Correction does much, but encouragement does more. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
A while back my husband’s workouts were becoming infrequent. He had told me what his goal was – and I saw he wasn’t meeting them. So I did what many women naturally did and I became his cheerleader. At least I thought I was a cheerleader. I was a nag
It took me a minute and a talk with a good friend to realize I was a nag. In my mind, I was encouraging him to work out – but this is what I was actually doing:
Iris: Are you going to work out tonight?
R: No, I’m going to do X
Iris: But you set this goal for yourself
R: I know
Iris: How can I help with X so you can work out?
R: No, I’m just going to deal with X
Iris: But… But… But…. (won’t shut up)
After I looked in from the outside I changed my attitude. My husband is a smart man, who knows how to set goals. Nowhere is it my job to make sure he reaches them.
- My husband is a smart man, who knows how to set goals. Nowhere is it my job to make sure he reaches them.
- My husband is the man I vowed to love and respect through sickness and in health. Which means my respect should not, ever, be contingent on him working out.
- My husband looks good naked.
So why couldn’t I shut up about his workouts? Because I felt the need to support and encourage. But that can be done with out words – and often is better done with out words.
So I shut up. And on his workout nights, he’d head to the basement and get under the squat rack and I’d leave him alone. I’d make him a protein shake and a snack, leaving it on the counter for when he was done. I’d make sure he had a towel in the bathroom because he’d want to shower. I’d then keep myself occupied with my own chores.
Cheerleaders don’t join the huddle. Cheerleaders don’t tell the players what plays to run. They don’t correct. Cheerleaders just cheer. Even when the team is down they just cheer.
What kind of cheerleader are you?
Until next time,
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Image Credit: Mark Barron