When You Try

I tried a new workout yesterday. I’m feeling it today. My triceps hurt. My calves are super tight. My right shoulder reminds me it’s still there. And oh, my back! I feel much closer to 75 years old today than I did before.

The instructor in the video, a tall, shapely woman in her late 20s, encouraged me to push.

“Change comes when you get uncomfortable,” she said right at me, looking into the camera lens.

I get it, lady. I really do.

I think God designed us this way. They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. In my mind, the only way to get different results is to do it correctly for the first time, like running for 30 minutes without stopping, or playing that run note for note in what we like to call the right way.

flute music

There’s a big difference between practicing something to try to improve, and doing the same thing over and over again to check a box or fulfill a requirement. Some things demand more time and thought in order to improve. Some tasks just need to get done, like taking out the trash or paying a bill. I’m talking about learning a new skill. Learning something new requires effort and time. It takes perseverance, which like a muscle it needs to be built up. It means we focus every time we attempt. We learn as we go and we probably learn more when we mess up. It’s humbling and time consuming. But oh so worth it.

I had to remind myself yesterday, as I tried to flip a down dog position, that it’s okay to get uncomfortable. It’s okay to not have all the answers. It’s all right to fall down and fail as we try new things.

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison

You know what? That workout I did yesterday helped my right hip. I hurt it in 2012 and have tried myriad stretches to ease it back into place. It feels pretty good right now. In fact, I ran almost pain-free today. That, friends, is worth getting uncomfortable for. I’m going to do that workout again tomorrow. It can only get better from here.