April 17, 2016 | life

Goals AF

Mirrors

I’ve been in a slump. Well, maybe ‘slump’ is the wrong word. I’m happy. I love what I do. I have a great family, great friends, awesome dog. I’m more than content with where my life is right now. (Man, those were some really braggy sentences). But lately, something has just felt a little…off. Bored wouldn’t be the right word either. But it’s been niggling at me. So this past week I decided to stop dancing around the problem and just admit to myself: I’m lacking a goal.

Here’s the thing: I spend hours a day as a spin instructor where I pour all my energy into motivating others to be the very best they can be. I work really hard at it. I want every single person who rides with me to leave the room feeling Cloud Nine levels of endorphin-fuelled awesomery. I reckon most people don’t know how much goes into that and I won’t bore you with the details, suffice to say, I don’t want to be merely good at what I do. I strive, daily, to be the very best at it. I sweat my soul out on that bike. There are times when I finish and I don’t even have the energy to speak. When I have a great class, I feel on top of the world, when I miss the mark, I study where I went wrong.

I came to the realisation a while back that this is my thing. Helping others find their inner superhero, motivating them to be the very best they can be – that’s my strength. But I guess it just dawned on me recently that there ain’t a whole lot left for me at the end of a class. It’s not my workout, it’s all about the riders, and that’s 100% the way it should be. But then, how do I motivate myself? This is something I wrestle with. I get incredible satisfaction from what I do, so it almost feels selfish to say ‘but what about me?!’, however, what my initial journey into fitness taught me, is that goals are good. My fitness goals led me to bigger goals, work goals, life goals. ALL THE GOALS!

And it would seem, somewhere along the line, I’ve stopped goal-ing.

I just wanted to take my foot off the gas for a while, get really good at what I was doing, rather than always looking to the next thing. There’s a lot to be said for hitting pause and savouring a moment.

But now that I’m good, I wanna get better. To get better, I have to be exploring my own boundaries so that I can grow and learn.

I tried the plateau thing. I don’t like it, it’s not for me. I don’t ever want to settle, to be just ‘good enough’, to think ‘that’ll do’. That’s not what life’s about for me. It’s also not about chasing extremes and pushing myself to an impossible brink, where I’m beating myself up for missing the mark (I’ve tried that too). There’s a happy medium in there somewhere. It’s now my mission to find that.

So, what’s my new goal? I don’t know yet. I just know, I want to feel better, so I can do better. I need to take better care of myself. I’m making small changes (eating better, reading more, changing up my workouts, getting a good sleep pattern going) and maybe somewhere in there, I’ll find a bigger goal, but right now, just admitting I need to take some baby steps is enough for me.

Not every goal has to be an earth-shattering, life-altering overhaul. The small stuff counts too. It’s important to know, when you’re feeling bored, stressed, over it, unsure, overstimulated, under-stimulated or just generally in need of change, you don’t have to wait til you have all the answers to get going. Sometimes you just have to start walking and a route presents itself as you go.

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