Failure is an interesting topic.
Some avoid it like the plague, others embrace it. Me, I’m firmly part of the latter.
I embrace failure with arms open wide.
Placing fear in failure is the wrong approach. The truth is you need it.
Failure is a great tool to learn from. It teaches you about persistence. It teaches you to be tough and resilient. It teaches you everything that winning can’t.
Winning or success is not a chance occurrence. It’s something that is forged through daily grinds, small achievements and constantly facing challenges. You’ll miss lifts in training, perform terribly in practice and screw up in life, but embrace it. See it for what it is and use it as a tool to learn from. Why did you miss the lift? Could your technique be improved? Perhaps your recovery isn’t allowing you to reach training in your best state? Was your head out of focus and not firmly on the task at hand?
Without a doubt it’s more valuable to attempt something and fail than it is to avoid it altogether. These potential failures should make you nervous, but at the same time excite you.
Focus. Visualize it. Go for it.
You may get it, you may not.
Assess it. Learn from it and you will eventually get it.
It’s this quality in people I admire the most. The ability to face things head on – to fail at many, succeed at a few and keep on moving forward towards something.
It makes no difference to me if it’s someone learning to paint, to deadlift 500lbs, to learn to squat pain free or to lose an abundance of weight, they all have my admiration for simply seeing through the failures and keeping on going.
Too many fall at the first hurdle and their race is done.
It’s this quality in people that determines the outcome of their actions. The ability to set a goal and just keep going until it’s done – Through the sweat, through the struggle and through the trials and tribulations. There is no quit until the job is done.
The Inclusion of a Workout Challenge
It’s why I guess I include so many challenges in my clients and my own training. Challenges test the body, but they also test the mind. They test for that toughness, that resilience and persistence that the successful possess. The chance of potential failure is high, but the rewards are greater.
I read something once that I had to write down so I would never forget it:
“It’s not about what they are getting from you, but who they are becoming because of you. Make sure that the lessons you teach and the things they work hard to achieve will transcend throughout their lives”
I honestly have no idea who that is from, or where I read it, but it’s stuck with me since. If anyone knows by the way, do let me know.
These challenges build character, toughness and grit. They build determination, persistence and an iron will. These are the qualities that I want put to the test during the challenges. Developing these qualities, traits, mind-sets, whatever you wish to call them will have countless carry overs to everyday life outside of the realm of training.
I urge you to occasionally accept a tough challenge. To see how you’re doing physically yes, but also to see where your head is at, your heart is at and your level of toughness and grit.
Looking for a workout challenge?
There have been plenty posted on this site over the last 18 months or so. Here is a link to a few you should certainly attempt.
Want a new one?
Try the one I took today:
Workout Challenge: Hammers and Hills
There seems to be a misconception around the word "simple" – often feeling it infers easy. Easy is easy. It's a minimal dose of effort to get any kind of result. No struggle, no challenge, no investment, no thought and no commitment. Simple is the polar opposite. It's hard. It's removing any complexities and finding the core of what works. These elements are then trained to mad man levels – putting focus on perfecting them, pushing them, sweating, grinding, persisting and improving on them. It's hard to beat hill sprints and sledgehammer swings. The simplicity in them is blatantly clear, but mistake them not for easy.
-10 heavy sledgehammer swings left
-10 heavy sledgehammer swings right
-30 yard hill sprint
As many rounds as possible in 20 minutes