*The title of this post was taken from the Beatles song of the same name*
Are you simply showing up or are you improving?
Sometimes the act of progress is being able to say “I did that” today and check it off the list. But sometimes, active improvement is what helps you take things to another level.
Late last year, I wrote a post about my new interest in cooking.
Around Christmas, my wife Marissa was considering looking into cooking lessons for me since I had taken such a liking to it. Because my schedule is so difficult to predict, it wasn’t easy for her to find something that would work for me.
Then I remembered that we have a client (Mary) who taught cooking classes locally for over 20 years. I asked her if she still offered lessons and thankfully she does. Now, Mary teaches out of her home.
We set up a time to get together and she asked me ahead of time, what I wanted to get better at. I told her that my first priority was getting faster at food prep. Her suggestion: work on my knife skills.
So, here I was, several months after finding a love of cooking going back to square one just to learn how to cut properly. However, it was more than that. It was learning how to hold the knife, why a 10-inch blade might be better than an 8-inch blade (size matters, as they say), how to hold my non-cutting hand, cutting board recommendations, more effective ways to cut vegetables, herbs, and tougher foods like parsnips all while we worked together to make an amazing turkey chili that would not only feed her family for the evening but mine as well. This took us just shy of two hours.
Personally, it was fascinating. I loved every minute of it. I have found cooking to be almost zen-like for me. I love being able to touch the food that will soon be my meal (beyond say, putting together a sandwich) and being immersed in the smells while everything is cooking.
But more than this, I love being in the infancy of learning things. I knew I had a lot to learn and in many cases, unlearn, and Mary was an awesome teacher.
While it’s going to take me some time to reach a fraction of Mary’s level, I can already tell that my prep time has decreased. A future step will be to graduate from my current 8-inch blade to a 10-inch that will have a long life of usage (good ones run over $100.)
Like so many things, I love the parallel this has to your health journey. For one, learning how to be a faster cook at home can put you back in control of portions and the calories you might be consuming. When you’re not at the mercy of restaurants, your waistline normally will benefit from the change.
Cooking aside, there’s a process one could get lost in with exercise where it’s less about loving the act of exercise (something I even find a chore) and more about finding a desire to move better, or to learn the idiosyncrasies of why your body moves a certain way.
Speaking for myself, I love seeing progress of any kind. Not just for me but thriving on the progress of clients as well. Watching people get stronger, faster, leaner, more intuitive in how they navigate their diets, more confident in how they treat their bodies is awe-inspiring.
Maybe you’ll take the step to get better at something that would make life or health easier for you. Sometimes it requires the help of others (as Mary has done for me) and sometimes it’s just about digging deeper within ourselves to say: “I have the tools, I know what to do.”
And doing it.