The Open is an emotional roller coaster for most of us, right? I mean, talk about riding the high wave of Castro announcing your wheelhouse workout and seeing your name sit high on the leaderboard, to the very next week him slamming you in the nards with a little cocktail of all the things you didn’t want to see show up in the Open…and, consequently, watching your name slide lower and lower on the leaderboard every time you check it because all you can do it keep hoping that everyone else in the world happens to magically not be great at the exact movements you aren’t great at.
Except, that never happens to be the case, right?
A good friend of mine was having one of “those” days last Friday after doing 17.1, and I stepped in to try and talk her out of a potential meltdown.
Ok, fine. I think I’d classify it as a meltdown, but I am not going to reveal any names because that would be illegal in the girlfriend world.
She was super frustrated with herself because she felt like she had worked so hard, did everything she could to be disciplined and committed to her training, and put in everything she had to her performance that day…and, she ended up not getting the score she wanted.
At one point, she said, “I just, for once, want to be proud of myself and my effort.”
Now, this woman happens to be a phenomenal mother to her 3 kids. Like, incredible mother. I know because we talk about parenting all of the time.
To help her find perspective on what she was going through, I decided to go at her where I know she’ll go soft and be forced to listen to reason.
I said, “What if your daughter did everything she could to prepare for an exam? Say she studied as much as she could, she put in the time with teachers for extra help, she lived and breathed the material to make sure she had covered all of her bases. At the end of the exam, say that she came home devastated because she didn’t end up getting the grade she had hoped for. What would you say to her? Would you tell her that she should be frustrated with herself? Would you tell her that you weren’t proud of all the work that she had put into it and that all that matters is the grade in the end? Would you tell her that she should be disappointed in herself because the other kids in her class got better grades than she did?”
“Of course not.”
“Then, why are you saying those things to yourself?”
UGGHH. RIGHT? I know, I would hate me if I said that to myself at the end of an Open workout, too. I’d want to punch myself in the face and try to come up with every reason in the world why it’s not the same situation.
But, I would know in the back of my head that it is. It’s the exact same thing.
It’s just funny how we all, myself included, can be able to think and say all the right things to our kids, our friends, and our co-workers, but when it comes time to talk ourself through the same sort of situations, we take a whole different angle and become a “bad parent” to ourselves.
We are so good at being so bad to ourselves and say things to ourselves that we would (a) never think about someone else, (b) never say to someone else, and (c) never allow anyone else to say to someone we love or care about.
Listen, I’m in the same boat as my friend is with all of this. I’m as guilty as the next one, for sure. I know how hard it is to think clearly and rationally when you’re the one feeling the blow of not getting the “score” you wanted at the end of a long road of what you thought was the perfect preparation and strategy.
And, I know it’s cliché to say, but it’s not about what the grade, the score, or the “result” is. It’s about the effort you put into it.
How many times have you put on an outfit in the morning, weighed yourself, or gotten your haircut and started your day thinking about how awful you looked or felt? Suddenly, you show up at work and your co-worker stops you and says, “Hey, that outfit looks great on you! Is it new??? I LOVE it! Where’d you get it???”
Correct me if I’m wrong, but how quickly does your attitude change from miserable and self-conscious to awesome and you feel like you are killing it.
But, the same thing can also happen from the other direction. I got my hair cut and colored one day and really liked it. I took a picture and sent it to my girlfriends who all replied immediately telling me how great it looked. Awesome. I, then, walk into the gym and the first 20-something year old guy I run into says, “HB, what’d you do to your hair?” For the record, it was in an insensitive-you-really-screwed-up-a-good-thing sort of way, too. Immediately, I am horrified and am looking frantically for a hat to throw on my head before I run into one more person that might see my new do.
There’s a real danger in looking beyond our own experiences and feelings and finding validation, or criticism, from exterior influences.
Had my friend not heard about other people’s scores or put a magic number in her head for what score she wanted to end up with, she would’ve looked at her effort and been genuinely proud and satisfied with her result. Instead, she walked away from a great effort and let herself be disappointed for the wrong reasons.
She knew that was what she had in her. She knew that was her “score”. She worked as hard as she could at that moment, followed her “plan”, and tried to be smart about her execution. She did the best that she could, and that’s why she should be proud of her result.
Now, someone needs to remind me about all of this when I have my own little meltdown…likely in the near future.