Pushing Past Mediocre Me

I’m use to being good at what I do.  I have gotten through most of my life doing just enough to be stellar…just enough to rise to the top.  Nothing more…nothing less.  As a student, I studied hard at the very last minute and always managed to get top grades. You would never find me in the library a week before an exam burning the midnight oil.  I picked up concepts quickly and could memorize voluminous amounts of information without much effort.   Despite my lack of real effort, I always received praise. I fed off of it and never had a reason to do more. I simply survived. That was me.

But exercising any muscle other than my brain was a foreign concept that I did not want to explore. I ran track for a hot second as a high school freshman.  I was placed on the alternate list, which I thought was a complete fail.  Me an alternate?  I wanted to be the star but I wasn’t willing to work too hard to get there.  There were people there who were faster than me and in better condition than me. I never saw the hard work they put in to be fast and strong. I only saw that they were better and the probability of failure. My father saw more. He attended each of my home track meets.  He’d find his way to the start line and scream at me as I lapped him, “Push harder!” “Run faster!” “Work, Aeran, Work!”  I guess he saw something in me that I hadn’t seen in myself: potential to be great, not just good.  That was my first and only semester running track.

As I approach my 30th birthday, I realize that I was afraid and I’m still afraid.  I am afraid of failing. I am afraid of being successful.  All this time, I have been a mediocre version of myself.  What could I accomplish if I pushed myself past mediocre, past good and into great? Who would I be? What would be expected of me? Would I let myself down? Would I still be in control? The idea of losing control…of not knowing…is terrifying.

I decided, as a part of 30 things I plan to accomplish before I turn 30, that I would compete in a figure competition in August 2011. Initially, I thought about training in terms of physical strength and health.  I am now seeing the full picture.  Being a figure competitor requires physical and mental strength. I had no idea how hard it is to develop mental strength. No one told me that training would force me to confront the person that I see in the mirror. Or that it would reveal all the nasty little emotional skeletons in my closet: poor body image, self-sabotage, fear of failure, and lack of self-esteem and confidence.  The women that take the stage commit themselves 100 percent ….who am I to think that I should come with anything less? To succeed, I must train my mind to push past mediocre me.  I must push past my mental plateau.

I want to step on stage in August knowing that I left everything I had on the field, in the gym.  In taking the journey to the stage, I know that I must do the following to be successful: make every moment count; leave everything I have in the gym and in the kitchen; train like each rep, each set were my last; and continuously push past mediocre me in order to be great.

I am beautiful and powerful beyond my greatest expectations

I am the woman that I have always admired

I am the woman that I have always wanted to be

That woman, she is me

As a side note, next year I am turning the big beautiful 30. This is my last year as a hot 20-something year old and next year I’ll be an even hotter 30 year old. It only gets better I’m told and I AM CLAIMING IT!

I already mentioned my decision to compete in a figure competition. Below is the remainder of my 30 in 30 list. For those who have never heard of such a thing, it’s basically a list of 30 things that I want to do before I turn 30. The list comprises of a bunch of experiences that I have denied myself or put off for one reason or another. Deciding to act on my dream of being a figure competitor has made me look at other areas of my life that I have ignored or neglected. This is the year that I will live selfishly and make Aeran a number one priority. I’m pushing past mediocre me.

    1. Compete in a figure competition/be in the best shape of my life
    2. Do 5 unassisted pull ups from a dead hang
    3. Dead lift my body weight
    4. Run a 5k
    5. Go rock climbing [learn how to rock climb]
    6. Learn a pole dancing routine that includes an invert
    7. Take a beginner’s martial arts class
    8. Visit Italy or Brazil
    9. Visit Toronto, Ontario
    10. Party in New Orleans for Mardi Gras
    11. Take a trip/vacation alone
    12. Read 1 book per month [get a library card]
    13. Find/participate [consistently] in a volunteer program
    14. Take a jewelry making class
    15. Prepare 1 new recipe a week [up until and immediately following contest prep]
    16. Learn how to make sushi
    17. Spend at least 1 hour a week writing and/or drawing
    18. Write either 1st chapter of book or complete short story
    19. Skydive
    20. Consistently blog 3x a week for a month
    21. Compile and print all poetry and short stories
    22. See a play/musical on Broadway
    23. See an Alvin Ailey performance
    24. Take “grown woman” sexy pictures
    25. Go 2 consecutive weeks without television
    26. Approach a guy/ask a guy out
    27. Sing karaoke
    28. Paint a picture
    29. Do something law-related outside work
    30. Learn to play chess
    31. Celebrate my last days of my 20s/first of my 30s in a foreign country

Wish me luck folks!

Last 5 posts by Aeran


  1. Tracy says:

    What a wonderful list Aeron! (by the way, I love the way you spell your name) My list would be much longer….a 50 in 50 list….kinda’ scary, but I think I have 1/2 of your list done (smile). Have fun “doing” your loist. Good luck in your contest. Keep us up with your progress.

  2. Ebonie says:

    I love this! I’m inspired.

  3. Tia says:

    Great Article Aeran:
    I’m turning 30 this year too. So, I have my grand ol list of things I have to do before I hit this milestone. It’s so easy to just settle with being complacent. I’m glad we’re not those kinda sisters! I love your affirmation!!!


  1. […] today…today, I choose to make a commitment to my body and myself. This commitment pushes me towards my goal of being a figure competitor. This commitment pushes me to get out of the bed in […]

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