I have had a struggle with exercise and love for most of my life. Always on the verge of actually getting fit and also on the verge of accepting that I will never be a good athlete. I look at those running,cycling,swimming with such ease and a certain level of jealousy. Recognizing that it might just never be me.
I look with the same amount of awe at those loving couples that has been together for the last 20 , 30, 40 odd years and are still actually in love. Realizing at my age and my level of realism and cynicism it might just not be me either.
Now those of you that has been following some of my blogs will know that I have taken up swimming in the middle of last year. My dedication to my routine of swimming and the practice and mindfulness coupled to it has been a major learning experience for me.
After struggling for my stroke in the water and breath after 30 odd lengths I had an epiphany. Love or relationships are like any other practice/exercise. There are a few shared elements that I thought of while trying to make it to the other side of the pool herewith my shortlist.
1. You need commitment, If you dont commit to being fit or thin or whatever it will not happen same for love. You need to commit to it if you dont nothing is going to happen.
2. You need to work at it. Exercise and fitnesslike relationships and love is hard work it does not just happen
3. You need routine. Routine and discipline is the basis of a good exercise routine. Same with love and relationships. You need certainty and clarity
4. You need to be present. you need to pitch up. You cant to this being emotionally absent. You need to be in the pool on the bike or where ever it is that you practice. You cant be in a relationship and be emotionally absent. The person would like to feel that you are emotionally there. You need to be there when they talk and complain, to share their stories.
5. Dedication. The more you exercise the better you get. You work at getting better. Research about your stride, stroke, breathing etc. So with relationships. You talk with your partner , with your friends and sometimes when in a crunch a coach/Psychologist
6. Deal with boredom. After getting into the exercise of your choice there comes a time when you think you now understand how this works. Like any relationship this also happens in our relationships sometimes after 6 moths other times after 2 years etc, The reality is that whatever practice you do at some stage you become bored, the question is what do you do then. Do you give up swimming for cycling or jogging. do you give up this partner for a different one that maybe does not do that the current one does. Boredom in all forms of practice is a necessity. It takes you to the next level, focusing your attention on getting better. It seems like itnis at this stage that people give up, stop doing the practice.
I have realized there are people that are naturals at this they pick up a bat and a ball and they just know what to do. So with love and relationships. There are people that meet one another like one another and next time you see them 10 years down the line they are still happy.
I am not one of those.
I have because I am powerfully built always thought that exercise and fitness would come easily to me, boy was I wrong. I see people with not half of the muscles and built do things I wish I could. The same is what I thought about love and relationships. I am emotionally aware and competent in reading and understanding people and the person that I would like to be in a relationship with , but like fitness and enduring love it has eluded me.
I have taken love, relationships serious for the biggest part of my adult and teenage years but yet I am still a novice , I still don’t understand it and cant seem to crack it. I still cant run a half marathon, sustain a long term relationship.
Maybe one also need a partner that accepts the challenge that its a work in progress and to understand the practice that needs to go into completing a marathon. because I have realized this morning that to have enduring fitness and enduring love is practice for me, I am not a natural at this.
So in all i have an Idea that LOVE and practice indeed share a lot of similarities.