Do more good and lead by example
We constantly underestimate the impact that we have on others. In our subtlest of decisions, we can be the best examples for others and show people what is possible, or we can be bad examples and validate how the world is a messed up place.
Recently, I got to be a great example to my mom. I got to show her that it is all possible and she is stronger than she realizes. I was really proud of myself for it!
I was talking to my mom. She was complaining and really frustrated. Her shoulders were locked up and she was in a lot of pain.
“I’ve talked to you about this before, try a cold bath.”
“No, son, listen.. Some people’s bodies can deal with the cold. Mine cannot. Since I was little.”
“Mom listen, please…On Wednesday, I had a knee problem. My knee was inflamed. It was 4:30 and I had to teach at 7:00pm. So I filled up by bath with cold water, sat there for 5 minutes and my knee felt better.
It lowered my inflammation and helped with the pain. When I got to the studio I could be present for my students and not focus on the pain. NOT ONLY THAT but I also stayed after class and trained one of my instructors and danced for another hour.”
She goes silent at first and then. “Ok, ok. Tell me again. How does it work?”
I explained the science and logic and said:
“Mom, I’m not forcing you but if you want to try you can try once. What do you have to lose?”
“Maybe I will try it…I’m not sure…I don’t like cold water”
“Listen when you come home tonight. Fill up the bathtub and call me. I will be there on the phone with you”
I pause and smile 🙂
“Not only that but if you do it tonight, I will do it too. I already did my cold bath today, but I will do it again with you. You will be in your place, I’ll be in mine but we will do it together as a family.”
So I set it all up. I’m prepared with my cold bath and I call her. “Mom, are you ready?”
“I’ve been staring at this…staring at this goddamned cold water. I don’t want to get in.”
I stare at my cold bath and realize that no amount of talking her into this will help.
Lead by example Aleks and without responding to her I jumped into my cold bath all in.
The ice-cold water hits my chest and I exhale and gasp/
“What’s wrong? What are you doing?”
“I’m in the tub. Get in the bathtub. Let’s go.”
My mom is not about to be left behind, I hear a loud “Aaaaahhhhhh” and she gets in, screaming bloody murder.
“Mom, just breathe. Breathe slowly. I’m here with you. Breathe slowly.” My mom went silent and then I panicked. For a good 20 seconds there is no sound. Did the phone disconnect? Did she drop it? I don’t want to say anything in case she is actually breathing and I don’t want to take her out of that zen moment.
Finally, in a rushed voice she says “Sasha, I can’t do it anymore. Sasha! You son of a….”
“Mom, just 10 more seconds. Breathe.”
She goes silent again…gang we are at 40 seconds now…she yells out again…
“This is crazy, let me get out”
“Come on mom, you can do it, I’m here with you. Just 5 more seconds”
I say that as I watch the clock and we are past the one-minute mark at this point…
Finally, she gets out after 1 minute and she says:
At first, she starts complaining, how cold it is…we start talking…but I am still in the tub.
I ask her
“How long do you think you were there for?”
“I don’t know 30 seconds?”
I smile at her and say…”No mom you were there for over a minute”
“No way…really? Wait, what are you doing, did you get out?”
“No mom, I’m still in the bathtub and I am at 5 minutes at this point”
“What are you talking about? It is so freezing!”
“Mom, my body is used to it. I’m good. How do you feel?’
“I actually feel amazing. My body feels warm for some reason.”
That made me grin from ear to ear. I was so proud of her. And proud of me. In that moment, when she was staring at the cold bath no amount of conversation or talk would have gotten through to her. I just had to show her.
The next day she did the cold bath on her own. 😉
If I look at my life, the people who were most influential, who pulled me upwards were people that walked the walk.
We don’t live in a silo, when we work on our physical health, mental health, spiritual health, it has a ripple effect on every person in our life.
What you do with your life, how you live it, it matters.
All of us are role models for others and the question is, what kind of model do you want to be?