I’ve written before about my experience doing gymnastics growing up (in my book + musing on if I’d let my kids do it). Much of what I’ve written has been about the harder times. Those have stood out in my mind more strongly for many years.
I was in the shower the other night and a spot of joy hit me — I really, really loved (and still love) the sport of gymnastics itself. It was so much fun to do. I learned how to flip and twist, turn and dance. I had the opportunity to challenge myself physically — and truly, it’s amazing what I was able to do.
Gymnastics became unfun when I started doing it for the approval of other people, rather than for myself.
I see this has been a trend I’ve seen in my life, across jobs, relationships, and other stuff too — when I’ve been doing a job, activity, or whatever for some outside approval, things weren’t as fun (and usually became stressful and ended messily). I suppose something helpful for me to keep in mind, especially if life is feeling sticky. Am I doing things for myself (and know that my own approval is the gold standard), or am I seeking validation from someone else (which may or may not come, and somehow always leaves me feeling empty)?
Back on the gymnastics end, I think I’m going to take some delight in doing a few cartwheels today and watching an old video. Holy smokes — I did cool stuff.