Recently a friend pointed out that perhaps I was in the habit of judging things I’d never tried and it surprised the heck out of me! First of all, we were only acquaintances at that point (instantly became friends coz I respect that level of bluntness haha) but it was hard to take the fact that I held opinions about something that I had zero experience with.
But he was right, I did.
And it got me thinking..how often do we say we WANT something, but what we really mean is that we want it under certain circumstances. Our desire comes with conditions. We want it as long as we get it instantly, or in a reasonable timeframe, or it doesn’t cost us too much. And when those specific circumstances don't happen, we end up NOT getting what or where we want. Because that’s not how it works. If you’re waiting for an easy way to get rich, you’ll die waiting. If you want to be fit, so long as it only takes a comfortable amount of effort, money, dedication etc....it won’t happen.
We want Abs or we want to be stronger but we don’t want to learn HOW to get there; we aren’t really WILLING, or else we would already have what we wanted - wouldn’t we?? With the exception of specific knowledge that can only be taught to you if you pay THIS much money, or see THAT trainer or go to THIS University...most of what we want can be found in the DOING. It’s in the effort. The experience of the thing itself, pushing through the ‘usual’ amount of discomfort, following rules that don’t make sense to us yet, submitting - in a way - to that new process and the journey. That’s the only way any real transformation ever happens. The reason why any diet or any type of exercise “works” is because you commit to it and DO it.
We want the results of the effort, not the actual process. And yet that is where true learning happens. In the process. And in the case of fitness, its all about learning what you're capable of. We deceive ourselves (as did I) when we think that wanting something BADLY is a indication of our actual desire to give effort. I’ve wanted to be stronger for years, but I’ve never committed to be(coming) stronger. I’ve gained strength in fits and starts, but mostly due to increases in workload, stress-induced weight loss (yes you can feel stronger by being lighter) and other stuff that wasn’t in my control. In other words, not due to my efforts. And this is what happened to me - I had plateaued and I couldn’t understand why! Because I couldn’t see that I wasn’t WILLING to do the work to get to where I wanted to be.
The outcome, the end product, always comes from EFFORT.
Every time I DO, I learn. Nothing is wasted. I cooked Risotto for the first time last night and I already know what I’ll do better next time (follow the recipe for starters hehehe!). Knowing what your body can take, is a very specific type of self-knowledge, and I think it's important to know that when you start out aiming for fitness, this is one of the first lessons you'll learn. In my case, I had to forget about my self-imposed limits - within safe boundaries of course. Learning not to give up when you fail is the lesson, and the teacher was "Rach trying to get fit". Humans are made for change. MADE for it, NEED it even. We are adaptable, which is what makes fitness a never-ending journey.
So here’s what I learnt from a few workouts with my friend, several on my own and an “Intro to Crossfit" class.