The autumn leaves are falling like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are always two cups at my table.

T’ang Dynasty poem

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Your Training in Perspective

Below is an excerpt from a post at the Huffington Post. The full post may be read here.

You Don't Suck as Much as You Think You Do

If you're going to get better at fitness (or anything), then you need to accept one fact: You do not suck as much as you think you do.
Most of us are far harder on ourselves than anyone else ever could be. We look at other people and compare ourselves, often to our own detriment.
But here's the thing: you're not going to last very long if you keep thinking you're the worst. There's only so long you can punch yourself in the mental face before you just say "Screw this" and walk away, off to try something else, then something else, then something else ...
We do this to ourselves, though -- this "you suck" mentality. And our culture helps. Plus, there's money to be made by telling us we suck, because there's always someone to teach us how to improve. That's okay (we live in a capitalistic society), but nobody's going to regulate this talk, so you need to learn to regulate yourself. Because a community (with good intentions) will say this:
"Look at this you're bad at. And this. And this."
"Work your goats. Work your goats. Work your goats."
But it gets old, and it has a cost.
See, I know because I used to be this way. All my life, I was the first one in the line to punch myself in the mental face because I wasn't the best at this or that. I'd compare myself to her in the class, or him, or that person online. My goats -- these things I needed to improve -- well, they were many. They multiplied daily. And they ran all over my backyard, obscuring any flowers, hiding any accomplishments. CrossFit only helped me see more goats. Oh, those goats. I chased those ugly, smelly things constantly.
Then, one day, I realized I was spending all my time herding goats, and I was not enjoying the things I did like and I was good at. So I opened the gates. I let all the goats run free. And then I could see the flowers again. Life was a heck of a lot more beautiful... and fun.
And now? The goats hang around the outer edges of the lawn, but I don't let them eat the flowers and sometimes I just run right at them and scare the crap out of them. Goats don't bother me so much anymore.
Do I still suck at some things? YES. But I don't give a damn anymore. I work on some things to improve -- like double-unders or pull-ups or snatches. And some things I just let run into the woods. Handstand walking? I don't care. I don't want to do it. My chiropractor begs me not to do it. And it doesn't matter to my physical or mental well-being if I do it. I'm not a CrossFit Games athlete. I'm not a local competitor. I'm just a writer who wants to stay healthy and move heavy weight, and I'm never going to walk on my hands. I'm good with that.

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