The other 23

Monday, October 10, 2022

Have you considered what you do with the other 23 hours of your day? I spend 1 hour in a CrossFit box most days of the week since the Spring of 2021. 

The other 23 hours are mine to rule. 

CrossFit has become my sport. Recently, after we moved to another state, I decided to grow in the sport. How so? Instead of focusing on distance running, I was going to master the multiple skills I need to perform well in CrossFit. 

My movement of choice was the strict pull-up. When I started, I asked every coach I had how I was going to be able to do this movement. They gave me great advice. I realized then that unless I practiced outside of class time, I would not be able to master the pull-up. 

I learned about scaling this movement. Still, I really wanted to be able to do one. Why? Deep inside, I thought I could. For the first year, I tried and tried and I didn't have it. 

I heard it takes years for some female athletes to master the pull-up. I chose to believe that was not going to be true for me.

When my family and I moved to Georgia, I decided to immediately find a box. When I did, I talked to a new set of coaches about my dream of mastering the pull-up. Like my previous coaches, they gave me all the information I needed. 

What they couldn't do was to make me train outside of class time. I made that decision on my own. 

I had a solid plan of what to do. I also decided to start during one of my latest 6-week challenges. I practiced outside of class twice a week. 

It was inconvenient. I could be home doing other things. Yes, I had been at the gym already but there I was, back to do something I couldn't really do. Why? Because it was my goal last year. I had to accomplish it. 

I bundled the fact that most of my immediate family works out in the evening with my need to workout at a second time during the day. This worked really well. So I persisted: week after week. 

Some newbie friends of mine mastered the pull-up soon after they started CrossFit. I admired their dedication. I learned that when you want something, you find a way to make it happen. This particular friend bought a bar. Every time he walked by it, he told me, he tried to do a pull-up until he mastered it. Brilliant!

I thought about my first year at CrossFit. Like that friend, I could have mastered this skill. My challenge was the other 23 hours of my day. 

I was in a serious state of stress. I didn't have enough energy to go back to the gym one additional time. I look back at that year as the year I did what I could with what I had. Thanks to my coaches, I learned the fundamentals of CrossFit. They answered every question I had and gave me a place to belong. The community aspect of my first box was matchless. I'm forever grateful. 

I learned that while I had the desire to master a pull-up, the amount of stress I was navigating was not allowing me to make progress toward that goal. Good thing I never let go of that dream. 

Yesterday, after a leisurely walk through my neighborhood, I decided to swing by the playground and see what kind of progress I made toward that goal of mastering the pull-up. 

I climbed the monkey bars and my chin went over the bar. Jumped off. The strangest sensation filled my mind. "Did I just do a pull-up? Let me try again to see if it wasn't a mistake." 

I did it a second time. I texted my family. "I just did 2 pull-ups at the park! Hard work pays off foreal! I'll keep working hard." 

The other 23 hours contributed to those 2 pull-ups at the park. I never gave up on my dream. I chose to practice outside of class, no matter what. 

I chose to let go of any self-defeating thoughts and kept working. 

My next goal is to get 8 pull-ups in a roll. The first two were a gift. They were a reminder that the other 23 hours of my day can affect my personal goals. 

I need to choose self-compassion as I set my goals. I need to choose persistence and hard work as part of the process. 

I hope my story encourages you not to give up on your goals. Think about the other 23 hours. There's always time to work on your dreams.