By Laura Jones
Everyone wants to be liked and accepted to some degree. We want people to think the best of us. And before you go and say that you don’t care what people think of you, let me ask you this: have you ever said any of the following during a climbing session:
This hold is too greasy!
It’s too humid!
That burrito is sitting really heavy!
That hold from the other route is in my way!
I’m trying to break in these new shoes!
This move is stupid!
I’m too short!
This pinch is too wide for my tiny hands! (Okay, maybe that’s just a personal one.)
We all make up and dole out these excuses. Why? I think it’s because we’re scared to some degree. Or at least that’s why I use them. I don’t want others to think less of me because I’m struggling so I make up an excuse for why I’m struggling, hoping they think that on any other given day, I can do this. But just not today. Because my lunch isn’t agreeing with me…
In spite of being scared, I had a big girl moment: I told myself I wasn’t going to care what people thought of me. I was going to struggle my way through 100 pull ups.
I set a time of 20 minutes, giving myself 1 minute to do 5 pull ups with ample (ha!) rest. Then I had to prepare. I put on a cute workout outfit because if I look better, I feel better. I set a HIIT timer to alert me at the beginning of every minute and so I wouldn’t lose count (because I agreed to 100, not 105, that would just be absurd). I broke out a band to assist me and didn’t care who saw it! And then it was go time….
I started out thinking I couldn’t do one unassisted pull up but turns out I can do five! So, five reps in, I’m feeling pretty good, cocky even. With a spring in my step, I start reps 6-10 unassisted, which I quickly realized was not the right choice. Foot into the pink band to help me bust out those next 95 reps. Fast forward to rep 20 and I was thinking there was no way I was going to make it to 100. Even with the band, I was barely able to get my chin past the bar. It even took me 1 full minute to get in 5 reps because I was struggling so much. So I switch to chin ups in order to utilize different muscle groups, thinking I could do these all day. Fifteen reps later, I realized I could not, in fact, do these all day. I reverted back to my P90x days where you complete chair assisted pull ups. The farther the chair is from you, the more difficult it is and vice versa. You want to know something weird? My chair kept inching closer the more reps I did; the floor must have been slippery or something. Things got so desperate that at one point I definitely had 1 foot in the band and 1 foot on the chair.
But you know what? I frickin’ did it. 100 pull ups. Something I thought was unattainable was attained! So what if it took me significantly longer than my coworkers? So what if my form was probably lacking towards the end? So what if I had to use a band? Or a chair? Or a band and a chair? (I all but asked LB to lift me up so it looked like I was doing them). I was amazed and proud of myself. And here I was, almost letting the fear of what others thought of me stop me. Granted I didn’t do a video like everyone else because I honestly don’t know how to do that fancy time lapse stuff, but I did get pictures. And while a small part of me thought about just posting that 1 picture of that 1 rep and calling it good, I didn’t want to lie.
So the next time I don’t want to do that lead climb in the gym because I’m scared that I’ll look weak, I’m going to do my absolute best to push through. I’ll take that whip even though I’m scared what everyone will think of my girlish shriek. But I may not accept your friend request until this quarantine is over; don’t take it personally. I’m just scared of what challenge you might tag me in next…