“Don’t try to do more, even if you feel you can,” the Couch to 5K program said.
“No problem,” I said. At the time I couldn’t run at all. I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be tempted. But now I’ve built up some ability and I’m eager to see what I can really do. Don’t try to do more? What’s that supposed to mean?
I was taught to work hard since I was big enough to hold a broom. My parents are both hard workers and, because I came from a large family, everyone needed to do their part. Since my late teens I’ve been pumped full of success principles: dream big, make no excuses, just do it. I’m driven. I’ve got a dream. I work hard at it.
I’ve also been taught that you need to ‘sharpen the saw’ as Stephen Covey said. I’m not good at it. I can’t leave my laptop at home. I can’t put down the book. I can’t get off Twitter and Facebook.
This week, as I read through The Way of the Fight, by Georges St. Pierre, I read something that made a lot of sense. St. Pierre said: “What balance has also are the following two incredibly important lessons: 1) resting is growing and 2) waiting is training.”
Resting is Growing
“What does ‘resting is growing’ really mean? It means that you have to give your body time to recover from tough workouts, especially if you’re training every day. It sounds really weird to people who work out so much, but that’s because they’re addicted to the workout. They can’t stop. Trust me, I’ve been there. It’s because the body and the brain are sometimes fighting battles. The body wants to rest and grow, while the brain thinks the body needs more work.”
I’m no elite athlete, and in spite of my enthusiasm, I assure you, I don’t feel like running every day. :) But, I can insert ‘writing’ or ‘work’ or ‘networking’ or whatever activity one might obsess over. Resting is growing. The body needs time to rebuild, and likewise the mind needs time to digest the information it takes in, to charge with new inspiration and to gain strength from joyful interaction with others. I’ve learned that I need to schedule time to shut off work and writing, and be truly present in other fun activities–i.e. a movie or dinner with my family.
Rest is productive time.
Waiting is Training
“‘Waiting is training’ means that I can spend more time preparing mentally for my next session or fight, and less time physically exhausting myself. By waiting, I’m sending a message that strategy is more important than pure physical power, that tactics surpass repetition, and that the brain is the most powerful muscle in the body.”
I experienced this with my blog this week. Normally, my tactic is ‘full steam ahead.’ If I’m not happy with the traffic on my blog, I throw more posts at the problem.
That sounds violent…
I write more, in other words. This week (also while reading GSP’s book) I realized that I was beating my head against the wall. I needed outside perspective. Instead of posting as usual, I needed to wait, ask writing colleagues to look at my site, and find ways to do things differently. As a result I embarked on a site overhaul. I had to wait instead of posting because I didn’t have the time to dedicate to both writing and redesigning.
I clarified my values and my goals in the process. Now my efforts can become more focused.
You can learn from anything, I tell you. I thought The Way of the Fight would be an interesting read. I didn’t know it would be the best book I’d read in months.
Today I’m not running. I felt like it, but I didn’t. I am writing, so maybe this is a tad hypocritical. BUT, yesterday I watched The Matrix instead of writing. You know, a writer can learn a lot from a movie…
I just can’t turn it off, my friends. I’m working on it!
Quotes from The Way of the Fight, by Georges St. Pierre.