Keep showing up. It's a refrain that runs through so many of the stories we hear at the Olympics - the commentators had a lot to say about unfinished business for Ali Raisman and Michael Phelps. Michelle Carter just won gold in the Shot Put after finishing 15th in 2008 and 5th in 2012. This evening I was especially struck by the back story for Anthony Ervin, a 2000 gold medalist who went through a rough patch, then experienced a disappointing race in 2012 and made it back to earn another gold at 35 years old.
The funny thing is that they wouldn't have had these experiences if they had given up, and you can bet they fought through an awful lot of doubt, discouragement, and difficulty in the four years leading up to these successes. It's easy to watch the end result - the accomplishment - and get duped by the apparent simplicity - the ease with which they prove they are the best at what they do.
The truth is, they kept showing up. I obviously haven't spoken with any of them, but I know something about unfinished business. If I had to guess, they knew they could be better, and that they still had a desire to explore the limits of their capacity. Maybe part of them also knew they might never again be this good at anything else they will ever pursue. They ultimately kept believing that their efforts were worth it, even with an uncertain outcome.
What does this have to do with us? Keep showing up.
We all go through really dark times, in which we don't understand why we're experiencing what we are, or feel inadequate, or fear failing. We all set goals without knowing if we're equipped to actually reach them, or whether we'll have the opportunity to experience success. Sometimes we all worry that we will never even be okay again. Honestly (and not to belittle life's bigger struggles) this can sometimes happen within the course of a single 12 minute WOD.
I recently read an article written by Allison Schmitt about her journey back to the Olympics - fighting through a deep depression, and the loss of her cousin. It made me want to post to this group, our Arena Ready family, to tell everyone how much I'm glad that you show up every day. You face the difficult workouts, you face the difficult in your life, you support each other through your struggles, and you get better. Sometimes you can't see the victory that's coming, but you also know that sometimes it takes a full 16 years to earn a second gold. I really firmly believe that no matter how dark it is, no matter how little you think you'll make it through, you always will. You are Arena Ready: Fully prepared for ALL of life's obstacles.
(Where are the heart emoticons when you need them?)
WOD for 08-13-16:
In Teams of Three Athletes...
100 Calorie Row
100 Chest-to-Bar Pull-ups
80 Calorie Row
80 Deadlifts @ 155/105 lbs
60 Calorie Row
60 Front Squats @ 155/105 lbs
40 Calorie Row
40 Push Jerks @ 155/105 lbs
20 Calorie Row
20 Clusters (AKA "Squat Clean Thrusters") @ 155/105 lbs
Only one athlete working at a time. Reps may be partitioned in any fashion and do NOT have to be split evenly.