1. Get great at the horn
2. Attain some kind of fitness goal
3. Be kinder to myself
4. Learn a new skill
I've experienced varying levels of success and failure in all four areas. I've begun to feel silly about making the same statements over and over again, though, so I thought briefly about not making any resolutions this year.
A better solution came into my life last week.
I spent the five days before Christmas in a constant state of bliss in Northern Virginia and DC with some of my favorite people on the planet. The night before I left, I grabbed a drink in Adams Morgan with my longtime friend Jeremiah. Jeremiah is a phenomenal musician and teacher, and the founder of Harmony Rising: A Music School Online. He's also a yoga and spinning instructor, and convinced me over an Old Fashioned to come to the spinning class he was teaching the next morning. I hadn't been to a spinning class since undergrad- which, as I was reminiscing with my good friend Adam, is now longer ago than I care to admit. Still, I knew Jeremiah would be an amazing instructor, so I dragged myself out of bed Christmas Eve morning and went to class.
I arrived early so Jeremiah could help me set up my bike. The class began, and we all started pedaling. I felt exhausted after the first 15 minutes. I began searching for every excuse possible to let myself stop adding resistance and just pedal at a slow pace for the remainder of the class. It was at that point where Jeremiah- an extremely enthusiastic leader- said the following:
"Are you looking for excuses? Or, are you looking for strength? Either way, you'll find what you're looking for."
Ouch, Jeremiah. That one punched me right in the stomach. I knew he was addressing the whole class, but I felt like he was reading my mind. And, it worked. I decided that I didn't care that my thighs were throbbing, that my face was beet red, that I most certainly looked ridiculous trying to keep pace with all of the fit people in the class. I pushed myself as hard as I could. I had a major case of jelly legs when the class was over, and it was awesome. I felt I had already accomplished a great feat by 9:30am, and the rest of the day was mine for the taking.
Jeremiah's words have remained with me since he uttered them a week ago. They've helped me achieve small victories daily, and have caused a great deal of contemplation. Completing a spinning class may seem like a trivial accomplishment, but what if I applied the excuses vs. strength rule to all of life's struggles, major and minor? How much greater would life feel if I persevered instead of lamented? What if, instead of falling victim to my many excuses, I instead call upon my inner strength to achieve something better?
Can you guess what my new, improved and concise New Year's Resolution is? No? Okay, I'll tell you...
This year, I resolve to have the wisdom to search for strength instead of excuses.
|Happy New Year, friends! Let's raise our glasses to a healthy and loving existence for all beings everywhere!|