Three Punch Combo
Now, let’s be honest. I am NOT the only one that has fallen off the wagon with my good intentioned plans, training or otherwise. For this winter, I have planned a quite structured training program. But for the past 2 weeks, I have fallen behind and ad libbed (dictionary: v.intr. – to engage in improvisation) ad nauseam (dictionary: adv. – to a disgusting or ridiculous degree). In this instance, the anecdote is climbing related. But guess what … this is Life! Success Principles are Universal!!! Whether its business, relationships, health, or any number of real world categories, there will always be instances where we fall short of even our own expectations of ourselves. It is our perspective and response to such failures that reveals our Character. Failure can be a tricky opponent. I propose that you attack it with the Three Punch Combo.
Punch #1 – Draw a Line in the Sand
“Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.” – Henry Ford
I am a strong proponent of the TRY-FAIL-ADJUST principle. There is a stigma in today’s American society that conditions us to fear and avoid all forms of failure at all costs. If you do poorly on a test in school, you get a flaming red “F” on top of your test. If you try something at work that doesn’t pan out you get “FIRED”. If you make a relationship mistake you end up in a “FIGHT”. Well, “F” that. It clearly doesn’t work. I know this is generalized greatly, but I’m not far off base.
Success is built on failure. When everything works perfect and comes easily, we learn NOTHING! We can learn a ton from our failures. So when I got knocked off track with my climbing training, I did get mad at myself. But I didn’t wallow in it. I didn’t quit climbing. And my goals didn’t just disappear like a Fart in a Fan Factory (more F’s). So I drew a line in the sand. I decided to re-launch and make adjustments. I evaluated what contributed to my slacking (wet garage floor from melted snow) and came up with a solution (beach towel mounted to a push broom).
Punch #2 – Self Motivation
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” – Henry David Thoreau
The key to self motivation is found in an unpredictable place. It is found in the mind and words of a child. Have you ever carried on a conversation with a 3-4 year old where no matter how you answer the first “WHY?” you are met with another “WHY?” instantaneously? They ask out of curiosity, but we should use these 3 letters to move us forward, ever closer to our goals.
So you have a training plan… why? Because you want to get stronger… why? So you can climb 5.xx/Vx… why is that important? Ask yourself “Why?” enough times and I believe you will eventually dig deep enough to find out what your Motivation is. You will also find that you can prod yourself in that area on command for an immediate boost in gumption (dictionary: n. – courage; spunk; guts).
Following is my main line of questioning: Why am I training? To get stronger and more efficient. Why?/What does that accomplish? So I can climb 5.13. Why 5.13? This opens up many more options and quite frankly some of the highest quality routes. And I want to be able to take FULL advantage of every outdoor climbing day or road trip I get, because they don’t come along as often as they used to.
I am getting back to the basics on “The Why“. Putting up visuals of my goals to look at daily. Is there any other sport with as inspiring visuals as Rock Climbing? Not for me. The places and the people that we get to interact with is like no other endeavor. Dwelling on these things sure do get my blood pumping and can make a lonely hangboard/garage wall workout actually exciting. It is exciting to know that I am yet another step closer to my dream routes and destinations.
Punch #3 – Accountability
“Accountability breeds response-ability.” – Stephen R. Covey
Self Motivation is great. And it needs to be present, no doubt about it. For without landing the 2nd punch, there is no Three Punch Combo. But I have found tremendous breakthrough in the principle of Accountability. Specifically, being accountable to another person or a group. Its a lot easier for me to bag a training session when I am the only person that knows about it. But when I make a commitment that others know about, even if only in the back of my mind, I tend to not want to let them down. The key is in giving permission for them to call you out if/when you fall short. In a friendly way, of course. Finding others with similar goals is another HUGE plus. A high level of transparency is of utmost importance.
So here goes… in my next post I will share 5 weeks worth of my planned training regimen. Then I will personally comment on that post whether or not I completed my workout.
Please feel free to share your goals and I can help with your accountability.
~ Climb 4 Real ~