It was raining hard when I woke up at 6 am on Saturday. It was the kind of rain where you think it’s going to rain forever.
Rain Interferes with my Plans
Saturday morning is when I have trampoline practice. We recently moved back outside for the summer, and outdoor trampoline practice doesn’t happen in the rain. Trapeze School New York, where I train, doesn’t make a call about canceling a class until closer to the start time, and it was too early for that.
In the meantime, I headed to the gym.
About 30 minutes before trampoline class was scheduled to start, it was still raining. I decided to call the school to check on the status. Just in case. The class was on “weather warning,” so I could cancel without penalty.
I listened as my mind spoke with the clarity of logic and reason:
You are already here at the gym, mid-workout. You’ve committed to this activity for today. Stick with the plan and finish your workout here. The window for trampoline closed. You’ll be late for class. Also, it’s still raining, so trampoline is not a guarantee. You might make the trip for nothing.
All valid points.
I left the gym to head to the across town to trampoline. Just in case the rain cleared enough to allow me to bounce.
Weather Can Change in an Instant
By the time I arrived to trampoline practice, the weather had turned. The mercury was rising and the sky was clear blue. If you woke up after 9 am on Saturday, you might not even know it rained.
If I had stayed in the gym and walked out to find this weather, I would have been pissed off.
My reward for taking the risk was not just the sunny day. I had one of my best practices that I’ve had in weeks. I was in flow. The trust muscles that had eluded me in recent weeks returned.
I listened to my heart, and I had a great morning.
Meeting Your Outcome and Purpose is Not Always Enough
Doing a workout at the gym meets my outcome of staying fit and moving my body. It also meets my “WHY”. The gym is good enough. It gets the job done. And it’s easy. I don’t need to worry about the weather.
But the gym doesn’t excite me.
Trampoline, on the other hand, juices me. I would do trampoline in the rain, if it were safe to do so. It’s fun and challenging. Even on the bad days, I’d rather be on the trampoline.
Gym vs Trampoline. Same ultimate outcome. Same purpose. Different paths to get there. One is serviceable. The other ignites a fire in me that gets me out of bed at 6 am on a Saturday morning.
This is the Pattern of Life
What’s true in fitness is true in other areas of life, especially our work. Many people once had a “sunny day activity.” But one day it started to rain, and they went with their back-up plan.
The problem with the back-up plan is that it can be easy to immerse in it, especially when it meets your outcome and purpose. Once you get caught on the treadmill of the life you’ve chosen, it can be hard to get off.
Many people forget to look out the window. They never notice that the sun has come out and opened the possibility of their sunny day activity. Many people forget that they ever had a sunny day activity, until it’s too late.
Where is this pattern showing up for you?
Check in with yourself. Be honest.
What is your sunny day activity? What is your back-up plan? And which one are you living?
Life is too short to be in the gym on a sunny day
Whatever the circumstances that led you to your back-up plan, don’t get so entrenched in that life that you lose sight of what you truly desired in the first place.
Circumstances, like the weather, can change in an instant. Keep your eye on the sky and get ready to seize the opportunity when the sun comes out.
Even better, don’t wait for the sun to come out first.
Find the thing you would do even in the rain. Go do that. And watch the sun come out for you.
Make it a great week!