There are what is known as the 4P’s for excellence.
3. Practice and;
Although these traits can be used to help you excel in any area of life I’m going to show you how I apply them to my sporting endeavors.
In short, you have to love something to excel at it; after all it’s much easier to do (and continue to do) something that you enjoy.
It may not necessarily be the act itself, it maybe all the things behind the scenes that lead up to it, but somewhere in the process you’ve got to love something about it.
For example I didn’t like the dieting side of bodybuilding BUT I loved the bright lights and blinged up bikinis on show day.
There are times when things happen faster than we expect, but unfortunately that’s not very often. Most of the time it takes much longer than we want.
It took me almost a year to learn how to do a kipping pull up. A year of ripped hands; nodding of the head as I listened to yet another person explain how to kip, swearing (loudly) and floundering under the bar like a dying fish. Nearly an entire year!
It’s like Jacob Riis said;
“When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow.”
You will eventually break the rock, not because of the final blow but because of all the blows before that one.
Never stop practicing! Even when you FINALLY get the skill you’ve been aiming for, never stop practicing.
During a competition when your body is tired and your mind is telling you to stop, it’s the hours and hours of practicing skills that you will fall back on.
and finally (the reason I’m writing this blog post)
Patience is not one of my strongest traits (James and the kids will be nodding their heads in agreement), I like things to move quickly (and smoothly) and when I’m ready to leave the house my family needs to be ready too, otherwise they are staying home.
This week I’ve been trying to get into a dragonfly pose, and it’s just not happening. I understand it’s only been 2 days, but like I said, I like things to move quickly and smoothly.
Then someone said “Practice and Patience – two traits of a Warrior” and it finally clicked.
Hitting a wall is inevitable. Sometimes, that wall will be 2 stories high and as wide as the eye can see and the only way to get past it is to climb it – slowly.
You can try to move to quickly or even take alternative routes hoping to avoid any walls, however those routes don’t exist and just end up adding another 2 or 3 kilometres that you wouldn’t have traversed if you had just climbed in the first place.
Today I understand that there is always a reason the wall has been placed in my path. Sometimes, it’s to teach me a critical step, sometimes it’s to remind me to be gracious in defeat and in some cases it’s divine intervention saving me from a misstep.
I’ll leave you with some words from the Dalai Lama that I’ve found helpful;
“The practice of patience guards us against losing our presence of mind. It enables us to remain undisturbed, even when the situation is really difficult. It gives us a certain amount of inner peace, which allows us some self-control, so that we can choose to respond to situations in an appropriate and compassionate manner, rather than being driven by our disturbing emotions.”
Live your life with Passion, Persistence, Practice & Patience and all walls in your path (will eventually) crumble.
Till next time