Today I Failed

IMG_0630The Chin-Up Challenge Post Show

I have grown stronger, but I have not grown strong enough. I set out three months ago to do 10 chin-ups. Very quickly I realized this was a lofty goal and though I didn’t change it, I knew that if I could manage to do 1 chin-up, I would be happy with that even though it would still mean the failure of this challenge. This is the closest I have ever been to doing a chin-up, but I still did not do a single one.

Today I failed.

Those who have followed along won’t be surprised by this. Some might be: you might have thought I was improbably going to pull this off; you might have rooted for me; you might have seen a fellow underdog make an attempt at something; you might have even seen yourself in me about that one thing you want but have been too scared to try and have. I set the bar high and I went for it.

Today I failed.

This is the first challenge that I have failed and it’s important. It’s important because it’s easy to set goals that don’t push you or make you try harder than you have ever tried before. If you don’t fail – if you don’t fail ever – then you aren’t trying; you’re coasting. There may be nothing wrong with coasting, letting the status quo take you through your life, but if you want something more, if you want to be more, to accomplish more then you have to fail. Nobody likes this idea, but it’s true. If you keep coasting you will never know what you are capable of. There is greatness in you, but it’s up to you to find it. Whatever that may be.

Today I failed.

No one likes to fail and I am certainly no different. I don’t like being told I am not good enough, but I can accept that at this moment in time about this particular challenge I am not good enough. Perhaps I never will be, but perhaps, one day I will. That is entirely up to me. When you fail, it’s life asking you if you have what it takes to try again. It’s asking you do you care enough to try again? Are you strong of heart? And if that answer is no, so be it. That’s where you settle. That’s where you begin to coast. The thing about coasting is that you will always, eventually, come to a stop. It’s easy to give up. It’s easy to say this is the way it is. It’s easy to point to any number of obstacles and say it’s too hard.

Today I failed.

There are many reasons why – some are excuses, some are fact, and some are interpretations of commitment, dedication, and perseverance. But none of them matter. What matters is what comes next. When you go after something and you don’t get it, it’s not the end unless you let it be. You have to ask yourself, is this it? Do I quit? And I hope, whether it’s a trembling, uncertain whisper or a resounding NO, that you do not accept that it’s game over. Every time you fail and pick yourself up again, you are becoming someone who is more powerful than you were before. Don’t let disappointment or frustration make you forget that.

Today I failed.

Tomorrow I may fail again.

But that won’t stop me from trying.

Chin Up Champ Wannabe     IMG_0630

^ Day 1                                                                                         ^ Day 94






Chin-up Challenge Workout 13: Mysteries Revealed!

I tried today – I really tried – to do a single chin up. I put today’s workout on the back burner, eyed up the bar that is the bane of my existence, and tried my best to believe I could do it…

I did not succeed. Shocker, right? Though I was fresh off that defeat, I got down to business and began my workout in what feels more and more, with each passing day, like a futile attempt to succeed. However! There was some more undeniable (undeniable in that ‘Harper-needs-to-go’ sort of way) improvement with my assisted pull-ups, meaning I don’t have any doubt: I crushed my first set of assisted pull-ups today… and Harper really needs to be put out of office.

I actually accomplished a 4 count decent.

That’s right. Cue the applause. Release the confetti! Fire the works!! (…Light the fire? Boom the firework? … Blast! Blast the fireworks!) You gotta celebrate the small things right?

Now, I did, in fact, find out who said that less than 5% of people can do chin ups. And what’s more, she also says how many. Boomshakalaka! The great mysteries of this challenge have been revealed! Unfortunately, I don’t know where she got her stats from. So. There’s that to think about. Shawna Kaminski (C.P.T.) is responsible for this thought/idea/stat/pondering/reflection/fact/detail/truth/info:

5 %_edited-1

So there you have it. I had some serious questions from the last workout about this so-called fact… and those questions primarily still remain. For the most part. But the gleeful part of me is all hunched over, with my palms together and my right fingers tapping those of my left in a conspiring manner. Ah, yes. Just a single chin-up. Perhaps I’m not failing as hard as it appears. There is hope! Mwahahahahaha –

Yeeeah. Right.

Today’s Workout

  1. Assisted pull ups
  2. Inverted row
  3. Bent over row
  4. Barbell squat
  5. Stability ball curl
  6. Chest press
  7. Lateral raise
  8. Rear delt raise
  9. Bicep curl
  10. Tricep overhead press

Chin-Up Challenge Day 3: Riding Wild

I have worked out before. I have even worked out hard, once upon a time, training for university sports, and yet I still wasn’t prepared for the phenomenon of insta-muscle-soredom.

For that one period of time way back when of absolute abdominal destruction that was our ab work out for hockey, I still didn’t feel sore until the next day. I mean, it was intense – none of us could laugh for half a week after our first session. We almost sounded French, trying to hehe our laughter and minimize the ab pain. Joking felt like death.

But this was not so with workout número one here. The soreness crept in as I was lifting and puffing and panting away and continued to get worse as the day went on and yesterday I lived in fear of today: Workout número two.

Although my muscles were still sore from Tuesday, it actually wasn’t that bad. I mean, I still obviously can’t squirm and thrust and flex my way to a proper hanging leg raise and my muscles are still tired and sore, but perhaps it’s that they were just completely shocked that after months (and months…) of neglect they got thrown back into heavy action so abruptly.

Now, I have to say that damn stability ball so easily makes a fool of me. This time I felt like a city slicker trying to get on a horse without having any idea how. I was attempting a stability ball plank, but really I went off that sucker every which way with my sweating arms just helping that ball escape from me. I can see it like a montage in my mind: off the back, over to the right, now to the left, ohhh right over the front!

So, I have some other goals developing in addition to the 10 chin ups in 94 days: doing proper hanging leg raises, and breaking that ball like an ornery pony. I’m sure more will be added as I continue to learn how bad I am at most of the exercises. But I feel more confident that I can win these small victories. As for the big giant that is 10 chin-ups… well, I’m just as unconfident as ever. But, if you’ve followed along with any of my previous challenges, then you know that won’t stop me from doing everything I can to try and earn another success notch on the ol’ challenge belt.

Today’s Workout

  1. Stick ups
  2. Jump pull ups with controlled descent
  3. Assisted pull ups
  4. Bent over row
  5. Reverse dumbbell flies
  6. Hanging leg raises
  7. Turned out bicep curls
  8. Chest press
  9. Push ups
  10. Stability ball plank
  11. Dumbbell Squats
  12. Dead lifts
  13. Mountain climbers