Dirt in your skirt blog

Going to Failure

Posted on February 24, 2012 by Margaret Schlachter

Sometimes we all break, whether we find the point of breaking in the gym or in other aspects of our life. When we are pushed to the brink, standing at the edge of the cliff looking over, it’s what we do next that starts to define who we are. Do we step back, go back to the place we know and are comfortable or do we move forward trusting what is up in front of us. My training these days is pushing me, it’s pushing both mentally and physically.

The physical push is the easy one. It’s easy to do push-ups until you can go no longer. It’s easy to push your body to the edge, standing over the trash can heaving. The hard part is going to the mental edge, going to the point of discomfort and confronting it. We spend our days trying to suppress visiting this place, staying in the ordinary, in the easy.

Working out with my trainer yesterday part of our training is focusing on testing the limits. We are testing the limits both physically and mentally. Steve specifically designs the workouts so that I end with climbing on technical routes that require not only physical strength but also mental focus. Yesterday we did a series of circuits which focused on all upper body so that by the time we got to the eight climbs at the end my grip was gone and I was forced to use other muscles and find other ways to successfully navigate to the top.

One of the climbs required big powerful moves which forced me to trust my skills. After several failed attempts at the same move, I was there hanging in the gym with two choices hang forever or find a way to make it to the top. Steve was not going to let me just come back down. As I hung there I struggled, just wanting to be back on the ground, a stream of negative thoughts were flowing through my head. I honestly wanted to just cry and be done with it, but quitting was not an option. I pulled myself back together and onto the wall, then powered through the last couple holds and found myself touching the ceiling.

I am finding that at the end of the day, as much as I might struggle at times with wanting to be done and take the easy way out that I can keep myself going. It might not always be pretty or done with grace but I keep moving forward, one foot at a time. Sometimes that is really all you can do, one step, one foot after the other until you reach the finish.