Small Steps

25 Apr


This is a post from a while back. It was a good reminder for me to look at the small victories as motivation to move forward. Every day I’ve looked in the mirror and noticed good changes with my body. I hope that you are experiencing the same thing.  One day soon I hope to reach this fitness goal again.

Today I accomplished something. It was something I never thought possible.  As you may have noticed it has been a while since the last time I posted on the blog.  Since that last post things have gotten a little frustrating. I peaked out at the gym and really hadn’t made any gains, my diet had become something less than lustrous, and it seemed like I had hit rock bottom with my progress. No, I didn’t give up going to the gym and I haven’t pigged out and dropped everything I know about the paleo diet. I just sort of became stuck; spinning my own wheels per say. Today that changed; today I took a big leap forward and I hope to ride that momentum into the new year.


One of my weakest lifts has always been the deadlift.  I’m not quite sure what it is about the lift but I’ve always just seemed to fail to make gains with the lift. Maybe it has been my form, maybe my grip strength, or maybe it has just been a demon inside me providing a mental roadblock that I needed to slay to move forward.  Whatever, the case, I have never been very good at it and have always let it be one of those damned if you do, damned if you don’t type lifts that I would make excuses not to do while at the gym.

When I started my journey with the deadlift about 6 months ago, I of course lifted the bar and added maybe a 25 lb weight.  3 sets of 8 reps took all I could give and by the time I was finished with the exercise, I was completely spent and the rest of my workout suffered. As time went on, up until about a week or so ago, the most I could do with the dead lift was about 3 sets of 8 reps at 150 lbs or so. Did I mention that I hate the deadlift? The only reason I’ve come closer to deadlifting my body weigh is because of all of the weight I’ve lost (40 lbs since January and I’ve kept it off!). But that is beside the point, it was an exhausting lift and the demons in my head told me I wouldn’t get any better.

Flash Forward to Today

I was getting sick and tired of feeling so down about myself with this lift, debating whether or not to strip it from my repertoire all together.  Something inside of me really tweaked and pissed me off to no end.  I figured I’d give the lift one last shot.  Throw as much weight on the bar as I physically though I could possibly lift in one rep and see where it went.  210 lbs later I was ready to go knowing I was either going to conquer that bar or break my back trying. Even the gym staff gave me a funny look and asked if I was sure I wanted to do this.  Tossing my hands in the air, I gave it a shot. I grasped the bar and slowly began to ascend thinking sure enough I was doomed. When I reached the top I felt a rush of adrenaline and relief I had never felt before. One rep slowly became to and quickly progressed to three… four… five… then eight.  Drained, I put the bar down with a smile draped across my face.  Had I finally broken through?

After a short rest and pinching myself to make sure this wasn’t a dream I proceeded a second attempt at the impossible. Again it happened, one rep became two… three and so on until I finally reached number eight. Completely exhausted but elated, I gave the third set one final whirl.

Moral of the Story

I’m sure many of you out there put up a hell of a lot more that 210 lbs on the dead lift regularly. But for me this was a small victory. I continued to come up with excuses as to why I couldn’t do the lift or why I wasn’t as strong as I should be. Today, I proved to myself that if I set my mind to something I can do it. I am excited to step back onto that platform next week and add an extra 10 lbs to each side and see where it takes me. I am no longer afraid to see where that next level is or of the journey it takes to get there.

I hope this inspires you to take a leap of faith and trust yourself with whatever is holding you back.  This was only one small step, but it leads to the next step and the next. Eventually I’ll reach the peak of that mountain and be ready to move onto the next.

What is holding you back? What small step are you going to take to tackle the mountain?


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