I’ve been on a rough road of injuries over the last year. I’m not even going to list them all because (a) it depresses me to think about all of them, (b) peoples’ reactions to the sheer length of the list make my heart hurt, and (c) my readers don’t need that sort of negativity in their lives.
But, I pulled or strained my lat at one point over the summer and, until recently, haven’t done a single pull-up, bar muscle-up, ring muscle-up…or, anything resembling any of those. I’ve been good about following Ben’s advice on staying away from anything that irritates it, worked with chiropractors, and spent countless hours addressing mobility on it myself.
The combination of all of those things had left me pretty terrified that I totally lost the capacity to do those movements any more and would now, having made enough improvement that I can finally start testing it, have to relearn them all and build back the strength that I’ve lost over such a long period of time.
With the competition season edging dangerously close, it’s been an enormous source of anxiety for me. I know that sounds a little dramatic, but it’s the truth.
So, muscle-ups comes up in programming the other day and I tried to catch Ben at his most vulnerable state: right when he wakes up at 4:40 am. And, it worked. He said I could do muscle-ups that day.
All morning, I’m psyched thinking about how I’ll just take it super easy and just do 1 every minute. Nothing scary. Still nervous that I won’t be able to do even 1, but under that sort of timeline I’m feeling confident-ish.
However, when I get into the gym and touch base with Ben, he says, “No, I think you should go with 1 on the 30 second.”
But, inside I’m crying like a terrified scaredy-cat, totally freaking out thinking I can’t do it and that this whole thing was a terrible idea.
I’m, like, crying hard inside.
“You said 1 on the 30 second, right? Just checking.”
“Cool. That’s what I thought.”
Now, I’m, like, in the corner curled up in the fetal position rocking like I’m mental.
I spend the next hour in complete terror. I’m trying to avoid so much as even looking at the rings when I’m near them. I’m acting like everything’s fine, like I’m happy and having a great time…when the fact of the matter is that I’m having a full-on panic attack.
Finally, I decide I need to pull it together. I was being ridiculous.
I forced myself to go back to times in my head when I accomplished something that I was so proud of: max effort lifts, cliff diving in Hawaii, delivering a lecture at a Level 1 seminar when Coach Glassman unexpectedly showed up to listen, the wheel barrow event at the 2010 Games, delivering each of the kids, having a hard conversation with a friend, Ben, or a family member.
All of those times, I walked away with the absolute best feeling of accomplishment, of overcoming a fear that had stricken me for whatever reason, of being proud of myself for trusting the process and having faith that everything would work out.
I went somewhere in my head that made me crave that after-feeling so badly. It took me from being afraid and procrastinating, to being excited and eager to just start. It was such a rush.
And, it worked.
It felt soooooo goooooood to feel the rings in my hands again, to feel the power handed off from my hips to the rest of my body on the kip, and the speed coming over the rings while my hands hugged the sides of my stomach.
I hadn’t felt any of those things in so long. I thought I had lost it. Not forever, but I thought the fight to get it all back would be so much harder and longer than it was.
It felt so, so good. I know it’s lame to say it like this, but it felt so natural…so organic. It was just there.
Maybe it’s all the meditating I’m doing right now…which is a lot. Or, maybe I’m just still on some high from coming back from our epic sailing vacation. Who knows.
But, it’s got me thinking about how there really is so much in the mind that is overlooked. That subtle shift I made from being scared to being hungry 100% changed that tiny experience for me in a way that I’ll never forget.
If I can figure out how to apply that to everything in my life? I think the world just may explode.
So, get ready for that.