I’ve realized that I have to deal with my definition of a certain word: “excellence.”
As we grow up, most of us are told to try our hardest and do our best. Some of us take this in stride, others of us turn into Type A control freaks where we’d rather abstain from an activity than have proof out there that we’re less than amazing at anything we attempt.
My level of trepidation and control freakiness depends on what I’m dealing with. With workouts, I’m entirely willing to make a complete fool out of myself. I’ll throw myself onto a Velcro wall in front of a crowd of people, I’ll show a complete lack of coordination in a dance class, I will be the only woman of a normal body weight in a barre class…whatever gets it done. I’ve learned that my definition of excellence when it comes to working out is showing up and making it through to the best of my ability. It’s been my experience that the more I do something, the better I get.
It’s also why you’ll catch me still trying to nail Heart songs at karaoke. Will I ever master Ann Wilson’s vocal range? Come suffer with other patrons and we’ll all find out together.
I’m also not afraid to break things when they’re not working. I feel like sometimes excellence is knowing when something is just not for you. That decision to move into the unknown is something with which I’m very familiar. I have stumbled on new ground, but at least it’s new and different. You can never thrive by willing something that is doomed to not be doomed. Release the sinking weight or be dragged to the bottom.
Right now, I’m sort of barreling forward into new territory when it comes to exploring artistic expression like photography, and I’m feeling my way as I go. I have no idea what it looks from the outside perspective, but for me the attempt at this point is excellence. I’m hoping taking more pictures and evolving my artistic expressions will bring me back to one great aspect of my life, which is my artwork.
For those who don’t know, I’m actually a classically-trained artist. I started art classes at 7 and even attended college on an art scholarship, graduating with a degree in studio application. Years of corporate America sort of drew me away from my pencils, paints, canvases, and clay, but lately they’ve been calling me back. I’m staring at them, uncertain and afraid. Drawing and painting came so naturally for so long, so anything less than what I perceive in my mind’s eye is going to frustrate me. It’s like I’m afraid to fail at embracing one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever received because of the guilt of neglecting it for so long.
But then I’ve realized it’s like anything else I wish to master (or re-master, in this case:) the more I do it, the better I will get. And so, this is the week I will pick up my pencils again, leaving marks, lines and sweeps of color to translate what I see in my brain onto the paper. So, I’ll make you a deal: if I can try drawing this week, you can try a workout you’ve never tried before, or start doing something for yourself that you’ve been wanting to try.
I’ll see you on the other side. Let’s see how we do. It’ll be excellent.