This shit is about to get real…..okay that was a harsh beginning I know, but I’ve been thinking a lot about perspective as I’ve moved through my training since our competition in June, since I’ve talked to my teammates and friends about where they are in their heads and in the gym, and since I’ve read many of our own blog posts as I know you have. Perspective is that elusive thing we all reach for daily and sometimes hold on tight to and sometimes it slips through our fingers.
Take the ice cream truck driving through your neighborhood for example…….as a child your perspective is the joy of having ice cream that wasn’t in your freezer, that comes in neon colors on a stick, that is delivered to you from the side of a moving, musical van from a stranger smiling down at you handing you a small bit of summer’s joy. As an adult your perspective is to hide your children from the creepy guy in the musical van handing out neon (obviously chemically injected) ice cream on a stick while nervously grinning at you. I know – it’s an extreme example and while the world has changed since our childhood experiences with the ice cream truck, so can our perspective.
This is true of training too. True story……….I set a PR at the meet in June on my squat and on my deadlift and I hit my previous PR on my bench. In our off season training, we didn’t get back to the lifts right away, but recently we have, and we’ve all been happy about that. The first time I got back under the squat bar it felt SO HEAVY and I was really confused. Perspective again – we hadn’t squatted in over a month and summer had been a rough one for me. The same weight I had squatted a couple of months prior with ease can feel like the weight of the world when perspective shifts. Sometimes life makes the bar feel heavy and sometimes our perspective does. Training is familiar, it’s fluid, it’s friendly at times, but it’s never linear.
I’m the broken record on the team, but I’m going to break another one today. My teammates have been through one hell of a summer, myself included, and that’s the perspective we all need to reach for. Life is life – it’s not just training. Life affects training and training affects life. I have listened to my teammates be hard on themselves and super supportive of one another. That’s because we really do love each other like family, but the last piece of the perspective puzzle is to be supportive of ourselves.
See, we hear that ice cream truck coming around the corner before we see it – don’t jump to conclusions until you see what is coming – it may not be the creepy or not-so-creepy musical van, it might in fact be just a “windows rolled down musical joyride”. This summer, myself and my family were in a boating experience that – well let’s just say changed us, my wife and I got legally married after over a decade of being together, I was with my Granny when we lost her, one of the most important people in my life, and well, sometimes work is just stressful. Give me a minute – I need to catch my breath from all that sharing………
Seriously, my summer’s laundry list is specific to me, but I know my teammates have had their own laundry lists – I know it because we’ve hugged through them, laughed through them, wrung our hands through them. Training for many of us has temporarily changed and some of us are struggling to connect to where to go next in the gym, what our new goals might be, what our new routine might look like, but we keep showing up. Our perspective can be elusive, but we still have to reach, we still have to get under the bar when it’s heavy, we still have to support each other while we figure out how to support ourselves.