So frequently we hear that we need to be giving our best effort in order to succeed in life. But sometimes our best efforts don't give us the results that we desire. So what happens when we give our best effort but don't achieve our best results?
I remember when I first starting running road races and I believed that I should be getting faster every time I would run. Anytime I didn't achieve a new personal best or come close to my personal best I felt like I didn't give my best effort. I felt like I had failed in some way. I didn't take into account that undesirable weather, a poor night's sleep or not eating properly could affect my performance. I just felt like I should always be improving.
Over the past few years, I've realized that achieving a new personal best every time you hit the pavement is unrealistic. Some days I know I'm not at my best. I haven't slept well the night before. I might not have trained enough for my competition. I might be recovering from a recent cold or on the mend from a nagging injury.
I've also learned that my best effort can vary depending on my current physical condition. Four years ago after a stint in physical therapy my best effort was walking and sitting without pain. Two years ago, my best effort was running my first marathon. I am proud of persevering through both of these struggles. Even though the results are much different it took the same amount of work, patience and dedication to achieve them.
Inevitably I will also reach a point in my life where I no longer get faster and stronger. My personal bests will no longer be something that I strive for, but something that I remember. Eventually my increasing age will dictate a decrease in physical production, but that doesn't mean that I should stop trying to challenge myself.
If we know that we will not be at our best, does that mean that we do not try? Should we not show up to a race or event because we know we won't perform at our very best? I don't believe so. If anything, the times that I have done less than stellar, failed my goals, made mistakes and been disappointed are the times when I have learned the most. The times that I have failed only fueled my ambition and pushed me to find new methods to try to achieve success.
I believe that if I do not participate when I know I'm not at my absolute best I am robbing myself of an experience to understand and appreciate my true determination, passion and dedication. Improvement is not a linear progression. The valleys of disappointment often fuel the climbs to the peaks of accomplishments. Not every day can be the day when you will achieve your personal best, but every day can be the beginning of finding your way there.
It's hard to believe we are nearing the end of July.
Well, you may remember that back in March I self published a short story entitled, 'Seeking Vegas'. That was probably a mistake. Actually, it really wasn't a mistake, but I did rush the project and I ended up being less than thrilled with the final product.
Fortunately, another opportunity came along in the form of a website called Channillo. Channillo is a site that allows authors to publish serialized literature. When I heard about it, I knew it was the perfect place for 'Seeking Vegas'. So, I decided to unpublish my short story, move it to Channillo and rewrite it. That's right! I'm going to rewrite the entire story because I know I can do better than my first attempt! Also, I will be continuing the story of Danielle beyond the original ebook. So if you've already read the ebook, don't worry, there will be more to come.
Channillo does require a monthly membership. Right now I have the bronze package which allows me to subscribe to ten series. I'm enjoying reading all these other authors. I hope you check it out! And if you're an author this might be a great place to share your work.
This month I also got the chance to check out Studio AM. What is Studio AM? Well it's an art studio founded by Baron Batch and John Malecki. I first heard about Baron when I attended a Paint Nite about a year ago. Our teacher, for the evening, mentioned Baron and said to check out his work on Twitter. So I did, and I was totally blown away. See below for his artwork.
Well, it's a year later, and Studio AM is hosting brunch on weekends. I signed up for a Sunday brunch in early July, because I knew I had to check this place out.
From the moment I walked in, I just loved the place. The Studio AM staff was super friendly and made us (Bobby and I) feel very welcome. The food, cooked by Chef Steve, was amazing! I think my favorite thing about Studio AM was the way I got to experience the artwork. Most of the artwork I've viewed has been in museums. Nothing against museums, but you usually don't get the total vibe of the artists in those marble and stone buildings. Plus having the artist walk around while you brunch definitely helps out with that vibe!
After I left this place, I felt very inspired. Baron use to play football for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Professional football players aren't supposed to become commissioned artists, but he is doing exactly that. Likewise, I'm an engineer and supposed to be a horrible writer. But I'm not. I'm a good writer. It's only taken me a year and a half of blogging and articles published on the Huffington Post and Thought Catalog to finally believe it and write it down. I'm good at writing.
This leads me to my next project. For a while I have wanted to share some of my personal essays. I have been writing personal essays for as along as I can remember. My mom can attest to that! My essays have been my earliest and sometimes truest writing form, but I couldn't find an appropriate place to share them. This blog, which is mainly focused on fitness and health, travel and my random ramblings like this, didn't seem like the best place. Eventually, it occurred to me that Channillo would be the perfect place to share this work. So far I have shared thoughts on my high school graduation and being laid off from my job.
Now all I needed was a name for this project. I struggled with this for a while. How do you come up with a name to encompass all of life's experiences? At the same time, Baron was working on an art installation at the Pittsburgh International Airport. I watched the updates on the project through Twitter. It was entitled 'Don't Forget to Write'.
It was perfect. It was exactly what I was trying to describe. This project finally had a name. For me, this title has a lot of meaning, because for a while, I did forget to write. I got busy with school, moving, marriage and working and didn't make time to write. I forgot how much I missed it. I forgot how good it was for my soul. But it found me again. I know at some point I will get busy, but I don't want to ever forget to write again. You can always go back to your passion. It never truly leaves you.
I hope your summer is going well! I swear it seems like yesterday was just May and now it's July! Speaking of May, did you know that it was Osteoporosis Awareness & Prevention Month? Since I'm in my thirties it might seem strange to see a post about osteoporosis on my blog, but I truly believe my lifestyle now can make a big difference later in life. I am always looking for ways to improve my health, which is why I am sharing this information with you!
Statistics claim at least 1 in 2 women and 1 in 4 men will suffer from an osteoporotic fracture during their lifetime. Those odds are pretty high, so I would like to do whatever I can to possibly reduce my odds of getting osteoporosis. Also, hip and knee replacements seem to becoming more and more common. But let's face it, nothing will be better than our own bones to support our bodies! Some of these products used in replacement can even be faulty such as the Zimmer Persona knee replacement . A component of the device was actually recalled and has the potential to send others back into surgery.
I must admit I never knew how widespread osteoporosis is or how many hospitals stays are a result of it. Please check out the graphic below provided by the American Recall Center for more facts and some prevention tips.
Yours in fitness,
Author: Sarah Warman
I like to run, take pictures and write. I've combined all three in this blog.