To all who hate road trips like me,
Yesterday, I posted an Instagram Story of myself and Ben boxing. We looked happy and cute. We kissed at the end. It was real.
What was also real was the fight we had 30 minutes prior to our workout where Ben told me I was unbearable to work out with and walked out of the gym.
I wish I could say it was just because we’ve been quarantined together for three weeks now, but my crappy workout attitude began long before the Coronavirus situation. I can’t stand long workouts. I want to be moving non-stop for thirty minutes just so it can be OVER. I do not want to dilly-dally with little drawings on the white board or watch someone else model something for me. I don’t want to take any breaks. I don’t want to talk. Guys, I’m already visualizing myself laying on the couch watching Netflix as I start the warm-up.
I. Want. To. Be. Done.
If you don’t know Ben, you don’t know about the incredible life changes he’s made in the last six months. One aspect being his dedication to physical health. Each workout, he draws a little picture on the white board to represent his workout with a pun. He jots down the entire workout. He takes healthy breaks.
He embraces the workout process.
He actually enjoys it.
You can imagine how annoying of a workout partner he is for someone who just wants it OVER.
Alright, so perhaps it’s obvious after reading this that since I stopped dancing, I’ve developed an unhealthy relationship with working out. I struggle to stay engaged. I battle with consistency. I speak cruel and hateful words to myself the entire workout. I can’t take feedback or correction from others without beating myself up or getting angry. If I can’t do something, I immediately think I’ve frustrated or disappointed someone. In turn, when I workout with Ben, I am on edge and short-tempered.
Like most arguments, there’s almost always something deeper under the surface that sparks the fight. And there was. As I paced our living room floor in my clean workout clothes, I vented all my frustrations previously mentioned. I shared all of my insecurities. I told him why I wanted to just get to the end.
He paused. I could see the wheels turning to phrase his response correctly. Finally, he replied, “Isn’t your mindset the problem? Isn’t that what is also affecting all the other areas of you life — How you just want to get to the end?”
Dang. Truth hurts.
I’ve been guilty of this my entire life. Contentment problems. Always wanting to move on to the next best phase. High school? College will be better. Married? Children will make you happier. This job? The next one will be more fulfilling. So often, I want to skip to the end of the year when summer comes. I want to bypass all of the tedious revising that comes with writing to get to the final draft. I want to be given the procedure so I don’t have to waste time problem solving myself.
I mentioned earlier Ben’s amazing life change in the last year. He preaches and preaches to me that it all begins with convincing your mind. This is nothing new. That statement is research-based, scripture-based, and common sense-based. It is scribed in the pages of books, printed in hundreds of articles, and typed in thousands of blogs around the world. I always thought it was too cliché to value. Too overused to hold any true meaning – until Ben walked out of the gym, leaving me with my boxing gloves and my own detrimental self-talk:
- This is going to take too long, so I shouldn’t commit time to it.
- I’m not sure that this will turn out right, so I won’t take the risk.
- I don’t feel like it today.
- This one small step is not going to change anything.
- I am not cut out for this after all.
These words aren’t only spoken to myself about working out. For me, they are also about teaching. Writing. Marriage. Friendships. The Sincerely Letters. Literally everything in my life that’s valuable. In your life, these thoughts might come about a dream you’ve always had. An expectation you’ve always held. A relationship you’ve longed to restore. These negative thoughts aim to convince you that the dream isn’t worth it, isn’t possible, or isn’t within your grasp.
The truth is, the process will never be beautiful unless you convince your mind to appreciate getting there. Road trips have never been personally appealing, because the whole point in a vacation is BEING there. I don’t want to spend days of the trip in a car looking out the window. I want to just BE there. In contrast, the whole point of a road trip is GETTING there. The beauty of a road trip is to enjoy the journey and all the small memories made along the way. I have never even given myself a chance to enjoy the journey, because I’m obsessed with how the end will turn out. I’m obsessed with being there.
I can’t help but wonder how much of my life I have missed out on because I wanted to skip to the end.
I don’t have an amazing end to this story, since the beginning occurred just yesterday. I don’t have major breakthroughs in mindset. No success story that needs to be published, no goal accomplished, no new phase of life to announce. I still don’t want to go on a road trip.
But I did go back downstairs to the gym.
And we did create a workout together.
And I did start to convince my mind that life’s journeys are allowed to be fun, silly, challenging, and, well…a little longer than 30 minutes. And guess what? The workout didn’t suck like it used to.
I’m not there.
But I’m getting there. And I’m happy with that.