If I had the opportunity to know exactly what my future holds, would I take it? Do I really want to know where I’m headed and how I am going to get there? What if it’s not good? What if, by all accounts, I end up exactly where I don’t want to be? Will the knowing change anything? I think it might. I think it would change the way I approach misery and the way I approach joy. I think it would take the wonder out of life. I think it would take away my desire to take a chance on something just to see what happens. It would take away my hope. And there are days where sometimes that feels like all I have.
I think I would miss out on a lifetime of wonderful failures – days that on the outside might look dismal, bleak, and full of hurt but when you really look later, were full of insight, promise and love. I think I like living with the knowledge that not everything will go according to plan and that it is better that way. If I knew that an idea I had, that I was willing to pour my heart and soul into was going to result in failure, I might never take the chance and I would miss out on all of the knowledge I would gain and the passion I would feel while on the journey. Failure will come. Heartbreak will come. Along with their friends despair and pain. But so will joy, and love, and passion and gratitude. They will come too. But without the first, you would never appreciate the second. Without the pain, you would not recognize the joy and without heartbreak, you might miss out on love. Without failure, you would never be grateful for success.
So, how does this apply to your health and fitness? After all, that’s what this blog is all about and here I just spent two paragraphs rambling on about joy and despair. If you knew you were going to miss that lift, would you even try? If you knew it was going to take you an entire year to get one strict pullup, would you spend hours practicing? And if you knew that you would not lose an ounce by eating healthy, would you still do it? See, it’s the “knowing” and how you got it. Knowledge attained without experience is just that. It’s just “knowing”. Knowledge and insight gained through experience is priceless because it is gained by learning and when you have the knowledge that something better can be achieved – THAT gives you hope. And the journey is all about hope. Without hope you would miss out on the satisfaction of making that lift and you would miss out on the joy you would feel the first time your chin clears that bar.
I believe that we are all exactly where we need to be RIGHT NOW. Now is a lesson. Learn from it. Savor each failure and heartbreak. Miss that lift. Correct your form and try again. Practice your pull ups even if it takes a year to get that one. Eat the healthy food, feel good and ignore the scale. Chase the dream that everyone says you can’t catch and love the person you’re not supposed to. Because what you learn on that journey will give you hope for a lifetime.
So do I want to know the future? Not today. I want to experience pain and heartbreak so I will better appreciate the joy and love in life. I want to see what today brings so that I have hope for tomorrow. And because I am willing to do all of that, I still have hope that I can get a muscle up before the Open.