Last Saturday I was getting dressed for the daddy-daughter dance. The them was “hoe down” so I’d put on jeans, cowboy boots, & a swanky bowtie. I slipped on my sport coat and stepped in front of the mirror.
Julia gave me the look.
I knew what was coming.
“Baby, “ she said, “you cannot wear that coat!”
Ugh. She was right.
It wasn’t the coat itself. I’ve had it for decades and worn it countless times. Navy blue, pinstriped silk lining, dark buttons. It’s classic. I can wear it with jeans, slacks, with or without a tie, whatever.
Regardless, I couldn’t button it.
So I didn’t.
“It’s obvious that it doesn’t fit.” she said. “Not buttoning it is just making it worse.”
I sulked. Back in the closet I pulled on a pinstriped jacket I’d had let out for a recent funeral. Mustering a smile I walked back into the bedroom where LuLu, my 9 year old stepdaughter, had joined her mother.
She just shook her head and walked off.
“Nope, you can’t button that one either,” Julia said.
She’s right, of course. They’re both right.
Two years ago, as the result of a mountain bike accident, I sustained a class III-IV AC separation. In layman’s terms that means my left shoulder is all jacked up. The entire joint is separated from my collar bone which makes it appear as though that bone is sticking up. My left arm is 1/2” longer than it used to be. And it causes a lot of pain and makes certain things much harder.
Push ups and pull ups, for example.
Not impossible, just harder. And I’ve used this as an excuse to avoid working out for the last year or so. The results are obvious; I’ve gotten over weight and out of shape.
Yesterday on my way back from dropping the kids at school I listened to a podcast from Ryan France. He interviewed a fellow by the name ofMark Heaps who lives in Austin, Texas. Mark’s story is fascinating. The short version is that Mark was born into an incredibly wealthy family who lost it all, but he took control of his life and became wildly successful. If you’ve got 36 minutes, download the podcast from http://www.voicesofimpact.com/mark-heaps/.
Part of his story punched me in my [oversized] gut. Living in a small town in Texas he’d lost his job. Being broke and with no place to live he called is brother in California and was invited to come. The problem was he didn’t have the money to get there.
Now ya’ll listen here - this man went to the Greyhound station. For two days he held up a cardboard sign.
WILL DRIVE TO CALIFORNIA IF YOU PAY FOR GAS.
On the second day a woman approached. She needed to get herself and her two children to San Jose. She couldn’t afford the tickets but thought she had enough money for gas.
Mark thew his own luggage into the dumpster to make room for her and the children. 1,700 miles later and the rest history.
That is the difference between making excuses and making it work.
Following his hardship Mark Heaps found a way to make it work and became a success story. Following my own hardship I found an excuse and became a with an extra 20 pounds who had to go to his daughter's dance without a sport coat.
That’s something to think about.