As many of you know, I love the rowing machine. As I’ve improved as a rower, my average pace of strokes per minute has also increased.
When I first started rowing seriously, I would have to push myself and focus if I wanted to maintain an average of 22 strokes per minute. Now, I average 26 strokes per minute without even trying. It’s my natural pace.
It’s gotten easier and easier for me to maintain a fast pace. This is always my goal. I want to be faster, stronger, and I want to be able to endure an intense pace for longer periods of time. Intensity is my comfort zone. This is easy for me.
The challenge for me is to practice restraint.
Christine from Peloton
Jules and I often work out together. We have a home gym in our garage. On cardio days, she likes to ride the Peloton and I like to ride the rowing machine. It’s great because I can listen to the Peloton trainer and it allows me to follow different ques of sprinting, circuits, or anything else the trainer has in store.
One of our favorite trainers is Christine.
Christine often talks about restraint. She talks about enjoying the process of the ride (or the row) without setting expectations on the result. She talks about having the strength of mind and character to hold back, even when the natural tendency is to give it your all.
Sometimes Christine instructs long circuits where the entire purpose is to maintain a pace that is slower than what your natural pace would be. It’s an exercise of the mind and spirit. It’s forced limitation and it’s very difficult.
It harder for me to maintain 20 strokes per minute then it is for me to maintain 30 strokes per minute. Christine reminds me to trust the process.
The Tendency to Give it My All
It’s in my nature to try my hardest. In everything I do, I give it my all. I’ve always been this way.
The problem is that there are moments when giving it my all is not the best course of action. Sometimes the best thing to do is to hold back, to think, to observe, and to let the process take it’s course.
I hate this. Holding back makes me feel as though I am being complacent. It makes me feel like I should be working harder.
But what if I looked at it from a difference perspective? What if instead of being complacent, I’m simply practicing restraint?
What if I focused on displaying the strength of character to hold back, to be patient, and to not swing at every pitch that gets sent my way? It’s a totally different outlook on the same reality, but it’s no less accurate. In fact, it’s a healthier and more accurate perspective. It’s a position of empowerment rather a position of insecurity.
I’m reminded of an interview I saw with Warren Buffet where he talks about the “stable temperament” required to be a great value investor.
This is something I must actively work on.
My Job is to Stay Focused on What’s Most Important
My priorities are the same as they have been all year.
- Be present for my new son, my wife, and my family
- Maintain my fitness and my physical/mental health
- Keep marketing and scaling Stodzy
- Maintain the growth of Copyblogger
- Finish my Agency Clarity course so I can finally offer it at full price
Nothing more. Nothing less.
How many times have you caught yourself “being busy” or burning energy because you were uncomfortable standing still?
It’s been a challenge for me and I know I am not the only one. This means that I must continue to strengthen my mind and deal with being uncomfortable. Discomfort is good. Discomfort is a means of pushing myself outside of my limitations.
The same is true for you. Just because you can go fast, doesn’t mean you should.