Thursday, June 12, 2014

Sometimes I wonder

Sewing, yoga, running and blogging—four things I enjoy for the most part, although I’m not exactly what you’d call expert in any of them. Generally my enjoyment of these activities is enough for me, but sometimes I’m so competitive that I get myself all knotted up over my lack of expertise. Occasionally, it’s been bad enough that I’ve actually stopped doing one or the other.

Case in point, I’m trying to step up my fitness because I feel better that way. Tuesday morning, I did the hardest lower body weight workout DVD I own and just got more and more sore as the day wore on. Yesterday was a run day, and I was so sore from Tuesday’s workout that the run was miserably tough. I kept wondering why was doing this, why run, what’s the point? After all, I don’t run races (I hate to lose so it’s not fun for me), I’m not in any sort of a running group (which is way too reminiscent of running when I was in the Army, so no thanks) and it’s just me out there at 5 AM which is stupidly early because I have to be up by 4:30 to be able to run shortly after 5 so really—why do I do this?

I feel the same way about blogging. I certainly don’t have a big audience, I rarely get comments and yet I keep writing and have done so for six years and over 1100 posts.

Sewing—same story, different verse. I sew some things well, but struggle with others (forget welt pockets, they are dead to me). And still I buy patterns and fabric and I sew.

Yoga isn’t any different.  I will never be able to have my feet flat on the ground when I’m in downward dog, not ever. My triangle is a sad little triangle because I just don’t bend that way. I keep doing it though, in the hope that as inflexible as I am, I won’t lose the little that I do have as I get older.

Yes, I enjoy these activities. But sometimes I miss the days of being really quite good at something. Maybe you have to learn all these things quite young or maybe you really do have to be born with a certain build or whatever. All I know is I’m mostly right in the middle of mediocre and sometimes that just isn’t enough.

Edited the title because tone can't be read online and this isn't about me feeling down on myself or depressed. 


Judith said...

You're pretty hard on yourself.

And I remember your beautiful oboe playing. I know you don't do that now, but it's a great memory.

Being perfect has its own problems, I think. Never got there so don't really know.

Love you as you are.

kittiesx3 said...

I'm not actually being hard on myself at all. I'm mostly pondering and trying to decide if some things need to go or not.

Harriet said...

I've been thinking about this lately too. I was always okay with being a lousy athlete but could keep myself going because I could see myself get better. But the simple fact of the matter is that at some point, you don't keep getting better at these things and you very may well get worse. And yet I still need to get exercise. Trying to motivate myself becomes more and more of a challenge. I haven't solved the puzzle yet.

Diane Russell said...

If an activity isn't enjoyable any longer, find another one. We're blessed to live in a time when it's easy to find alternatives, thanks to the internet.

I can't speak to that competitive steak, as I really don't have it. I'm happy being mediocre at something, as long as I enjoy it.

Even though I don't comment often, I love your blog. You don't post anything that we don't all go through, at one time or another.

Maybe it's enough to be a very special lady, with lots of friends who love her. *winks*

lemming said...

Are you doing it to get better, or for the enjoyment (before, during, after?) or overall satisfaction?

I will never be a brilliant knitter, but it's fun for me to do, and very pleasing to see my finished product in use.

Joybells said...

This is a lovely post. To me, it's about growing into an understanding that a discipline can be its own reward. As you describe them, running and yoga aren't about winning or competing, the're about maintaining a discipline. Sometimes the only benefit is knowing that you did it, even though it felt like it sucked.

And, oh yes, the longing to be really good at something! But here's the thing that maybe it takes half a life to understand: being really good at showing up for something, whether it's your daily run or yoga, is actually a kind of expertise. You're an expert at showing up. That's extraordinary.

Jeanne said...

I care if you keep showing up to write, whereas I won't notice if you don't keep showing up to do the other things.