It's Monday, and I was up at 5am. The temperature outside was zero, and well below zero when you factor in the windchill. But I was up and out the door by 6am on my way to the gym--all part of my new Behave Like A Pro habit building challenge. I'm giving myself a medal for this, I thought as I went out the door. Actually, that's not a bad thought.
Medal Monday is a thing I've seen on social media--folks with the medals they've earned for winning something or even just participating--and I usually just breeze by. But actually, I'm all for medals. I know there is some controversy around the participation medal, but for me, participation is everything. Seeing my medals hanging on the wall is a reminder of the work I've done and the risks I've taken and the countless start lines I stood on, scared sh*tless, and running the race anyway. It would be easy to forget the grind and hustle of the last four years if it weren't for those tangible reminders.
Now I'm in a new training, of sorts. I'm a writer, becoming more of a writer. It's a brand new world, exactly like running and fitness were for me. I know I'm in the right place, doing the right thing, but it doesn't always look like it from the outside. There's nothing to show for it. I have been scared to death that I am losing my identity as a hard worker because you can't see what I'm doing. I have immersed myself in the writer's world and have been validated and assured that writing is hard work and that I'm right on track. Still, part of me wants people to see what I know: that I am productive, I am moving forward, I am doing something, I am going somewhere.
And then I look at those medals. They are reminders of what I'm capable of. They are the symbols of the hard work that I am willing to do. So, in my moments of doubt, I look through those medals of mine hanging on the wall. They tell me that I've come a long way, and that there is a whole lot more in me.
Maybe Medal Monday should happen every Monday for every person. Maybe Medal Monday should be the day we take stock of what we've done, those things that may or may not look like much from the outside, but have culminated into medal worthy accomplishments. Things like: remembering people's birthdays, raising kids, making sure there is always toilet paper, raising dogs, changing out the hand towels, running a business, , doing the laundry for your family, washing the car, getting groceries, taking care of yourself, taking care of your family, taking care in your community, following a new dream, participating in your life. That's what the medals are for--not to say I was the best in that moment, or second best, or just that I showed up--they are a tangible acknowledgment that I am engaged in my life, and doing a pretty damn good job at it.