Appreciating yourself and others goes a long way. Having PMA goes even further. If you line 10 people up and take a quick look at their build, you will notice that each person looks different. They may all be able to do the same amount of push-ups, miles, or squats but one might have more defined calves and another might have a defined upper body. Maybe one person is long and lean, while another is short and stocky. For instance, my husband and I are both runners and we typically run the same mileage. I, being a personal trainer, perform weight bearing exercises multiple days a week. My husband doesn’t do anything other than run. His upper body is defined and mine looks strong but not defined like his. However, I can do things that would be a complete struggle for him.
Today, I was running on the Springwater Corridor. I’ve been pretty hard on myself when it comes to my running ability and form since my surgery and today started out no different. Until, I let PMA (Positive Mental Attitude) come into my mind. I stood tall, corrected my form, and just went. The run felt good, not really fast, but good. A bit before my turn around point I saw this runner who, to me, looked beautiful and strong. I thought, “Wow she looks amazing! I wonder how far ahead she will be by the time I head back.” I surprised myself when I passed that same runner not too long after I had turned around. I almost engaged in negative self-talk when I saw that runner, but I stopped myself and decided to just be happy to be out running. When I decided to have PMA I was able to maintain my pace and pass her when I had no goal of doing so. Had I started to beat myself up after seeing how incredible she looked, I may not have continued my effort and my run would have ended on a real negative tone.
Through the years as a trainer, my body has been scrutinized and gotten long looks up and down. I’ve gotten feedback about my build that has hurt. I can’t count the number of times that people are shocked by my strength because I’m not really built and I’m on the more average-looking side. So often, as I am setting up for a class where the clients don’t know me, they question my education and experience based on the way I look – it could be my youth-like appearance (yet I’m 37 and have been training, teaching, and learning for 15+ years), my not crazy definition, who knows. When I am done teaching though, you can tell that they hold me in a completely different light than when they first met me. The majority of the time, I am thanked and asked what other days and times I am teaching.
We all have views of ourselves and occasionally we size up others, but why? Why do we torture ourselves and others in our heads? We are in this crazy, awesome, challenging world together so why not support each other regardless of any factor. If goodness breathes in our soul, then goodness is what we should exhale and disperse into the world.
Start with PMA. Any time a negative thought enters your mind, stop the thought in its tracks. Turn it around with a positive thought. The more positive energy you hold, the more people will catch your PMA.
Share your PMA stories below and let’s see if someone catches it!