Push ups are great for you. They always have been. As you practice them, you get strong in core and arms, chest and shoulders. For as long as you do them, you will feel strong and certain. And as the certainty grows, you look to complete the push with a little more flair, a clap maybe to celebrate and acknowledge the strength you feel holding that position.
And yet, there will be a day in which there is change, as change is inevitable. And suddenly that push won’t feel the same, can’t be done to the same degree and the fortitude and certainty of your own strength will suddenly waiver. You will suddenly have to find work arounds, compromises and train your brain to accept a different definition of success or strength.
Harder to accept maybe is that we spend much of life feeling stronger by pushing and shoving against what we encounter each day. We nudge people into agreement with us, we rail against injustices. We ram ourselves through daily crowds and work hassles and arrive home tired but similarly become more certain of who we are and what we’ve achieved. For most of us, a day is aw equivalent soul/ mind/ emotion workout at least once or twice in the week, for some, each and every day. We nod at ‘the daily grind’ reference with ease, we all understand the reference without any elucidation and, in a way, appreciate it for giving us a sense of us.
And when our day to day existence changes? Again we feel weak and shaken. We don’t know what to push against and therefore how to gain our sense of strength or control. We become frail, at worst somehow disenfranchised from our own existence, or so we think. We give up the reins a little, compromise our core a little without really understanding what we’re facing.
Much of how we’ve learnt to define ourselves, of how we gain our certainty and sense of self, is now earned through resistance, working against something and thinking in opposition to something else. And sometimes, I can’t help but wonder what difference it would make to define ourselves by flexibility instead.
I can’t help but wonder if we focused in more and stopped defending out, what we might see and what we might feel, what might become a different source of strength and certainty and whether or not we would focus more on what’s trying to pull us up instead. I can’t help but wonder if we defined ourselves from inside out, if we wouldn’t be pushed only to like ourselves more.