Enjoying the Journey

A few weeks ago, Jackie shared THIS article with us from Mark’s Daily Apple. If you follow Mark Sisson’s blog, you may have seen it too! Reading it reminded me of something I had read a long time ago about focusing on the now instead of the later. After all, the only time that is real is the moment you’re currently in – so why not enjoy it?!


Take some time to reflect on your life and activities. Are you enjoying yourself? In the gym, are you finding encouragement in the incremental change you see day-to-day, week-to-week? Or are you feeling discouraged because the goal you set in January doesn’t seem like it’s quite as attainable as you thought? Ask yourself how you feel about the journey you are on, and give yourself an honest answer. If you’re not enjoying yourself, or seeing some positives among the hard work and sweat you’re putting in – is it worth it?

Conventionally when we begin a new phase in our lives (the New Year, a new training program, a new relationship) we set goals. Goals are our way of trying to see into the future. Which is impossible. I can say that I want to run a 5-minute mile within a year, and I can train every single one of those 365 days. But if after a year of training I’m only down to a 5:30 mile, should I continue? Would “giving up” mean that I was a failure, or could I celebrate the improvements I did make? Of course, the answer to this question is subjective. In my perspective, I would consider the following: 1) did I try really hard? 2) Did I improve by pushing myself through some tough obstacles? 3) am I happy with a 5:30 mile time, or do I still think that a 5:00 mile would be better and is attainable? 4) Do I still even like running, or do I hate every single step I take during training? The answer to the last question, in my opinion, weighs the most.

I’m not suggesting that setting goals and striving for them is something you shouldn’t do, nor am I saying that we shouldn’t experience some pain and challenges as we push our way through obstacles. We all could benefit from setting manageable goals and seeing them through. However, if you set a goal in the past that somehow is just not working for you any more, should you still go for it? Maybe not… it all depends on if you’re enjoying the journey as much as the destination.

There will be many days in the gym that you feel defeated, deflated, and un-enthused. There will be days you have to drag yourself in, and days that someone will drag you in with them. There will also be many days that you feel inspired, energetic, and accomplished. And even more where you feel a little bit of both! What’s important is being able to look inside yourself and ask “is this good for me?” and “do I like where I’m at right now?” [_hint: try not to ask yourself this in the middle of a grueling WOD – wait until it’s over_ ] If the answer is overwhelmingly “NO” then do something about it! Come talk to one of the coaches, or your friends or spouse. Consider what changes you could make that would serve you better and make your life a happier one to live. Then go with it!

Karen Southwick