One would think, that trying to be the best and pushing my body to its limits and then beyond would come natural to me since I have been competing since I was 6 yrs old. Surprise surprise, no it’s not. I am one of the laziest athletes you will ever meet.
Pushing myself to max is not something that comes naturally for me. I have almost always been that guy who does the minimum needed to get by. Whether it was sports or school, I did what was asked of me, I did it well, but I was not that guy who did that little extra. This became very apparent to me when I started lifting weights in college. I had no problems lifting 70-85% of my max in sets of 12-15 reps. But as we started to go from 90% up to max or a new max, I was not as driven as others. However, if I have a coach standing next to me, I would go that little extra trying not to disappoint my coach.
This is something I saw when I was living Texas after school as well. I had a personal trainer at 24 Fitness. I told her I wanted to get strong but not necessarily bigger. So we worked on that for a few weeks. Then I said I would really like to bench 315 lbs. So we decided one day to test my current max. I got to decide the starting weight, increments and worked my way up. She encouraged me, but let me decide the increase and number of reps. I think I started at 135 lbs, then 185, then 225 and then 270. I was doing 4-6 reps up to 225. By the time we got to 270 I only did 2 or three, then I was done. We tried 290, but I couldn’t lift it. So two weeks later we were going to max out again, this time she controlled the starting weight, increments and reps. 215 lbs x 1, 270 lbs x 1, 315 x 2 just to make it official. I sat up and was like, wow thanks, I thought it was going to take a few more months before I got there, but she did not let me stop. She added another 10 lbs and had me try one rep. I did it! I benched 325! We went to 330, but that just dropped to my chest and she had to help me up. Her presence and demands on me was need for me to exceed my limits. I can still remember the feeling of hold up the 315 and saying out loud, wow that’s heavy. Had I been there with a friend I most likely would have put the bar back on the rack with out even trying…
This winter I need to learn to push myself past my limits again. I have been training with in my comfort zone for so long that I need help to get out. I like pushing myself to my limits, but as soon as it starts to get uncomfortable I back down. If I am going to become a faster runner I need to learn to run through the discomfort. This is what I am hoping to get from Crossfit. On Thursday I will go to an introduction class and then on Friday my swimrun partner, Fredrik, will join me for my first class. I know that I will not be the best, but the desire to not be the worst will push me in the beginning.
If I can learn to mentally deal with being outside of my comfort zone, I think I will be able to bike and run much faster than I do today. Thankfully I have Leon at DynamicTraining and Rehab to help me keep my body whole and healthy!