Pushing past your barriers seems like a never ending experience for me in the last year and a half. From the time that I first walked into Capital City CrossFit I knew that there was a long road ahead, and throughout I’ve been working to conquer the road ahead. Often it has felt like a never ending uphill battle. The little victories are all that I have sometimes, the last couple months there has been nothing but barriers in my head. I wonder what it is that keeps me going, and everytime I come back to the community of people that I’m now a part of. Day in and day out the people around me keep me going, to honor that community I struggle and work to get through the problem areas that I have. The support of these people day in and out helps me through the struggle and I owe them for everything I’ve been able to accomplish. Going forward I’m going to keep pushing and go past the barriers that I have now. I owe it to everyone there with me deserve my best efforts, and I’m going to keep on going till I can’t do another rep. Finding that strength inside will help me to do more and be better everyday, and the people around me will hopefully see new PRs from me as I keep going forward.
For the past few weeks as Sunday rolls around I’m less than motivated to go into the gym. I’ve been fighting my Olympic lifts and on Sunday I have to try for a new one rep max. I’ve been stuck at my current weights which I cannot even bring myself to share here because I feel they’re pathetic. I don’t know what it is, I think that I need to go back to taking video and breaking it down. I have a feeling that it’s in the hit at my hips. I’m either not driving hard enough, or driving too far out and so I can’t get the weight into the correct position for me to receive it at the bottom. Each week I go in and I work up to weights that I should be able to hit but I can’t. It doesn’t help that on those days I’m working in the main part of the gym with metal plates and so everytime I fail it makes a huge noise and people are less than enthused. Those days I really need to dig deep sometimes, there’s no one else there to push you, it’s all on what you’ve got inside. Those are the days that while I’m frustrated there is also a victorious feeling inside of me. My rule is 3 failed lifts and I’m done, so I push till I fail a weight 3 times. At that point I move on, I’ve given what I have for that lift and there’s always more work to do. So while my lifts aren’t where I want them to be and I’m not happy about it, I know that just means that I have more room to grow. I’m going to start tearing apart my technique over these last few weeks out here and working on finding ways to get more weight up. New PRs will come, and then I’ll be celebrating a sweet victory, because it wasn’t easy. It shouldn’t be easy I’m just going to keep pushing through and in the end my success will be all the sweeter for it.
I haven’t put up a picture in forever, I was reading and decided to give an update shot of the beard growth, let me say it is in full effect these days. It’s to the point that I catch it under the bar in the clean sometimes, I need to do something about that.
Sometimes when I think about the last year I get this vision in my head of Bill Murray from the movie “What About Bob” in that movie he has a ton of issues and the way that he overcomes them is to constantly tell himself “baby steps” as he does things.
Starting where I did they amount of distance between myself and most of the workouts at Rx was vast. I could not look at them and think that I would be there in any imaginable amount of time. So I had to think of things in Baby Steps, I set goals and worked towards those. Yes Fran is Rx at 95 pounds, but this time I’m doing it at 65, ok next time I want to do 75 and so on. My life was a constant climb up a stairway of these small goals. Sometimes today it is hard for me to visualize the workouts that I used to do, and the way that I struggled to get through them. Things that I could not even do at the beginning I now think of as being part of warming up for a more intense WOD. Walking into Capital City in July of 2011 I needed to set small goals, but I had one big goal. I wanted to lose 50 pounds by the time of the wedding I was going to be in that fall. I knew it would be hard but to get there I put up lots of smaller goals. I wanted to be able to run the warm up 400 meters without stopping, that took me a month or so. I wanted to be able to do 10 pushups unbroken, another few weeks. I wanted to be able to learn various movements and each day I came in and took another “Baby Step” towards that goal. The importance of setting these small goals was simple. It’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day when your finish line is far away. Too easily we get discouraged by the distance between where we are and where we want to be. If you walk into the gym never having done a pull up and say I want to do 21 unbroken pull ups as part of a WOD, you will have a long journey from here to there. But if you break that up, set goals of moving from one color band to another, then getting your kip down. After that getting one pull up without a band, getting a couple, and eventually you will get to 21, you won’t get discouraged when it takes a long time because you have victories all along the way. In the last year I cannot count how many of these goals I have accomplished. From learning movements, to running my fastest mile ever, then beating that by a minute, and then beating that time by over a minute. Competing in the Open and doing things that I didn’t think I could do before the workouts were announced, wearing smaller clothes, lifting heavier weights, and becoming more flexible. All of these areas needed goals that pushed me forward. Today over a year into this incredible journey I still set goals for myself. I am currently working on being able to do a strict Handstand Pushup to full depth, I’m still chasing that 400 lb back squat, and 300 lb front squat. I’m close to both and working hard to get there before the new year. I’m also getting better at double unders and have put together longer and longer sets unbroken. Goals drive me forward, I try to have goals that are both grand in scale and goals that are broken up so I can celebrate the victories along the way. More and more I find myself enjoying the moments of these new victories, I work hard for them and each accomplishment is a chance to celebrate the new life that I have created for myself. These goals keep me going, they push my forward when things get tough and motivate me when I’m feeling down. Sometimes the push towards a goal can be the difference between a good day and a bad one, even when I don’t accomplish it, just knowing that I’m one more “Baby Step” closer can be all that I need to lift my mood a bit. So I’ll keep setting goals and you should too, write them down and take a look at them from time to time. Share them with your friends and ask them about their goals, keep each other going and in the end you’ll find that you’ve gone further than you ever thought possible. I did, and it’s all because I kept telling myself that it’s all about those baby steps. Thanks Bill, couldn’t have done it without you.
Sometimes while I’m working the desk at work the mood will strike me just to write something. It’s not always very good but here are two that I wrote that I thought were worth sharing.
“Once I thought I knew what I wanted. I planned and obsessed, was sure that I knew how my life would go. But that was so long ago. Years have passed, the path has twisted and turned to the point that I don’t know where I am anymore. Yet I continue forward, unwilling and unable to go back. I press on, knowing that at some point there will be an end to my wandering, but what will I find there?”
“There are days that you just lack motivation. There’s nothing wrong with these days. Everyone has them, but the question is what do you do with them. For me those days seem to come on Sundays. It is the end of my work week, and the day I’m most rushed in the gym. I always have to cut something to finish before the gym closes, I hate cutting my workout short. Sitting at work and thinking about heading into the gym I’m not excited but does that mean that I will stay home? No, it doesn’t matter that I will feel rushed, it doesn’t matter that Sundays I workout alone with no one to notice my absence. That there are no bumper plates, robes to climb, heavy kettlebells to use, or other equipment I may need. I go in, make it work, and leave feeling accomplished. Sometimes you have to make yourself show up. there’s no substitute for putting in the work. You cannot avoid the challenge in front of you. To do so is to admit defeat, you might as well give it up then. A man is measured by the size of the barriers he has overcome. This past year has been full of barriers, I have met each head on and there were many that rebuffed my first attempts. There are even those that continue to defeat me. But that is no reason to get discouraged. I will not be denied my goals. So on those days when I feel like it would be easier to take the day off, I go in anyway. I make it work, and at the end of the day I feel better for it.”