Process save us from the poverty of our intentions…
Quite profound, right?
I recently came across this quote from American sculptor, Elizabeth King.
It elegantly echoes thoughts you surely have had about your own movement practice. It brings forth questions of willpower, wishful thinking, goal setting, discipline, and many others that could improve the way we train.
Put simply, one of the first things we have to recognise when we train, or intend on training, regularly, is the inevitable lack of motivation.
Let me start by stating the obvious:
Nobody feels like it.
It’s extremely rare for me to feel like training for 3 hours straight.
I know a few mutants who just show up and do the work. Good for them. If you are one of them, you can stop reading now. But if you sometimes, or more often that you would like to, struggle to find joy, or motivation, in your training, keep on reading…
I would propose the following counterpoint:
Clenching your teeth, telling yourself you have to hustle to achieve your goals and powering your way through your lack of motivation isn’t very sustainable. Nor smart. And I am all about training smartly – for myself and my online students.
Your movement practice should be one of satisfaction.
Note – satisfaction, contentment, isn’t synonymous with ecstasy.
Training towards the attainment of skills will require perseverance and some form of diligent work.
The goal, in my opinion, is to design your practice in such a way that it gets you to your goals, while leaving you satisfied by a clear, growing feeling of achievement.
I don’t believe it is always possible to confound our training with “play”, nor that it suits every personality type for that matter.
But I am a strong proponent of striving to design a practice that we are likely to look forward to, to derive a positive experience from, to crave and, eventually, to progress through.
Obviously, this is not a magic, one size fits all, recipe.
Every student I individually work with online reacts differently to training stimuli, motivation, discipline, intensity of training, etc. The goal is, week after week, to adjust the variables in order to make the training environment the most efficient, and satisfaction-driven.
I therefore invite you to always filter out such and such training philosophy you can find out there with your own perceptions and body feedback.
Of course, I am not saying that we should just show up at the studio, fool around for an hour, and expect much progress from it.
But I am certainly concerned with the pervasive husting culture that seems to kill the pleasure out of movement practice.
Because I fell victim to it, too.
Making consistent progress isn’t incompatible with enjoying your practice.