Here we are, rounding out week #3 of a year-long testing process meant to challenge participants physically, mentally, and emotionally! I have to admit, ramping up the physical activity has awakened some demons … old injuries are no joke! I didn’t listen to the guy that said “wait till you’re my age,” and now I’m that guy!!
There’s an important lesson in this year’s UBBT: FAILURE IS AN OPTION, QUITTING IS NOT. With this in mind, I have to go back to an old ‘word of the week’ type story KJN Tom Callos used to tell us every once in a while at the end of class or training. Well, it’s not so much a story as it is a way of explaining that there will always be forces that push you off course, like when you’re flying an airplane and you have to deal with air pressure, wind velocity and direction, and any number of other factors that may send you flying off course. This is when you need to course correct and adjust your heading. You don’t simply let those forces send you to wherever they feel like until you end up landing hundreds or thousands of miles from where you wanted to be. You fly into, over, and around whatever stands in your way to follow your initial ‘flight plan.’
OK, let’s stop talking in riddles and metaphors. I’m talking about how we (by we, I mean me, as an example) always seem to want to come out of the gates at full-speed-ahead, with the grand plan to do ridiculous numbers of push-ups, sit-ups, running, biking, swimming, climbing, and whatever else we envision ourselves capable of. Reality has a wonderful way of reminding us of old injuries and just how out of shape we have allowed ourselves to become. It won’t be the first day, and maybe not the first week, as you’re flying high on excitement and motivation, but that motivation is sometimes no match for reality. After coming off that first wave of excitement, we quickly realize how much work is really involved in continuing the process, and that can be a scary place, because now it’s not up to the motivation to keep you going, it’s willpower. It’s keeping focused on the desired outcome and maintaining forward progress, even small progress, toward those goals.
Now, I’m not saying you can ‘will yourself’ to do those things that leave you feeling beaten and abused at the end of the night. I’m saying that it’s this desire to succeed and overcome that can be tapped into to get creative on how you can keep moving forward! That is where the motivation will start coming back into your life! So many times I’ve allowed myself to quit something worthwhile when I faced the pain and reality that I can’t do some of the things I could 10 or 20 years ago, but I can’t do that this year. Remember? Failure is an option, quitting is not.
As I come to the end of week #3, I see that there are a couple exercises that I set out to do that cause more harm than good, and so as I enter week #4, I will not be giving up on those, just adjusting course. For example, sit-ups and crunches wreak havoc on my back. Rather than giving up on that part of my quest for better health and fitness, I’m adjusting the types of core training that I’ll be focusing on to include leg lifts, leg scissors, and different types of planks. This is how I will keep moving forward. This is how I will succeed in this year’s UBBT. This is how I will lead by example.