Last week, I read a post from Fitness Magazine on Facebook about learning to do three fitness moves that have previously been obstacles to you. One of them was a pull-up, which I’ve never been able to do, but have always wanted to. It’s one of those things that would just make me feel very accomplished in my fitness journey based on the simple fact that it will mean succeeding at something at which I’d previously failed.
The first step was to simply hang from the bar, supporting all your weight with your arms, for 30 seconds (I thought…more on that in a minute). Simple enough, I thought. I put our chin-up bar in the doorway and told Brian to time me.
Oh. My. Goodness.
I didn’t realize how long 30 seconds could be. Right away, it was hard. I almost quit. Then, I realized that, if I quit, I would be failing not due to inability, but due to the fact that I gave up.
So, I held on. For the entire 30 seconds.
In that 30 seconds, I realized something amazing. My whole mind-set has changed. I’m no longer a quitter.
I’m not sure if I attribute that change to running or to my whole weight-loss journey overall. My first thought was that it was due to running. When I first started running, I could barely run for a minute at a time without feeling like I was going to die. Now, I can run 4.5 miles without stopping. (And, with the perfect running weather I had Sunday night, I really think I could have gone farther.)
Running has made me realize that I can do anything for a little while – that, generally speaking, I’m not going to die doing most things for a few seconds or a few minutes. That, as long as I don’t quit, I’ll be rewarded with success and an incredible feeling of accomplishment.
It may just be the whole weight-loss journey, though. I’ve come so far and been so much more successful than I ever thought I’d be (though it’s taking forever to get the last 20 or so pounds off). It’s helped me realize that I really can be successful if I just keep working towards my goals.
Now, for the full disclosure and the rest of the story on that whole 30 seconds thing. The next two times I tried, I just could not hold onto that bar to save my life. My hands were slipping and I could barely do 10 seconds.
Over the next couple of days, I tried again with the same results – I just couldn’t hold on to the bar. So, I finally resolved that I would just hold on as long as I could and work up to 30 seconds. That was going well for me.
Today, I picked up the paper where I’d printed off the steps to building up to a pull-up and read it again. It said to build up to where you could hold on for 30 seconds.
Oh. Good idea.
What unexpected things have you learned about yourself in the course of your weight-loss or fitness journey?