Today at the gym was all about working the negative. It was chest, biceps, and shoulders day and as a result, my eyeliner is a little wobbly. Ahhh....you know it was a good workout when you have not yet regained total use of your arms by the time you have to leave for work.
But before I did my first BOSU ball push-up, I had already spent a full 60 minutes working the psychological negative. After a weekend of nutritional choices that were, hmmmm, less than ideal, and facing a week dotted with lunchtime obligations that would keep me from my running game, I couldn't wait to hit the gym and work my cares away. I needed a good sweat, some warm worn-out muscles, and a swift kick in the pants to snap out of the negative zone I had been in for the past three days.
Unfortunately, the negative stayed with me for my hurdle training. I got to the gym early and set up in the parking lot, grumbling about how it could already be 73 degrees and 250% humidity at 4:30 in the morning. As I set up my hurdle and started on my drills under the curious eyes of other early-morning exercisers jogging past, the little voice in my head asked who I was kidding. My high-knees were pathetic. My trail leg drill was amateurish. I watched my reflection in the gym's dark window and wondered if I would ever become good at this. And I did 15 more.
The negative nagged at me during my first round of cardio, too. Doing bike intervals is usually a fun, high-energy way to start the day. But this morning, all I could think about was how my quads looked a lot more defined last week than today. I knew I needed to get positive soon, so I bumped up the resistance and pedaled harder.
Finally climbing off the bike to hit the weights, Captain Awesome set up a little circuit and informed me that we would be working the negative. "Whatever," I thought. "Like it will make a difference." I grimaced at myself. Was this really me? Why couldn't I snap out of it?
I finally felt the stress and negativity start to melt away as I concentrated on slowing down the negative effort of each exercise, really focusing on the movement and resistance of the weight. As I dedicated my attention to visualizing my muscles at work, I began to feel more like myself. And finally, when Awesome and I high-fived and congratulated each other on our hard work, I was awake.
I went in for my second round of cardio with somewhat renewed vigor. I was still angry at myself for losing focus over the weekend, but somewhere between doing karaokes in the parking lot and incline hammer curls in the weight room, I had made amends. I realized that working the negative was going to have to be part of the rest of my day. Meaning, that I was going to have to find a way to make the negative energy that is inevitable in life work for me. By harnessing the frustration I have in a goal not met and using it instead as energy to try "try again," I can more easily forgive, forget, and ultimately get over myself and move on.
Get over myself and move on. Now that's what I call resistance training. :)