Photo Credit (15 January 2008)

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you won’t be either.

There is a recurring pattern that I find in my life, and it’s that I expect a lot out of myself in a little amount of time.  I know this is the current theme in our culture where we want something, and we want it now.  I take this concept and apply it to myself.  When I’m learning how to draw, if I don’t get it on the first picture, then I figure I’ll never get it.  If I make a mistake at my job (I’m a physical therapy assistant), then I feel like I know nothing about what I do (even though I was the top of my class).  I expect to do everything perfectly the first time and give myself no room for error.  The main thing I forget is that things take time.

I have recently seen this played out in my workouts.  I have been trying to gain a steady amount of muscle mass along with fat to gain weight.  My main focus is just to be strong.  I have come far from being where I was a few years ago and am a lot stronger, but I’m still viewed as small and weak.  I want to be stronger.  I want to build up my legs to have power and move with grace.  I want to build up my arms so I can lift things with ease.  I want to build up my confidence.  I know it takes a lot of time and effort in the fitness realm with any type of goal, but for some reason I have translated my “instant results” thinking into my weight lifting, and it has torn me down.  I know you can’t build pounds of muscle in a day, and that I won’t gain massive amounts of strength from one workout to the next, but I act like I can.  I trick myself into thinking that if I do one more set or a few more exercises than I had already planned then I will get stronger, and I did this every workout.  Then, by the end of the week, I am just tired and find myself weaker than before.  Rome wasn’t built in a day, and I won’t be either.

I think this concept applies to many aspects of our lives, and we just need to take a step back and look at it.  Or, I just need to listen to the advice I tell other people.  I find myself giving good advice to other people, and most of the time it’s the advice I need to hear and apply to my own life.   I think a lot of people are like that.  It’s easy to look at someone else’s life from the outside and tell them what is best, but it’s hard to see when you’re looking at your own life.

Most things that are worth doing take time.  When we see life transformations, they are usually over a long period of time.  It takes time to learn, and it takes mistakes to learn from.  Sometimes when we expect too much from ourselves or others in too short of a time, it ends up tearing us down rather than building us up.  I guess what we need to learn is to take life one brick at a time.