You know, for a long time when I was younger and growing up, people always said that “it can’t be done”. Or, “you can’t do that”.
Insert whatever goal in for “it” that you’d like, I’d always get told that.
It got really frustrating and my once very carefree and entrepreneurial spirit took a back seat to conformity … it was less painful and seemed to cause less friction in my everyday life.
So I trudged through my so-called life, bounced from job to job, trying to find my place.
I loved the Army and structure, but … at the end of the day, I didn’t fit in well there either, with a strong, independent mind.
Up until a year and a half ago, I was still trudging.
My childhood and young adulthood up to my late 20’s had essentially turned me pretty cold.
Let me be clear. I wasn’t abused as a child … like how you’d be thinking.
My parents are great. We always ate meals together and we went on family trips.
We were a middle class family, growing up in middle class Nebraska, doing just fine.
But … my peers, classmates, teachers (the adults you spend a lot of time with) … I struggle to think of a single adult (besides my parents) who inspired me, or acted as a “mentor” for me in my youth.
All these “leaders” and “adults” in my life were just really flawed humans who always brushed off their insecurities on others.
Particularly, as a tom boy, a girl with short hair and who loved sports, I often took the brunt of this insecurity from them.
Lately, I’ve struggled with all the details and scars that these memories have left behind.
Starting a business is hard.
Like really hard.
So hard that, for me, it was impossible to have a balanced workout – home – work life of any kind.
It was always 24/7/365 WORK.
Now, combine this with the fact that I have been told that “I can’t” at nearly every turn of my life, and I started to become a recluse.
I didn’t want to workout.
I didn’t want to cook anymore.
I simply wanted to prove to all these past ghosts in my mind that I COULD start a business.
For once, I could.
Ironically, my die hard attitude and out of control “work ethic” led me to burnout.
I started doing some reading after a friend turned me on to some modern philosophy books in Mindfulness.
It was obvious that I had some significant mental blocks that were preventing me from becoming my best.
Well, what can I do about it, though?!
I decided that going to a behavioral therapist was the best thing to do … after thinking the idea was unnecessary “for me” many times.
And because, really, who the f*ck wants to say they go to therapy?
** okay, here’s the whole point of the story, if you’ve been wondering! **
A few days ago we re-tested a version of “Elizabeth” in the squat clean version. If you’ve ever done this workout, you know that it’s bad enough when done with a power clean, let alone 45 squats for time!
21 -15 – 9
Six weeks ago, before I started hashing my personal barriers out, I posted a 9:44 on this workout.
Eh, it’s ok, I guess. I’m used to doing better, but I also just got back from a 6 month hiatus, so I had to take it!
My re-test went better than I could have imagined. I scored 7:28 … a huge PR!
It wasn’t just the time that was notable, it was HOW I achieved it.
I went to the proverbial “pain cave” and told myself one more rep, then one more and another.
I ended my last ring dip, and walked out of the gym …
Laid my head on the pavement …
But, not because of the reason you think. Ha!
No, no crying for PRs for me. Instead, I had just pushed myself to my physiological limits, I was having a reaction to the stress of the workout.
If I have felt that way before, it has been a long time.
Was it painful? Yeah, kinda. I think so.
But the only thing on my mind now is how my perceived mental limits have changed.
And that’s the key to everything.
Most of our barriers are not physical.
They are mental.
Day by day I have been removing mental barriers that have been hanging around since before my teenage years.
It hasn’t been easy to confront some of these things that have molded me in to who I present myself to the world, but it is the only way I’m going to reach my potential.
And I refuse to let someone tell me that I can’t reach my potential. Get outta my way!
Sometimes, it also takes telling yourself to push just a little harder so you can overcome your own MENTAL barriers.
I can say, quite honestly, and with certainty, that it was the best workout of my life the other day.
Preaching isn’t my style … but if you are struggling with a training plateau, you might want to address your mental barriers, before you start on another new program or coach.
I faced mine head on and the benefits far outweigh any of the issues my ego has with it!
Once you realize the power your thoughts have, you’ll wonder why you ever flooded it was negativity!
- Coach Katie Danger // @katie_dangerr