One of my CrossFit coaches, Jen Cardella, recently challenged her clients in the Women’s Only program to get their pull-ups before the gym closes for the holidays. The challenge was complete with prizes for the first 20 girls to either get their first kipping pull-up, or (if they already had their kip) five strict pull-ups. I’ve had my pull-ups before so I was unfazed and was like, “Yeah, I’ma get my kip AND five strict! Awww yeah! Bring it!” And then I got up on the bar to really practice for the first time and it was hard. And I remembered that the last time I had my pull-ups was two years ago before I got pregnant. Oh.
I worked on my pull-ups after every class. I got one strict, but that didn’t count for Jen’s challenge and I couldn’t coordinate the kip so I was just annoyed with myself. Then I took 10 days off and lost my one strict pull-up. I tried to do it at the playground a few times and just couldn’t get up over the bar. Ugh. I went back to class a couple weeks ago, and although I’m not going as often as I wish I were, I’m doing what I can while prioritizing sleep because that is my big project lately. I am trying to be okay with just doing what I can, that’s a revelation for me.
Today I felt sluggish at the beginning of class. I haven’t been in a week and was ready to use that as an excuse for not pushing myself as hard. The workout was tough and made me confront two of my big weaknesses head-on (lifting something heavy over my head and sit-ups, if you’re interested to know). I did it but I felt slow and it wasn’t super fun. I decided to work on my pull-ups after class even though my arms were beat from the workout. I did some negatives and a strict pull-up (complete with ridiculous frog-legs) and then decided to just try a kip and see what would happen. I did not expect to do it. And then something funny happened, it felt good to be up on the bar and practicing my swing so I thought, what if I really try to do a kipping pull-up? Well, I got my kip is what happened. Two in a row, and after a break I got two more. I realized a few things: 1) I was NOT really trying during today’s workout, 2) There are a lot of times when I don’t really try during the workout (or during my life, for that matter), 3) Really trying feels a whole lot better than just kind of trying.
Now, really trying all the time at everything would be crazy. Of course you are not going to bring your A-game all the time no matter what, but how often do you just kind of try at something out of habit, when you have what you need to really try? More intensity is not something I need in my life right now but more honest effort is. So I am going to start approaching things from the perspective that the priorities and goals I set for myself deserve an honest effort. What would happen if you gave a real honest effort to the next challenge that confronts you? Would there be a different outcome than if you half-assed it? Maybe, probably. More importantly, would you feel differently? I’m betting YES. Being honest with yourself is empowering. So if you are going to half-ass something, fine, but don’t pretend like that’s all you’ve got, because if you do you are selling yourself short.