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Whether it's in my work, my yoga practice, or my workout routine, I'm always looking to improve. I never try to approach any of it by comparing myself to anyone else because I know that no matter what area of my life I'm in, there's always going to be someone smarter, stronger, and further along in their path than I am on mine. So instead, I just look to myself to see where I can improve. I hone in on my weaknesses, and choose one or two things every few months where I focus my efforts.
Over the last year, I've focused on building overall strength. The reasons behind included wanting to further develop my arm balance practice in yoga, and I also just wanted to just be fitter overall. It was embarrassing to me that simple things, like opening one of those heavy doors at business entrances, were a struggle to me. So I worked on it over the past year, and feel like I've achieved what I set out to do. Now that I have gained a decent amount of overall strength, I want to re-evaluate other weaknesses, and set new goals so I can improve.
I've been participating in the CrossFit Open. I did it last year on my own, and it was a lot of fun. I approached the whole thing with a nonchalant attitude. I didn't really care one way or another, didn't really have any goals other than making it through the workouts, no matter how long they took me, and I didn't have any expectations. It served me well, because when you don't have any expectations, you can't really mess up or disappoint yourself, you know?
Anyway, I went into it this year with the same sort of attitude, only I was mildly more confident in my ability since I knew I'd come a long way. So far, I've modified every single Open workout, and I'm not ashamed of that at all. I've been working out like this for a year, so I can't expect to do the prescribed workouts at the rx weight. In just the few weeks the Open's been going on, my weaknesses are glaringly obvious to me:
- My rowing isn't efficient.
- My upper body strength is lacking.
I want to point out one major thing in the above statements: I never said, "My rowing sucks," or "I'm a bad rower." I never pinned it on myself and said, "I have no upper body strength," or "I'm weak." As cheesy as this sounds, this is yoga off the mat. Remember that the body hears everything your mind tells it. So construct your observations about your weaknesses in a way that allows for growth. This takes the pressure off, and takes the stress out of it.
"My rowing isn't efficient" means there is room to make it efficient. "My upper body strength is lacking" means it's not there yet. Emphasis on the yet.
So now that I've identified two major areas of weaknesses, I'm going to focus on those over the next few months to try to improve. I think both of these things are stemming from the fact that I suffered a shoulder injury last spring. It's something on the left side, in between my shoulder blades. My chiropractor, who specializes in sports injuries, said the injury was caused from a weakness in that area. Womp womp. It's curious to me how these things kind of go full circle. Like a weakness causes an injury, which impacts your workouts, making you realize you have a weakness.
Anyway, my goals are to improve my rowing. I need to research exactly how to do this. I know that my technique is okay but I just get gassed pretty quickly.
For the support body strength, I'm particularly interested in evening out that imbalance between my shoulder blades. I'm going to try to incorporate daily strict pull ups and shoulder/back accessory work like ring rows to try to strengthen that area.
So those are my goals over the next few months. I'd love to hear what your weaknesses are, how you deal with them, and what your plans are to improve. Let me know down in the comments section below!