I was bent over leaning my hands on my thighs panting. I looked at Matt my eyes pleading, and said, “This is so hard.”
Matt and his wife Robyn and the owners and trainers at the CrossFit gym I teach yoga at. Lately, I’ve also been coming to his 6:30am group classes a few times a week.
He turned to me and with complete sincerity, said, “Yes, it is hard.”
I started going to his classes a few days a week to mix things up. My preference is still running outside, but since it’s been crazy cold, and WAY too much snow to keep it up, I’ve been looking into other options.
I still have a treadmill, and I use it a lot, but I find it monotonous to do every day.
I also know I need to be around people more. Since my yoga classes were cancelled due to new Covid regulations, I don’t leave my house much. I work from home, I run or workout at home, I am the primary caregiver, and for months I only left the house to run errands.
I could feel the walls of my world closing in on me and getting smaller. I felt resentment building at every sock I picked up, every meal I planned and cooked, and every hour I was at home looking after others. Everything was becoming a big deal, and I knew it was because my focus was becoming too narrowed.
I need people and something else to place my attention on.
Enter CrossFit. What I love is my trainer Matt who is like ball of sunshine built like a superhero. He is honest, kind, encouraging and knows his stuff. He will push you to your edge, and also pull you off the cliff to help you finish your workout while keeping your pride intact.
My muscles were still twitching on the drive home. I was evaluating my attitude, and curious about why I show up the way I do in this CrossFit environment.
I often joke about how tough the workouts are with the rest of the group, but if I was being really honest, I feel like I have to “get through” or “endure” the workouts. It’s a very different mindset then when I work out at home (which are never as hard or as long of course).
So, what is this mindset about? I wondered. And where else is it showing up in my life?
I don’t want to show up that way. I want to be eager, positive, and want to WANT to get better. Not suffer through something for the sake of doing it. Yuck.
Is it because I’m not competitive? Is it because I don’t have a “why” that’s compelling enough? Is it because I don’t have a goal? What is my problem anyways?
Later this morning, I saw a reel for kids learning to read and it clicked. She was saying that the most powerful word you can teach your child is: yet. It’s the perfect response when your kid says, “I can’t do it!” and you say, “You can’t do it yet. You’re always learning and growing. Before, you didn’t even know what letters were! Now you know all of them and the sounds them make. Soon, you’ll be able to read them too!”
I use this with Magnus ALL THE TIME. He gets frustrated easily and we work very hard frustration tolerance. And I’ve always used this tool with clients. It was such a great reminder to use it on myself to encourage my own growth mindset.
I realized that I wasn’t lacking a goal or any of that stuff, it’s because I didn’t believe I would EVER do a chin up. So instead, I would endure the process of trying to do it instead of actually working towards doing one.
This is the difference between doing something to get through it and having a buy in to motivate and enjoy the process.
My problem has never been discipline or commitment, I have that in spades, and I have no problem with struggle, I’ve had more than my share. But why choose to live like that?
I believe with all my heart that the greatest gift we can give ourselves is to be a beginner and learn something new in any area of our life. To embrace the suck is a blessing. To learn how to manage ourselves during struggle is mental and emotional strength training. To start from nothing and learn to master a new skill (even if it’s just one chin up!) research confirms is the ultimate confidence booster.
To be a beginner is hard, a chin up is hard, life can be hard, like Matt confirmed. And to grow we need to remember that we will get there, even if it’s not “yet.”
PS. This is to everyone sucking at something right now, I see you, and I’m right here with you.
Now tell me in the comments about something you’re sucking at or sucked at and what happened.