It’s interesting, coming back from an injury, as it is a starting-over. When one is sedentary for 3+ months (breaking your foot and spraining both ankles will do that to you), everything atrophies. Muscle tone, balance, and endurance? Gone. What once felt easy, now feels like an arduous feat. But at the same time, there is a clarity of focus that has changed everything.
Before my accident, l took the whole walking-thing for granted. I was fit “enough” to not think about being fit. Of course, there were things I wanted to change. I wanted to get back into my favorite pants. I liked the idea of being able to walk up our big hill without getting winded. But none of those things were important enough to change my behavior. I could always buy new pants, right? And if I have to stop to catch my breath one, two or ten times walking up the hill, who cares? Someday, I’d get back into a more strenuous exercise routine that would not just maintain the status quo, but shape-shift me into the goddess I was born to be. There was a lot of dreaming about what could be, but not a lot of doing to make it happen.
Being fit “enough” made it easy to back-burner the need to do anything differently.
But starting from zero changes the game. “Enough” is a long way out. To be able to do simple things, like go up and down my stairs normally, it takes a focus and a commitment to doing my exercises that I hadn’t needed to employ up until now. Every day I have to do the work. I can’t outsource it. I can’t put it off until I have time. I have to make time.
And I’ve discovered the most amazing thing. It turns out I love exercise! Now, after doing it for two months, I’m getting into the ritual of the whole thing. It’s done wonders for my mental health. I can see small improvements. I’m getting stronger. Increasing my heart rate gives me a little boost of oxytocin. Now, even though I still have a way to go to get to “enough,” my focus is far beyond that point.
Enough is no longer enough.
So, what has changed?
Well, I think there have been two major shifts for me. The first is tapping into the power of habits. Having to do my exercises every day, over time, just in order to walk, made me develop the habit of exercising every day. I then ritualized my exercise. I do it at the same time, in the same place. The ritual allows me to get out of my head and be fully present in the now. I know when I’m not present, as I lose track of my reps and have to start over! Nothing like a little pain to harness your attention, eh?
Speaking of harnessing my attention…
I think that was the other major shift for me. I now have a clarity of focus that I didn’t have before. I am intentional with my fitness. Since I know what I’m aiming for, I’m more likely to hit my target. I’ve decided that I’m not someone who wants to workout, I am someone who works out.
By starting from nothing, I’ve been able to replace my complacency with a beginner’s mindset that is serving me.
Where in your life could you benefit from starting over? From letting go of your past experience, of all your preconceived ideas, your assumptions, and biases and habits that weren’t working for you, and give yourself a major reset? Allow yourself to enter into a new contract with yourself that recognizes that you deserve far more than “enough.”
We are most often our own biggest roadblock to living our best life and being our best self. But you don’t have to tumble down the stairs like I did to start over! Start here. Now. Let this be your new beginning.
Today’s “enough,” doesn’t have to be enough.