The first ten laps are the hardest.
I am swimming laps and at the moment I can do 20 laps comfortably. I intend to get to 50, but for now 20 is it. But I find those first 10 laps so hard. I get to lap 6 and I think, oh, I am not as fit as I used to be. I get to lap 8 and I really feel like giving up. But then I get to lap 10 and a miracle happens, I suddenly feel energised and I glide through the next 10 laps. Sometimes I even do an extra 5 laps.
But it isn't just swimming that this applies to. Ever heard the saying, just put on your running shoes and your body will do the rest. It is because the hardest part is getting started.Once you have your shoes on and you actually leave the house, the hardest part is done!
Our ego has a field day when we doubt ourselves. Quite often on the drive to the pool, it will try to talk me out of going. Just go to Dome and have a cuppa instead. You will enjoy it so much more...I know friends who go to the gym who tell me, it is just getting into the car that is the problem. Once they are in the car, well they may as well go.
But isn't exercising just like life. Those first few weeks of a new job, the first months of being a parent, the first year in business, that is when the doubt creeps in. And let's face it, when doubt creeps in, we just feel like giving up.Perseverance is something we develop as we grow up. Getting past those first 10 laps, that first 10 mins of exercise, those first few hiccups with anything new that we try, are like growing pains.
But with perseverance we get there. We just need to fool our brains into thinking we already made it. When I am swimming and I am trying to not think about how many laps I have to go, I think about what I am grateful for. I run through my list and I tell myself how proud I am that I even got to the pool. It helps a lot. It helps to be kind to yourself.
With anything new in our life, there is growing pains. We try, we fail, we try again, we fall down. we try again and we have a choice. Keep going or give up. It is easy to give up. It is easy to go home and pretend you never meant to try. But when you give up, something inside you dies.
I think we all know the feeling of being proud of our own achievements. That feeling of overcoming the struggle. Even if it is just overcoming the lazy bones inside of us that does not want to exert ourselves.
When you think about it though, what is it that keeps us in doubt? Is it the fear of being seen as silly, as failing? Are we afraid we wont commit and it will be a waste of time? It is probably a combination of all these things. But at the end of the day, we need to stretch ourselves past our comfort zone to grow.
Everything we do in life is a risk. With every choice we make we take a risk that it is the wrong one. We take a risk when we drive to work, cross the road and even put ourselves out there for a new friend. Taking a risk means you are living. We all get comfortable and as humans we are very routine orientated and that is ok. But taking a risk, getting out side our comfort zone is what helps us to grow.
Just remember taking a risk is scary but you just have to get through the first ten laps, the first ten minutes, the first few weeks, the first few mistakes. Have faith that you can do it. Allow yourself to trust that you can finish what you started. Doubt is the enemy we all face. But with a little perseverance,we can all get across the finish line.