One of the earliest phrases that’s drilled into our young minds (either on the soccer field or classroom) is “practice makes perfect.” I used to hate to practice. I didn’t want write vocabulary words over and over. I didn’t want to practice my speech before giving it, I would rather just go up and wing it. However, there is a point to practicing. I don’t think it leads to perfection as much as it leads to progress.
Unlike when we were kids, I have found that so much of our practice in life in unconscious. This is both a great thing and a scary thing. It’s scary because if you don’t make good choices every day, it will catch up with you. But great because if you do make the effort on a consistent basis, you’ll find yourself in new territory the next time you check in.
Recently, I realized just how much practice I had been doing with my bookkeeping and accounting for a small company I am helping with. I hate accounting. I did not have a good experience (an understatement) with my Accounting class and ever since then I’ve dreaded anything remotely related. However, this year, when I went to put together my paperwork for filing taxes and was shocked at how easy it felt. It seems like after all these years, the chugging away and attempts and asking for help had finally paid off. It wasn’t as bad as all the times before.
I see it in daily exercise too. The beginning of a season at Fenway park is marked by how sore my legs are. Walking around or running up and down the hundreds of steps at America’s Most Beloved Ballpark is exhausted. I usually end up stretching at the end of the day to keep from being sore the next day. Now that I’ve been back at Fenway for a few weeks, I can feel myself getting stronger. I run around without siting for twice as long as I could a few weeks ago and I don’t feel like immediately flopping into bed when I get home!
Having patience for everyday practice to kick in can be a challenge in an of itself, but the progress at the end is highly worth it.