Suck At Something? Why You Should Keep Trying. HashtagCrossFit

July 09, 2013

You’ve heard me divulge my experiences with CrossFit numerous times (is this boring you?) but I’ve never really admitted how long I’ve been doing CrossFit. I’m slightly embarrassed to admit this. Ok fine. I’m really embarrassed to admit this. After training for two years I feel like I should be faster, stronger, and slimmer. Anyways, there you have it. Two years. I’ve been training at CrossFit for TWO years. I can't even believe I'm telling you this right now. The shame. Now let’s move forward, shall we? Last week I wrote about your goat—the movement or workout that you hate doing, really suck at, or both. I asked you what your goat was, told you to face your goat head on, and fight it. However, all that talk about telling you what to do and I missed the opportunity to let you in on my goat. And I have several. After two years the goats have a way of taking on this force that works down so deeply into your mind space that you really have to drag them kicking and screaming out. Goat scream. So although I have several goats, namely, wall balls, double unders, squats, burpees, ring dips, thrusters—ok so just about everything; I do have one movement that has been a brain drain for the past two years. I know I can do it. I’m strong enough to do it but my brain is getting all sorts of in the way when I attempt to do it. This major goat of mine is the Handstand. Handstands are acquired by kicking yourself up onto a wall in a handstand position, using shoulder strength to hold you there. I couldn’t do a handstand as a 7 year old so I’m not sure what makes me think I could do one now. Other than the fact that 60-something Barry can throw his barrel chested body against that wall with the gracefulness of a 60-something barrel chested ballerina. I know I  have the shoulder strength to hold myself in a handstand (after Tim not-so-gently lifts my legs up onto the wall) so technically I should be able to do this. The 'kicking' is wherein lies the problem. And I’ve practiced. I’ve kicked my legs and kicked and kicked and practiced and practiced. For two years. And after two years I wasn’t getting any closer to that wall. I just wasn’t. Something in my brain was keeping my legs from hefting my body onto the wall while being supported by my hands. This damn goat was getting me. He was winning. I was being beaten. Until two months ago. It dawned on me—Sometimes, you need to take an alternate route to accomplish what you want. So I had an idea. If trying to do a handstand the “right” way was not working for me after two years (which just sounds much too long) then maybe I should try something different. I decided to stack the plates up under my head. Lots of them. Stacked them really high. I put my head on top and kicked up towards the wall, pushed up off my head onto my hands, and lo and behold, I was standing on my hands! My first little victory towards beating my goat. I still have a ways to go though. As I build confidence and strength, I decrease the amount of plates under my head to work towards a full handstand pushup. This might not be the “right” way to get into a handstand, but it’s the way that’s working for me. For now. I’m fighting that goat little by little with the hope that eventually he’ll just get the hell out for good. It takes work, determination, and sometimes creativity. I’ve had to suck up my ego and start where I can; however silly I look or awkward I feel. When pull-ups were my goat (sometimes they still are), I practiced by using a band to help me get my chin over the bar. Before I could do full pushups, I modified by pushing up from my knees. We all need to start somewhere. If you modify to your needs and abilities and keep kicking that goat over and over, he eventually will scamper away. Even goats can’t stand two years of kicking.

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