|Saturday, after our double-under challenge|
|Thursday, on the slopes with my son|
So you might have read about the little wager my friend Candace and I had going with our coach, Dan.
Today is February 2 and so the bet has now ended. Here's how I won:
1. Practice, Practice, Practice
I was practicing double-unders every day. I was getting some here and there but never consistently until another of our coaches, Lloyd challenged me to practice by playing a game that gradually increased the number of du's in sets of ten. It helped tremendously and I was getting them much more consistently. Meanwhile Candace was blowing through 10+ double-unders, though not 100% of the time. Both of us were making huge strides. I got tips from so many people, and eventually was able to string up to four jumps together, however...
2. Taking up Skiing
Since conditions around here have been very cold and favorable for the local ski resorts, I decided that this was the year to knock "Learn to Ski" off of my bucket list. Candace and I have been taking the kids weekly to go skiing. I have honestly never had so much fun doing anything in my adult life.
3. Learning to Listen
...to my body, that is. Let's just say I don't advise going in for a hard WOD the day after you learn to ski and spend 5 hours on the slopes. I was fairly beat up from using the new muscles and falling repeatedly the day before, but not exactly sore like after a WOD. Aside from some dings and bruises, I was surprised that I wasn't more sore, and then I picked up the bar for some dead lifts. It wasn't even heavy weight. By the end of the WOD I felt like I was trying to lift my max weight with every lift and my lower back was screaming. Loudly.
4. Figuring Things Out (a.k.a. prioritizing)
Meanwhile Dan was putting pressure on us. I continued to practice, and so did Candace. We practiced until my back was so sore I couldn't do a WOD at all and her knee and ankle were swollen and painful. My calves were also giving me trouble. We were, in the midst of all of this, learning the immeasurable importance of stretching and mobilizing every day.
Okay, step back and evaluate...Obviously skiing is a priority at this point. The kids and I are having a blast and we have about a two-month window to learn this new thing. Double-under practice, combined with skiing was not a recipe for success on either front. Meanwhile I was not getting in good WODs. Something was out of whack, so I went to the chiropractor, got a massage, and backed off of the practice for a bit. Okay, for about two weeks, because every time I jumped I would get such a painful knot in my calf that I would not be able to walk without hobbling. Ski boots were not helping this.
We talked to Dan. We considered negotiating, asking for an extension, some sort of injury clause...in the end we decided to just go for it, but we knew the price we would have to pay for backing off of practice.
5. Playing the Game with Honor
On Saturday, Dan did offer an extension, but it was not enough time and we would have had to accomplish 20 du's in a row instead of ten. Plus we knew that we were just going to go skiing again this week and wouldn't be able to practice enough. We each made our three attempts and failed, though on my third attempt, I did get 5 double-unders which was the most I've ever achieved at once!
150 burpees later, I can say that, while it would have been really nice to see Dan do those burpees, I learned so much! I learned about how I handle stress and pressure, what motivates me, how to listen to my body and train better to meet a goal, as well as how to balance multiple goals at once. I learned a great deal about mobility. Now that I am exercising more frequently and at the same time not getting any younger, making sure that I stretch, roll, wrap, stretch, roll, and roll some more is critical to staying injury-free. If I am going to work my body hard and expect to perform at a high level, then I have to give equal attention to the proper care of it!
I showed my kids that keeping your word even when it hurts is part of playing the game. When you agree to something, you must follow through. I would not have been able to live with myself if somehow I had wormed out of the bet, or avoided it in the end.
When I hear people say, "winning isn't everything," I want to stamp my feet and say, "Yes, it is!" because really, who doesn't like to win? This time, though, I have to agree...Playing the game with honor, embracing the whole experience and walking away with your head held high is winning.
Actually, I'm happy in both pictures. It's just...skiing is more fun than burpees.