Doing the Work

Sisyphus cursed to spend all day pushing a boulder uphill, only to watch it roll down the hill at the end of the day.

When you’re stuck in the middle of working toward something it feels like everyday you’ve worked hard only to start the next day and feel like nothing changed.

But as cheesy as it sounds, consistent and right action toward a goal is the surest way to achieve it.

I’ve been thinking about my time in the gym over the last few years and to this day I still wake up and a lot of mornings I think about skipping. But when I look at the progress I’ve made (which isn’t astounding by any stretch) if I hadn’t headed out the door 3 mornings a week, I’d probably be fat(ter), I’d have a lot more aches and pains, and I would still be wishing I was stronger.

It’s the same way with martial arts, I’ve taken a bit of a hiatus this year while I’ve reoriented my life and now I’m getting back into it. Prior to my time off, I was constantly thinking about opening a school and telling myself things like “oh I’ve got to do x, y, and z!” (none of which were train, train, and train some more).

The approach I’m taking out of my time off is to keep things simple, I’m just going to focus on going to class regularly twice a week and get the curriculum down well. Once I’m there, I’ll see where I want to head next (at which point, I’m sure I’ll have to put my head down and get to work).

With all of this, my boss said something to me recently: “I like to think Sisyphus got one up on Zeus, and learned to enjoy the work.”

My boss seems to function like a damn machine most of the time, and he genuinely seems to enjoy the never-ending workload coming his way (well at least to a point). But hell, he’s created jobs for me and half a dozen other people.

Looking at my own life, it sucks getting out of bed at 5 am to go to the gym but the feeling of accomplishment after an hour of lifting heavy far outweighs the extra hour of sleep (and guilt) had I not gotten out of bed.

I have to wonder if just like lifting heavy, Sisyphus found it easier over time to keep rolling the boulder up the hill – or hell, maybe the hill got worn down and made the task easier.

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