Diaries of a Coach 013 || The Redemption Workout


Some of you may remember my post on Saturday in our Members Only Facebook Group. It was kind, inviting and seemingly well intentioned. It read something like this: “Hey guys, opening up the gym tomorrow from 1-3pm.” All smiles, right? What a nice little coach I am! Well, I have a confession. (Maybe we should rename the blog to, “Confessions of a Coach” this week.) Sunday was a redemption workout. Anyone know what I’m talking about? Workout doesn’t go as planned, maybe the whole day doesn’t go as planned, and you just need a redo. Maybe some of you have been there? Well, that was me.

Last Friday, I walked out on my workout. I have to say, it was a first for me. I’ve cried during a workout (you can fact check with Tim on that one). I’ve gotten angry and frustrated during a workout. I’ve hurt myself in a workout, probably too many times to count. But giving up and walking out? This was a first and honestly, it’s really not like me.

But nothing felt right, in fact, it all felt terribly wrong. Weight felt heavy. I felt slow. Such a bad combination. On top of that, if you’ve talked to me for 2.7 seconds you know I am an extreme perfectionist and my own worst critic. So, as you can imagine, it was the perfect storm for this workout disaster.

Snatches were up first and I swear to you, my pull was just about as slow as me getting under the bar. It was awful. My pride was immediately squashed when I was told to take weight off the bar. I swallowed it as quick as I could and proceeded in all the humility I could muster up. When it was time for my Clean & Jerk build, my upper body just couldn’t deal with putting more than the weight of my hand overhead. (Anyone else feel like last week annihilated your arms? #blameshifting) I was just a few reps in when I threw up a lift and felt a pull in my arm that was my body undeniably telling me to stop. I guess it had tried subtle hinting and my stubbornness had drowned out it’s cries. And that was it. I deloaded the bar, took off my bright pink lifting shoes and I walked right out the door. And when I say I didn’t look back, I mean it literally.

So Sunday was all out mission redemption. And with some encouraging words from a few friends, I was back in business. But not without a few lessons and encouragements to stick in the pocket of my Lulu’s.

You know what, if I’m that mad and frustrated, I stinking care. I really do. I want to get better and stronger and if something stands in my way, I’m going to feel some kind of emotion. That is good. Feeling something is good, it means we are human, we’re invested and our goals are costing us something (like a whole heck of a lot of hard work!).

These days make you stronger, probably more so than days that are smooth sailing. A fellow athlete challenged me a few days later with this very truth. Maybe I should have stayed, because getting through days like that make you who you want to be. Next time I hope I’m not so quick to walk away. But even so, the lessons learned are a crucial part of the journey.

There’s always room for redemption. All was not lost that day. It motivated me to get back in the gym a couple days later and prove to myself and to that dumb bar that I wouldn’t be beat by it. Sometimes it is better to just walk away (rather than risk sloppiness and injury). But don’t let a bad workout have the last word. Take a beat, then get back in there and do the thing!

So maybe you’ve walked out of a workout or maybe not. Maybe your reaction was another extreme. Or maybe you’ve plateaued and workouts aren’t challenging enough to bring out your inner hot head. In that case, maybe it’s time for a push! Wherever you may be today, feel it, let it make you stronger, and in moments where we fail or fall short the first time, always take another shot.

Coach E