The Art of Pushing Oneself

“If I have accomplished anything good, then it’s mainly because I’ve been driven by the need to know whether I can accomplish things I’m not sure I have the capacity for.” ~Vaclav Havel, playwright

Last nights workout was HARD. “Ryan”- 5 rounds of 7 Muscle Ups and 21 Burpees. We’ve discussed muscle ups before, but if you forgot what that is:

Now since my upper body strength is no where NEAR ready for that kind of move quite yet, I had to modify. The modifications were: for every one muscle up, you do 3 pull ups and 3 dips (so 7 rounds of 3 pull ups and 3 dips). Since beginning Crossfit in October, the pull up has been my archenemy. While it USED to be that if I saw pull ups in the workout, I didn’t go…I now make sure I’m there to work on this weakness. I have spoken with you many times about my deep-rooted desire to be able to nail a kipping pull up…and I’m telling you, I can’t friggin WAIT!! These “strict pull ups” are KILLING me!

Last night while doing my pullups with the green band (the STRONGEST support system for those of us who struggle :-p), my coach comes over.

“What are you doing?”

“What?” I say

“Why you jumping?'”

Yes I was jumping…I MAY have been jumping…I don’t think I can convey JUST HOW LITTLE arm strength I have (EVEN after doing Crossfit for 4.5 months!). I was jumping off the box to be able to get myself up over the bar, and really was only getting the first one easily DOING THAT!

“Because I’m tired…” Not what I meant to say…but I didn’t want to say, I CAN’T!!!

“No, no, no. No jumping…feet off the box…you can do this.”

I did do the first one, with struggle, which I DO expect! However, two and three I wasn’t getting all the way up to the bar. Once my coach noticed this he made sure to tell me that he often has to sift through people’s bullshit to make sure they’re pushing themselves, and low and behold, I wasn’t bullshitting him.

EASILY I could have gone to the “told ya so!” mentality and went RIGHT back to jumping off that box. But I didn’t. I WANT (sooooooooooo badly) to be able to get a pull up. So I struggled. I didn’t even come CLOSE to finishing the workout in the 25 allotted minutes…

but I didn’t care.

I continued doing the pullups (when there was a free band…I had to alternate that with ring rows, which I made sure to make hard enough for myself) the HARDER way, so that at some point they WILL become EASIER!

After the brutal workout, hair SOAKED with sweat (feeling like I really worked my ass off :)), I popped my head into the office and thanked my coach for pushing me. I’m not there to just “get through” the workout…I’m there to get better, to get stronger…and pansy assing my way through it will NEVER get me there!

Do something today that makes you uncomfortable…just try it, for me 🙂

“There’s no better cure for mediocrity than a dose of truth” ~Robert Genn



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