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Wednesday, 23 March 2016

On Failure

Waiting for exam results:

Dear readers, throw me a lifeline; I am in limbo! 

When I started to write The Fit Pixie blog, I intended to document my progress as I study to become a fitness instructor. However, at that point I didn't reckon on a few important factors, like mad revising for exams, or trying to learn choreography (much harder than I imagined!)- both of which have been filling my recent days to the exclusion of all blogging.

I took my written exams a few days ago. And this is why I am in limbo: it might be three weeks until I know whether I have passed. And the not-knowing is rendering me incapable of thinking about anything else. I suppose that if I was confident that I have passed I would not be so concerned, but I feel the assessments could have gone either way. I feel like I had enough knowledge to qualify- I certainly studied hard- but I did not always understand the wording of the questions, and what was really being asked. 

Now, I am quite a private person. Nobody likes to admit their potential failings in public, least of all a private person so I wasn't going to write about this, but in the interests of growing as an individual, and being true to the aim of The Fit Pixie, there it is! 

I feel a little liberated. 

Potential failure:

So, now that is off my chest I wonder why it is so hard to own up to situations like this? 

I look at instagram a fair bit. There are very many beautiful strong people with amazing bodies on display there. I heartily congratulate every single one of them, and I thank them for the inspiration. But at the same time, I worry slightly about just how perfect they are. Has the selfie generation made super-fit the only acceptable standard? 

I mean, there are plenty of 'before and after' body transformation photos, plenty of motivational true stories... but there are no 'during' snaps are there? There are no bed-head selfies in sweat pants, with the hashtag #nomotivation are there? No photographs of beautiful running routes with the caption 'I walked the last half mile', no admissions of 'I wasn't quite ready for that, but I will be next time I try'. 

Why don't we own our failures? Surely they are as much a part of any journey as the successes? 

Practice, not perfection:

'It's yoga practice, not yoga perfect', so the saying goes. Can't this be applied to all fitness activities, partly because everybody has different aims and reasons for working out: lose weight, feel stronger, de-stress, shared social experience...? The motivations are as complex as we are, and if our aims are so different, then one person's failure might surely be another person's 'no big deal'? 

But when faced with inspirational characters who appear perfect in every way, do we come to equate success with perfection? Is the rise in popularity of fitness bloggers and picture-posters just competitive narcissism? 

It felt like a big deal to me that I might not pass my assessments. But... is it? I can re take them, so maybe I just haven't passed them yet. I guess failing is only a big deal if you want it to be. 

Whilst I'm at it, I have a few more admissions: I can't do handstands, I don't have a six-pack, and I'm not great at spin classes. But, as with my exams, I'd like to qualify all of these with 'yet'.   

Here's a blogging pledge:

I'm not an expert. I'm not perfect. I am not yet as fit and strong as I intend to become. 

I pledge to continue to write my blog in the spirit of these statements, and to own my failures. 

And... I'll let you know if I passed (or failed) my assessments. 

(Edited on April 6th: I passed my written exams! Now for the practical results..,)

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