On a couple of occasions recently, I’ve caught myself just going through the motions. Coasting along instead of actively seeking to fulfil my potential.
The first concerned my daily handstand practice.
It started with noticing my inconsistency. I would have one set where I didn’t achieve my holds. Then the very next attempt, spot on, no issues.
I began thinking about why this was. I came to the conclusion that it was psychological. I wasn’t fully focussed on what I was doing. I wasn’t all in on creating the outcome I wanted to create. Once I stopped and thought about it, I could almost talk myself into succeeding.
The physical skill wasn’t the problem. The mental aspect was.
The second instance was in relation to climbing.
I had a coaching session with Robin O’Leary focussing on movement and body positioning ahead of a trip to Fontainebleau in a couple of weeks.
Towards the end we started working on some harder problems, things outside what I’d even try pulling onto in the course of a normal session.
I asked him how often he felt I should be trying these sorts of problems. And his reply highlighted exactly where I have a tendency to fall short.
He said, “Once a week. Once a week set aside part of a session to just try hard stuff. Don’t worry about sending. Don’t worry about topping problems. Just try hard moves.”
A major weakness with my climbing at the moment is movement, particularly my lack of mobility. And although that’s what I need to be focussing on, part of that is doing difficult climbs. Although I turn up to the gym regularly and climb, I can get into the habit of not really testing myself. Of using the fact I need to improve the way I move as an excuse to avoid trying difficult things and failing.
In each of these situations, I needed to better evaluate my actions. To consider why I’m there and what result I’m looking to achieve.
Ultimately that’s what it comes down to. Asking yourself those questions. Why am I doing this? What do I want out it? What’s the best way for me to achieve that result? Be honest with the answers that you give.
And then don’t stop pushing yourself to carry them out.