So one of my triathlon buddies and I signed up for “9 Rounds” several months ago (it’s a 30 minute kick boxing session). We needed a workout that is quick and intense during our off season and we wanted to work out together. 9 Rounds seemed perfect and apparently, I enjoy hitting things. Who knew? Lol
So one of the things they pull out at 9 Round on occasion is a this wooden box (see picture above). When I was a YMCA member, I jumped up on the box a million times. It had been a minute since I’d done it last and I was nervous, but I still jumped up just fine anyway. I saw some people just step up on it and I was thinking “I wish I could encourage them to jump! The first time is the hardest”. And I was also thinking I was so glad that I jumped and not stepped up. I felt good about myself.
Well a week or 2 went by and we had to jump up on a huge tractor tire or some insanely huge tire. I sure don’t claim to be a tire expert. It wasn’t a totally flat surface like the box and it was about 2 inches taller. Again, I did it. But I was a little more nervous and had a hard time getting up high enough to get my feet FLATLY on top of it. It was more of a tapping of my foot on the edge of the tire top rather than a solid land. But again, I felt good about myself that I could do it.
So another week or 2 goes by, and the wooden box came out again. But this time, when I went to jump up on it like I have so many other times, I couldn’t. Like I froze. Literally I would squat to jump and I’d freeze. I just started thinking I wasn’t going to make it. And then I felt pissed because I knew I had made it a hundred times. But almost missing jumping up on that tire was messing with my head. And seeing many of the other people working out NOT trying to jump was messing with my head too. What if I missed? What if I forgot how to do it in the last 2 weeks? I was doubting something I already mastered.
And then I was embarrassed and frustrated and I’m pretty sure I ate raw chocolate chip cookie dough after the workout just to make myself feel better. It’s a vicious cycle. Ha.
And I thought about it for the next week or so and thought about how I was gonna have to suck it up and just DO IT the next time. Gosh that’s so easy to say, right? Just do it.
But the same thing happened the next time. I froze.
Thankfully, a trainer was nearby when it happened. He is like 15 years old and certainly never birthed 3 children and my thighs are bigger round than his waist, so I doubted he would be of any help.
But he told me to try it and he’d stay right close. I tried to jump and couldn’t get all the way up. Dang it. But then he said to me, “why are you leaning back when you jump? You’re supposed to lean forward.”. And it seemed so stinkin’ little, but as soon as I tried again, I was up. Like it was the smallllllllllest adjustment that I had to make. And that small adjustment made the entire difference.
In thinking about it later, I realized the reason I was leaning back was because I was actually PLANNING on NOT making it up on that box. I was leaning back to catch myself. And in trying to catch myself, I was setting myself up for failure. I was planning my escape route. I was planning on making my failure in the jump hurt less physically. And isn’t that like life and business sometimes?
Let me tell you what I already knew but was just reinforced in my box jumping incident:
- Quit looking at what anyone else is doing. Especially if they aren’t succeeding. Focus on the people who ARE doing it. Looking around is DISTRACTING and detracts from your purpose.
- Advice and perspective can come from ANYWHERE (even from the young man I have little in common with). Wisdom says to listen to the advice of people DOING it. Don’t listen to the people who are not even trying.
- Sometimes, just having someone close….. physically close is all the encouragement we need to try. No one likes feeling alone.
- Having an escape route or a plan B in case you fail will often lead you in that very direction. A self-fulfilling prophesy of sorts.
- When you’ve already conquered or mastered something, don’t overthink it and don’t question it. We can overthink things to death, can’t we?
For the record, I’m kicking bootie again on that box. And I love that I get so many life and businesses lessons from the mostly unlikely places.
I hope this encourages someone today. I’m rooting for you!
PS…. Do not forget my 6 week mentorship program begins next week! We have a powerful group getting ready to kick some butt in their creative businesses together. More info on joining us can be found HERE.
PSS …. I love getting your feedback and would ESPECIALLY love it if you commented directly on the post instead of emailing! xoxo
Thank you Jennifer!!!