Social media is everywhere these days, and there is certainly no shortage of fitness-related posts. If you’re following social media then no doubt you have seen numerous posts about people who are accomplishing PRs, learning new movements and achieving big goals. These achievements require a significant investment of time and (proper) practice, and each one is definitely worthy of celebration. These are all things that take a lot of time and (proper) practice and are definitely worthy of celebration.
As much as these people are to be applauded, sometimes seeing all that others are accomplishing leaves me feeling a little unsettled. Now don’t get me wrong, I know that others’ accomplishments take NOTHING away from me, and I try not to fall into the trap of comparing my daily gym grind to someone else’s best day. But occasionally I do wish that I could turn back the clock and relive my “better” years (although even in my “prime” I wasn’t a spectacular athlete; someone who could do butterfly pull-ups, ring dips with ease or muscle ups – although for a number of weeks a couple of years ago, I spent a lot of time trying and I got really close!). Although having said that, I had a late start to this, and I didn’t have the time or energy to spend hours and hours in the gym on a regular basis either. So I did what I was able to do and made accomplishments based on the time I put in, and I am darn proud of many of them.
So, when I see the posts about other athletes achieving these amazing things, I recognize their accomplishments but I also think “I may not be making great strides, but damn, I’m in this gym on a regular basis and have been for years and years. And that’s got to be worth something!” So for those of you who have been grinding it out in the gym despite life’s adventures, I commend you! This is for you.
Maybe you’re not hitting PRs, posting the fastest times on the board for the workout each day, or even doing RX (anymore), but you are in the gym on a regular basis and doing the best you can THAT day. That is to be celebrated!
Maybe the gym is a stress reliever for you, a place to take out the aggression you have for the outside world or your job, or for the frustrations you face with friends or family. Maybe it helps to sweat (maybe even curse a little) because life is tough. Maybe this gym, the workouts and the people you know will be there and missing you if you don’t show up, is what gets you out of bed in the morning (or to the gym after a long day at work when you think you barely have the energy to even get home).
Maybe the days of hitting new PRs, accomplishing a higher standard or winning medals might be over (might), but you’ll still be there tomorrow pushing yourself through the workout and cheering your classmates on. Tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that. Despite life’s hurdles.
It’s those of you who this is celebrating. Those who show up regularly even though it’s hard to move through your day because your marriage is challenging, you worry about your kids, you are caring for a sick parent, your job is in jeopardy, your “normal” is changing, your body isn’t cooperating as it used to…
We might not be the attention-getters or the jaw-dropping performers. But we are the ones who never quit, who grind it out in spite of all the challenges life presents to us. That is the real achievement and is worth celebrating!