Monday, August 26, 2013

Embrace Your Weakness

"You cannot run away from weakness; 
you must sometime fight it out or perish; 
and if that be so, why not now and where you stand?"
-Robert Louis Stevenson

Our tendency is to hate our weaknesses. Those nasty little (or large) pieces of ourselves that hold us back. Well, I think it's about time we changed our attitude. 

Your weaknesses can actually be your greatest asset. Your key to success. Your ticket to greatness. (Hey, it sounds good.)

I've been thinking a lot about my weakness lately. Some might say obsessing over it. Here are some things that you might find helpful in transforming your weakness into a strength:

  1. Have a goal.  
  2. Honestly evaluate yourself. Of course, the way you evaluate yourself depends on what you are training for. Are you a runner? See a local running store for running form seminars. Obstacle course racer? Think about your last race... what was the most difficult for you-- the walls, rope climb, traverse wall, running? CrossFitter? Which WOD's are the most difficult for you-- the ones involving body weight, barbells, runs or the longer ones? 
  3. Consult experts. Hire a coach. If you are really serious about improving in your sport (aka competing) the best thing you can do for yourself is to invest in a coach who knows what she/he is doing. If you're not ready to take that route/don't have the money to spend, then consult experts via the internet-- there are so many great sources of info out there for free. Some of my favs: Runner's World for runners, Barbell Shrugged (also on Facebook) for CrossFitters, and Obstacle Racing Media for obstacle course racers. Facebook groups can also be a helpful source of info and inspiration. Just be sure if you are a member of a group that the person giving you advice is actually knowledgeable (confirm everything through your doctor or that guy, Google).
  4. Make a plan. Now that you know your weakness and have found what experts recommend for you, create a plan to target that weakness. This doesn't mean ignoring your normal training. This means restructuring your training so that you focus more time and give greater attention to your weakness. Again, having a coach is awesome, but if not do your own research to find a plan.
  5. Work the plan. Be patient. Good changes do not happen overnight. Do not quit the plan because you don't see immediate results. Do not quit the plan because it's hard. It will be hard. Remember, this is your weakness.
So, I mentioned my own journey with my weakness... I've found some interesting side effects of embracing my weakness. There's a freshness in my training. I'm tracking my improvements, so I'm seeing my improvements.

My goals have changed slightly, so I'm focusing more on CrossFit competition, since my body is better designed to handle that type of workout. My weakness is my strength. I'm strong, but not CrossFit competition strong. While I still run to help my endurance (and to prepare for a few half marathons, a Superhero Scramble and a Super Spartan), my strength training has shifted to a specific strength building program (Jim Wendler's 5-3-1).  And I'm loving it.

So, what about you? Have you found success in targeting your weakness? 

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