How are you? What’s new in your corner of the world?
Recently, I started taking these fancy spinning classes called Soul Cycle. Not sure if you’re familiar, but it’s an inspirational spin class on steroids. A group of us file into a dark room for 45 minutes and crank out buckets of sweat while music pumps out of a collection of speakers.
I first discovered Soul Cycle when I lived in Houston, Texas. I wasn’t in the best place, and I was unhappy living there, but I found that an occasional spin helped bump up my mood.
Anyway, last Tuesday I was in a class (here in NYC) being led by a woman named Emma. She’s tiny and blonde, and you wouldn’t be able to tell by looking at her, but her class packs a mean punch.
It’s hard to keep up with all of the sprinting and climbing she demands and to be honest with you I take a lot of breaks in her class. Not that it’s terrible to take breaks, but I often beat myself up for not being able to keep up.
But last week Emma said something that helped put what I perceived to be a defect in perspective. And instantly I knew it was a bit of wisdom that would hold true beyond her class.
We were in the middle of yet another sprint when she said, “Keep going. There will always be an opportunity to recover.”
All of a sudden I realized that I could probably get through the rough sprints and the tortuous climbs if, when I wanted to give up, I reminded myself there would be a chance to recover. There would be a chance to catch my breath, slow down, drink some water and wipe the sweat pouring off my forehead if I wanted to.
In other words, the challenging bits wouldn’t go on forever and realizing I’d have a chance to reset made the challenge more doable. Instead of thinking, “This sprint is never going to end, I can’t do this.” I could choose to think, “Yea this sucks right now, but it won’t last forever. There will be a chance to recover.”
After class, I thought about the benefits of extending this mindset to other challenging areas of my life. For example, when I wake up on Monday morning or any morning, and I feel depressed, instead of thinking, “I’m going to be depressed forever,” I can remind myself that there will be a chance for me to recover from the feeling. Even though it may not feel like it at the time, I won’t be depressed forever. Which makes handling the challenge in front of me a little bit easier.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still as uncomfortable as hell, but I know a break is coming. I may not know how or when but it will show up.
Now I know that life is often more complicated and more painful than getting through a sprint in a sweaty spin class. Let’s be real, in the world of addiction we deal with relapses, overdoses, trauma, betrayal, abuse and various degrees of mental illness. When you’re in the thick of it, and you feel so defeated that you can barely hold your head upon your shoulders a simple reminder that recovery is on its way may be the last thing you want to hear.
And that’s okay. Believe me; I don’t believe in magic wand solutions for anything. This idea may not work for you right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep it in your back pocket.
But if you’re looking for new ways to cope and handle the challenges that pop up why not give this one a try? The next time you’ve got a situation that feels like it’s never going to end or you can’t get through it, try reminding yourself there will be a chance to recover.
That recovery can be small it doesn’t have to be something elaborate and costly. It can be a walk or a nap or whatever. It’s whatever you need at that moment. It’s whatever will give your brain a rest from whatever’s boiling over around you.
And for the heavier challenges, where a walk won’t cut it try to remind yourself of the recovery opportunity that’s on its way.
As Paulo Coelho says, Nothing lasts forever…pain and troubles included.
I hope you found this helpful. I’ve certainly added this idea to my recovery toolbox.
Until next Tuesday,