The Learning! The Growth!…The Pain

News flash: Making your body do stuff it’s not used to causes soreness. OK, I know that’s no surprise, but I’m being reminded of it now. It’s been 7 or 8 weeks of learning across-the-floors and flag spins and tosses for my Minnesota Brass adventure, and my body is feeling it. I’ve been black and blue from hitting myself with the metal flagpole (that sucker is big and unwieldy!–at least in my hands). My knees ache, my back hurts, and my arms are really fatigued after a session working on spins and tosses. Sometimes I think, “What the heck am I doing?”

But then I look at how much I’ve improved. And how I like feeling the muscles wake up and do something different. And how this is challenging both my body and brain. And that’s what the heck I’m doing.

I think it’s the same thing with writing. If you don’t have occasional aches and pains, maybe you’re not pushing yourself. I’m guilty of that. I don’t think writing should be actually painful, most of the time. But I also think if it’s too easy, that maybe I’m not doing my best work. Getting better at something–anything–means pushing beyond my comfort zone. It means ignoring the “I don’t really feel like it” thoughts and the “I’m just not cut out for this” thoughts and–most of all–the “I don’t think I can do this” thoughts and just buckling down and doing it. Again and again and again. Studying the results. Practicing some more. Studying the results. Getting feedback from other people. And, finally, recognizing that even if I’m not as good as I want to be at something, at least I’m improving.

What do you think? Do you agree? Or am I crazy? What in your life (doesn’t need to be writing-related) are you learning/improving that’s causing you some growing pains right now?

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