An attitude I’ve held is evolving.
I used to cheerfully describe myself as “a physical coward,” to excuse myself from working out, working hard, getting out of breath.
Stay with me, this isn’t (just) a fitness post.
This morning in a hybrid spin-rowing class, I reached my inner limits twice, and kept going. Not prettily, but without stopping. I hated it, but I loved it, and I’ll do it again. My trainer, Jenn, cautiously told me early this month that she noticed I was happier after a more challenging workout. I was a little surprised to hear it – I assumed paddling in the shallows would make me happier! But she pointed it out to me, after months of working together, and it’s true. Now I’m actively embracing it.
Here’s my zen moment where it all comes together.
After this morning’s efforts, I realized that some people (myself included) may only see a surface quest to lose weight, and miss the deeper mission. It’s about matching wits with your brain. It’s about pushing through the conversations in our head about can’t. It’s about sacrificing your comfort zone for one hour, to reach goals you never could before.
As Jenn says, To achieve something you never had, you have to do something you never did. This applies to everything in our lives. When I’m burning, aching, sweating, shaking in that workout, I’m not joyfully thinking “Yeah! I’m gonna be soooooooooo skinny omg!” I’m hating every heartbeat but I’m digging deep into my gut, the place that Kipling defines as your own will. I’m staying with the discomfort instead of literally throwing in the towel.
Sure, hopefully a better body will be one nice result, but I’m actually learning about perseverance, will, drive, personal choice, personal power. I’m learning about the struggle – and how to go into it.
It’s a question we face constantly: To evolve through the challenges or stay comfortable. To take a risk or remain safe in a rut. Nor is it a one time decision, it’s week to week, day to day, and then minute to minute when you find yourself cursing that you ever thought a spin class/Excel tutorial/learning to weld was a good idea.
If I I can’t push my limits for one hour in a gym, how am I going to push my limits in my art? In my career? As with everything we really love, you’ve got to embrace the process as much as (or even more than) the result.
I like this evolution.