The above quote comes from Baxter of the HoopPath. He’ll say it when we’re waist-deep in some intense hoop workshop, we’ve been hooping our asses off for at least an hour and he throws a challenging exercise our way. And when we feel like we’re about to die, like we might collapse in exhaustion if we don’t stop hooping soon, he’ll throw it out there: “I know you’re tired. I don’t care. Do it anyway.”
It always makes me smile, and takes me back to that center, that part of me that LOVES being inside the hoop. It takes me out of my head and throws me back in the moment: “If you didn’t love this,” I tell myself, “you wouldn’t be here. So enjoy it!”
There might be some people who cringe at these words. They may come off as rude, insensitive, uncaring. They are, in fact, the exact opposite. When Baxter says this, it’s coming from a place of deep compassion: He knows what you’re worth. And he doesn’t want you giving up on yourself just because maybe, in this one moment, you might be a little tired. Push. Find what you’re made of. You’re worth it.
I’ve always been drawn to teachers like this. Teachers who don’t let you slack off, not because they’re dicks who want to assert their authority, but because they don’t want to see your potential get wasted in a pool of lethargy.
This is why Bikram is my chosen yoga guru. His class, in the hot room, with the vigorous dialogue, the constant movement, is meant to test you, to push you, to help you find out what you’re made of. If you read his books, he tells you that he does it because he knows what will save you, and he cares enough to tell you the truth.
It’s so easy to let yourself slide. It’s so easy to let yourself believe something is too hard, or that you can’t do it, or you’re too tired, or whatever your excuse may be. I know this because I do it all the time. And it’s just as easy for a teacher to agree to our laziness. It makes them well-liked, compassionate, and easy going. But it also makes them forgettable.
Think about the teachers you’ve had. Do you remember the ones that let every little thing slide? The ones who didn’t seem to care that you spent the entire class passing notes with your friends in the back? Or do you remember the ones that made you think? The ones who pushed your limits? Do you remember the ones who had absolutely no reason to care about you, and yet somehow, without explanation, they did?
Of course you do. Of everyone I’ve ever talked to, there’s always “that one teacher” who knew just the right motivation to get them moving, get them thinking.
Thinking of Baxter’s words has literally been what’s gotten me out of bed to go to yoga the past few days. I’m in the second half of my sixty-day challenge, and getting to class is starting to require a little digging. But I know if I get there, it will be worth it. However, it helps to have that little push out the door.
What have you got on your plate that you’re putting off, avoiding, letting fall to the wayside? How is it helping you to not do it? How much more do you have to gain if you just dig in and start? Don’t let lethargy, laziness, or a bit of hard work scare you off. I know you’re tired. I don’t care. Do it anyway.