We have all been there. No one is there to hold us accountable and we are tired, and it is hard, and we just don’t want to. And it is in that darkest moment of being with ourselves that we really find out what we are made of.
I own a gym. Surprisingly, that means I get very little time to actually workout. I may be at the gym 15 hours a day, but rarely do any of those hours get dedicated to working out, and even when I do workout, it isn’t often with a group class.
So, many days when I make time to work out I end up doing the work out by myself. And as the old saying goes…one is the loneliest number.
There are certainly pros and cons to solo workouts. Pros – I have the whole workout space to myself, I get to choose the music, and I don’t feel judged by my performance. Cons – I am a pretty good procrastinator so I can waste a lot of time before actually hitting the start button on the clock. I have no one along side of me to help push me through the suck. And I have no one to hold me accountable.
I will admit that the very first CrossFit workout I did, I inadvertently cheated my reps. It wasn’t until after the workout when Dirk and I were talking and he mentioned something about burpee number 12 being so hard each round that I realized I had (innocently) only done 10 per round instead of 15. It was my very first CrossFit workout and I was nervous and once the clock started my mind went blank. The fact that I could count at all at the point was a small miracle!
He was so mad that I beat him in that workout. It took 3 whole months and few beers before I could admit to him what I had done.
Several month later I cheated my reps on purpose. The only time I have ever done that. Again, it was burpees. (Gah, I just hate burpees so much!) There was a snowstorm and I wanted to get done and get home. The guilt was horrible. I vowed to never cheat a rep or my workout again.
I will also admit to you that every single workout. Every. Single. Workout. The thought of shaving a few reps enters my mind. I could say that I was scaling today, or my shoulder hurt or I was getting sick. Or even ending the workout a round or 2 early, because again, just scaling as a good athlete should because my shoulder/ankle/knee hurts.
The workouts you do every day are for you. They aren’t for me, or your Coach, or the other athletes in class. They are for you.
Cheating your reps only hurts you. Your Coach knows you are doing it. The other athletes in your class know you are doing it. And they care that they went through something really tough, and you took the easy way out.
No one, not your Coach or those other athletes surrounding you, cares if you are the last one done, or if you struggled with that workout. You’ve all seen 11 people huddled around that last athlete, cheering them on, even doing those last grueling reps with them until they finish.
That is what it is all about. Pushing through the suck. Doing things you think that you can’t possibly do. Finishing what you started, or at least giving it everything last bit of what you’ve got until that clock runs out. Being better than yesterday.
So, yes, every single time I workout my brain goes through the steps of trying to trick my body into quitting. You are not strong enough, not good enough, not fast enough. You don’t have what it takes. And sometimes I even take a second to entertain those thoughts. But I never cheat my reps. Not again. When I am done with that workout, I want to be proud knowing that it was hard, but I did it anyway.