A couple weeks ago I was at my 4 year olds soccer practice. About 15 minutes in he came running over to me, in tears, expressing his wish to leave.
I told him it was fine if he wanted to come out, but we would be staying to watch and support his teammates. Reluctantly he sat with me and watched the rest of the kids participate.
Five or so minutes later he looks up at me and said “Daddy, I think I want to play again.” I smiled and said of course. Ten minutes later he scored his first goal. The look of pride on his face is one I will never forget. He has not only begged to go back to soccer since then, but his level of confidence is showing up in his skillset.
There is a correlation to what many of us adults experience often in fitness. Physical change is hard. As much as people want to simplify concepts like weight loss and strength gains, we are biological organisms that don’t always abide by the logic. A week or two of no movement on the scale is enough to send many of us to the sidelines. Unfortunately that typically ends in long term or even permanent removal of healthy habits.
Soccer is a tough sport. Watching a bunch of 4 year olds attempt to hone their skills isn’t exactly a pretty site, but to be honest neither is watching someone in the early stages of attempting to change their body composition. Soccer takes practice, and so does physical change. What if next time you are frustrated by the early stages of practice, tell yourself it’s ok to take a quick break. But don’t go too far. Stay in the gym. Remove the pressure, but stay in the environment. Allow yourself time to breath and emotion to pass, but don’t go so far away that you can’t jump right back in the game.
I could have taken a different approach with my son. I could have increased the pressure and demanded he immediately re entered the practice. I also could have allowed us to leave right away. I don’t believe either of those tactics would have done him any good, just as I don’t believe keeping your pressure high or quitting does for you.
So next time you experience frustration, take a little break. Not too long though, just enough to let logic creep back in. Remember that in the end only continuing to practice will eventually lead you to your goals. And, just like my son, achieving just one small goal will give you the confidence you need to keep going from there.
You’ve got this.
Have a great weekend!
Mike, MAR Health & Performance