Last week, I was passed over on a job opportunity for a more qualified candidate. Such is life, and I don’t bear any ill-thoughts for the results of the job search. I’m disappointed, but not soured by the experience. It’s an opportunity to learn and grow, and I find that more important to focus on than to give in to a fixed mindset of self-pity.
After the feelings of sadness ebbed, I found myself experiencing a different feeling – motivation. This has happened a few times in my life, and it was strange to be reaquainted with it. There have been a few critical moments in my life where I failed at something important, and that failure created a fire within that motivated me.
It happened when I climbed Mount Kenya in 2007 after I failed my summit in the summer of 2003 of a mountain in Alberta whose name I’ve forgotten.
It happened when I joined the Campus Response Team and became a Coordinator after I failed twice to be a residence don.
And it happened again last week when I wasn’t selected for the job. The self-critical sadness was overtaken by a motivation to go to the gym.
As I’ve written previously, It’s been a while since I’ve visited the gym. According to my fitness journal, the last time I was in the gym was around Hallowe’en. I’ve been rowing this last month a few times a week in the mornings, but I haven’t lifted iron in around five months.
Initially, I stopped going to the gym after my routine was disrupted by travelling to Scotland. Then I didn’t go out of laziness, and then I didn’t go because I didn’t feel like I could justify going to the gym when I was supposed to be marking assignments and prepping my lectures. By the time December rolled around I had regained my weight, but I also proposed to my fiancee, and started the planning process for moving out of my apartment. Along the way, I was tired from a lack of sleep and dissatisfied with what I saw in the mirror. Yet, it was never enough to overcome my inertia.
Failing to get the job was the final push I needed to hit the gym. Maybe I needed a physical outlet to vent some frustration. Maybe it was a form of punishment. I’d like to think it was something more constructive – I accepted that I failed but I also saw that I could do better next time. It is within my power to learn from the experience and grow. The failures seemed to stack until it hit a critical mass; a line was crossed that set off the warning bells that I was heading in a direction I didn’t want to go.
It was time to make the first step and correct my course.
I vlog occasionally for my buddy’s YouTube channel, Artpress, and posted this immediately after I got out of the gym.
So, I hit the gym and pumped some iron. I was nervous to go back as a beginner again, and overcoming inertia was incredibly uncomfortable, but I did it.
Now the trick is to keep it up. That’s, perhaps, the greater challenge I face.