It’s a phrase we hear often…someone who “goes the extra mile.” But what does it really mean?
I’ve been thinking a lot about that phrase for the past few days. I went to the gym on the day after Thanksgiving. There wasn’t a workout at the times I could make it. So, I took advantage of the open gym and walked in between classes. My goal was 10,000 meters. My legs were screaming sore after a long Thanksgiving Day workout so I started by hopping on the bike erg and did a pretty quick 5,000 meters.
Then, moved over to the rower for a somewhat slower 3,000 meters.
Finally, I faced down the dreaded ski erg and did 2,000 meters, split in half. (Ski is much more challenging for me!) I had stretched in between, so I was feeling pretty good and sweaty by this point. I had a few minutes left before I had reached my hour-at-the-gym benchmark, but I had already met my 10,000 meter goal. What to do?
Enter the Assault bike.
And on that, I just decided to do skip meters and do a mile. And as I rode, I got to thinking about the extra mile…which is what brings me to this post.
To go the extra mile is to go beyond what is required. What is expected. The minimum. As my kids say (or used to say, since once I understand this kind of thing it is definitely past its moment) you can be basic or you can be extra…regular or over the top, I guess.
There are areas of life where I want to work harder to go the extra mile. Friendship. Family. Fitness / Nutrition. Those are probably the big three for me right now. Ones I want to work on.
How can I go the extra mile?
-Send a note or out-of-the-blue text to a friend who may need a pick-me-up (and couldn’t we all?)
-Remember to get all the things my family needs as I shop / do errands, etc.
-Check in with family and friends more often
-Make time for meaningful conversations and traditions as the holidays arrive
-Commit to both staying consistent and challenging myself as I workout
-Get serious about nutrition; buckle down (instead of backing down) in the face of challenges
-Give in unexpected ways: time, care, gifts, resources
I am not going to lie. There are many areas of life where I am struggling to meet basic expectations. But, at the same time, I feel a deep level of fulfillment when I exceed what I and others expect of me. Over the next day or two I’ll be planning and making moves to get these things in motion. Even just this list with a daily checkoff can be a step toward accountability and progress.
So, readers, how are YOU going to go the extra mile in the next month or two? How can you extend kindness, comfort, or even badassness to make your life and the lives of those around you a little more over-the-top-amazing? Tell us in the comments.
Here’s a glimpse of the sunrise that surprised me mid workout that morning, a brief break in a week of dreary rain. Be the unexpected, the surprising light for others and yourself.