Friday, February 29, 2008

Do your best, whatever that is

Every piece of my body hurts this week. I’ve been feeling so strong and good and now I’m experiencing the law of diminishing returns.

Doing too much, wearing out, and hurting more. So, my walks and everything else -- doing dishes, lifting baby, sitting at my desk – have been a struggle. And I’m not good with cutting myself slack. I feel as though I’m being a wimp and I find myself justifying to my husband and myself why I’m so tired, why I can’t move as fast and as hard as I have been.

That is until Sherry Johnson-Traver snapped me out of that mindset. She lives with osteoarthritis and recently lost her husband to lung cancer. She is also a water aerobics instructor and certified aquatic fitness trainer.

In her classes Johnson-Traver asks her students to give their 100 percent each day but to be gentle with themselves and recognize that their 100 percent will fluctuate -- even from moment to moment.

That stuck with me. Some days my 100 percent will be all out, strong and fast and hard. Other days, even when I’m giving my best effort, I’m barely moving.

On those days I’m still working hard – often harder – than I do on the days it comes easy. My effort is 100 percent but my body feels mired in mud. Johnson-Traver’s comment reminded me that it’s O.K.

Each day will be different, but I can still do my best in any moment if I listen to my body, respect it and give thanks that it is still moving and working despite incredible odds.

So, my 100 percent might be different today than it was yesterday, but whatever the outcome, it’s O.K. as long as I’m out there giving it my best. Are you giving 100 percent today in this moment?

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