This week, I was in our gym doing some strength training and feeling a bit insecure about how much/little I am able to dead lift and overhead press. I know it isn’t suppose to be a competition and honestly there wasn’t even anyone else there. The insecurity was humbling and I usually respond better to humility inducing opportunities. Anyway, I added 10 pounds to OHP weight and recorded it in an app I use from Stronglifts called 5X5. I did the first set and pushed the button to record it. After 45 seconds, I did a second set and realized that I had overdone the weight increase because my ego didn’t like the humble pie but I did the 5 reps and clicked the button. After 90 seconds I struggled mightily through set 3 and clicked and then pushed ‘Finished’ instead of doing two more prescribed sets ( my acknowledgement of my mistake and limitations). The app said “quitting isn’t and option”. I hadn’t seen that ‘motivation’ reminder before but pushed ‘Finished’ again. ” are you a wimp?” was the app’s response. My back was up and in most circumstances I would have gotten into a ‘let-me-show-you’ space and ignored my inner voice saying ” you have reached your limit”. This time I pushed ‘Finished’ one last time and turned the app off. I used it again later in the week after learning so many lessons about myself and better way to react to external stimuli.
Sometimes when we are feeling vulnerable, we ignore or deny or unaware of the cause. Many of us have a sick-it-up backstory from childhood where pushing through at any cost was always the right answer. I recognize that I have scripts running in my head from a father who likely really just wanted me to succeed and high school coaches who wanted to win. I also realize that quitting is a slippery slope – harder to do the first time than the fifth (at anything). Persistence is a virtue that I celebrate but I am coming to understand that self awareness and humility to admit limitations are also important aspects I can learn and embrace.
The rest of my workouts, this week, were strenuous but within my ability and I was able to run a grueling 10K trail run on a muddy course, this morning, (and finish first in my age group) because I didn’t injure myself. The takeaway for me and maybe others is that pushing to be better is great but recognizing your current limits without personal judgement is greater.
Tomorrow, I tackle OHP, dead lifts and squats with a new clarity of purpose and promise.
Make Today Remarkable, by accepting humility,