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Finally, a new blog post from Jan!

Posted by Jan Guenther on Oct 16th 2019

Finally, a new blog post from Jan!

Finally, an updated Blog on …. What should the title say? “One ultra busy, aging lady’s challenge to return to fitness post injury?” Those adjectives are not too uplifting. Maybe I should amend the title to say, “Progress! Despite setbacks, a positive attitude is the key to improvement.” Well, both statements reflect the vacillating and conflicting feelings I, and most goal-oriented folks, encounter. How to experience the best in our lives? We believe most others in our peer group have the ‘better’ or ‘easier’ lives. But of course, deep down, any intelligent person knows that life was never promised to be fair, and most of us experience setbacks and losses in varying ways. The reminder IS, how we deal with the challenges is what separates those who find daily joy and light and those who cannot.

My challenges now? Healing my leg so I can run and ski the way I used to at age 59. 9. Upon recovery (getting off the dang crutches) I just never thought the tendons and other soft tissue would take so long to function well. Other challenges? Finding TIME. Time for PT. Time to support my husband Brian’s return to health from the removal of a Pituitary tumor. And of course, Time for Gear West! Finding all the time needed to work with Gear West’s wonderful staff to always provide the best service and products we can to those who love what we do, can take up every free minute. (Gosh this sounds like an advertisement) Gear West is like a busy, willful child. The business NEEDS attention, love and care and discipline, for it to be all it can be.

My goals? Physically to ski well enough this year and to race better than ‘well enough’ to win my age group at IM Wisconsin next September (my entry was deferred to 2020). Right now, jogging a 10 min mile 5k is not happening, so there’s a lot of work to do. But I have a PILE of goals! Such as, finishing my health coaching certificate. I signed up for Primal Health Coaching created by a triathlete, Mark Sisson, with whom raced during my era of Ironman’s in Hawaii. I love learning and expanding my rudimentary knowledge of nutrition and (over) training. Everything that surrounds creating (or not) a healthy, balanced life as one ages interests me. Of course, THE STORE has always handed a stack load of goals to me, most likely, too many. Owning one’s business owns the owner . I can never let it go, even when I am not physically at Gear West. Daily, I must figure out how to do things better and improve my leadership. Reinventing brick and mortar to meet our customers changing needs owns my mind all the time! Our goals include creating a unique customer experience through building a cool sports campus complete with alpine plantings between the stores so busy folks want to take time to drive here. How do we ensure customers always leave GW with a positive experience and how to find and take care of those who do not? I could expound paragraphs on all the goals a small business owner must have if they want to thrive; it is a lifestyle where an owner can never do enough, almost like training for triathlons. And of course, there is the goal of maintain a healthy family life around one’s career. My child rearing years are long gone; the need for panicking during my child’s conferences, believing I was not doing all that I could as a mom, has disappeared. I should have way more free time, but dang it, I do not! Life is a wonderful, scary and delicate balance for us type A folks – career, health, family, spirituality, finances - we all share the pressures of trying to be successful in everything, and when things don’t go according to our plan, life’s dips can become huge wallowing holes .

There are no answers of course, but tips on how to maintain joy and positivity abound. Yet like anything, to keep looking at the glass have full requires discipline. Reading a self-help book, talking to a psychologist are just avenues for good (hopefully) ideas to flow. You must decide what best works for your situation or personality and then ‘work it’, almost daily. Attributes that help me navigate the ups and downs are keeping a sense of humor (smiling in the morning to set the mood) , having humility (injuries and tough competition in work and play demands humbleness), applying effort to overcoming

travails and honoring my passion for outdoors and movement so I can reset and be happy. Of course, sharing it all with the right friends and/or partner who love and support you during the rollercoaster of life certainly is the icing on the cake. Yet, each of us must be personally strong in order to have the cake and the icing too. We need to find ‘the strength within’, no matter how overused that statement.

For sure this year has thrown me a curveball. I am trying to use all that is within me to find creativity and desire to restructure what is important. Worries such as, “I cannot exercise as before” or “retail is so impossible to handle with the tools I had in the past”, can be tackled by remaining strong and joyful in new ways. I work on discipline to think positively, to increase empathy for others and appreciate things I took for granted. We are so fortunate to have the freedom to choose how to handle what is thrown at us. I must use that freedom wisely to choose the best attitude for me to sleep soundly at night. Life is too short, and I am mad at myself when I waste it on emotions that do not lead me to a better place.

-Posted by Jan Guenther on Oct 16th 2019

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