Yesterday was treadmill day at the gym. I don't so much like the treadmill, but I can usually tolerate it.
But yesterday? No.
My calves were hurting. Beyond hurting. I attribute this soreness not to any actual exercise activity, but to the pathetic no-support ballet flats I wore during my show. Or maybe to walking on slippery, icy ground.
Or maybe to the fact that I hadn't been on the treadmill in a week. But, you know, probably not that. Probably the shoe thing.
Either way, the result was a workout that was actually hurtful. I had to stop a few times to stretch, and then finally after ten minutes I shut off the treadmill and went over to the stretching area to use the strap-thingy.
After that I went back to see what I could do on the treadmill. And honestly, it was sad. My calves were better, but I just didn't have it in me to run longer than like 90 seconds. I wanted to just quit and call it a day. Which, honestly, is rare for me. It's not like I'm some awesome athlete or anything, but I usually don't think it's worth it to quit once I've gone through the efforts of dragging myself to the gym, dropping off Nathan at the daycare, locking up my stuff, filling up my water bottle, and so on. But yesterday I wanted to quit.
And then I had the thought:
You deserve more credit for doing a little when it's hard than for doing a lot when it's easy.
And suddenly I was motivated by the notion that there was credit at stake. Which is pretty hilarious, since the concept of credit is elusive and dumb and meaningless. Who is giving me this credit? Myself?
Actually, yes, myself. In which case, I'll take it. I'm a lot stingier when it comes to giving myself credit than I am when it comes to giving others credit. Others? They deserve credit for everything. Others work out harder, sleep less, have cleaner houses, and generally have the world much better figured out than I do. So if I'm willing to give myself credit, that's kind of like a huge honor.
So, I finished about 45 minutes total (interrupted) on the treadmill, which I'm still getting full credit for because I couldn't have gone longer due to the daycare hours. Thus, I get a lot of credit for doing a little when it was hard. You deserve more credit for doing a little when it's hard than for doing a lot when it's easy is my new mantra.
And, as I'm sure you have guessed from the title of this post, the mantra applies to non-exercise activities as well. You deserve more credit for doing a little when it's hard than for doing a lot when it's easy. And in January it feels like it's hard for a lot of us to get through the day. Who can get motivated during a long series of freezing, gray days? Wouldn't it be easier to just hibernate until spring?
And yet, life must go on. Apparently the small group of perky, not-affected-by-SAD people has set standards that dictate that we must keep going on with school, work, and daily household responsibilities even during the winter. I don't know why we listen to these people, except that there was probably a meeting where the issue of human hibernation was voted on, and only the perky anti-hibernation people showed up to vote because the rest of us were home on our couches.
So today? Whatever it is you did, you deserve a lot of credit.