No Reward without Effort

My eldest, Alex, started high school this year. His house motto is ‘No Reward without Effort’.  It’s a quote from Horace, a Roman poet, ‘Palma Non Sine Pulvere’. literally meaning ‘no palms without dust’, translated from Latin  – has something to do with winners of chariot races.

I love it. ‘No Reward without Effort’.

We are using it all the time on him and his sisters.  In this new era of technology, where distraction and instant gratification is the norm, encouraging them to go outside and move (or do anything) is a struggle.

We started a New Year ritual – a weekly early morning hike or a long river walk (scooter/bike/run) with the dog – the reward at the end is breakfast out – pancakes, waffles, croissants and no cleanup. That ritual lasted until the beginning of lockdown.  It’s now time to create a new ritual that suits where we’re at.  

On our adventures however, it occurred to me that the effort is the reward.

Once we’re out – we get along (OK – not the whole time), the kids are filled with wonder and laughter, they open up and talk, the girls want to hold hands (which drives me insane – yes – I’m sure I’ll miss it) and we sweat –we’re moving and being collectively healthy. It’s really a great way to burn off calories and spend quality time as a family.  Two balls with one…..

The effort must be enjoyable in any new fitness regime, diet or lifestyle change you start this year, because if you’re not enjoying it – you won’t sustain it – the reward won’t be achieved.

So go find joy in whatever it is you’re starting or continuing this year and if you can’t find joy, then find another thing.

And do more Yoga, breathe more deeply and life will be sweeter. 

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