My last sip of coffee this mid-morning was bitter and sweet. I knew it signaled a kairos moment of chosen suffering. As I slowly, deliberately, and almost reluctantly walked down my dark staircase, I pre-loaded my response to the pain signals that were coming soon. I told myself to make it through the first fifteen minutes at 167 kilojoules. I reminded myself of my dream state for the rides end. I wanted to surpass 500 kilojoules. I told my mind it was already done. I prepared to endure for 45 minutes.
The Peloton bike awaited with no idea the can of whoop ass I was about to unleash upon it. For 45 minutes I fought the desire to quit. Actually it wasn’t the desire to quit it was the desire to end the suffering and simply ease up on the pedal stroke. Remember, friend, if you want to endure unchosen suffering it pays to tax your system voluntarily with the chosen kind. Grapplers embrace this pain filled fact more readily than golfers. I am a golfer. I am naturally soft and becoming less so. Moving along.
The first iteration came and my output reading was 161. My tiny twigs were already unhappy and my output was below the bar. MOT. Lay down. Level up. I turned the resistance up and screamed at my little voice to shut the hell up. I pushed and pulled on the pedals. The tiny twigs expressed their continued displeasure. I ignored them. The second iteration finished at 335. I was 1 kilojoule ahead of plan. I smiled at the progress and began to break the remaining iteration into three smaller ones. Five minutes, five minutes, and five minutes more. The final fifteen flew by. Once you get on the backside of just about anything the mind flips from fear of not finishing to the joy of the finish line. Ain’t the brain a thing of predictable beauty. Yes, yes it is.
Once I got inside the final five, my adrenaline and anticipation took over. I knew I had more left in the tank and rose to see how much I could deplete before the legs locked up. The tiny twigs didn’t disappoint. I had more to give. So, most likely do you. Life is difficult, friend. The good life is learning to do hard things well. We do this by embracing the suck of doing hard things. When we embrace this suck, we quickly realize that doing hard things poorly is the reality preceding the aim of doing them well. Trust the process, friend. Keep reaching for tough targets. As I told another of “mature” clients today, we are not preparing to wind down as we set 2030 targets. We are leveling the hell up. We laughed as we imagined life in our 70’s. We are not winding down at least it’s not our plan. We can not predict disease, disaster, or much else in our future. We can dream big and face the brutal facts of our reality without losing hope. We can inoculate ourselves for the unchosen suffering by finding joy in enduring the chosen kind.
God, help me receive your love with gratitude. God, help me model the way, embrace pain and suffering, and embody truth in Love. God, help me accept my place, lack of control, and stay in the fight. God, help me give more than I take. God, help me level up not wind down. God, help me live hard and love harder.
Beautiful day, today. Beautiful day to level up. Good…