The Joy of Accomplishment
Over the last two weeks, I’ve driven 2,900 miles from Washington, D.C. to Boston to Vermont to New Hampshire to Maine to Connecticut to Delaware to Tennessee to Missouri. That’s a LOT of time sitting in the car! It has also meant getting minimal exercise.
All of those miles have taken a toll on my body. It’s a sharp contrast to the previous two energized weeks I had in D.C. when I would get up at 5 a.m. every day to climb stairs and walk through the city. But when you travel a lot, it can be hard to get into a fitness routine.
For the next five days, I’ll be in Branson, Missouri to speak and facilitate five sessions at the 34th Annual International Tour Management Institute Symposium. That means I need to be energized, grounded, and on top of my game. So after dinner last night, I made a commitment to myself to get up at 5 a.m. every day for the next week and climb the stairs of my 10-story hotel.
This morning, I woke up just before 5. It was so hard to get going! But finally, by 6 a.m., I had put my shoes on and found an empty stairwell. I walked down nine flights of stairs to get to the very bottom. Then I made my first climb of 180 steps to get to the top floor. I walked all the way down to the first floor again and climbed those 10 flights a second time. Then I walked down to the ground floor again and made my final ascension for the day. I totaled 540 steps and 30 flights of stairs. It was brutal! My legs were trembling.
But despite my pain and exhaustion, the joy of self-accomplishment filled me and reminded me of what’s possible when we commit and push ourselves. It’s a whole other level of joy!
After having completed my climbs, I walked down a flight and walked around the entire floor before walking down another flight. I repeated that pattern until I got to the ground floor, where I found a gym. I got in a few sets of kettle bells, then some pull-ups and yoga stretches. Finally, I returned to my room for a 15-minute meditation.
The sense of accomplishment I got from having completed a difficult task despite feeling initial resistance about it gave me a feeling of joy that I carried with me throughout the rest of the day.