The image is from Facebook; a colleague posted this today. It means a lot because it comes from someone who I know has a great and kind heart, who finds inequality ugly and who is not afraid to speak his mind. And saying “there was times when I should have...”, does not come from flaws. We are all flawed. We all sometimes let things go. It simply means you are not going to let fear of acknowledging that reality stop you from calling it out.
And that’s what’s needed. From men. From women. From ME.
I have sometimes been angry over an incident and at the same time cautioned myself against that anger because “it wasn’t SO bad” or “I am just being overly politically correct” or “I use salty language sometimes ....so I guess it’s the same...”. And stewed. And felt that there was no upside to saying anything. Only down. And ended up been as frustrated about the feelings of guilt and worry as I was about the comments that started it.
It’s easier to call it out when I see others up against it. I do that. So why not as often when it’s me? Because I don’t know intent to be bad (he’s alright ...does not mean harm)...I hold back. Because I think of how fortunate we are North America compared other countries...; I hold back.
And while intent is incredibly important to me... I think this is one of those cases where I let it get in the way. Because every time something like this passes unchallenged, an opportunity is missed to move the needle forward. To let someone know that every word is a seed and that those kind can’t have any beneficial harvest. That just because it could be worse does not mean we should not all strive for better. That just because I CAN take it does not mean I SHOULD.
Most progress is incremental. It’s not surprising that someone can look back and go “uh oh”. It is a sign that the needle has moved! If I think about some things that happened early in my career... thankfully I had a manager would not tolerate aggression or offensive talk from our vendors .... it’s hard to imagine those things happen as frequently today here in Canada at least. That progress has happened because of all the times people DID call it out.
So if you think everything is good… I guess it’s OK to ignore all of the noise about #metoo. For one, I feel really glad people like Ken don’t think things are OK. That means there’s hope for #metoo.
Sent from my iPhone
First ever un-spotted 115lbs #benchpress. I’m pretty sure I have never NOT used a spot on anything over 100lbs.
It’s not that I can’t safely move the weight. But I let fear prevent me from trying without a safety net.
I would stand there at the bar, trying to reason with myself that there was no need to be afraid. And even though I knew it was true I could not convince myself. So I would ask for a spot.
Today I tried something different. I figured since I wasn’t going to be able to reason myself into NOT being afraid... I’d just do it no matter how I felt. And the results.... you can see for yourself. I wasted a lot of time trying to reason with the part of my brain just doesn’t reason.
I’m done with that.
....and I shouldn't of left you (left you).... .But I actually HAVE had a dope beat to step to.
Forgive the Aaliyah reference....but it popped right outta my head.
Anyway, I have not stopped writing or thinking.... it's just taken a different form in the last bit. Some training I was on with work had us doing some prompted journaling, and I have a book that's got me thinking, and a girl that ALWAYS is good for a soul-and-brain-conversation. That's kept my heart and creative spaces pretty occupied. We also have a move on the horizon, so there has been some extra work, which has created extra naps. So time has also been a bit tighter.
But this blog remains my main place to think about my practice, my body and what I have gained and learned on that journey. And there is news there, so... HERE I AM!.
Well, to be honest, there is no news yet. It's just brewing. It's been brewing for 17 months or so since I hit that 100# bench press for the first time. I remember the feeling. 135# is on the horizon. It's been a slow climb. After 100 there was some quick gains, but the last year has been truly one of those turtle vs hare things. Progress has been real. Just super incremental with lots of time between.
And now I am pretty sure that I'll put that plate on in October and have a good solid TNG. So STAY TUNED!
This is my fitness diary, so this post might be a little bit of a diversion. We went to Garths family reunion in Saskatoon on the weekend. Many of these people were virtual strangers to me, but it was very apparent that they loved him. And he mingled and chatted in a way that I have never seen. It was beautiful, and also sad that it took 20 years for me to see it. And it merited a little note here. There is something special about the love of family. Cherish it. And get as much of it as you can.
The chart mostly speaks for itself. But I also told Jerimiah that I'd really like to be a bit brave on a last attempt in 2018. Not that the last on any of these above were guaranteed, but they had been done before a few times.
And we aren't currently setting a date target other than "next year". We'll just work on progress and keep checking in and when it seems within reach, sign up for a meet and to a 3 month (probably) prep cycle.
I said the same last year, but by November was desperate to get signed to a meet to have it firm. I'll try to exercise patience and remember that more meets are added regularly and I won't miss out. Then I can try to be a bit more organic with the planning, which may be helpful given my travel schedule can be hard to have any long term insight into or control over.
HERE WE GO!!!!
Here are my results (in kilograms). I am super proud, super tired and super sore.
#Squat- opened with last year's best for a result of 70, 75, 77.5
#Bench- last year's meet best was 47.5. Today - 50, 55, 57.5
#Deadlift - last year's meet best was 90. Today 95, 100, 105
I will have more to say later, but for now, it's enough. It's plenty.
It's almost here! I knew after last years meet that I'd do it again. And I narrowed it down to a few events in November, and have been prepping for the Apex Summer Showdown since January. And now it's less than 2 weeks out, and I am getting the prep emails and reminders..... it's HERE!
I will have a buddy going to her first meet (Daphne) , which makes it a little more exciting. I'm hardly an old-hand, but having a bit of experience makes me feel like I have something to offer her as she goes on this adventure. It's such a great community, and I have received so much encouragement from it: it's nice to be able to support someone else who's taking it for a spin.
I have (mostly) gotten over the stress of not competing in the same weight class as last year. Maybe a tiny bit sheepish, but nothing that will hold me back from giving it my all, and putting some good numbers forward. .... on which to build my next year worth of progress.
Some smart ladies have been telling me the same thing lately: it's coming from multiple places,.... that it's not events that make up your story, but rather it's the narrative that you make of those events. And that is the story of YOU... that makes you who you are.
It's a powerful notion. And I have been practicing. Jessica recently said when we were having our ritual Pho...."It's interesting that you would frame your story that way".... and it was a punch in the gut. She was right. I was undermining an accomplishment by the way I framed it. It took some thinking to figure out why I would do that, but the greater win for me was that now when I tell a story, at least sometimes, I hear Jessica's voice.... "interesting way to frame it", and then I consider whether the story I write serves me. And while being TRUE is the most important, there are ways to be truthful that still lack honour. Everyone has blurted out something ... out of a feeling, perhaps. And for that millisecond it was true, but.... it was not really TRUE. But you've said it... it can't be unsaid. I am practicing writing my story in consideration of this reality. Practicing that requires that I check my initial story to make sure that I am honouring the deeper truth. The text message with Jerimiah, above, is an early example of my new practice.
My life. My story. My choice.
I had a Personal Trainer for over a year. And then I had a coach. It was an easy transition because it’s the same guy. Let’s call him Jerimiah… (Because that’s his name….)
In March 2016 , spurred on by a growing love of powerlifting and Jerimiahs recent place (the TOP) at Nationals…. I decided to participate in a summer Powerlifting meet. The London Open, to be specific. Initially, I only asked him to help get me ready. But when I eventually (reluctantly) asked if he’d be there to support me, he was surprised I had considered that there’d be any other option. And at that moment, it started feeling just a bit different.
In the past, when he said “we”, I often laughed. “We can do this”, he’d say. And I’d think “We? I don’t see you picking up the other end of the barbell! Is that some training-speak to encourage me?” But not long after we started prepping for the meet; it really felt like WE! And now, the value I put into this relationship is kind of shocking. Personally, in some ways he remains nearly a stranger. But I trust him with a lot. I rely on his guidance, support and feedback. So how did it become “we”, exactly? Well, here is what I see now:
So has his approach changed? Actually, I have to sheepishly admit that it probably hasn’t. Those things actually didn’t start when I committed to the meet: they were there before. It was my perspective that changed. Yes, I did specifically ask for him to ‘have my back’ and got his commitment. But the only real change in approach was mine. So I had a coach all along, but didn’t know it. My bad.
And now I look around at people giving me feedback in my personal life or at work, and think: Maybe they are my coaches too? The push to own something. Or the encouragement to give it up. The dialogue to help me sort out how I feel, and what’s on my mind. Suggestions to consider modifying my approach. A pat on the back for a little win...... Sound familiar? It’s the SAME things I listed above that I value in my relationship with Jerimiah. I don’t always take the feedback from others as easily as I do with Jerimiah. Maybe its because it does not feel like “personal coaching” because of their approach. But maybe it’s also because of my perspective. And that, I can change.
Icon made http://www.flaticon.com/authors/nikita-golubev