When I was a kid I looked for shortcuts. I thought that when no one was looking, no one was looking. When I got away with something I became saturated in satisfaction with myself and how slick I was. I thought I was smart. So cunning. I got a way with it when no one was watching. Then, though, there were the times which were most tragic. The times my deception was discovered and discipline I expected. There I’d stood with my head held low in the shadow of shame and my father staring back at me; this time not in anger. No, those expectations were shattered by the words no child wants to hear. “I’m so disappointed in you.” No grounding, no long talk, just sick silence in the air with the echoes of his voice between my ears. My bottom lip quivering and I am thinking, “Why’d I do it?”
Endurance. Its root is to endure. To endure implies pain. In exercising we can experience the reward of accepting the pain comes with growth.
My legs were hurting, my feet aching; it’s just beginning and I’m already battling quitting. The internal dialogue reaffirms my pain. “This shouldn’t feel like this. You should stop before gets worse.” To which I rebuttald, “No, it will go away, I’m OK. I have to keep going.” I kept repeating this over and over through the half way point of the workout. It's became habitual.
Toward the end of my workout I began running the last mile. I’m trying to plan it so I’m running a steady pace. Inside a voice says, “You have to go faster.” “No, I’m just going to keep this pace, it’s okay.” Louder it demands, “I’m telling you, you CAN go faster.” “No, I’m just keeping pace.” Then with sternness and one last declaration “Seriously you have to pick it up at .8, finish strong.” “Nah, .9” and the decision was made. The last 10th of a mile was finished fast, I was tired. It was tough, but something was missing. Then I felt it. I was disappointed in myself. I could have done better. I satisfied for a second rate version of myself. I had the opportunity to be proud of myself; instead there was disappointment. This is where the lesson was learned.
As children we have our parents to reward us for good behavior and discipline us for bad behavior. We become adults and actually many of us are still children living on our own. We parent our children yet fail to parent ourselves. We want the best for our kids, and settle for second rate versions of ourselves. I’m learning to be my own parent. To make myself proud and allow myself to be disappointed in me. To tell myself I did a good job, when I did a good job and to discipline myself when I make poor choices. If I don’t, no one else will.
Lesson Learned: Growth will become apparent once we become a parent to ourselves.