You Against You
There seems to be a contradiction floating around, a silent one, often ignored, sometimes even celebrated, but rarely questioned. I’m told pretty regularly that I’m hard on myself, especially in times when I really needn’t be; in some ways I agree, energetically its quite taxing not to be able to shake off a bad day, or a workout filled with goats. In the same breath, being hard on myself is what keeps me driven, it gives me focus, it fuels my passion, and it brings me back every day. So where is the line? What is hard enough to stay driven, but not so hard that it becomes wearisome. I don’t have the answer, but I’m going to talk about it anyways.
Related to this idea, is that of comparison. Often in competitive exercise we’re told, or you hear, not to compare yourself to others, that the best we can do is our best, that the work has already been put in, time under tension, hours of aerobic work, gymnastics sessions and olympic classes. Game day is simply the culmination, it’s a demonstration more than a test. Thus, we don’t compare, we simply perform and are ranked. So where does “You against you” come from.
Herein lies another, or at least a tangential contradiction. I get the spirit of it, don’t look around you, do what you can do, be your best, and leave it all out there. I think it deserves some refinement though, or maybe a parenthetical. You against you isn’t about comparison, it doesn’t mean go home, look up how you did on a different day, at a different time, in a different cycle. These are all the same reasons you don’t compare yourself to someone else, they aren’t you. They didn’t sleep like you, they didn’t eat like you, they don’t move like you, so why compare two drastically different things and expect the result to be something useful. Scientifically it’s meritless to compare so many different things at once. The real point of “You against you” is in the moment, at the instant when you want to quit, or slow down, or break, you owe it to yourself not to.
Be hard on yourself, hold yourself to the highest standard you can, expect the most because at the end of the day, or the session, or whenever this whole competitive exercise thing winds down, you’ll only be accountable to yourself. Draw the line, don’t bring it home, don’t let it ruin your day, or alter your relationships. It’s just exercise. Squeeze out the positives, but leave behind the negatives. Track and learn from your past performances, but don’t compare today to some other day, don’t take things from their context and expend them to tell you anything meaningful. Find 100%, whatever it is for this moment, and learn to let that be enough. To be clear, this isn’t an excuse, don’t show up every day, shrug off a heavy load or tough session because thats “your 100%” for the day. This is a sport of freaks, and sometimes it’s easy to forget that it’s okay to be normal, even if you have to teach yourself what that means.
A. Slow-Pull Power Snatch*: Build to a 1RM
C1. Ice Cream Makers; 15 reps x 5 sets; rest 2 minutes
A. Power Clean @ 225#: 30 reps for time
14:12 (4 sets of 5, 10 sets of 3)
200m Run @ “Almost All-out” Effort
rest 2:00 between sets
For time, 21-15-9:
Unbroken Thrusters @ 135#
Box Jumps @ 30″
30 UB WB’s
10 minute – Row @ Easy Pace
10 minute – Airdyne @ Easy Pace
10 minute – Run @ Easy Pace
“2014 Regional WOD #4″
For time, 21-15-9-6-3:
Strict Handstand Push-ups
Front Squats @ 195#
Power Clean – Build to a 1RM
“2013 Regional WOD #4″
For time, 21-15-9:
Deadlifts @ 315#
Box Jumps @ 30″
After quite a bit of set back, training last week was back to nearly 100% health wise. This was a testing week however, and it was testing for the end of a cycle that I missed 3-4 weeks of due to injury, competition, and just life. So it was rather underwhelming. Some of the tests, namely ones with gymnastics components went better than expected. Others, namely anything involving a squat, went much worse. The last few months of athleteWOD has been very light on squatting, especially for strength, and I definitely notice. Apparently without that constant stimulus I just lose my ability to move moderately heavy things for time. That will be my focus in the coming months, regardless of my programming, I can’t afford to lose that ability. My lungs, and power seem to be fine, and my gymnastics are improving steadily week to week. I’m happy to be relatively healthy again, and hungry to improve.