jcsteadman · 23 days ago

There's something to be said about consistent repetition. I don't exactly know 'what' to say about it because there have been so many pithier comments on it that I shan't try. I will, however, attempt to recall one of my more favourite quotes on the subject, as said by Anthony Trollope: "A small daily task, if it really be daily, will beat the labours of a spasmodic Hercules."

How do you write a sentence like that? Brilliant. Spasmodic Hercules. It's just the best.

Anyway, the reason why I mention this is because I am somewhat of an aforementioned spasmodic Hercules, without the rippling muscles or feats of strength. I do bursts of activity which get me nowhere. I, of course, at the time don't realise this and think I'll follow through on things to it's fruitful completion and bask in my rewards... but no, this never really happens because something else demands my attention and off I go to try and play nurse as I conduct triage on my business.

Which is why I find sport so enjoyable.

Specifically sports like boxing, which I've done for years, and now that I'm in Thailand for a bit, Muay Thai, which is similar but you use any pointy bit on your body seemingly to hurt the other person, not just the bit that's covered in nice padding on your hands. All very confusing for me and my trainers find it hilarious.

But, the REAL point of what I'm trying to say is that these sports in particular, for me, are so enjoyable because I just show up at the same time, at the same place, and do the same few movements for 2 hours. Then I leave, go about my day, sleep, and come back the next day for an exact repeat of the very same things I did the day before it for another 2 hours, and then, I'll repeat this sequence until I have no money to pay for any lessons or I die of old age.

It's incredible to think that just 11 days ago, give or take, I couldn't kick anything at all. I've never been able to kick a soccer ball, just a footy. I'm not the most flexible man on earth, so this doesn't help either. But now, after, well, it must be about 22 hours worth of just kicking a bag, I'm actually okay at it. Decent enough that I can do padwork and consider partner drills.

This is a testament to how consistent repetition works. There's no way around it. Take a task, do it a lot and have some sort of feedback system, give it some more time, and there you go. It's such a feeling of accomplishment when you're able to do something you previously couldn't imagine doing at all. And that's what kicking this bag is for me. I didn't think I'd be able to do all that much, and now I've got the trainers happy enough with my progress that they'll do actual drills with me.

I remember when I first started boxing, I couldn't do a left hook to save my life. I also couldn't throw a straight right without losing my balance. And to top it all off, I'd end up red-faced after a few punches because it turns out I was holding my breath in. Now, I don't have an idea of how many hours I actually spent at my old gym in Brisbane, but I'd wager it's something close to 2,000. Most likely more, because I'm not counting any lessons I've done elsewhere over the years, or any random coaching I've had. That's about 90 days!

I probably spent about 40 hours throughout the years just looking at my feet and slowly moving them around to learn my balance and the different footwork drills needed to stay out of trouble in the ring and jump in when the opportunity arose.

Same thing with my jab. There's likely a couple hundred hours just on that one punch.

But over all those hours, just focusing on the smallest little things, repeatedly, I got really good. Good enough that I used to compete and I used to coach. At times I want to keep doing it, and jump back in and put on the gloves and train. Coaching is always fun and rewarding too. It's such a great environment - people all there to better themselves and hone their skills through determination and grit. It's not exactly 'fun' work, but it's certainly rewarding.

And that's how I feel when I leave my 2-hour Muay Thai sessions now. It's something I've been missing lately, and I'm noticing it now that it's back in my day-to-day.

What I'd like, is to find a way to get this into my business so I can build not just a habit of consistency around my actions, but also with my results. Because at the moment, courtesy of COVID-19, everything is in turmoil and I feel like I'm drowning in debt and struggling to stay afloat. Things have been very rough; a complete 180 in such a short time, and it's left me feeling battered and tired. But I'll get through this, like I have any other challenge that's popped up over the years, and I'll draw lessons from the whole thing which will make my life better in the future.

That's how it works when you can glean something out of the bad. Chin up, me, it'll be fine if you focus on your small daily tasks.

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