“Today we are going to work on getting more depth on your squats,” my trainer Brett said as he walked toward a wooden box. He set it on the ground by the squat rack and then set a weight on top of that to keep it sturdy.
I looked at him with raised eyebrows and a half smile.
He walked up to the barbell to demonstrate.
“Alright. Get all set up here.” He lifted the bar off the holder using his back. He adjusted his feet to the right position and started his descent.
“And at the bottom of the squat you need to go low enough just to tap your butt on the box…and then quick POP back up,” he said as he followed through the motions. “This will make sure you are getting far down enough,” he explained as he walked the barbell back to the rack to set it down.
It was my turn to try.
I got all situated in my weight and stance. I backed up and made sure I was in the range of the box. The first set was a success!!
More weight? Sure!
I lined up for my second set, feeling more confident than before. The first few I nailed. The last two, however, my legs were shakier than Bambi’s feeble newborn legs.
We kept the weight the same, and after a short break I headed into my third set.
Down. Down. Tap. And. UP!
….Except I didn’t go UP!
“Up!” I thought again as my body wouldn’t budge.
So there I sat on that wooden box with a big ole barbell on my back. Surely wide-eyed.
Those of you who know me also know that my face lives a very express-ful life. (I don’t think that’s a word..but still. That’s what it is.) I didn’t have to even get a word out before my trainer coached me through my next steps.
“That’s what the safety bars are for. Yep. Just duck under. Yep.” I heard as I finagled my way out of the mess.
Once I was standing again I finally admitted, “Well…that was slightly embarrassing.”
“Is that the first time you’ve failed?” Brett asked.
“Uhh, yep! Sure is!” I got out.
“That’s a good thing. Now you know what to do next time,” he said. “If you are not failing from time to time, you are not trying hard enough.”
I’ve since let this phrase sink in.
Failure is often described something that is negative. The definition itself is, “lack of success,” which I know most people, like myself, avoid like the plague. Who wants that?!
It almost feels like it’s associated with hurt or pain. And sometimes it is. But even just the FEAR of failing has stopped me in my tracks more times than I can count.
My fear of failure and my fear of embarrassing myself is what stopped me from pushing harder in the gym days before that incident. My fear of failure has stopped me from trying new things that I might have loved. My fear of failure has stopped me from telling people that I care about them, worried that I won’t hear it back. And my fear of failure almost made me not want to even try writing again.
Maybe you have your own list of things that you are thinking about right now that you want to do, but are held back in some way.
You know what I say we do? I say we turn failure on its head. I say we riot. I say we don’t let the fear of it stop us from doing what we love or trying something new. I say we let it teach us and we let it push us.
I had read this quote a while ago and it has stuck with me. I think of it often, which is why I’m sharing it now:
“Improvement at anything is based on thousands of tiny failures, and the magnitude of your success is based on how many times you’ve failed at something. If someone is better than you at something, then it’s likely because she has failed at it more than you have. If someone is worse than you, it’s likely because he hasn’t been through all of the painful learning experiences you have.
If you think about a young child trying to learn to walk, that child will fall down and hurt itself hundreds of times. But at no point does that child ever stop and think, “Oh, I guess walking just isn’t for me. I’m not good at it.”-Mark Manson
I have to remind myself that most successes at anything were not achieved without failure at some point. We have to pick ourselves back up and keep trying, in whatever that may be.
Failure can actually equal improvement. How crazy is that?! What if we reminded ourselves of THAT when we are in those moments of doubt? What if we started to think of a child learning how to walk and how they never give up? What if we think of failure as a tool to grow and not a final destination? That could create a change.
But it can be scary, I know.
I had been contemplating starting up my blog for a long time before I actually did anything. I was telling one of my best friends how I wanted to pick it back up and he replied, “Just start it today. Start it back right now.” He made it sound easy.
I met that with much hesitation and after almost over a week of, “Where’s your first blog post at?” texts, did I say, “Hey now. It’s not ready yet. I have a lot of emotions to work through and a lot of stuff to do yaddayaddayadda.” Which was true, but there was still that fear holding me back again. The extra push helped me not to listen to it this time.
“Creativity breeds creativity,” he said. “Once you start writing and doing more things with your blog, it will open up that creative space again and you’ll want to keep creating more. You just have to start.”
And he was right.
So for any of you reading this who want to start something new or try something again, here’s your little push like I had. If you failed before it’ll give you better insight this time. You just have to start.
So here we are. Pushing past one failure and onto the next again. May our next failure be met with grace and an understanding of how to pick ourselves back up and keep going.
Hope everyone has a wonderful week ahead of them and thank you for taking the time to read this. I truly truly appreciate you <3
Don’t let anyone steal your joy!
P.s. For those that don’t have me on the socials…check out my new little logo (at the top of the website). I’m sooo happy about it!