Starting hurts.

When I woke up this morning and moved to get out of bed, virtually every muscle in my body was aching. This is because yesterday I started a regime of exercise, as one does, to get back in shape for the new year.

Whenever I begin to work out again after a period of inactivity, it hurts. I’m able to push through the pain because I’m excited about getting in shape. When I commit to eating healthy and to eating less, the pangs of hunger hurt. Its OK, because I’m excited about burning those extra calories.

Right now I’m trying to write something, anything, every day so I can attempt to grow as a writer. It hurts; it’s so much easier just to read other people’s work or hop on a social network and refresh until someone says something inspiring. But I’m excited about prospect of getting better.

Maybe it’s like this for all projects or habits we start. We push through the pain because we’re excited about the goal. Hopefully by the time the excitement wears off, the pain subsides and a new habit is formed, right?

But is that really the point?

When we repeat an exercise routine or a diet, our gains (or losses, depending on which direction we’re going) plateau. The body adapts. We can lose faith that we’re on the right track and give up, or keep plugging away with no tangible results.

I know when I’m working out, when I’m really into the swing of it, I look forward to the pain. If I don’t feel it, I know it’s time to challenge myself. Maybe add more weight or change my routine so I can progress and grow.

We can apply this same mentality elsewhere, too. When something becomes easy, perhaps it’s because we’re not challenging ourselves enough.

Keep moving, working, challenging, making and shipping. Keep growing. Starting hurts, and I think maybe its supposed to so we know that we’re moving in the right direction.

Growing pains | January 3, 2013 by James. Looking for more? Check the archive or follow the feed. Want to say hello? Send me an email. Or a beer.