Anyone within earshot of the gym on Wednesday must have gotten a kick out of the sounds floating through the parking lot during the WOD. The Ganbatte crew was working through two rounds of max push ups, max presses and clapping push ups, with 30 seconds of rest in between. They were two-thirds of the way through round one, sprawled on the ground, soaking up the half-minute rest and warily flipping onto their stomachs. The push-ups were going to hurt, and everyone in the room knew it.
At least five people in the rooms started grunting. Another five yelled something like, “Euuuuughhhhhhhh!” There was a “Pffffffaaagh,” a “Jesus!” a yelp, and at least one, “Are you KIDDING me?”
Then everyone started to laugh.
Workouts should be taken seriously, of course, but something about that moment was pretty great. Cracking up for a few seconds was the group’s recognition that everyone in the room, no matter how strong, felt rubber-armed and awkward. Instead of getting angry, frustrated, or thinking that they “should” feel solid, they chose to laugh. Then they got back to work.
Contrast that moment with some others I’ve seen recently, particularly from some of our newer members. The gym has grown quite a bit in the last few months. I’ve met many new athletes eager to dive in and get fast results. Their enthusiasm is fantastic, but I’ve noticed it is sometimes paired with impatience that leads to anger. I’ve seen people cursing, short-tempered, beating themselves up because they want to have been better yesterday. Wanting to improve is a good thing; wanting to improve overnight is not realistic. Our brains and bodies need time and practice to learn and get stronger. They also need a positive mental attitude to create space for improvement. Self deprecation closes us off from our own potential. It locks us into the past with a mindset of, “Why couldn’t I…” and “Why didn’t I…” rather than “I will.”
A lot of us are impatient by nature, but getting healthier, stronger and happier are all a process. Work hard but not angry. WODs are difficult. If you do them right, they will always be difficult. Getting tangled in frustration won’t make them easier, and definitely won’t make you improve.
Take your training one day at a time. Don’t take yourself too seriously. We all get tired. We all have bad days. We all make funny faces during workouts. And we are all improving, as long as we have the perspective to laugh about it every now and then.
Totally made my day!