05 April 2010

All Hail the Grad

Hey, Friends! How was your Easter? Mine was awesome!

Thanks so much for your help in determining the maker of my favorite shoes last Friday! I'm going to hunt down all the leads y'all gave!

So, besides the beautiful Easter weekend (I'm currently giddy from a condition I call "excessive sunshine"), I have another reason to celebrate today. Guess what? This afternoon is my final session in the 13 week fitness program I've been doing, P90x. Remember when we talked about it last January? Well, after this afternoon it's official--I'm a p90x Grad!

Wow, I feel so good.

I mean, I'm proud of myself. This really pushed me. Not only physically, but in discipline as well. And while I knew I'd finish when I started, the reality of completing this intense workout schedule makes me want to celebrate. I was an athlete a million years ago. I love being outside and doing outside things... and doing fun things like hiking and water sports... but I haven't done anything like this in years. And for those who are wondering about actual results--yes, I can see and feel (and measure) the difference in my body. I don't look like the models in the p90x advertisements or even the chicks in the videos, but I am stronger, more flexible... and possibly in need of new clothes.

I feel confident. I'm not talking so much in my appearance as I am confident in the ability I have now as a P90x Grad (a.k.a my mega muscles) and just the knowledge that I did this thing. I don't look at a box and think, "I hope it's light so I can carry it". Now it's more like, "I can do this. I'm stronger than I've ever been."

Do I have more I want to accomplish? Absolutely.

Are there people out there in better shape than me, more flexible, stronger, and thinner? Definitely.

But you know what? I'm a P90x grad. I accomplished something big. I developed discipline with exercise, discpline I will continue--after I take a week long break. :0) And that's nothing to sneeze at.

I'm just "supposing" here, but maybe confidence is one of the best things discipline can give us. It definitely makes us better writers. It establishes the pattern of writing in our lives, exercises the writing "muscles" and our imaginations, and helps us accomplish a goal of crafting a novel. And I think a side effect of all of those things is a healthy dose of confidence--a sense that while there might be better writers out there and we have a lot to learn, that we did something big. We:

-finished that first draft
-rewrote half a book on the advice of mulitple crit partners
-queried that dream agent despite the fear of rejection
-wrote that synopsis
-started a blog and wondered if anyone would ever care to read it
-wrote multiple queries
-entered a writing contest...

Rinse and repeat--refusing to give up. Vowing to learn, to study the craft, the market, and the reader. Wondering if this next story would get us that agent or complete the contract for a number for a publisher, etc. Doing it over and over again, for as many stories as are ours to tell.

I'm not saying that there aren't moments of despair, when overwhelming discouragement threatens everything. When we wonder if we're that person who everyone says is a brilliant writer, when in fact we're the literary equivalent of fingernails on a chalkboard. I'm not saying there aren't moments of doom, when we forget to back up our hard drives, see the blue screen of death, and lose everything. I'm not saying we ever need to stop learning.

But you know what? Because of these last three months of p90x, I know my limitations. I also know where I soar. I know what I want to work on, where I've seen a lot of progress, and where I hope to be six months from now. I have confidence, even in my weakness. Because I know where I need to work.

If we're having confession time, I'll say here that I haven't been as discplined in my writing recently. And my confidence has definitely suffered. Sitting here on this Easter night, I'm convinced the two are somehow linked.

What do you think?

See y'all Wednesday!


  1. First - conratso n the workout program! That's awesome.

    Second - I agree. Discipline is so necessary in the writing life. I just finished a book and sent it off to my agent, and since I'm waiting on writing book 3 in the series, I'm now diving into a completely different book and I'm also feeling a lack of discipline. simply because it's hard to be disciplined during this stage....it's hard to sit in front of my computer and get this plot and these characters to just come to me.

    So I'm right there with ya, sister. :)

  2. Congratulations on being so productive! And you're right...focusing on what we do well is a great idea. :)

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  3. Wow! Congrats are definitely in order! That's a wicked work-out and you should be PROUD!!

    I think discipline almost always equals a sense of confidence and accomplishment. The more we do, the more consistent we are...at anything... the better we feel about it and ourselves. I think God didn't wire us to be lazy, so the desire is in there somewhere.

    Now I feel like I need to go run and write. :)

  4. Woohoo Kristen!

    My writing has suffered lately too- but no more. Today I tackle the reins of doubt and procrastination. My confidence is soaring.

    Happy writing!

  5. Hi Kristen -

    Congrats on your accomplishment!

    I never thought to link discipline with confidence, but you're absolutely right. Meeting blog and writing deadlines give me confidence I can one day handle the demands of a book contract.

    Thank you for this encouraging word.

    Susan :)

  6. Good for you! I did a 12 week program called Body for Life a few years ago. It made me feel exactly like you are feeling now. In fact, I'm starting it again this week. I hope I can stick with it.

  7. Congrats on graduating from the exercize program! And right before summer too! Awesome.

  8. I haven't either, when it comes to that writing discipline. Trying to find it again, though.

    Congrats! You did so well. :) You're a great example.

  9. First off, congrats on finishing p90x! My husband and I are just about to try this out.

    And second of all, I agree whole heartedly--writing towards publication takes confidence, discipline, and persistence.

    Lastly, my confession is that I waste too much valuable writing time on the internet. There. I said it. Now I'm going off to redeem myself! LOL!

  10. Sigh. God keeps calling me, gently but persistently, when I ignore my writing.

    Perhaps it IS also realted to my confidence.

    Psst. Wanna bet Satan is involved????

    Love you, girl.


  11. I am in the middle of doing Insanity which is also produced by Beachbody Fitness. This post has encouraged me with my physical fitness and writing! Thank you!!!

  12. So very proud of you!

  13. I've been wavering in my self-confidence lately. I used today to post my recent blog awards and really relish the lifting up of writing friends and real life friends. I need to honor my own gifts and talents. With that, I pass one of those awards to you. Your pictures and posts are beauty to my soul.

  14. Yay for exercising! If only I did that more often...hmm... You'd think having a personal trainer for a dad would make me more motivated to work out, but it totally doesn't. lol

  15. Wow, Kristen! That is an amazing accomplishment - congratulations! It's amazing how linked confidence and consistency are, isn't it?! :-)