I Wish I Could...
Just the other day, while chatting with some clients warming up, I popped down into the bottom of a squat and continued talking. I must have looked irritatingly comfortable because one of the women said, “I wish I could relax in that position too.” I was feeling sassy, so I replied by saying, “I had wished I could too, but nothing happened, so I decided to practice really hard.”
I can even tell you the first time I tried to pop down in a squat like that. I was in my bedroom in my parent’s house in 2012. How hard could it be? I thought after watching a YouTube video that challenged the viewers to hang out in the bottom position for 10 minutes. I fell over backwards after 6 seconds. More determined for try number two, I lasted about 45 seconds until I succumbed to the insane burning in my shins. My hips had this pinching sensation so I called it quits. I made it 51 seconds out of 10 minutes.
It wasn’t for another year that I got serious about improving my squat. And it wasn’t for another several that I was able to hangout in the bottom like I am today. It took a lot of work. A lot of burning shins. It took time hanging out in the bottom of the squat!
There’s also a misconception that I went from not running at all to running ultramarathons. Well, there were a lot of steps along the way. There was a lot of pain, a lot of calve cramps, back spasms and limping up stairs. In fact, the reason I started running was not to run really far distances. I wanted to learn how to run properly. I became obsessed with proper technique. I had wished that running wouldn’t be painful for me. I had aspirations of opening a gym. How am I going to be a gym owner and not be able to run a couple miles without it hurting so bad?
Once again, wishing it to happen didn’t help me, so I decided to practice. Hannah and I started running a little over a mile once a week. We would run from my apartment in Hampton down to the Secret Spot to get breakfast burritos and then walk home. Heroic start, right?
I’ll give you one more example we hear around the gym all the time, ”I wish I could do push ups like that.” By now, you know what I’m going to say. You need to practice, it’s going to take a long time and wishing isn’t going to help.
When we see people doing something that’s unfathomable to our current selves, we write it off as if they were born to do it, or that they're freaks. Remember, they put in the work too. Watch your self talk. If you just go around wishing improvement would happen, you’re going to have a hard time putting in the work. If you truly want to improve something, you need a plan and you need to stick with it. If you pull it off, people will wish they could do it too.