Do you ever get to that point? It’s the point where you just want to stop. To quit. To throw in the towel. To tell the world to suck it. You want to curl up in a tiny ball under the covers with a jar of peanut butter and a spoon. I get there too. Often. It happens when I spend a more-hectic-than-normal morning wrestling kids and shuffling them into and out of time out. And it happens when I get close to the end of my 30 Day challenges and I wonder if I can think any more about what that month’s focus is. And it happens pretty early into each and every run I go on.
It’s a crappy feeling. And the feeling just gets worse the more I think on it, the more I dwell. It’s usually at this point in my run I have to turn up the music and ignore my mental feelings. I try to put all the focus into my legs, into my feet. I focus on the power. But it’s not just any power. I have to focus on my power. And this is where the strength to keep going comes from me.
Think about that for a second. All the strength and power you need to get through that feeling of hopelessness or the thought that you can’t do what’s in front of me is already inside of you.
I just got home from this super intense hot yoga session. They’ve moved into a new space, and the ventilation isn’t quite figured out yet. So the room was hotter than normal, and the teacher was a little more intense than normal. And that meant I was sweatier than normal. And really, I sweat a lot. But it was more than the sweat. I was distracted. There was a single hair stuck to my leg. Every time I ended in a pose with my head toward the floor I saw it. So I tried to get it off my leg, and then it was between my fingers. Then I was trying to catch up with the poses, and I’m always a little slower than the rest of the class anyways. Tuesdays are a hard juggle too without school and dance class and errands. The girl next to me dropped to child’s pose. On the other side, the lady was perfectly formed and seemed to be hardly sweating. All this went through my head. I wanted to quit. I really did. I had sweat in my eyes. My muscles were quivering. My brain told me to stop, to step outside for just a second. Run to the restroom. Anything. My brain told me that I couldn’t do it any more. That I need to get in better shape before I come back. My brain told me that it wasn’t enough to get my leg half way up in the air if I couldn’t get it all the way up.
But then I remembered that my brain is a liar. I remembered that my body will do what I want it to do and then some. And even if my leg is only inches off the floor, then that’s better than completely and totally on the floor. And I moved from a standing split (or my version of it) into standing warrior. And I stretched and twisted the best that I could. And I came home feeling better than I otherwise would have. I feel better because yes my body had a good workout. But I also feel better because I exercised my will power too. I pushed myself to my limits. I rocked it.
I found the power that is always inside me. And that feels amazing.
I know this isn’t the most cleansing-related post. But I think this is a lesson that is often forgotten when we challenge ourselves to something new. But in the pushing, in the shoving ourselves to the next level is where we find the strength.
Pushing, not doing, is what makes us stronger.
So what will your next challenge be? Will you wake up every morning of February to watch the sun rise? Will you loose 5 pounds in 5 weeks? Will you start training for a marathon? Will you start writing the novel that bounces around your head? It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you do it. Because you can always do it. Always.
And remember that your brain is a liar.