As I attended my barre workout class this morning, the instructor repeatedly made her way over to my mat to correct my large, swooping positions. She whispered the same phrases to me about a half a dozen times, “smaller movement…even smaller…little reach”. To my amazement, when I made smaller lifts on my crunches, or held a lunge one inch at a time, I felt my muscles tighten and work like they’ve never worked before. In fact, I felt muscles that I never knew I had.
By the end of the class, I was exhausted, but I was also stronger. I was grateful that my instructor pushed me to take smaller steps.
My workouts are usually focused on running as many miles as possible as fast as possible. In other words, the aim of my gym regimen has been “faster, farther”. This class was a stark contrast to my usual routine as it focused on tiny, repetitive movements and holding a position for as long as possible. Tiny movements? Holding the position? This does NOT seem like a workout. I guess you could say this is “Slower, smaller” sort of practice was really pushing against my “faster, farther” mentality. But boy did I feel the aftermath of that workout routine.
As I ached on after my class, I recounted my instructors’ words, “even smaller…little reach”. I began to not only feel the physical implications of those words, but the spiritual, emotional, mental, and social ones as well.
We don’t often think the smaller, slower movements have a greater pay off, but often they do.
Perhaps we have overlooked the progress we have made and diminished what it took to get there. Maybe we just need to celebrate more of the little victories in our day to day life.
Perhaps our over-reaching tendencies have caused us to fly right past the goal unable grab it for ourselves. And maybe, just maybe, we need to take smaller steps to those goals and simply hold the position.
The tiny, intentional steps we take throughout our days sustain us and strengthen us for the long haul. And those, my friends, are the steps are worth taking and recognizing.
When you're tempted to rush ahead and dismiss snail like progress, just remember: "even smaller...little reach".
TRY THIS TODAY:
- Take a moment today and celebrate a recent step you’ve made toward your goals.
- Tell a friend about your progress!
- Brainstorm together how you can take the next small step towards your ambitions.
Jen is a pastor, worship leader, writer, and songwriter living in Napa, California.