By Katrina Kritz
I was in the shower when the first mortar round (bomb) exploded on our base. I stuck my head outside the shower stall and listened for a moment, straining my ears to hear what the noise was. The second explosion shook the shower trailer and I then identified the screaming alarms on base as they announcing incoming fire.
I scrambled out of the shower and threw my uniform onto my dripping wet body. I had one boot in my hand and one on my foot as I slid my way down the row of showers. Two more explosions rocked the trailer that I was in, buckling the walls and floor and sending my heart into a frenzy which always came with the terror of an attack on our base. The explosions were so loud that I could no longer hear at that point, I could only feel my blood pounding through my veins and taste the fear in the back of my throat. When the fifth round exploded it was so close that I was lifted up and slammed forward into the wall of the trailer.
I will never forget that night; it will stay with me as a vivid memory for the rest of my life. Looking back, I know that any challenge I undertake is easy compared with living through that night, which was just one of many such nights during my time in Iraq.
You may not have been a soldier who survived two combat tours in the Middle East and perhaps you have never had a life threatening experience which you fought to survive through, but you have accomplished a lot of great things in your life. Always look back on your accomplishments when you begin a new challenge, use that sense of pride and motivation to push you forward.
I used to snack constantly, not work out enough, criticize myself too much and not get enough sleep. When I wanted to break those bad habits, I began to think about that terrifying night in Iraq and other challenges I’ve faced and accomplished in my life. I told myself that changing a few eating habits and being more loving toward myself would be incredibly easy in comparison.
Now, when I snack, I make sure that I’m eating fresh fruits instead of junk food and I begin every morning with a long walk by the water, to refresh my mind and soul. Whenever I criticize myself, I immediately follow my criticism with five compliments about myself. At 9:30 every night I stop what I’m doing and begin to stretch and do yoga, so that by 10:30 I’m relaxed and ready for bed. I also finish my evening with giving thanks that I live such a beautiful life and am so blessed.
Each change I made was so easy and so small but they made a huge difference in my life, in both my physical health and my self-esteem. It is easy to take on new challenges when you put your life in perspective, when you realize that you have already accomplished so many great things in the past and have so much to be grateful for. You can accomplish anything you set your mind to. Boldly challenge yourself to do great things.
See how Katrina answers our Identity Five Questions:
What have you accepted within yourself and/or within your life? Is there anything you are working on accepting?
I need to work on feeling that I am good enough and am doing enough. I always seem to look back at my life and think, “I am — years old, I should have accomplished this and that by now. I have so much to learn and do which I have not done yet. Oh no, I am so behind!”
What do you appreciate about yourself or your life?
I am a very strong person. I can overcome anything. My life has not been easy but I always strive to learn as much as I can from life and to challenge myself to accomplish great things.
What have you achieved, or what are you working to achieve personally, physically, or mentally?
I have just started a skin care company and I plan for it to be very successful. I appreciate that I live in country in which I have incredible resources at my disposal to achieve my dreams and goals.
4. What is your no-so-perfect way? We are all unique with quirks and imperfections, so why not flaunt them and embrace them!
I am an analyst by nature so I tend to overanalyze a lot. Sometimes it takes me forever to make a decision about something important. In some ways it has served me well and in other ways it has hindered me, but it is who I am and I am fine with it.
5. How would you complete this sentence, “I Love My…” This has to be about you, physically or mentally.
Joyful nature. I am a very positive and encouraging person. Life is so short and can be snatched from me at any moment, so I strive to live a beautiful, positive and encouraging life.
To learn more about Katrina, visit www.katixon.com