“Give about two hours a day to exercise, for health must not be sacrificed to learning. A strong body makes the mind strong.” Thomas Jefferson, 1785
“When we can no longer change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” – Viktor Frankl
It seems like several blogs and posts I have read this week have been about finding new challenges. My friend Michael Stephens just announced his exciting new job at San Jose State University teaching full time online for the School of Library & Information Science. His post describes making his decision and the importance of focusing on the heart. At the beginning of the week Tess Marshall, another friend and someone I worked with as a personal coach, posted a link on her Facebook page about her daughter Kristy. Kristy is an amazing and inspirational woman who has not let the fact that she was born without most of her right hand stop her from being a college athlete and now a triathlete and participant in CrossFit training. Finally, David Glover, whose blog is quickly becoming one of my favorites, posted “The Number One Thing Holding your Back: YOU” earlier in the week. This post is about David’s decision to leave the corporate world and pursue his dreams to write, coach triathletes and be a race director.
To be clear, I may not need a next challenge yet. I have plenty lined up for the coming months. I do think all of this ties together in some of the things I have been experiencing this week and things I have been thinking about for a while. (And for my faculty members – no, I am not leaving or even thinking about leaving.)
Note, that is ease, not easy. Ease has 10 definitions in the OED. The word is certainly related to easy, but it also means “comfort, the absence of pain or trouble” and “opportunity, means or ability to do something.” I have felt at ease and a sense of ease in the past week in many areas of my life. There are several things that I have been thinking about that I would like to do after the two manuscripts are finished. I haven’t really shared most of these dreams with anyone and I am not ready to do so here. But I do have some big dreams.
8 kinds of burpees
Today I was doing a new kind of burpee and Sam said he realized he knew 8 variations. I could only think of 4 but when he named them then I realized that I also knew 8 variations on burpees. (For those of you in my age range, think 7th grade gym and squat thrusts in place of burpee.)
On Tuesday Sam had me do a round of burpees with the bosu and push-ups – 3 sets a total of 36 each. This is nothing new and, in fact, fewer than he sometimes has me do. We had the following exchange:
Me: Why are these so easy?
Sam: I don’t know. Maybe I need to add water to the bosu.
If there isn’t water in the bosu next time I will be surprised. Today was burpees with hops though. I had been warned ahead of time. I was having fun with them once I got the hang of it. I started to hop back instead of step back and was told that was the next step but that he thought that would be a few weeks down the road. So I imagine there will be something else to challenge me instead.
Some other things just kind of clicked this week too. I’ve had a few conversations with friends who bike about how important developing the core is to biking. I don’t think that is something people naturally think about with biking, but it is so true. On Wednesday I was in spin class with Cathy. She was talking us through using our legs, having a quiet but strong upper body. The legs have to be strong but so does the core. It all works together and somehow that just clicked.
On the topic of challenges, Cathy also always encourages pushing a little more. I’ll remember that this weekend when I compete in the triathlon. Can I push a little harder? Do I have a little more? It seems like I always do when I think in the positive instead of the negative.
It seems that the changes I have made also seem more noticeable this week. I’ve crossed another line. I do still have farther to go, however. I asked a friend to take a photo of me in front of the library today – partially so you could see that I really do not just wear workout clothes. As I looked at it and then back at other photos I realized how much I have changed physically. I have also changed mentally. I am more at ease. Earlier this week someone remarked that even my voice sounds different.
When I am finished losing weight there will be different kinds of challenges and goals. I am not sure what they are yet. I can dream though and see what happens.