When working with clients, I often run into the-world-is-against-me attitudes. Some of those attitudes seem justified. Everything they try backfires but AT LEAST THEY TRIED. Others are people who don’t want to change their situation; they come in, complain, figure out new options, leave, and come back the next week without having tried any new options.

Sometimes, as a therapist, I admit (top secret info about to be revealed!) it can be difficult to follow my own advice. I tell people to take that leap of faith, to try something, to meditate/pray and to BELIEVE in themselves,etc, etc. However, life has a way of testing us.

So I did it. I took that leap of faith. I signed up for the 2015 State Games of America, being hosted in Nebraska. Within the first 2 hours of the track and field games, I will do the 100 meter hurdles and long jump. I’m scared and excited.

I haven’t jumped or hurdled competitively in over 10 years, since college. I now have 3 kids, a bulging disk in my spine, a “few” extra pounds and nowhere to train. I had several people tell me I was stupid, that I needed to just let go of my competition days and move on with life. Then there were the supporters who encouraged me to go through with it. Several were old college teammates who “harassed” me because they are going to compete as well (not to point any fingers, Leah and Ross).

So now it’s on to the take-my-own-advice part. 1) Weight and fitness = eating healthier, cut out sodas, drag myself out of bed to workout. 2) Back pain – yoga. 3) Nowhere to train because our school locks up their equipment = my backyard looks interesting with pallets and tote lids lined up for hurdle drills. I feel like Rocky, using whatever is available. That hill by the park – people give me funny looks as they walk/drive by because I run up it, and down it, and repeat it. 4) Kids = they watch or do things with me. 5) Nay-sayers = put them out of my mind and focus on the positive.

Brainstorming, positive thoughts, realistic goals, trying again or trying something new, surrounding with supporters – these are all things I try to teach my clients when they face difficult challenges in life. Yes, sometimes the odds appear overwhelming. It doesn’t matter. Go out, do your best with what you have, have fun. TRY. LIVE.

And live with the positive memories, not the regrets of “shoulda-coulda-woulda.”

Jessica McCaslin

Jessica is a mom who is working outside the home part-time and who is learning to cope with the ever-changing daily challenges of full-time parenthood. She graduated with her Master's degree in community counseling from the University of Nebraska at Kearney in 2005, and works with a diverse mental health population. Jessica resides in Central Nebraska with her husband and four children on the family ranch.