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April 14, 2024 “The Aubrey Spirit” 

As we age many of us feel we can’t learn from a young person let alone a 6-year-old. We all know the saying with age comes wisdom, so we say, how can a child of just 6 years teach us anything about life, let alone health and fitness. If we are willing to pay attention, kids can teach us so much about living life, being fearless, happy and content, living in the present, being honest with ourselves and others, seeing the bright side, and not being ashamed of mistakes. They can teach us to dream big and have fun! Sometimes it takes spending time with children or reflecting on our own childhood to remember these simple lessons.

Being an adult is pretty awesome, but it’s also filled with lots of responsibilities and tough decisions. Slowly, but surely, that childlike wonder you had as a kid is tucked away as a core memory in your brain. We put down our toys and stopped playing. We become more jaded, structured, and less open to new experiences. The good news is that childlike wonder still lives inside you no matter your age. It’s just a matter of allowing it to emerge.

I’ve known Aubrey since she was in her mother’s womb. See Aubrey is part of a 4 generations strong family at TFC. Her mother, Monique, started TFC in 2009. Her grandmother LeQuetta is currently still in the bootcamp with Aubrey. Her sister and great-grandmother are all a part of TFC.

Aubrey didn’t come into this world with a fair deck stacked in her favor. Her father was killed secondary to police brutality while her mother was pregnant with her. Which you can only imagine sent her mother spiraling. LeQuetta has been bringing Aubrey to TFC since she was in pampers and does her best helping to raise Aubrey along with Monique. With all that Aubrey has faced she comes to TFC with this infectious smile. I mean a smile that melts your heart. Aubrey has an innocence that is so pure, I wish the world could adopt.

I wish that we all would adapt to the Aubrey Spirit. Aubrey missed only one day of bootcamp. She’s the one that motivates her grandmother to get up and be on time, often coming twice a day because she loved that day’s workout that much. What can we learn from Aubrey?

Aubrey is FEARLESS: Children try new things, jump, climb, fall, and get right back up. Children aren't afraid to play a sport they have never tried before. They aren't afraid to look silly doing it, or even doing badly. As adults, we avoid what we don't know and stay safely in our comfort zone.

As adults we are often haunted by some unknown fears, fear of rejection, and fear of being judged or the fear of what the future has in store for us. What would happen, though, if you tapped into your younger self when fear wasn’t a factor, the goal was much greater than the potential cost of reaching it? What if you simply acknowledged your reservations, made calculated assessments of the actual risks, and jumped in with confidence?

Aubrey is Happy and Content: Children teach us to be carefree and to be happy. Remember that infectious smile of Aubrey’s I mentioned, as adults we need to smile more. Smiling causes the brain to release dopamine, which makes us happier.

We adults keep on chasing happiness not knowing what exactly we want from life. Watching the innocence of a kid will teach you how to be content in life. Happiness comes from within, we control that. We are unhappy because we do not know how to meet all our desires, assuming getting what we want causes happiness and not getting it makes us unhappy. A happy child does not hope too much and is content with the least. Like that old song goes Don’t worry Be happy!

Aubrey lives in the Present: Kids love to live in the present. They have no worries about the future or how scary the days to come might be. If adults lived this way, enjoying each precious moment of their life, it would be much easier. Aubrey doesn’t worry about how many miles we must run, what workout we’re about to do, all she cares about is enjoying the experience and doing her best.

Aubrey is Honest: Children are downright honest. They do not sugar coat their words for their self-benefit. If they see something and feel it, they will quickly speak it. The truth just falls out of their mouths. Aubrey stole my heart when I asked her where her favorite place was to go and she immediately stated, “I love coming to Tadda’s.” Tell yourself the truth about your fitness journey, find a way to start liking it if no loving it!

Aubrey Sees the Bright Side: Children live happily because they always see the bright side of everything around them. Kids are optimistic by nature. If adults also begin to perceive things in a positive way, they will be much happier. Even when the weight doesn’t look like what we want, focus on the positives, you can now see your feet, touch your toes, your endurance has improved, you were able to do some pushups, you got promoted to the next team, or you achieved perfect attendance.

Aubrey is Not Ashamed of Mistakes: Aubrey will hear the rules of the relay race or see the demonstration of an exercise and will be the first to raise her hand and say she wants to do it or go first. See most of the mistakes are made unknowingly and unintentionally. Kids make mistakes and they are not at all ashamed of repeating them a second time. They learn from mistakes and are never frustrated. Adults should also shun this feeling of how others will judge them.

Aubrey grows a little every day: When we’re young, growth doesn’t take conscious effort; it’s a natural occurrence that won’t be stopped. As we age, however, growth truly becomes a choice, and a hard one at that to embrace.

Children show us that we will stumble, we may rage, we’ll have our feelings hurt at times, but if we allow ourselves to experience all these things, we may truly soar. If we fall, mess up or make a mistake, we feel what we feel and we get right back up. Life is about learning, and age is a necessary yet not required variable in the amount of growth that is possible for each of us.

Children are a reminder that wisdom doesn’t just come with age but can be seen in the purest forms of hope and perseverance that Aubrey embodies. Her journey with TFC, which we all get to watch from the beginning is an inspiration, encouraging us all to embrace life like a kid. You could stumble, or you may just surprise yourself by having the Aubrey Spirit. No Mess

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