So something happened yesterday that has never happened before.
As I may have mentioned before, I have engaged a strength coach (or rather, he allowed me to engage him. He is kind of a big deal in certain circles). My coach (hereafter known as The Ninja), has provided me with a program since the beginning of August. It is a simple program but one which, almost atypically for me, I have been following regularly. Three days a week, I cut into my lunch and walk across the parking lot to go work out at our corporate gym. I have been supplementing with some calisthenics programs loosely based on Bruce Lee and running and Iai (of course).
It is hard to measure progress when one is by one's self. One can look at the initial results perhaps, and and determining "I am moving more weight" or some such, but then one returns to the mirror and the scale and seems to see very little change at all. One might feel a bit better or more energetic, but there is no sense that progress is being made.
Until one gets an outside opinion.
Most folks at work know I go over to work out. I do it at lunch, so every day they see me tromping over in my tennis shoes and my old green Messenger bag with my change of clothings. There are comments made about it, of course, but nothing more than occasional offers to spot or the good wishes of a coworker. I have not said much about my goals in this area, more of just a general sense that this is something I am doing to get in better shape.
And then today, as I am wandering through to get a a drink of water, one of my coworkers says "You are bulking up."
I stumble a bit. "Actually, I am losing weight" I respond, thinking that bulking up can only mean one thing and that is getting heavier (I have lost about 8 pounds over the last 6 months).
"No no" he replies, "not bulkier like that. Muscular looking."
I laugh it off of course, make some silly comment about having to fit through doors sideways now, and stumbled back towards my desk. My heart was singing inside, of course. One does not hear that sort of praise often - and I, almost never.
Most of the times we do not get the privilege of realizing that we are making fundamental progress. But rarely - very rarely- we actually get to see the progress being made.