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Posted by on Mar 10, 2014 in Crossfit, Lifting and Crossfit, Master, Music and Rants, Rant, WOD

Sucking is a Skill

Sucking is a Skill

I don’t remember the last time I felt the need to post twice in a day, and perhaps there is no need, but I’ve got a lot on my mind and diary’s aren’t very manly, even if I do have an awesome beard; it’s pretty majestic right now. I just finished my second go round of 14.2, and it went better, not great still, but better, and for whatever reason, I feel like I’ve been run over by a garbage truck. Not a physical feeling, but a mental one. I’m hard on myself, anyone who spends an hour with me could tell you this, in fact it’s probably the first thing they’d say. I don’t apologize for it, people tell me I shouldn’t be, but I see it as a positive, it drives me and motivates me, even if it gets me down sometimes, it always pushes me somewhere better. That’s the theme I want to harp on right now.

I got a few responses I wasn’t expecting from my earlier post today, some texts from some friends that I think might’ve been offended, some tweets from some friends who wanted me to be a bit more positive. Blind positivity is probably my least favorite thing in the world. I’ve mentioned this before, but I truly believe that those blissful souls are only that way because they are ignorant; either to their own situation, or some other facts of the world. Yes outlook is a choice, and yes I could choose to tell myself that I could’ve bettered my 85 to a 205. But I won’t, and likely never will. Maybe that makes me destined to fail as an athlete, or maybe it sets me up to better prepare myself, I’m sure there’s theories that go in both directions on that one. Further still, maybe theres a middle road, maybe there is a way to be positive but not ignorant, maybe its more of a spectrum than a switch.

Thus we approach sucking, as a skill. How we deal with failure, it’s said, often tells much more about us than how we find success. “Smooth seas make poor sailors,” after all. When digesting today’s events with Mike, he came back with this;

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You’ve got 3 more to go. Stay positive and treat each week as something new. Leave the last two weeks behind now. Whether you crush it or feel crushed you’ve got to get your mind right and be ready to attack some training again tomorrow with good attitude.

Initially, I was upset. What good is this? The equivalent of putting blinders on a horse I suppose, tune out the world and keep going. Then I read it again, and again, and another time. Then I started writing this, and I read it again. Now something like the 7th time I think I get it. Sucking is a skill, moving on is a skill. Just like we practice everything in the gym, you have to practice getting your mind right. It’s not ignorance, it’s not bliss, it’s not blind positivity. It’s possible to be completely salient to your situation and still move on. There is a middle road.

Though sucking might be a skill, dwelling, pouting, and throwing in the towel are not; those last three don’t get me anywhere. So while I might’ve ripped both my hands open for another 34 reps, and while it might feel like a pretty mediocre score, I’m proud of it. Not proud of the surface value, the score itself; but proud for how it pushes me, and what I will get out of it, far more than I would get from a first place finish. Maybe ignorance and bliss aren’t as closely related as I thought.

2 Comments

  1. I cannot even tell you how awesome this post is, except to say you just expressed – very eloquently – the initial skepticism, then immense patience it takes to transform the negative into the positive. I have reacted similarly to poor workouts (often!) and have always come around to seeing the positive side of a failure. It’s actually motivating. (Ignorance not included :-)) The key is that you are not giving up. Thanks for posting this! I think many many people can relate.
    –Dana

  2. Great post. I love those moments of realization. Had the same crushing self doubt after 14.1. Got over it and am moving on – need to put in the work to make sure next year is better and more in line with my goals.

    You can definitely be proud of that score – not only for the total number – but for the grit you showed, attacking it again and pushing yourself to your limit. That’s what the open is about. Well done.

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