Tag Archives: I will persist until I succeed

Week 22 – Yoga and the Comfort Zone

Throughout the MKMMA course we’ve been challenged to get out of our comfort zone.  For those of us who have been even remotely faithful to the exercises, we can all attest we’ve been out of our comfort zone too many times to count over the past 22 weeks.

Now that I’m engaged and looking at getting married in the next few months, I’ve adopted the “bridal frenzy” that is “I’ve GOT to lose weight for my wedding!!!”  (OK, truth be told, I wanted to lose weight for ME…but hey, the whole wedding thing is a good excuse to kick my efforts into high gear.)

So what do I do?  I step out of my comfort zone and into…BAH-BAH-BAH-BAH…the Fitness Center!  Now let me just say that I’m one of those people that doesn’t visit a gym unless I’m dragged in.  But now I don’t have an excuse…it’s included in our homeowner’s association, so I want to take advantage of it.

The fitness center has a “motto” of sorts on all their shirts:

If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you.

And they I see they have Zumba classes.  “Woo-hoo!  I LOOOOOVVVVVEEE the Zumba DVDs!  I’m gonna do THAT!  That’s easy!”

OK…so my first step is a baby step outside my comfort zone:  going to the fitness center.

What I’ve learned is that the classes are very different from the DVDs.  VERY different.  I felt like a fish out of water.  And I have to admit it was slightly uncomfortable being the only person out of about 30 who didn’t know what the heck was going on.

But I had fun!  So I went back.  And so far I’ve been to Zumba 3 times…and I’m starting to feel a little more comfortable.

Time to expand the comfort zone!

OK…step 2:  a class called “Cardio Strength.”  It’s an “anything goes” type of class.  The first time I went the instructor was leading a “cardio kickboxing” class for the first time.  Man-oh-man was it a challenging workout!  And yet because no one knew what was going on, I almost felt like I had the upper hand because I’ve had some experience kickboxing.  The workout was challenging, and I had a blast!!!  (And I was sooooooo sore the next day from throwing all those punches!)

That was a bigger step outside the comfort zone!

So I went back.  Unfortunately, this week’s class was running…sprints, up and down the hill, etc.  Due to an injury, I can’t run.  So it wasn’t just that it was outside my comfort zone…I could do permanent damage.

And you know what…I was sad when I left without a workout.  Hopefully next week’s class will be something I can physically do.

Time to expand the comfort zone again!

Next up:  yoga.  I already know this will be the most challenging of the classes for me.  Back in 2006 my doctor encouraged me to take up yoga for stress relief, strength, and weight loss.  I got a whole 5 minutes into the DVD and wondered how much time was left.

So here we are, 9 years later.  I’ve changed.  My body has changed.  Time to give this another shot.

The class moved slowly (to me…especially compared to the high-energy classes like Zumba and kickboxing).  I was physically able to do all the poses, though I had to exit the pose early on a couple occasions.  But I got too comfortable in one of the poses…and I fell asleep!

Apparently that’s the REAL danger of the comfort zone…you can get SO comfortable that you don’t have to pay attention…and then you get results you didn’t want.

Yoga, silence, and the comfort zoneSince I was told that wasn’t a “typical” class I went back for another yoga class today.  While this one was slightly more active — and I did NOT fall asleep — there was the issue of the silence.

Here’s what I mean:  the yoga class is quieter than most libraries.  And then you get into a pose and hold it for 30-90 seconds.  That doesn’t seem like a long time until you’re holding a pose for that long.  And then it can seem like forever!  And while I was in these poses, I found my mind wandering to all sorts of things.  And that’s when the instructor said:

Concentrate.  Focus.  Balance.

That was a “lightbulb moment” for me, because the reason I was so UNcomfortable with yoga is BECAUSE of the silence.  I had nowhere to be but in my head.  I was directed to concentrate, focus, and balance.  These things are not natural to me, and they are REALLY uncomfortable in silence!

So…while I don’t see yoga as my “thing,” it might be just the thing I need to expand my comfort zone.  Get inside my head.  Get comfortable there.  And then see what NEW experiences take me out of my comfort zone.  After all…

If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.

 

Week 13 – Persistence: Cause or Effect?

When I was a little girl, my dad would go out and ride his bike.  Like most little girls who wanted to spend time with their daddy, I would want to go bike riding, too.

My dad was older than me (obviously!), stronger than me, had more experience riding a bike than me, AND he had a ten-speed bike.

I, on the other hand, was young, inexperienced, and had a one-speed bike…MINE.  My bike would only go as fast as my little legs could peddle.

Together we rode up and down hills that left me red-faced and huffing and puffing trying to keep up.  Dad would always ask if I wanted to stop and rest, and I would always refuse.

I can do it!  I can keep up!

Dad always said I was quite a “stubborn little girl.”

As I grew older, he began referring to me as a “determined young lady.”

Whatever terminology he used…I always considered myself to be persistent.

Persistence is defined as:  firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.

Yep!  That’s me!

I refused to back down, admit defeat, or request special treatment.

I will persist until I succeed.
I will persist.  I will win.
~Og Mandino

I have read these words as directed in The Greatest Salesman in the World, and I’ve been thinking about how I have persisted in my life…and how I have quit…and what that has cost me.

And I’ve recently changed my thoughts about persistence, because in the MKMMA we learned that persistence is a HABIT.  Persistence is not the CAUSE of success, but rather the EFFECT that is created as a result of four tiny habits:

  1. A definite purpose backed by a burning desire for its fulfillment.
  2. A definite plan, expressed in continuous action.
  3. A mind closed tightly against all negative and discouraging influences, including negative suggestion of relatives, friends, and acquaintances.
  4. A friendly alliance with one or more persons who will encourage one to follow through with both plan and purpose.

Hmmm…

So…to develop the HABIT of persistence, I must first have a definite purpose, a definite plan, a positive mental attitude, and a friendly alliance.

Where I have succeeded in life, I have had a strong grasp on the four tiny habits.  Where I have quit, I have lacked one (or more!) of the four tiny habits.

We are only halfway through the MKMMA course, and I KNOW I am strengthening ALL of these habits…

…and the RESULT is the HABIT of persistence.

To create this new habit, I am reminded that I must start each day anew with my habits:

I forget the happenings of the day that is gone, whether they were good or bad, and greet the new sun with confidence that this is the best day of my life…
…If I persist long enough I win.

I’m still that little girl:  stubborn, determined, persistent.

I’m just creating new habits.

I persist.  I win.

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Week 11 – I Don’t Give a Damn About My Reputation

You may be wondering about the title of this post…

Or you may be wondering about ME for making a post with this title…

That’s OK…

‘CAUSE I DON’T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT MY REPUTATION!

Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you REALLY are, while your reputation is merely what others THINK you are.    ~ John Wooden

Since the last few years have been “character-building years” for me, this quote really struck a chord.  Now, combine that with my being a child of the 80s, and what do you get?

I’ve liked Joan Jett’s music since the “I Love Rock n Roll” album debuted in 1981.  I didn’t realize until this week that the band was rejected by 23 record labels.

Does the phrase “I will persist until I succeed” mean anything to you?  Oh, hell to the yeah!

But I digress…

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What truly impacted me this week was the importance of character.  I’ve always valued character, along with it’s twin sister integrity, and it’s a line I just don’t cross.  Furthermore, I don’t associate with those that cross the line.

Yet over the past few years I’ve struggled with maintaining my character and integrity and doing what is right…not because I didn’t want to…but because I did.

I was tempted (oh-so-many times) to loosen the reigns on my character after watching the “success” of another individual who believed in “winning at all costs,” regardless of the casualties left in their wake.

As a result,

My reputation suffered.  My confidence suffered.  My business suffered.

But my CHARACTER remained intact.  Neither my body nor my mind could take actions that went against my character, because that’s who I REALLY AM.  And I’m a better person for it.  I can look myself in the eye every evening and say – with confidence – I LOVE YOU, STACY RYAN!  (And mean it.)

I can rebuild a reputation.  I have the knowledge, the tools, and, thankfully, my confidence has returned from it’s sabbatical.

Character is everything.

So yeah,

I DON’T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT MY REPUTATION!  (Oh, no…not me!)