Last night my virtual bootcamp class was a disaster. I felt like I had nothing to give. Several times I wanted to quit and leave the session. I felt frustrated as just two days previously I was on flying form – powering through the exercises and lifting heavy weights. I didn’t quit though. I did what I could and plodded on to the end of the class. It wasn’t my finest 45 mins. However, as I reflected, it made me think about work and life in general. How some days you feel like you’re invincible. Yet others feel like you’re plodding on through. Here’s three conclusions I came to:
Run your own race. I’ve gone to the same bootcamp class for seven years. One of the things I love about it is that we’re all there doing our best. But that looks different for each of us. Our trainer pushes each of us to our own abilities and we don’t have time to compare ourselves to others in the class. There have been periods where I’ve trained really hard and felt physically strong. There have been times when I’ve taken a few months off either because I’ve been run down or have had other things going on. And that’s okay. I come back, and I build things up again.
This feels like our careers sometimes. There are times when we are fully focused and ‘on it’ – feeling confident, going for opportunities, taking a chance. There are other times when for a variety of reasons we slow down. We just want to stay still. Rather than get drawn into comparing ourselves to others and thinking what we should or could be doing, perhaps instead we can remember that we’re all going at our own pace. Our energy, commitment and drive will ebb and flow depending on what else we have going on in our life. Question to reflect on: Are you running your own race or are you comparing yourself to others?
You don’t always have to ‘rock it’: My boys are often my bootcamp cheerleaders – especially since we’ve gone virtual over the last few months. Last night I shared with them that I felt like I hadn’t had a good workout, that I’d done my best, but I just wasn’t feeling it! I wanted them to know that you don’t have to ‘rock it’ every time. That there will be good days and not-so-good days, and that’s okay*. The important thing is you show up next time and give it another go. Question to reflect on: How do you pick yourself up so you can try again? Who is your cheerleader?
Rest is as important as work. In our class we work intensively for a period – say 2 minutes, and then we take a short recovery – 60 seconds. The recovery is essential. Without it you can’t do the next sprint. Learning to make time to rest and recover is something that most of us can get better at. Too often we fill our time doing things (often for other people) and we feel guilty or selfish when we make time for ourselves. I find when I make time to rest I come back refreshed and recharged (part of the reason I’m taking July and August off). Question to reflect on: What can you do to weave some rest and recovery into your life?
So, if you’re not ‘rocking it’ today… that’s okay. Tomorrow is a whole new day. If you’d like any more information on the workshops we run to help working parents be at their best, then drop us a line at email@example.com
*If at any point you feel ‘stuck’ or are having more bad days than good – please do reach out and talk to someone. Be it a friend, coach, counsellor, or someone from your Employee Assistance Programme if your organisation provides one.