Did you do your best?

Can you remember the last time someone asked you (or asked yourself) “Well, did you do your best?”

I can’t, but that question instantly reminds me of a mother asking her child (who thinks they failed at something) “Did you do your best? …. Then that’s all that matters.”

I recently began hot yoga.  I quickly learned how awful I am at it.  But last week, when I was walking home I felt really great.  Knowing how much I embarrassed myself, how many times I fell over, or how I seemed to always be in the wrong position, you’d think I would’ve felt discouraged and down.  But I wasn’t.

At the same time that I felt great, I realized why.  It was because I felt that I really did try my best.  It was the feeling of knowing that every minute of class I was challenging myself.  Trying so hard.  Trying so hard to do my best.  I couldn’t even remember the last time I felt that way.  When and what was the last thing I’ve tried so hard and my very best at?  Sadly, I couldn’t list much, if any, in recent times.  (I suppose most people feel that they try their best at their workplace.  But for me, this hasn’t been the case.)

For the past year (maybe more) I complete my day.  Wake up.  Go to work.  Go home.  Walk dog.  Sometimes exercise.  Eat dinner.  Bed.  Repeat.  Of course my life has been dotted with a bunch of fun things as well.  But nowhere in that routine have I felt “I did my best.”  Doing your best implies trying very hard; putting forth much effort.  I realized that the times when you try your hardest and work the most is when you challenge yourself.  And an easy way to challenge yourself is to start something you’ve never done before.

It’s funny because before I started yoga, I thought I would be so discouraged by how much I sucked, that I would hate it.  It turns out, it’s the opposite.  Because I suck, I feel challenged.  And it’s a great feeling.  Which I haven’t felt in a long time.

What new challenges have you given yourself lately?  Or what new things would you like to try?  I’d love to hear!

Lastly, a picture of Nola perfecting her downward dog.  She is definitely better than me.  

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