Another Round (the sun)
When you Google gifts for your gym trainer, many clever sayings can be found.
“Merry Liftmas and a Happy New Rear!”
“Can you die from leg day? Asking for a friend.”
One that always catches my interest is, “My trainer is the reason I have trust issues.”
At the sincerest level of meaning, this is ridiculous. Trainers give us the confidence and encouragement that our daily lives do not. They encourage growth through failure alongside goalsetting and redefinitions of success. At least, that is true for me. My gym trainers, for all their difficulty with the English language, are savvier than I give them credit. They know before I do when I have taken on too much. They know when I need to change my schedule, because I’ve overtrained, (something that isn’t positive for my body nor anyone around my strained attitude).
While on the surface, reasons to doubt your trainer's alignment with the truth may abound the discussion isn’t about trust, nor truth, at all. What we are dealing with is lack of common definitions and perspective. In honor of the new year, I want to explore one popular phrase that might be troubling you on the eve of returning to work.
The bell dings or the timer beeps. “You’re on break."
I am, and yet, I cannot appreciate the seconds as they elapse. The minutes. The hours. The handful of days.
I am on break. My work calendar preassigned several of these vacation days and I took personal holidays to complete the stretch. “Break. You’re on break.”
My heart is still thumping. I attempt to control the breaths within the ache in my chest.
Despite the label, this end of the year vacation is best defined as something other than ‘break’. We are not on a break. We are in a period of transition. In a world of one season Netflix series to binge, (and I have this break) we are conditioned not to transitions but breaks. Stops. Starts. Happy or not, endings. We find peace, rest even, in these endings. On New Year’s Eve we come to terms with next steps through worn paths of the selection of lifestyles we lead.
Transition allows for some recovery and allows for some self-care but it is not rest. It is important to acknowledge this fact when setting goals and expectations for ourselves and others about what we will accomplish next that transition is incomplete in terms of rest. Transition is a space that allows us to refocus on what is possible in the round to come, without knowing how many total rounds there may be.
In that context, other famous gym phrases make more sense. For example,
“You are almost done.” (Actually, we have half the class to go.)
“You’re doing great.” (I’m about to fall on the floor.)
New Year’s is not an end, but a transition to another round, and the celebration is that you’re one year stronger for that next round around the sun.
Workouts, after all, don’t vary that much.
Even when exercises change, the components of strength and metabolic remain as steadfast as other life challenges.
An amount of time can vary. The number of times around perhaps increases or not.
For 2022, I will prioritize preparation for the negotiation of definitions and the acceptance of alternate timelines, my ability to self-assess what’s possible and what’s possible right now. How are you preparing for another round (the sun)?
Happy New Year!