I was standing in a checkout line (Christmas Shopping) at a local sports and fitness store this weekend. A lady behind me goes, "GPP!"
How do you not turn around for that?
I didn't recognize her (Shout out to my new friend from Ogden. I'm sorry I forgot your name. I'm lame.). It turns out we have never met. She follows us from off-site. Her SIL got her into us. It was fun to talk with her while waiting in line.
Our friendly chat continued into the parking lot where it took a nasty turn. While we were walking out of the doors, I noticed she was, sort of - gimping along.
"You busted up?" I asked.
"HELL yes, I'm busted! We did like 500 burpees this week! I can hardly move!" With that she gave me a rather aggressive push (it was REALLY a pulled punch) to the chest. I was shocked & confused - for a moment. Her language was thick with sarcasm, but there was a flash of REAL hostility in her eyes. Like, real enough that I quickly turned a hip to her for fear she was going to follow-up that chest thump with a nut shot. I'm positive it crossed her mind (Yours too?).
Chuckling about the encounter on the way home, I started to slip into trainer mode. Why didn't I call her on that crap? Not the shove. That was funny. Why didn't I call her on allowing herself to become THAT sore? I should have told her, "You should NEVER allow yourself to become that sore." I should have said, "There is no fitness in beingSTUPID sore." Instead, I think I said something like (Read this next part in your best "derp" voice), "Oh, hahaha. Yep, sometimes these workouts can get you ..."
As I drove along, I imagined it would have been so keen of me to take that moment and teach her about the rudiments and fundamentals of scaling. But I didn't. Why didn't I? I kept asking myself that. Then it occurred to me.
I'm glad she was so sore.
"But Neil!" (a whiny voice from somewhere inside my head) "It's not safe."
I dunno. Anyone who has ever become successful at improving their health through exercise will tell you that "Gimping" is part of this process. It is a pipe dream to imagine otherwise.
For the record: I don't advocate rookies throwing caution to the wind and just going for it. That would be stupid. Optimal Health requires more thought than that. It takes more hardening (mental & physical) than that. It takes more experience than that. Otherwise one can quickly go from "gimping" to permanently damaged.
The most important part of working out is knowing: life's journey will take us each to terrible places we aren't comfortable being. These places are nasty, ROUGH and unyielding. Having the health to withstand the pitfalls and challenges we have ahead of us will bless our lives, and the lives of those we love - beyond measure. On the flip-side we know: life's journey will also grant us extraordinarily wonderful benefits. Not having the health to fully reap these benefits will prevent us from blessing our lives and the lives of those we love - beyond measure.
Forging our true capacity for avoiding pitfalls and reaping benefits isn't much different from forging the finest steel tools. To create the finest tool you must plunge raw steel (full of impurities) deep into the refiner's fire only to pull it back out and hammer it relentlessly. This must occur over and over again until every impurity is hammered out. It is a long process. Sometimes the fire is too hot. Sometimes the hammer bungs up the steel. But, even if we screw it up a little - it's cool. Just shove it back in the fire and go at it again.
I'm sorry new friend from Ogden, but I'm glad you were sore. Not that I like seeing you in pain (much). More because I know being sore is part of the refining process. Please try to be careful, but just as importantly, keep heating it up and hammering it out.