High Bar/Low Bar
Welcome. It's a cold, windy day here in Chicago, and the warmth of summer feels about a million miles away. But let me take you back… Season five of Mad Men has just come to a close, and the presidential debates are going strong, as are a slightly less divisive event, the London Summer Olympics.
Like so many others, I found myself obsessed with women's gymnastics. I don't think I've ever watched the sport with such dedication, but my husband, John, and I spent countless hours cheering on Team USA. My favorite event is the uneven bars—probably because I can still remember being seven years old at the park district gymnastics class, donning my pale pink spandex, putting more and more powder on my hands as I waited nervously for my turn. I would watch the older girls take their turns ahead of me, and wonder if I could ever do it like them, making it all seem so light and effortless.
What stuck out to me most as I watched last summer is the purpose of both the low and high bars: The high bar is for showing all your tricks, holding nothing back, and letting go. There’s more potential for greatness, but you're also terribly exposed. The low bar is where you start; it’s where you build the speed that propels you to the high bar. You need the consistency and safety of the low bar to ever achieve sustainable greatness.
It was also this past summer that I decided to start this blog, for so many reasons, but also for just one: I desperately need a low bar.
My high bar is wrapped up in the work I get paid to do, which is often seen by lots of people, leaving me exposed and in a place where the pressure is often felt. This blog is my attempt at a low bar. Write, edit, repeat. Again and again, over and over. I expect that this practice will be super-helpful for me, and my hope is that it will be beneficial to you, as well.
What do you long for this season—a low bar or a high bar? How would that manifest in your life/work/schedule?