I cried when I bench pressed with my coach recently.
I chuckle as I write that, because I knew long ago I was going to have this moment, somehow and somewhere, when I signed up for my Russian Kettlebell Instructor workshop in Santa Cruz. I had a blast.
But it was also intense.
I had no sign language interpreter, so I threw myself in front of an obstacle. I did it because I’m committed to becoming a better coach, and to keep training my resilience.
My body and mind went into overdrive all weekend – reading lips, the manual, processing and analyzing movements, lifting kettlebells, and filling in the gaps myself – and it was emotionally draining.
You know the feeling when you want something so bad, and you work for it, but you’re not sure if you’ll get it?
My mentor/teacher Dan John knew it’d be tough but we knew going in it would be rewarding.
I’m forever grateful for his willingness to pull double duty and work with me. He encapsulates the two main ingredients of inspiration that I share with in my training philosophy: strength and empathy. Dan exhibits the strength and vigor needed for getting through not only a challenging workout but also life’s greatest challengers, and he possess the empathy and compassion that attract others to him and help them find their own greatness.
We train ourselves not for shit and giggles (that’s working out, not training) but to better handle mental and phsyical resistance. We practice cranking up and down tension, for our lifts, for speed, for situations that require grit or to relax.
So – when I was bench pressing after I came back from the workshop, it was just too much extra tension and I still hadn’t dialed down after the trip.
Mat (my coach) knew. He finally looked at me and asked, “Are you OK?”
I paused. “Aren’t I supposed to be tough?” I thought.
Then: “Shit I just want a good cry and hug. I have no shame.”
We had a good chat and a weight was lifted off me. (Ha-ha. I love fitness puns.)
Then I was ready to lift again. Ready to take life by the balls.
He suggested we do a long and fun workout, based off the Holleyman WOD, with a spin he knew would make me feel badass.
If you have one of those days where you just want to sweat and remember you’re tough (or you just need a workout) I posted it on Instagram. LOVED it.
We all have obstacles. It isn’t there to hold you back, it’s just waiting to make you stronger.
Sometimes we don’t ask for it, or we do, the same way I have with flying to California for my certification, going through dating sagas and changing careers to do what I love.
Sometimes, you have to find the obstacles. Then you lift it out of the way and lead your butt where you want to go. I did this time, and passed the course.
I’m convinced you can develop the same resilience.
It’s not pretty. Sometimes you need a cry along the way.
But handling mental and physical resistance go in hand in hand.
To get better, you practice both, and you can.