Hi everyone- Rob’s wife Val here! Nice to e-meet you. I’m excited to chime in and give you my perspective on what’s going on around our gym these days.
Fitness is easy to do when you’re a kid (well, it should be…). If you are lucky like I was, there’s always a clear goal set for you, whether it’s by parents, siblings, coaches, or life pulling you along into high school sports teams and college and so on. At some point though, the grown up thing happens, Mom stops paying your soccer dues, and fitness goals become time consuming and expensive. It’s the pits.
I’ve tried to set various goals for myself over the last few years. I ran a few half marathons, even one full marathon, and I signed up for a year of Crossfit at a really great and consistently intense gym. My goals were pretty straight forward. I was determined to “finish” the marathon and stick with Crossfit for more than a year. And I did! Yay me!…
Except not really. Goals are relative, which, I think, explains why I didn’t feel all that excited or accomplished after getting to the end of my first marathon or reaching my Crossfit anniversary.
To use the marathon as an example- I happen to love running. Turn up some Katy Perry I can run 11 minute miles for hours. Give me a running buddy and I can do hill sprints for days. It’s the way my brain works. So when I signed up for a marathon and said “all I want to do is finish!” , I was seriously selling myself short. It would be like Lebron James publicly announcing that his goal for this season is to score 20 points a game. He’s done that already! It would be a surprise if he DIDN’T do that. Sure, it’s still an accomplishment because not everyone can be Lebron. But based on where he is in his career right now, scoring 20 points a game doesn’t take any exceptional amount of new effort. Setting a goal to score 20 points a game wouldn’t help him get better. So back to me (the Lebron James of running, obvs)… running a marathon was a terrible, long, mental and physical challenge. But finishing a marathon was something I was really confident I could achieve with only a minimal adjustment to my regular training routines. Here I am at mile 13 where we stopped for a visit from our cheerleading squad. Clearly fun, but I look like I’m really pushing my limits, dont I? (no.)
Now. Imagine that instead, I said that my goal was to finish in less than 5 hrs. I would have had a whole lot more to be afraid of. Failing. Blergh. Who wants that? I actually have no idea if I could have done that. But I can say with confidence that had 5 hrs been my goal, I would have trained a whole lot harder, I probably would have finished a whole lot faster, and I can guarantee that the experience would have been way more rewarding regardless of my final time.
Flash forward to May 2015. Rob and I just bought a house and built ourselves a bad-ass new gym. And when I thought about the “goals” I had set for myself in the past, and how I felt just kind of MEH about them, I decided to pick something new to work towards in our new space. I landed on a scary and mysterious goal that I actually think might be impossible for me.
I am going to do a pull up.
ONE STRICT- UNASSISTED- NO KIPPING- NO BANDS – PULL-UP
Yes boys. One pull-up probably seems like a lame goal to most of you. But for me, the pull-up is the most challenging, out of reach exercise of them all. Here’s a picture of me trying (extremely hard I might add), to complete a ~12 second pull up hold. It was embarrassingly difficult. And no, I didn’t pull myself up. I started from a hang, and had to climb up a ladder (or Rob’s back) to get myself up there.
The goal is to get from HERE…
…without ladders (or Robs) or bands. That’s it.
I’ll post a few videos soon and you’ll see just how far I am from actually getting there. Follow along. If you also struggle with pull-ups, try to get better with me and let me know how it goes! If you don’t struggle with pull-ups, I challenge you to pick your least favorite, most out of reach exercise and commit to working on it until you get better. And so it begins.
Until next time!