This Sunday I awoke feeling tired, uninspired, heavy and blah. I had spent most of Saturday in a noisy and highly electrified climbing competition environment, cheering on lots of climbing friends. And I spent most of Saturday with the continual feeling of self recrimination & disappointment. The mantra, "I should be able to climb this hard. I suck. I am should train more. I am so old. I am so out of shape," repeated itself on a continual recording through my thoughts. It is exhausting beating yourself up all day.
You see when I climb now, I still try hard, but I don't have the stamina to try hard for long and I am always sore afterward... not the good tired sore, but the tweaky muscle sore. When I run, I spend a couple of days not sure if my knee will collapse when I am walking or on the stairs. I have a constant reminder that my body is not the same as is was even 10 years ago. I have tried to talk to my friend studying gerontology about this, but she just tells me to keep trying and that it is a state of mind. Maybe she is right. but I am still trying to decide.
I do know, when we pay attention to what we can't do; when we compare ourselves to our past or to others, we often create a feeling of lack. A sense of not being enough. And it is normal to do this. We humans constantly use the external information to make decisions on our next move. It's cold, I get a sweater. I see line ups of cars not moving, I take a different route. We constantly analyze what we see and make decisions that will give us a better experience. I see people climbing better than I can, I think, "I am not strong enough," and it either inspires me to train harder or to quit while mired in my self recrimination or defensiveness. And if I am motivated to be better to prove something to myself or others, I will most likely continue to be unhappy.
The solution.... PRESS PAUSE. Breathe and be curious about what you think, What if my thoughts were on the joy and fun these people were having rather than in my world of self doubt? What if I choose to pay attention to how cool it is that the body can move between those holds?
When we are motivated; inspired from a place joy, connection, possibility or service, we just may find happiness. When it is from a place of needing approval - even just our own - we will continuously suffer fleeting moments between swaths of disappointment,