The age-old adage tells us that all good relationships are built on one simple factor: trust. As soon as you trust another human being, you gain the ability to be vulnerable and open up parts of yourself you sometimes didn’t even know existed. What people don’t tell you is that this isn’t limited to partners or spouses, it’s also the foundation of your relationship with yourself.
Now before you start to think that this blog post is some bizarre Sex and the City voiceover, let me promise you that it has a point. Trust me (see what I did there?).
At Tradewinds, we build strength using functional movements. Sometimes these movements come naturally, and sometimes they just don’t. Whether you have an injury that makes you hesitant, you recently failed a specific lift, or you’ve simply never done that movement before, it can be terrifying sometimes.
It can also be scary to try something new, like adding weight, gaining depth, increasing speed, etc. If you allow your mind to be stuck in the fear of it all, you will fail the lift nine times out of ten. But if you step up that bar and trust that your body has the strength to do it, you might be surprised by what you accomplish.
If you have ever taken a class with me, you know I complain about front squats (I actually complain about a lot of things, but that’s for another blog post). I will be totally honest with you all and just say that it’s because I don’t like doing things I’m not very good at. I used to have questionable squat form, knee pain, and just an overall discomfort when lifting this way, which led me to hating the movement. How could I possibly like something I would only fail at?!
That’s the mindset that was tearing me down. Every time I stepped up to that bar, I envisioned myself failing. I physically didn’t trust my body to do it, so my body didn’t do it. Why would it? I didn’t give it the grace or the credit it deserves. I never PR’d. I never added weight. I stood there and watched myself fail over and over again in my mind.
It wasn’t until I worked with Meredith and Andy (shout out!) on my form, without any weight at all, that I realized part of the issue was just my foundation. I re-racked the weights, checked my form, and squatted. Then I added tens, and I squatted those too. Then I added more, and, guess what? I squatted those too. As soon as I realized that my body could do it, it changed my relationship with that movement. I walked up with the confidence in myself to succeed, and I did,
The next time we did front squats at the gym, I started at a higher weight than normal, because I knew I could. I allowed myself to trust my body, and it changed my life…or it changed my squats at least.
This did not fix my front squat relationship completely; I still loathe them. But now when we program them, I have the confidence to try and push myself a little harder, because I know that I will be able to do it. And, more importantly, I trust that, if I do fail, my body will be there to pick me back up.
Your body does everything for you every single day. It wakes you up, it keeps you breathing, it reminds you to pay your bills, and it makes you smile when you see a cute dog or hear your favorite song. Why wouldn’t you trust it to do this for you, too?
I always tell my students the same thing when I hear them use negative self-talk: you are the one person who will be with you from the moment you are born until the moment you die, so you better treat yourself with the utmost respect. Trust is a big part of that respect.
If you do not trust yourself or your body to take you where you need to go, you will not get there. You won’t be able to lift that weight. You won’t be able to exceed your own expectations.
But if you let yourself be vulnerable, if you dig into yourself against all doubts and odds, you will eventually succeed. It’s amazing what your body can do once you trust it every once in a while.
So remember: you are the one person who will be with you from the moment you are born until the moment you die. Give yourself the trust that you deserve. Let yourself be present for those awesome moments, find your strength in the vulnerability to let yourself fail, and always, ALWAYS remember that if there are front squats in the programming, I am probably cursing but crushing them anyways 🙂