I'm telling you, sometimes determination is all it takes.
There's this one routine we've been doing in Zumba this semester that I have absolutely detested from the first time we did it. It has jumping jacks in it. Not just ordinary run of the mill jumping jacks, either. These are jumping jacks that require you to cross your feet, and there are 4 or 5 of them in very quick succession, in between these hoppy little knee lifts, and if you miss one, it's hard to catch up.
Can I just tell you that at 37, jumping jacks - especially tricky little fast ones - are a lot harder than they were when I was 7?
(Ok, you can stop laughing now.)
I'm not kidding, I have not once made it all the way through this routine all semester and actually accomplished all the jumping jacks. And it's been soooo frustrating. I can be a bit of an overachiever (the first step is admitting the problem, right?) - and it can drive me a little nuts when I run into something that I can't do (but think I should be able to do). And this routine is so demanding that by the end of it I am usually dripping with sweat and feeling like the most uncoordinated person on the planet.
Until today. I made my usual protest at the beginning of the song. Was outvoted by a roomful of women who can actually do jumping jacks without feeling like they're going to fall over. And decided that today was the day.
I missed a couple other things in the routine here and there, but I nailed every single jack today. And it felt amazing.
Never underestimate the power of sheer determination.
Now granted, there are going to be days when it isn't enough. Days when you can will yourself to accomplish something all you want, and yet fail utterly. I lucked out. Today wasn't that day. But there have been other days when I've thrown myself at a problem or a task, determined to conquer it - and fallen very, very short.
But here's the thing. It's better than not trying.
Because at least if you tried - you did something. You didn't just sit by passively and let life happen to you. You went out and did something. And maybe even learned something along the way from your mistakes and failures.
Determination was the key to getting thru that routine today - but eight weeks of showing up to class and trying (even on the weeks when it didn't go well) was the discipline that made me strong enough for determination to finally win out.
Where do you need to "show up" and put in a little more discipline to build the strength you need for your life? (And how rewarding will it be the next time you throw a little sheer determination at something you want to but aren't sure you can do - and succeed?)
"You've all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You're after one that's gold eternally.
I don't know about you, but I'm running hard for the finish line. I'm giving it everything I've got."
- 1 Corinthians 9:24-26 (The Message)
Other "Life Lessons from Zumba" Posts:
# 3 - It Doesn't Always Go Well
# 2 - Don't Think About The Six-Step
# 1 - The Five Minute Rule of Survival