One of my favorite past times is sweating. I love when I workout so hard that the sweat stings my eyes and drips into mouth and my shirt clings to my lower back like a sponge. This is purity in its highest form (second to abstinence, of course).
I have been cross-training and interval training for years. Intensity is a word that runs through my mind every time, whether or not I actually push to that level. What keeps me going when my body is hurting is the thought that I probably will not die, even though I feel like it.
Lately I have started to wonder, can your workout mentality leak into other areas of your life?
My theory is: yes.
Much like my exercise regimen, there are times that I tend to “go all out” in my love life and my work life. As if I only have 15 seconds left of spilt-squat jumps, I dig deep for that extra bit of patience, sweetness, ambition, discipline, compassion, or control until even my bones hurt. I ignore the pain and I keep plowing forward. I tell myself that I am not actually going to die.
Sometimes this is good. We all know that getting out of your comfort zone is the only way to accelerate growth.
However, sometimes this is bad. If we push too far past our limit we may sprain our ankle or dislocate our shoulder, in the emotional sense. This can be illustrated by the times when we try to make others jealous on purpose, get too drunk and make inappropriate phone calls, completely lose our sense of judgement, lash out in anger, get moody, get anxious and cry, stir the drama pot, or anything else that could get you casted on a Reality TV show.
Although I may be addicted to that climactic feeling when you finally reach the top of that steep hill in spin class, pushing this hard in your personal life is not sustainable. What is better is to remain consistent.
Taking steps toward your career goals or finding the love of your life is more similar to running a marathon than doing single-leg blurpies. Being ready and then giving up and then being ready and then giving up again is not healthy for any party involved. That is why going slow is always better. Give your endurance some time to build. Let things flow naturally like a pleasant dance and do less forcing.
September will be the month of casting my cares. Will you join me?