This stuff ain’t easy. How do you learn to kick ass with patience?
Swinging a heavy bell, slipping a high kick, pushing the prowler while the La Brea exhaust nearly blots out an early afternoon sun; it’s not easy and it’s not supposed to be. If it were easy we wouldn’t teach it. If it were easy you wouldn’t need a gym to learn it.
So with the difficulty of these skills (and that is pretty much all we do at F5, learn and practice skills) firmly established, it’s about time we stopped berating ourselves for a lack of perfection. No one expects you to press a 40kg bell on your first day of strength and conditioning. No one expects you to lift your partner an inch off the mats with a massive body kick during your second week of muay Thai. You shouldn’t expect these things either. Both of these goals—pressing that anchor of a bell, kicking with enough snap and stability to level hills—are good goals, but they take time.
Which means we need to think about how we use our time at Function 5. There are 168 hours in the week. On average, only 3-5 hours of your week are spent practicing these skills at F5. Every minute of your time at F5 should be spent wisely—focused and driven—but, even more importantly, you should always remember that the skills you’re learning are difficult and part of a process, not the stepping stones that will lead to some grand conclusion. Enjoy the process and appreciate it for what it is and you will use your time wisely. Frustration is natural and sometimes inevitable, but it is not an effective motivational tool.
So the next time you fail going for a PR on your press, or you lift your knee too slowly and fail to check a low kick, don’t beat yourself up about it. Take a mental note that you need to work on your press or your check and move on. Taking the time to stall and ruminate about perceived shortcomings only saps precious seconds that could be used improving.
And seriously, we should never take ourselves too seriously.
-Daniel Davis-Williams, CSCS, CPT