Thursday, February 18, 2016

Random Things on a Thursday (#3)

This post does not contain many entries, but the first one is long and important, so there's quality to replace quantity, I promise ;)

Indomitable Will
Like (I think) most people out there, I subscribe to a number of online newsletters to keep up to date with all of my favorite things. One of them is from Ekhart Yoga, and when it arrived in my inbox this week I just about fell in love with one of the pictures:

I've been thinking about this a lot recently, so it wasn't hard for me to love this sentiment. Let me expound, because it's been a theme in my life this week.

For years I would see people do things and think "I would never be able/want to do that", without even considering the possibility. I looked at myself and the limitations I had (mostly physically), and let self doubt and insecurity take over. And I realized that, lately, I have stopped telling myself I can't do things.

Think about it. When you're born, you can't do anything but swallow, sleep, and poop (I was once an infant and have met many infants, so I'm pretty confident in saying this). The first time I ever held a baby I was told, "Make sure you support the neck," and I was told that because babies can't even hold their own skulls atop their fragile little necks. But given a few months that baby will develop the muscles it needs to roll over. Then to sit up. And then that baby will start to crawl, and walk, and run.

But it doesn't happen overnight. So why do we, as adults, expect to be able to do things just by wishing we could? Just because you can't do something right now, in this second, does not mean that you will never have the ability.

This ties nicely into my theme for the year: The first step of accomplishing something is believing you can do it.

Even if you never end up doing them, or if you fail over and over, you have to first believe you have the capacity to do things. Example: Even if I never actually squat 500lbs, I believe if I worked hard and long enough, I'd be able to do it. And it would hurt.

My mom likes to call me a 'show off' in our yoga class at Akasha, because sometimes I'll modify to make things more challenging for myself, and sometimes I practice asanas (poses) I struggle with before class. This week, I practiced my crow because we've been working on it at TriBalance. In case you're wondering, this is a crow:

FYI: I didn't complete the pose. I work on this pose for a few minutes every day, and I do so because I need to build the balance in order to hold it, but I was not able to hold it on Saturday. I could get one toe off the ground, but I still needed the other big toe planted to hold the pose.

But after I finished fail-whaling my crow, my mom mouthed, "Show off!" And I said, "Do you know how long I've been trying to do this pose? Almost two years!"

The part I left out when talking to her was that I tried it once, about two years ago, and could not do it. At all. I couldn't get anywhere close in the setup either. And I just...gave up. I remember thinking I wasn't strong enough, wasn't flexible enough, and weighed too much to be able to do it. It wasn't until we started working through it at TriBalance that I realized, 'Hey! Maybe I can do this...'

Then Tuesday happened. Tuesday was the epitome of my realization about Indomitable Will. And it is:

You have to stop being afraid to fail.

I have always believed I would "eventually" increase my lifts to more than my body weight (165lbs, for anyone keeping track). But it turns out I've also been selling myself short. You'll read about this again in my workout recap, but I started my deadlift on Tuesday with what I thought was a decent increase from my last 3-3-10 lift of 145lbs. I increased the weight to 155, and when I finished my first three set it just felt too...easy. Cam said, "I think you should put 25s on there" meaning replace the 10s on the bar with 25lbs (making it one 45 and one 25 on each side) for a total weight of 185lbs.

My immediate reaction was "but that's more than I weigh." And he shrugged and said, "155 was too easy."

In that moment I thought, 'What the hell. Why not. If I fail, then I fail. But I might as well try.'

And I went on to fail the three set. Except...

I successfully deadlifted two 185lb reps in the process. I lifted my weight plus twenty pounds off the ground twice. And it didn't matter to me that I couldn't do the third. The grin on my face felt like it spread through my entire body.

As I stretched a bit afterwards I decided to practice my crow for a few minutes. The nice thing about spotting in deadlifting is you don't actually have to do anything. If the weight is too heavy for the other person they...well they either drop it, or they don't pick it back up. So I squatted down to start my crow setup and one toe came off the ground...and then the other...and I held my crow for a fraction more than one second!

Right there, in front of all those gym goers, I decided to try my crow, not caring if I failed.

The Fear of Failure, or of looking foolish in my failure, has stopped me from doing so many things in the past. I don't want to let that trend continue. Even if I don't think I can physically do something, I like overcoming the mental challenge and telling myself I will try anyways. Because sometimes I surprise myself ;)

This week, I realized the core of Indomitable Will is overcoming the Fear of Failure.

It's been a great realization.


The rest of this post is silly things about my work life. Enjoy!

I park in the same spot every day. Every. Single. Day. One day a few weeks I got to work (10 minutes early!!!!!!!) and someone was parked in my spot. I was irrationally mad at this person. My spot is in the second row, towards the middle-back, even with the second spot to the right of the island in the row in front of it. WHO PARKS THERE?! When there are a ton of closer spots available, who parks in the back?!?!
For reference since the description of where I park may need clarification.
Me. I do. And that's what I told myself to calm down...but I know that car now. I know that black, Lincoln MKZ. It is marked. As is the black and red Dodge Charger that parked in my spot three months ago. I'm watching you people.

Working in Corporate America has given me some great perspective on what it means to be unexpectedly blindsided by a request to be responsible.

A few weeks ago at the gym, Cam and I were rehashing our days and talking about being put on the spot in meetings. He's recently had some good things happen at work and the number of meetings he goes too has quadrupled. I started telling him about a meeting my manager and I had the day before where I was just thrown into it in a big way. Like, I knew the meeting was coming (another department made this meeting with us) but there was no real direction given for it. My manager and I thought we were going to be asked questions and it wasn't until we sat down that I realized it was MY meeting. I was the main attraction. And I felt 0% prepared. I'd never used the web conference technology or anything.

I feel like most of my career has been baby steps...but once in a while you get a shove off a cliff and need to figure out how to use those wings you have.

This is a random picture I found but it describes how I felt.
The good news is that the aforementioned meeting (and the follow up) went really well. So...professional crisis averted!

I joined the Wellness Committee at work (I swear there is actual work I do at work, guys), and I'm excited to be part of it. One of the things I really love about my company are all the opportunities to get involved, and I'm really enjoying taking advantage of these things. Even if it does mean fighting with tape and poster boards all of Sunday afternoon (yeah, that happened).

I made a huge suggestion for their Couch to 5k program, and I really hope I get the chance to participate with it!

The Corporate Challenge
It turns out my company will not be participating in the Corporate Challenge this year. I was a bit bummed when I found out, but it's a significant expense for the company (they provide a lot of extra stuff for employees) and given all of the financial-results announcements lately I'm not surprised. Oh well...that's 75 bucks worth of registration fee that gets to stay in my pocket! Given how ridiculous the registration fee is, I don't even want to think about how much a tent at the event must cost...


Hopefully you've enjoyed wildly random edition of Random Things on a Thursday. I'll be back with more next week!


Currently Reading:
80/20 Running: Run Stronger and Race Faster By Training Slower - Matt Fitzgerald (hard copy)
The Walking Dead: Compendium 3 - Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, Stefano Gaudiano (hard copy)

Finished Reading:K is for Killer (Kinsey Millhone #11) - Sue Grafton (audiobook)

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