Does each workout we do have a meaning? Certainly. There is a reason why we workout and there is a reason behind each workout that we do. The purpose can be as simple as moving our body for the goodness of our health and something so complex that we must strategize our plan of attack and go to a place where we are challenged both mentally and physically.
If you’ve read my post Mental Toughness: My Inspiration, then you already know that mental strength is something I’m constantly working to improve. There are many ways we can work to achieve stronger minds, and I was recently put in a position where my mental toughness was put to an extreme test.
Two weeks ago while dealing with patellar tendonitis and having to take a break from many movements which aggravated my knee, I asked my good friend Chad if he could suggest a workout. Little did I know what challenges were in my near future. The workout Chad gave me was an 800m handstand walk at a track. 2 laps around. I really did not want to do this alone, and I had a difficult time convincing anyone to do it with me. So I continued to put it off throughout the day. Finally, my sister said she would go to the track with me when she was finished with work. She would not be doing the workout with me, but she would come along and do her own thing. By the time she was off work it was pitch black outside. We went to our local track in town which I hadn’t been to in years and did not realize how terrible it was. Uneven with gravel and dirt. I had gloves but the rocks still crushed my hands. And since I could not see where I was going I kept slipping. It was awful. I managed to finish but I was quite disappointed with myself. I expected better from myself. Unfortunately though, I had put myself in a position that was less than ideal for an already challenging workout.
I decided the next day that I would do it again. I told a few people about the workout Chad had given me to do. They all thought he was crazy. They also said there was no way Chad would be able to do that workout. When I told Chad that I would redo it, and upon finding out that someone doubted his ability, he said that he would do it with me. We waited a week and went to Sac City College. A beautiful track.
I had no idea how long the walk would take, but off we went. Not even a quarter of the way around the first lap and I was already thinking about the pain in my arms. About halfway around the first lap I felt a blister forming at the bottom of my palm. There was a plastic tab on my gloves rubbing brutally against my hand. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I could tell a blood blister had formed. I hated the pain and was already upset that I had choose shitty gloves to wear. Then my wrists began to hurt, and my shoulders. Sometimes I could could kick up and get a fair bit done, sometimes only a few steps and one of the three things causing me pain got in my head, causing me to come down. When that happened I got quite frustrated. I wanted to do well on this walk, and every time I went just a few steps and took a rest I felt like I was letting myself down. Needless to say, the entire trek was a mental battle for me. It was also extremely difficult to finish one long lap and realize that I still had an entire lap to do. But Chad had anticipate that, he wanted me to be challenged by the visible distance I had accomplished and that which still remained.
In the end the workout took me an hour and fourteen minutes. Quite a bit longer than I had hoped for, but there was never a point where I contemplated giving up. The old me would have. I knew I was capable of doing this workout and when I got down I pep talked myself back into it.
I’ve been told me that confidence and success go hand in hand. Most athletes need success to build confidence. Because confidence comes from knowing and believing that you are good. In the past I thrived on the validation of others to believe that I was good. But to be truly successful that has to come from within. Believe in yourself, believe in your goals, and put yourself in a position to succeed. And act confident. Whether you’ve reached a certain level of success or not, it’s important to be confident. When I started to doubt my ability during this workout I lifted my head and reminded myself how capable I was. This was a stepping stone towards a bigger goal and something I was more than capable of doing.