Do what’s right for you

“Is that seriously your full range of motion?”

I paused the hamstring exercise I was working on just long enough to give my trainer, Will, a death stare.

“Are you seriously giving me crap over my flexibility?” I replied.

“Hey. I know you gotta messed-up hip, but this right here…” he motioned toward the machine, “This is pathetic.”

Not in the mood for a lecture, I growled and let the cables snap back to their original position. “Well, back to the topic of things that actually matter,” I said, “Should I switch gyms or not?”

I’m two-and-a-half weeks in to a new job, and I love it. However, as I told you last week, starting a new role has put my routine through the ringer. My gym used to be in the same building as my office. When I get off work now, I walk a mile in the wrong direction to hit the gym.

It’s not working out for me.

Will and I weighed the pros and cons. Switching gyms meant no more Tuesday yoga with my inappropriate yoga instructor, a class I am unexplainably attached to. I also wouldn’t be able to train with Will anymore, someone who goes out of his way to help me. [Case in point, I was not paying for my current training session. He was just killing time between clients by killing my hamstrings.]

“Listen,” he said, “You have to do what’s right for you. But if you switch, don’t be a stranger.”

It was pretty straight-forward advice. And like most pieces of simple advice, I am terrible at following it.

You can’t base your decisions off someone else.

When it comes to making a decision, I have a tendency to evaluate the needs of those around me—even though it’s my decision. For example, I’m currently searching for a new apartment. It will be the smallest, shoeboxiest studio you ever did see, but I’m ready to live on my own. Last week, my friend Keena and I were driving through her neighborhood when I motioned to a building within two blocks of her place. “What if I moved there?” I asked.

Her eyes lit up. “I would LOVE that.”

So naturally, even though it would be a further commute, further from Trader Joes, and further away from where I park my car; I started thinking about moving to Chinatown, DC.

Living across the street from one of my best friends has its perks, but there’s a few holes in this plan. First, what if Keena moves? I would love if all my friends stayed in DC forever, but the chances of that are slim. Therefore, I should only move to Chinatown because I actually like Chinatown, not because someone else lives there.

Don’t outsource your decisions.

You can’t control another person’s decisions. You can’t control if your friends move cities, if your parents buy a summer home ions away, or if your significant other doesn’t want to watch the movie you’ve been dying to see. Therefore, do not outsource your decision-making onto another person, if their decisions don’t align with your own. Meaning, don’t say:

  • I’ll move there because all my friends live there.
  • I’ll take that gym class because I’ll have someone to go with.
  • I’ll grab takeout from that lunch spot because all my coworkers go there.

And I can’t choose my gym based on my yoga instructor or my trainer, because they could move on in less than a year.

You have to do what’s right for you, because you never know when the preferences of those around you may change. If-slash-when that time comes, you want to be in a situation that makes you happy, not anyone else.

And for the record, I still have no idea if I’m going to switch gyms.

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For All the F Words
You have flaws. You f-up on a daily basis. And that should be ok.