Sunday, September 21, 2014

Easy Peasy

"I hope it's going to be easy."

"Wow, that was easy!"

"I'll do it, if it's easy."

"If only it could be this easy all the time."

Easy:  adj:  1) achieved without great effort, presenting few difficulties  
2) free from worries or problems

It really is easy to take the easy way out or at least to want to, isn't it?

From a parental stand point, things that would be easy:
having a baby that sleeps through the night from birth, a toddler that sits on the toilet for the first time and is potty trained, a child that is never rude, listens to every word you say, never lies, never sneaks, doesn't date until they are 18, gets straight A's, goes to Harvard, and marries the person you choose.

From an athletic point, things that would be easy:  
never having to train, never feeling tired, never feeling like you can't, never playing against a team that poses a threat.

From a life point, things that would be easy:
your body is invincible- you never get sick, you can eat whatever you want, your teeth are white no matter what, you always know the right things to say and everyone likes you, you always make the right choices, any job you interview for- you get

I could go on- but honestly, easy is boring.  Where is the challenge?  I'm not saying everything should be difficult and present an outrageous challenge, but it should not be easy everyday. 

Do you really want to float through life without effort?  If all these things were true, we could just drive around town in our battery powered chairs or scooters, eating cheese doodles and drinking coke- do you want to barf yet?

A few weeks ago, my son was being very difficult and it was quickly followed by my daughter having a fit about something, all while we were in hot weather with no shade watching 5 hours of youth football games.  There were bees everywhere too- it was not a good setting to be in.  I got really frustrated because I was trying to take pictures of the games and my threats of "you better stop or you're going to be in big trouble when we get home" were not working.   My initial reaction was "I quit- I don't want to be a mother anymore"- that was the easy solution.  To walk away, to pretend they weren't my kids and not have to deal with it.

Reality is, I am a mom and they are my kids.  My ability to deal with the situation and find a good outcome gets easier the more times I have to do it.  I could just walk away, but then I'm not growing as a parent and my kids aren't learning or understanding (I also might have to go to jail).  The quick solution was to let my son take one picture with my camera so he "wasn't bored" and allow my daughter to walk 1 mile home with my mom so she "wasn't hot".  The next weekend, I brought a small camera for my son to take pictures with and a tent for my daughter to be shaded with.  By learning from a situation that wasn't easy for me, I was able to make future ones less difficult. 

Last week at crossfit, I was doing a 20 min workout.  The first two rounds, one of the guys in the class was very close to me and every time we went for a run, I challenged myself to catch up with him.  The third, fourth, and fifth rounds, he was quite far ahead of me, so I noticed I didn't push on the run and settled in to an easier pace.  I was tired, but at least I was moving.  On my final round, there was just enough time left on the clock that if I ran as hard as I could, I would make it back before the clock ended.  I ran faster than any of the other rounds- it was not easy, but I did it.  

We all have the choice to go through the motions.  To move for the entire time of the workout or to complete all the reps.  We all feel our lungs burn and our bodies fatigue.  We know our limitations as far as what weights we can safely use and move properly- when enough is truly enough- but many times, we need to learn how to leave the easy zone and push a little harder.  Leaving easy when working out is what will take you to the next level.  When you have a PR or great achievement, especially in an area that was never easy for you, it is so much sweeter!  If crossfit were easy, I would have been bored with it a long time ago.  My favorite things to work on are the things that are not easy for me because when I finally get them, I feel incredible.

I've had many job interviews and many different types of jobs.  The easiest one, the one where I walked in and was handed the job, ended up being a job that was in the end stressful and not a good place for me to work.  The ones that I knew were going to be cutthroat interviews with many different candidates were the ones I prepared hours for, dressed the nicest for, and knew for a fact that I wanted the job.  

Working hard means you want something, you have passion, you are determined.  Most things are not going to happen overnight, they are going to take a lot of time and effort, but the results will be worth it.  

Easy isn't always bad- it can be good- "Mom the SAT's were easy because all my hard work and studying paid off", "Mom I got an easy PR in my race today from all that hard training I've been doing".  

Things aren't always easy until they are.  Then, when they become easy, you look for something else, you find something else to tackle because easy everyday is just boring.

Unfortunately, it's also easy to be too busy- don't become too busy trying to make things less difficult.    Don't spend all your time trying to make yourself better, training all your weaknesses in the gym, reading every single label, memorizing every fact, or signing your kid up for every extracurricular. 

Make sure to make quality time with family, friends, and yourself easy.  I think these days it really is easy to miss appreciating the simple things in life.  Work hard, play hard, learn hard, but also enjoy hard!  

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