3, 2, 1….GO!! The timer sounds off and everyone rushes over to there barbell to execute their first reps of snatches. Like clockwork, we all rush over to the kettle-bell for swings, then knock out some burpees, and then some wall balls and pull-ups, and then an endless amount of air squats. Time is passing in slow motion as the sweat trickles down from my brow to the floor. Bent over as I lift the barbell over my head and back to the ground, I can feel the soreness and pain start at my neck and creep down to my lower back and all the way down to my feet. I know I am in bad shape but my pride tells me to push forward as I have been in this position so many times throughout my life. I grinded out the last reps of each movement and nearly collapsed from fatigue and exhaustion. Years ago, I would have been extremely proud of myself for pushing it to the limit, but now I was only left in disappointment. I completed this workout even though every fiber in my body said “You are going to pay for this and this is not a good idea.” I ignored the voice in my head and heart that told me to fall back. Due to pride, competing with others, and trying to chase a vision of my old self through my current self, I was now in extreme pain.
As I expected, I was sore for over a week and unable to lift my legs without feeling tightness all throughout my body. Each time I moved, I questioned why I constantly choose to deteriorate my body through fatigue driven workouts due to poor form? After doing a mental web diagram several days later, I discovered that I was overly focused on quantity rather than on quality. I then pinpointed this trend in my lifestyle when it came to relationships, social media presence, my hobbies, and my artistry.
For too long, I focused on how many “likes” I got on my Instagram picture, how many articles I wrote each week, how many times someone noticed my new outfit, how many workouts I completed this week, how many times I got recognized at work…. This list can go on forever so I will spare you, but overall most of what I did was number driven rather than quality driven.
Rather than workout 5 days a week where I’m grinding my body to reach this “sense of bliss”, I re-evaluated my workouts and focused more on slowing down and adopting functional exercises applicable to my lifestyle and sport. Rather than trying to connect with so many people who have shown they have no interest in building a relationship with me (this applies to friends, family, college buddies, and dating), I now aim to cultivate relationships with people where there is a mutual and balanced interest. And rather than focusing only on how many poems, paintings, trips, and articles I’ve completed, I will now ask myself “How good was that article? Do I really need to complete all these activities in one trip or will that exhaust the experience? Does it matter how many people liked what I posted or does it matter who liked it?”
I believe one should aim to have a high quantity of high quality experiences as much as possible. Life is about the quality of your meals, your breathing, the lightness of your thoughts, how you feel when you wake up and go to bed, your service to others, your connection with the universe/God, your internal and external energy, your laughter, your relationships, pursuing your interests, your movements, and having life fulfilling experiences. Overall, there are many things in life that cannot and should not be number driven. Peace.
Photo Credit: Stefan Jurca. Quality Over Quantity. Knowol.com.