Failure is Feedback

I often tell my students that failure is feedback. I tell them this because I want them to learn from each experience they have. What I mean by this nice little aphorism is that when we don’t live up to our own expectations, we have to examine our goals and our efforts towards those goals.

The last year has been tricky for me. I am still having trouble with my back and leg, so I quit spinning. I focused on my flexibility and inner muscular fitness. I put all of my focus into yoga. And I really love yoga. It gives me so much and it doesn’t beat up my body the way other things do. It helps me center myself and create a space in my life for comfort.

But what that means is that I am not nearly as strong on my bike as I once was. I have to admit, that is really a tough one for me to swallow. So last weekend when I was faced with some bike rides with some friends, I really struggled. It is really hard not to be where I want to be. But there is always a piece of me that thinks, “Is this just my ego talking?” I feel like I need to stop beating up my body. But if I don’t beat up my body, I get out of shape and chunky. I like to feel strong.

And yoga gives me this…

Until I head out to do something involving heavy duty cardio. Then I struggle. And that is where the failure is feedback slogan comes in.

I am examining and playing with these feelings. Because if I continue to simply push and push and be obsessive about one thing only, it will continue to not serve me. The answer seems to be what the Buddhists call the middle path.

Why can’t I do both and be really strong at each? Who says it has to be one or the other? What will this feel like in my body?

Here is what I do know: I like to feel like I’m in good shape, I like to feel strong, I am tired of beating up my body, I want to be healthy long through my life.


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