Something interesting happened on Saturday.
It was my fourteenth day in a row of working out at The Dailey Method (Go, me!) and I was looking forward to taking the basic class (they call it “Principles”) because on Friday I took the advanced class (they call it “Dailey Deeper”). When I was on the computer setting up my class reservations, my thought was that after not having a day off in so long AND taking the advanced class on Friday, I would dial it back a notch on Saturday.
When I walked into the studio I stopped at the desk to sign in for my Principles class and noticed that the roster had the maximum number of students on it. Principles was being taught in the small studio and, even though there is technically enough space there for everybody when the class is maxed out, it’s really better if there is one less person. I glanced over at the other sign-in sheet to see what was being taught in the large studio and noticed that it was a Dailey Deeper class that was only about one-third full.
I said to the studio manager, “I feel like I should move to the Deeper class to make more room in the little studio but I really don’t want to since I took that class yesterday. My body is sort of done for the week.”
She said, “Don’t, then!”
So, I didn’t. I went to hang up my coat and take off my shoes and headed into the small studio to set up my area with my weights, ball, and strap. I stood there waiting for class to start, chatting it up with the instructor and the other ladies, and after a few minutes the manager walked in.
“You know how much I love you, right?”
I said, “You need me to take the other class, don’t you?”
She smiled. “I have someone who just walked in, asking if she could try a class.”
I sighed heavily, because I’m “one of the girls” there and, as one of the girls, it was my prerogative to be a little bit dramatic as I trudged into the other studio, even though I really didn’t mind. I was actually happy to take one for the team.
There’s nothing like trying to take the easy way out and then getting multiple signs that it wasn’t meant to be. I was supposed to challenge myself that day.
I set up my area in the large studio and expected that I would probably have a very poor class, body-wise.
So much for expectations.
I had an AWESOME class. I felt strong. I got lots of compliments on my strength and form from the instructor. Rather than feeling weak and tired, I felt triumphant. In fact, it may have been my most successful class of the past two weeks.
As I drove home, I thought a lot about what had just happened and how we tend to set lower expectations for ourselves when we’re tired or for a variety of other reasons that make us believe that it would be impossible to put forth our best work. In reality, taking the easy way out may be easier (okay, it IS easier) but how we feel afterwards is a world away from challenging ourselves beyond what we think is possible.
I’m going to carry that lesson around with me this week and continue to challenge myself. I hope it helps you accomplish something extra special, too!