1/17/2016: Edges

As I held my position at the barre today, my fitness instructor cheerfully exclaimed one of her many encouraging expressions in an effort to challenge us: “Find your edge!” she said over the mic, a phrase I’ve become familiar with as I try, like many of us, to hop back on the fitness train.

In the context of class, this idea is a way of saying “Challenge yourself.” It’s a reminder to be aware of what physical limitations you *think* you have and to consider pushing just a little further, a little harder, in an effort to expand that threshold. In moments when I feel like my muscles can’t possibly go on, I try to hold on for a few more seconds and sometimes I succeed in surprising myself. I walk into the next class with a new sense of strength and confidence I didn’t know I had.

Today I heard that phrase and all I could think about were the “edges” I find myself up against on a regular basis - the perceived limitations (“I’m not ____ enough to do this”) or some new frontier that feels foreign and terrifying (selling my art for the first time). Whatever those lines may be — those edges that define our zones of capability and comfort — I think it’s important to be aware of them. To recognize when we’re afraid or hesitant or resistant to cross over them. Because by recognizing them, we’re able to consider what we might gain by pushing beyond them.

Now, that doesn’t mean we have to go beyond — some classes my muscles just won’t cooperate, just like some days I’m not really interested in expanding my consciousness (probably due to a lack of coffee). But when I do, when I step over those lines and beyond what I thought I was capable of, the fact holds true in life as it does in class: I always emerge stronger and more confident than before.