#tbt: Keep Going

This post originally appeared on September 8, 2015.

Leaving the trampoline park in a wheelchair, my ankle having done something no ankle should rightly do, I wanted to kick myself (with my good foot). After all, I was a psychic. I'd been getting hits about crutches for a while, and didn't connect the dots the day "Fun Mom" went for a jump.

Thanks for the warning, universe, you did your part. Next time, I'll look before I leap. (Look at the energy! Leap on a trampoline! Psychic gallows humor.)

Long story short, I got my crutches...was on them for 6 weeks...spent several more weeks in physical therapy...before I knew it, five+ months without the regular exercise that keeps me reasonably calm have passed. 

Limping through a visit to my orthopedist a few weeks after the injury, I jokingly grumbled, "If I were a 24-year-old champion figure skater, you would have figured out a way to fix this by now!" Unflappable, my doctor gently replied, "Yes, and if you were a horse, we would have put you down for this."

Let it not be said that I do things halfway.

After months of watching me flail, consoling myself with food, my husband wisely suggested I get a brace and get myself to the gym. I was eager to get back to some kind of cardio, because quite frankly, my clothes were getting way too tight. Off I went, in search of some sweaty zen and a workout I could do without too much pain. The elliptical seemed like a safe choice.

As I huffed and puffed my way through an eternal 20 minutes on that blasted machine, I had what can only be called an elliptical epiphany. My mantra for the final 17 minutes?

This sucks. Keep going.

What was true for that workout is true for so many moments in life, right? We're dealt a tough hand and we keep going, because we know there's good stuff out beyond the suckitude. We know either from previous experience, or from the little voice in our heart, that the only way out of the icky situation we're in is to go through it. Past the sucky parts, and on to the next thing, which is much better in comparison.

This sucks. Keep going.

I really like that little mantra, because it acknowledges that this moment is hard, and that I can handle it. It's a pass - I don't have to zip from here to the end, I don't even have to have a solid destination in mind. All I have to do is move forward.

This sucks. Keep going.

Maybe for you it's not a trashed ankle. Maybe you are unemployed and it's taking a while to find work. Maybe you're in the middle of a health crisis. Maybe you're trying to break an unhealthy habit or end a relationship or launch a business. Maybe you're just having a rough day. Life is magical and awesome and amazing and inspiring, yes, and sometimes, it can be really brutal.

Here's the thing: we get through the suckitude. We always do. We move through it to a new place, and we are different for having survived the suck. We're wiser. Stronger. More aware. Or we're simply relieved & proud that we made it through to a place where we can catch our breath and look around and see the dark cloud we just walked through in our rear-view mirror. Large or small, it's always the same cycle. Things are good, then they suck, then they're better.

Try this - if you find yourself caught in a loop of "this sucks," double down on the word count and add "keep going." 

And notice what happens.