The Power of Positive Thinking

In today’s training session, like many before, we did some work on my shoulders and scapular stabilization. I cannot recall the specifics leading up to a bit of conversation, but it had to do with my shoulders. Michael made a comment about me needing to believe that I would get past these issues. He also thinks that there will be a day when I can knock out 20 push-ups no problem. I am skeptical, and he knows it, so he reminded me of the importance of positive thinking. I agree wholeheartedly, even if I don’t always follow through with it.

It’s no secret that I am not fond of push-ups (or chin-ups). They are tough, and my upper body strength feels pathetic. I don’t like them, but I do them, as best I can, whenever Michael puts them into my program. I try not to grumble too much, but I probably can’t quite contain my disdain. But you know what? I am better at them today than I was when I first started back in September!

My shoulder issues are frustrating at times, and it feels like they are dragging on and on. However, my shoulder issues are really not that bad and won’t last forever. All this work that we are doing on my shoulders is directly addressing the problems. There has been improvement, and there will continue to be improvement.

My trainer is a pretty smart guy! He can see potential where I can see only impossibilities. I am generally not a slow learner, but that is exactly how I feel at this very moment. Either I am a slow learner or I have random training amnesia. I am quick to forget what I have already accomplished, and I keep forgetting the lessons already learned.

A couple of months ago, Michael said that he thought I would be able to deadlift 250 pounds at my competition. I don’t think I ever truly believed that would be possible, yet I walked up to 248 pounds in competition and lifted it without ever doubting that I would. When I ran my last 10K race in April, I wanted to finish in under an hour but wasn’t sure I could. Michael knew I could. I did!

As I have been training for the marathon, I have questioned my sanity and my ability to complete the distance. My doubts are slowly shrinking, but it certainly helps to know that someone else believes I can do it.

It isn’t that Michael has super powers, because he doesn’t. (Sorry Michael!) But what he does have is knowledge and experience and the ability to read people well. I’d say that’s a great combination for anyone to have but especially a trainer. It is nice to know that someone can see what you are capable of before you can even believe it to be possible. There is something motivating and encouraging¬†about someone setting the bar high and telling you to jump when you know that person believes in you. And even if you struggle in the attempt, there is still trust that you are not being made to walk the plank, but rather you are being gently pushed a little further down the road of your journey.

The opportunities for positive thinking are everywhere, all around and not just in the gym. Of course, we tend to struggle with positive thinking in areas where we feel weak or inadequate. I’m no exception. Even with Michael’s pep talk fresh in my head, I had a moment of “you have got to be crazy!” when Michael said that a good long-term goal for me would be to do a handstand push-up! When was the last time I did a handstand? I honestly cannot even remember…probably my early teen years, and push-ups…well, I’ve already made it clear how I feel about those! Am I skeptical? Oh yeah! But I think that is a great goal. Will I be able to achieve it? You’d better believe it! Or maybe I should say that I believe it!



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