Don't Just Commit, Commit to Your Joy
I took a spin class the other day, which is something I dare to do maybe once every 6 months.
(I’m more of a low-impact, zen kinda workout person).
It's not that I dislike spinning, rather I get so competitive with myself in these kind of classes that I feel compelled to push myself to my very limit right from the get go, song after song. As you can imagine, it doesn't take long for me to totally burn out before the class is half-over and I swear off mounting another bike for the remainder of the year.
But, I had a free class, and it was raining, so I thought I may as well go rather than sit inside.
At first, I felt my usual tendencies kick in. I felt the need to give 100% when the instructor was only asking for 25 or 30% for a given interval.
I realized there was that little-yet-loud voice in my head saying, 'If you don't give 100%, why did you even show up?'
From a young age we are all taught to do our best, to "give 100% and leave it all on the field," or some other version of the same pep talk. And while good advice, I never fully understood the delicate nuance to this until now.
You see, I always took "giving 100%" to mean giving all my energy, whether physically or mentally, to the task at hand. Whether it be studying for a test, playing a sport, working on a project, or taking a spin class, my tendency was to exhaust all my resources, if necessary, to get the job done.
And done it would get, but not always happily, with the best attitude, or my best foot forward. In other words, it wouldn't get done to the best of my abilities.
Hold on, let me get this straight-- I just gave 100% to something, only to have it done somewhat-well?! WTF?!
The trick, or rather the nuance, here is that the task didn't call for 100% of my energy or willpower. It asked for 100% of my presence. Of my commitment. It called for 100% of my willingness to participate, of my acceptance of what is happening; whether I liked it not, this was my present reality and I could choose to power through and hate it, or commit to finding the joy in it.
Because you can put 100% of your energy into things, but if you aren't fully accepting and enjoying the experience, it won't get done well purely because your head and heart aren't in it.
You can put in all the time and sleepless nights you want to achieve a goal, but if you aren't enjoying the process, it won't produce the results you feel you deserve.
Tying this into my spin class (I didn't forget where this was going), it was mid-song, feeling my legs burning and ready to give out while my ego was saying "100% or bust," that I had this epiphany.
I could give 100% of my energy, every second of the class, and totally disconnect from my body to get through it, or I could give 100% of my presence, and of my devotion to the moment, to the song, to the energy of the room, to enjoying it.
In order to do that, I would have to scale back on the exertion, but the overall output-- the feeling of accomplishment, effort AND enjoyment, would be multifold.
The moment I switched my perspective, I felt as though I had entered a completely different class. It was no longer exhausting and tedious, but energizing and freeing.
That was the first spin class I ever took, where I gave 100% and left more energized than when I began.
So, I share this little aha-moment of mine with you today incase you have had a similar misunderstanding to this idea of giving your all.
Maybe you, too, have a voice in your head saying, "100% or bust" to a million different things on your plate, and you're finding yourself giving in with diminishing returns because you're not 100% committed to the joy of it all.
Give 100%, commit to what you've agreed to-- but rather than purely empty your tank, commit to finding the joy in it.