BY: KIMBERLY BABIN
Just like you, I have goals, dreams & ambitions, and just like you, sometimes I feel frustration arise when I am not getting the instant gratification of clear results.
It happened today while running. I went to run in the afternoon instead of the evening, I ate something new for lunch, my water wasn’t as cold as I like it, I was sore from squats and lunges, and it all added up. My run was so hard today.
I couldn’t go as far as fast as I have been recently, and it was frustrating. The miles I wanted to make were coming so slow, and I was fighting hard for them. I needed extra motivation, so I started to think about why I was running in the first place. Where was I trying to get?
My intuition answered me… I was trying to close the distance between where I am and where I want to be. If I could go just a little further, one more mile, I would be one more mile closer to my destination. When you are working to close the gap between your current circumstance, and the one you want, you have to find joy in the journey to get there.
Once I focused on finding the fun, the happiness, the joy in the journey, the run became a lot easier. I was ecstatic just to have shown up, to be able to move, to be aiming for something. I made the last mile, and so can you.
Here are a few ways I have found more joy in the journey;
1.) Getting off course can be a good thing.
When I was around 4 years old, my parents decided to take my older brother and I on a road-trip/ mini vacation. Here is the thing… I have no idea where it was to. What I do remember was that they took a wrong turn, and there was a moment of tension, of disappointment and worry. It dissipated as soon as we fully rounded the corner and a mini-carnival came into view. A wondrous, fun-filled miracle that dropped my 4-year-old jaw. Of course I couldn’t get to excited, we had somewhere we had to get to, and mom & dad would probably say no to the side-track. My brother had already asked a million times if we could get out and go. I watched them look at each-other and some nonverbal communication pass between them before giving a unified “YES.”
We could have passed it up to get to whatever the “real” vacation was. We could have sat begrudgingly in the back of the car for some long, disappointment filled hours. My parents could have been frustrated about getting lost and running late. Instead they embraced the wrong turn and found joy in the journey, and that’s what I remember.
2.) Face your fears. Really. Do it.
When my friend invited me to go with her to see world renowned activist and artist Joel Bergner work on a mural project in our town, I was all in. When he said I could climb up the scaffolding and add to the work, I was almost all out. I had a terrible and severe fear of heights, and at the time I was so out of shape that I sincerely doubted I could, and I was insecure about not only that, but I was also worried I would somehow make a mistake and ruin the artwork.
I wanted to be a part of this project and everything it meant and stood for so badly, but my fears almost convinced me to sit it out. This was a once in a life time opportunity, but my fears were real and deep. I imagined the scaffolding collapsing and meeting my end with paint splattered on the ground around me. However when I pictured this, I was almost weirdly ok with that, because I love art & activism so much and feel so strongly that those are parts of my calling, that if that’s how I would have gone out, at least it would have been doing what I love. So I climbed the scaffolding, I painted with Joel, and my friend, and I lived to tell you about it, and I would do it again.
Since then I have become pretty comfortable with heights, my artistic abilities, and saying yes to doing the most amazing things, even when they terrify me. So face your fears along your journey, and they will probably turn into some of your biggest joys.
3.) Results come when you are having fun.
I have joined several gyms, several times, and I never saw results until I started seeing the fun. I used to go with a sense of dread. I did not look athletic and had always felt, or been made to feel uncomfortable in an athletic setting. I had no idea what to do with most of the equipment, and considered exercise hard work. After many failed attempts, I decided to skip the gym and go to yoga classes where I felt more comfortable, where I had fun. I started having so much fun with yoga, my body started changing without me really noticing. I started craving more and more physical activity because it was becoming fun. I now look forward to working out and going to the gym because I have fun. If I find myself getting bored with my routine, I change it to be more fun. I will listen to music I like, or work out with a friend who can make me laugh, or even watch a movie while running. A labor of love, is no labor at all. I believe that is how the pyramids were built, and that is how I create results.