Hi there! This post is long over due… We’ve been back from Washington DC for a while now and while I’d say I don’t have anything to blog about. I DO!!
Thanks goes out to my friend Liz for the little nudge tonight!
So, you will recall that when I turned 33 years old, I decided set a few goals for myself. In October I set a goal to get a Muscle Up by my 34th birthday. At the time I thought I needed to give myself 12 months to accomplish this goal. Well, as it turns out I actually needed about 6 months to get up the nerve to actually DO something and WORK towards that goal… it was funny how SAYING I wanted a muscle up was easy, but REALLY WANTING the muscle up was hard.
Over the next 6 months I toyed around with the idea in my head. I played with transitions off and on. I watched my friend Stacy accomplish her first (and second!) muscle up. Then, something clicked. I started talking to one of my coaches – who has an affinity for the rings and gymnastics just as much as I do. I realized that I just needed to stop bullshitting myself and try it.
So, 6 months later, on April 1st I finally decided to put an action plan to accomplishing my goal. My first attempts were actually pretty close. So close, that I thought that I would have it within a week… well, I didn’t.
I had seen my friends injure themselves while chasing their first muscle up; so I decided to be very regimented. I would only give it 3-4 attempts each time. My elbows started hurting… so I’d back off. But the whole time I was thinking about the muscle up. It became damn near all-consuming. I wanted it so badly.
Coaches and fellow CrossFittters would tell me how close I was. Each one of them offering their bit of advice.
Day in… Day out. Weeks past and I started getting frustrated.
But I thought of my friend Stacy… she was closer than I was for months! and she never once gave up. Every day she thought “this could be the day!”.
So, each time I worked on the muscle up I would video tape myself. This had two purposes. (1) Watch in slo-mo and critique form and (2) capture the awesome moment on film [Because let’s be honest, if a CrossFitter doesn’t use social media to document their WOD… did they really WOD?!]
Sunday, May 4th. Open Gym Time. I ended up breaking my cardinal rule of 3 attempts.
I tried a few pulls and didn’t feel it. I worked on various transition exercises. Attempting to drill the muscle memory into my brain. A few more pulls on the rings and I was just about to give up.
I had been working on the muscle up for nearly 40 minutes. Today was not the day.
A friend, who was watching me while she lifted and had recently mastered the muscle up herself, came over to me. She said: “Kip bigger.” While I appreciated the feedback, I thought to myself ” I will never get this. Be done. Walk away for the day. You’re getting tired & frustrated“. Well, Megan wasn’t done with her pointers.
She bent over, picked an abmat off the floor. Walked over to my section of the rig and tossed it on the ground. She said: “Find the ab mat”.
You see, as I was pulling up to the rings, I never went up-over-thru-and faced down.
I took a deep breath and said “what the hell”.
Setting up my grip on the rings, just like the countless times before… I paused. Looked down at the ab mat and said “Find the ab mat”.
Hang…. Swing….. KIP….. and I FOUND THE AB MAT!!
Suddenly I was no longer below the rings. I was on top of them! In the bottom of the deepest dip of my life! (Just like Jesse said). I pushed out of the dip and once I was fully extended at the top. I could not believe it!!
I didn’t want to come down. Then I almost freaked and didn’t know how to come down…. but i did. And as soon as my feet hit the ground I proclaimed “THE AB MAT!”
I was so excited that for the remainder of open gym I couldn’t do a damn thing. I was giddy. I was almost shaking I was so happy.
Since then, I’ve had one more successful muscle up. After getting one, it’s almost more stressful because the bar has been raised. I am confident that if I keep working at it… I will be able to string them together in no time.
So, as it turns out… I didn’t need twelve months. I just needed:
– 5 months to think about it
– 1 month to get over my fear of accomplishing something (and proving to myself that I could do it).
– and 1 month of hard work
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
― Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”