One of my goals in this New Year has been to push myself a little harder in the exercise department, and over the last month and a half I’ve had the good fortune to achieve some personal bests in the fitness arena. Both my kids are busy with track and field, and so quite often when they train, I join them. I joined my daughter when she did the Cooper Test a couple of weekends ago and we both set new PB’s for that, and this past week I set a new personal best in my 1km run time as well.
I was also recently chatting with Kim, of kimosterholzer.com, and she and I got talking about weightlifting, and in particular our PB’s in the squat. I haven’t attempted a heavy single in the squat for many years, but I decided to get under the bar and see what I could do. Lo and behold, another new PB! Woohoo! (Incidentally, Kim also recently set a new PB in the squat, and she informs me she’s the only grandmother in her gym!!)
When it comes to exercise and healthy living, it’s pretty easy to gauge your progress. You can track if you’re eating less calories, lifting more, running faster, getting leaner, etc. Making progress can be very satisfying. Unfortunately, it’s not always quite as easy to track progress in some of the other areas of life that I’m trying to improve.
I remember when I first met my husband, how amazed I was at how organised he was and how structured his life is. There’d always been a part of me that really resisted things being too structured. I prided myself on being spontaneous, and felt that being overly structured would have a negative influence on the creative part of my person, even though all that spontaneity led to things getting a little chaotic at times. But after really getting to know my husband (who’s the kind of guy who’ll organize all the drawers and shelves when you leave the room for ten minutes), I realized that my preconceived ideas about spontaneity needed an overhaul.
My husband’s a pretty creative guy who’s just as comfortable creating songs on the guitar and writing stories for the kids as he is with all his ‘time saving systems’. When we got married, I just started following his lead in this area, and my life started becoming more organised. One of the things I really liked about it all was that being organised actually frees up a LOT of time. When you aren’t constantly looking for some ‘thing’, because that ‘thing’ now has a place and it’s always put back there after it’s done being used, it really does save a ton of time in the long run.
But that whole process of getting my life and our home more organised and structured took a long time for me. I couldn’t measure my progress with a stopwatch or write a down a PB in my exercise book. But each day and month and year that passed, things that previously took lots of time, didn’t so much anymore.
There’s this great video about self-improvement my husband showed me a few years ago. It’s by Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield, and it really has a lot of great advice about taking daily little steps towards creating a better life for yourself and becoming a better you. So for me it could be deciding to spend a few more minutes in prayer each day, deciding to smile a little more, making healthy food choices, or putting on my running shoes and running harder than I did last week.
With just a little extra effort every day, we can be one step closer to our new Personal Best.