For some, change sounds scary and uncertain, but all change means is to make something different or to become something else. Change is different for everyone, but everyday we should strive to make a change, to become different, to become better.
Last week, I made a change. I officially began my competition prep with my trainer Wes. We had been training occasionally off and on and getting my mind wrapped around the idea of healthy nutrition and fitness. As of November 4th, training has commenced.
For those who do not know, I can be quite impatient. So of course, after one week, I wanted to see some results (which has not happened). The waiting part is the hardest in all of my changes, but it is also when I am the strongest.
During the wait period, we learn things about ourselves that we never knew. We may become weak at some point, but we learn the true meaning of endurance, focus, drive, and perseverance.
Anytime I think of change, I am reminded of my dad talking to me about the life of a butterfly and the similarities between them and humans. Butterflies are beautiful creatures, seemingly delicate, but very strong despite their small size.
As we all learned growing up, the life cycle of a butterfly consists of four phases: eggs, caterpillar, chrysalis, and then the butterfly. The fourth and final stage is when the butterfly is most noticeable to us. It has colorful wings and flutters among the flowers on beautiful Spring days. Of course, before that so much happens that we often do not see.
For me, phase three is the most incredible phase. It is the changing phase and the biggest determining factor of how the butterfly will look and function for the rest of its life.
The life cycle of the butterfly has been a great mystery for those in the sciences. No one knows exactly how the caterpillar changes its form in such a dramatic way, but according to researchers there are clusters of cells called imaginal buds which comes from the word "imago," referring to the adult phase of the butterfly. Imaginal buds also means "to imagine" and psychologists use the word imago to mean an idealized image of a loved one, including self. So the imaginal buds contain the blueprint for a butterfly its entire life, meaning that even while it is a caterpillar, it is "imagining" being a butterfly. It is already in its DNA.
For me this a great lesson. Although I am not where I want to be, I know within me I have the blueprint to be a competitor in fitness competitions. So while I am eager to become the bright, beautiful butterfly, I know that I must first endure the changes in my own phase three.
My dad used to tell me the familiar story of the young boy who saw a butterfly hatching from its cocoon. The boy noticed that the hole was too small for the butterfly to get out, so he attempted to help the butterfly by cutting the cocoon with scissors, allowing the butterfly to easily escape the cocoon. The butterfly was swollen and had shriveled wings. Days went by but the butterfly's wings never dried out, and it could never fly. Why? Because it never struggled.
A butterfly's struggle to push its body through the tiny opening forces the fluid from the body of the creature and into its wings. After the wings dry, the butterfly then can take flight. Without the struggle, the butterfly will never fly as it was created to.
In the same way, without struggles, we will never become what were are destined to be. Allow yourself to go through change, and allow that change to truly mold and shape who you. In fitness, in your career, in your marriage, or any area you know you need to make that change.
In Fitness + Health,
~ Q. Olivia