Monday, January 19, 2015

Maxing Out

Like many others, I made some fitness goals and resolutions a few weeks ago for the new year.  Actually, I got a jumpstart on the whole "new year's resolution" idea and started my new routine a week early.  My chosen program:  Shaun T's Insanity Max 30.  It follows a high intensity interval training format, which basically means it's no joke.  But thankfully for me and my sketchy knees, there's a low-impact modifier for almost all of the moves.

For three weeks, I was content to follow the modifier track.  But inspired by my dreams of a flat stomach, killer triceps, and 8-pack abs, I decided it was time for me to make the jump.  To take the chance.  To max out and go high impact.

So halfway through last Saturday's routine, I decided to leave my modifying ways behind and do the regular, jumping, high-impact move along with the rest of Shaun T's crew.

And I promptly rolled my ankle and landed in a heap in the middle of my living room floor.


As I gathered myself back together and talked myself into finishing the routine, I had the thought: "How many times has this happened in other parts of my life?"  (For example: not just with push-ups, but with patience?)  I try to take things up a notch and be a bit better, only to fall in a inglorious heap of good intentions, missed marks, and flubbed opportunities.

It's humbling to realize you're not ready for the high impact stuff.  But it takes away the sting to know that keeping up with the athletes on the screen isn't the point.  (Though, admittedly a hard one to always accept when you're competitive like I am.)

The point is to go as hard as you can, to take a break when you need it, and then to get back up and get in there and focus on making yourself stronger.  As Shaun T would say, "You are simply working on your personal best.  There is no shame in stopping at your max."

Whether in my workout, or in life, the point is to do the best I can.  Not to measure up to the superstars (or to the unattainable), but just to do my best.  And I won't discover what that point is until I push it and take that chance.

Surprisingly, this workout is teaching me to give myself a bit more grace; to not be afraid or ashamed of maxing out.  But to find that point (and perhaps fall down), then gather myself, get back up, and do better next time.

No shame.  Imua.  Moving forward and being better than I was before.


P.S. - I want to mention that for a few days after my embarrassing fall, I walked with a bit of a limp.  Falling hurt!  But it made me think that sometimes a limp can be a badge of honor.  Because it means you tried.  You reached.  And maybe it didn't work out the way you planned.  But you'll heal, and you can try it again.

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