I haven't blogged all week, but today has been a particularly inspiring day, so hopefully I'll have lots to talk about this week!
I teach music to elementary students, and one of the biggest challenges I face on a daily basis is convincing hesitant singers that they CAN sing. Many people seem to believe that people are either born to sing or not born to sing, and while I do know and understand that people have different singing voices, I am also a believer that 99% of the population can sing. The thing is, singing is much more of a SKILL than a TALENT. Don't get me wrong, there can definitely be talent and "innate gifts" involved, but ultimately singing is something you have to practice to get better at. "Kinda like tying your shoes," I often tell my students (many of whom have mastered shoe tying in the not-so-distant past). I tell this to adults too, but they rarely listen ;).
Today I read an article by Alan Henry at www.lifehacker.com here. He has so many incredibly good points, but the one quote that really jumped out at me was that, "a healthy lifestyle is a skill you work and get better at—not a thing you just get up and start doing one day." BINGO! Now he's speaking my language! How could I be so silly to constantly tell my students that singing is a skill, but not think about losing weight and adopting a healthy lifestyle the same way?
I think that is why I am feeling so much more successful in the past month or so. I am taking things slower, practicing my exercise/healthy eating skills, and getting stronger all of the time! That doesn't mean I'm not making mistakes, I'm just learning from them.
In the beginning of January, I began in the hallways after school to get some exercise. I started with completing 4-5 laps, then increased to 7 (1 mile) two to three times a week. It was slightly painful, but it was an exercise that I was able to do on a regular basis without feeling crippled the next day. Ever so slowly, I have moved up to 10-14 laps, four times a week. It's not an extremely fast improvement, but I'm increasing the mileage and the time I'm exercising because I am getting stronger and I am improving my skills.
Today I did a "Walk Away the Pounds" DVD that I have had for AGES, but for the first time I was able to do the 4 mile walk, something I have never attempted before. It's not because I have more willpower, or because I've found some extra boost of energy, it's just because I am getting better at it. Talk about a non-scale victory!
What non-scale victories have you been seeing in your own journey lately? Do you feel like these victories are proof that your "practice" is paying off?