It's Hard


Hello, my name is Jessica. I’m 31 years old, and up until this past weekend, I had never watched the movie A League of Their Own. No, okay… please stop with the boos. I realize that confession earns me a few minutes in a pop culture time out corner somewhere, but let’s move beyond that for a minute. I’m tryna blog here.

The movie is great, of course; the true story behind it, a compelling glimpse into one of the many ways the American culture was affected by WWII. And in the words of my old friend Martin Lawrence, damn Geena. For reals. And then there’s that quote that everyone remembers﹘not the crying one... that other quote:

It’s supposed to be hard.
If it wasn’t hard everyone would do it.
The hard is what makes it great.

Damn. That’s good. And it resonated with me and the crucial lessons in character that I’m going through right now: I’ve always known that I’ve had it easy. Growing up, school was more or less a breeze. I made good grades and remained at the top of my class without much of a struggle. After high school I was fortunate to experience a lot of what experts might call, some Pretty Fucking Badass Shit. I lived abroad for 2 years, I worked in a hostel for a day, I visited my grandfather’s relatives in France for two weeks, to name just a few things at the top of my PFBS list. When I returned home to the States, I had the opportunity to earn a bachelor's degree at the University of North Texas (something I’d taken for granted until a recent wave of appreciation put me in check). Then, against all post-graduate odds, I lucked into an internship for a local advertising shop, Swash Labs. Here we are almost 4 years later, and I’m writing this blog from a beautiful, brand new office space just a couple blocks east of Denton’s square. This isn’t a brag reel (totally kind of a brag reel) ... this is me laying out a lifetime’s worth of cool shit that has more or less fallen into my lap. I am a fortunate person.

What sucks is that all of this ^^ has put me inside a type of Bubble. A life of ease and comfort has stymied my ability to dig in against challenging situations. I’d gotten so used to having it all that I failed to develop my make shit happen sensibilities. So when Tom Hanks’ character quietly, smoulderingly responds to Dottie’s excuse for quitting that, “it just got too hard,” I know he’s talkin’ to me.

Recently I’ve been attending classes at a local yoga studio that follows the philosophy and sequencing of the Baptiste Power Vinyasa Flow. That is to say, it is 60-90 minutes of power yoga in a heated room with up to 29 other people. That is to say, it’s friggin’ hard.

But when you’re 45 minutes in and you’re holding and breathing in some crazy pose that you’re not even sure how you got into it, and you’re sweating and, oh shit how will you walk tomorrow?! When you feel at the absolute edge of your mental and physical capability to withstand another second, that’s when the teacher will remind you that “these poses reveal your habits.” And you realize that quitting the challenge in class is an ugly symptom of how you view life challenges outside the studio. And then she says, (powerfullycuz Valerie don’t suffer no fools):


And you breathe and remain at the threshold of your capabilities until yoga boss says release, and in doing so chalk another small victory up on the board﹘a victory that slowly chips away at the Bubble mentality that you’ve been hiding behind, lo these many 31 years.

Do the work. Yes, it's hard ... the hard is what makes it (you) great.