The Fools of April: Amateurs Expecting Mastery

Success is a commitment to transformation and the ability to tolerate discomfort. Have you heard that workout slogan, no pain, no gain? That is a load of crap. There is discomfort in working out; pain means injury. Running at a high altitude; there is discomfort, it is harder to breathe.  But, training this way, you are great running at sea level and efficient at high altitudes. That is discomfort; that’s how you improve. Running with a rock in your shoe is pain. The result is injury. That’s the difference between discomfort and pain, and in training, you want discomfort, not pain. If you want to maintain or improve physical fitness, there are basics, you have to take in more protein than you lose, you need resistance training and rest. Overworking muscles can put you into pain and injury. The basic formula is 

1–5 reps: develops more strength 

6–12 reps: develops more muscle growth 

12–20 reps: develops more muscular endurance

Resilience, emotional  muscle building have similarities with work outs. There has to be a commitment to transformation and the ability to sit in discomfort. Most people are afraid to do public speaking. I learned decades ago the key to world travel was as a conference speaker. Sure, I am nervous each time I step onto the stage, however, I can surf the discomfort. I’ve gone from terror at opening my mouth to nerves about if the topic will resonate to where I am now, which is overall, will people feel good when I am done. But, I never would have gotten to this point without building up to it. Maintaining a certain level of speaking and then cyclically pushing into discomfort.

I started teaching in person yoga classes in March. UGHHHH. I have not mastered it.I am being April foolish. I’m good at a few things and this is not one of them, yet. I need help on just projecting my voice so the class can hear me. I have to accept discomfort. The funny thing, first time yoga students are quickly frustrated. I remind them, you are new at this. Would you expect to be able to run 6 miles as a 7 minute pace the first time out? No. Look, most of us will never dunk a basketball, but that does mean there is anything wrong with us OR that those who can shouldn’t do it so we won’t feel bad.

1–5 classes: Student – Get In Touch with Your Body; Teacher- Familiarize Yourself with the Class

6–12 classes: Student – Find -Your Baseline; Teacher – Define the Range for the Class

12–20 classes: Student – Explore and Refine the Possibilities; Teacher – Explore and Refine the Possibilities

Sitting in discomfort is not making excuses; it is taking ownership of your experience. At the start, like altitude training, you may not be good, but you will get better. Remind yourself of that. This is a training and building phase that takes commitment. Don’t expect to be wildly successful your first time doing something new. You don’t take one foreign language class and expect to be able to hold a conversation, and yet in so many things aren’t you doing just that? Expecting mastery at the start? Stop it!

Differentiate between pain and discomfort. Is something truly not working for you and causing pain? Pain means stop. Otherwise, think of babies learning to walk. It is commitment and discomfort. They fall, they get frustrated, but they are determined and get back up. Maybe along the way in life, we lose that drive and commitment; we mistake discomfort for impossible. This week, consider when did you last sit in discomfort and what it takes for growth.

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