Don’t think, just answer:
What is your best personality feature?
Your charisma? Loyalty? Drive? Perhaps you’re most proud of how gregarious you are or your killer sense of humour? One of my best traits is definitely that I’m pretty much game for anything. Travel. Adventure. New cuisine. Road trips. Challenges. You name it, I’ll be ready.
This attribute could also be referred to as spontaneity or impulsiveness. On my worst days, it’s called not thinking things through. Like when my 11 year old running enthusiast recently asked me to sign up for a 5K run with her.
“Sure babe, that would be fun”
Running? Fun?! Those two words have no business being in the same sentence in my world. I am not a runner. In fact, I consider it a form of unholy torture. But I said yes, and by golly, I’ll bloody well do it. I’m not so delusional as to think I can just pull this off without training so when my alarm startles me from sleep at 5:50am I’m off to the gym. Part of my inspiration is a friend who’s a mother of five (yes, FIVE). She’s a runner – slim, trim, with energy to spare and a beautifully positive outlook. Maybe I’ll be more like her if I keep it up. Or not.
Be forewarned: it’s not pretty. It’s the opposite of pretty. I sent my friend a post run selfie to prove I pulled it off. Her response? “Don’t post that”. I’m not one of those gym gals who ‘glow’ in a dewy, sexy way. Unless you find Rudolph’s nose sexy – in which case I’m red hot. Beet red face, abundant sweat. This morning was particularly rough. While lacing up my shoes, the tongue ripped right out. The wrong playlist was loaded on my iPod. The loo was calling. Those are three fantastic reasons to pack it in. It was like Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, treadmill edition.
But I kept going. It takes me THIRTY-NINE grueling minutes to grind out my 5k. But I kept going. Even when the television at the gym was featuring the Olympic women’s marathon (oh the cruel irony!) I kept going.
The payoff is HUGE.
I haven’t lost weight or gotten faster. I still glow like a bright red beacon. It’s not getting any easier. I still hate it. The payoff is the sense of accomplishment. When we give up (or don’t even try in the first place) we’re ripping ourselves off. We’re denying ourselves the opportunity to feel badass. My time, appearance, and technique at the gym is decidedly UNbadass. But when I walk away, dripping with sweat I feel a swell of pride that I stuck with it. I didn’t give up when every fiber of my being was screaming at me to get off the damn machine.
To keep going is badass. Especially when you have to fight for it.
We’re bombarded in every women’s magazine to be perfect AND to be wary of the perils of perfectionism. But we should be equally cautious about the dangers of drifting through life indifferent and apathetic. Lazy physically and emotionally, in our relationships or our pursuits. The opposite of perfect.
At The Nook, I always encourage my clients to find the middle way. The Good Enough Way. Life in the extremes is unhealthy whether it’s perfectionism or status quo. For me, training for a marathon would be pursuing perfectionism, at the cost of my family, business, and sanity. Being sedentary would be my version of lazy. 5k – my perfectly imperfect, messy 5k – is my middle ground.
When is the last time you set a goal and really set your sights on pursuing it? Want to write a book? Learn to tango? Take up karate? Integrate some mindfulness? Be more positive? These types of goals are the antidote to the drudgery and boredom of the banal tasks we all need to take care of day in day out. That’s real life. Adding a bit of sparkle or spice into our lives is the magic ingredient that turns ho-hum into OH YA BABY!
If I was more measured and less impulsive I would have weighed the pros and cons and declined my daughter’s suggestion that we run together. But I leapt before I looked, and I’m kinda glad I did.
Maybe spontaneity remains my best trait.