Hey all, morning pages for today are done.. and today I wanted to post the latest in the line of my Blue Skies Magazine columns.

This one is one of my most favorites.

Of all of them.  I’ll let it speak for itself.
Thank you as always for reading. Big time. Thank you.

Blue Skies Magazine, October 2011
Life Coaching Column #18
Issue #25

“Venison Steaks”

By Melanie Curtis

Note my stick head blue steeling off to the right.

So check it out, as a kid, I was forced to work at the family slaughterhouse.
Not like against my will in the bad way, but you know, because I was a kid and my Dad said so.  Me, my brother, my Dad, my Gram, my step-Mom, my cousins, and even a couple family friends.  Every Thanksgiving when “normal” people were lounging around watching football eating leftover turkey and taking naps, we were doing family time wrapping venison steaks and grinding hamburger.  Not that I wanted to watch football, but yeah, can’t say that as a 14-year-old girl, I really wanted to stand on concrete all day long wearing a bloody apron surrounded by deer carcasses.
So why am I thinking about deer carcasses?  Well, the truth is, I look around and really wonder if the youth of today even kinda gets the concept of hard work.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m just as much an instant-gratification addict as the next person, I mean, I love my nook because when I buy a new book, I have it RIGHT THEN.  Oh the sweet sweet instantaneousness of that.  Quick fix.  Feels good.  Then there’s the other side of the coin where the gratification, although far from instantaneous, is much greater.   And that’s the side that we only ever get to if we work our way there.  It’s like walking out of a store with a sweet bargain DVD you grabbed last-second at the check-out line, vs. walking out of the store with the telescope you saved up for by mowing lawns all summer long in the blazing summer sun.  (Yes, I totally stole that example from the sweet 80’s movie, Can’t Buy Me Love with Patrick Dempsey and the popular blond girl with the white suede suit.  Awesome.)  So anyway, at 14 and at $6/deer, walking back to the house with a couple hundred bucks meant I worked all day long, worked hard, and really earned my keep.  Didn’t know it then, but dang, what a crucial life lesson.  Thank you, Dad.
So right now this concept is totally applicable to my tunnel training.  I’m in the thick of the way sucky parts.  Over-scheduled scheduling, 1-million-degree AZ heat, and worst, that feeling of being frustratingly stuck on this current plateau of skill.  Bam.  Laaaaame sauuuuuce.  But not really.  It just feels lame sauce.  Really, this is when hard work will get me through.  This is my opportunity to excel by working hard when others would quit.  Reminds me of an inspiring quote,

“In a competitive world, adversity is our ally.”

Not that life is a competition, but life is full of challenges, and it’s how we push through these challenges that defines us, opens the door to opportunity, and teaches us we have what it takes to actively create our future.  So yeah, as much as I’d love to be lazy, and some days actually wish I could stay home and do laundry, I don’t.. I buck up, I go to the tunnel, and I take one more step toward my dream of tunnel badassery.
So what about you?  What are you working toward right now in your life that’s hard?  That sucks right now?  That feels like you’re making no progress?  That it would be a heck of a lot easier to quit?  Or worse, where are you being lazy and not doing what you know you want to big-picture?  Maybe it’s at your office, getting complacent doing a medium job knowing it’s enough to cruise, and not get noticed one way or the other.  Maybe it’s the working-out thing, allowing overwhelm to tip the scale of I-just-don’t-want-to-today. Maybe it’s your marriage, and it would be so much easier to throw in the towel instead of reading a new book, getting counseling, or just saying honestly and peacefully, I’m in pain and I love you.  Maybe it’s your skydiving, sick of zoo loads, but you’re taking the “easy” road of not getting coaching avoiding that hurdle to better skills and bigger fun.
Whatever it is, you know what it is for you.  And it’s all good.  We all have these types of things.  So how do we motivate ourselves to do the work?  …

I suppose the question is… what’s the payoff?  What do we get out of doing the hard work?

In the details of our individual lives, payoff comes in a ton of different forms… rocking the tunnel, a promotion at the office, a hot bod from workouts that work for us, a new era of happiness at home, a coach rating and LO slot at our home DZ, etc.  All that sh*t is GOOD sh*t… it’s what makes our lives worthwhile, fun, and filled with our unique contribution.  Beyond the details of specific accomplishments, there is a bigger message we all get every time we’ve legitimately worked hard and achieved something big.  Every time, we prove to ourselves the impossible is possible.  Cheese ball life-coach cheese, but I don’t f*cking care, that’s the deal.

When we do what we think we can’t, we learn that we can.

We learn we’re capable.  We learn we’re strong.  We learn we’re way better than we think.  We are.   And it’s this mindset that stimulates and excites us to take on new challenges.  Powerful and positive growth becomes our norm.  And ironically, with that, hard work isn’t quite so hard anymore.  We’re actually excited to stand on concrete all day long wrapping venison steaks because we know what we really get out of it.
Venison steaks gave me Melsinore and beyond.  Worth it?  Thank you, Dad!!  Melsinore, out.

(A shot of us working in the shop, bagging some hamburger, me wrapping some steaks, and my Gram at the end calling the shots.. hahaa.. love my family. :))


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