My legs were shaking. My butt was aching. Sweat was dripping down my back.
30 minutes on a bike in the gym.
As I stumbled off the bike and made my way to the exit I had two possible lines of thought on this.(I am someone with a constant internal monologue, which often becomes a dialogue with myself. If you’re an extrovert you will think I’m nuts – If you are an introvert , you know what I mean.)
First response (because the harsh critic is always the first to jump in with thoughts), ‘I can’t believe you are such a mess after just 30 minutes. I guess it’s because you’ve done nothing since Monday. You lack consistency. How do you ever expect to be fitter? I’m not sure why you even try.’
There are days when the possibility of thinking anything other than this would be slim. I’d just accept the self critique and feel a bit rubbish about myself.
Not today. Maybe it’s because I’ve been reading and listening to Brene Brown on shame and vulnerability and daring greatly.
Maybe it’s because I took a silly facebook test this morning which promised to analyse my profile and come up with my ‘motto for 2015’; ‘The biggest mistake you can make in life is always being afraid you’ll make a mistake.’
For whatever reason I chose to think there might be another explanation for the shaky legs and the aching body.
‘It shows I tried’
It shows I tried, I showed up, I committed.
So take that inner critic.
I did a hard thing. And that is impressive.
I caught sight of myself in the car mirror as I drove away. I had pink cheeks. Trying may have made me shaky and sore, but it also gave me colour.
It made me think that so much of life is like my gym experience. We try things that are hard, particularly when we take creative or relational risks, and we wobble and shake a bit. It can hurt. It requires showing up even when we don’t really think we belong there and we wonder if it’s worth the hardships. But then we realize that we’ve got colour. We’re slipping into a place of feeling comfortable in our own skin. We’re more alert. We’re actually living, not simply existing.
So let’s not be afraid of failure.
Let’s not worry about being the pain and the perspiration.
Let’s keep showing up and noticing the colour.