why feeling weak makes me strong

i feel really weak. after today’s workout, i had a hard time even turning the knob on the faucet in the shower. even typing this post is a bit of a struggle; i have to keep stopping to rest my arms! i know that traditionally, these are all signs of an extremely successful workout, but sometimes, it leaves me feeling baffled. after all the workouts i’ve done, the strength training i’ve gone through … shouldn’t i be STRONGER?

take yoga, for instance. i worked for at least a year to achieve what i originally believed to be impossible: crow.

photo (1)

it’s a satisfying accomplishment. pretty much every time i’ve done it since my original mastery, i’ve felt strong, powerful and proud; like what i practice actually does pay off. but it also makes me wonder … if i can do crow, why can’t i do flying pigeon?

the obvious answer is that they are completely different yoga poses that require unique strengths, focuses and balances. and yet, i’m not satisfied. i still feel like mastering crow should have unlocked more yoga pose doors for me.

which brings me back to my workout today, or the one i did last friday or two weeks ago. i guess all of the words in this blog post have really been asking: when is it going to get easier? at what point will i be able to do it all with complete ease? (like kathryn budig. MAN, she’s good!)

i guess unfortunately, the short answer is: never. there will always be something i can’t do. a variation too tough for me or a circuit workout i can’t finish. on the flip side, i will certainly never be bored with fitness.

while i find this difficult to imagine, i’m sure that even the kathryn budigs of the world have feats that challenge them. and because i’m lucky enough to have a friend and trainer in keri who pushes me to do things i might not push myself to do, that will continue to be the case for me. if i think back a few years ago, my workout routine was mundane and rarely challenged me. 

at some point, i need to find the reconciliation between my type-a need to perfect everything and the harsh reality that not only will it not happen, but it’s way better if it doesn’t. i guess as long as i’m too weak to brush my own hair, i’m in good shape and have an excellent chance for improvement. hopefully my ever-evolving yoga practice will assist me on my quest for balance and equanimity in addition to making me feel badass and accomplished when i master a ridiculously tough pose. to help it along, here’s a short plan of action:

1. set more realistic goals that progress incrementally. ie: i want to be able to do 30 pushups in a row, not i want to be able to do 75 pushups in a row.

2. pick a time to actually TEST myself on my goals. right now, i sort of just check in when i’m thinking of it, which leads to less than optimal results. for example, trying to run a decent mile time after doing an extremely intense leg circuit does NOT lead to self-confidence.

3. enjoy the journey. yes, it feels amazing when i conquer something big. but i have to constantly remind myself that the long, strenuous path to get there is a huge part of what makes it worthwhile.

4. keep it in perspective. if i don’t nail scorpion pose by the end of this month, it’s ok. there are about 200 things i DID do in my fitness journey that are just as amazing, and i shouldn’t allow them to be overshadowed. i will no longer allow my successes to quiver in the shade of my towering defeat.

5. stay inspired. all of this makes me realize just how passionate i am about all of this. that is something to be truly grateful for. even if i gain more balance, i can’t lose the fire.

to continue yoga-spiration with me on pinterest, follow my yoga board here.

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2 thoughts on “why feeling weak makes me strong

  1. I like Penny’s cameo in the background of your crow shot. I’m assuming the photographer did that purposefully 😉

  2. haha! penny just always watches us do yoga. i guess us landing on her a few times hasn’t deterred her in any way!

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