Emptyness. Input vs. Output. Progress.

On Wednesday night I looked at Garrett and said, “My tank is empty.” Luckily I wasn’t talking about my love tank but maybe even more sadly, my life tank. I’ve been feeling drained this week. Moments after saying that (and coming up with a good excuse not go to the gym) I closed my eyes, curled up on the couch and slept like the dead for 2 hours. It was life changing. Kind of like Target Jeggings, actually. Who knew?

Anyway.

I think I’m just in one of those moods this week where I need to focus on the information and energy I’m taking in instead of focusing on what I’m putting out into the world. Input vs. Output — such a fine balance, you know? Consequently I’ve been fine tuning all of my goals, which I will be posting next week along with a review of literally, yes…LITERALLY, the best cookbook I’ve cracked open all year. I know it seems like I’m being hyperbolic, but I mean it. Especially if you have even the tiniest interest/curiosity about Paleo Cooking.

So, as I was de-sweat-ifying after the gym last night the overarching theme of 2012 came to me like a vision, you all. I had a coworker who used to call any epiphany a “shower thought” which, you know, was kind of awkward when she’d say “I had a shower thought about you” in a meeting, but dude WHAT IS IT ABOUT THE SHOWER THAT BRINGS SUCH CLARITY? Truth. 2011 was was my year to get healthy. 2010 was my year to get honest with myself. So what thematic variation does 2012 hold?

Well I’ve finally decided:

Last night my workout involved a series of exercises called Toes to Bar. It looks like this in case you have no idea what the hell I’m talking about. Anyway, the point is a year ago when I walked into my CrossFit box, I couldn’t do them. Last night in my workout…well, I still couldn’t do them. Wait, what? No triumphant story of overcoming adversity? Nope, not here. But last night, I was still celebrating. I came the closest I’ve ever come to being able to doing them. In one workout they went from something that I couldn’t do, to something that is well within my reach. And those are powerful moments that we often overlook because it’s so much easier to wait to celebrate when we have something concrete to check off a list.

In CrossFit there are progressions to just about every movement so that if you can’t do it exactly as prescribed, there is a scalable way you can work towards it. Working through these measurable little checkpoints have helped me make vast improvements this year. I’m still not the best or fastest or most amazing athlete in the box, but I am kicking ass at being my best self! And I get better every single day that I walk in that gym. And those baby steps need a little pause for recognition every once in a while.

I have lots of goals in my life — and frankly probably too many goals for next year but I can’t help myself — aspiring to be better is something that motivates me. Tempering that with my desire to live a balanced life, however, means I want to keep my eye OFF of the prize a little bit more next year and instead keep my eye focused on finding joy in the journey. My plan is not to stop making goals, but rather to stop being so hyper-focused on the part where checking them off is the only measure of success and joy. I want to focus on the little moments. The baby steps. The Progressions. Walking out of the gym last night I felt really happy. My life tank felt full. I’m feeling improvements and I’m working in the right direction. So that’s what I want 2012 to be about.

Not the end result, but the journey.

Progress.

I like it.

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8 comments to Emptyness. Input vs. Output. Progress.

  • Katie
    December 16, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    Way to go on the progress on Toes to Bar! I love what you said about the “measurable little checkpoints”–I was just able to do my first band-assisted pull-ups this week and it’s amazing how much of an accomplishment it feels like. Keep it up, and here’s to 2012!

  • Melissa "Melicious" Joulwan
    December 16, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    Again, I love everything about this post. And my tank is completely, utterly decimated right now. Not a drop in there. My weekend plan? PJs all weekend and lots of reading in bed. For real.

  • sizzle
    December 16, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    Excellent! I pick a theme word for my year too. This year it’s been “light”. I’m still reflecting on that. Who knows what my next word will be? Maybe it will come to me in a shower? ;-)

    That toe to bar thing? HOLY AB WORK. I cry just thinking about it.

  • Kathy
    December 16, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    YES! I love it Holly! I’m so happy you had your life tank filled. So much of the journey these last several months has, for me, been about throwing out the checked boxes and just remembering I’m doing what I love. I’m worth it. Who cares if it’s good enough for anyone else (or even for the goals I’ve set) The goals and desires are still there, but they don’t define me. I’m still on the journey.
    It’s important to celebrate that.
    ” In one workout they became something that I couldn’t do, to something that is well within my reach. And those are powerful moments that we often overlook because it’s so much easier to wait to celebrate when we have something concrete to check off a list.” – You are genius!

    AND I’m still in awe of your lists and accommplishment and super achieverness :) Thanks for inspiring me!

  • Dr. Maureen
    December 16, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    If you are even remotely close to being able to do one of those Toes to Bar things, you are my hero. I would dangle ineffectually, with maybe some flailing.

    Very nice post!

  • Laura
    December 17, 2011 at 12:20 am

    Holly, that was so perfectly said! Thanks fir reminding all of us that it’s the small things, whether it be steps towards a goal or a small moment of joy, that we should hold onto and celebrate! Life is all about the journey, the ride we take through the highs and lows, the people that we meet and love along the way and all the lessons we learn in the process! I am so happy for you and the transformative process that
    crossfit has opened for you! You always had it in you, crossfit has just been the avenue to prove to yourself that you can kick ass!! Rock on my friend!!! See you in the box :-)

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