I think about this all the time, but watching many of you struggle yet succeed in 19.3 inspired me to write about it.
In my 36 years of being on the planet, one of the most important lessons I’ve learned in life is to maintain the right context. In the broadest of scopes I realize I’m completely and utterly average. I’ll never be close to being the smartest person, fittest, most artistic, best Coach, most saintly….insert any superlative here. When my time is done on this earth, I won’t show up in history books and probably won’t do anything that anyone outside of my direct circle will know about. So if that larger context is going to be my litmus test for life significance and fulfillment, I’m in serious trouble.
But when I adjust the confines of my context to incorporate those that I care about including my own self improvement, then I find INCREDIBLE meaning and fulfillment. I’m sure there will always be a better husband out there, but what if I can be the best husband I am capable of and the best husband Lauren can imagine? That’s a success. There will always be better gym owners out there, but what if I can be good enough for you that I impact your life? Success!
By keeping a more realistic context, I set myself up for an incredible cycle of growth and fulfillment. By realizing how far I’ve come and the impact I’ve had on those in my life, I experience fulfillment and pride in what I do and how far I’ve come. But, by understanding there is always a way to be better for those inside my context including myself, I feel constantly challenged to be just a little bit better. That cycle repeats over and over. Not without disappointment of course – hell sometimes I even take steps backward. But the endgame is one of impact and fulfillment because I keep the right frame of reference.
So what in the world does this have to do with you, your fitness, 19.3, and your journey with us? Everything.
If you or I take our performance on 19.3 or really any day of the week and compare it with the fittest people in the world, it’ll never be impressive. Similarly, if we take our performance and compare it with people that are stronger than us in those things, it’s also not that impressive. But if we can instead ask ourselves “Where did I come from?” and compare our performance within that context, there is incredible DESERVED fulfillment.
I’ll take my mother-in-law Rosemary. She lunged with a 10lb dumbbell (Masters Scaled) for 20ft. Her comment was something to the effect, “I feel like it should be so easy. I feel like I was 95 when I was doing it.” Sure compared to Annie Thorsdottir, not that impressive. BUT, what about when you compare to the woman that walked in 9 months ago? The one that had such bad ankle pain and mobility issues that a mile walk wasn’t in the cards. Fast forward to the woman today that walks a 5k, can walk up stairs unassisted, and just freaking did full standard lunges WITH weight. That’s incredible and that did not happen by accident. It’s months of hard work!
Let’s take Carly as another example. Carly came to us right after having Conor. Her air squat was a struggle, hip and ankle mobility a challenge, and shoulder mobility a large gap. 6 months ago Carly and I worked together for an hour and I gave her shoulder mobility work. It was her choice to actually do it. Since then she has hit lifetime PRs on her Overhead Squats, crushed pull ups, and today finished ALL of the weighted lunges. Of course she wanted more, but the Carly 6 months ago didn’t stand a chance! I’d bet my gym she couldn’t complete half of the lunges then.
I have 10 other stories like this, but my main point is that 19.3 and the Open in general will FIND YOUR WEAKNESS! Keep your context and ask yourself what would have happened when you started…or a year ago…or 6 months ago. Enjoy and revel in that progress – it didn’t happen to you. YOU MADE IT HAPPEN. Not where you want to be or maybe you even slipped vs. 6 months ago? Good! You know what to focus on and now have the fire to focus on it. There is another open in October so we have 7 months to train. Harness that as a goal!
Hopefully my rambling connected with some of you. And if not, hopefully it was boring enough to help you with your recovery sleep.
Great job. Keep your context. Keep up your effort. Ask us for help. Enjoy your progress!