I have written recently about the triathlon that I am training for these days. It’s a teeny tiny race, just for beginners like me. But it’s not the race that I’m training for. It’s the structure. I suspect this must be the way architects think. While I’m sure they enjoy the end result, what they delight in is the creation of structure that serves a greater purpose. Undergirding, framing, supporting, reaching—these all seem to be great features of the architect’s world. And for those of us who choose change.
Sometimes the structures we create just get us through the day and the week. Why do you think organizations like Weight Watchers and AA stay in business? Because we need external scaffolding to order our lives, especially when it feels like it is in chaos.
Sometimes structure helps us reach beyond the everyday. For me, it is the triathlon training class I attend every Monday. For you it may be the interior design class you enrolled in, the yoga program, or the gardening clinic. Structure and external support do wonders for us, particularly when we have consciously chosen to make a change.
And how great is it when a structure provides multiple benefits? My main reason for triathlon training is to keep my mind occupied and my body busy during my son’s deployment. But I am very excited about how much better my body feels, and the half pound weight loss I’ve been enjoying most weeks for the last month. Slow and steady really feels good.
All this proves to me, yet again, that my belief that Discipline is the price you pay for freedom—is powerful. Every day I look at my training program, and no matter how blue I’m feeling or how busy my day gets, I have this solid commitment that I won’t go to bed before I get in my swim or my run.
Small successes are a great motivator to keep going. Even if I’m slow or out of breath today, I feel so proud of myself for just getting it done, no matter how sloppy it was. The payoff is in the persistence.
What structures are available to you today? What promise can you make yourself that you will keep before you go to bed tonight? Small successes get me through the weeks when I don’t lose that hoped for half pound. I put my swimsuit on and paddle anyway, with the promise that tomorrow will be the day to find my edge.
We each have to bottle enough hope at the end of the day to try again tomorrow.
Bottling hope. It’s what I do everyday now.