Summit a mountain, but savor the climb - East Valley Tribune: Get Out

Summit a mountain, but savor the climb

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Shannon Sorrels is an NSCA-certified personal trainer and owner of Physix LLC in Ahwatukee Foothills. Reach her at (480) 428-5660 or

Posted: Wednesday, February 1, 2012 10:00 am | Updated: 9:55 am, Mon Aug 13, 2012.

One particular problem has plagued me the better part of my life. Just when I think I’ve got it whipped, it creeps back up and nips me good.

I’m more attached to my goal — where I’m headed — than the process or journey it takes to get there.

I hear it all the time: Live in the “now,” or “be present.” Books have been out for eons on the topic, and I’m not just talking the hippie era. I’ve nodded in agreement several times, but I continually struggle to embrace the notion. My mind is so completely engulfed, consumed, in driving toward my goal that there’s hardly anything about the “now” that I appreciate or enjoy.

This problem has applied to school, jobs, projects, weight loss, dating, travel abroad — pick a topic. I drive for the goal so hard that I almost come unglued when it doesn’t move within my grasp as expected.

So I drive even harder, and if that doesn’t bring it into reach (as it should, humph), I crank it up higher, driving myself to the edge and those around me running for their lives.

I tend to hit the goal, but often at the expense of some relationships, my own happiness and a general fogginess surrounding the journey that got me there.

Weight loss (or any other health-related goal) is no different. You are so hyper-focused on the goal, so driven to see it appear, so completely attached to that pair of “skinny” jeans, that you aren’t paying attention to what is going on now to get you there.

You aren’t enjoying your new friends at the gym, your walking buddies, the fresh air on your neighborhood jaunt, the new flavors of the “Cooking Light” recipe you tried, or that extra sit-up you did yesterday. You sleep better, feel more confident and are building new habits — and not noticing any of it.

If you’re like me, you slough it off and say, “Yeah, but how long ’til I hit my goal?!?”

Heed my warning — or you’ll hit your goal, smile a couple of times and then wonder, “Now what?”

The Pyrrhic victory will leave you feeling hollow and craving another goal, rather than basking in the glow of all you’ve experienced and enjoyed.

We need the direction goals provide, so have them on the horizon. Today, you are here. Enjoy it. And tomorrow, look up to the horizon for a brief moment, make sure you are still headed that direction, then enjoy where you are.

Oh, and you have my permission to wag your finger in my face if you catch me doing otherwise. ’Cause obviously, I need help.

• Shannon Sorrels is an NSCA-certified personal trainer and owner of Physix LLC in Ahwatukee Foothills. Reach her at (480) 528-5660 or

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