When you have the kind of year that I have had it is easy for it to go to your head. What role does a person’s ego have in a journey like this? I have learned a few things about myself and my ego along the way, some good and some bad. The good parts of being awesome, it pushes you forward in the good times and bad, it rubs off on other people, and allows you to bounce back from the bad days. The down side of one’s ego, sometimes you push yourself too far past your limitations, can get you hurt, and can annoy everyone around you.
The good of the ego, embracing your ego can push you forward and gives me a big push to my motivation. Whenever I think back on the last year I am reminded of just how far I’ve come and it makes me proud. I think that it should make me proud, a lot of work has gone into getting where I am today. Thinking about that progress my desire to go further is pushed even higher. In this case me ego feeds my motivation, I don’t want to lose the momentum that I have. I remember how awesome I am, and that I need to continue to work hard to keep this going. The hard work that I put in, and my positive outlook on my progress also rubs off on other people. Here I’m not talking about reminding everyone of how awesome I am, but instead of the internal motivation pushing actions that push forward those around me. Lastly my ego helps me to bounce back from the bad days. Taking a look back at previous days, tempers the blow of days when nothing seems to go right. Having an ego about my accomplishments gives me a tougher skin, it’s harder to get me down and I hold fast against events that might otherwise crush my progress.
My ego also comes with a down side, the first of these is that it can push me past my limits. Not in a small way that promotes growth, but the kind of push that has me flat on my back and unable to do the things that I should be able to do. Earlier this year my ego pushed me to this point. It took the words of my friends to make me realize that it was my pride that was hurting me more than anything else. I had gotten to the point where I was at the gym everyday, and not just there for a WOD, but there early and late, doing extra. Taking on WODs Rx that I had no place trying to Rx, and not giving my body the time that it should’ve had to recover from what I was asking from it. My ego blinded me to the realization that instead of making myself better I was actually making myself worse. I came very close to hurting myself in a very permanent way by not giving myself the time to recover, taking on WODs that were above my fitness level without scaling and by not doing proper mobility and warmup work. It got so far that I could not raise my arms above my head, trying things from the top shelf was a lesson in futility. I was hurt, but my ego wouldn’t let me recognize this. Lastly my ego can annoy those around me. Now I have to admit and kind of apologize to those around me. There was a time when my friends put up with my ego and how annoying that my comments must have been. These days I’ve learned that I must lighten up on my pride, understanding that I have made huge changes my life and that while they are a big deal they are not all that defines me and I do not need to constantly focus on them. My ego has to take a step back and while not forgetting about how amazing the last year has been I need to be more humble about how the last year has changed my life.
My ego has a place, but I also have to remember the role it should play in my life. Keeping perspective on a year worth of accomplishments and personal growth as well as failures left me feeling much more rounded. Learning to use the gains that I have made and limiting the sense of entitlement that so much change can bring. After a year I feel that a balanced has been reached and hopefully the good influences of my ego are all that I’m taking forward.