Sunday, March 11, 2012

Seeking out the Difficult

February was National Heart Health Month, or something like that. Now I know you're thinking, "Jeremy, that was so last month." Yes, I know, but stick with me, here.

In observance of the heart-health campaign, we had a jump-rope contest at work. I hadn't jumped a rope in many years, and I'm not really all that coordinated, so I wasn't surprised that I didn't come anywhere close to winning the contest. That isn't the point.

The point is that several of us (and I'm talking about guys who are in pretty decent shape) were shocked that jumping rope turned out to be so strenuous. I felt my heart rate skyrocket almost immediately. And the thing I kept hearing from everyone wasn't how much it sucked, but, "Wow! I need to do that more often!"

In all things that require practice, one must train for his or her weaknesses rather than strengths. If a musician is a wizard at running scales, perhaps her practice time is better spent working on voice leading. If a cyclist is a strong climber, sprinting might be a good focus for training.

Apparently moving forward is something of a strength for me, while jumping up and down in one place was somehow overlooked as an area in which I'm weak. So on Friday, a couple of us went down to the workout room and busted out the jump ropes once again for some serious hopping.

If we keep it up, I might be able to make it through the Deceptacon dance without having a heart attack.

Perhaps the best kinds of goals are those which target the Difficult and aim to turn it into a Strength. Or at least let us do those hard things without it being a total shock to the system.


  1. I think I can still remember some of the rope-skipping rhymes from grade school if you'd like to learn. The last time I picked up a rope, I think I gave it 1/2 dozen skips and had to lie down but there was a time when I spent an entire 30-minute recess skipping w/o stopping.

    1. It did occur to me that maybe what we're feeling is not the need to overcome a challenge, but just shame in the fact that we suck so bad at what many children do routinely. So I almost wrote about having "little girl envy." Not sure why I changed my mind, really.

      Also, yes please. Let's have some rhymes right here.