I really stink at accepting compliments. My immediate reaction is to do the aww shucks thing, brush it off, make a big deal of it not being a big deal, all that. The truth is that compliments feel really really good, and I appreciate them in a huge way. There are times though when really playing down what I was complimented on really is also playing down the graciousness of the one who pays the compliment. Sometimes I catch that and have to just stop and thank people.
So why the playing it all down? We could really make a long, long… really long post trying to deal with that question. Not sure anyone wants to dig into all that stuff, unless you’re a therapist who makes a lot of money digging into all that stuff and if so, I’m too stingy to pay you, so we will leave it at that, so I’ll try to keep this analysis as brief as possible. I do question myself, if I really like it and even agree when I’m complimented, am I doing this false humility thing? Maybe it’s part that, and the other part perhaps being there’s enough of me that sometimes struggles with whether I deserve the compliment. Yes, I did something good or yes there is something good about me, but there’s always someone who does better or is better, so I’m not the one who best deserves that compliment. Does that make sense?
I had a wonderful comment the other day where I was told that I was an inspiration and a light at the end of the tunnel for them, getting ready to go through the surgery I have been through. And right away I wanted to shoot back I’m not really doing that much and I had to catch myself. Why am I doing this blog, after all?
Of course, we can get back into analysis mode with THAT question too, eh? Why do any of us blog? Seriously, how much of what I’m writing is just to be blah blah blah about me me me. Aren’t I everyone’s favorite subject after all? Maybe that’s part of why I struggle because I do question my motives from time to time.
And yet the truth is, I know where I’ve been. I know how impossible it seemed to ever think of getting out of that situation. And I know how far I’ve come and how I’m making progress. And there are people who are where I was. And isn’t that the point really, that I’m really not all that much? Seriously, I’m just another guy, there is nothing really special about me, and that IS the point. That’s part of why I want to share this journey because if a pretty common, lazy, ordinary guy like me can make his life better through all of this, then maybe by telling my story other common ordinary people can realize hey, if that schmuck can do it there’s hope for me.
And here’s that part where I question myself. You know what drives me the most nuts when watching the Biggest Loser? It’s during the interviews where all of them, at some point along the way, make this declaration about wanting to inspire America. In fact they all say it almost exactly the same way, same pronunciation, all of that. Does that sound coached? And really, it makes me think, get over yourself already. So I guess if I have that attitude about someone who’s really killed it to lose a LOT of weight maybe it’s fair to have that same attitude about me, right? Like really, get over myself already.
But you know, since starting this blog, I’ve started surfing around a lot more to other blogs, and I find people just starting running, or just starting a weight loss journey. And so often there’s pessimism, and there’s doubt. And yet, there’s hopefulness. There’s a spark that life can get better, or that deep down they know they CAN do what it is they want to do. And having been there, and being on the path out of that, I know it’s true, they really can.
So yeah, I want to be a light at the end of the tunnel for someone, so having been told that I was for someone, oh my gosh, how that felt when I really accepted what I was told.
The truth is, being the light at the tunnel’s not all that. I mean it is but it isn’t. Cuz here’s the deal, living in Colorado when I’m driving in the mountains, I can end up going through several tunnels. Some of those mountains it just didn’t seem feasible to build the road up and over the mountain I guess. And maybe that’s how it is in life though, there’s a lot of tunnels. I’m in enough of those tunnels myself, you know? There are always things that could be better. And there are a ton of people in my life and out there in public and that I don’t know at all who are these beacons for me, showing me how to make life better. So I can be a light at the end of the tunnel for someone without it really getting my head all puffy because while I’m being that light, I’m following others’ lights getting out of my own tunnels, and they’re relying on others as well.
And for anyone who sees me as a light at the end of the tunnel, I sincerely appreciate that and hope to do as well as possible in that role. Just remember, you are a light for someone. You are taking steps in your life, moving forward and beginning journeys that there are others who are not at that point yet. So I’m being inspired by someone, inspiring you, and you may not realize you’re inspiring someone else.
In the Bible, Paul talked about this. I’m really really roughly paraphrasing this but I liked what he said, it was pretty much I’ve done some good things but I’m not all that great on my own, but what you can do is follow me as I follow Christ.
I know when it comes to weight loss, I could be so much better. Those dipped ice cream cones at McDonald’s for $1.29 have probably cost me a lot of potential lost pounds. I can do so much better and I grow frustrated at how slow the weight loss is. As a runner, holy cow am I slow. It’s humiliating when you’re running and feeling proud of yourself and someone walks past you. Really? You’re enjoying that aren’t you, you smug little walker? But you know what? I can bend over now and trim my toenails now without it being a major production. I can stand up without having to collapse some piece of furniture by pushing off. Sunday I’m going to run 6 miles and I will be able to run every step of the way. Yeah, I may not be an inspiration so much to the guy who can run a half marathon in less time than I can do that 6 miles, probably not even that much of one to that disgustingly speedy walker, or to the person who has the willpower to not stop for that dipped ice cream cone. But there’s some things I’m doing well, so why not rejoice in those and hope that someone else can see them and say hey, maybe I can do that myself?