writing exercises

Exercises. Or exercising, depending.

February 27, 2013 The clouds, grey and pollution-y, are drifting northeast against a backdrop of complaining crows. The patio is damp from the cold rain that took over much of yesterday, sapping my energy and will to do much.

Today, though, I woke up thinking about exercises. The "lift heavy" and "sweat buckets" kind of exercises, yes (because that's part of what I do), but other kinds too. I'm taking a great writing class at WriterHouse and we have weekly exercises to write and read. And the phrase "exercise in frustration" crossed my mind as I looked at my big task for the day today, getting a grant all organized and sent to the printer.

So what is exercise? Is it practice? I know that as I exercise my body I get stronger, do the moves better and more effectively. Writing exercises help me think, make me notice things in my own writing and that of others. Those can be called practice, I think. What am I practicing as I put together this grant?

Two new blogs I am following make me think about practice and how it applies, and why it is so important in our lives. John Davis writes about coaching soccer (really, about life) - his premise is "excellence through mastery". His latest post concerns how we practice, and how we see ourselves. If we see ourselves as strong and capable, practicing with the idea that we WILL GET THERE - then we have a much higher chance of achieving that reality. Dana Stokes writes a bare-bones journalistic blog about her quest to lift heavy, eat clean, and inspire others.

These blogs are so different. But they both circle around to the practice idea. Practice is execution on the way to perfection. You can't get to "perfect" (or even close to it) without the hard work and the vision to do it.

Exercise hard, whether you're lifting, sweating, writing, or reading. It's never an exercise in frustration, and if you call it that, it might well be one.

Watch out, grant. Your butt is mine.

Have a super day!