Don’t think, based on the title, that I actually have the answer to this “dilemma” because I don’t. But I wanted to kinda report in on what happened today and pose this idea to you for….the future.
Often times my focus during my workouts, especially my LIFTING workouts, is to go big. Get that next weight, because I’m still such a novice that I don’t like being “under 100 pounds” for every single lift. Watching the elite athletes (either CrossFit or any weightlifting athlete) push triple digits overhead like they’re lifting a pillow, not one hundred plus pounds makes me hope that some day I will be able to do the same. Not today, for sure.
But this IS a story about TODAY. Because I’m super competitive with myself, I sometimes lose focus on the trees and see only the forest. With post-workout perspective, I am seeing both the forest AND the trees. Here’s what happened.
My morning workout included Squat Snatch, Power Clean, and Overhead Squats. The snatch and the cleans were 3×2 at 80%, 85%, and building off 86%. The overhead squats were build to a heavy triple in 10 minutes. I approached the snatch hoping to go big. I wanted to get close to 50 pounds overhead in a full snatch. But I also knew that I’ve been having trouble making contact at the hip-crease with the 2nd pull in my snatch so I tried to focus on improving that. Eighty percent for me is 35 pounds which is my empty barbell. I got through 3 rounds of 2 reps at 35 pounds and felt okay about the contact I was making. It wasn’t perfect but it was better than it had been so I loaded my 5 pound fractionals onto the bar and decided to see how 40 pounds went. Quite honestly, it went better than I thought. Feeling confident about those lifts, I switched to my 45 pound plates and went for it. The first lift was okay, but no contact and I felt I didn’t get under the bar quickly so I tried a second lift with 45. That one seemed the same shaky slow pull under the bar with less contact than I wanted (although a bit). At that point, I knew I wasn’t going to PR my snatch and so I just refocused, trying to get the right amount of extension, a bit more contact, and some speed into the squat. It wasn’t perfect but it was something to build on.
Lots of times, when that first lift doesn’t go as I had hoped, the rest of the morning is a bust. But, I knew my power clean could be good if I focused, and I love me some overhead squats!
Not only did my 45 pound power clean go up easily, my turnover was good and I felt powerful! Up we went to 50# and then 55 pounds! All of them went *fairly well* and I felt my form was holding. Come to find out, that was the most weight I’ve power cleaned (2 rep) and I had a personal best there!
Moving into the overhead squats, I wanted to see how heavy those could get for me – I’ve failed 40 pounds in the past few months so had no idea what I could do. The directions told me to start with an empty bar and move up which I did…25, 37, 40, 42…43….45……..47!! And then 50!! I was stunned! I got 50# over my head in an overhead squat…3 reps!
This story isn’t really about just setting personal records. What’s about is pivoting. Making the best of where you are. Making the best of the situation you see yourself in. Could it be better? Sure. Can’t everything? Could it be worse? Certainly.
At the point where you realize things aren’t going exactly as you planned, can you stop and ask yourself, “What did I learn here?” When you find what you might consider to be a failure, can you extract a lesson from that? Can you put the failure into perspective and find a way to use it as a stepping stone to moving forward?
If you are learning from what you consider to be a failure or a NON-success, then you are on the right path. Not just in exercise or weightlifting, but in life too.