I was about halfway through the recent Aerobic Power Interval (API) workout when I dramatically panted and told Coach Lam I was “done.” It was one of those rare times when I truly thought I wouldn’t make it to the end of the workout. I wanted to drop the weight and just walk out. Everything hurt, including my ego.
I had previously considered myself pretty good at API, so what happened? I had wanted to level up that day, so I grabbed the prescribed 14-pound med ball for the wall balls. More than a year ago, I had given up doing them at that weight because I wasn’t consistently hitting the target height, so I backed down the weight to practice form and consistency. The problem is that I never went back up to the 14 pounds.
During that workout, those heavy wall balls just killed me. Coach Lam was counting for me, and I kept hearing him say “no rep” as I failed over and over again to reach the right height on the wall. I was wasting so much energy doing the physical work, but couldn’t count the reps. The rest of the workout spiraled downward from there.
I went home wondering if my recent 50th birthday meant I would now be getting weaker and slower instead of enjoying all the progress I’d been making for years at Kanna. I felt washed up, sore, tired, and demoralized.
Coach Lam talked with me after the workout, and over the next few days, I began to feel better. He reminded me that progress isn’t linear for most things in life. Consistent effort pays off in the long run, but sometimes you have to take a step back today in order to leap forward later. In this case, I need to make myself do those dreaded wall balls with a 14-pound ball – even if that means I take longer to complete certain WODs or it’s unpleasant. As the Kanna coaches say, “If you ever want to do _______, at some point you have to do _________.”
I also revisited my original intention for my fitness routine. Why do I show up 4-5 times every single week even when I don’t feel like it? I do it because I want to be strong, fit, and healthy, with a body that can take me through whatever life brings. When I started at Kanna four years ago, I never said, “I’m doing all of this so I can level up.” I was overweight, had achy joints, and had lost my mojo. My only goal back then was to show up – I knew if I could just do that, everything else would fall into place. And it has!
If you have a day like I had recently, I hope you will revisit your intentions for working out. Why do you do it? The truth is there are no bad workouts. Every single one gets us a little bit stronger, faster, more in tune with our bodies, and closer to a better version of ourselves. Sometimes you have to backward to go forward.