Plank challenge, writing, and becoming stronger during this time.

When shelter-in-place started, I noticed people in my Facebook feed doing the plank challenge (holding plank pose for increasing lengths of time for 30 days). I dismissed it as another silly social media trend—until about a week ago.

When I’m struggling with a problem, I generate one list of logical ideas and another of intuitive ideas. You can read more about this process in my 2015 post, How to shorten your to do list by making three. While noodling through an issue in this way, “plank challenge” showed up on my intuitive list. It didn’t have anything to do with the problem I was trying to solve, so I ignored it. But as the days went by, the image of a person holding plank pose kept popping into my mind. I decided to try it.

Each pose starts with my feeling like Superwoman. Then I become uncomfortable. My arms and legs start to tremble. I really want it to be over. I’m not sure if I can make it to the end. And then I do. Each day of the challenge is a little easier because I’m stronger, and a little harder because I have to hold it longer. It’s teaching me how to persist and have faith in my own strength while feeling discomfort.

It has helped me move through resistance in my writing. When I get to a tricky spot, instead of jumping over to Facebook, I keep going. The juicy stuff is right under the resistance. Building your “writing muscle” has taken on a new meaning.

I’ve started to think about the plank challenge in relationship to this intense time, which has been challenging for me on multiple fronts. It gets harder each day, but I’m also stronger each day because of the previous ones. I am building my strength and learning how to rest. Resting doesn’t come naturally to me, but I know it’s an essential element of making it through this time. You don’t hold plank pose all day and you don’t do it every day. Days off are scheduled into the process.

We can do this.

You and I are stronger than we were in March, April, May, June, or July. We’ve built up our metaphorical muscles in all kinds of way. We’re learning how to rest when we need it. We are becoming so strong. Imagine the new world we’ll be able to build.

What will you do with your newfound strength?

Photo by Luis Quintero from Pexels


Read: How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

Reading: The Art of Gathering by Priya Parker

Watched: Street Food: Latin America on Netflix

Watching: Unforgotten on Amazon Prime

Listened:Rest as Resistance” interview with The Nap Ministry founder, Tricia Hersey, on For The Wild podcast

Taking action: |

Enjoying: Attempting to grow garlic in my elevated raised bed.

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