Interestingly enough, we don’t use the word “crucible” very much these days. It’s a very old fashioned word and for this reason we probably don’t even know what it means. I suppose for some of us, we recognize the word from Arthur Miller’s play ‘The Crucible’, which was loosely based on the Salem witch trials. I came across this word in my reading today and thought to myself how does this relate to our health and fitness? I think it’s a fair and valid question when you know the definition of the word.
The Webster’s dictionary definition of “crucible” is:
- a pot in which metals or other substances are heated to a very high temperature or melted
- a difficult test or challenge,
- a place or situation that forces people to change or make difficult decisions
Obviously we are not pots, but we do get ourselves into hot water sometimes and we do feel as though we are overheating (hello cardio!). But, what about the other two variations of the definition? Are you currently facing a difficult test or challenge? Are you in a situation that is forcing you to change or make a difficult decision? It would appear that these definitions have a negative connotation, but perhaps not. Facing tests or challenges or a situation where you are forced to make a change, can be positive. It may not feel like it in the moment, but anything that propels us forward is an opportunity for growth. And growth is always good!
Is your challenge: finding time to work out, resisting eating those foods you know are not going to serve your goals, trying to move past a fear of the gym in order to start working out, fear in any shape or form, learning new exercises and becoming proficient at them, etc?
Is your situation that is forcing you to make a change: a health scare, a divorce, an unhappy work situation, an injury, financial insecurity, etc?
Whatever your “crucible” is, it doesn’t have to derail your progress, stop you from making a change, or keep you stuck. Consider the worst case scenario, and the “what ifs” and decide to make a tiny, small step towards facing the challenge or situation. It may be learning more time management skills, so you can get to the workouts. It may be going for a walk when you want to eat. It may be screwing up the courage to visit a gym to look around, or even just look in the windows. It may be hiring a trainer who will come to you in your own space, and
will teach you new exercises. It may be working with your doctor to decide on a course of action and taking the steps needed to get you back to proper health. It may be re-habbing your injury and taking some time off from the gym in order to recover. This may lead you to doing other activities that you can do during an injury season.
There is always a way to work through a situation or a challenge, we just need to keep an open mind and look for alternative ways to get to our goals. Growth, no matter how we get to it, is always a good thing. We cannot stay static and hope that our lives will become better. We must face our challenges, take the first small step, do the work and enjoy the journey.
So if you are facing a crucible today, have faith that you can face it and make the changes necessary to move yourself towards your goals, dreams and the life that you want!
In health and fitness,