Celebrate Your Failure – A Trainer’s Opinion

Since I foresee posts in the next month mostly about the CrossFit Open, I wanted to get this in now.

March 5, 2019 will be my one-year anniversary of starting CrossFit.

It may seem odd to you that a personal trainer who has been certified and re-certified for years, trained hundreds of clients one-on-one and in small groups, and studied and experimented with dozens of different training models should be paying for another coach to train her, but it’s not odd. It makes all kinds of sense, and it’s too bad more professional trainers don’t put themselves in the trainee “hotseat.”

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A sign in my studio sums up my fitness philosophy:
“Discipline will take you from what you want now to what you want most”

I LOVE exercise. I love the process itself: the exertion, the challenge, the triumph, and, most importantly, the failure. I fail all the time! But that’s mostly thanks to having another trainer programming for me. It’s really tough to fail when I’m making my own programs and training alone in the studio. Like almost everyone else, I train harder, better, faster — and thus reach failure — when I’m with a group pursuing the same goals, when coaches program for all-around fitness without regard to my preferences (because I’ll always skip the lunges LOL).

Keeping myself on the other end of training is an advantage when I work with clients, too.

How many exercise professionals have you seen and met who were young athletes, always gifted with discipline and lean body mass? I was obese and deconditioned when I hired a personal trainer. I still remember my first attempt at a plank — I couldn’t hold it 10 seconds. I thought to myself that NO ONE could really do it and certainly not me. Ever. Two years later, I was doing 4-minute planks. In the last year, stray thoughts of impossible moves have flashed through my head again, but I had my first handstand push up, then 5, now 8 of them. I’m back-squatting my body weight and nearly bench-pressing it, too. So many steps I thought out of reach are now within reach.

Having experienced being fat, feeling ridiculous doing what I’m not good at, and knowing what it feels like to fail over-and-over, means I so respect the courage of every client every time she walks through my door.

So here’s to my first year of CrossFit, which has made me stronger and more humble than ever. It has brought me fellow fitness friends who remind me we are all unique and all the same.

Be sure to celebrate your anniversaries. Count your successes AND your failures.

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