A Case of BSW?

Yesterday was a rough day. It seems a little odd to say that, when the sun is shining in through the windows this afternoon and my life is really quite good and in a happy place. My family is healthy. My husband has steady business. My kids are growing up and doing their things. I am healthy, active, alive and becoming. I have so much to be thankful for and many blessings to count, but yesterday was a tough day.

The muscle that I tweaked in my upper back yesterday morning only got angrier as the day went on. I have been having fairly constant headaches for a couple of weeks and had been enjoying a headache-free morning until that muscle seized up on me, then the headache came back with a vengeance. My ability to move without cringing or whimpering also deteriorated as the day went on. My husband left a bit of bruising on my back from trying to rub it out, and I just about died trying to roll it out.

I massacred my legs during my bath. Seriously, there were rivulets of blood streaming down my legs from all the shaving nicks.

I put on fresh polish on my toe nails after my bath and butchered that as well. Ironically, I had selected a bright red colour, so at least my toes matched my legs.

But mostly I just felt defeated by those pesky chin-ups! In yesterday’s blog post, I did comment on how the lack of progress with the chins makes me feel, but I don’t think I even quite realized then just how deeply the defeat had taken root within me.

I can be stubborn sometimes, and, when it comes to something I want, like really, desperately want, I am particularly stubborn. I don’t toss my goals aside easily. I don’t like to quit or give up. Just ask my husband. I fully believe that I won our post-Christmas game of Monopoly for the simple fact that everyone else quit and I did not! I kept training for a marathon despite killer blisters and hip pain. Ultimately dropping out of the marathon because of the hip was the right decision, even if I wasn’t very happy about it at the time.

I enjoy a challenge and setting goals, but I try not to set goals that are too outlandish and unreasonable. When I gave my coach my list of goals a few months ago, I knew that a few of the goals would present significantly more of a challenge than the rest of my goals. Unassisted dips and chin-ups and handstand push-ups were all goals that I knew would not come easily or without hard work, but I honestly believed that I was capable of getting there. As Michael began to incorporate handstand push-ups into my training, I did often whine a little, joking that I must have been insane to want to be able to do them. But for all my whimpering and joking, there was still an underlying sense that I could get there one day if I just kept at it.

I have been working on chin-ups for more than two years. I may not do them consistently every single week, but they have certainly been a very regular part of my training. They are the one exercise that seems to be able to frustrate me the most. When my muscles are fresh, I might have a decent chin-up session…for me, which really just means that I am able to get close to the number of reps that Michael wants before everything goes downhill. Most of the time, it just feels like I am constantly struggling to get even the minimum number of reps. Michael thinks I’ve been improving, but I don’t see it. As frustrating as chins are, usually I am able to shake off the frustration and go on believing that there will come a day when I can do chin-ups.

Yesterday was not one of those days. The frustration of the chins not only clung tightly to me, it penetrated my pores and infused itself into my bone marrow. That little voice that normally tells me that I’ll get there one day was strangely silent. In the silence I heard instead a whisper telling me that I would never get there. Never! The whisper was persistent. The whisper became a voice. The voice became a shout.

You will never be able to do chin-ups! You will never achieve that goal, and you were stupid to ever think you could!

The weight of that oppression was heavy on my soul. Tears would well up in my eyes when I would re-read what I wrote about the chin-ups in yesterday’s blog post. For all that I have been able to achieve and all that I know I am wholly capable of achieving, in this one thing I felt…I feel utterly defeated.

A while ago, I sent my coach a text telling him that we could remove the chin-up goal from my list. I thought I knew how he would respond. I expected him to make a joke or make a comment about not giving up, but he simply asked why. And that is when the dam finally broke and the tears fell. That was the response I didn’t want! As much as is possible in a text, I explained my feeling of defeat. As is often the case, Michael helped to put things into perspective and made me laugh. He never did comment on whether or not he would disregard my chin-up goal, although he did offer to change my platform goals to chin-up goals…a subtle, or not so subtle, reminder that chin-ups aren’t at the top of my priority list. Apparently, I could be a chin-up master if I quit squatting and deadlifting and took up rock climbing! There is a reason why I don’t do rock climbing, and it has everything to do with a lack of upper body strength! Okay, so there are legitimate reasons for why chins are so difficult. See! This is why I have a coach. I don’t do back squats for 3 weeks and I suddenly start questioning my very existence! Stop the presses!

Maybe that is it! Perhaps the reason for this temporary lack of confidence is actually a symptom of back squat withdrawal! Ha! Yes, I think that explains it quite well.


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