it’s important to you, you will find the time. Sleeping in would definitely be the easier option but I wake up every morning anywhere from 4:30 – 5:15am to make the long trek to the gym/trail/pool. It’s hard but in the end it is so much more rewarding than getting an extra hour of sleep. And when it comes time for an adventure, whether it’s one of my friends asking me if I’d like to do RAGBRAI (bike ride across the state of Iowa), a new acquaintance from the gym asking me to do a half ironman with her, or my hubby asking me to do a 50 mile kayaking trip. I’m ready to jump in! I’m strong enough and confident enough to go for it all because I get up early and workout. I pays off to choose the harder option.

Which brings me to eating healthy. Most people eat what is easy and quick. It’s hard to find the time to make breakfast, lunch, and dinner 7 days a week. But when I’m eating healthy I feel so much better and my body responds better to training and recovery. I should explain my definition of eating healthy. Healthy eating to me means that I’m eating a tons of veggies for lunch and dinner. I try to eat mostly natural ingredients meaning things that grows in nature (veggies, fruits, animals, eggs, herbs, fish). I insist on making my meals myself because then I know what goes into them and I can feel good about the ingredients. When I’m being responsible and not grabbing whatever they’re serving at places like McDonald’s or Wendy’s I feel better about myself to a point of being empowered. I do indulge in pizza, nachos, and beer on the weekends…I’m not a machine 🙂 but I always feel great during the week when I am in control of my body and health. Spending the time to make my food becomes small in comparison to what I get from it.

So what I suggest is when given an option between two things choose the more difficult one. I’m pretty sure you won’t feel let down. If you do it repeatedly I’ll even bet that you will be rewarded with happiness, self-confidence, strength, and an feeling of empowerment that you just can’t imagine. Try it…I dare you.

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~ by willtriforbeer on February 23, 2014.

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