I belong to a fitness accountability group and earlier this week, I posed a question. I wanted to know how the others in the group managed their workouts when Life got really crazy, like it has been for me this month. They seemed to be so much better at doing their workouts consistently and reaching their weekly fitness goals. I was sure I was slacking somewhere and I wanted the secret sauce. What was the magic ingredient that I was missing that made me less consistent and less successful?
Turns out I wasn’t missing anything. Like me, the others in the group had their minimum activity dialed in. They employed flexible structure to reach their weekly goals. They tried to listen to their bodies to know when they could push harder or when they needed an extra rest day. They adjusted and pivoted as Life happened. They understood this was a journey that required learning along the way.
What I realized was all of us are just doing our best, whatever that is. Our best can change week to week too. My best on days I have a migraine is NOT the same as my best when I’m feeling 100%. My best can change depending on what my goals are – do I have one large project to focus on or 50 tiny ones?
Always though, I try to show up as my best self, however and whatever that looks like on any given day.
I’m continuing on this journey of learning to listen to my body and provide what it needs to function at its best. Balancing that with the pressures of the to-do list is a challenge. Two rooms are painted (yay!), and I need to get at least one more done before the end of the month. I was going to do some prep work (spackling, sanding) after work a couple nights this past week, but when I logged off for the day, I felt tired. So I gave myself a break. The prep work still needs to be done and then comes the painstakingly slow process of painting the board and batten walls. But my body needed a break. Health comes before project deadlines (something else I’ve had to learn!). The world will not end if I don’t get Room #3 completely painted before the end of the month. Add that to last week’s Lessons.
The difficult thing to accept when it comes to doing your best, which shows up in competitive dance a lot, is you showing up as your best does not guarantee that you will be THE best in the room, studio, dance floor, etc. Just because your best didn’t make you the best at one competition doesn’t mean it won’t earn you a top placement at the next event. Just because you’ve been winning for years doesn’t mean someone else won’t come along and knock you down a few pegs (been there). Just because you’ve been knocked down doesn’t mean you can’t come back and win a World title (been there too).
The point is we are all just trying to do the best we can with the resources we have at any given moment. Some end up with more resources than others. Some end up with different resources that are best suited for them. I spent years wishing I had what others had and thinking if I modeled their journey, I would find similar success. My resources didn’t fit their journey though. Take the entrepreneurial journey. I tried to do the hustle thing, spending all of my evenings and weekends working to build my brand and market my books. I would burn out over and over because I believe on a cellular level, I am not built for hustle culture. I am a “slow and steady wins the race” kind of creature. I am a “stop and smell the flowers on the way to the finish line” kind of creature. I’m also not aiming to make millions of dollars with my brand. Enough to support my dance habit would suffice. 😉 So I stopped hustling. If a business strategy makes me feel exhausted just thinking about it, I don’t try it. I focus on showing up here every week instead.
Then there’s my ballroom dance journey. The biggest resource I always lacked is money. I have a lot of resilience though, and I’m excellent at creative problem solving. Tapping into the resources I had in abundance helped me grow as a dancer while taking fewer lessons than most and I still made it to that podium, in a used dress no less.
So wherever you are, whatever you’re working on, you’re doing great. Try not to compare your journey to others. They don’t have your unique combination of skills, experience and personality, and you don’t have theirs. So do your best with what you have. At the end of the day, that’s all any of us can do.
Happy Passover and Easter to those celebrating this weekend! Happy dancing always.
Shout out to Lindsay for supporting The Girl with the Tree Tattoo last week!
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