A Christmas letter to myself ;
Thank you. Thank you for everything you did for me this year.
Yeah, the whole acid/stomach thing was and continues to be a bit of a piss off. It’s keeping me from doing some of the things that I love. And I really hope that we can sort that out together next year.
That’s a minor inconvenience compared to everyplace I got to see because you took me there. To every awesome concert and show ... I am able to sit for hours in the uncomfortable tightness of the Massey Hall seats. Able to dance (or a reasonable facsimile) for hours on the concrete bar floor.
You treated me pretty good this year. I treated you pretty good too. I guess it only seems reasonable. But some people, even with the greatest of care, don’t have the strength and health I am lucky enough to have. So, Thank you.
Another year under the bar has increased my respect and admiration for everything you can do and all that you tolerate, enable ...and enjoy. 😉. And while you occasionally lie to me (yes, I probably DO have one more rep in me) ; I promise to get better at listening to you before you have to yell.
You and me; we’ve got a pretty good thing going....
Playing at the edge of impossible
Yes, another Powerlifting/Work Life analogy.
I am very close to benching 135#. Lifters know that this is less arbitrary than it sounds, as it means that I will be using a full plate on the bar. It’s a milestone! And in a sport based on tiny incremental progress, these milestones are major. And it’s very likely within 3 months or less from being achieved.
Some things that have struck me during this last bit of effort towards my big lift:
1) It’s on my mind. And it’s going to be the same incremental progress when I hit it. I go up in 2.5# increments every time. This will be the same. And yet… it’s different. Just like other progress, we often celebrate what seems like progress, but not recognize all the other exactly equal steps we took to get there before.
2) I’ll miss a few times before I get it. Because it’s really at the edge of what is possible for me, I won’t know if I can do it until I try. So I will, inevitably, fail. I have already. And I will again. In fact, even after I get it the first time, there are no guarantees that I can the second, because for that moment, I am playing at the edge of possible. And if I chose to wait until I knew for sure I could do it without fail… until I was strong enough to make it certain? Well, then for sure it would happen way later than it will by trying whenever it just might be possible.
3) The best version of me will be needed. Again, because it’s on the edge of impossible, when I try, I have the best chance when I had a good night sleep, and have been eating clean and feeling focused.
It’s this last one that really sticks with me. It’s very clear to me that to deliver this lift, I need to be at my best, and that comes not just from my intent at that moment, but what I have been doing in the hours (even days) prior to it.
And that makes me think about my other endeavours in life, especially at work. For sure most of my job is not playing on the edge of impossible. It’s certainly not a walk in the park, either. So when it’s not easy…. The very best me ensures the best outcomes. And the best me does not just come from that moment, but the moments leading up to it, including what I eat, how I sleep and how I recover and play.
So the next time I am at the gym, or resting, reading, or eating optimally, I will remember that what’s good for me is good for the best me at work too…and taking that time and effort is an investment in work as much as it is in life. And not doing it? Well that’s just not an option, now that I know, is it?