When you’re first starting, it’s easy to get discouraged. You’re self-conscious. All these guys are throwing weights around. All these women doing effortless yoga. All of these…freaking gods and goddesses who know what they’re doing.
And then there’s you. Screwing up push-ups. Struggling with a simple sit-up while your mammoth belly seems to swell to sixty times its normal size (not really, but it sure seems that way).
A bad workout isn’t a bad workout. It’s an opportunity to gather information. It informs you where you can get better.
Dude, I can get better everywhere. I’m the biggest spaz in the whole place. I’d feel awkward working out in a room with Stevie Wonder and Ronnie Milsap.
When I first started, I refused to work out with people because of how awful I’d look. I only worked out in a room with the door closed. I was doing knee pushups, for heaven’s sake.
Truth is, when you start, you have an endless supply of places to get better. No matter what you do, it’ll help.
Those knee push-ups are setting the stage for the awesome regular push-ups you’ll do later. That sit-up, where your stomach seems so enormous? Keep up the fitness and nutrition and your clothes will fit different before you know it. And that stomach will shrink.
Easy for you. You’re relatively fit.
I fail sometimes.
There’s an obstacle in Tough Mudder called the Funky Monkey that kicks my butt every year. This year, I have the upper body strength to do pull-ups. I got this, right?
This morning at Al Lopez, I tried it on a set of straight monkey bars and reaching forward the first time, boom, down on my butt. In front of people. I failed.
No problem. I know my arms and back are okay for this, so the next step is my hands.
The truth is, I want to fail. If I never fail, I’m not pushing myself. In my best workouts, my ego takes the biggest beating.
If I hadn’t failed, I wouldn’t know I need to work on hand strength. Failure isn’t failure, it’s a classroom. It’s the seed-planting for future success. And that’s all it is.
Don’t let it be more.