Saturday, July 3, 2010

I Will Become What I Know I Am

Leave it to a Michael Jordan commercial to provide me with my inspiration for the day:

Look at me.
I won't let myself end
where I started.
I won't let myself finish
where I began.
I know what is within me
even if you can't see it yet.

Look me in the eyes.
I have something more important
than courage.
I have patience.
I will become
what I know I am.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Doubt vs. Decision

205 pounds.

A lot of weight by any measure. At my CrossFit gym, it's a threshold that gains you bragging rights in the "200 Club" - a group of people who have deadlifted lifted 200+ pounds. Last fall, I was happy to get 155 pounds off the ground, but I knew in the intervening months I had made tremendous gains in strength and had my eye on the "200 Club." Just 3 weeks ago, I recorded a PR (personal record), deadlifting 190 pounds during a class where we were seeking out that personal best. Thrilled, but couldn't help thinking about that last 10 pounds.

Having learned that the best way to make something happen is to say it out loud to someone, I told my coach, Big Mike, after class on Wednesday that I wanted to get my 200 pound deadlift - would he meet with me "sometime" to try it? His response was to load up a bar right then and there. "Do it."

Careful what you ask for, right? Mind you, this was after a full CrossFit workout with heavy back squats and 5 fast and furious rounds of push jerks and lunges with weight on our backs...I didn't mean TODAY! (the excuses were piling up fast...)

With that mind set, I approached the bar with an attitude of "I'll try." And, of course, I couldn't budge the bar - not an inch. Several coaches are watching by this point, and another friend and coach JT got in my face about shaking my head no while I had my hands on the bar. Doubt. But I'm trying, I thought! After two tries, Big Mike sat me down and told me to think about it - and to not touch the bar again until I had decided to pick it up.

Decision is a powerful thing. Was I any stronger the third time I grabbed the bar? Not by a long shot - I was actually lightheaded and spent. But this time, I lifted 205 pounds off the ground.

Belief is a tricky thing. "I'll try" sounds good, but it leaves the door open for doubt. The thing is not to "try," but to simply "do." I'm grateful to be surrounded by friends and coaches who will pour their belief into me until I can believe myself. In the meantime, my job is to banish doubt, decide and do.