Last week, my husband and I completed a 6 week workout program that was a true test of my humility. It was fast-paced, high intensity cardio. Not my favorite, if I’m being honest. In fact, I almost didn’t jump on the bandwagon to do it.
But then I remembered a valuable lesson I learned about progress over perfection.
When I first started my health and fitness journey in May of 2016, I struggled hard with exercise. I had been so sedentary for at least 10 years and my desk job had created all sorts of issues with my hip flexors and back.
(Sitting is the new smoking!)
My coach had matched me up with a “beginner” exercise program which was 6 days a week. Six days a week?! What ever happened to 2-3 times a week being sufficient? Well, I’ll tell you what… You can’t make a habit by only practicing a couple of days a week.
New habits require consistent daily practice.
The challenge I faced, was that I was so obese and out of shape, I couldn’t do the beginner workout “perfectly.” It’s important to note here that my definition of “perfect” was to perform with the same speed, effort and energy as the professional trainer leading the workout.
As I typed that last line, I realize how I had unknowingly set myself up for failure.
It wasn’t until I spent some time in prayer and conversation with my coach that I realized, probably NO ONE can do the workout exactly like the trainer. And that doing MY best was the best thing I could do. My only other option was to wait until I was more “ready.” But I was at a point in my life where I just couldn’t stay “stuck” one more day.
And so I modified. And I modified the modifier.
I became almost indignant about it. I was determined to get results and pride was not going to rob me of my joy in the journey. I knew that if I could just show up each day and do my best, I would continue to make progress… one step at a time.
Flash forward to this year, and once again I was faced with a program that was beyond my current comfort zone. (Isn’t that the goal, anyway?). I was struggling with some lower back and hip flexor issues (dang desk job!) and so I had to modify.
My husband used the stepper for the program and went all out. To be honest, I did feel a little “less than” at first, because I didn’t use a stepper and I modified the floor work by using a bench. But past experience told me that if I could just show up, I would rise up.
Were there days I wanted to quit because it was hard? Yup. But I didn’t. As lame as I might have felt, I pushed through. I showed up every day and gave my best – even if it was modifying the modifier.
In the end, I got amazing physical results. I feel so much stronger and have more stamina. But the real reward is the confidence I have in myself that I can do hard things. I can be confident in my own journey and not crippled by comparison. I chose not to focus on perfection, but rather progress. And I was able to keep my commitment to finish the program, climb to new levels of fitness and conquer my limiting beliefs.
If you relate at all to my 2016 story, I promise, you can be a conqueror too! Reach out for info about our upcoming groups! I’d love to help you reach your goals.