It’s a Long Road

We’ve been spending some additional time on “goats” lately- and it’s been amazing to see people’s progress.  CFHY members are doing things they never thought they could- handstand pushups, toes to bar, double unders, and pull ups to name a few.  But amidst all this progress, it’s easy to get frustrated that you’re not progressing as quickly as you’d like.  You need to remember- things take time, and the truth is for some people things just take a little longer.  But that doesn’t mean that the effort is not worth it!  It’s true that some people can pick up a jump rope and be stringing together double unders five minutes later- must be nice.  The reality is that for most of us it takes a little longer, and for some of us it may take a year or longer (not to mention the countless whip marks along the way).  But there’s beauty in the effort, and you should be proud of the time you put in.  Don’t fool yourself into thinking that spending five minutes on a skill once or twice a week is all it takes.  It’s easy to watch someone do something effortlessly and assume that it came easy to them, but this is rarely the case.  The “Rule of 10,000″ states that it takes 10,000 hours to develop mastery at a skill.  That’s a lot of hours.  I have the blessing of being able to see athletes of all ages, shapes, and ability levels workout daily and go on their CrossFit journey.  Everyone is different and develops at different stages.  For some weightlifting may come easy, while they struggle with gymnastics movements.  Some may have great endurance but struggle when it comes to lifting heavy.  Embrace what it is you’re good at, and attack those areas that need additional work.  When you see someone who is struggling with something in your area of comfort, offer them some tips on what helps you.  And perhaps more importantly, when you see someone do something you struggle with in a manner that looks effortless learn from them and never, never, never resent their ability- celebrate it!

Speaking from my own experience, I fit into the category of a “slow learner.”  After 28 years, despite the fact that I still get frustrated sometimes, I’m okay with that.  It took me years, yes literally years, to develop proficiency in a kipping pull-up- and it’s still something I work on regularly to get better at.  The process was frustrating.  I spent hours and hours figuring out the rhythm and probably have a hundred more videos like the one below of me struggling through the process.  But I take pride in those hours and that effort, knowing that now every time I string together a set of pull ups it’s only because of the time that I spent in the struggle that I am capable of doing them.

If you are someone who feels frustrated because it takes you a long time to master a skill, or you look around the gym and compare yourself to others- stop.  Take pride in your effort and enjoy the journey.  Sometimes “better every day” doesn’t come in leaps and bounds, but it’s the consistent, small progress each day that leads us to where we want to be.

It’s a long road… and it’s only just beginning.

This video is from a few years ago… and by this point I had already been practicing kipping pull ups for quite some time.  I remember trying to be positive, but having the thought that I would never get kipping pull ups.  It took longer than I would have liked, but I got them.  I’m so glad I didn’t give up when I wanted to.

Pull Up1


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