I live in Texas. This past week, Texas was hit hard with an intense winter storm that left many of us without power, without water and left us as the butt of many jokes because our state was ill-prepared for what hit us. Northerners just didn’t understand why we were belly-aching and complaining about the weather – they laughed at us and created a feed’s worth of memes about us … but they weren’t wrong.

Texans – Texas – were not prepared for the storm. Our power grid was overwhelmed, generators froze, wells cracked, and it left us paralyzed. Our roads were impassable, grocery store shelves ran bare, hardware stores were wiped clean and for 5 days, most of our state shut down. We nicknamed February 14 – February 19, 2021, SNOWVID 2021!

What does this week have to do with fitness and wellness?

Well – pretty much everything! Our gym shut down. Our members were ripped from their routine. Our 12-Week Challenge came to a hard stop! Amy and I are doing the challenge with our members this time. She and I put on some pounds over quarantine (like the rest of the world) and we wanted to reset, refocus, and recommit to our clean eating and hard-working lifestyle, and we didn’t let this storm get in the way of that promise. Unfortunately, many of our members did. You know, when your head isn’t right and you are “on a plan”, “doing a challenge”, “on a diet”, or whatever they tell themselves they are doing – and a curveball gets thrown right at you – like, right between your eyes – most people duck and hit the ground shaking – instead of letting that shit smack you in the face and taking the hit…most people are scared of the pain and they avoid it at all costs. So, the pain is what I am talking about. The pain is where the relationship is.

With the storm, we had no choice but to suffer through the pain – we didn’t have heat, or water, or food. The pain of losing our conveniences of regular life was hard. But people were resilient. People helped people. Neighbors cooked for each other, they took friends in, they cared for each other like people should and that made the “pain” a little easier to bear. So why couldn’t they help themselves stick with their program?

The advice that I gave to the members was to DO YOUR BEST; to stay the course. At a minimum, avoid fast food (we all had a couple of days’ notice that the storm was coming, so honestly, everyone had an opportunity to stock their pantry and fridge with challenge friendly food and wrap their heads around the idea of doing at-home workouts for a few days), eat the way you have been eating and don’t forget WHY you’re doing this. That was AT MINIMUM!

I think we ALL wanted to curl up, stay warm and eat comfort food. I am sure that I suggested we order pizza 1,867 times over the last 5 days – but it was me just talking. It was my worried, anxious brain taking me to a comfortable place. But we didn’t do that. Amy and I made each other a promise when the challenge started that we would “tough love” each other and under no circumstances allow the other to fuck this up. See, there is always someone in your life who enables you to perpetuate your bad habits. So, turning your enabler into your DISabler takes courage. Taking someone who usually coddles your bad decisions and asking them to stand strong and become an obstacle to those choices is really fucking genius, but you both better have the stomach for it (no pun intended)!

This is one of the main reasons why she and I didn’t waver from our plan. We were not perfect – we never are. But we were ON! We still weighed our food. We still wrote everything down. We still drank our water. We still REMEMBERED WHY WE WERE IN THIS IN THE FIRST PLACE! Was it hard? – YES!!! But, through the difficult days, we realized that there really isn’t a circumstance that FORCES us to quit taking care of our body and fueling it, so it feels and functions the way we want it to!! During hard times, people CHOOSE to comfort themselves with food, they CHOOSE to forego the workout, they CHOOSE to forget how great it feels when they CHOOSE to love themselves! Texans didn’t let SNOWVID 2021 win – Texas will definitely be better and stronger the next time Mother Nature throws us that curveball! Through everything hard there are lessons to be learned. I bet our power grid will be more resilient, our grocery stores better stocked and our residents more prepared for the next time.

My hope is that our challengers will be too. My hope is that even if they ducked and hit the ground, they will get back up, learn the lesson to be had, see that they can suffer through, and take the hit without losing their shit! Unlike the winter storm that took us down, circumstances that affect our resilience to stay on track happen all the time! It isn’t WHAT happens to us that matters, it’s HOW we handle it that counts!!