Saturday, July 19, 2008

Showing Up

In general, when I do things, I like to do them well. I want to do more than the bare minimum. I want to excel at projects that I undertake. This is just fine when it comes to professional and academic achievement, but recently I’ve been exercising and realizing that a. I am not particularly good at it, and b. that the measure is not excellence, but rather “showing up.”

It’s an odd process to go through. Initially, I approach exercise by setting goals and expecting some sort of achievement pattern as a result of my goal setting and activities. To a degree, I have done that, but I must be honest, the achievements are fair to middling, not excellent, and there is no excellence in sight for me. For example, since February my goal has been to exercise everyday. By and large, I have done that, though I find myself settling into a pattern of thirteen days of exercise and one day off - usually a Sunday. I’ll be honest, I relish those days. The last two days off, I sat in bed, naked, and read all day. So in an honest assessment, I can say that I have achieved the goal. I’ve also gotten stronger and I can exercise more and longer than I could in February. Still, I’ve lost little weight and yes, I’ve had increases in energy, etc, but I’m no athlete. What I do in the exercise world is show up. Every day. I run or do yoga or go to the gym. I swim, use the cross trainer, lift weights. I’m not skinny or buff or athletic. I’m just showing up.

Is there anything wrong with showing up? Probably not. It’s just a mind shift to me. I think to myself, shouldn’t I be training for something? Shouldn’t I be aiming for some type of excellence? Is it enough to just show up? To just do it with no big plans or aspirations?

I’m doing a master update of all of my projects (in obeisance to Getting Things Done - though frankly I’m a bit behind. I am supposed to do this review weekly, but have gotten out of the habit because it is scheduled on Friday at 4 p.m. and at that time I am cleaning out flower coolers) and I wonder to myself, do I put any projects relating to exercise? I’m not sure. I don’t put in projects my dentist appointments or my doctor visits. I don’t put in many activities of daily life. Isn’t that what exercise is supposed to be?

I’m not sure if I will put any projects in relating to exercise. I’m still mulling it. I’m also still wrestling with “just showing up.” For now though that is what I am doing. Every day for thirteen days, then resting.

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