Enjoy the Journey, Because the Journey is the Goal

I’ve been trying to learn a pole dance move where you have to turn your body around against the pole in a sort of optical illusion move. It’s a simple move.

Every time the instructor demonstrates it I think Okay, got it!

Except that when I go to do it I feel like I must have blacked out when I was watching the instructor because nothing makes sense all of a sudden.

Mind you, this is not one of the upside-down moves. That’s an automatic pass for getting confused when you’re upside-down, because being upside-down overrides all the things you ever knew. Things like right and left, forward and backward, even up and down. I ask myself Who am I and What country is this when I’m upside-down trying to learn a new aerial move. It’s a common aerials joke that something makes total sense until you you’re upside down trying to do it.

But the move I’ve been working on is rightside-up.

What’s my body’s problem?

Other people are getting it.

Meanwhile, my body’s acting like it’s never moved from one side to the other. My brain and body together keep saying Wait, what?

We’re going on three weeks with this damned move. I’m inching closer, but I’m certainly not leaping forward. This move doesn’t require extra strength or even all that much coordination, but my brain and body are apparently missing a crucial link here.

And I’m a little frustrated.

But I’ve been here before, so I know what’s going to happen.

That mysterious locked-up part of my brain-body connection will finally get it, and then this move (and more like it) will begin to become part of my brain-body aerial vocabulary.

I’ve come to realize that there are moves that take me what feels like forever to get, while other people get them quickly, but then one day, there it is for me. Apparently this is simply the way my mind-body conversation works. Some (many) moves just take their time for me.

I’m tempted to blame my age

I’m tempted to say it’s my age, because seriously, I’m the oldest person in pretty much all my classes.

But even if someone else may actually think it’s my age, I know that’s not what it is. It’s just that little locked-up link in my brain-body connection that’s kind of remote to get to sometimes, like one of those places where few roads have been built just yet.

And I’ll let you in on a secret. Most everyone has these seemingly inaccessible, remote brain-body territories at some point, age aside. We haven’t yet laid those roadways.

Besides, it makes no sense that not getting various moves quickly is my age, because sometimes it’s the other way around, where I get things that people who are half my age (or younger!) don’t easily get. The only thing that’s relevant is probably some sort of applicable muscle memories we have from things we’ve done in the past.

I’m not a genius at aerials. The only reason I’ve gotten good at the parts I’m good at is because I just keep going to classes. And the parts I’m not good at are a work in progress.

It’s fun to get new moves, but as soon as I do I’m ready to learn more. And in turn, my aerial vocabulary expands all the more. What used to be the “there” I was trying to get to isn’t even there anymore.

It’s moved further ahead.

And isn’t this just like life?

Appreciation and perspective

Overnight successes, big giant improvements, and even epiphanies are rarely sudden. They don’t come out of nowhere. They come bit by bit and step by step. They’re an accumulation.

And as soon as we get “there,” “there” moves ahead a little more. We’re more able, more fluent, more skilled. Our capacity has expanded. Our next “there” is further out than we ever thought we’d go.

I appreciate this so much more than I used to. It takes a lot of pressure off when not trying to “hurry up and get somewhere.” We can really enjoy ourself when not being impatient to get somewhere. We can truly enjoy the journey, knowing that the journey itself gets larger and richer and more expansive as our capacity grows.

And age has nothing to do with our ability to enjoy our life’s journey.

But age can give us the perspective to slow down our mind’s hurry when hurrying can’t make things happen any quicker.

Because the journey is the goal

It could be a while before I really get that new pole move, or it could “click” this week. But I have faith that it will show up when it’s good and ready.

Because in the process of doing so, my brain is prying open untapped info and making my life more than it was three weeks ago.

So often the things that feel like challenges are really the unfolding of our capacity for a larger, even more rewarding journey.

So even though it’s corny, enjoy the journey. Because the journey is actually the “there” we’re trying so hard to reach.


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