My friend and EpiqX coach Martin recently shared this quote with me:
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle
In came up in a conversation we had about consistency and later a blog post. If you have a few minutes, read this powerful and raw take on success. Anyway, this conversation and quote really struck a nerve in me. It sparked something and as I am wont to do lately, it triggered some self reflection. As you may know, I’ve had somewhat of a transition in my fitness life lately. I love my current routine of attending a weightlifting/crossfit style class 5 days a week and running very short distances once or twice weekly. I love seeing the changes that this has sparked on both the physical but also an emotional level.
In this new chapter, nothing comes with ease and comfort (relative or otherwise.) With running, failure was really not a very common occurrence. Sure, you have a bad training run or even a poor race performance here and there, but overall, running is something that at least for me, came with a high degree of success. The bar was set so low at the beginning: run 1 mile then try for 2, later go for 3, that success came pretty quickly. Sure I battled with feeling like a fraud when I showed up at races in the early days and everyone had all the gear, the skinny runners legs and they all seemingly knew what they were doing. But quickly, I learned that gear and skinny legs don’t make you fast and I started to experience some of my own success. I stayed consistent for many years and it paid off in spades.
Which leads me back to consistency and it’s role in my life right now. At this point in the game, all I have is consistency. I am showing up day in and day out. And that’s how I’m measuring my success. I don’t have the natural athletic ability of many of the people in this sport. I am beginning to suspect that building muscle is going to be a very long and thought out process. Yes, I have absolutely improved since I started this intense strength focus. And In looking at the numbers, the sheer statistics of it all, I’ve gained the ability to lift more, perform faster and push harder. So success is happening, but it’s my perseverance that’s driving this and not any natural god given athletic talent. I am only seeing these improvements because of the intense pressure to show up and perform at my best each day. As much as I try to give myself permission to have an “easy day”, something happens when I walk through those doors and I become hungry. I am hungry for better. Not best over everyone but the best version of myself. I am working to apply the same principles that allowed me to be successful with long distance running to being successful at shorter more intense bouts of work.
Ok, so that leads me to some training updates. I’m going to again try and keep a training log as I did when I was only running. It’s a little more challenging to document the day to day but I’m going to give it a try. Here is my last week of training:
Monday: We did a metcon which entailed a 12 minute EMOM (every minute on the minute) of a clean and jerk. You started with higher reps, lower weight and progressed over the course of 12 minutes to lower reps, higher weight. I attempted to snag a PR of 88 lbs during the metcon but failed. I did get a decent squat clean at 83 lbs which is still a pretty new weight for me. We finished with various accessory work and a core focused metcon of 3 rounds of 15 wallballs and 10 med ball burpees. I died on the med ball burpees but finished in 4.51
Tuesday: No metcon day!! Truthfully, after a really hard prior week (we really pushed it hard the week of thanksgiving!) I was ready for a day of not feeling like I was going to keel over and die. We lifted heavy using both dumbells and barbells and did a ton of accessory work.
Wednesday: Worked on mid weight snatches. Things clicked for me and I felt really good getting under the bar. The snatch has been a challenge due to my timing and some lack of upper back mobility but today, progress was made. We finished with a metcon of 5 rounds of 10 pushups, 5 pullups, 10 dips, 20 squats-right in my wheelhouse and I did well with it.
Thursday: Rest day-10 minutes of yoga.
Friday: We started with our max effort 1000 meter row. I’ve never done this timed before so I didn’t really know what to expect. I finished in 4:15 which hurt but I do think I could’ve pushed it a bit. A goal to work towards. We spent the rest of the time lifting.
Saturday: My brother joined me for his first workout at Epiq-it was a deceptively hard metcon of 6 rounds of a sled push out and back, 10 jump lunges each leg, and 6 knees to chest. We played around with pull ups and rope climbs and I finished with 50 burpees for a *fun* December challenge of 50 burpees per day ( I missed to first day so I’ll have to make it up somewhere).
Andrews first time climbing a rope since high school!
Sunday: I attempted a run on the Trueform runner at the gym. Essentially it’s a non motorized treadmill that allows you to use your own energy to move it while also forcing you into a more ideal running position. IE it’s waaaay harder than a regular treadmill. I did 6×30 seconds hard with 30 seconds recovery after I warmed up. I had hoped to run a bit further but after 2 miles, I lost my motivation. I finished the day with 50 burpees and an amazing massage. Later on, I decided to run again as I was just 3 miles away from 1000 for the year. I ran outside as the sun was setting in a local park-just what I needed for my soul-some quiet reflective miles.
Goal for next week: 5 days of strength, 1-2 runs, 1 day of yoga or mobility