fail fast. fail often.

The theme of this week’s workouts was failure.  I know, I know it sounds really down and sad, but actually it was the best thing ever.  I am a firm believer in learning from your mistakes and your pitfalls.  This week was a prime example of that.  Here’s a summary of what I did this week:

  • Sunday-BBG Week 16 Legs & 30 min Cardio
  • Monday- 4 mile run, 10 min HIIT sprints on bike & 30 min Cardio
  • Tuesday-BBG Week 16 Arms (death) & 30 min Cardio
  • Wednesday- 4 mile run, 10 min HIIT sprints down driveway, & 20 min Cardio
  • Thursday- 3 mile run, BBG Week 16 Abs
  • Friday- 2 mile run, BBG Full Body

As you can see, Tuesday wasn’t exactly a walk in the park.  My arms workout was what some may call disastrous.  I wasn’t feeling and I just struggled doing moves that usually didn’t phase me at all.  The workout consisted of laydown snap jumps, double pulse tricep dips, burpees with push-ups and mountain climbers among other things for 30 minutes.  My shoulders were burning and more than once I had to stop and recollect myself.  I would wipe the sweat off of my forehead, curse the world, and head right back into plank position for another push-up.  I think all in all, I almost quit the workout at least 6 times.  But, for some reason, I never gave up.  I knew I was failing over and over, but I told myself I could do it.  I brushed off my negative thoughts and got down to business even though I felt like death was actually upon me.  When the final buzzer went off, you would have thought I just won the lottery.  I exhaled deeply and shook my arms out feeling this sense of accomplishment that was like nothing I have felt before.  Everything was working against me that morning, but I never stopped and threw in the towel.  It was my choice to and I chose to keep going.

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This whole week, I have been a lot more introspective and have taken time to think about the effects of working out that aren’t physical.  When I first started running, I was like a bumbling chicken just hatched out of an egg.  I was awkward and slow and just trying to find my footing as I huffed and puffed through 10 minute miles that seemed to go on for days.  But as time went on and I got stronger, I realized how big of a mental game fitness is.  Your body can do crazy things and is pretty darn resilient the majority of the time.  It’s your mind that you have to get in the game as well.  You choose whether or not you’ll squeeze in time to get to the gym.  Your body can do it either way, but your mind has to make the choice to get you there.  You can physically run farther than I’m sure you ever have in your life, but it’s your brain that talks you out of it.  Fighting with it to not listen to your tired legs and pulsing lungs is another story, but it’s that mental toughness and going past your failures that will make you stronger in the long run.

Next time you head out for a run, run for awhile and then when you’re ready to throw in the towel, stop, regroup, and run a little more.  You’ll be surprised what happens when you overcome that failure and what you learn when you do it.

-sj

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