"If a book about failures doesn't sell, is it a success?" - Jerry Seinfeld
So my post yesterday was rewarded with very positive response. More than a few people, it turned out, were touched by the message. I'm eternally grateful that I had/have the ability and platform to do so. It's why I write.
Thing is, I've lived most of my life proving that success is what you get when you start again after you fail. I failed to finish a master's degree program, because I quit. Twice, actually. Then I started another one, and I quit again. Finally in 2004 I had enough of quitting and started one last time, and in 2006 I walked across stage with an MBA. The next year I started my Ph.D., and I've quit that more times than I wanted to admit. Never for long, though--and now I'm done with that also. I started writing my first book in 2006, and quit. That was part of what was going through my mind last year, actually, as I started blogging about the process just so that I couldn't quit. It worked; I finished two novels and a novella and am working on a couple more novels now.
But--you gotta admit, there's a time to quit, isn't there?
We joined a gym a couple of weeks ago, and I can already see and feel the difference. My muscles are hurting in ways that I don't recall them ever hurting before. Every trip results in more pain somewhere else I didn't think I could feel pain. So yesterday Heide invited me to go with her, on our low-intensity workout night, to a class that sounded like a lot of fun. It's described in the gym's literature:
The SIMPLE dance program from Les Mills with the latest chart music and the hottest dance moves! It’s a hip, fun & sociable way to exercise. So, jump in and dance your Sh’Bam off! All fitness levels.
Sounds great, right? Also sounds like something an grumpy old dude like me could do, right? "All fitness levels" usually even includes fat, grouchy, and creaky, even when all three adjectives apply to the same guy.
Problem is, I guess, that I'm too used to "normal" group classes. You know, the kind where "grapevine" and similar terms are bandied about, where they do things you'd never expect to see on a dance floor. Where the moves do look really pretty stupid and that's okay because it's a workout class, not a dance session.
After all, there's workout moves, and there's dance moves. Can there be a union between the two sets?
I'd say no, now. Most emphatically, in fact. NOOOOO.
Sh'Bam is a dance session. Oh, the moves still look stupid, at least when I do them. "Turn to the side, wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle jump up with your hands in the air--whee!--shimmy right shimmy right...."
Not this fat grouchy creaky old man, anyways.
I quit. Walked around the back of the class and then right out the door, down to the fitness machine circuit where I could press some iron. Ish, anyway--the iron is actually contained in flat plates that may not actually be iron, attached to fancy adjustable bars and "Range of Motion" selector switches and the like. Still manlier than Sh'Bam, though, despite the cute yellow adjuster handles.
It all turned out okay, at least. I got a great workout. I just had to shake the shimmies off and grunt a few times like Tim the Tool Man Taylor, and then all was well again.
Bottom line: all that "don't quit...quitters never win, winners never quit" crap only applies when you're not trying to turn an 80-pound-overweight man into a dancing twinkletoes.