Today, as I began to prepare for my new position as an online writing mentor for online English classes at my university, I remembered an important person that inspired me and provided guidance.
My neighbor down the block used to be a a competition body builder, though she didn’t even start this fitness journey until she was in her adult years. She then began working as a rehab physical therapist until she got ready to move. During this prep time, she ended up selling me a lot of her home equipment at really good prices simply because she said she believed in me and my fitness journey.
She knew I wasn’t particularly interested in competition prep, but also that I had a passion for exercise and healthy living. Pointers were provided left and right, she corrected my form on a few different lifts, and just made me feel ready to actually go after my goals.
Mentors don’t always have to be famous, rich, family, or whatever other guidelines society has attached to the term. A mentor is someone who guides you in the right direction so you can reach the end goal yourself. They show you possibilities and instill something as simple as hope.
This may sound cheesy considering my job made me think of this short relationship, but I believe any type of influence you have on a other person is important. Whether it be an academic influence, romantic influence, etc., your actions and words do matter.
I have always fluctuated with my workout patterns. I didn’t have a lot of equipment to work with and lacked motivation to go to the gym. Being able to purchase workout equipment in good condition at affordable prices totally changed the game for me. Now I couldn’t have excuses.
My neighbor opened this door for me, and through kind words of encouragement and a few instances of helpful criticism, convinced me to go on this journey open minded. I thank her for this, even if I haven’t gotten the chance to thank her personally.
Role models can be anyone and can impact multiple areas of your life. I suggest finding one who truly inspires you, makes you feel good about yourself, and shows that goals are obtainable.
I am now taking this experience and plan to incorporate it into my semester writing mentor job. Writing isn’t for everyone so I will therefore be pushing a lot of people who were just like me when starting out with fitness, worried, lost, and doubtful.
Support is always important. Feeling valid is a need. Having your own feelings acknowledged is relieving. Form meaningful bonds and connections with those who lift you up to your aspirations rather than pull you away from.