Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been there too. That oh-so-familiar conversation in your head that comes through right when it starts to get tough. “This hurts. I don’t want it. I don’t want to do another rep.” You can’t breathe. You feel like you’re going to throw up and then finally the last resounding thought we all have, “Why do I do this to myself?”
Part of being a great coach is really trying to put yourself in your athletes’ states of mind. You could call it empathy but I think it’s beyond that. You have to be able to look at a person and decide whether they’re selling out or leaving something in the tank. Sure, what you’re putting in your mouth for the other 23 hours of the day that you aren’t here is vastly important when it comes to getting results, but challenging yourself in your workouts is definitely the other oar in the water. Now, don’t mistake what I’m saying. Scaling is important and you should always do the weights and reps within your scope of capacity. But, just because you’re scaling the workout doesn’t mean you’re making it easier. You should be trying to push to finish it faster.
This is where you get back to that conversation in your head and where we try to gauge whether you’re giving it all you’ve got or not. I always find it fascinating when someone isn’t pushing as hard as I know they can. I think to myself, “Why are they dragging this out longer than it has to be? Shouldn’t they want to just get it over with?”
It’s at this point that you need to ask yourself that question, “Why am I doing this?” Now, I can’t answer that for you, but I know why I push myself. I like challenging myself physically. Always have. But, it’s not just seeing what my body is capable of, it’s finding out if I can push hard enough to make myself want to stop the workout completely. I’ve always gotten a rush from watching Navy SEALS go through their Hell Week. It astounds me what people kind of physical and psychological torment people can subject themselves to, all in the name of getting on the other side, where the real rewards await. I don’t have any aspirations of making it to the Games. I like playing basketball with my friends and even that isn’t all that competitive. (Some of my friends are really out of shape.) But, I just like being healthy and seeing what I’m capable of.
The point of pushing through workouts and focusing on what you’re eating is really a microcosm of how you accomplish anything you might want to. Reaping the rewards of something requires going through a struggle. The other side of struggle is always success. It’s just how things work. You just have to decide that you don’t know what you’re capable of but you sure know where you can find out.
If you want to figure out just what you’re capable of and challenge your fitness, reach out to us! Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 210.651.1047.