For several years while my kids were young, I had a happy place. It was the local YMCA where I could drop my kids off at a super fun daycare for up to 2 hours, and during that time I could exercise and shower and get dressed without the constant interruption of kids needing a piece of me.
To put it simply, it was my happy place!
And ironically, it was almost a torture place too. Isn’t it strange how the laws of progression require us to do hard things?
It turns out my favorite class was taught by Paige, who was famous for her drill-sergeant-like demeanor. Yes, there was yelling, lots of sweat, and what I would guess is the closest thing I’ve ever come to a military boot camp experience.
I can remember her yelling at us when it seemed we were on the brink of giving up, “Don’t stop now, you can do ANYTHING FOR 30 SECONDS!”
I was tempted not to believe her, but it turns out she was right, and I could do ANYTHING for 30 more seconds, and I never stopped.
That phrase has turned into a golden nugget for me.
More times than I can remember, Paige’s voice will pop into my head and I’ll remind myself when the going gets tough, “I can do anything for 30 seconds.” And that simple reminder will refocus my thoughts and my endurance will kick in.
Just like my super tough workouts, life is also hard at times, but not all the time. When we accept that, then we can expect it and remember we will be able to get it done. And, just like I returned day after day, to be “tortured” by Paige, and fondly nicknamed that experience as “happy”…we can do the same with life.
There’s always ups and downs - warm up times and cool down times, with lots of 30 second intervals of oh-no-this-might-kill-me moments that, when conditioned properly, we can endure and grow to even love.
It feels really good to do hard things, and to know that each time you do, it will be even easier the next time.
Kelly Clarkson says, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” and I agree!
So embrace the hard parts of your life, and learn to love them. Endurance is key, and as you experience more, you’ll look back on tough times with fondness and appreciation.
If we didn’t have to endure the tough workouts, then we wouldn’t even know how to appreciate the cool downs, not to mention my favorite endings when the lights go dim and the amazing stretch ensues…a reward for truly enduring to the end!
What are you putting off because it seems hard? Commit today to do 30 Seconds of hard and face your fears and put your endurance to the test.
You can do it! And not only that, you’ll grow to love it! And one day, you too might refer to your hardest moments as “happy.”