I’m working on pitch for a major lady mag right now, which means I’m in research mode, which means I’m totally indulging in articles on pelvic floors, alignment and all kinds of nerdiness.
It also means I feel really dumb. Ever set out to answer one teeny, tiny question, and find yourself totally sidetracked and lost in a sea of information? And then totally forget what your original question was and start doubting whether you know anything, and wonder if maybe you should just go back to school and be a permanent student?
I actually had to step away from my computer and remind myself of an awesome quote I recently came across, in the book “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin
“Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.” — Voltaire
You guys, I don’t know all the answers when it comes to diastasis, pelvic floors, strength training, movement or any topic, for that matter. I know the fundamentals and then some. I know what not to do. I know what’s worked for me. I know quite a bit, when I think about it. But am I a “perfect” trainer? Nope.
I remember back in January when I took my first course on postnatal training through Jessie Mundell and was so excited to start my own program. It wasn’t like me to want to jump into something so quickly. Normally I like to get more practice and perfect my skills. But knowing what I knew, I felt like I couldn’t afford to wait.
A friend of mine, Jen Campbell of Mama Lion Strong, asked me if I was nervous. My response:
“The way I see it is no matter what, it’s better than if new moms did nothing at all and jumped straight into regular workouts. Even just teaching them what NOT to do is helpful to them.”
Since this conversation, I’ve learned so much more (especially after taking a course with Julie Wiebe, PT) and feel super confident teaching my classes. I still don’t have all the answers. I never will—and that’s a good thing. It keeps me growing, learning, questioning and open to critique.
The thing is, I think we all tend to make perfect the enemy of the good sometimes.
When we’re trying to eat healthy: “I already ate one cookie, so screw it— I might as well have two.”
When we want to get into a workout routine: “I didn’t get to the gym today, so I blew it for this week. I’ll start over next Monday.”
When we want to reach out to a friend, but don’t have time for a long phone call or thoughtful email, so we don’t even bother.
When we consider volunteering at a local soup kitchen, but can’t commit to a regular monthly visit, so we just avoid the situation altogether.
We’re humans. We aren’t supposed to be perfect.
Sometimes you eat salad with grilled chicken, and sometimes you eat four Oreos because your three-year-old threw himself on the floor in Target — and it was either the cookies or DCFS. But should you let the Oreos dictate your eating habits for the rest of the day? Should you declare yourself a failure? Decide you’re “not ready” to practice healthy eating habits? (We’re moms. Let’s face it. We’re never going to be “ready” for anything.)
Screw “perfect.” Instead, identify what is “the good.” It could be your own good: feeling more energetic, being stronger, building a friendship. It could be the good of others: a meal for the homeless, a compliment to a friend, a cause you wish to support.
Go for good. Don’t let perfect stand in your way.