Sunday, March 1, 2015

Attitude is Everything

That workout was NEVER going to be easy.

It is inevitable that there is going to be stuff you are not good at.  Stuff that will push you to your limits.  This is what you train for day in and day out- this is no different than the workouts you walk in and do!

You got a PR?!  Well way to go!! It finally clicked!  Maybe your coach's cue rang in your head and you finally got it that time!  Maybe the adrenaline was rushing so hard it finally blocked your fear of pushing that weight overhead.  Maybe you were just ready because your hard work and training for hours and hours was about to pay off.

You didn't get a PR?, Well, way to go- you finished anyways!! No one can PR every single time they do a workout, that would be way too easy and boring.  There are still plenty of things to be positive about and grateful for.  Maybe you didn't make that PR lift, but maybe you raised the bar an inch higher than last time, maybe you felt your hips carry through for the first time.  You are now one attempt closer to the PR you so desire.  You are one step closer to being where you want to be, but you can't get there if you don't try.

Walk away from that non-PR and when someone asks you how you did, you put your chin up and you find something positive to say, "well I got less than my PR, but you know the bar felt lighter today", "I didn't die", "my hand didn't tear".  Who would you rather strike up a conversation with, someone sour or someone upbeat?

I'd like the share a small story from last year when I did the crossfit open.  This happened, it's embarrassing, but true, and I hope the same thing will not happen to you.

I got really mad after my 14.2 WOD. Here’s the thing, something happened, out of my control, and I got messed up and I couldn’t break through it. Guess what, I spent the rest of the night angry about it- I mean angry, so angry that my head felt like it was going to explode.  
Why was I mad? Because I knew I could do chest to bar pull ups better than last year, and my score did not prove that to me. It caused me to wonder, "how did I improve?" You know what, one WOD is not a testament to my whole year’s worth of training. We are going to have good days and we are going to have bad days.

I was eating dinner Friday night right after the workout and boy did I want to be alone, I didn’t want to hear any more whining and complaining from my kids- I just wanted silence and to eat my dinner while it was hot. I told Maeve (age 2) that I wanted to eat alone, she looked at me and said “Mommy I want to eat alone too”. Then, she proceeded to pull her chair as close as possible to mine and sat as close to me as she possibly could- so close I could not even move my arm. It made me laugh because she had no idea what she had said and went about her normal business of trying to eat as close as possible to me. 

The whole situation shed some light on the fact that getting mad over a bad workout- was so silly and if you can’t laugh about it, what can you do. The more time you spend doting about it, analyzing it, excusing it, isn’t going to change the fact that it happened and it is what it is. You cannot change the past, but you can let it help you change the future.

So, I did get better at chest to bar pull ups, in case you were wondering. Maybe my score did not show it, but since last year, I was able to use a normal grip while doing it and kipped through five in a row, can you say PR?!!! Looking at all the possible movements we have in crossfit and how you are going to get good at ALL of them is a very daunting task. Projecting a year in the future and how you will master something the next time it comes around seems easy, just an hour here, and an hour there. Well, a year passed and I really did not put in much extra work outside of the normal WODS. Maybe I am not as smooth with them, but I was stronger, faster, sleeker than last year, that’s for sure. 

“If you can brag about a low 4 minute mile or a high 400 bench press, you could also be a lot fitter. (No one has both).” -Greg Glassman


So, I’ve gotten a little better at a LOT of things and that’s where I want to be. Last week, I had to give a testimonial at church. I was baffled for weeks about what I wanted to write, when it hit me. We are all finite. Someday we will no longer be here and what do I want to leave behind?  I want to leave behind memories, I want to affect people, to encourage them, I want to leave behind spirit. I’ve been on a kick of getting rid of stuff so I can have more free time to have fun doing stuff rather than taking care of stuff. I came across a HUGE pile of medals I had won in various races between high school and now. I decided to throw them away. At the time I won them, they meant something and made me feel special. Now, I find that they are just taking up space. Each of my kids asked to keep one- a while back one of my neighbors came up to me bewildered and asked me when I was in the Olympics. I was like “WHAT?!” I had never been in the Olympics. She said, “Oh your son brought your gold medal to school for show and tell.”

Remember what you may shrug off as a bad performance may be a great one in someone else's eyes.  It's all about perspective.

Here’s the deal, we’ve all had accomplishments in our past and by looking at us now, no one really knows- but us, right? So, maybe you mess up a WOD or don’t do something you know you can do, don’t sweat it because it’s going to be in your past and no one is going to walk up on you on the street and ask you “how could you not have finished that last round”. You are the one who makes the choice to react a certain way or to let it go. Let it go, there's always another new WOD ready to be posted tomorrow- Focus on the big things- your friends, your family, your health.

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